Best Sleeping Position For A Cough

Do you find yourself tossing and turning at night, unable to get a good night’s sleep due to a persistent cough? We’ve all been there, and it can be incredibly frustrating. But fear not, because we have the solution for you – the best sleeping position for a cough.

When dealing with a cough, it’s important to prioritize your comfort and well-being while you sleep. By adopting the right sleeping position, you can alleviate discomfort and promote better rest. In this article, we will share with you three positions that are highly recommended for individuals suffering from a cough: the elevated head position, side sleeping position, and semi-reclined position.

Additionally, we’ll discuss why it’s crucial to avoid sleeping on your stomach when dealing with a cough. So sit back, relax, and let us guide you towards a peaceful night’s sleep while ensuring your safety throughout the process.

Key Takeaways

  • Elevated head position, side sleeping position, and semi-reclined position are the best sleeping positions for a cough.
  • Elevating the head while sleeping reduces postnasal drip and congestion, preventing mucus pooling in the throat and minimizing postnasal drip.
  • Side sleeping opens up airways, reduces mucus pooling in the throat, improves digestion, reduces acid reflux, and enhances circulation.
  • Sleeping on your back alleviates coughing by preventing mucus accumulation in the throat and chest, improves breathing, reduces coughing, minimizes strain on the neck and spine, and helps prevent acid reflux.

Elevated Head Position

An image depicting a serene bedroom scene with a person sleeping on their back, head slightly elevated with a pillow. Their peaceful expression reflects the comfort and relief provided by the elevated head position for a cough

If you’re dealing with a cough, try elevating your head while sleeping to help reduce postnasal drip and ease congestion. One of the best ways to achieve this is by using a wedge pillow. These pillows are specifically designed to provide support and elevation for your upper body, allowing for better airflow and drainage during sleep.

There are several benefits of using a wedge pillow for an elevated head position. Firstly, it helps prevent mucus from pooling in the back of your throat, which can lead to coughing fits. By keeping your head raised, you encourage proper drainage and minimize the chances of postnasal drip irritating your airways.

To maintain an elevated head position while sleeping with a wedge pillow, follow these simple steps. Start by placing the pillow on your bed with the wider end at the top. Lie down on your back and position yourself so that your shoulders rest comfortably on the lower part of the incline. This will ensure that your head is adequately supported and elevated.

It’s important to note that maintaining proper alignment is crucial for maximum effectiveness. Make sure that your neck isn’t flexed or extended too much as this can strain muscles and worsen symptoms. Additionally, choose a firm but comfortable wedge pillow that suits your body size and sleep preferences.

By utilizing an elevated head position through a wedge pillow, you can experience significant relief from coughing caused by postnasal drip. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional if symptoms persist or worsen over time for further guidance on managing your cough effectively while sleeping safely.

Side Sleeping Position

An image that depicts a serene bedroom scene with a person lying comfortably on their side, propped up with pillows, demonstrating the ideal side sleeping position for alleviating a cough

To alleviate your cough, try assuming a side sleeping posture. This position not only helps to open up your airways but also reduces the likelihood of mucus pooling in your throat, which can worsen your cough. By sleeping on your side, you allow gravity to naturally assist in draining any excess fluids from your respiratory system.

Here are some benefits of side sleeping for overall health:

  • Improved digestion: Sleeping on your left side can aid in digestion by allowing gravity to help food move through your digestive tract more efficiently.
  • Reduced acid reflux: Side sleeping can also minimize the symptoms of acid reflux by keeping the stomach contents lower and reducing the risk of regurgitation.
  • Enhanced circulation: By sleeping on either side, you promote better blood flow throughout your body, ensuring that vital nutrients reach all organs and tissues.

To optimize sleep quality while in the side sleeping position, consider these tips:

  1. Use a supportive pillow: A firm pillow that properly aligns your head and neck will prevent strain and discomfort during the night.
  2. Place a pillow between your knees: This will help maintain proper spinal alignment and reduce pressure on hips and lower back.
  3. Choose a comfortable mattress: Opt for one that offers adequate support to keep your spine aligned while providing cushioning for optimal comfort.

By adopting a side sleeping position and implementing these tips, you can improve both sleep quality and alleviate cough symptoms effectively.

Semi-Reclined Position

An image depicting a serene bedroom scene with a plush pillow supporting a person's upper body in a semi-reclined position. Show the person comfortably asleep, arms relaxed, while peacefully alleviating their cough

To achieve a comfortable semi-reclined position for sleeping, you can make use of adjustable beds or recliners. These options allow you to easily adjust the angle of your upper body, providing optimal support and relief for your cough.

Additionally, stacking pillows behind you can also help create a semi-reclined position that elevates your head and chest, promoting better airflow and reducing coughing episodes throughout the night.

Use Adjustable Beds or Recliners

Consider using adjustable beds or recliners for a better sleeping position when you have a cough, as they can provide the necessary support and elevation to help alleviate discomfort and promote easier breathing throughout the night. Adjustable beds offer various benefits for overall sleep quality. They allow you to customize your sleeping position, providing optimal support to different parts of your body. By elevating the upper body, adjustable beds can help reduce coughing and congestion by preventing mucus from pooling in the throat and lungs. Recliners, on the other hand, may also be a viable option as they provide similar benefits of elevation. However, adjustable beds offer more versatility in terms of adjusting positions and finding the perfect angle that suits your needs. Whether you choose an adjustable bed or recliner, both options can contribute to a more restful sleep while minimizing cough symptoms.

BenefitAdjustable BedsRecliners
Customizable Sleeping Positions✔️️✔️️
Elevation to Reduce Coughing✔️️✔️️
Versatility in Adjustments✔️️

Remember to consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your sleeping position or investing in new equipment for managing your cough symptoms.

Stack Pillows to Create a Semi-Reclined Position

Create a cozy and comfortable sleeping position that helps alleviate discomfort and promotes easier breathing by stacking pillows to create a semi-reclined position. This simple technique can provide numerous benefits for those dealing with a cough.

Here are three key advantages of using a wedge pillow:

  1. Improved airflow: Elevating your upper body with a wedge pillow opens up your airways, allowing for better airflow during sleep. This can help reduce coughing episodes and allow you to breathe more easily throughout the night.
  2. Reduced throat irritation: By keeping your head and neck elevated, gravity works in your favor to prevent acid reflux from irritating your throat, which can often accompany coughing.
  3. Enhanced comfort: Stacking pillows strategically allows you to find the perfect angle that supports your back and neck while providing optimal comfort.

To maintain a comfortable semi-reclined position, follow these tips:

  • Use firm pillows or specialized wedge pillows designed for this purpose.
  • Ensure that the stack of pillows is stable and securely placed.
  • Experiment with different pillow arrangements until you find the most comfortable position for yourself.

By utilizing this technique along with other bedtime practices, you can create an environment conducive to restful sleep while reducing discomfort caused by coughing.

Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach

Refrain from sleeping on your stomach as this position can exacerbate a cough and hinder your ability to breathe comfortably throughout the night. When you lie on your stomach, the pressure on your chest increases, making it harder for air to flow freely into your lungs. This can lead to increased coughing and discomfort, making it difficult for you to get a good night’s sleep.

Instead, consider alternative sleeping positions that promote better breathing and help alleviate coughing. One such position is sleeping on your back. By lying flat on your back, gravity helps keep mucus from accumulating in your throat and chest, reducing the frequency of coughing fits. Additionally, sleeping on your back allows for optimal airflow through your respiratory system.

Avoiding sleeping on your stomach is crucial when dealing with a persistent cough. Opting for alternative positions like sleeping on your back can greatly benefit both the comfort of breathing and the overall quality of sleep. Stay safe by choosing the best sleeping position for a peaceful night’s rest while managing a cough effectively.

Is There a Preferred Sleeping Position for Tonsillitis?

When dealing with tonsillitis, it is important to consider different tonsillitis sleep positions for a more comfortable rest. Sleeping on your back can help alleviate pressure on inflamed tonsils and reduce discomfort. However, each individual may have a preferred sleeping position that suits their level of pain and discomfort. Consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial for personalized advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can sleeping on my back worsen my cough symptoms?

Sleeping on your back can actually worsen your cough symptoms. When you lie flat on your back, mucus can accumulate in the throat and cause more coughing.

Instead, try side sleeping to alleviate this issue. Side sleeping helps to keep the airways open and allows for easier breathing. It also promotes proper drainage of mucus from the lungs, reducing coughing and promoting a better night’s sleep.

So, switch up your sleeping position to find relief from that pesky cough!

Is it better to sleep on my left or right side if I have a cough?

When you have a cough, it’s better to sleep on your left side rather than your right. Sleeping on your left side can help alleviate the severity of your cough by reducing the pressure on your lungs and airways. This position allows for better drainage of mucus and helps prevent coughing fits during the night.

Additionally, sleeping on your back with a cough has benefits such as improved breathing and reduced throat irritation.

Should I use extra pillows to elevate my head while sleeping with a cough?

Using extra pillows to elevate your head while sleeping with a cough can provide relief and improve sleep quality. In fact, studies show that elevating your head by 30 degrees can reduce coughing and postnasal drip.

Additionally, using a humidifier in your bedroom can help soothe your throat and ease congestion. It’s also advisable to avoid caffeine before bed as it can interfere with sleep.

Prioritizing these practices will ensure a safe and restful night’s sleep while managing your cough.

Can sleeping in a recliner chair help alleviate cough symptoms?

Sleeping in a recliner chair can provide relief for cough symptoms. The elevated position helps to reduce congestion and ease breathing, making it easier to rest. By keeping your head and chest slightly elevated, gravity can help prevent mucus from pooling in your airways, reducing coughing episodes during sleep.

This sleeping position is particularly beneficial for those with respiratory conditions or allergies. Remember to choose a comfortable recliner chair that provides adequate support for your body while you sleep.


Sleeping while coughing may share certain similarities with sleeping with gout, such as causing discomfort and disrupting one’s sleep. While gout is a form of arthritis characterized by severe joint pain and inflammation, sleeping while coughing can lead to interrupted sleep due to the constant coughing fits. Both conditions can adversely impact one’s quality of life and require proper management for relief and improved well-being.

Remember, finding the right position may require some trial and error, so be patient with yourself.

As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day!


By lezt

Lez Taylor, Founder and CEO of Corala Blanket. She tried every sleep system and trick to conquer her insomnia for good.