The Reason Why Asthma is Worse at Night

Mar 31, 2023
The Reason Why Asthma is Worse at Night

For many people with asthma, nighttime can be a time of extra breathing struggles. Hence ‘the witching hour’. But why does asthma get worse at night? Factors like hormones, air quality, and temperature change all play an important role in increasing the likelihood of an asthma episode at night.


Identify Triggers.

Identifying and avoiding triggers is the first step to preventing nighttime asthma episodes. Common asthma triggers include dust, pollens, smoke, cockroaches and pet fur, mold and mildew, cold air, strong odors and fragrances, exercise, stress, or excitement. Small changes can help reduce exposure to these triggers in the environment. For example, using a dehumidifier to reduce humidity indoors can help rid of allergens like mold and mildew which can aggravate asthma symptoms.


Take the Right Medications. 

Taking the right medication is the key to managing your nighttime asthma. Talk to your doctor about medications that help control and prevent your symptoms, like long-term controller medications, rescue inhalers, and corticosteroids. These medications can help to reduce inflammation in the airways, as well as reduce sensitivity to allergies or other triggers. Additionally, ask your doctor if you need allergy shots or oral steroids if your reactions are constant and severe.


Avoid Evening Exercise and Hot Showers. 

Exercise and hot showers both increase your body temperature, and this can cause breathlessness and worsen asthma symptoms. To mitigate any reactions, try to avoid exercising in the late afternoon or evening and avoid long, hot showers after dusk. As a general rule of thumb, take cool baths rather than hot showers, as this won’t aggravate your symptoms or set off an asthma attack.


Consider a Humidifier or De-humidifier. 

Asthma is often worse at night due to changes in temperature, humidity levels, and air circulation. If your bedroom is too dry or too humid, this can make it difficult to sleep and breathe. Investing in a humidifier or de-humidifier may help you maintain the optimal humidity level in your bedroom so that you can have a more comfortable night’s sleep while also alleviating asthma symptoms.


Keep Your Bedroom Clean and Dust-Free.

Dust mites, mold, pet dander, and pollen can act as triggers for asthma, making your symptoms worse at night. Dust mites thrive in warm temperatures and high humidity levels, which are often found during the night. Keeping your bedroom clean and dust-free can help keep these triggers at bay and improve your sleep as well as reduce asthma symptoms. Additionally, using hypoallergenic bedding and an air purifier can also help to reduce allergens in the bedroom.

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