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What Is Nocturnal Asthma?

Nocturnal asthma, also called sleep-related asthma, can happen at any hour during sleep. Nocturnal asthma commonly occurs in people with asthma, even when their asthma is controlled during the day. 

Some possible reasons include biological changes that occur at night, such as temperature changes in the body, low circulation of adrenal gland hormones, allergens, such as dust mites, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Medicines taken during the day that wear off, sinus infections, postnasal drip while sleeping, or other sleep conditions also may trigger symptoms.

What’s most troubling about nocturnal asthma is that it is often not reported to health care providers. If you do not tell your health care provider that you are having symptoms at night, he or she may think your asthma is under control, and you may not get the treatment you need.

Do you wake up wheezing, coughing, or with trouble breathing? Even if you feel great during the day, take note of any nighttime troubles and share them with your health care provider.