Why is my child's asthma waking them up at night?
If your child is waking up because of asthma symptoms at night, it could be a sign their asthma is not well controlled. It’s important to see your child’s GP or asthma nurse if asthma symptoms are affecting their sleep.
If your child has not been diagnosed with asthma yet, coughing or wheezing at night or in the early morning could be signs of asthma.
We know from calls to our helpline that some people are finding it hard to see their GP at the moment. Read our advice about getting a GP appointment.
What should I do when my child's asthma wakes them up?
Make sure your child takes their reliever inhaler (usually blue).
Try to keep your child’s reliever inhaler beside their bed while they sleep, so they get to it quickly if they need to. If they use a spacer, keep that close too.
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a breathing problem that happens when you sleep. Your child is more likely to have OSA if they have asthma. Find out more about OSA in children, including what the symptoms are and how it is treated.
How can I improve my child’s sleep?
Sleep is very important, especially for children. Here is some advice for improving your child’s sleep:
Manage your child's sleep
Managing your child’s asthma well could help them sleep better:
- Make sure your child takes their preventer inhaler every day, as prescribed.
- Use your child’s asthma action plan. This has all the information you need in one place so you can manage your child’s asthma.
- Have regular reviews with your child’s GP or asthma nurse. Your child should have an asthma review at least once a year, but you can make a GP appointment at any time if you’re concerned.
- Keep your child's reliever inhaler (usually blue) and spacer close by at all times, so that you can deal with your child’s asthma symptoms quickly.
Help your child avoid asthma triggers
Some things in your home or your child’s bedroom could trigger their asthma symptoms. This could include:
- pet hair
- dust mites.
You can learn how to manage your child’s asthma triggers so that they do not affect their sleep.
Keep your child's bedroom at the right temperature
The temperature in the room where your child sleeps is important. If you can, we recommend heating your house to at least 18°C (64°F). We have more information about keeping your home warm.
Some medicines can stop your child from sleeping well. For example, steroids or montelukast. Read more about asthma medicines and sleep.