Mum checking on sick child at night

If the fears and anxieties of your child’s asthma condition keep you up at night, you might need to seek advice from your doctor about how to better manage your child’s nocturnal asthma condition.

Nocturnal Asthma Condition is common among people diagnosed with asthma.

  1. Nocturnal Asthma Symptoms
  2. Steps to Take During a Nocturnal Asthma Attack
  3. How to Treat Nocturnal Asthma?

1. Nocturnal Asthma Symptoms

Nocturnal asthma attacks can share many symptoms that are similar to regular asthma.

These symptoms usually become worse during the night (click here to find out why!):

  • Wheezing (A high-pitched whistling sound while you breathe)
  • Persistent coughing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath

For children with nocturnal asthma, their symptoms include:

  • Interrupted sleep
  • Obstructed breathing

When children have nocturnal asthma symptoms, it affects their sleep and lowers their parents’ quality of life.

(Back to the top)

2. Steps to Take During a Nocturnal Asthma Attack

Night-time asthma attacks are extremely terrifying because you are not fully alert. Here are some steps to take:

Stay calm

Try to reassure your child and yourself to stay calm. Advising your little one to relax their upper body and slow down their breathing during an asthma attack also helps.

Follow your action plan

Familiarise yourself with your child’s asthma action plan. Your child’s individualised plan should help guide you on the next best steps to take during an attack.

Rescue Inhaler

Always place your child’s rescue inhaler beside his/her bedside or anywhere that you can locate it easily even in the dark.

Seek Medical Help

If the inhaler does not help or you anticipate your child’s asthma condition to deteriorate quickly, you should then immediately seek medical help.

(Back to the top)

3. How to Treat Nocturnal Asthma?

There is no cure for nocturnal asthma as it’s a chronic condition. You can, however, manage your child’s condition. Speak to your doctor about the best ways to manage your child’s condition. Some doctors might recommend the following ways:

Inhaled Steroids

Your doctor might prescribe inhaled steroids which help reduce inflammation and other symptoms of asthma. Your doctor might also recommend that your child take an inhaled steroid every day if your child’s night-time asthma is serious.

Oral Medications

Your doctor might recommend daily oral medication – Montelukast. It is a fast-acting bronchodilator that helps to soothe and relax the airways so that your child can breathe better.

Reduce stress

Your doctor might recommend relaxation or deep breathing exercises for your child.

Maintain healthy weight

Obesity is a risk factor that can worsen your child’s asthma condition. Consult a dietitian on your child’s dietary habits and needs. It is also important to start an exercise routine to help improve your child’s fitness. Contrary to popular belief, exercising is a great way to improve your child’s lung function.

Make changes to your child’s room

It will be helpful to constantly wash your child’s mattress and blanket and regulate their room temperature at night. Make sure that their room is well-insulated, their windows are closed, and that there is a humidifier in the room to maintain sufficient moisture.

(Back to the top)


We recommend consulting your doctor about the best ways to manage your child’s nocturnal asthma condition so that you and your child can have better quality sleep at night.


  1. Gardner, Amanda. “5 Things to Do If You’re Having an Asthma Attack That Could Save Your Life.”, 31 Oct. 2018,
  2. Duggal, Neel. “Nocturnal Asthma: Symptoms, Treatment, and More.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 24 Feb. 1990,