Tips on getting through a good nights sleep...?

Hi All,

My dad has recently finished treatment for laryngeal cancer, supraglottis S3N1.
Treatment finished nearly 3 months ago, total of 35 rads & 3 rounds of cisplatin chemo over a 7 week period.
He has been through it all and recovering well, back to eating on his more tube!
HOWEVER....since he has been eating on his own about 2 weeks now and has stopped taking pain meds (morphine) the amount of phlegm & mucus build up in his throat at night has increased and keeps him up at night.
Some nights (rarely) he sleeps for a couple of hours straight but most he wakes up every 30min / hour as he feels short of breath due to the build of phlegm in his throat, gets up spits it out drinks some water and this goes on all night.
We have a humidifier, he has tried camomile tea, washing his mouth out with the mouth washes but nothing really helps.
I have been advised by the doctors & nurses this is a side effect that takes a VERY long time to get better but I wanted to know if anyone has found any ways to manage this?

P.s. I have to thank everyone on this discussion board, you have all provided me and my family a huge amount of information & support, very best regards to all from Melbourne, Australia!


  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
    Suction Machine
    Many discussions on the use of suction machines over the last few years.

    I never really had issues, I think a lot due to the Amifostine Injections.

    Here a few links to get you started until others chime in...

    Phlegm Management

    Mucus and Phlegm

    Dreaded Mucous

    Welcome to the forum....

  • Noellesmom
    Noellesmom Member Posts: 1,859 Member
    thinning the mucous
    My husband has used Mucinex to thin the mucous and had good success with it. He also gargles every night with warm salt water.

    Both or either are worth a try!
  • Mikemetz
    Mikemetz Member Posts: 465 Member
    Wedge pillow
    I got a wedge pillow and slept on my back for several months. Sleeping on my back is not normal for me, so it took some getting used to, but it did help to clear my airway some and let me get some extended hours of sleep. But, be careful not to roll and sleep on your side with the wedge pillow--it makes for a very stiff neck in the morning!