A few weeks ago, my 5-year-old had pneumonia. It wasn't a terrible case, but her recurring, middle-of-the-night coughing fits prevented her from sleep and caused her parents much anxiety. Once, she threw up from coughing so hard and twice, I almost drove her to the ER worried that she couldn't breathe.
In the end, the only thing that eased her cough — every night for five nights straight — was hot herbal tea with a big spoonful of honey.
And here's The New York Times with research on the honey remedy to back me up:
In one double-blind study published in The Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, researchers recruited 105 children and teenagers who had coughs from upper-respiratory infections. The subjects were randomly divided into three groups: one that received no treatment, another that received one or two teaspoons of buckwheat honey, and a third that received a dose of honey-flavored dextromethorphan. Ultimately, the honey produced the greatest improvements when it came to better sleep and reduced cough frequency and severity.
This program aired on December 16, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.