Waking up with dry throat in the morning can be extremely annoying, but also worrisome given the current situation with the global pandemic caused by the novel virus COVID-19. However, it’s not always a viral or bacterial infection that can make your throat feel itchy or sore. In this article, we’ll tackle all the causes of the dry throat at night and explain why each of them happens.
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia can also result in the dry and aching throat. It can be a result of numerous health issues, and while most of them shouldn’t be a cause for worry, if you feel that it occurs more often than not, visiting a doctor sounds like a wise idea.
10 Main Causes of Dry Throat at Night
So, let’s list the most common causes of the dry throat at night. Has any happened to you before?
1. You Sleep With Your Mouth Open
Interestingly, one of the most common reasons you woke up with dry throat, and it’s not a respiratory infection is sleeping with your mouth open. Surprisingly, a lot of people sleep with their mouths open, and that’s not a good thing.
The reason you sleep with your mouth open includes difficulty breathing through the nose, as well as other factors. A lot of people who wear dental braces or retainers can find themselves sleeping with their mouth open because the brace causes discomfort. Additionally, people with odd positioning of teeth in the mouth can also cause people to sleep with their mouth open.
If these symptoms accompany you waking up with dry throat you may sleep with your mouth open:
- Bad breath
- Daytime sleepiness
Deviated septum is another condition that can also cause sleeping with mouth open and result in a dry throat.
Read More: Is it Bad to Sleep With Your Mouth Open?
2. Snoring or Sleep Apnea
Given that sleeping with your mouth open can result in a dry throat, it’s important to link snoring and obstructive sleep apnea with a sore throat in the morning. A study discovered that sleep apnea patients who use CPAP machines can also be prone to waking up with sore throat as a result of constant airflow and air pressure through their respiratory system.
Sleep apnea is described by constant cutting in breathing while sleeping. The main causes can be old age, obesity, or some other. Snoring also can result in waking up with dry throat because the mouth gets dry over time.
3. Dry Air
This may probably surprise you, but you can easily wake up with dry throat if you sleep in a hot or room with dry air. Given that we often get sore throat during winter months, the central heating can warm up the room to the point where air dries out and you wake up with dry throat.
A good way to solve this issue was to put a wet towel over a radiator, though it’s recommended to use it only with closed heaters like oil ones without vents. Another way is to keep a glass of water next to your bed so that you can drink water when you feel that your mouth is drying up.
Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever can influence dry throat, causing you to wake up with it being sensitive more frequent. Hay fever occurs when the immune system gets extra-sensitive to some seasonal changes. The body starts acting up upon the sensation of some natural things that it normally reacted to before.
However, allergy can come at any time of the year, and not only as Hay fever. Sometimes it comes as a result of some cosmetic product, sometimes, it’s a result of a certain food or drink. Allergy or hay fever can come from a plethora of allergens:
- Pollen grass
- Pollen root
- Dander from pets
- Dust mites
- Certain foods
When the body detects an allergen or anything that could trigger hay fever, it releases a chemical compound called histamines. A good solution if you have a problem with mold, dust mites, or dander would be sleeping on a dust-resistant and hypoallergenic bed and pillow.
Another solution to allergy could be special medicines called antihistamines, such as Benadryl and loratadine. However, you need to visit your doctor first and have them prescribe it first, as medicines are no joke, and antihistamines are known to make you sleepy and anxious. Certain studies were conducted on the link between allergies and antihistamines and anxiety and potential depression.
However, the symptoms of allergy reactions aren’t easy to recognize, especially because hay fever closely resembles of catching a cold. In most cases, hay fever isn’t followed by actual fever, but there are other symptoms you should keep your eyes on.
- Nose congestion
- Runny nose
- Frequent sneezing
- Dry cough
- Sore, itchy and red eyes
- Dry throat when waking up
In most cases, runny or congested nose are the most common symptoms of hay fever. Because the nose is congested, we find it easier to breathe through our mouth, which leads to the dry throat because our body automatically starts breathing on the mouth in sleep.
During hay fever, you may also wake up with an extra deposit of mucus at the back of your throat. That condition is called a postnasal drip and could make your throat even sorer.
Do you drink enough water? Are you sure? Waking up with dry throat is a sign that you aren’t drinking enough water or other nutritional fluids. Of course, drinking too much water in the evening can be disruptive towards your sleep quality, and cause you to urinate multiple times through the night. Still, there’s nothing wrong with drinking water throughout the day and keep your organism clean and healthy.
Drinking water frequently helps keep our mouth or throat moist throughout the day. This is especially helpful when you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth. That said, if you don’t drink enough water, dehydration can lead to a sensation of sore and painful throat similar to how dry air does. Water also helps produce more saliva.
Other symptoms of dehydration may include a constant feeling of thirst, dark urine, infrequent urination, dizziness and blacking out fatigue, and dry mouth. There are a lot of ways to help with dehydration. Drink more water and fluids through the day, as many as 15 cups of water, according to experts.
Also, don’t skip on eating fruits and vegetables, and other water-rich foods, you may be surprised but up to 20% of water intake is generated through greens and fruits.
Also Read: Is It Good To Drink Water Before Sleep?
6. Gum or Tooth Infection
Our teeth, gums, ears, and throat are connected. With that in mind, if you have sore gums or gum diseases such as gingivitis or parenthesis, you’ll likely experience a sore throat when waking up. Also, a broken or decaying tooth can cause your throat to get sore when you sleep and wake up, especially if the tooth is located at the back of the mouth.
An infected tooth such as molar could cause your gums to get swollen, as well as your throat, so you can wake up with sore or dry throat in the morning.
Waking up with dry throat could also indicate an infection, such as a common cold. The common cold is caused by several viruses that can result in dry or scratchy throat, runny or congested nose, and cough.
Sometimes, you may also experience fever but only mild. In some cases, the common cold is also followed by body aches. If you want to treat cold, don’t take antibiotics as they’re not as effective in killing viruses as they’re with bacteria. However, you can take Tylenol or Ibuprofen, which will help with fever and body aches.
You should also drink a lot of fluids, teeth and rest plentifully. Common cold usually doesn’t last longer than a few days, taking the proper treatment can also speed up your recovery.
Flu can be an intensive viral infection that is more serious than the common cold. The symptoms are nearly the same, but more frequent and stronger. Your fever may be higher, you may have a persistent cough and your throat can also be painful in addition to dry.
You need to visit your doctor to prescribe the medicines that will help you treat the flu. Keep in mind, if left untreated, the flu could spread from throat to lungs and cause aggressive viral pneumonia.
9. Strep Throat
Unlike cold and flu, strep throat is a bacterial infection. Strep throat will cause your throat to feel dry, painful, and swollen. In addition to that, there can be big white patches at the roof of your mouth and inside the throat. White patches across the throat are the most characteristic strep throat symptom.
Other symptoms can include enlarged, red and swollen tonsils, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, rash, muscular pain and aching, nausea, and high fever. Doctors use antibiotics to treat strep throat, but don’t take it under your prescription. Different antibiotics are used to treat different ailments. Another thing to keep in mind is that a lot of people can have an allergic reaction to medicines such as penicillin, clindamycin, and azithromycin.
10. Ear Infection
As mentioned above, the entire respiratory system is connected to our teeth and ears. As such, an ear infection can also reflect on the throat. For example, if your ear is congested by water, it can lead to water going down to the throat. The infection which is mostly bacterial can also cause dry throat when you wake up. An ear infection can disappear on its own but it’s recommended to visit a doctor if your ear hurts and feels congested even after a few days.
Also Read: How to Sleep with an Ear Infection?
Dry Throat And Sleep Quality
When to See the Doctor?
If dry throat has been caused by infection, you should definitely make an appointment to a doctor, who will determine the underlying issue behind waking up with dry throat. Even if you don’t feel symptoms of a respiratory infection, if your dry throat persists for more than two weeks, you should see the doctor because dry throat could be a symptom of a more serious condition.
Will Changing Bed Help With Dry Throat?
If the mattress, mattress topper, protector or pillow weren’t made out of hypoallergenic materials, there’s a chance that your dry throat in the morning is caused by dust mites or mold that your current mattress traps.
There are a lot of hypoallergenic mattresses and pillows on our site, make sure to check them out and we guarantee that you’ll find something that will suit you.
If you’ve ever woken up with dry throat, there are a lot of possible reasons that you may not be aware of. If you wonder how to soothe dry throat in the morning, we wrote a compelling list that you can find here.
Did you ever wake up with dry throat you couldn’t explain? Share your experience with us!