Dry throat at night is a mild condition marked by dryness, scratchiness, and soreness in the throat. It can occur due to varied causes including dry climate, bacterial or viral throat infections, increased throat muscle strain, and allergic reactions, etc.
Dry throat at night can cause disturbances in sleep which may then adversely affect daytime work and routine. Mild cases can be resolved with home remedies, while persistent cases may need medical attention.
Causes of dry throat at night and remedies
Some of the common causes of dry throat at night are listed below:
- Nasal congestion: It is one of the main causes of dry throat at night. Nasal blockage can make a patient open the mouth and breathe through it during sleep. This can irritate the lining of the throat and make it dry. Affected people need to take steps to reduce nasal congestion and nasal passage inflammation and swelling to alleviate dry throat. Steam inhalation for 5 to 10 minutes on a daily basis just before going to bed is an effective remedy.
- Allergies: Allergic reactions to different things such as changes in weather, foods, etc., can also cause the throat to become dry at night. Exposure to allergens such as pollen or dust during the day may eventually lead to dry throat at night. Patients need to avoid contact with dust, mites and other allergens; avoid the intake of allergic foods; and wear warm clothes during extreme cold weather to prevent and alleviate dry throat.
- Air pollution: Inhalation of irritants like dust particles in air and smoke can cause the throat wall to become inflamed. This can occur due to passive or active smoking or living in areas with heavy air pollution. Limiting or quitting smoking is the most effective remedy for dry throat at night. Patients may also wear face masks that cover the mouth and nose when visiting the outdoors. Keeping plants at home or workplace can help remove toxins from the air and freshen the area, thereby helping prevent instances of throat irritation.
- Cough: People with colds and other throat infections may suffer from sporadic episodes of coughing during the night. This can cause the throat to become dry and scratchy. Drink plenty of water through the day to keep the throat moist. Gargling with warm salt water just before sleeping is also helpful.
- GERD/gastro-esophageal reflux disease: Also called acid reflux, the condition is characterized by backward flow of stomach acids and enzymes towards the esophagus, thereby leading to irritation and dryness of the throat. It may be accompanied by other symptoms like heartburn, swallowing problems, stinging or burning sensation in the throat and chest area, and a bitter after taste in the mouth. Home remedies include intake of diluted apple cider vinegar after meals as well as plenty of water and other fluids.
- Sinusitis: In addition to dry throat at night, people with sinus infections may also elicit headaches, runny nose, and pain between jaws, cheeks, and the eyes. The condition often aggravates when lying down at night. It is usually treated with antibiotics and other home remedies.