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Waking up Thirsty

by BetterSleep
Apr 26 • 4 min read

Waking up thirsty or with a dry mouth isn’t necessarily cause for concern. It’s normal to lose water overnight, but you might need to address your hydration status or an underlying issue if you consistently feel very thirsty or uncomfortable upon waking.

Do We Dehydrate While Sleeping?

If you are well hydrated before bed, you shouldn’t be dehydrated by morning. However, your body does lose water overnight because you’re not taking in any water. You lose water through sweat and by exhaling water vapor through breathing. You might feel thirsty when you wake up if you haven’t properly hydrated throughout the day.

Is it Normal to Wake up Thirsty?

It is normal to be a little thirsty sometimes when you wake up from sleep. However, you shouldn’t be consistently or drastically thirsty day after day. Most likely, you just need to drink more water or adjust your bedroom environment to feel more comfortable throughout the night and when you wake up.

Why Do I Wake up Thirsty?

If you wake up thirsty often, consider some of the usual causes that you can either change yourself or talk to your doctor about:

  • Dehydration. If you don’t drink enough throughout the day, you’ll lose water at night and be unable to replenish it while asleep. Try drinking more water in the morning and afternoon.
  • Dry air. Check the humidity in your bedroom. If the air is very dry, you might wake up thirsty with a dry mouth and sore throat. A humidifier is an easy fix.
  • Alcohol. Drinking at night is a typical habit, but it’s not great for hydration. Alcohol triggers diuresis, the loss of fluids through urination. By drinking at night, you dehydrate your body.
  • Medications. Several medications cause thirst as a side effect. Examples include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, blood pressure medications, and decongestants.
  • Mouth breathing. If you breathe through your mouth while asleep, you will lose more water and wake up with a dry mouth. You might be breathing through your mouth because of nasal congestion or from a cold or allergies. Snoring and sleep apnea are other possibilities.
  • Medical conditions. Some underlying health conditions can cause dry mouth and thirst, including diabetes, a yeast infection, Alzheimer’s disease, nerve damage, anemia, heart failure, and stroke.

If you make changes like drinking more water and adding a humidifier but still feel thirsty in the morning, talk to your doctor about other potential causes.

Hydrate to Sleep Better

Poor hydration negatively impacts sleep. According to studies, people who don’t hydrate adequately also have short sleep duration. Exactly why the connection exists isn’t known, but it’s a strong correlation. If you don’t drink enough water, try increasing your consumption to improve sleep.

It’s best to hydrate throughout the day. If you try to drink a lot of water before bed, you will need to get up to use the bathroom throughout the night. Obviously, these disruptions undo any positive effects of being better hydrated.

There are many tools available to help you sleep better, including fluid intake and eating well. Once properly hydrated, create a soothing bedtime routine with gentle exercises, meditations, bedtime stories, and calming sounds.

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