Why Am I So Thirsty at Night? – We Know What to Do!

We’ve listed 8 possible causes of nighttime thirst and tips on what to do about that.
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Last updatedLast updated: October 24, 2022
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A raging thirst in the middle of the night is an unpleasant experience. Most times, the situation can be fixed by simply drinking water before bedtime. But what if you are trying to avoid nighttime wake-ups, or for some reason, you have a difficult time making it to the bathroom in the middle of the night? Moreover, dehydration is just one of the causes of nighttime thirst.

Many sleep experts assert that one of the most asked questions by their patients is ‘Why am I so thirsty at night and what can I do about it? There are different causes of nighttime thirst, from mouth breathing when sleeping to excessive alcohol consumption and having a big salty meal before bedtime. The condition may be accompanied by other symptoms like bad breath, cracked skin around the mouth area, and a sore throat. This article takes a closer look at all the causes of nighttime thirst and the possible solutions.

Reasons Why You Wake Up Thirsty

Nighttime thirst, medically known as xerostomia, has so many causes, but if yours only occurs in the night, then the cause and effect can easily get established. Here are the most common reasons why you wake up thirsty;

Dehydration

According to science, water is the main constituent of our bodies. Therefore we need to take plenty regularly to stay hydrated. Dehydration is the most probable cause of nighttime thirst bbarbut it isn’t always the cause. Thick saliva accompanied by a dry mouth is one of the tell-tale signs of dehydration. Drinking to thirst during the day and keeping a glass of water by your bed can help fix dehydration.

If your work is physically exhausting or you work out vigorously, your body is going to need more water intake. The same goes for when you are sick with vomiting and diarrhea symptoms. Drinking lots of water in such situations makes up for the loss of salts, fluids and electrolytes.

Mouth Breathing

Why Am I So Thirsty at Night? – We Know What to Do!

Some people have difficulty breathing through their nose when sleeping and are never aware. Our saliva production is lower when we sleep to preserve and replenish energy. However, when we breathe through the mouth during sleep, and there isn’t enough saliva produced, we wake up with dry mouths and sore throats.

Breathing through the mouth during sleep is common among people with sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea, you should invest in a full-face CPAP mask or CPAP machine to be able to breathe normally during sleep.

Snoring is another condition that prevents one from finding a comfortable position to breathe through the nose during sleep. Snoring is mainly caused by discomfort. Find a comfortable mattress and pillow for the best head, neck and shoulders support.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol, when taken in excess amounts, can be dehydrating. Since it is a diuretic Trusted Source Why Does Alcohol Make You Pee? An alcoholic drink will make you pee more. Why? We look at what’s happening with your bladder and kidneys to make that happen. www.healthline.com , it causes people to frequent the bathroom to urinate. The frequent urination causes excess dehydration and thirst. Most people have the tendency of mixing alcohol with other drinks, thus failing to realize they should hydrate until they are very drunk.

If you wake up feeling thirsty and you boozed before bedtime, just know you had one too many.

Salty or Big Meal

We get thirsty after eating either a large meal or a salty meal. A large meal diverts fluids towards digestion, thus lowering the blood volume. A lower blood volume causes thirst. Salt contains sodium. If you eat salty foods, the concentration of sodium in your system rises, causing thirst. Don’t skip sodium in your diet because it supports the proper function of the antidiuretic hormone. If you hate making multiple trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night, don’t neglect sodium.

Dry or Humid Air

Your bedroom’s air can be dry if you don’t have a humidifier, or a proper cooling and heating system.

Dry air saps moisture from your mouth and nasal passages. Air that’s too humid can also make you wake up feeling thirsty. This is because when the air is highly humid, sweat doesn’t evaporate from your skin. Your body continues to produce the sweat due to lack of cooling resulting in the loss of fluids and electrolytes that you need to remain hydrated.

According to sleep experts Trusted Source Humidity and Sleep: Optimize Your Sleep Environment | Sleep Foundation Do you have a hard time sleeping in humid climates? Our guide discusses the best humidity for sleeping and shares tips for resting comfortably on damp nights. www.sleepfoundation.org , the ultimate humidity for sleep is anything between 30 and 50%. You can get a humidifier to maintain the perfect humidity levels in your room. Be sure not to allow the humidity to become too much to allow the growth of mold.

If you have no idea on how to get a humidifier, check out the popular LEVOIT humidifier for large rooms. It utilizes the warm mist technology that offers four times faster humidification compared to higher-end cool mist humidifiers. Plus, you don’t have to hurt your wallet, it is reasonably priced.

Hangover

Why Am I So Thirsty at Night? – We Know What to Do!

If you had alcohol the previous night and wake up feeling thirsty, a hangover could be the cause. When you take alcohol, your body loses fluids in an abnormally higher rate. The condition is known as diuresis. If you don’t drink alcohol with water and other electrolytes then you may become dehydrated. Also, drinking too much alcohol can lead to vomiting, which is another key contributor to dehydration.

Health Conditions

There are certain medical conditions that can cause excessive feelings of thirst. For example, people with diabetes have trouble processing sugar properly. Their bodies work hard to restore their blood sugar levels back to normal by increasing urination. The frequent urination results in feelings of extreme thirst.

Other health conditions that can cause nighttime thirst include; kidney disease, liver failure, heart failure, cancer, and UTIs.

Medicines

There are so many prescriptions that can cause extreme thirst and dry mouth. They include; anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and blood glucose-lowering drugs. Treatments for sleep apnea like Cpap machines and medication can also dry the mucous membrane and cause dehydration. If you realize your recent prescription is causing extreme nighttime thirsts, talk to your doctor for an alternate prescription. You can know if thirst is a side effect of a certain medication by reading the information provided by the manufacturer at the back or on the pamphlet provided.

How to Stop Waking Up Thirsty?

Nighttime thirst can be managed with a few measures. Before you take any hints and tips you should know that hydration levels vary from one person to another. There’s the standard 8-ounce glances per day recommended by experts, but it doesn’t take into account the electrolytes that are essential to hydration.

Here are some measures you can take to avert your nighttime thirst:

Add Salt to Your Drinking Water

Why Am I So Thirsty at Night? – We Know What to Do!

Remember, salt contains sodium which supports the production of antidiuretic hormone. Don’t be afraid to use salt in your food so that you can bump up your sodium intake. The antidiuretic hormone will prevent you from frequent urination caused by various aspects like alcohol consumption. You can also use a zero-sugar electrolyte drink mix that contains enough sodium.

Don’t Overhydrate

The standard 8-ounce glasses of water per day doesn’t apply to everyone. Make a habit of drinking to thirst because drinking a lot of water may lead to overhydration. In an overhydrated state, the sodium levels in your blood drop and your kidneys begin to work to bring everything back to normal by excreting the excess fluid. This results in ADH suppression and the urinary volume goes up which isn’t ideal for a good night’s sleep.

Breathe Through Your Nose During Sleep

This helps prevent respiratory water loss and it also keeps the mouth moist at night. It may not be easy, but you can try a few things like nasal sprays, nasal strips, or even mouth taping to encourage nose breathing. If you suffer from sleep apnea and breathe through your mouth at night, you should get a full face Cpap mask or a CPAP machine. If you are on the search for the best Cpap mask, check out the AirFit F10 Full Face CPAP Mask Trusted Source AirFit F10 Full Face Mask with Headgear The AirFit F10 Full Face Mask with Headgear is ResMed’s latest addition to their line of sterling AirFit CPAP masks. Superior comfort during sleep apnea therapy. The AirFit F10 comes with spring cushion technology, which helps to relieve facial pressure, while still providing a great seal. www.respshop.com . It is incredibly lightweight and super-comfortable thanks to the spring-air cushion technology it uses to relieve facial pressure while sealing effectively.

Check Your Sleep Environment

Ensure that your room is not too hot or too dry. Either of the conditions can provoke thirst and reduce your sleep quality. Keep your room cool, anywhere between 65 and 70 degrees and humid enough between 30 and 50 %.

Dental Hygiene Routine

Some dental hygiene products like mouthwash contain ethanol as the active ingredient. Ethanol can dry the mouth. Try switching to another product with a different formula and see if there’s any change.

Final Thoughts

Waking up with a dry mouth in the middle of the night shouldn’t worry you, especially if it goes away after drinking a glass of water. It only becomes a problem when it is persistent and it is affecting your quality of life. The condition may even come with other unpleasant symptoms like a sore throat, cracked skin around the mouth area, unpleasant taste in the mouth, burning throat and tongue, and a bad breath. You should see your doctor ASAP if that is the case.

Not getting a solution to nighttime thirst can lead to long-term complications like dental caries. Also, a dry mouth or persistent thirst can be an indication of a serious medical condition. Seeing a healthcare professional to establish the cause of the thirst is very crucial for your well-being.

References

1.
Why Does Alcohol Make You Pee?
An alcoholic drink will make you pee more. Why? We look at what’s happening with your bladder and kidneys to make that happen.
2.
Humidity and Sleep: Optimize Your Sleep Environment | Sleep Foundation
Do you have a hard time sleeping in humid climates? Our guide discusses the best humidity for sleeping and shares tips for resting comfortably on damp nights.
3.
AirFit F10 Full Face Mask with Headgear
The AirFit F10 Full Face Mask with Headgear is ResMed’s latest addition to their line of sterling AirFit CPAP masks. Superior comfort during sleep apnea therapy. The AirFit F10 comes with spring cushion technology, which helps to relieve facial pressure, while still providing a great seal.
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