There are several reasons that cause the usual ‘sandpaper feeling’ when we wake up in the morning.
Sleeping with the window open and putting a fan in the bedroom are the most basic heat remedies in summer. It is common if we wake up later with a sore throat to blame these solutions. However, they are not always the cause but it depends more on the quality of the air in the room.
Dr. Michael Benninger, president of the Head and Neck Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in the United States, admits that “the fresh air from an open window can help people breathe better unless it is very dry.”
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Fans can also dry out the air, but their soothing sound can better induce sleep. “I recommend placing it at a distance so that the air circulates while producing its monotonous background noise,” says the doctor.
For this reason, this expert points out that “the most common reasons for a sore throat in the morning are a dry environment, mouth breathing, and acid reflux.” Dehydration, pollen allergies, or the start of a cold can also cause it.
Thus, it is important to take care of the sleeping environment and the symptoms of possible pathologies to avoid that feeling of sandpaper in the throat when getting up. To achieve this, the Cleveland Clinic website recommends asking ourselves a series of questions that will help us:
Is the air dry?
If you suspect the air in the room is dry, more of a winter problem, use a humidifier. It is also advisable to drink more water during the day and especially before going to bed.
Could it be from breathing through your mouth?
Breathing through your nose helps keep your mouth and throat moist. Sometimes if the nasal passages are not clear, we end up breathing through the mouth. For short-term relief (for a cold), you could treat yourself with a nasal spray before going to bed for a few days or use nasal strips.
Does acid reflux influence?
People reflux more when they are lying down, explains Dr. Benninger. “There are pillows that can help, but a healthy (low-acid) diet and weight control are the keys,” he says. If acid reflux is a problem you can take an H2 antihistamine before bed. In addition, it is not appropriate to eat just before bedtime and alcohol should be avoided, as it can cause increased snoring.
Could it be an allergy?
Depending on the allergy, your treatment can also help reduce a sore throat. But in these cases, it is also advisable to change the air filters regularly, keep pets out of the room, remove rugs and curtains and use suitable mattresses and pillows if the allergy is to dust mites.
in addition, a shower in the morning can also soothe the throat thanks to the steam.
Another piece of advice that goes against everything our mothers have taught us is not to make the bed, strangely enough. “Dust mites like dark and warm environments, so to combat them it is good to keep the sheets open until just before sleeping,” he explains.
If the sore throat persists throughout the day, it cannot be associated with a virus or does not improve after a couple of weeks, it is necessary to see a doctor, especially if there are other symptoms, if you smoke, have esophageal reflux, or drink a lot of alcohol. “Any associated voice change or difficulty swallowing is more concerning,” says Dr. Benninger.
The first option is the Primary Care doctor, but the doctor specifies that if the pain persists, it may be time to see a specialist since it could be a sign of a more serious condition. “The human papillomavirus (HPV) is becoming an epidemic of oral and pharyngeal cancers. A person with multiple partners or with papillomas in other areas should be especially careful,” warns Dr. Benninger.
Fortunately, a morning sore throat that goes away after a little food or drink is rarely a sign of something serious.