It’s natural for people to experience dry mouth at night, especially because they aren’t drinking anything during the hours that they’re asleep. Dry mouth in general can also be more common as you get older, particularly at night. Whether you wake up with a parched mouth and throat or have trouble sleeping because your mouth is so dry, we have some tips to help improve the dry mouth you may be experiencing at night.
Stay Hydrated During the Day
One of the best things you can do to prevent dry mouth at night is to stay hydrated during the day. Drinking enough water during the day can help ensure you don’t get too dehydrated during the night and prevent you from having to consume a large amount of water before bed or during the night. How much water you should drink is specific to your unique body, how much water you’re getting through your diet, and how much you exercise. In general, aim for a minimum of four to six cups a day .
Limit Your Salt Intake Before Bed
Eating salty foods in the evening before bed can work against your fluid intake. The more salt you consume, the more likely you are to be thirsty and potentially dehydrated before bed. Consuming a lot of caffeine can also have a similar effect, making you feel more thirsty. Limiting your salt and caffeine intake before bed can help keep you hydrated and may even help you sleep better.
Check Your Medication
There are many medications that can cause dry mouth, including antidepressants, decongestants, anti-histamines, and muscle relaxers . You may be able to switch your medication to something different to help reduce dry mouth at night. However, you may need to work with your physician and your dentist to manage your dry mouth while taking these medications.
Don’t Breathe Through Your Mouth
Mouth breathing can quickly dry out your oral cavity and lead to dry mouth, especially while sleeping. If you’re breathing through your mouth while sleeping, it’s possible that you may be snoring, which is a symptom of sleep apnea . Your dentist can help you identify other potential symptoms of sleep apnea you may have and refer you to a sleep specialist, who can determine if you have the disorder. Often, treating sleep apnea can help reduce mouth breathing and improve dry mouth at night.
Avoid Mouthwash With Alcohol
Although mouthwash can be beneficial for your oral health, mouthwashes that contain alcohol can be very drying to the oral cavity . If you’re using a mouthwash that contains alcohol when doing your nightly oral care routine, it’s possible that the mouthwash is causing your dry mouth at night. Try switching to an alcohol-free mouthwash to see if it makes a difference.
Talk to Your Dentist
Your dentist can give you more tips for addressing your dry mouth at night, including investigating a possible underlying cause. Work with your dentist towards being more comfortable at night by addressing dry mouth!