Can you stop your throat hurting overnight? Let’s see (Picture: Getty)
Sore throats suck. Scratchy and uncomfortable, they make it difficult to eat, talk or enjoy your day.
Sometimes, they’re more painful than uncomfortable – causing a desert-dry or burning sensation that just won’t quit.
And of course, they’re always worse at night, when you’re trying to rest and sleep it off.
Unluckily, there is no miracle sore throat cure we can whip up so it’s 100% gone by the next morning. Sadly, no lozenge, pill or drug can offer that guarantee.
But there are a few things you can try to help ease them overnight…
What remedies can help ease a sore throat overnight?
Gargling salt water
Want to try gargling? Warm water and half a teaspoon of salt is what you need (Picture: Getty)
Adults with sore throats are often recommended to try gargling some salted water.
This isn’t a good idea for children – but it may be worth a go if you’re sick and tired of the soreness, before you head to bed.
You’ll only need a half teaspoon of normal salt. Dissolve into warm (not cold) water and then swill and gargle for as long as a minute.
Once you’re done, spit it back out into a glass or your sink.
Liquids, liquids and more liquids
Obviously, you don’t want to swallow the salt water you’ve been gargling.
But you do want to make sure you’ve been taking in lots of fluids – ideally water – throughout the day.
Hydration helps keeps saliva and mucus production going, which you need for a throat that feels normal.
So, all that water, especially before bed, will hopefully help reduce uncomfortable inflammation.
Try throat lozenges
Throat sweets can help, especially before bed (Picture: Getty)
While hard candies like Werther’s Originals aren’t medicinal, they can help ease immediate discomfort.
If you want to try something soothing but with antiseptic properties, go for Strepsils (often fruit-flavoured) lozenges.
If your sore throat is accompanied by a bunged-up nose, Jakeman’s Throat and Cough Sweets are strong – they have a real, nasal-clearing menthol kick to them.
Halls Soothers, Covonia Cough Drops and drug store own-brand lozenges can all do the trick.
Steer clear of apple cider vinegar
Sometimes, online platforms will recommend apple cider vinegar as a wonder-cure for a throat in crisis.
Alas, this probably isn’t the best thing to gargle while you’re sore, as vinegar is quite acidic.
Generally, it’s a good idea to avoid eating anything that might make you feel a bit weird or like you’ll have some acid reflux – such as spicy or tangy food, or large amounts of junk food.
Acid reflux certainly won’t help ease inflammation in your throat, especially when you’re trying to sleep…
Stay upright straight after eating
Reflux can cause sore throats, as well as colds and flu (PIcture: Getty)
For the same reason, it’s often recommended you don’t lie down straight after eating.
This may seem an odd recommendation for nursing a a cold-induced sore throat – which is fair enough.
But this suggestion will come in handy if your nighttime – and morning – throat issues are caused by acid reflux.
If you’ve managed to eat a big meal in the evening, give yourself at least an hour of sitting upright to help digestion.
Ideally, if you already know you have reflux issues or Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), you want to wait up to three hours after a meal before hitting the hay.
Take a hot shower
Humidifiers, which moisten the air, are often cited as useful devices for tackling sore throats.
But not everyone has a humidifier. So, if you don’t, you can opt to take a hot shower before bed.
Take a deep breath when the bathroom gets full of steam – as that can help loosen mucus, making it easier to breathe, and help to ease a blocked-up throat.
Honey and lemon tea in the evening
Could honey and lemon tea help? (Picture: Getty)
Honey and lemon tea is an obvious one. Often, you’ll find many throat lozenges (see above) are honey and lemon flavoured.
Honey is soothing, and lemon helps with congestion. A dash of each in a cup of tea in the evening helps tick those boxes.
It’s also more liquids which is good for keeping your hydrated.
Chamomile, clove and raspberry teas are also soothing.
Get some rest
A sore throat suggests a cold, flu or some kind of infection – unless you’ve had one too many cigs.
Make sure to get to bed early and get plenty of rest.
What can cause a sore throat at night?
Hopefully, these remedies will help minimise the annoyance of a sore throat at night.
But if you have more than a cold, and symptoms persist, you may need to see a doctor.
There are dozens of possible sore throat causes out there, many of which can be treated.
Sore throat going on too long? Speak to your GP (Picture: Getty)
The most common is cold or flu – which makes getting to sleep impossible as your throat scratches away.
But if you’ve had a sore throat for longer than a week, you should speak to your doctor.
The NHS also says to seek medical advice if your sore throat is a frequent occurrence, accompanied by a fever, or if you have a weakened immune system.
Possibile causes could include:
- Strep throat infection
- Glandular fever
- Sleep apnea
- Post-nasal drip
- Side effect of smoking.
Really though, what’s causing it depends on your other symptoms. If in doubt, call your GP rather than self-diagnose.
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