Having a sore throat can be painful and downright annoying. Forget the crackling sound of your voice; it’s the needle-like sensation in your throat that’s the real problem for most people.
These prickly infections usually don’t last long, and you may start to see an improvement in your symptoms in only a few days. However, that doesn’t mean that these few days are easy.
Sleeping with a sore throat can be quite difficult. A painful sore throat can keep you up for hours.
The worst part can be when you wake up and your throat feels even worse than before.
A lot of people struggle with getting to sleep when they have a throat infection. Here are some tips that can help you sleep more peacefully with a sore throat.
#1: Consider honey
Honey is a natural sore throat remedy that can have soothing properties for your throat. Honey mixed in warm tea is a great combination that can help soothe your throat temporarily – long enough to let you fall asleep.
#2: Hot beverages
Soups, teas, warm milk and practically anything liquid and warm will have a soothing effect on your throat. This might not be as great as honey but it’s definitely worth considering. 1,2
#3: Keep your room humid
The pain of a sore throat actually gets worse when the air around you is dry. Invest in a good quality humidifier for your room to avoid dry indoor air. This is especially helpful if you have a sore throat in the winter season.
Maintaining the humidifier is also important in making sure you’re getting the most out of it. If you don’t clean it regularly, you’re potentially creating a breeding ground for bacteria and mould. Paradoxically this could worsen your sore throat.
#3: How about a hot shower?
The science behind a warm steamy shower helping the pain of a sore throat is that if you have a cold, the steam can help to open up your nasal passages. This helps to soothe your throat and cold by helping to remove mucous that can become dry and stuck in the nasal passages.
A warm steamy shower also helps to relax your body which also helps you to sleep better.
Lozenges are something worth trying if you have trouble getting to sleep with a sore throat. Lozenges can help soothe a sore throat. The effect is temporary, of course.
#5: Salt-water gargles and throat rinse
Some people swear by salt-water gargles to relieve the pain of their sore throats and they are probably right. Gargling with warm water before bed can actually soothe your throat. If the water contains salt then you could achieve an even better relaxing effect.1,2
However, medicated throat rinses are clinically proven. If a sore throat is really bothering you, try throat rinses that are available to relieve the pain of an infected throat.
#6: Pile on your pillows
If you happen to have a sore throat with a congested nose (pretty common!), then you might want to raise your head in bed by piling on more pillows. This will help drain the mucus in your sinuses and nasal passages, allowing you to sleep more soundly.
#7: Try apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It’s strong and pungent but it may help in soothing your throat.2
You can mix a few drops of apple cider vinegar in fruit juice and drinking it before going to bed. This can help soothe the throat in a similar way that honey does.
#8: Throat sprays are a great option
Over the counter, throat sprays are another clinically proven method for soothing your throat. These sprays have pain-relieving and soothing effects that may help you get to sleep.
#9: Visit your pharmacist
If the symptoms of your sore throat persist, perhaps it’s a good idea to visit your local pharmacist. Although most cases of a sore throat are caused by self-limiting viral infections, sometimes bacteria could be involved.
When you have a bacterial sore throat, you may require a course of antibiotics for the treatment.
A quick chat with your pharmacist or doctor will help you find out what it is you might have and how you can treat it.
Sore throats can be extremely disruptive to our natural sleep cycles. Nobody wants to battle the prickly pain of a throat infection when all they want to do is get some sleep.
These remedies could help you find some relief the next time you’re sleeping with a sore throat. Make sure to check in with your pharmacist as they can advise you on the best steps to take.
1. 10 Ways to Rest Better With a Cold. WebMD. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/g00/cold-and-flu/ss/slideshow-colds-nighttime?i10c.ua=1&i10c.encReferrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8%3d&i10c.dv=23
2. Why Do I Have a Sore Throat at Night? Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/sore-throat-at-night