If you wake up in the morning with a sore throat, you might wonder: Was it because you left the window open or because of something else? There are various reasons behind it ― but they are thankfully often easily addressed with simple remedies.

While many people believe leaving a window open caused their sore throat, it depends more on the air quality. Cool air from an open window can actually help you breathe better unless the air is very dry.

Other reasons for waking up with a sore throat

The most common reason for a morning sore throat is a dry environment, especially in winter. Hay fever, dehydration, or the beginning of a cold can also be culprits. People who have sleep apnea or those who snore may also wake with a sore throat.

If you go through your sleeping environment and symptoms, you often can find ways to rid yourself of that painful throat.

Here are some common questions you may ask yourself:

  • Is the air dry? If you think the air is dry, which tends to be a problem in the winter, use a humidifier. Moreover, drinking extra water in general, but especially before bed, can also help.
  • Do you have acid reflux? If acid reflux is causing you issue, try taking an H2 antihistamine like before bedtime. Also, try not to eat anything right before bed and avoid alcohol.
  • Could you be mouth breathing during sleep? If yes, try to breathe from your nose. It helps to keep moisture in your mouth and throat.

When should you see a doctor?

It is especially important to get your throat examined by a professional if your sore throat is not improving even after few weeks, and you smoke, have acid reflux, and/or drink a lot of alcohol.

Fortunately, waking up in the morning with a sore throat that goes away after some food or drinks rarely signifies something serious.