Why Does My Sore Throat Get Worse at Night?

February 2, 2024

As the day winds down and we get ready for bed, many of us may find ourselves facing a frustrating situation– a sore throat that seems to intensify at night. It’s an aggravating experience that can disrupt sleep and leave us wondering why this occurs. If you’ve ever found yourself with a worsened sore throat at night, you’re not alone. In this blog, we’ll explore a few common causes for this phenomenon and outline a few tips to help you find relief.

For same-day sore throat treatment, visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Cedar Grove. Our urgent care center is open seven days a week to provide exceptional care to all patients in the Cedar Grove, NJ area. Simply walk-in at your convenience!

Causes of a Worsened Sore Throat at Night

Below are a few common reasons why you might find yourself with a worsened sore throat at night:

Dry Air

One of the leading culprits behind nighttime throat pain is dry air. As the evening progresses and we turn on heaters or air conditioners, the moisture levels in our surroundings drop significantly. This can lead to dryness in the throat, exacerbating any existing irritation and causing discomfort, especially when swallowing.

Postnasal Drip

Throughout the day, allergens, pollutants, and other irritants can accumulate in our nasal passages. When we lie down at night, these substances may drip down to the back of our throats, triggering irritation and inflammation. Postnasal drop can worsen sore throats and lead to coughing fits, making it particularly difficult during the night.


Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, leading to irritation and inflammation. Reflux symptoms often worsen when lying down, as gravity no longer assists in keeping stomach acid down. Consequently, nighttime can intensify reflux-related sore throat issues as we lay down to sleep.

Suppressed Immune Response

Our immune systems are most active during periods of rest, including sleep. While this heightened immune activity is important for fighting off infections, it can also amplify symptoms of existing throat infections. As a result, sore throats may feel more pronounced at night as the immune system combats the underlying cause.

Sleep Position

The way we sleep can impact the severity of a sore throat. Certain sleep positions may exacerbate throat discomfort by putting pressure on sensitive areas or hindering proper drainage of mucus. Sleeping flat on your back can lead to increased snoring and postnasal drop, both of which can contribute to nighttime throat pain.

Tips To Alleviate Nighttime Throat Discomfort

So, what can you do to alleviate your worsened sore throat at night? Here are a few tips:

  • Use a humidified to add moisture to the air and prevent dryness
  • Prop yourself up with pillows to promote better drainage and reduce reflux symptoms
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day
  • Try over-the-counter remedies like throat lozenges or saline nasal sprays
  • Avoid eating heavy meals, caffeine, and acidic foods to minimize reflux risk

If your sore throat persists, worsens, or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms like fever or difficulty breathing, it’s important to seek medical attention promptly. While occasional throat discomfort at night is common, recurrent or severe symptoms may indicate an underlying condition that requires professional evaluation.

Get Walk-In Sore Throat Relief at AFC Urgent Care Cedar Grove

Are you dealing with a persistent sore throat? Don’t ignore your symptoms! Come visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Cedar Grove for same-day care. Our board-certified medical team is here to help determine the underlying cause of your condition and make the best recommendations for treatment. We operate on a walk-in basis, meaning no appointments are required to be seen by a provider. Our facility accepts most health insurance plans and offers low-cost options for self-paying patients. If you have any additional questions about sore throat treatment, or other services we provide, please contact our medical team directly at (973) 239-2300.

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