Can Lack of Sleep Cause a Sore Throat?

3 min read

When you are tired, do you get a sore throat? A good night’s sleep could be the cure you’re looking for. But we look at the possible reasons why you have a sore throat and why it happens. 

Sleep deprivation is a leading cause of sore throats, and lack of sleep drops the efficiency of your immune system, making you more susceptible to a scratchy throat lack of sleep. Sleeping 7 to 9 hours a night should see the problem vanish unless you have a virus.

Can Sleep Deprivation Cause Sore Throat?

Your throat acts as a front-line defense for bacteria and viruses that we are exposed to every day. It does a pretty good job of stopping a high percentage of airborne bacteria and viruses from entering our bodies.

However, when deprived of sleep, the immune system drops its guard slightly, and our defense system kicks in to warn us of a potential problem.

Hence swollen tonsils and an itchy scratchy throat manifest themselves making us feel a little unwell.

The CDC recommends you get 7 hours of sleep each night as a preventative measure to keep illness at bay.

Surprisingly when we are tired, we tend to speak more, which helps to dry out the mucous coating on the back of our throat.

Being overtired can see you sleeping with your mouth open which also creates the same problem. Once the mucus in your throat has dried, bacteria and viruses have the freedom to invade your body.

Plus, waking with a dry mouth throughout the night is a pain in the neck and contributes further to you not getting the recommended 7 hours of sleep.

Of course, some of you need much more than 7 hours of sleep to feel fit and healthy. Sleep deprivation can be worse for you than you imagine.

Why Do I Get A Sore Throat When I Stay Up Late?

It’s all about your immune system. Sleep researchers have unveiled the truth behind sleep deprivation conditions such as insomnia and lack of sleep from staying up late.

Your immune system is dependent upon sleep, and as such, if you decrease the number of hours, you sleep your immune system will not function at its total capacity.

If you think staying up late to share some stories with your friends will not affect you, you need to think again.

Getting a sore throat could just be the very start as your immune system slows down and stops fighting viral infections, and protects your body from other diseases.

Bidirectional Relationship Of Sleep

In other words, when it comes to sleep, it’s a two-way street. The more you have, the better you will feel, and the less you have, the worse you will feel.

Burning the candle at both ends may be fine when you are in your teens, but as we get older, a lack of sleep can significantly affect how we perform and how we feel in general.

Lack of sleep can prevent your immune functions from operating correctly, and long-term sleep problems can have severe consequences for your health.

Your immune system works in two ways: innate and adaptive. Innate is when the immune system sends instructions to white blood cells as soon as it detects an infection to be killed off.

Adaptive immunity is where your immune system has learned and recognizes a particular viral infection and launches an attack based on what it has learned.

Sounds simple! When you deprive yourself of sleep, all of these autoimmune systems slow down, allowing infections to take hold.

What Are The Signs Of A Lack Of Sleep?

There are different ways people cope with sleep deprivation and lack of sleep, but in general, there are signs of inadequate sleep, such as the following.

  • Sleeping during the day and feeling exhausted.
  • It’s hard to get out of bed in the morning after having a good night’s sleep.
  • Feeling irritable.
  • Inability to concentrate.
  • Feeling ill. Including but not limited to a sore throat and runny nose.

These are just some of the signs of not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is severe and can cause accidents that could be fatal.

Can You Catch Up On Sleep?

It is possible, but it’s not as simple as staying in bed Saturday morning for a few hours.

Scientists have studied sleep debt, and it’s thought to recover just 1 hour of sleep debt takes 4 days of sleeping 7 to 9 hours a night.

Lack of sleep causes a lot of problems, such as affecting your insulin sensitivity and metabolism. 

Do you know someone who doesn’t sleep well? If you do, you will notice they have belly fat, this is caused by the digestive system slowing down, and if you have eaten at night, this will exacerbate your sleep difficulties.

Does Sleep Help A Sore Throat?

Yes, getting enough sleep can help to reduce the symptoms of a sore throat and may even speed up your recovery. When you sleep, your body has an opportunity to rest and repair itself, which can help to boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.

In addition to getting enough sleep, there are a few other things you can do to help alleviate the symptoms of a sore throat:

  1. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water and warm liquids like tea, can help to soothe a sore throat and loosen mucus.
  2. Use over-the-counter pain relievers: Medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
  3. Use a humidifier: Dry air can irritate a sore throat, so using a humidifier can help to keep the air moist and comfortable.
  4. Gargle with warm salt water: Mixing a teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water and gargling can help to reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
  5. Avoid irritants: Try to avoid exposure to things that may irritate your throat, such as tobacco smoke, alcohol, and spicy or acidic foods.

If your sore throat persists or if you have other symptoms such as fever, difficulty swallowing, or difficulty breathing, you should consult your doctor for further evaluation and treatment.

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