young woman drinking water at night

Imagine you’re having a rest after a long day’s work, and, then, something wakes you up in the middle of the night. For a moment, you don’t know why you’ve suddenly woken up, but after a few seconds, you realize that you’re thirsty. But, you did take a glass of water before going to bed, right? So, why are you feeling thirsty?

Dehydration in the middle of the night is a normal occurrence, and, in most cases, it shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. In fact, almost everyone has woken up under similar circumstances yet they’re perfectly healthy. It could be because of your room’s ventilation or whatever you ate last night. However, that’s not to say every situation is the same since some people could be suffering from serious conditions. This article aims to cover some mild issues and those that may require your doctor’s attention.

1. Inhaling Dry Air

One of the main reasons that might be giving you sleepless nights is the dry air in your room. Experts recommend low temperatures of about 67 degrees Fahrenheit to provide with a relaxing environment that would help you fall asleep. However, for this to work as expected, you’ll need proper ventilation or a humidifier. The absence of either of these may lead to air dryness within your bedroom.

In such a condition, your body fluids may be depleted during respiration. Consequently, you’ll start to feel thirsty, which is why you’d find yourself struggling with sleep dehydration every now and then. The solution to this issue is to have your room properly ventilated. You can do this by opening some of the windows before going to sleep so that you can have moisturized air circulating around.

2. Not Taking In Enough Fluids

This is another common problem that might force you to wake up in the middle of the night. A significant percentage of the human body is composed of water, which is why you should always consider drinking fluids on a regular basis. Without enough of this, your body might not carry out metabolic processes properly. It even becomes worse if you’re sick or workout vigorously since some of the operations are accelerated, hence, using up most of the available fluids in the body.

The 12-glasses-a-day rule may not be standard for every person, but you, still, need to take in as much water as you can. Some people may require three glasses, while others can’t go without 12 of them each day. Either way, make sure you drink enough fluids to keep your body hydrated. In addition, you should make a routine to always eat a few fruits and vegetables every day.

3. Taking Medicines Immediately Before Bedtime

Although this isn’t a common occurrence, you can’t write off the possibility of it happening to you. Sometimes, you’re forced to take medicines right before going to bed due to your own preference or the doctor’s prescriptions. Inasmuch as it could work for you in most cases, this could also be the reason why you keep waking up to take water at 2 am. Some of the main culprits include antidepressants, antipsychotics, and corticosteroids.

So, what should you do? Well, the first step is to talk to your doctor about the situation. Let them know that the current prescriptions are messing with your sleep routine. As such, the physician will either give you a different type of medicine or change the timing so that it doesn’t meddle between you and healthy sleep.

4. Breathing Through The Mouth

Many people don’t realize that they have this problem unless they’re told so. Obviously, you’ll not know if you sleep with your mouth open, but there are some symptoms that could give you the hints you need.

For instance, if you wake up with a sore tongue, throat, and mouth roof, that could point towards this problem. It’s also an issue faced by people who are struggling with sleep apnea, which is a condition wherein one’s airflow is blocked, hence, leading to excessive snoring. Such people also end up gasping for air, which is why they often breathe through the mouth at night.

So, how is this related to dehydration? Well, normally, your mouth produces excess saliva to keep the areas within moisturized. However, the production of this fluid is minimized at night when you sleep. If you’re fond of mouth breathing, the air that goes through this area tends to carry with it the little moisture available around the throat, tongue, and mouth roof. As such, these parts dry up, forcing you to feel thirsty. These conditions require your doctor’s intervention, and they’ll advise on how to handle the situation.

5. Alcoholism

Alcohol is a diuretic substance that forces the user to excrete urine a few minutes or hours after drinking it. Therefore, excessive consumption of any alcoholic drink will lead to too much urine production. That said, drinking at night before going to bed isn’t a good idea, considering that you could end up in the bathroom too many times. So, if you suspect that this could be the cause, make sure you drink enough water before going to sleep.

6. Diet Rich In Sodium

The food you eat could also be the reason why you’re not having a peaceful night. For instance, if you take junk foods as your final meal before going to bed, you could be highly dehydrated. These foods contain sodium, and too much of this substance leads to excessive consumption of water since the body needs to dilute this salt. In fact, if you don’t drink enough fluids, you could end up with some health complications.


Feeling dehydrated at night is a common problem, but the causes may vary from one person to another. It could be due to your diet or whatever you drink before going to bed. For instance, if you love fast foods, then, this could be one of the reasons why you feel thirsty at night since they contain a lot of sodium. Sleeping with your mouth open, or sleep apnea, could also be the cause. There are a lot of possibilities, and it can be quite tough to determine the real issue. The best place to start is to speak to your doctor and try to find out whatever is bothering you.


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