Ask the Expert: Why am I Thirsty at Night?

Ask the Expert: Why am I Thirsty at Night?

You know that old saying “never go to bed angry” after a family fight. In fact, researchers have proven that negative feelings harden overnight, making it tougher to resolve issues in the morning.

The same “argument” can be made about water. Don’t go to bed thirsty!  

Why am I Thirsty at Night?

We asked our expert, Dr. Joshua Thurman to break that down for us: 

“The body always loses some water in sweat and in our breath when we exhale. When we are awake and have water at hand it is fairly easy to replace these losses. Because we also lose water while we are sleeping, though, these losses will not be replaced. When we then wake up the body can sense the slight change in our balance of water and electrolytes. It corrects the imbalance by triggering the sense of thirst, stimulating us to drink.”

For women going through menopause, night sweats are all too familiar. They may also indicate other illnesses or medical issues. 

hidratespark 3 blue gray storm smart water bottle nightstand bed

To avoid night cramps or that dry mouth in the morning, drink some water before you fall asleep. That’s especially important if you’ve enjoyed some adult beverages during the day. Alcohol dehydrates, as does coffee and other drinks with caffeine. 

A word of caution: don’t drink too much water, because if you do, you’ll probably not get a great night’s sleep. You’ll be getting up for a bathroom break before dawn!  Instead, try hydrating two hours before you plan to go to bed and keep some water close overnight in case you wake up thirsty in the night. 

Sweet dreams, everyone!


Dr. Joshua Thurman, MD is a board-certified nephrologist and Professor of Medicine specializing in renal medical diseases and hypertension at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and his undergraduate degree from Harvard University. He has been in practice for more than 22 years.

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