How to Get Rid of Morning Voice
Waking up with a hoarse, scratchy, lower-pitched morning voice is a common annoyance many people experience. While morning voice is normal, there are steps you can take to reduce its severity and get your voice back to normal faster.
Therefore, in this article, we will discuss how to get rid of the morning voice.
What Causes Morning Voice?
Morning voice occurs due to natural physiological changes that happen to the vocal folds overnight:
- Mucus buildup - During sleep, mucus accumulates on the vocal folds, making them feel stiff and vibrate more sluggishly.
- Vocal fold rigidity - After going unused for hours during sleep, the vocal folds become more rigid and tense. This alters their vibration and makes the voice sound lower and hoarser.
- Breathing cold, dry air - If the sleeping environment is very cold or dry, breathing this air can dehydrate the vocal folds and throat. This leads to increased stiffness.
- Mouth breathing - Breathing through an open mouth overnight allows unfiltered, cold air to contact the throat tissues directly. This can irritate them.
- Post-nasal drip - For some, mucus from the sinuses drips down the throat overnight. This coats the vocal folds in mucus.
Morning voice affects all voice types, both masculine and feminine. It is not indicative of a voice training regression or a step backward in vocal progress.
Preventing Severe Morning Voice
While some morning voice is inevitable, you can take steps to prevent waking up with an extremely prominent, disruptive morning voice:
- Stay hydrated - Drink plenty of water during the day and limit alcohol and caffeine near bedtime to avoid dehydration.
- Prioritize sleep - Get 7-9 hours of quality sleep in a cool, comfortable environment. Allow your voice to rest.
- Manage environments - Use a humidifier if your bedroom air is dry. Clean filters and avoid irritants like dust.
- Vocal rest - Avoid overusing or straining your voice in the evenings to give your vocal folds time to recover overnight.
- Treat medical conditions - If you have allergies, sinusitis, or reflux that causes mucus production, treat these conditions.
Making sure your voice has the chance to rest and recover overnight is key to minimizing morning voice.
Vocal Warmup Exercises
Once you wake up with your morning voice, doing quick vocal warmup exercises can help get your voice back to normal faster. Try these:
- Sustain low, heavy tones - Hold long notes at a low pitch with a heavy, pressed vocal weight. The vibration helps dislodge mucus.
- Pitch slides - Slide up and down your range on vowels, allowing your voice to wake up in all parts of your range.
- Loud to soft - Sing or speak starting loud, then gradually decrease volume. This builds vocal fold strength.
- Lip trills - Trill your lips while humming or sustaining tones. This massages the vocal folds.
- Straw phonation - Make a sound through a straw to warm up your voice gently.
Distribute these exercises throughout your morning routine - alternate activities to gradually wake up your voice over 30+ minutes. Be patient and don't force your voice to perform too soon. The goal is to coax your voice to function normally again.
When to Seek Help for Chronic Morning Voice
An occasional morning voice is no cause for concern. However, if you regularly wake up with a very hoarse, weak voice that takes hours to improve, see an ENT physician.
This could indicate an underlying condition like:
- Vocal fold lesions
- Vocal fold paralysis
Seek help sooner rather than later if your morning voice persists over time. With treatment, any underlying condition can be improved.
While annoying, the morning voice is usually temporary. With prevention and vocal warmup, you can get your voice back on track and speak comfortably.