Your spouse enjoys watching you sleep – sounds romantic? Well, it’s not… not when the only reason is to get video evidence of you drooling into your pillow! Let’s face it, drooling is not an actual health problem (although it can be a symptom – more on than later) but it can be incredibly embarrassing. Well, the good news is that there are ways to stop creating little puddles on your pillow.
Drooling In Your Sleep: Why It Happens & How To Stop It!
Our salivary glands work 24 X 7 while means that the production of saliva is continuous. During the day, you continuously swallow your saliva but at night, your automatic swallowing mechanism may “fall asleep” and you land up drooling. This is most likely to happen during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) which is the deepest sleep stage as your muscles are most relaxed at this time. Well, now that you know what causes it, let’s take a look at what you can do to stop those drool pools!
Sleep On Your Back
“Sleeping on your stomach or your side will increase the likelihood of drooling”
Sleeping on your stomach or your side will make your mouth open once you fall asleep which will allow saliva to dribble out. It may be uncomfortable to switch your sleeping position but once you get used to sleeping on your back, you will wake up every morning to a dry pillow! Also, scientists say that sleeping on your back is one of the healthiest sleep positions.
Clear Your Nasal Passages
“Breathing through your mouth increases the risk of saliva flowing out of your open mouth”
Only fellow droolers would understand just how annoying this problem can be. When you are sleeping, the secretion of saliva is approximately 0.3 to 1 mL/1.7 m2/min – which can make for a soaking wet pillow after 8 hours of sleep! A simple trick to staying drool-free is to minimize mouth-breathing as this increases the risk of saliva trickling out of your open mouth. You can have a hot shower before you hit the sack as breathing in this hot moist air will clear your nasal passages.
“Acidity causes gastric acid to stimulate the espophagus and increase the production of saliva which ups the risk of drooling”
Acidity is caused by stomach acids coming up into your esophagus. These strong gastric acids stimulate the production of saliva which leads to drooling. Acidity also poses several serious health risks as long-term exposure to stomach acids damages the esophagus. Your dinner should be 2-3 hours prior to bedtime and it should be a relatively small meal – one of the many simple ways to prevent acidity.
Can Drooling Be A Symptom Of An Underlying Medical Condition?
Drooling can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) as this condition is linked to an overproduction of saliva. Excessive drooling can also be indicative of an oral infection, oral ulcers, pancreatitis, and liver disease. If you have never had problems with drooling before, you should mention it to your doctor along with any other symptoms you may have noticed.
Drooling in your sleep can be embarrassing, especially if you’ve fallen asleep on someone’s shoulder during a long car trip. If you need to take a nap while in a seated position make sure that you prop your head up as this will allow the saliva to move back down your throat so that you don’t land up drooling in your sleep.