Usually we do not tend to notice how much saliva we are producing, but if you are finding that there is a damp spot on the pillow when you wake up, you might begin to wonder why you are producing extra saliva during the night.
We need saliva, without it, we would likely have bad breath issues, teeth problems and struggle to taste food.
In fact, we have saliva to fight germs inside the mouth, as well as protect teeth, to enjoy food, and help us to generally look after our oral hygiene.
Whilst saliva may come across as disgusting for some, we produce around 3 to 6 cups of it within a day, the majority of it is actually made up of water.
So, if you are experiencing it more during the night, there could be an issue.
Fear not though, because there are ways to tackle it, especially if it has become a problem. With some simple changes, you can wake up to a dry pillow – hooray!
Look At Your Sleeping Position
The first thing to consider when it comes to drooling in your sleep is sleeping position.
If you are lying face down, then saliva may be dribbling out of the mouth. This is because of gravity, which probably seems pretty obvious now that you are thinking about it.
If you breathe through your mouth as you sleep, and your head is on its side or facing down, then it is more than likely that you will drool.
If you are sleeping in the above positions, then you may want to try to sleep on your back.
This is easier said than done however, as changing sleeping positions can be tricky if you find it more comfortable in a different way.
Also, if you are pregnant or have another reason why sleeping on your back may not be an option, then you may have to suffer with the drooling.
Making Sure You Are Hydrated
When you go to sleep, your body’s muscle activity slows down, and along with this so does your saliva production.
One way to know this is happening is due to waking up with a dry mouth (and bad breath) which can lead to a buildup of bacteria within the mouth.
Whilst it is pretty normal to have a dry mouth due to a decrease in saliva production, you can also suffer with excess saliva production.
You might be surprised to know that staying hydrated may actually help you if you produce too much saliva.
Make sure you get enough fluid intake during the day (around 64 ounces), as well as keeping a glass of water next to your bed at night in case you wake up thirsty in the early hours.
Changing Your Head’s Position
If you like to sleep on your back or on your side and still drool, then you could try propping up your head to help stop any chance of drooling.
You may need to find the right pillow to do this however, and also get used to having your head slightly raised as you fall asleep.
Do be careful of your spine however, as you do not want any backache due to pressure on the cervical and cranial spine alignment.
So finding the right pillow softness and height for the job is paramount.
If you do prefer to sleep on your back anyway, it is always best to go for a pillow that has medium weight to it so it is not either too soft or too hard to lie on.
Check For Allergies
If you suffer from allergies, then drooling at night could be a side effect. For example, if you have a stuffy nose and have to breathe through your mouth, then an allergy could increase the chances of you drooling during the night as you sleep.
Some ways to combat this are not letting pets sleep in the bed. Sorry dog owners, but having your dog sleep in the bed is not a good idea if you have allergies.
Another way of solving the issue is by buying an air purifier. They do the job of helping to control the humidity within a room, making it less hospitable for dust mites and allergens.
Look at purchasing bed sheets that have ‘hypoallergenic’ written on the packaging. These will help those who suffer with certain allergens associated with bed mites and so on.
Injectables Could Be An Option
Before you consider an injection, always speak to a medical professional first, as they may be able to advise you properly, or have other avenues you could try first such as medication.
Botox, whilst more common with combating wrinkles on the skin, can be used as a way to stop excessive drooling at night.
In fact, it has become quite popular within the last few years as a way to sort out the issue for those who want a fast way to get rid of the problem.
The Botox is injected into the salivary gland in the person’s face which relaxes and paralyzes the muscles. This means the glands will not function at their fullest potential, decreasing the risk of drooling.
Whilst it is known to work, it is not permanent and would need to be repeated around every six months.
Why Might You Be Drooling At Night
Whilst drooling at night might be caused by something as simple as your sleeping position or perhaps an allergy, there are other reasons as to why you could be suffering with excessive saliva whilst you sleep.
When you are in the middle of a deep sleep, both your face and mouth muscles tend to relax.
This means the mouth may open and cause more drooling. If this is the cause, then your sleeping position may be a factor.
It is common for babies to drool as they are still developing their muscles which swallow. As we get older, our ability to swallow well decreases, and this can cause drooling at night.
If you find it difficult to swallow altogether, this is a different problem entirely and needs medical attention.
If you are ill and have congestion within the nose, or if you have allergies, then you may find that during the night you sleep with your mouth open more. This in itself increases the chances of drooling.
Suffering With Sleep Apnea
If you suffer with sleep apnea, then you will know that it narrows and may block the airways during the night as you sleep.
This can lead up to having extra saliva in the mouth which will ultimately end up as drool on the pillow.
Waking up to a pool of saliva is never fun, and can be embarrassing if you plan to share your bed with a potential partner.
Whilst the majority of us can wake up to a dry pillow, for some, excess saliva is a huge issue.
There are simple ways to tackle the problem, from sleeping in a different position, to taking drastic measures and considering injectables.
Whichever route you take, just remember to have patience and take your time finding out why the problem of excess saliva is happening to you at night.