Do you wake up sometimes and notice a little saliva dripping from your mouth? In the wrong situation, that could be really embarrassing. You may be bothered by your drool and want to know how to stop slobbering when you sleep.
Why do I slobber so much when I sleep? When it comes down to it, the reason is likely your sleep position. There could be more to it than that, though. We’re going to talk about what causes you to slobber when you sleep and how you can correct it.
The Wrong Position
You may have a preference when it comes to sleep position. Some people feel like they need to be on their side in order to fall asleep and feel rested when they wake up. Others may need to be on their back in order to feel like they can breathe properly. A variety of health issues and even the shape of your body can determine what kind of position will be most comfortable for you when you’re sleeping.
How does your position affect whether you’re slobbering in your sleep? Think about how the force of gravity will affect the saliva that your body is producing as you sleep. Some people produce more saliva than others while they sleep, so they may need to sleep in a different position based on what their body is doing.
If you lay on your back, the saliva will simply drain back down, and it is likely to come out your mouth as you sleep. If you sleep on your stomach or your side, however, saliva may drain out your mouth. You may involuntarily open your mouth as you sleep and drool because of the position you’re in.
Simply changing your position around and sleeping on your back rather than your side or on your stomach can make a big difference. You may find that you no longer drool in your sleep. This is the most common solution for this problem, and you should check to see if changing your position helps eliminate the drool that’s produced when you sleep.
Some medical conditions can affect how much saliva you produce. One of the most common medical reasons why someone may drool during sleep is because of GERD (gastrointestinal reflex disorder), which is an acid reflux condition.
This digestive problem creates an improper flow of stomach acid. It causes acid to flow from your stomach through your esophagus, causing damage as it moves. This can make it difficult for you to swallow and can make you feel like there’s something in your throat. What happens to some people who have GERD is that they drool excessively.
What can you do if you suffer from this condition and you want to stop slobbering while you sleep? Once again, changing your sleep position can help. It’s recommended that you sleep with a wedge behind your head, which is a sleeping item that elevates your head and upper back at about a 30-degree angle while you sleep.
There are different kinds and sizes of wedges you can use, but what’s important is that you do something to elevate your head and your throat. This will keep stomach acid from moving up through your esophagus and allow it to drain back down to the stomach where it belongs. You may not need a wedge, and you may be okay just adding another pillow behind your head. As long as you sleep at a greater incline than you have been, you should be able to minimize the acid reflux problems you have during the night.
You may also want to take medication for acid reflux, especially if it is frequent or severe. An antiacid can be extremely helpful for people who suffer from regular acid reflux or who have GERD. Many acid reflux sufferers will take an antacid before bed to help with this issue. Not only does it eliminate or reduce the acid your stomach is sending upwards, but it also helps to avoid the problem of drooling while sleeping.
There are some lifestyle changes you can make that will help with acid reflux and prevent drooling while you sleep. One of those is to make sure you don’t eat just before you go to bed. Eating before you go to bed can activate your stomach acid, getting it to act up and send it up the esophagus. If you space out your eating and sleeping times, you’ll reduce the risk that you get acid into your throat and the risk of drooling while you sleep as well.
You should also be careful about what kinds of foods you eat. Certain types of foods will cause reflux more often than other foods. Be careful especially of acidic and spicy foods, as they are most likely to cause serious acid reflux. If you do include these foods in your diet, try not to eat them for the last meal of the day to avoid having to deal with reflux at night and drooling while you sleep.
If you suffer from chronic acid reflux or think that your acid reflux needs to be treated, you should talk to a doctor about it if you have not already. The medical expert may be able to advise you about some lifestyle changes you can take to reduce the acid your body produces, and your doctor may be able to prescribe medication that can help relieve symptoms.
Reflux can be a serious medical problem that causes severe damage to your digestive tract. It could create scar tissue over time that makes it difficult to swallow and could cause you to choke on food. Simply changing your sleep position may help with some of the symptoms, but it doesn’t treat the root cause.
Someone who suffers from sleep apnea will have a difficult time getting restful, refreshing sleep. What happens when you have sleep apnea is that you actually stop breathing at times while you sleep. This can cause you to wake up suddenly or could make you produce drool as you sleep.
Now, sleep apnea is not something to take lightly. It can cause severe health problems, and not just short-term breathing difficulties. It can weaken your heart over time and decrease your lifespan. That’s why it’s so important to consult a doctor if you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea.
There are some indications you can look for that suggest sleep apnea, such as daytime drowsiness, loud snoring, trouble focusing, or a sore throat when you wake up. If you drool and you suffer from one or more of these kinds of symptoms, then you should consult a doctor. It is likely that you have sleep apnea, which needs to be treated right away and taken very seriously.
While there are many reasons why you may be drooling while you sleep, not all of them are serious. A simple change in your sleep position can make a huge difference. Keep in mind, though, that some of the most common reasons why people drool in their sleep is because of a medical condition. The drooling could simply be an indicator of a much larger health problem.
Look out for some of the other symptoms we have talked about and other health problems that could indicate an underlying medical issue. Consult your doctor if you think you’re suffering from chronic reflux or sleep apnea. There are other medical conditions as well that could cause drooling while you sleep, and this list is not meant to be exhaustive. We do hope it helps you better understand why you might be slobbering in your sleep and what you can do about it. It’s not something you have to continue to live with once you know what’s causing it.