Drooling in Sleep


Do you often wake up with your pillow wet? A lot of people drool in their sleep, and they often find it embarrassing. So, why do people drool and how to stop yourself from drooling while you sleep. Read this article to find out.

Why Do We Drool in Sleep?

So, why do we drool? Our body makes almost one liter of saliva every day. The salivary glands present in our mouth are responsible for producing saliva, which is usually swallowed and then re-circulated via our bloodstream. However, instead of getting swallowed, if the saliva starts to collect in our mouth, it leads to drooling. Slowly, it begins to drip out of our mouth, and it commonly occurs as we sleep. But, why is drooling so common at night? As we sleep, our body relaxes the muscles, and it is a lot common during REM or the deep sleep. During this REM, our mouths could remain open, and drooling occurs. Some people suggest that sleeping position affects drooling as people who sleep on their sides have a higher possibility of not being able to swallow their saliva.

Why Does Our Mouth Open at Night?

Our mouths open at night, mainly because we are unable to breathe properly through our nose. It is natural for us to use our nose to breathe, but sometimes our nose might be congested, and we might end up breathing through our mouths. If we sleep with a congested nose, then there is a high chance that we will breathe through our mouth, and thus, the chances of drooling increase significantly. Our nose might get blocked due to the common cold or due to allergies, such as hay fever.

Sometimes, a deviated nasal septum might also lead to blockage of the nose and force us to breathe through our mouths. Thus, a deviated nasal septum is what leads to drooling among people who either snore or suffer from sleep apnea. Sometimes, excessive production of saliva, a condition which is known as sialorrhea, might occur as a side effect of taking medicines or due to other reasons. People who face difficulty in swallowing after a brain injury, stroke, or due to Parkinson’s disease might also drool in their sleep. In cases, drooling might also occur during the day, and this might be associated with heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Treatment of Drooling in Sleep

Now, that we are aware of why drooling occurs and what can increase the chances that a person drools in their sleep. Let us look at some things that can be done to prevent drooling.

Change in Sleeping Position to Avoid Drooling in Sleep

Sometimes, the best option to deal with drooling is to change our sleeping position. If you sleep on your back, then you will be able to swallow saliva much easily and significantly reduce the chance that it runs out of your mouth and spoils the pillows. Some people complain that they are unable to sleep on their backs as they find it somewhat difficult to breathe while in this position. You need to find out if you feel stuffy or get acid reflux while lying on your back. So, in short, it could be said that finding a new position to sleep in could help with reducing the chances of drooling.

Mandibular Apparatus

A mandibular apparatus is an oral device that you put in your mouth just like a mouth-guard. It makes you more comfortable as you sleep and reduces the possibility of your snoring or drooling. You can buy these devices online or in certain medical stores that sell surgical instruments.

Home Remedies for Drooling in Sleep

Drooling is one of those conditions that doesn’t require you to visit a doctor to get a remedy. The American Dental Association states that saliva plays an important role in protecting us from infection, and we need to maintain a proper balance of saliva. So, if you want to reduce your drooling, then simple home remedies such as biting a lemon wedge can help you. It is widely believed that citrus helps in thinning out your saliva and reduce the chances of it pooling up. Alternatively, drinking water and staying properly hydrated can also help with thinning out of saliva.

CPAP Machine

Drooling itself isn’t a big issue, but if it is related to sleep apnea, then you need to see a doctor. Doctors generally recommend the use of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine to deal with sleep apnea. The machine not only ensures that you sleep properly but make sure that you are correctly positioned and breathing without any difficulty. Some people might even drool after using a CPAP machine. In such a case, you need to consult your doctor.


One of the aggressive approaches to deal with hyper-salivation is the use of Botox injections. People inject Botox into their salivary glands to prevent the glands from producing excess saliva. The effects are temporary, and your glands would start functioning normally, once the effect wears off.


Surgery is a highly uncommon way to deal with drooling unless it is associated with an underlying condition. People who suffer from certain neurological disorders prefer to get their salivary glands removed. The surgery completely stops the production of saliva, but patients are usually asked to try out the other treatments before taking this step.

Drooling in Sleep FAQs

Why Do People Drool in Their Sleep?

While sleeping, our muscles relax, and as a result, our mouths get open, and due to our orientation, instead of getting swallowed, the saliva might drip out of our mouths.

Is There A Correlation Between Drooling and Sleep Apnea?

Yes, drooling is one of the symptoms of sleep apnea. Other symptoms related to the condition include snoring, waking up suddenly at night to due breathlessness, and a sore throat or dry mouth.

How to Stop Drooling While Sleeping?

To stop yourself from drooling, try changing your sleeping position, bite into a lemon wedge, and drink lots of water. If drooling is a symptom of an underlying condition, then visit your doctor.

Is Drooling While Asleep A Common Thing?

If you drool occasionally, then there is nothing to worry about. However, if it is a common occurrence, then you need to see a doctor as drooling a symptom of conditions like sleep apnea.

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Created on May 6th 2020 06:40. Viewed 139 times.


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