Woman sleeping on her side on blue/grey Tuft & Needle Bedding

How to Prevent Drooling While Sleeping

November 13, 2019

Author: Josie Sivigny

Most of us don’t like to think about spit, but saliva isn’t all that gross when you get to know it. Not only is our drool mostly made up of water, but it’s also beneficial to our bodies too. Salivating over sweets signals to our stomachs that it’s time to eat, while lingering spit helps protect our gums and teeth. Still, there are times we don’t want to see our bodily fluids, especially when we wake up in the morning. To find out how you can prevent nighttime drool, read on.


Drooling While Sleeping

Drooling while sleeping is only natural, and it’s not just dogs and babies who do it. The human body produces over a liter of saliva each day, and while we might not like to admit it, we all wake up on a damp pillow from time to time.

Couple cuddles while sleeping in bed

Why do We Drool at Night?

From exhaustion to underlying health conditions, there are endless reasons you might wake up wiping your face. Discover our list of late night drooling causes below:

Sleep Position

It might sound obvious, but the way you sleep can increase your odds of drooling. Put simply, those who sleep on their stomachs or sides are less likely to swallow their saliva, and more likely to wake up in a pool of drool.

Deep Sleep

It’s not uncommon to drool in the middle of a deep sleep. During the REM sleep cycle, your body’s muscles, including those in your face and mouth, start to relax, often resulting in less swallowing and more drool.

Sinus Issues

Some of the most common causes of drooling while sleeping have to do with our sinuses. If you have blocked airways as a result of a deviated septum, allergies, or an infection, you’re more likely to breathe through your mouth while you sleep and, as a result, more likely to drool.

Sore Throat

If you’ve ever had strep, you know how painful a sore throat can be. Not only does it hurt to swallow, but inflamed tonsils can make it less likely for liquids to pass through the throat, resulting in, you guessed it—more drool.

Sleep Apnea

If you find yourself waking up with a wet pillow on the regular, you might be suffering from a sleep condition. Disorders like sleep apnea inhibit proper breathing during sleep, often resulting in interrupted sleep patterns, snoring, and drooling. If you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to contact a healthcare professional.

Excess Saliva

Believe it or not, there’s a medical term for when your body produces too much saliva. This condition, known as hypersalivation or sialorrhea, can occur as a side effect of medication or antibiotics, or it can be a sign of a sleep disorder or another underlying health issue. Excessive saliva is usually nothing to worry about, but if you find yourself waking up with a wet pillow more often than usual, it could be a sign that something else is going on with your body. If you notice a drastic change in your sleep or saliva patterns, contact your doctor immediately.

Couple and dog sleeping on bed

How to Stop Drooling During Sleep

Drooling while sleeping isn’t the end of the world. In fact, for those who only drool on occasion, there’s little point in making moves to prevent it. But if you’re tired of seeing saliva each morning, we’ve got some solutions for you. As always, please talk with your doctor before trying any of these treatments.

Natural Home Treatments

Rumor has it that sucking on a lemon before bed can stop your mouth from producing excess saliva at night. We haven’t tried it, but let us know if it works for you!

Mandibular Devices

The name sounds super-fancy, but a mandibular device is essentially a mouth guard made to minimize snoring and excess drool. These devices can also help regulate breathing for people who suffer from sleep apnea.

Sleep Positions

The easiest way to prevent drooling while sleeping is by keeping your mouth closed or in an upright position. If you are normally a stomach or side sleeper, propping up your head with a fluffy pillow or sleeping on your back can reduce your risk of drooling.

Botox Injections

Botox injections are often recommended by medical professionals for those with seriously over-productive saliva glands. These injections can temporarily stop glands from overproducing saliva, reducing the risk of drooling while sleeping.

Couple sleeping on their sides

To Drool or Not to Drool

A little liquid on your mattress at the end of a long, luxurious sleep certainly isn’t the end of the world. So unless you think you might be suffering from underlying conditions or diseases, we suggest embracing a little bedtime drool. After all, it’s about how well you sleep, not how you look doing it.

If you often find yourself waking up in a pool of drool, you might want to check out our guide on how to wash a down comforter here.

Learning how to sleep on your back? Find our best pillows for back-sleepers here.

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