Why Do I Drool in My Sleep?

Why do I drool in my sleep? You might ask that question when you take up one too many mornings with a big spot of wetness on your pillow. Drooling during sleep is quite common among babies and toddlers who are just getting their teeth, but it feels very embarrassing and worrisome for adults. It is important to rule out certain medical conditions, as well as figure out how you might be able to stop the drooling while you sleep.

Why Do I Drool in My Sleep?

There are many answers that might have something to do with medical conditions. Do you have any of these conditions that might make you more prone to drooling during your slumber?

1 .Improper Sleeping Position

When you sleep on your side or your stomach, your mouth often opens as you relax, and saliva can dribble out. But when you sleep on your back, you naturally swallow during sleep, which prevents drooling.

2. Weakened Swallow Reflexes

When you are sleeping, all of your reflexes are slowed down. This means that your swallow reflex isn't as good as it usually is, and for some, that can be enough to cause them to drool in their sleep.

3. Sleep Terrors

How well you sleep might help answer the question, "Why do I drool in my sleep?" Those who are suffering from severe stress might experience night terrors, which are a bit worse than your typical nightmare. For some reason, those who deal with night terrors often find that they are drooling while they sleep.

4. Allergy

If you suffer from allergies, your body might produce excessive histamines, mucus and saliva. That excess saliva can then escape your mouth during those long hours of sleep.

5. Medications

Some medications can give you extra saliva, especially those that are meant to alleviate dry mouth problems. Depressants are especially prone to this. Some drugs, including illicit drugs and alcohol, can have drooling as a side effect.


Also known as acid reflux, this condition can make your salivary glands work overtime. It can also be worse at night while you are lying down. Both of these things make it more likely you will drool in your sleep.

7. Sinus Infection

When your sinuses are blocked, you tend to breathe through your mouth. This often means that instead of swallowing excess saliva, you let it slip out of your lips onto your pillow. In addition, a sinus infection can make you more prone to extra saliva production.

8. Tonsillitis

When the glands at the back of your throat are inflamed, it can block the normal drainage of saliva down your throat during sleep. But the saliva has to go somewhere, so it goes the opposite direction – out of your mouth and onto your pillow.

9. Neurological Disorders

Those who suffer from neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's, facial paralysis, Bell's Palsy, cerebral palsy and other conditions might have trouble keeping saliva in their mouth.

10. Other Explanations for "Why Do I Drool in My Sleep?"

There are many other reasons why you might drool in your sleep.

  • This can be more common among pregnant women, especially those who deal with regular nausea, as well as those who have mononucleosis.
  • Those who eat diets high in acidic foods might suffer reflux, which leads to drooling at night.
  • Dental problems, such as infections or the simple anatomy of the mouth – such as a larger tongue or crowded teeth – can cause drooling too.

How to Deal With Drooling in Sleep

Now that you might have the answer to "Why do I drool in my sleep?" you also have a list of options to help you overcome this embarrassing problem. Here are a few things that might help.

1. Correct Your Sleep Position

Start sleeping on your back or on your side with your head facing more toward the ceiling than the wall. You can also prop your head up, which encourages the swallowing mechanism. If you tend to turn over during the night, use pillows on either side to keep you in the proper position.

2. Breathe With Your Nose

If you can breathe through your nose, do so! This will eliminate the drooling. If you need help, try nose strips to hold the nostrils open, or use something like Vicks Vapor Rub to help clear the passages, so you can breathe easier. A hot shower before bed can also help.

3. Talk to Your Doctor

If you are on any medications, talk to your doctor to find out which one might be the culprit and how you can alleviate the problem. Keep in mind that some medications, such as painkillers or muscle relaxants, can increase drooling.

4. Breathe Properly

Deep breath can help you learn how to adjust your breathing pattern and breathe through your nose. This is helpful if you are someone who typically breathes through the mouth.

5. Clear Up Your Allergies

If you have allergies, medication that helps clear them up can also help end the drooling. Talk to an allergist to figure out the best strategies and medications.

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