why do we drool when we sleep
What if that doesn t work? For some individuals who are
really drooling even if there s nothing wrong neurologically, we could do Botox injections into the spit glands to slow the secretion of saliva, Chang says, but he s only done it for patients who have suffered strokes or have some other disorder. Botox isn t even the last resort: For exceedingly heavy droolers almost certainly someone who s been neurologically devastated, Chang says removing the spit glands altogether is an option. For daytime droolers, researchers describe even more treatments, like undergoing oral motor therapy with a speech therapist, modifying one s behavior with biofeedback, and surgeries even more extreme than the removal of spit glands. One paper describes tongue acupuncture as an alternative or adjunctive option for kids, noting that [c]hildren easily tolerated the treatment with significant improvement of drooling and no complication, but the technical skill and experience of the practitioners is a marked obstacle for this technique.
I bet! There s nothing quite like drooling in sleep в AKA, waking up in the middle of the night to find you ve been snoozing away in a puddle of your own saliva. Depending on the size of the puddle in question, you might scoot over to the other side of the pillow like it ain t no thing, or turn it over to hide the evidence (and hope you remember to change your pillowcase). Sound familiar? Firstly, itвs important to note that saliva is good в our bodies produce it 24/7 as a first line of defense against cavities, Dr. Nicole Van Groningen, MD, an internist at the New York University Langone Medical Center, tells Teen Vogue. Meanwhile, our swallowing mechanism keeps us from dripping all over ourselves. But sometimes when you re asleep, your brain forgets to tell your throat and mouth muscles to swallow, causing saliva to commute from your mouth to your pillow.
Certain people are at higher risk for nighttime drooling than othersвmainly, mouth-breathing side- or stomach-sleepers, Dr. Van Groningen says. During sleep, your face muscles relax, your mouth opens, and if your signal to swallow is MIA, you re bound to wake up with a puddle on your pillow. This is especially the case during REM sleep (the deepest sleep stage), because it s the stage where your muscles are at their most relaxed, explains Robert Oexman, DC, the director of the Sleep to Live Institute in North Carolina. Pesky health issues like allergies, a cold or flu, and sleep apnea can also up your drooling game, since a stuffy nose means you re more likely to sleep with an open mouth. Luckily, getting your drool on is rarely a sign of something serious, and there are plenty of things you can do to stay dry.
First, try sleeping on your back: Back-sleepers are less likely to drool than side- or stomach-sleepers, says Oexman. If you find back-sleeping to be a total drag, you can try wearing a chin strap (like the ones used to combat snoring) or using pillow protectors to prevent drool from seeping into your pillow. The trick is in keeping your nasal passages clear to minimize mouth-breathing, says Dr. Van Groningen, which in turn minimizes drooling. For example, you can try wearing nasal strips to bed or taking allergy meds. Some patients swear by using vapor rub under the nose to open up the nasal cavities, she adds. But if you think you might have sleep apnea (say, because the fam always rags on you for snoring), check in with your doctor to get tested so you can breathe easier and stay drool-free. Related: Check this out:
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