If you often wake up to an embarrassing puddle of saliva wetting your pillow, you may need to make some changes to your sleeping habits. For some people, just sleeping on your back can keep you from salivating, although others who have sleep apnea may need more dramatic treatment. Try some of the suggestions below and see a doctor about your condition if you continue to salivate overnight.
Method 1 of 2: Changing Your Sleeping Habits
Step 1. Sleep on your back
Sleeping on your side makes you more prone to salivating at night simply because gravity causes your mouth to open, allowing the saliva to soak your pillow. Try to sleep on your back and make a cocoon with the cover so that it doesn't change position during the night.
Step 2. Keep your head up
If you can only sleep on your side, try putting yourself in a more upright position to encourage your mouth to close and create better air circulation.
Step 3. Breathe through your nose, not your mouth
The main reason people salivate is that their sinuses clog. Consequently, they end up breathing through their mouths and thus salivate.
- Try applying sinus-cleaning remedies under your nose to unclog your nostrils, such as Vick Vaporub.
- Inhale essential oils such as eucalyptus and rose before bed to clean your sinuses and relax before bed.
- Take a hot bath before going to sleep so that the pure vapors clean your sinuses.
Step 4. Treat infections and allergies as they appear
Untreated conditions can cause post-nasal drip syndrome and excess saliva while sleeping.
Step 5. Find out if any of your current medications cause excessive saliva production
Excessive saliva can be a reaction to many different medications. Read the package insert and ask your doctor about potential side effects of your medications.
Method 2 of 2: Diagnosing and Treating Sleep Apnea
Step 1. Find out if you have sleep apnea
If you are experiencing difficulty sleeping, heavy breathing, loud snoring, or excess saliva, you may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea causes your breathing to become short and shallow during sleep.
- Some behaviors and illnesses can increase your risk of having sleep apnea. These include: Smoking, having high blood pressure, and being at high risk of heart attack or stroke.
- A doctor can determine if you have sleep apnea by conducting several sleep monitoring tests and learning about your history.
Step 2. Find out if you are at risk for a congested airway
Excessive salivation is also a symptom of congested airways. Visit an otolaryngologist to find out if a congested airway is affecting your ability to breathe through your nose while you sleep.
Step 3. Lose weight
If you are overweight, you have a greater chance of suffering from sleep apnea. Overweight is directly related to sleep apnea. Change your diet and exercise regularly to achieve a healthy weight, and shorten your neck for better breathing.
Step 4. Treat sleep apnea traditionally
Sleep apnea is treated in a variety of ways in addition to weight loss recommendations. Anyone diagnosed with sleep apnea should avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and sleep deprivation. Nasal sprays and saline rinses can help clean the nasal passages.
Step 5. Get a sleep apnea treatment
Continuous Positive Nasal Pressure (CPAP) is the first treatment people take when they suffer from sleep apnea. An outline of CPAP is that patients must wear a mask that forces air through the nose and mouth while they sleep. The idea is to have the right amount of air pressure filtering through the air passages to keep the upper airway tissues from collapsing while you sleep.
Step 6. Use a mandibular advancement device
These devices prevent the tongue from entering the throat and can bring the jaw forward to open yet another airway.
Step 7. Use surgery
People who have obstructed tissue such as a deviated septum, large tonsils, or an oversized tongue may be good candidates for a variety of surgical procedures.
- THE Somnoplasty uses radio frequency to constrict the soft palate at the back of the throat and open the airway.
- THE Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty can surgically remove soft tissue from the back of the throat to open the airway.
- THE nasal surgery it consists of several procedures that can repair obstructions or deformities such as deviated septum.
- An tonsillectomy can remove disproportionate tonsils that are obstructing the airway.
- THE mandibular advancement surgery it involves moving the jaw bone forward to create space in the throat. This is an intense procedure that is reserved for only the worst cases of sleep apnea.
- Do not try to sleep with your mouth open to “dry up” the saliva. This will only inflame your throat, especially if the room is cold.
- To help you sleep on your back, buy a good mattress and pillow that will support your head and neck well.