Do you wake up wiping drool from your mouth? Does it totally gross you out? Maybe it shouldn’t!
While it can feel a little icky and even embarrassing if you’re sharing a bed with someone, drooling may actually mean you’re a pretty healthy human.
Why do we drool?
You probably know that drooling is normal for babies, but it’s actually quite common in adults too. In fact, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably drooled at least one time in your sleep before. It’s nothing to be ashamed of!
“Our mouth is always making saliva, and sometimes we sleep with our mouth open, so the saliva comes out and that’s what drooling is,” says Dr. Neil Kline, a sleep physician, internist and spokesman for the American Sleep Association in Lititz, Pennsylvania.
And saliva is a good thing. In fact, it’s actually a first line of defense against cavities, experts say. So if you’re a drooler, you may have better dental hygiene than your non-drooling peers.
Additionally, one of the main things you need to understand about drooling is that it typically occurs when you’re getting a restful sleep. And when your body is relaxed, you’re able to get a full night’s rest. It’s sort of like your brain forgets to inform your throat and mouth that you need to swallow because you’re so deep in a sleep.
That’s important because sleep is one of the—if not the—most important part of living a healthy life. Getting a poor quality sleep is one of the worst things for you. You wake up tired, moody, and just feel overall blah all day. Your concentration levels suffer, you may want to eat everything in sight all day, and you’re snapping at your spouse for breathing.
On the contrary, getting a full night’s rest means less stress, better focus, and your immune system even functions better. You can definitely tell a difference in your day depending on the quality of your sleep. And drooling is a sure sign that you’re sleeping soundly and peacefully.
It also means you’re likely in the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) part of your sleep cycle, which is the deepest part of your sleep, and necessary to getting that high quality sleep we’re talking about.
While drooling isn’t a bad thing, it can definitely feel a bit uncomfortable waking up in a pool of your own saliva. So if you’d like to prevent it from happening but still get the same quality of sleep, you might try sleeping on your back.
“Back-sleepers are less likely to drool than side- or stomach-sleepers,” says Robert Oexman, DC, the director of the Sleep to Live Institute in North Carolina.
Additionally, “some patients swear by using vapor rub under the nose to open up the nasal cavities,” Oexman says.
Speak with your doctor about your options and go from there. We say, embrace the drool! It can’t hurt ya.
Are you a big dooler? Did you know that drooling can be good for you?