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Your Mouth and Sleep

by BetterSleep
Jun 23 • 5 min read

Are you drooling in your sleep? Or maybe biting your tongue in your sleep? Getting a good night’s rest is already hard enough, but it can be even more difficult when issues arise because of our mouths.

In today’s blog post, we’ll discuss the many problems that may happen due to your mouth while you sleep. You’ll learn:

  • What happens to your mouth when you sleep
  • Why you might drool, bite, or breathe through your mouth while you sleep
  • How you can take action to improve your situation

Keep reading to learn more!

What happens to your mouth when you sleep?

Whether you’re looking to learn how to stop biting your tongue in your sleep, or you want to know how to stop drooling in your sleep. The first step is understanding what actually happens in your mouth when you enter your slumber.

The muscles in your body enter a relaxed state when you sleep, this includes the muscles in your mouth. As a result, you might swallow saliva less frequently compared to when you’re awake. This could explain why some people drool in their sleep.

Why do you bite your tongue or breathe through your mouth when you sleep?

We know the relaxed state our muscles enter during our sleep might cause us to drool, but why do some of us start biting our tongues when sleeping?

There could be a few reasons why tongue biting takes place. It’s could be caused by:

  • Bruxism
  • Sleep apnea
  • Illicit drug use
  • Lyme disease
  • Nighttime seizures
  • Facial muscle spasms
  • Rhythmic movement disorder

It may be hard to know if you do bite your tongue while you sleep, but there are some indicators. Redness, swelling, cuts, marks, or even blood on the tongue could be signs you bite your tongue in your sleep.

Each underlying condition that causes tongue biting might warrant different forms of treatment. It’s best to consult with a professional to understand the steps you need to take to stop biting your tongue while sleeping.

Mouth breathing is a whole different scenario. We’re all familiar with the dreaded feeling of a stuffy nose and the forceful effect of having to breathe through our mouth. Doing so while we sleep can make getting a good night’s rest near impossible.

Whether you experience a stuffy nose from allergies, a cold, or a deviated septum, attempting to sleep like this is hard, as these problems only get worse when we lie down.

The best way to fix this problem is to deal with the stuffiness you might have in your nose. Avoid eating close to bedtime as stomach juices can move into your sinuses, mouth, and nose and cause inflammation and congestion.

You can also:

  • Use saline mists
  • Use allergy relievers medications and nasal decongestants
  • Open up your airways by sleeping on your back and keeping your head elevated
  • Keep your house clean, and install air filters into your HVAC systems to stop and prevent the spread of allergins

Closing thoughts

There are many different issues you may run into when trying to sleep and dealing with problems concerning your mouth.

From allergies to conditions that cause lip biting, our sleep can be greatly impacted by our mouths. Learning to counteract these problems can and will help you get a good night’s sleep.

Make sure to share this with a friend, loved one, or colleague that may need the recommendations so they can get the sleep they need!

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