How to Stop Drooling at Night

Updated February 21, 2017

Adult drooling (salivation) can be the result of medication side effects, an oral motor dysfunction, unhealthy dental hygiene or blocked passageways. Any of these conditions can stimulate the saliva glands and cause drooling at night. If none of the above apply to your situation, and you suffer from drooling at night, try changing the pillows you sleep with, and the position in which you sleep, to stop night drooling.

Switch to sleeping on your back, if you normally sleep on your side. Sleeping on your back forces the saliva to drain down your throat instead of down your cheek, and stops drooling at night.

Ensure you stay on your back by building a pillow nest. Start by positioning one regular-shaped pillow in the centre of your sleeping space.

Stack a U-shaped pillow on top of the regular-shaped pillow. This pillow will relieve tension as it cradles your neck and head. If you try to turn your head at night, it also will prevent the motion, holding the neck straight and the mouth facing upward. During sleep, you will swallow and stop drooling at night.

Lay a body pillow on each side of your body to further prevent side sleeping during the night.

Find a smaller "snuggle" pillow to hold while you sleep. Many side-sleepers hold onto the sides of a comforter or blanket, holding their hands together or arms intertwined. By using a "snuggle" pillow while sleeping on your back, you give your hands something to do, recreating the feeling you get when sleeping on your side.

Acclimate to your new pillow nest. If you do not stop drooling at night, do not toss the extra pillows all at once. Instead, swap out different pillows to find a combination that works. You might need to see a medical professional if the drooling at night persists.


Medications that might cause excessive saliva are clozapine, isoproterenol, pilocarpine and reserpine.


Notify your health care provider if other symptoms are present, such as fever, facial droop or sore throat.

Things You'll Need

  • Regular-shaped pillow
  • U-shaped pillow
  • 2 body pillows
  • "Snuggle" pillow
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About the Author

As a former elementary school teacher, Cheryl Starr now writes full-time from Missouri. Her work has appeared in various magazines, including "Teachers of Vision," "Insight" and "Highlights." She is currently writing a novel and a devotional book. Starr studied elementary education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.