Falling Asleep? Here’s Why Your Mouth Opens
Are you one of those people who has a hard time staying asleep all night? Does your mouth open up wide even though you are not actively doing it? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then you’re not alone! Falling asleep with your mouth wide open can be annoying and embarrassing, but the good news is that it has manageable causes and solutions.
In this article, we’ll explore why your mouth opens when you fall asleep, and offer some advice on how to keep it closed and get a good night’s rest.
1. Does Your Mouth Open When You Fall Asleep?
No, it’s not usually true that your mouth opens when you fall asleep. There are a few potential causes though:
- Breathing Pattern: Mouth breathing can occur due to long-term and habitual snoring, and you start to breathe through your mouth while you’re asleep, which can cause it to hang open when your snoring stops.
- Dehydration: When you don’t drink enough fluids during the day you could become dehydrated. This can cause dry mouth, leaving you with a feeling of needing relief – and that can cause you to open your mouth when Sleeping.
- Sleeping Posture: Sleeping on your stomach over a longer period can often cause your mouth to hang open.
Aside from these three potential causes, it’s also a sign of weakened muscle tone in the jaw, which can be due to age, genetics, or an underlying medical issue.
2. What Causes Your Mouth to Open While Asleep?
Sleep Bruxism – Sleep bruxism is one of the main causes of your mouth opening while you’re asleep. It is a medical condition that involves clenching and grinding your teeth while you’re asleep. People who suffer from this condition often don’t realize it until their dentist or partner notifies them of the grinding.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Obstructive sleep apnea is another common reason why your mouth may be opening during sleep. This is a disorder that is caused when your throat muscles relax and close off your airways. You’ll tend to wake up multiple times throughout the night due to this and naturally open your mouth, allowing more air to enter your body.
Other causes of your mouth opening while you’re asleep can include:
- Weight gain
- Alcohol and drugs
- Stress or anxiety
It is not uncommon to open your mouth while you’re sleeping, but if you’re regularly doing so, it’s important to identify what is causing it so that you get the right treatment.
3. How Can You Stop Your Mouth from Opening at Night?
1. Check Your Dental Habits: Poor dental habits can be a major contributor to nighttime mouth breathing. Be sure to brush twice a day for two minutes and floss every day. Reminder: For best results, brush with ADA-approved toothpaste. Additionally, if you don’t wear a mouthguard at night, get fitted for one.
2. Block the People: Lose the people who encourage mouth breathing by exiting conversations when the topic turns to open-mouthed breathing. Make sure to keep your friends and family members in the loop about your goal and ask them to remind you if you slip up.
3. Consider Nasal Strips: Nasal strips may be the answer for those who are still struggling with nighttime mouth breathing. Nasal strips are adhesive strips that stick to your nose and open up your nasal passages.
Easy Tips For Reducing Mouth Breathing While Sleeping:
- Turn the air conditioner off or reduce the temperature – hot rooms can increase the amount of mouth breathing.
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, or using strong flavors such as coffee or mint prior to sleep.
- Stay hydrated during the day and night – produce more saliva and moisture by drinking throughout the day.
- Invest in an air purifier for your bedroom.
- Place a cool compress over your face during the night.
- Elevate your head at night with a few pillows.
4. Tips to Help You Sleep Comfortably and Keep Your Mouth Closed
If you suffer from mouth breathing while sleeping, here are 4 tips to help you sleep more comfortably at night and keep your mouth closed:
- Mouth Tape: You can use a special type of tape to keep your mouth closed while you sleep, and it’s even available for purchase online. Be sure to consult your doctor before using it because mouth tape might not be suitable for everyone.
- Sleep Position: Adjust your sleep position to be on your back or side instead of on your stomach since this can help keep your mouth closed while sleeping.
- Humidifier: A humidifier might help you prevent dry mouth and reduce mouth breathing.
- Neti Pot: You can try a Neti pot, which is a tool used for nasal irrigation. Using a Neti pot can help keep your nasal passages clear and reduce the amount you breathe through your mouth. Be sure to consult with your doctor and follow the instructions carefully when using a Neti pot.
By following these tips, you should be able to sleep more comfortably at night, and help prevent mouth breathing while you sleep.
If you’ve noticed that your mouth is opening while you are trying to sleep, don’t fret – it’s common and normal. Whether it’s due to allergies, dryness, medical conditions, or just a habit, there are a few simple ways to reduce the risk of your mouth opening as you fall asleep. Keep these tips in mind to help you achieve a good night’s rest.