Tongue biting when sleeping is reasonable if it happens once in a while, but if you are prone to it happening every night, then you may have an underlying problem.
Why Tongue Biting When Sleeping Happens
There are several reasons why a person may be tongue biting when they are sleeping; the frequent reasons are listed below:
Some of us suffer from sleep anxiety. This is when we think about thoughts that have piled up during the day. Most times, we can’t really do anything about our thoughts, so they keep disrupting our sleep.
Even during sleep, we deal with subconscious thinking; this then leads us to bite our tongue when we are sleeping. At all times, we are dealing with stressful situations that might not be our making, but for reasons known only to an individual, these situations follow us into the night.
As some of you may know, chewing is a natural reaction to anxiety-inducing moments. Be it food, nails, or inanimate objects. I remember I used to chew my pencil in school when I was stumped on a problem. Tongue biting when sleeping takes place when a person is trying to think their way out of an anxious situation.
But this happens without us knowing, only to wake up with a sore tongue.
During sleep, our brain starts to go into a state of relaxation. Thus all our muscles begin to relax. Our jaw is completely relaxed as well, causing it to swell to double its size. This obstructs our breathing airway.
When this happens, we start to grind our teeth during sleep. Essentially grinding is often a response to saving our lives at night, but then there are repercussions.
One of them being us biting our tongue. During the grinding of your teeth, your tongue, which is also relaxed, may get in between, and that’s when the biting to the tongue happens.
Individuals who have seizures at night will also bite their tongue. The biting of the time happens without conscious thinking. Usually, these people will bite the edges of their tongue. When a person is having a seizure, they lose consciousness, tiny movements can be seen, but their muscles go stiff.
Tongue biting is a common occurrence among people who suffer seizures during sleep. The involuntary jerk of the body can cause loss of control. It’s during the loss of control that a person unconsciously bites their tongue.
Rhythmic Movement Disorder
Rhythmic movement disorder usually involves the banging of the head or rocking and rolling. This disorder is pervasive among young children. Often, injuries during this time are minimal, but when the tongue is bitten, it can lead to disastrous results.
This disorder usually lasts for about 15 minutes. It’s neurologically based and involves repeated movements of our head and neck. It often goes unnoticed, unless the person experiencing the disorder notices any injuries on their tongue. Injuries can be prevented when you have a good memory foam pillow which will keep movements to minimal.
What Happens to Your Tongue When You Bite It
Most times, when people bite their time, it’s usually the lateral side of the tongue which is affected. Sometimes bleeding may occur. The tongue is generally left with cuts which sting when we are eating hot food.
Some people can also get tongue ulcers; these usually heal within ten days. The tongue becomes uncomfortable with little sores, which can get in the way of getting a good sleep at night.
Anxiety often arises just before sleep because the person who bites their time is on high alert. Because they are so alert, it makes it harder for them to fall asleep. Eventually, when they do fall asleep, the tongue biting starts.
How To Find Relief From Tongue Biting When Sleeping
Get a Good Mouthguard
If teeth grinding is an issue for you, then getting a good mouthguard seems like the optimal way to stop biting your tongue at night. Most dentists and hygienists will tell their patients to wear a mouthguard at night. You won’t have to wear the mouthguard for your whole life, only until you can break the habit of biting your tongue at night.
Most guards are usually used for many reasons. Some of the common reasons are:
- grinding teeth at night
- protect athletes mouth during sports play
- protecting teeth during eating disorders
You will need to give your mouth some time to get used to wearing the mouthguard at night. A good mouthguard will most likely help you to relieve the tissue trauma to your tongue.
To reduce anxiety at night, you need to have some routines in place. Look over my post on EFT tapping therapy for sleep. It may help you to resolve some issues before going to sleep, whereas you’ll be trying to fix them during sleep. Which is hazardous to your tongue.
Treating Tongue Damage
When you have experienced any type of damage to your tongue, there are some steps you can take to start healing. One of the healing methods that I think works really well gargling with salt water. The salt will kill the bacteria and aid the tongue to heal. Remember, the water will need to be warm with a ½ teaspoon of salt. Don’t use hot water as it will cause discomfort to your tongue.
Avoid eating spicy food until your tongue has completely healed. The spicy food will cause stinging where the cuts on your tongue are, another anxiety-inducing incident. Dental night guards are going to be useful to you when treating tongue damage.
Some Final Words On Tongue Biting When Sleeping
Tongue biting is often a condition that leaves many people frustrated and unable to sleep. Almost all of us have bitten our tongue at one point or another – be it accidentally, when we are eating or when we are sleeping. The first two we can usually consciously avoid, biting our tongue during sleep is not so easy to avoid.
Nighttime tongue biting can be a hard habit to break. But it can be broken as long as you are ready to stop biting your tongue. If you’re going to be using a mouthguard, then remember it will take at least 21 days to develop a habit. Some people give up and continue to wonder why their tongue isn’t healing.
FYI: millions of people around the world bite their tongue during sleep. Some are aware others may not be. But if you’re waking up with tongue sores, then you definitely have a night tongue biting problem. The best thing you can do is deal with it before the tongue biting leaves your tongue full of blisters and ulcers.
Share in comments below how you prevent from biting your tongue at night.
Reading is my favorite thing to do. But other than reading, I enjoy discovering new techniques on how to do something in simpler methods. My daughter likes to call me the Renaissance woman. So I do have to live up to the name.
One of my main issues is sleeping, so I’m always searching for new ways to get a good night sleep, I’m more than happy to share them with you.
My posts are either geared towards pain or self-help. Pain posts because I suffer from ongoing cancer pain. In the past 6 years of my fight with cancer, I have learned many ways to deal with pain, especially when going to bed.
The self-help posts come from my work as a mental health counselor for over 15+ years. My background in counseling training is from UFV and RRU. I also have personal trainer certification from IFA, so I might throw in some exercise posts as well.