It's snot right
August 31, 2006 7:45 AM   Subscribe

Okay, I've got a cold, and my nose is dripping. All day long, any medication or remedy is only temporary and the drip comes back. But my question isn't how do I stop it- it's why does it stop when I sleep? Why don't I wake up in a pool of snot?

My nose is dripping all the time, so I'd expect that it would continue at night, and I'd wake up with litres of goo all over my pillow. Why not?

Is it because I'm horizontal? Because my body's working at a slower pace? I don't get it.
posted by twirlypen to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
Yeah, gravity is to blame. I imagine it just pools in your sinus cavities and gets swallowed when you're horizontal.

Maybe colds are all in the head though, who's to say.
posted by shownomercy at 7:55 AM on August 31, 2006

Best answer: Basically it is all going down your throat. We take in about 1 and a half litres of saliva a night just under normal swallowing circumstances. The nose drip is increasing the fluids so you'll probably see swollen eyes, face etc., while it lasts.
If the drip going dowm the back of your throat irritates the entrance to your bronchi, you'll caugh and sometimes wake up, it's very annoying. It's called a post-nasal drip. Just count your blessing that this hasn't happened, drink lots of fluids, and get well soon!
posted by Wilder at 8:30 AM on August 31, 2006 [1 favorite]

i also suggest gargling with warm salt water for the post-nasal drip -- it really works.
posted by sdn at 1:42 PM on August 31, 2006

One and a half LITERS?! Cite please? Think about a 2-liter bottle of soda... you're saying we swallow 3/4 of the equivalent in saliva every night?
posted by IndigoRain at 2:37 PM on August 31, 2006

Indigo Rain: if you spit, how long does it take to have a nice tongue-able morsel of saliva in your mouth again? Just a few seconds. Extrapolate to seven-nine hours of sleep and 1.5 liters sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
posted by evariste at 2:49 PM on August 31, 2006

My Surgeon, but I didn't ask him to prove it IndigoRain as I trust he knows what he is talking about! It was kind of important to me at the time!
posted by Wilder at 5:31 AM on September 1, 2006

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