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Mouth Taping and Sleep: What’s The Connection?

Mouth Taping and Sleep

You might be raising an eyebrow at the trend of taping your mouth shut for a good night’s sleep. But hang on, before you run for the hills, you’re going to want to stick around for this one.

Yes, it sounds like some sort of crazy torture, but is it?

Or is it something simple which can dramatically shake up your sleep routine…in a good way.

What is Mouth Taping?

Mouth taping is just what the name suggests, it is the practice of gently sealing your lips with a specific kind of tape while you sleep.

The proponents of this practice claim that since nasal breathing is our body’s default way of breathing, mouth breathing is detrimental to your health.

Mouth Taping and Sleep

You see, nasal breathing is the body’s default and preferred method of getting air in and out of our lungs.

People on TikTok and Instagram are swearing by this method. They claim that it does it all – stops snoring, increases energy, deepens sleep, boosts immunity, lowers blood pressure and even makes you look better.

Mouth breathing can lead to a poor night’s sleep by causing snoring, sleep apnea, or even just dry mouth1. A few studies have found that mouth taping might be helpful to lessen snoring and ease sleep apnea.

But there’s another aspect, Kathryn Palmer, a sleep medicine specialist with Banner Health in Colorado, says that taping your mouth is not a safe way to improve nasal breathing.

“There is not enough scientific evidence to support the benefits from mouth taping, and it can be dangerous.”

Mouth breathing is your body’s fallback – when your nose can’t handle the job while you’re asleep, your mouth steps up to keep you breathing.

What Are The Dangers Of Mouth Taping?

Risk and dangers of mouth taping

With mouth taping, there are some risks you should be aware of:

  • Making it harder to breathe while sleeping by blocking your airflow.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • The tape can lead to skin irritation or allergic reactions.
  • When your mouth is taped, vomiting or acid reflux can result in stomach contents entering your lungs, which is referred to as aspiration.

“This can lead to serious consequences such as pneumonia and even death,” according to Dr. Palmer.

Why Do You Breathe Through Your Mouth During Sleep?

Some medical conditions could prevent nasal breathing while you sleep:

  • Nasal congestion from allergies or illnesses
  • Sinus congestion
  • A deviated septum
  • Nasal polyps
  • Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

Is Mouth Breathing Bad For You?

A woman disturbed by the snores of her partner

Breathing through your mouth while you sleep is your body’s natural fall-back mechanism, mouth breathing during the day, or for extended periods can have serious downsides.

According to research, mouth breathing can be responsible for:

  • Mouth breathing may cause facial and dental structure changes. It can lead to longer faces, narrower jaws, higher palates, and smaller nostrils. This can subsequently lead to dental issues such as overbite, underbite, or crooked teeth.
  • It can also impact brain function and cognition. Mouth breathing reduces the oxygen levels in the blood, which hampers the performance of the prefrontal cortex responsible for planning, decision-making, and attention. It also can increase stress hormones, interfering with memory and learning.
  • Taste and smell senses may be altered by mouth breathing. It reduces nasal airflow necessary for detecting and identifying odors, affecting the enjoyment and perception of food and beverages.
  • Voice quality and tone can be affected. Mouth breathing can lead to vocal fatigue, hoarseness, and a reduced vocal range due to drying out of the vocal cords. It can also change the resonance of the voice, making it sound more nasal or dull.
  • Cardiovascular disease risk can be increased by mouth breathing. It can elevate your blood pressure and heart rate, especially during sleep, due to the activation of the sympathetic nervous system.
  • Athletic performance and endurance may be impaired by mouth breathing. It reduces the delivery of oxygen to muscles and organs, potentially affecting aerobic capacity, stamina, muscle strength, and coordination.
  • The risk of oral cancer can be increased by mouth breathing. It can cause chronic inflammation and oxidative stress in the oral cavity, potentially damaging cells’ DNA and triggering tumor growth.
  • Mouth breathing may negatively impact sexual health and fertility. It can lower the levels of sex hormones and reduce the blood flow to the genital organs, potentially causing erectile dysfunction in men and menstrual irregularities in women.
  • Mental health and emotional well-being can be detrimentally affected by mouth breathing. It can increase the risk of developing depression, anxiety, and mood disorders by altering brain chemistry and neurotransmitters. It can also affect self-esteem and confidence due to changes in facial appearance and voice quality.

Natural Alternatives for a Sound Sleep

So you want to avoid mouth breathing while you sleep while steering away from the tape? Here are some tips for you:

  • Positional Therapy to the Rescue: Adjusting your sleeping position can do wonders, especially if snoring is your nemesis. Try changing positions and sleeping on the opposite side of where you usually sleep
  • Get your Zzz’s with herbal supplements: If you find it hard to fall or stay asleep, natural sleep aids are worth a shot. Many of our customers who struggle with the same sleep issues have found great comfort and relief (and sweet dreams) in our bottle of sleep-inducing cannabinoids.

    We make our GOODNIGHT with 100% natural ingredients, namely CBD and CBN oil for sleep promoting properties.
  • Making Lifestyle Changes: Sometimes it’s the simplest things, like a change in diet or sleep schedule, that can make the biggest difference. This simple change can include 

So there you have it. The world of sleep is indeed a strange one, full of odd practices like mouth-taping. But remember, safety first. Consult a professional, consider alternatives, and most importantly, sleep with care.

References

  1. Vincent Yi-Fong Su, Kun-Ta Chou, Chun-Hsien Tseng, Chia-Yu Kuo, Kang-Cheng Su, Diahn-Warng Perng, Yuh-Min Chen, Shi-Chuan Chang,
    Mouth opening/breathing is common in sleep apnea and linked to more nocturnal water loss,
    Biomedical Journal,
    Volume 46, Issue 3,
    2023,
    100536,
    ISSN 2319-4170,
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bj.2022.05.001. ↩︎
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