To Tape or Not to Tape? The Pros and Cons of Mouth Taping for Better Sleep and Health
There’s a new viral trend on TikTok that people swear is helping them sleep better. It’s called mouth taping and everyone is talking about it. Videos using the hashtag #mouthtaping have garnered nearly 77 million views.
And people aren’t just claiming that it improves their sleep, other people say it gives them more energy, a sharper jawline, improved skin, mood, and digestion, reduced brain fog, and even fixing cavities, gum disease, and bad breath!
But is mouth taping just a trend? Does it really help you sleep better? And the overarching question - is it actually good for you?
At Primal Life Organics, we typically stay away from viral trends. Our products are evidence-based, proven effective formulas. When we share health tips, they are science-backed with a history of proven results.
With that being said, we think mouth taping is worth looking into. Not because it is a viral trend, but because it’s a long-standing practice that has shown proven results.
We dug into the benefits of mouth taping, as well as some precautions to take into consideration if you plan on trying it. As with any health advice, we caution you to follow the science and not random videos on any social media platform.
WHAT IS MOUTH TAPING?
It turns out mouth taping is a sleep technique that has been used for several decades, particularly in the field of yoga and other breathing practices. It has so many benefits, including reducing anxiety, improving your immune system, fixing bad breath, improving sleep, and so much more!
In recent years, it has gained popularity as a natural remedy for snoring and helping people get a better night’s sleep.
Mouth taping works because it trains your body to breathe through your nose at night, instead of your mouth.
Why does this matter? It turns out, mouth breathing can cause a variety of issues, including poor dental health!
Breathing through the mouth causes dry mouth and disrupts your natural PH level, and this can lead to:
- Bad breath
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Limited jaw function
- Orthodontic issues
But that’s not all.
Children who mouth breathe can have numerous health issues, including abnormal facial growth and development, misaligned teeth, and poor sleep habits that can cause exhaustion and poor mental processing skills.
In fact, the symptoms of mouth breathing in children and teens are identical to the symptoms of ADHD!
Adults who mouth breathe are more likely to snore and often struggle with sleep disruptions, including sleep apnea.
Mouth breathing also impacts blood pressure and heart rate, worsens asthma, and deprives the heart, brain, and other organs of optimal oxygenation.
To prevent mouth breathing, mouth taping involves placing a small piece of tape over your mouth before going to sleep. By keeping the mouth closed, mouth taping can help prevent snoring, reduce dry mouth, and improve sleep quality.
MOUTH TAPING BENEFITS
Now that you know why mouth breathing is bad, let’s dive into all of the benefits of mouth taping. As it turns out, training your body to breathe through your nose at night brings an astounding amount of positive results!
- One of the main benefits of mouth taping is that nose breathing helps your body produce more nitric oxide. Your body uses nitric oxide to:
- enhance memory and learning
- regulate blood pressure
- regulate inflammatory response impro
- improve sleep quality
- increase endurance and strength
- promote weight loss
- improve immune/gut function
- relieve pain
- reduce heart disease risk
- improve symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Deeper sleep - Mouth breathing can lead to snoring, and cause you to wake up several times during the night. With mouth taping you help reduce snoring and are able to get more REM sleep.
- Reduced risk of teeth grinding - Many mouth breathers suffer from sleep apnea or some other form of disordered sleep breathing. This can lead to teeth grinding as the body’s natural reflex to force air into your airways. Teeth grinding can lead to decay and gum recession.
- Helps with snoring: Studies show mouth taping can reduce the intensity or potentially eliminate snoring by changing the angle of the palate and the tongue.
- Decreases anxiety: Nose breathing slows the breath down which has a direct effect on the nervous system. Slower breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing anxiety and signaling the body to calm down, slowing your heart rate and lowering your blood pressure.
- Fixes bad breath and better dental health: Mouth breathing causes a dry mouth and less saliva. When there isn't adequate saliva in the mouth, bad bacteria take over, causing bad breath. Additionally, mouth breathing disrupts the natural balance of oral bacteria and contributes to a range of oral health issues, including tooth decay, gum disease, and other health issues.
- Better gut health: Nose breathing helps to increase the production of nitric oxide, a compound that has been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties and may also help to protect the gut from harmful pathogens.
- Gives you a more defined facial structure: Researchers have found that mouth breathing might lead to changes in the posture of the head and neck, and that chronic mouth breathing can result in an “adenoid face.” This type of facial structure involves a narrow upper dental arch, changes in incisors, an imperfect lip seal, and an increased facial height. Alternatively, breathing through your nose supports bone definition in the face, a sculpted jawline, straighter teeth, a straighter nose, and “alert” eyes (instead of wrinkles/sagging).
- Stronger immune system: Mouth taping is a natural immune booster that helps to prevent colds, flu, allergic reactions, and hay fever.
- Enhances memory and learning: Mouth taping produces more nitric oxide which helps with memory and learning.
- Increased CO2 intake: Mouth breathing lowers the carbon dioxide level in the lungs and the blood leading to lower levels of oxygen released from the hemoglobin to body cells. This results in your organs and tissues having less oxygen to use.
- Stronger lungs: With mouth taping, your lungs are more deeply activated, so your breathing becomes more effective.
Author and breathing expert James Nestor claims that you can breathe 20% more oxygen throughout the day through nose breathing compared to mouth breathing. Breathing through your mouth takes in too much air, doesn’t filter it, and easily ramps up our sympathetic nervous system.
As he puts it, “ [Mouth breathing] gets enough oxygen to survive, not be healthy.”
HOW TO MOUTH TAPE FOR BETTER SLEEP
Mouth taping is exactly as it sounds. Using a special tape, you simply place a strip of tape over your mouth.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Use a soft and gel-like tape that is easy to remove and hypoallergenic. It should have tiny pores that allow you to breathe through your mouth if your nasal airway gets blocked.
- Apply a lip balm on your lips before you apply tape to your mouth to eliminate the stickiness you might get from the tape
- Pucker your lips out, then attach the sticky side of the strip to your lips. You should notice your lips sitting comfortably as they normally would.
- Try opening your mouth after putting the tape on. If it’s not fairly easy to open your mouth with just a little pressure, try again to get a better fit.
- Don’t force it! People often find it takes a few weeks to get used to mouth taping, so don’t give up if you find your mouth is open when you wake up for the first few days.
While anyone can mouth tape - from kids to adults to pregnant women - there are a few exceptions and precautions you should consider before trying mouth taping:
- Do not use normal tape, duct tape, or scotch tape. Opt for specially designed pre-cut strips, or use surgical tape. Keep in mind many standard tapes contain harmful chemicals and irritants.
- Obstructed airways or nasal obstruction may be worsened if you use mouth tape. This includes nose structural issues like small nostrils, a deviated septum, or adenoid enlargement.
- If you struggle to breathe through your nose or can hear yourself when you attempt to nasal breathe throughout the day, you should not try mouth taping.
- Sleep apnea symptoms should always be addressed with your doctor. While mouth taping can help combat snoring and help you breathe better at night, it is not a cure for sleep apnea.
- Pregnant women may experience nasal congestion, in which case mouth taping should be avoided,
- Avoid mouth taping if you have chronic allergies or sinus disease and have difficulty with nose breathing.
- Adjusting to nose breathing can be challenging – you might need time to work up to overnight mouth taping and start doing it for short periods during the day.
ALTERNATIVES TO MOUTH TAPING
Mouth taping is a great way to train your body to breathe through your nose and get a better night’s sleep. But it’s not the only way!
If you’re not ready to tape your mouth, you can try:
- Nose strips at night. Nose strips are shown to increase the airflow through your nasal cavity, increasing your chances of breathing in and out of your nose while sleeping. You can find inexpensive strips on Amazon or at your local drugstore.
- Practice nose breathing exercises throughout the day to build a habit. Author and breathing expert James Nestor suggests taping your mouth during the day for 10 minutes at a time.
- Avoid sleeping on your back by using side pillows to keep you from rolling onto your back. Sleeping on your back has been shown to cause mouth breathing
- Meditation and yoga are both great ways to practice more efficient, slower breathing.
- The Primal Life Sleep Naturally Supplement is a powerful, anti-catabolic sleep support formula designed to promote deep and restorative sleep. While it won't necessarily affect mouth breathing, it will help you get a better night's sleep.
So we want to know, have you tried mouth taping? Tell us below in the comments! We would love to hear how mouth taping has helped you improve your sleeping and overall health!