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For sleep, use a mouth tape
To get better sleep, a growing number of social media influencers tap their mouths shut at night. This method is claimed to prevent dryness, reduce snoring and improve sleep quality by forcing the mouth to open.
Although there are many stories on the internet about mouth tape’s benefits for sleeping, very few studies have been done. This viral trend is now under investigation by science.
What is Mouth Taping?
Patients who use mouth tapping to sleep often use porous surgical taping tape to close their mouths at night. The tape keeps the mouth closed, forcing the person to breathe through their nose. This tape is believed to prevent mouth breathing-related health issues and provide a number of benefits.
Mouth taping: The Potential Benefits
To fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of mouth tape as a sleep aid, more research is required. While Instagram and TikTok are filled with praises for mouth tapping, few sleep experts have conducted any research on the subject. Some people believe that mouth tapping has some health benefits, despite the lack of scientific evidence.
- Deeper Sleep
- A cure for dry mouth
- Improved dental health
- Asthma symptoms are less severe
- You snore less
Researchers are also studying the effects of mouth tapping on people who breath through their mouths, and those with asthma or obstructive sleeping apnea.
Negative effects of mouth breathing
People who sleep with mouth tape do so to prevent the adverse effects of mouth breathing. Particularly in children, mouth breathing can lead to certain health problems. Children who habitually mouth-breathe are more likely than others to develop sleep disorders. Children who habitually mouth-breathe are also more likely to have stunted growth or dental problems.
Breathing through your mouth can also lead to:
- Dry mouth
- Bad breath
- Lips that are dry and cracked
- Nose stuffy or runny
- Children who have difficulty speaking or swallowing
- Gum disease
However, mouth tape is not proven to prevent any of these problems.
Is Mouth Taping a Good Treatment for Asthma?
Sometimes, mouth taping can be used in conjunction with the Buteyko breathing method (BBT). BBT, a non-drug treatment for asthma symptoms, emphasizes slow breathing and breathing through your nose.
Some studies have shown that people with asthma who receive BBT treatment in combination may experience an improvement in their quality of life. But, just mouth tapping may not be enough to reduce symptoms or improve sleep.
Experts believe that nose breathing may be beneficial for asthma sufferers, despite the lack of evidence supporting it. The nasal passages are kept moist by breathing through them. It also filters out potential triggers.
Research suggests that asthma sufferers who inhale through their noses may be less likely to wake up and have a better night’s sleep. Mouth breathing, on the other hand, has been shown to increase asthma symptoms and make breathing more difficult.
Talk to a doctor if you are considering BBT (or mouth tapping) to treat asthma.
How to Safely Tape Your Mouth
Experts in sleep have not yet examined the risks and created guidelines to help you do it safely. Talk to your doctor before you try mouth tapping for sleep. Your doctor can recommend safe and scientifically supported ways to improve your sleep, stop snoring, and prevent bad breath.
You should talk to your doctor if you suspect that you may have obstructive sleeping apnea.
People who do mouth tapping as part of the BBT program make use of porous surgical tape. This is safe to use on sensitive skin. A second type of mouth tape is designed to surround the mouth and not cover it. This tape keeps the mouth closed with elastic tension, but allows for people to open their mouths at will.
Use duct tape and other adhesives that have strong adhesives to close your mouth. You should only use hypoallergenic tape for medical purposes on your skin.
Things to Consider Before You Tape Your Mouth
Some people find the use of mouth tape uncomfortable. This uncomfortable sensation could cause sleep disruptions. There are also reported disadvantages to mouth tapping:
- Feeling suffocated
- Sore lips
- A strange or “unnatural” sensation
- General discomfort
- Difficulty in breathing
Chronic mouth breathing can lead to serious health problems. However, it is a good idea to cover the mouth if you have nasal congestion or other respiratory issues. OSA patients may experience symptoms such as choking or gasping for oxygen if their upper airway is blocked. If their mouth is closed, they cannot do this.
While experts are still learning more about the benefits of using mouth tape to aid sleep, you can try this tried-and-true method. There are many scientifically-proven ways to improve your sleep quality as well as overall health.