You might of seen it on social media, but one of the latest wellness trends at the moment is mouth taping, a technique made famous used by athletes and celebrities such as Manchester City Striker, Erling Haaland, TV Presenters Julie Bradbury & Tess Daily, and actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness brand even have released their own mouth tape product.
Do you wake up multiple times in the night – do you awake up with dry mouth, and exhausted in the morning? Perhaps you’re a snorer… Mouth taping might be for you.
Mouth taping is used to help encourage nasal breathing during sleep, and is said to have some positive benefits – especially for those who are prone to snoring, poor sleep quality, bad breath and many more conditions.
As with any technique or treatment, there are benefits and negatives involved – however the benefits discovered and researched so far for mouth taping do include:
- Improved Sleep Quality: Nasal breathing may promote more consistent, deeper sleep by reducing instances of mouth breathing, which can lead to dry mouth and more frequent awakenings.
- Reduction in Snoring: Snoring is often more pronounced in mouth breathers. Encouraging nasal breathing may reduce or eliminate snoring for some individuals.
- Better Oral Health: Breathing through the nose can help maintain a more neutral pH in the mouth, which can potentially reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Increased Nitric Oxide: Nasal breathing can increase the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that plays an important role in vasodilatation, immune defence, and other physiological functions.
In a recent study as reported by The Sleep Foundation, they discovered that mouth tapers with mild obstructive sleep apnea, wearing a porous patch over the mouth caused all the participants to breathe through their nose, and it changed the angle of the palate and the tongue. These changes led to significantly less snoring and fewer instances of lapsed breathing.
See the study >>
Mouth taping for sleep has only been studied in a couple of small scientific experiments, so its purported benefits are largely anecdotal at this point
Concerns and Risks:
- Choking or Breathing Difficulty: If someone has nasal congestion or an obstruction, taping the mouth closed can potentially lead to difficulty breathing.
- Skin Irritation: The adhesive from tape can cause irritation or allergic reactions on the skin.
- Uncomfortable for Some: Not everyone will find it comfortable to have their mouth taped shut during sleep.
- Potential for Negative Dental Impact: In some cases, prolonged taping may shift the position of the lips or teeth, leading to potential dental issues.
- Start with a Test Run: Before trying it for a full night, consider wearing the tape for a short nap to see how it feels.
- Use the Right Tape: Specialised mouth tape products are available, but if using regular tape, ensure its hypoallergenic and easy to remove.
- Keep a Clear Nose: Make sure your nasal passages are clear before you tape your mouth. If you have allergies or other conditions that block the nose, mouth taping might not be right for you.
- Ease into It: Instead of sealing the entire mouth at first, you might start by leaving a small gap for comfort and assurance.
As with any health and wellness practice it’s essential to do thorough research and consult with healthcare professionals before trying something new. Not everyone will benefit from mouth taping, and for some, it might not be safe for some conditions.
Read more here on the Sleep Foundation Website.
Or why not tune in to Episode 8 of SweatyAF (Recorded every week in our Infrared Sauna by members Joey and Lucy), where they talk about why they love mouth taping!