The secret to a healthier life is getting ample amounts of good quality sleep. Do you notice that after a good night’s sleep, you feel refreshed and energized? This is because it is the only time when your body truly decompresses and restores itself.
When you are unable to get proper sleep, your health deteriorates with time. Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the common reasons for poor quality sleep, which in turn affects your health. The primary symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. Now, don’t get too alarmed because Not all snorers may have obstructive sleep apnea.
Some people, including doctors, claim that mouth taping may also help in such cases of sleep apnea or snoring. The question is, should you go for mouth taping if you have any of the above issues? Are the benefits of mouth taping while sleeping worth the try? How does it work?!
Keep on reading to know it all!
What is Mouth Taping?
It is a home remedy where you shut your mouth with tape before sleeping. However, this isn’t the regular duct tape or the regular scotch tape that you use. These are special, pain-free tapes made especially for mouth taping! Commonly, people who breathe through their mouths are advised to try mouth taping.
This uncanny method of mouth taping was introduced by a Soviet Doctor named Konstantin Buteyko in the 1950s, who found that this particular technique can be used to treat mouth breathing.
Now, you might be thinking, what’s wrong with mouth breathing?
We often see in movies or real life, someone or maybe even you sleep with the mouth open and breathe mostly through the mouth while asleep. The human body has gone through evolutionary changes, making it possible to breathe through the nose. It is most healthy when you breathe through your nose at all times.
Did you know that nose breathing alone can help eliminate a notable number of germs from your lungs?
In addition to this, nose breathing also permits the tissue to receive maximum oxygen supply. So, in simple terms, if you breathe through your nose, be it awake or asleep, it is beneficial for you, health-wise.
How does Mouth Taping work?
Breathing through your mouth for a short term, for instance after a relentless workout or when you have a blocked nose is okay.
Under normal circumstances, health experts emphasize the importance of nose breathing. The nose is the primary organ for breathing, nose breathing allows the intake of maximum oxygen for your body. Mouth taping increases the nose breathing and keeps your mouth shut while asleep.
Warning: Mouth taping is only recommended for teenagers and adults.
Mouth Taping Benefits
As you can see, one of the primary mouth taping benefits is that it promotes nose breathing. Let’s move on to the other benefits of mouth taping while sleeping that is worth knowing.
Good for oral hygiene
Both good and bad bacteria naturally occur in your mouth, gee! Breathing through your mouth changes the pH level of your mouth. This, in turn, leads to a change in the bacterial composition in your mouth, which may cause oral hygiene problems such as cavities, dry mouth, teeth sensitivity, stinky breath. Hence, mouth taping may help reduce such oral hygiene problems.
Increased production of nitric oxide in the body
Nitric oxide is something that almost every single cell of our body produces. But nasal breathing itself produces 25 percent of the required nitric oxide for the body. While, if you breathe through your mouth, there is no production of nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide offers a range of health benefits such as regulation of blood pressure, promotes your immunity, increases your strength, enhances cognitive memory, and improves your sleep quality.
May reduce teeth grinding
Teeth grinding may pose damaging effects on your dental health. There are claims that mouth taping may help reduce the risk associated with teeth grinding.
The downside of mouth taping
The tape may irritate your skin, leaving rashes. Although few doctors and some people seem to support the mouth taping benefits, the effectiveness is still questionable!
Steps to try benefits of mouth taping while sleeping
Note: Before your first attempt to try mouth taping, to get familiar with it, you can practice using the tape over your mouth in your leisure and adjust to it.
- Apply a sufficient amount of petroleum jelly over your lips and the surrounding areas of your mouth. This will reduce the sticky feeling on your skin after you remove the tape in the morning.
- Take the tape a bit longer than your lip size and make two tiny folds on each end. Place the tape over your lips horizontally, covering your lips. Make sure you can remove the tape easily if necessary, like if you need to sneeze or feel suffocated at any point.
What type of tapes should you use for this purpose?
You can go for surgical paper tapes, but it can leave stickiness on your mouth the day after. There are a few brands that sell such tapes in any pharmacy store and even online stores as sleep stripes, sleep tapes, mouth tapes.
Alternatives of mouth taping?
Firstly, if you are keen on trying this remedy, we would suggest, firstly consult with your physician. If you feel that you have any issue that is causing you to mouth breathe while asleep, or have snoring problems, there are better solutions than mouth taping.
Other possible options that most people try instead of mouth tape are antihistamines that may be causing nasal blockages.
Since the primary function of mouth taping is forcing you to nose breath, you can also try breathing exercises like Kapal Bhati pranayama to clear any nasal congestion.
Nasal strips are a far better option than mouth tapes. Point to be noted that nasal strips only help reduce snoring, nothing else.
Mouth taping is a bit of argumentative treatment. In the year 2019, Andien, an Indonesian singer took to Instagram to share that she and her family practice mouth taping while sleeping as it improves their nasal breathing.
The act of taping your lips while sleeping indeed sounds suffocating and uncomfortable. If you are willing to give it a try, be cautious, and use the appropriate tape and follow the above steps carefully.