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Is there any science behind taping your mouth shut to sleep?

trendssleep apneasleepinsomniasocial media • 2 min read • Apr 17, 2023 9:30:39 AM • Written by: Kat Smith

These days, there’s no shortage of health tips circulating on TikTok. One of the latest pieces of advice is to place a piece of skin-friendly tape over the lips to promote breathing through the nose all night. Some have claimed this hack has boosted their energy levels, while others tout better immune health, reduced brain fog, and even clearer skin. While there are known and well-researched health benefits associated with nasal breathing, you shouldn’t reach for that tape just yet. Continue reading for a look at the science behind the recent TikTok trend.

Taking a closer look at the TikTok trend

While TikTok can be a great way to discover simple life hacks and gain new perspectives from different users, it is not the best source of scientifically backed health advice. Generally, any health hack that claims to make massive changes to your health and wellness without big lifestyle changes isn’t likely to live up to the hype. However, there is some merit to the benefits of nasal breathing—although, you shouldn’t expect taping your mouth shut to yield perfect skin, exceptional focus, or improved digestion overnight.

The benefits of nasal breathing

There are limited studies on mouth taping during sleep, which indicate that mouth taping does reduce snoring in individuals with obstructive sleep apnea. In general, nasal breathing does have beneficial effects on the body. For example, it helps to humidify and filter the air you breathe while engaging the lower lungs. By encouraging deeper breathing, nasal breathing can help you relax and achieve more restful sleep. It may also help to lower blood pressure, as the sinuses naturally produce nitric oxide when you breathe through the nose. This gas can widen the blood vessels and help to reduce blood pressure.

When you sleep, breathing through the nose also has the benefit of reducing dry mouth, which is a common effect of sleeping with the mouth open. Dry mouth can contribute to bad breath, gum disease, and cavities, so breathing through the nose may have some additional benefits on your oral health. However, the body of research surrounding mouth taping is still very small, so it’s not recommended that you utilize this practice without first consulting a physician. Additionally, if you typically struggle to breathe comfortably through the nose during the daytime, taping the mouth may have detrimental effects for your health by limiting your oxygen intake during sleep.

What to do when you’re having trouble sleeping

Instead of opting for a quick fix to boost your sleep, it is important to discover the root of your sleep problems. Visiting a sleep specialist or an ear, nose, and throat doctor can help you achieve a diagnosis for your sleep issues, which will guide you toward more effective, well-researched solutions. Practicing good sleep hygiene can also go a long way in improving your sleep and your overall health. Reducing screen time before bed, keeping your bedroom cool and dark, and limiting your consumption of caffeine in the afternoon and evening can all contribute to better sleep.

When you need to sort fact from fiction with the latest health trends you encounter on social media, Walmart Health Virtual Care is here for you with convenient, affordable visits with a highly qualified team of licensed medical professionals.

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Kat Smith