Mouth Taping For Sleep: Does It Work?
Mouth Taping for Sleep
After reading an interesting article by Breathwork and Wellbeing Coach, Mark Goddard of BreathQ, I was Intrigued! Could taping my mouth at night help me sleep better? Was it safe? Could I actually fall asleep with a taped mouth?!
Can I control my breathing?
Breathing impacts every aspect of our health – sleep, digestion, movement, mental wellbeing, disease and recovery. By letting go of dysfunctional patterns, we can reach our full potential. On a single day we take 25.000 breaths, over a lifetime that’s around 700 million breaths. Mark teaches people how to breathe efficiently and control their nervous system.
During the day you can consciously practice some nose breathing. But at night, when unconscious, you can revert to mouth breathing.
Am I a night time mouth breather?
Mark says the easiest way to recognise if you breathe through your mouth at night is if you have any of these symptoms:
- Wake up with a dry mouth.
- Regularly get up for a pee during the night.
- Regularly feel tired and jaded in the afternoons.
- Are a snorer.
I have a good sleep routine and wear a 100% blackout All About Sleep Sleep Mask which helps me sleep really well. However, I often woke with a dry mouth and a sore throat. I was also a snorer due to sleeping on my back rather than side after a back operation. Although a little unsure about the idea of mouth taping, I am always willing to give sleep improving tips a go, so followed Mark's advice.
How do I tape my mouth?!
Mouth breathing pushes us into a fight or flight state. This affects sleep which in turn impacts our wellbeing and performance. Chronic mouth breathing negatively affects many parts of our lives. Nasal breathing however creates nitrous oxide, which increases blood flow, lowers blood pressure, and improves brain function. Using mouth tape promotes breathing through your nose by gently and comfortably keeping your mouth closed while you sleep.
Mark's top mouth taping tips
- Start by taping your mouth for periods during the day, such as when watching TV. This can alleviate the psychological barriers to taping.
- Tape horizontally, or to reduce taping anxiety tape vertically, keeping gaps either side of your mouth.
- Suffocation, it won’t happen! Your bodies natural response to increased CO2 would wake you. But once nose breathing, the airway will open up.
- Never tape a child’s mouth.
- Don’t tape your mouth if you’ve had alcohol or drugs.
- There are a number of brands and types of tape available, as well as mouth shaped stickers from Myotape. Products specifically for mouth taping do exist, but my personal favourite is 3M 1inch Durapore.
My mouth taping verdict
I ordered Mark's recommendation of 3M Durapore easily online and decided to go straight in with the horizontal mouth taping. The tape is very sticky and I did get the sudden urge to cough and talk once I had applied it - probably because I knew I couldn't. The first night I found it took longer than usual to fall asleep, the feeling was a bit alien and unusual. In the morning I woke up after a great night's sleep with no sore throat and a happy husband after a 'snore free' night.
The second night I changed slightly how I applied the tape. The first night I had tightly closed my mouth with teeth clenched before applying. This time I relaxed my jaw and applied over a lightly closed mouth. I found this to be much more comfortable and I feel asleep quickly. Again, in the morning I had the same great results. The only slight downside to mouth taping is that the adhesive is very strong so you do get a free lip wax every morning when removing!
I am now on night 10 and can honestly say mouth taping is a game changing sleep hack that I will be sticking with - literally!
Other sleep hacks to try:
- Replace your scratchy, bobbly bedding with silky soft, heat regulating organic bamboo bedding.
- In cold weather wear bamboo bed socks, keeping your feet warm at night will help you drift off faster.
- Fill your room with sleep inducing fragrance before bedtime with a natural essential oil soy wax sleep candle.
- An hour before hitting the hay drink a warm drink such a caffeine free relaxing tea.