Electric blanket

Do you sleep better with a taped mouth?

4 Mar, 2024
Jürgen Swinnen

Top athletes swear by it – sleeping with your mouth taped up. There has been quite a lot of coverage in the media recently about the benefits of sleeping with your mouth taped off, which forces the body nasal breathe, as it is reported to give a higher quality of sleep than if you slept with your mouth open. American dentist and sleep expert Dr. David E. Rye is believes that this is the correct way to breathe through your sleep:

“Sleep with your mouth closed. Your mouth is not meant for breathing during sleep. Breathing through your mouth dries out your mouth, irritates your throat and makes you more likely to snore and have sleep apnea.”

But is that right? During the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of people complained that they were getting enough oxygen into their bodies because they had to wear a face mask. Is using mouth tape really healthy? Why would you tape your mouth and with what? All good questions. Time to dive deeper into it!

sleeping with your mouth open - no taped mouth

What are the benefits of sleeping with tape on your mouth?

When you look for advocates of sleeping with your mouth taped up, you often read stories from top athletes, performance coaches and dentists who champion the benefits to our health, which are –

  • Calmer wellbeing: Breathing through the nose helps to calm your body and reduce stress.
  • Less snoring: When you are forced to breathe through your nose, your throat can stay open and you reduce the likelihood of snoring. This is one of the most well-known benefits of sleeping with a taped mouth.
  • Better sleep quality: Breathing through the nose is said to improve your sleep quality. This is because it helps you breathe deeper and slower, which gives your body more oxygen and helps you relax.
  • Less dry mouth: People who sleep with their mouths open or always breathe through their mouths will find that their mouths dry out more quickly. Breathing through your nose can reduce this.
  • Reduced allergies: Breathing through the nose filters and warms the air before it enters the lungs. This can help reduce the symptoms of allergies.
  • Fewer dental problems: Think cavities, bad breath and gum disease. If you breathe mostly through your mouth, your mouth dries out faster and there is less saliva. Its presence naturally protects your teeth.

Disadvantages of sleeping with a taped mouth

Is it wise to sleep with your mouth taped off? The thing is, breathing through your nose really does have proven benefits. However, taping your mouth is drastic and not for everyone. The main reasons not to do it are:

  1. Potential restless sleep: Some people find it highly uncomfortable and sometimes even frightening to sleep with a taped mouth.
  2. Trouble breathing: If you have trouble breathing through your nose, taping off your mouth can hinder your breathing.
  3. Breathing too little oxygen: Some people might feel they are not getting enough oxygen, which is not safe.
  4. Irritated skin: Use hypoallergenic mouth tape and tape best vertically. This way you avoid skin irritation and sore lips when you remove the tape.

If you are considering sleeping with a taped mouth, it is best to talk to your doctor beforehand. They will be able to give you clear guidance as to whether it is a suitable option for you. Also, do remember, whilst this is being championed as a way to get good sleep – there is no scientific evidence yet that proves it really works. Remember that almost all of them have professional and medical supervision around the clock to advise them. If you are in doubt about sleeping with a tape mouth, contact a medical professional! If you experience problems stop immediately.

sleeping with your mouth taped

What do you use to tape your mouth?

First, it is important to trial this new method for initial short periods of time – and gradually increase the duration of sleeping with a taped mouth, as this will help your body get used to the change.

Special, skin-friendly and medically sound mouth caps, plasters or tape can be purchased through pharmacies or chemists. It’s best to start positioning the tape vertically, that way you have some breathing room. Be prepared that this may not feel comfortable the first time you try it – it will take a few attempts for your body to get used to the change.

Is mouth tape dangerous?

Covering your mouth while sleeping can have detrimental effects on your health. This can happen when your body does not get enough oxygen. If you notice that you start hyperventilating or you do not experience fine breathing, immediately stop taping your mouth.

Also, your body may not be able to release enough carbon dioxide. If this is not exhaled correctly, it can be dangerous to health. If you find yourself struggling to have a normal breathing pattern, stop taping your mouth immediately.

What happens when you sleep with your mouth open?

Sleeping with an open mouth can cause some irritation to the throat and nasal passages. When sleeping, it is best to breathe through your nose. This will prevent you from suffering from the following symptoms that occur when you breathe through your mouth:

  • Parched mouth
  • Snoring
  • Sore throat

If you do you ever get up with these symptoms of sleeping with your mouth open, taping the mouth may be a solution. Dentists may also recommend this to prevent protective layer of saliva to dry out.

Of course, we couldn’t resist trying sleeping with our mouths taped off ourselves. So read our test post: sleeping with your mouth taped off.

Mouth taping won’t work! Now what?

Nasal breathing has obvious benefits, especially when sleeping – however if taping your mouth may be a little too drastic for you – do remember there is no scientific evidence yet to support it. Also, some people have reported having a worse night’s sleep when having their mouth taped up!

If you are still looking for an uninterrupted good nights sleep, there are others methods than oral tape that you could try. Consider a strap over your head and under your chin (chin strap or chin strap), a nose spreader, a nasal patch or specific exercises with help from speech therapist or physical therapist. A Belgian start-up has even developed a breathing tool that you hold in your hand to breathe more calmly. They also promote nasal breathing with their “Moonbird”.

Finally, do speak to your dentist or doctor about your sleep concerns. They often have more than enough experience to give you expert, sound advice.

Breathing through your nose allows you to breathe deeper and slower. So you get more oxygen. Also, the air is heated and filtered before it enters your lungs.

Never use ordinary adhesive tape, always use skin-friendly and specialized plasters or tape.

There is no evidence of that. However, nasal breathing does have many advantages over oral breathing. By consciously breathing through your nose and practicing this, you can also achieve this effect.