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Mouth Taping: The Sleep Technique Going Viral On TikTok – But Does It Work?

If you’re a bad sleeper, chances are you’ll try anything to get a good night’s kip, but you may not have heard of one slightly more bizarre technique – mouth taping.

Encouraging nasal breathing has been a popular technique for better sleep for a long time, but a new viral video on TikTok has sparked a debate on safety.

Wellness and fitness creator @lexfiish has 4.3 million views – and counting – on a clip which shows her sharing her mouth taping tip, telling her followers that it helps her “get the deepest sleep you’ll ever experience”.

She says: “Stitch this with something that has improved your overall wellness. [It’s] that simple. I’ll go first – mouth taping. Mouth taping. Try it. You get this on, sleep with it, it prevents you mouth breathing all night. You’re gonna start to get the deepest sleep you’ll ever experience.

“It’s a little uncomfortable at first and you do have to get used to it, but try it out, and I can share the techniques and the benefits if you’re interested.”

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This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

The post has been flooded with different comments, from some who love to use mouth tape, and others who were worried about how safe it is to do.

“This has changed my life. No more snoring, mouth breathing, or congestion,” one viewer replied. But another added: “My deviated septum and chronic congestion would have me in the deeeeeeepest sleep with this tape.”

The idea is that by taping the mouth (with porous tape), the user is encouraged to breathe through the nose – which is known to be a more effective way for us to breathe.

So is it safe to tape up your mouth before bed? We asked psychologist and neuroscientist Dr Lindsay Browning, who first explains why nasal breathing is preferable. “Breathing through your mouth during the night can result in an increased likelihood of snoring, bad breath and a dry mouth in the morning,” she says.

“Breathing through your nose is also preferable to mouth breathing because your nose has hairs that filter out allergens during the night and humidifies the air breathed in. Naturally, people tend to breathe through their mouth when their nasal passages are blocked, such as when they have congestion.” 

But though nose breathing might leave you waking up more refreshed, mouth taping isn’t necessarily the answer. For one, there is very little scientific evidence of its benefits – though one small study found a small improvement for those suffering with sleep apnoea (30 people were involved in the study).

Dr Browning, who is a sleep expert for And So To Bed, adds: “There are possible risks associated with mouth taping, including irritation at the adhesive site and pain when the tape is removed. Using a porous tape designed for human skin would be preferable.

“Another important risk is that if you tape your mouth shut, but have unknown nasal congestion, you may struggle to breathe during the night which could be very dangerous. If you did want to try mouth taping then it would be a good idea to test taping your mouth shut during the daytime to see if this might be an issue for you.”

So you if you want to see if nasal breathing is really the wellness secret you’ve been looking for, it might be best to try a different technique. “You could try changing your sleeping position to sleep on your side instead of on your back as that has been shown to reduce snoring,” says Dr Browning.

And finally, consider talking to your GP if you are really struggling. Dr Browning’s advice: “If your mouth breathing issues are caused by nasal congestion then you may want to speak to a doctor about potential allergies or asthma to see if they could be treated. Also, you could try snore strips or nasal strips to open the nasal passages while you sleep, which may encourage nasal breathing instead of mouth breathing.”

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