No, you're not reading this wrong — mouth-taping might actually be the next lifestyle hack! While the name doesn’t sound the least bit enticing or glamorous, rest assured: its health benefits are numerous and it just might change your life.
Why mouth-taping works
As its name suggests, mouth taping keeps the mouth closed during the night. This way, your body is forced to breathe through the nose instead of what is simply referred to as “mouth breathing”. Why then is nose breathing so important? Aside from being the more natural method of respiration, it also improves sleep quality (by reducing the incidence of interrupted sleep) and raises nitric oxide intake while sleeping. Nitric oxide, in turn, helps to improve your cardiac, cognitive and immune functions.
Who needs mouth taping
To find out whether you have been consistently breathing through your mouth at night, look out for the following signs:
Additionally, if you currently suffer from other breathing-related sleep disorders, it is very likely that you also suffer from mouth-breathing.
How to mouth tape
If you are now convinced to give mouth-taping a go, here’s what you can do. Purchase mouth tape of surgical micropore tape from your family mart or online stores; don’t just use any tape as your lips are a very sensitive part of your skin. If you have facial hair (such as moustaches or beards), try to remove them before applying the mouth tape. Additionally, avoid using creams or lip balm around the area where you apply the mouth tape, as this might prevent the tape from adhering properly.
Last but not least: if you find yourself waking up without mouth tape despite sticking it securely the night before, it is a fairly accurate indicator that you are indeed a frequent mouth-breather! This might be due to a blocked nose, sinus infections or severe sleep apnoea, so do ensure that you treat the underlying problem before giving mouth-taping another shot.
Despite the odd practice of taping one's mouth prior to sleeping, there are significant health benefits to be had with this safe, simple and effective method! Most people tend to overlook breathing mechanics when it comes to improving sleep quality so try not to reject this idea too quickly, especially if you've been having trouble with getting a proper night's rest.