There’s a trendy “sleeping hack” that has been making the rounds on TikTok for a while now that involves taping your mouth shut before going to sleep. Yes, it’s as weird as it sounds.
Some people swear by mouth taping at night, suggesting it prevents mouth-breathing and snoring. But, in what you probably won’t find surprising, it’s not recommended for most people.
There are plenty of reasons why a mouth breather might want to start breathing through their nose while they sleep. It can help with temperature regulation, improve allergies, and even reduce feelings of anxiety. The biggest benefit, of course, is that it helps you stop snoring.
But, placing a piece of tape over your mouth to keep it closed probably isn’t the way to go. There have been a few small studies on the practice, and the results have been inconclusive, at best. Some people even managed to continue breathing through their mouths even with the tape in place.
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According to Cinthya Pena Orbea, MD, a sleep specialist who spoke with Cleveland Clinic, taping your mouth shut could inhibit your ability to get the full breaths your body needs. While you’re not likely to suffocate, it could make you feel like you’re having a hard time getting enough air. Plus, depending on the kind of tape you use, you could experience skin irritation or an allergic reaction.
Instead of trying this mouth-taping trick, seek out safer alternative treatments. Things like sleeping on your side, raising your pillow, or even losing weight can all help if snoring is the big issue. Of course, always speak with your doctor before trying any sort of sleep treatment or adjustment.
If you’ve seen mouth-taping going around on TikTok and have been curious, this is one hack to skip. For those who need help with breathing issues and sleep quality, it’s always best to speak to a physician rather than attempt any sort of self-treatment.