Mouth Taping While You Sleep? Experts Warn Against TikTok’s Latest Trend
Scroll through TikTok and you may see #MouthTapping trending with users swearing by the latest trend that has people taping their lips shut at bedtime, but experts warn that this is a practice that could be dangerous.
What is mouth taping and why is it so popular?
The purpose of mouth taping is to keep you from breathing through your mouth at night. The idea is that by tapping your mouth, you will train your body to breathe through your nose instead.
The reasons given for the mouth-taping trend include trying to achieve beauty sleep.
“I tape my mouth shut every single day,” one woman said on TikTok. “Sleeping properly is really important to anti-aging and looking and feeling your best.”
One woman said she doesn’t remember why she started taping her mouth shut at night.
“Truth be told, I don’t know. I saw on TikTok and I can’t remember what the benefits were. But it helps me stay asleep,” she said, according to the CNN report Wednesday.
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One of those benefits is avoiding the problems that come along with mouth breathing such as dry mouth, snoring, low oxygen concentration in the blood, dental conditions such as bleeding gums and cavities, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. These can increase your risk of drowsiness throughout the day as well as your risk for cardiovascular diseases.
“The common (mis)perception is that if you open your mouth, you can get more air into your lungs. It’s actually the reverse,” Dr Steven Y. Park, an ENT physician, tells Stylist. “When you open your mouth, the tongue base rotates back, narrowing your throat. So at night, if you open your mouth inadvertently, your airway narrows and you’ll snore more or go on to have apneas.”
@thecognitivecorner Me all night: 😷 #tiktoktherapists #mouthtaping ♬ original sound – Simone Saunders
Why nasal breathing is better
“How you breath – fast or slow, deep or shallow, mouth or nose – will have an impact on your body,” explains Dr. Katharina Lederle, head of sleep health at sleep program Somnia. “Nasal breathing produces nitric oxide, which then is inhaled into the lungs. There, it helps to increase lung capacity to absorb oxygen as it widens the airways and blood vessels, which can then take on more oxygen. This also plays a role for blood pressure regulation which is better in nose breathers.”
Whatsmore, there are several other benefits to nasal breathing while you sleep. These include