Sleep Hack: How I Learned to Sleep Better With Mouth Taping

I know what you’re thinking: Here we go again, another useless health scam. While mouth taping (taping your mouth shut while you sleep) might seem like your typical weird wellness trend, it’s actually grounded in serious science. And the good news is, for us mouth breathers, the solution to a better night’s sleep (and a myriad of health benefits!) may be as simple and cost effective as a roll of surgical tape from CVS.

But first, let me back up.

I love sleep. For as long as I can remember, a good night’s rest has been elusive. I’ve always had trouble falling asleep, likely because I’m a huge overthinker. Being glued to my computer and phone until I hit the pillow hasn't helped much either. But staying asleep has equally been a challenge. I’d wake up several times for sips of water, or to go the bathroom.

I’ve tried everything from meditation to Ambien, but like many people, most mornings I tend to wake up wanting to hit the snooze button. When a friend mentioned that waking up to pee at night was less about being overly hydrated and more likely a sign of poor sleeping habits, I decided to start looking for other sleep aid solutions. Enter: mouth taping.

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A Strange Sounding Wellness Trend

The logic is quite simple: When you can’t breathe through your mouth, you will breathe through your nose. It seems like a minimal change, but the health benefits are significant. “Nasal breathing increases nitric oxide production in the sinuses, which has been linked to reduced inflammation, improved sleep, improved memory, and an overall increase in immune system function,“ explains Mark Burhenne, DDS, a family and sleep medicine dentist in Sunnyvale, California, and the creator of “When you breathe mainly through the nose, you wake up feeling more rested, without a dry mouth or a sore throat.”

According to Dr. Burhenne, this simple hack is just as important a toothbrush — a tool that everyone should own. So a few weeks ago, I figured, what do I have to lose?

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What’s So Bad About Mouth Breathing? Stress, Cavities, and More

In fact, there are many downsides of mouth breathing. One study published in December 2013 in the journal Neuroreport found that mouth breathing can lead to high blood pressure, heart problems, and sleep apnea. Mouth breathing also worsens asthma, may cause cognitive dysfunction, and deprives the heart, brain, and other organs of optimal oxygenation. (Not to mention divorce caused by murmuring secrets in your sleep!)

According to Steven Y. Park, MD, ENT specialist in New York City and author of Sleep, Interrupted: A Physician Reveals The #1 Reason Why So Many of Us Are Sick and Tired, breathing through your mouth can also increase your stress responses. And needless to say, more stress equals less sleep.

“Not only does mouth breathing reduce the quality of your sleep, but it disrupts the balance of your oral microbiome and makes you more prone to tooth decay,” says Burhenne, who believes mouth breathing is the number one cause of cavities — even ahead of eating a thousand chocolate chip cookies and not brushing your teeth.

Compare that with the cost and long list of dangerous side effects associated with sleep aids like Ambien or melatonin, and mouth taping starts to seem like a pretty good deal. I’ll take a little stickiness around the mouth and being one dollar poorer any day.

RELATED: Treating Insomnia: What to Do When You Can’t Sleep

My First Week of Decent Sleep

Of course, the key component to a good night’s sleep is relaxation, which might mean reading or engaging in some pillow talk before bed. I’d bet half my savings your bedtime routine does not include taping your lips down and giving your partner a plastic, closed-mouth kiss before you hit the pillow.

I admit, I felt a little nervous as I tentatively applied the short length of 3M Micropore surgical tape over my mouth that first night. And yes, the first few minutes were a bit uncomfortable. But when I woke up the next morning, something strange happened. For the first time in as long as I could recall, I didn’t feel groggy. Perhaps this was psychosomatic, since I’m told it takes more than a week for the effects of mouth taping to kick in.

So I persisted.

Gradually, after about seven days, I noticed my sleep was getting deeper and I was indeed waking up with more energy. I also noticed that my throat was less parched and I suddenly didn’t have to get up five times a night to pee anymore. For me, that is a priceless change. Having spent several decades feeling like I never got enough rest, the value of being able to feel satisfied with a night’s shut-eye is impossible to overstate.

What I Learned From Mouth Taping

Before any of this, I had no idea that mouth taping had gotten so popular. (I also didn’t know there was such a thing as “sleep specialists.” Then again, I was a lowly mouth breather.) Today, people all over the world have begun to adopt this strikingly simple and cost-effective solution to better sleep.

Mouth taping has its origins in something called the Buteyko Method, created by Russian doctor Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko, which studies the connection between the way we breathe and overall health. The practice largely focuses on “functional breathing,” or breathing in and out of the nose. Practitioners of the method claim that it improves a number of health issues, including anxiety, ADHD, insomnia, asthma, and more.

This makes sense since, over millions of years of human evolution, our mouths were designed for talking and eating while our noses were designed to do the majority of our breathing. Taking things back to our ancestry, similar to the concept behind the paleo diet, comes with a surprising amount of benefits. And I discovered them firsthand after a week of forcing myself to breathe through my nose as I slept.

Tips for Optimal Mouth Taping

A few tips for those interested in trying this method:

Apply a thin layer of Vaseline to your lips before you adhere tape. This helps reduce the stickiness in the morning. If you feel nervous about completely covering your mouth, you can begin by taping from the top lip — sort of like a plastic mustache — and leave a little space for emergency breathing until you become more comfortable with it.

Use the right tape. Sure, you can use plain surgical tape if you’re the no-frills type. But there are brands like Somnifix that specialize in this kind of sleep process. Each Somnifix strip has a vent so that even if your nose gets completely stuffed up during the night, you can still breathe. And unlike surgical tape, they don’t leave any sticky residue on the lips.

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Mold your tape to suit your needs. If you’re using surgical tape, tear off a bit more than you’ll need and fold the ends on each end under to create mini handles. This makes it easy to pull the tape back momentarily during the night if you need to take a sip of water, cough, or talk.

Help Your Body Adjust. You can also try taping your mouth for periods of time during the day so you get used to it.

Although Burhenne has seen many success stories in his own practice, there have not been any scientific studies to confirm that mouth taping is an effective technique for improving sleep. While the wider medical world has largely ignored the importance of nasal breathing and its relationship to overall wellness, Burhenne thinks that is changing now, based on the many success stories he has witnessed firsthand.

“People are frustrated with the answers they are getting from conventional medicine and have taken to the internet for answers,“ he says. “More and more people have tried this relatively simple practice and it has changed their lives.”

The jury is still out but the question remains: Would you try it?

— Update: 08-02-2023 — found an additional article Benefits of Mouth Taping At Night & No, It’s Not Weird from the website for the keyword benefits of mouth taping.

Benefits of mouth taping

Ok, I know what you’re thinking. What the hell is mouth taping?

Well, ever since we learned that there are tons of benefits of breathing more through the nose & less through the mouth, we’ve been making a conscious effort to change up our breathing habits. And this includes mouth taping at night.

So welcome to another day at The Skinny Confidential blog where we talk about door signs, but also vaginal steaming, boob jobs, lube & yes, taping your mouth at night. Never a dull day.

Mouth taping is an easy home remedy for treating mouth breathing when you sleep & it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

Mouth taping is the process of placing porous, medical grade tape over your lips while you sleep at night. This literally FORCES you to breathe through your nose throughout the night & can have positive effects on your health.

Breathing through the nose is the way that the human body optimally functions. And of course, we can make a conscious effort to close our mouths when we are awake. But, when we sleep it’s a whole different story.  We lose that ability when we are asleep.

Mouth breathing is associated with a variety of health concerns like increased symptoms of asthma, dental conditions, yellow teeth, obstructive sleep apnea, sore throat, etc. So we’ll breathe through our noses please & thanks.

The benefits of nasal breathing are reduced colds & illnesses, increased blood flow, increased stamina, improved lung functioning, & the list goes on.

So today, we’re going to talk about the many benefits of mouth taping at night & answer all your questions about how to tape your mouth before bed.

Benefits of Mouth Taping At Night

♡ Improved sleep:

Studies show that mouth taping can greatly improve quality of sleep for those that deal with mild sleep apnea, asthma, & other common sleep disorders. Breathing through your nose can help you establish a stable breathing pattern, which can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, have a deeper sleep, AND wake up feeling more refreshed.

♡ Improved immunity:

All those little hairs in your nose serve a purpose. And that purpose is to prevent the introduction of viruses, bacteria, & other gross things into the body. Mouth breathing while sleeping makes it so much easier for these yucky things to enter the body. But, the good news is your nose was literally MADE to be one of the body’s first lines of defense from any & all sickness.

♡ Reduced snoring:

Mouth breathing at night is one of the most common causes of nasal congestion & that annoying sound we call snoring. Not only can snoring disrupt your breathing pattern throughout the night, it can also really annoy your SO.

According to the Sleep Foundation, mouth taping changes the angle of your palate & tongue, and thus, prevents snoring. No snoring = better sleep = better LIFE! (P.S. another super handy hack to prevent snoring is The Skinny Confidential x Canopy Dehumidifier.)

♡ Improved oral health:

Ok, guys. This one gets a little gross…but we’re gonna go there anyway. When you breathe through your mouth at night, it can cause dry mouth, bad breath, cavities, yellow teeth, gum disease, & tooth decay. It can also introduce yucky bacteria & viruses to your oral microbiome and long story short…it’s NOT GOOD for your oral health. You will see an instant increase in oral health by mouth taping at night. For more on oral health you have to check out this post, there are so many good tips.

♡ Lower blood pressure:

Sleep disorders & major disruptions in breathing throughout the night can have some seriously negative health effects. These effects can include stroke, heart attack, high blood-pressure, & other cardiovascular issues. Mouth taping will help you regulate your breathing, which will help prevent spikes in blood pressure & adrenaline.

♡ Increased nitric oxide production:

Nitric oxide is produced in the nostrils of all humans. So, when we inhale through the nose, the nitric oxide goes all the way through the airways & deep into the lungs. This promotes everything from relaxation to expansion of blood vessels to the destruction of some bacteria & viruses.

How To Tape Your Mouth At Night

Say goodbye to your mouth breathing life. It will take some getting used to, but the benefits of mouth taping at night far outweigh the cons.

As you can see, there are tons of benefits of mouth taping. But, to be completely thorough, let’s take a super quick look at the possible negative side effects of mouth taping…

Negative side-effects might include: skin irritation from tape, a little pain from removing tape the next day, & anxiety from having your lips taped shut.

Claire Grieve who has been on the podcast & on the blog is a big fan of taping her mouth shut at night. With a few key tips, you can make sure that you’re unaffected by these side-effects.

So, let’s talk about how to properly tape your mouth at night.

♡ Shave your face! (*if you want*)

A common side-effect of mouth taping is a little bit of pain when removing the tape the following morning. This is because you’re ripping the tape off of all those little lip hairs. You can avoid this by shaving your face & getting rid of all those little hairs before you apply the tape.  THE HOT SHAVE RAZOR is THE perfect tool for this job. It improves skin texture, gently exfoliates the skin, & is veryeasy-to-use.

♡ Prep your face and lips

Go ahead & complete your normal night-time routine. This might include washing your face, applying creams & oils, etc. You’ll want to take care of this you start taping anything.

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♡ Apply your tape

Ok, time to get your tape ready. The most important thing to remember here is that you can’t use just any old tape. Your lip tape should be porous & medical-grade…think surgical tape. We recommend this tape. It’s breathable, flexible, latex-free, hypoallergenic, and sticks really well throughout the night ( even with oily skin ).

Cut off a small strip of tape about the length of one or two postage stamps & place it in the center of your lips, over the top & bottom lips. DON’T cover your whole lips, just the center portion in the middle.

Now, you’re good to go – all taped up and ready for bed. Fun. LOL.

Mouth taping for the win

Mouth taping can help you snore less, get better sleep, & make your mouth feel healthier & cleaner. It’s a great addition to your nighttime routine.

At first, taping your mouth might seem a little weird & uncomfortable. But, after a few nights, you’ll get used to it & see all the benefits.

Oh, and if you’re looking for more night-time hacks you can check out Lauryn’s normal night-time routine, here.

+ stalk Lauryn’s other wellness practices here. 

++ check out this post for optimal relaxation & sleep.


— Update: 09-02-2023 — found an additional article The 6 Benefits of Mouth Taping You Should Know About from the website for the keyword benefits of mouth taping.

Breathing is something we do all day, every day. The average human takes 12 to 16 breaths per minute, which means that in all likelihood you’ve taken a breath or two since the time you started reading this, without even noticing. Now, think back and ask yourself this question: 

Noses are for breathing and mouths are for eating — it’s the way the human body functions optimally. So if your answer to the above question was “nose,” congratulations! You are experiencing the many benefits that come along with nasal breathing. If your response to yourself was “mouth,” that means you are going to need some help – and mouth taping is the best place to start, particularly when sleeping. 

While, as humans, we can make a conscious effort to keep our mouths closed during the day, we lose that ability when we are sleeping, resulting in an array of discomforts and health problems. Keep reading to learn about the advantages of nighttime nasal breathing and how mouth taping can help you achieve it.

Benefits of mouth taping

1. Mouth Taping Leads to Better Sleep

Mouth taping for sleep may seem like a strange strategy to some, however, getting a good night’s rest is critical to your wellbeing. While you sleep, your body recovers, your memories are consolidated and toxins are flushed from your system. When you nose breathe while sleeping, your body is able to achieve a relaxation response, which is the key to maintaining deep sleep and successfully progressing through the stages of the sleep cycle. This is because the nose helps us maintain homeostasis by balancing the autonomic nervous system, protecting us from stress, anxiety, and sleeplessness, so you can wake up feeling strong and refreshed (without your usual morning coffee!).

2. Mouth Taping Improves Oral Health

Start mouth taping at night and say goodbye to those all-too-frequent painful and costly dental procedures. One of the biggest benefits of nasal breathing is that it helps to prevent oral health problems. Mouth breathing quickly dries out your mouth, decreasing saliva production. Saliva is critical to washing away bacteria in our mouths and for neutralizing acid. Without it, the odds of incurring tooth decay and cavities increase. Additionally, dry mouth is one of the leading causes of gum disease, which can lead to other health issues such as heart disease. Keep your smile big and bright by mouth taping!

Benefits of mouth taping

3. Mouth Taping Stops Snoring

Is your significant other constantly complaining that your mouth snoring habit keeps them up at night? Put a stop to it by mouth taping and let your partner sleep in peace. During sleep, the muscles in and around your mouth relax, causing your mouth to fall open. This results in your respiratory airway closing and ultimately causes the “mouth snores” that you may be unfortunately all too familiar with. And mouth snoring isn’t just bothersome — it can also impact your health. It is often a precursor to sleep apnea, which is a serious sleep disorder that can lead to cardiovascular and cognitive disorders. Solve this annoying, and potentially dangerous, problem by mouth taping while you sleep. It can also be helpful to do some tongue exercises during the day to strengthen your mouth muscles and train them to keep the airway open while you snooze.

4. Mouth Taping Bolsters Immunity

Think of mouth taping as your favorite baseball team adding a fourth player to their outfield alignment. Sure, the ball may still find a hole and get through, but the chances of it being caught are higher than they were with a traditional three man outfield. Mouth taping provides your immune system with an extra layer of defence, as nose breathing gives your body its best chance at standing strong against disease and infection. The nose is our only organ that has the ability to “filter” the air we breathe, which contains lots of bad bacteria. Our noses produce nitric oxide, a vasodilating (widening of blood vessels) gas that kills bacteria in airborne particles, saving us from ingesting it. 

By using mouth tape, you’ll also decrease your chance of catching a cold; the mucous membrane, which is responsible for killing germs, lines your nose and extends all the way down to the bronchi, directly entering your lungs. So if you are nose breathing at night thanks to mouth tape, when germs enter your nostrils they’ll get caught in the mucus and die, potentially saving you from days of sneezing, shivering and a runny nose.

Benefits of mouth taping

5. Mouth Taping Helps Lower Blood Pressure

Have you ever been told to take deep breaths when you are feeling stressed or anxious? That’s because our breathing is closely tied to our blood pressure. According to the CDC, one out of every three Americans has high blood pressure. Having high blood pressure puts you at risk of heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in the United States. Mouth taping while you sleep is one way to help control your blood pressure; the increased nitric oxide production that comes along with nose breathing reduces blood pressure by expanding your blood vessels and increasing the ability to transport oxygen throughout your body. In contrast, mouth breathing has actually been associated with high blood pressure, as it may result in low oxygen concentration in the blood.

6. Mouth Taping Brings Better Mornings

We’ve already discussed how nose mouth taping leads to a better sleep, but there are even more reasons why you’ll wake up feeling fantastic. Does your throat sometimes feel like sandpaper when you get out of bed in the morning? Or do you often wake up with a sinus headache? Mouth taping reduces discomforts caused by mouth breathing such as dry mouth, sore throat, chapped lips, and nasal congestion. By nose breathing at night, you can start your day off on the right foot, and skip that Starbucks drive-thru.

Benefits of mouth taping

How to Safely and Successfully Mouth Tape

Mouth taping can definitely seem a bit dangerous at first – and it certainly has the potential to be if done incorrectly. Using duct tape, packing tape, or any other adhesive that is not intended to be worn on skin is a big no-no (and do you really want to tear that off your lips? Ouch!). That’s why we’ve worked for years to develop a safe and effective mouth taping product. 

Read more  What is Lip Taping and How Can it Help Eliminate Mouth Breathing?

SomniFix Mouth Strips are single-use strips that are made just for lips. They have been extensively biocompatibility tested to ensure that they will not cause any irritation or leave residue behind, and are hypoallergenic, latex-free and gluten-free, so even individuals with adhesive allergies can safely and comfortably wear them. Featuring a filtered breathing vent that allows for limited oral airflow and hands-free removal, they are the only safe device for mouth taping currently available on the market.

Learn more about SomniFix and purchase your first box here. Try them tonight and get the great sleep you’ve always dreamed of!

— Update: 10-02-2023 — found an additional article What is Lip Taping and How Can it Help Eliminate Mouth Breathing? from the website for the keyword benefits of mouth taping.

Mouth breathing during sleep is a common oral health concern for both adults and growing children. Sometimes it is a minor issue and other times serious enough that a dentist or physician may recommend mouth taping at night. 

If you recently Googled “taping mouth at night” or “lip taping mouth breathing,” you have come to the right place. We hope this article answers some of your questions about lip taping mouth breathing and helps you make informed decisions for yourself and your family. 

Since mouth breathing has so many causes, each patient requires individual care. Please talk with your physician and dentist if you or one of your dependents frequently breathes through the mouth at night. This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. 

The Problem With Mouth Breathing 

Sometimes breathing through the mouth is healthy and ideal. For example, while running or during a vigorous workout, you simply can’t take in enough oxygen by breathing through the nose. Mouth breathing is very healthy in this situation. 

Also, if your nose is stuffed up due to a cold, flu, or allergies, you may temporarily need to breathe through the mouth to get enough air. Beyond that, your body benefits most from nose breathing. Your nose acts as a filter keeping particles of dust and tiny debris out of your lungs. 

Breathing through your nose also helps your body produce nitric oxide. This helps widen your blood vessels and helps oxygen efficiently circulate throughout your body. 

On the other hand, habitually breathing through your mouth doesn’t provide these same benefits. In fact, it may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea and puts your heart at risk. Children who are mouth breathers also may suffer from misalignments in their teeth, improper facial bone development, trouble speaking, and other developmental issues. 

Mouth breathing may also negatively impact oral health by contributing to dry mouth, teeth shifting, and tooth decay. It is also a sign of breathing issues that can negatively affect children and adults of any age. 

Why Try Lip Taping

Taping the lips closed while sleeping trains you to breathe through your nose while you sleep. It helps break the habit of mouth breathing, especially when combined with other therapies to address the causes of the individual’s mouth breathing. 

Sometimes a patient needs to see a Myofunctional therapist for treatment to stop mouth breathing. This treatment might involve various techniques, including breathing exercises, lip taping at night, and addressing any underlying conditions that contribute to mouth breathing. 

Sometimes people who are not familiar with therapeutic lip taping have concerns that it may be painful or uncomfortable. We assure you that when done correctly, it is not. Some people even credit the treatment as life-changing since people who breathe through their mouths at night usually are not getting enough high-quality and restful sleep. 

We hope the following description of at-home lip taping will reassure you and ease some of your concerns. The process is simple to perform and gentle as long as you follow your dentist’s instructions. 

How to Perform Lip Taping

Always talk with your dentist, health care provider, or a Myofunctional therapist about whether lip taping is appropriate. Your care provider or a specialized therapist should teach you the correct technique. Here is a basic overview so that you get an idea of what it is like to tape your lips during sleep:

  1. First, make sure you are about to breathe through your nose easily for 30 min.  A great way to test this is to hold water in your mouth for as long as you can or to tape your lips while working or playing.  
  2. Using the right kind of tape is important. The tape should be gentle enough to avoid irritating the sensitive skin on and around your lips. Sleep tape or surgical tape is ideal since they are designed to gently tape skin. We recommend Myotape or 3M porous tape.
  3. Lightly moisturize your lips and the skin around your mouth before applying the tape. This also makes it easier to remove the tape in the morning without tearing the skin. If you don’t use a moisturizer, you may also have annoying sticky residue around your mouth and on your lips in the morning.
  4. Take a piece of tape and place it horizontally over your lips. If you are not yet comfortable, you may place the tape vertically to allow your mouth to open slightly if necessary.
  5. Try this during the day or early evening to get used to it before taping your lips overnight.
  6. Gently remove the tape in the morning. 

As you may now understand, you should not use duct tape or any other kind of tape that isn’t designed for taping sensitive skin. Learning this often reassures people who are initially resistant to taping their own or their child’s lips during sleep. Taping your mouth shouldn’t be painful. 

Taping is a useful training tool. Many patients find they wake up feeling well-rested for the first time in years after they get used to lip taping. Some are quick to dismiss lip taping as another wellness fad without recognizing the real damage that mouth breathing can do to a person’s oral health and overall health. 

The health benefits include improved sleep, allowing the PH balance in your mouth to normalize, and more efficient oxygen circulation in the body. 

Next Steps: See Your Dentist or Healthcare Provider 

Talk with your dentist if you believe that you or your child breathes through the mouth while sleeping. As mentioned, mouth breathing contributes to dry mouth and a range of other oral health concerns. Dentists regularly help patients overcome mouth breathing. 

If you live in the Charlotte area and need to talk with a dental professional about mouth breathing, contact us at Southview Dentistry. Dr. Kelly Wilson is a trained myofunctional therapist and can help get you breathing properly through your nose. We love helping our patients live healthy lives. This is why we keep up with evidence-based treatment options and best practices in dentistry. 

We also treat each patient as an individual. Call us today to schedule an examination or appointment.


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