Quality sleep is an important part of good health, and there are countless tips and tricks for getting a good night’s sleep. One of the most unusual, however, is called “mouth tape” – and yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like.
The purpose of duct tape is to encourage breathing through the nose rather than the mouth, and involves gently putting a piece of medical tape over the lips before bed. Those who swear by the practice claim that mouth tape allows them to sleep soundly, as well as stave off dry mouth and even bad breath.
TikToker @LexFiish, who bought a brand of mouth strips on Amazon, encouraged his followers to try the practice in a video, telling his audience of more than 20,000 people, “Try it. You are going to have the deepest sleep you have ever experienced.
Cory Rodriguez, a TikToker with over 340,000 followers who shares health and wellness tips on his platform, said in a video bandaging his mouth “every night” as it helps his sleep, oral health and snoring.
According to an otolaryngologist, Dr Shawn Nasseriscientific evidence suggests you should breathe through your nose at night.
“Breathing through your nose allows the body to be in deeper sleep because you take fuller, deeper breaths, creating more oxygen to distribute throughout the body,” Nasseri told Yahoo Life. “This allows for calmer, calmer and more relaxed breathing, ultimately creating deeper sleep.”
A sleep expert, Olivia Arezzoloadds that mouth breathing, on the other hand, “leads in unfiltered air, which can increase the risk of allergic reactions, asthma, gum inflammation, tooth decay and bad breath.”
As Nasseri explains, “Your nose is the best filter, humidifier and moisturizer in the world. Breathing through the nose helps filter out pathogens, foreign substances, and allergens. It increases oxygen uptake and circulation, while increasing airflow to arteries, nerves and veins. Breathing through your nose also makes the air you breathe more humid, which is important for lung function.
However, when it comes to mouth scotch, Arezzolo points out that there is “limited clinical data” to back up the purported benefits – and she adds that the practice may have some downsides.
“[Mouth taping] could lead to breathing difficulties if your nasal passages are congested,” she says. “In addition, there may be anxiety around the tape in the mouth, which will then compromise the quality of sleep itself. And of course, there’s also the pain and irritation of tearing the tape from your mouth.
Dr Ramiz Fargo, an intern doctor who specializes in sleep medicine at Loma Linda University in California, told Yahoo Life he doesn’t recommend mouth scotch. He points out that the first step to getting better sleep can be making sure you can breathe properly through your nose in the first place.
“If a person is having difficulty breathing through their nose, there may be an underlying cause for obstruction to breathing, including congestion, anatomical defects, or variable collapse of soft tissue in the airway. “, explains Fargo. “Individuals should seek further evaluation from their primary care physician, with possible referral to an allergist, ENT specialist or sleep specialist.”
For those who want to make sure they’re breathing through their nose, Nasseri says it’s important to keep the nasal passages hydrated.
“I would recommend using a sterile saline spray, such as Saline Nasal Spray Euka’s Wellness before bed, to get rid of excess mucus,” he says. “You can also try using a thicker pillow or extra pillow to change your head height.”
If you’re curious to learn more about mouth scotch, Arezzolo says there’s an easier and safer way to encourage breathing through your nose.
“Nose strips are my top recommendation,” she says. “They gently open the nasal passage to maximize airflow, which achieves what mouth scotch does, without the risks.”
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