5 Benefits of Mouth Taping at Night (No, it’s not weird)
According to a study done by BreatheRight, 71% of beds across the U.S. are home to mouth breathers and, as further evidence would suggest, poor sleepers.
While taping your mouth shut may seem like an unnatural sleeptime ritual, with the right products and an understanding of the benefits of nasal breathing on your daily energy and overall health, you might just go from mouth-breather to mouth-taper, overnight!
You may ask, “What’s the difference between the air coming through my nose vs. my mouth?”
We’re glad you asked!
Our bodies are designed to breathe air through our noses and move that oxygen to our lungs and bloodstream. Unlike the mouth, the nose acts like a built-in filtration system for foreign bodies and viruses, even physical parties like allergens, mold and pet dander. The whole respiratory system also responds to the air from the nose differently.
Here are five benefits you can expect to gain from taping your mouth at night, in order to support more nasal breathing while you sleep:
- Filter out allergens: your nose hairs are like a filter system that naturally attaches to allergens like pollen, dust, mold and pet dander, among other things lingering in the air we breathe every day. By grabbing on to these airborne particles, your nose helps prevent them from entering your lungs.
- Reduce anxiety: “Nose breathing also slows the breath down because it provides more resistance and this has a direct effect on the nervous system,” says Anne Dutton, director of the Yale Stress Center mindfulness education program. “Specifically, slower breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing anxiety and signaling the body to calm down.” Reducing anxiety at night can help you sleep deeper and longer, and we could all use a bit of that these days!
- Lower blood pressure: some people may find nasal breathing challenges their mental space as their brand works to consciously breathe through the nose. This can be a helpful tool to reduce panting and mouth breathing while the body focuses on slow, even breaths through the nose, which can impact blood pressure and may provide an overall sense of calm.
- Improve oral hygiene (and breath): one of the top causes of cavities is actually mouth breathing, not that bowl of candy you snuck in after dinner tonight (don’t worry, we won’t tell!). Our teeth, gums, and tongue prefer a moist environment at all times, so when you breathe through your mouth you may be changing the acidity levels in your saliva, which can throw off the pH balance in your mouth and facilitate tooth decay, both of which may lead to bad breath. Ew!
- Reduce anxiety: when you breathe through your mouth, you may unknowingly breathe more shallow and fast, which may cause your nervous system to up-regulate and make you feel anxious, according to Elissa Epel, a professor at UC San Francisco. Nasal breathing can help you take control of your nervous system and reduce anxiety. No wonder people always tell us to breathe when we’re overwhelmed!
If you haven’t already tried mouth tape as a tool to help improve your nasal breathing, we encourage you to give it a try and experience the benefits noted above!