What To Know Before Mouth Taping For Sleep

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From viral social videos to bestselling books, mouth taping for sleep is a topic on many people’s lips. But is it a transformative Tiktok trend or a dangerous sleeping practice? Some believe mouth taping has a range of benefits. “Advocates of mouth taping suggest that it promotes nasal breathing, which can improve snoring, dry mouth and sleep quality,” says Dr. Audrey Yoon, a double board-certified sleep specialist with Stanford Health Care Sleep Medicine Center.

But not everyone is sold on the concept, and some medical experts advise against making mouth taping for sleep part of your nightly bedtime routine. Before you try out the method for yourself, here’s what to know about the potential benefits and drawbacks of mouth taping for sleep.

Mouth Taping For Sleep

Since the risks of mouth taping haven’t yet been studied and sleep experts haven’t created guidelines for doing it safely, it’s important to speak with your doctor before giving it a go. Should you decide after a medical consultation that you would like to try mouth taping for sleep, here’s what you need to get started:

Benefits Of Mouth Taping

There is limited existing research on the benefits of mouth taping. “While mouth taping may offer benefits by enforcing nasal breathing, the scientific community calls for more rigorous research to thoroughly assess its safety, effectiveness and potential side effects,” says Yoon.

Potential benefits of mouth taping may include:

  • Nasal breathing. Breathing through your nose is believed to be more beneficial than breathing through your mouth. Breathing through your mouth, Yoon notes, can dry it out and increase the risk of oral infection and inflammation. “Nasal breathing is more efficient in terms of oxygen absorption,” says Yoon. “The nasal passage filters, humidifies and warms the air, which can improve the oxygenation of blood.”
  • Improved oral health. Some dental professionals believe mouth taping can lead to improved oral health and reduce bruxism, which is the involuntary grinding of teeth.
  • Reduced snoring/sleep apnea. There is some research suggesting mouth taping can reduce snoring and lessen the severity of sleep apnea in mouth breathers with mild obstructive sleep apnea. The study used 3M silicone hypoallergenic tape but had a small sample size. In some instances, mouth taping may do more harm than good. “Mouth taping for sleep is not advisable for individuals with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea without supervision, as it could worsen breathing difficulties during sleep,” says Yoon.
  • Reduced asthmatic symptoms. There is some research to suggest improved nasal breathing can reduce nocturnal asthma, but evidence is contradictory. A separate study examining mouth taping as an intervention in patients with symptomatic asthma found that it had no effect on asthma control.

Side Effects Of Mouth Taping

The practice of mouth taping is associated with drawbacks as well. Some people may experience the following side effects.

  • Anxiety. “Some may experience discomfort or anxiety, particularly if they are not used to breathing through their nose,” says Yoon. To mitigate your anxiety, daytime practice is recommended. See our step-by-step guide below for more information on how to decrease the chance of experiencing anxiety and discomfort.
  • Allergic reactions. If you are allergic to adhesives, you may experience skin irritation and/or other symptoms typical of allergic reactions. “Good mouth tape should be made from hypoallergenic materials to minimize skin irritation and should feature a gentle yet effective adhesive that holds securely, but can be easily removed in case of any discomfort or emergency,” says Yoon.
  • Health risks. There are several health risks associated with mouth taping for sleep. “It is rare, but in emergency situations such as vomiting during sleep, mouth taping could pose a significant risk,” says Yoon. “There is also a risk of suffocation if the nasal passages become obstructed due to allergies, a cold, infections or other anatomical issues, which could make nasal breathing difficult or impossible,” she says.

How To Mouth Tape For Sleep

1. Consult Your Doctor

Mouth taping isn’t for everyone. People with respiratory conditions or nasal obstruction may want to avoid mouth taping altogether. “It is important for individuals with respiratory conditions such as sleep apnea or asthma to consult with a healthcare provider before attempting mouth taping, as it could exacerbate their condition,” Yoon says.

2. Find The Right Mouth Tape

If you’re going to attempt mouth taping for sleep, it’s important to find the right type. “Select a hypoallergenic, gentle and breathable tape designed specifically for mouth taping, and prepare your skin by cleaning and drying the area around the mouth to ensure good adhesion,” says Yoon.

We recommend one like 3M Kind Removal Silicone Tape, but choose the one that you feel can work best for you. For instance, you may want tape made for sensitive skin or tape that fits around your lips instead of over them.

3. Prepare The Area

Yoon recommends cleaning your mouth and lip area prior to affixing the mouth tape. We recommend a gentle facial cleanser that you have used previously to help prevent skin irritation. Once the mouth and lip area is completely dry, follow the product instructions for adhering the tape to your mouth.

4. Practice in the Daytime

Before you try sleeping with mouth tape, practice in the daytime hours when you are fully awake and alert. This helps you gauge your comfort level with mouth tape before attempting it at night. Once you do, pay close attention to how you sleep and feel. “Monitor your response carefully during the initial nights, adjusting the tape’s position or size as needed to maximize comfort while promoting effective nasal breathing,” says Yoon.


Why Trust Forbes Vetted

Forbes Vetted has an entire section devoted to mattress and sleep stories to help you get a better night’s sleep. From testing consumer products to researching the latest sleep trends, we’re on a mission to provide you with the most relevant information for improved sleep.

  • Forbes Vetted contributor and author of this story Brooke Williams has researched and written about sleep for years. She’s covered insomnia, white noise vs. brown noise, how to sleep on a plane and more.
  • Bridget Chapman is the Forbes Vetted senior mattress and sleep editor. Along with more than a decade of journalistic experience, Chapman is also well-versed in sleep product testing. Mattress and sleep editor McKenzie Dillon is a certified sleep science coach with extensive experience in sleep product testing. Both editors collaborated to assign, edit and approve this article.
  • Forbes Vetted frequently taps medical experts for insights on sleep-related news and consumer products. For this article, we consulted with Dr. Audrey Yoon, a clinical professor in the Division of Sleep Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine.
  • Mouth taping for sleep is a relatively new technique. Since existing research is limited, this article will be updated with the latest developments as more information becomes available.

Is Mouth Taping At Night Good For You?

Medical research on mouth taping is still limited, so it’s difficult to say. Some advocates believe it has a range of benefits, however, and there are small studies that indicate it could be helpful in reducing snoring and lessening sleep apnea.

Does Mouth Taping Help With Snoring?

There is some research to suggest that mouth taping helps with snoring. But studies are limited, and expert opinions are mixed. If you’re concerned about snoring, it’s best to speak with your doctor about possible remedies before attempting mouth taping.


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