Mouth Taping: What Does Science Say About This Trend?
Struggling with sleep? If you’ve ever found yourself deep in the rabbit hole of internet searches for the latest sleep tips and tricks, you might have come across the trending practice on TikTok known as mouth taping.
So, what exactly is mouth taping?
This viral trend involves, as the name suggests, taping your mouth shut before bedtime in an attempt to enhance your sleep quality. Typically, people use a soft paper or porous tape, placing it vertically across the closed lips before bedtime, as reported by Everyday Health.
Social media influencers of mouth taping claim it reduces snoring and prevents morning dry mouth. Interestingly, the TikTok hashtag #mouthtaping has garnered 51.7 million views, with users like @heyitsrachael attesting to its benefits. In a video, she shares, “I started putting these on Sunday, and the latest I’ve gone to bed this week is like 10:30, and I’ve been waking up at 5:30 in the morning. I feel so rested.”
Another TikToker, @brinlie_, excitedly endorses a specific brand of mouth tape, saying, “This mouth tape is the best mouth tape,” after trying it for three weeks. She mentioned her preference for placing the tape in an “H” shape above her lips. The TikToker also highlights that with this configuration, if you feel thirsty during the night, you can conveniently take a sip of water through a straw without needing to remove the tape.
However, a word of caution is in order. Just because TikTok users swear by mouth-taping doesn’t guarantee its effectiveness or safety for everyone.
Harvard Health Publishing warns against this practice, stating that while intentional nose breathing during waking hours can have benefits, taping your mouth shut while sleeping may pose risks. These potential issues include hampered breathing, disrupted sleep, and skin irritation. Additionally, they said that there is no scientific research supporting the idea, and in some cases, it could significantly reduce oxygen levels during sleep.
Before jumping on the mouth-taping bandwagon, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks and consult with a healthcare professional.