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Mouth tape is an adhesive strip you can apply over your mouth to encourage nose breathing while asleep.
People who breathe through their mouths during sleeping are more likely to have sleep disorders or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).1
It’s estimated that around 30 to 50% of adults breathe through their mouths while sleeping, especially in the early morning.2
Mouth tape is an at-home treatment designed to help you breathe through the nose rather than the mouth.
Mouth tape is a light adhesive strip that gently holds the lips together. You can apply it at bedtime before you go to sleep.
The benefits of mouth tape include:
The positive effects of nose breathing are well documented. However, few studies have explored the possible benefits of mouth tape, so there is only limited evidence of its efficacy.
Mouth tape may cause side effects or pose a risk for some people. Always consult your doctor before you use mouth taping for sleep.
The possible risks and side effects of mouth taping include:
Using mouth tape is simple. However, there are no official guidelines for using it, so always consult a medical professional before trying it.
If your doctor recommends mouth taping, follow these steps:
Avoid mouth taping for sleep if you have severe allergies that cause significant nasal congestion or suspect you have untreated obstructive sleep apnea.
Mouth tape is readily available online and in drugstores. Some brands alternatively call it sleep tape. You can also use surgical tape to test the technique before you invest in mouth tape.
Common options include:
SomniFix’s Sleep Strips are horizontal strips made of a hypoallergenic adhesive. This helps avoid skin irritation and sticky residue.
They are recommended for continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) users, open-mouth sleepers, and snorers. Don’t use them if you have sleep apnea but aren’t using a CPAP.
Nexcare, a popular medical brand, makes a pain-free removal tape that helps prevent mouth breathing. It’s hypoallergenic and repositionable. You can even apply it to wet areas.
Nexcare Pain-Free Removal Tape is multipurpose, so you can use this product for other needs besides mouth taping.
Azazar Gentle Mouth Tape is an X-shaped adhesive that keeps your mouth shut. It’s made of ultra-thin medical-grade tape that won’t irritate your skin or fall off easily. It’s also environmentally friendly, as the package and contents are both recyclable.
Mouth tape isn’t the only way to improve nose breathing and sleep. If taping doesn’t work, or your doctor doesn’t recommend it, you may try an alternative:
If nasal congestion is your primary problem, medications may be enough. Clogged airways can force your body to breathe through the mouth. Clearing those airways may resolve nasal breathing difficulties.
Another at-home treatment to try is nasal strips. They are adhesive strips you place over the bridge of your nose.
Nasal strips are designed to expand your nasal passage and encourage nose breathing. Studies have found that they don’t improve sleep apnea but may reduce snoring.5
Studies show that sleeping on your side can relieve the effects of sleep apnea.6 A new pillow or mattress might help you train yourself to sleep in this position if needed.
If you have sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend a CPAP. The device fits over your nose and uses light air pressure to keep your breathing passages open.
You may also find that minor tweaks to your routine or lifestyle may help your sleep, including:
Mouth tape is an at-home treatment designed to encourage nasal breathing while sleeping. It’s a small adhesive strip that keeps your mouth shut.
Though research on its efficacy is varied, mouth tape may help you breathe through your nose, reduce snoring, and improve sleep quality.
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