When I tell my friends and family that I tape my mouth shut at night, most of them look either confused, shocked or saddened that I would have to endure such torture!
But mouth taping has been hailed by doctors and dentists (and now people who teach yoga and breathing) as having many benefits.
In this short blog, I wanted to share my reasons for taping my mouth shut. Partly to save my friends and family from feeling sorry for me, but also so YOU can experience these benefits!
WTF is mouth taping!?
'Mouth taping' does what it says on the tin. You tape your mouth shut for the duration of the night.
The idea is that by closing the mouth, you breathe through your nose.
Why tape your mouth closed?
I first became interested in it as a way to manage my partner's complaints that I snore. By breathing through the nose, snoring is minimised.
But researching into the topic, I soon realised that mouth taping has many other benefits:
The quality of the breath is improved. Many studies have shown that mouth breathing worsens asthma, may cause cognitive dysfunction, and deprives the heart, brain, and other organs of optimal oxygenation.
The nose filters air. Breathing through the nose provides the body with cleaner, and frankly better, air than that through your mouth. It also helps us to manage levels of CO2 and Oxygen in our bodies, which are crucial for how you feel emotionally.
Improves the quality of sleep. Linked to all the benefits above, mouth taping helps you to stay asleep longer, wake up feeling more refreshed, and even in some cases gain a deeper sleep in the first place.
Prevents cavities. Dentists even believe that mouth breathing is the number one cause of cavities — even ahead of eating a thousand chocolate chip cookies and not brushing your teeth.
To me, all of this makes sense.
In a yoga class we always encourage breathing through the nose. So why should it be any different for an activity we spend around 26 years of our lives doing?
Tips for optimal mouth taping
Use the right tape. Don't use sellotape or any other crafting tape, as this may damage your skin and isn't so good with saliva. I like to use surgical tape linked here.
Be gentle with yourself. This is a completely new activity for you, so be gentle with yourself. If it feels weird or strange, you can always try the next night.
Be persistent. In the same breath, don't give up! Try mouth taping during the day so you can get used to the sensation. Give it a try and monitor how you feel, at the end of the day, only you can know that!
There you have it, my WTF, why and how to start mouth taping!
Speaking from my experience, I wake up better rested, with a cleaner-feeling mouth and my snoring has stopped.
So, the only question that remains is, would you try it?
And please let me know how you get on! Message me on instagram @tashyogaspace