TikTok Advises Taping Your Mouth Shut at Night, but Doctors Are Very Alarmed by the New Trend
TikTok trends never cease to amaze with their originality. For example, mouth taping has become one of the latest hits. People all over the world are taping their lips shut at night, all in the name of health. We reveal why they do it, and how safe it is from a medical perspective.
Mouth taping is supposed to prevent snoring
Internet users are taping their mouths shut in the hope of improving sleep quality and preventing snoring. The trend has become so popular that even famous wellness bloggers and such high-caliber stars, like Gwyneth Paltrow, are doing it.
On the Internet, you can find stories of people finding miraculous relief from sleep apnea, insomnia, and daytime fatigue through mouth taping. People that have already tried mouth taping share their own experiences with medical tape, adhesive tape, and band-aids, and recommend that everyone try this method.
- “Just started mouth taping and wish I started earlier!” © leilavanora / Reddit
Special “sleep strips” are now available on the market
Bloggers attribute the miracle of this method to nasal breathing. Health coach Cory Rodriguez claims that this type of breathing improves sleep quality, maintains oral health, and reduces dry mouth and apnea.
Cory uses special mouth strips which, according to the manufacturer, guarantee a sound and peaceful sleep. This option can be replaced with more affordable medical tape. However, sticky tape isn’t recommended because it can damage your lips.
Doctors are sounding the alarm
Doctors agree with bloggers in that it’s better for people to breathe through their nose. This organ works like a filter. It keeps ’debris,’ in the form of bacteria and viruses, from entering the lungs. With nasal breathing, we get more oxygen, lower blood pressure, and even combat allergy symptoms. But it’s not all that simple.
Mouth breathing is, indeed, associated with sleeping disorders, bad breath, gum and dental problems. “We often mouth breath when we are trying to intake more oxygen, like after a vigorous sprint,” says neurologist and somnologist Dr. W. Christopher Winter. In this case, taping your mouth won’t help. Specialists strongly recommend instead that people find the reason why they are breathing through their mouth and eliminate it.
Mouth taping is life-threatening
- Basically, nose breathing is good. Mouth breathing is bad. There are several good books on this including Breath by James Nester. Because I am a lifelong mouth breather I started taping my mouth for sleep with Nextcare Skin tape. Less snoring, better sleep. © Jazzlike_Cole / Reddit
Although many users swear by the effectiveness of mouth taping, this technique has never been studied in a lab setting and is, therefore, not an approved method. What’s more, it can be life-threatening.
If a person’s airways are blocked due to a runny nose, a polyp, or a deviated septum, the tape on their lips will prevent the body from adequately accessing oxygen. In cases like these, doctors say that mouth taping can lead to arrhythmia, seizures, and even cardiac arrest.
Evidence-based medicine can help
When it comes to health, following TikTok advice is not a safe choice. If you want to improve your sleep quality, it’s worth looking at evidence-based medicine. For example, professionals advise against having caffeine in the second half of the day, and exercising regularly in the morning or daytime. And when it comes to chronic insomnia, sleep apnea, or other sleep disorders, you should consult a qualified specialist.
Have you ever followed social media trends? What lifehacks do you use to help you sleep better?