Mouth Taping for Sleep: Sleeping Better with Mouth Taping

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Mouth taping is when you place tape over your lips to keep the mouth closed. This process helps prevent mouth breathing while asleep. Breathing through your nose can filter out allergens, keep your sinuses moist, reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve your oral health. Some people who have practiced mouth taping claim it can ease snoring and sleep apnea symptoms.

Research on mouth taping for sleep is limited. Experts say mouth taping could trigger negative side effects, including irritation, pain, disrupted sleep, difficulty breathing, anxiety, and discomfort. Those interested in mouth taping should do so safely and with the appropriate materials. Besides mouth taping, there are additional methods to improve rest, such as good sleep hygiene, nasal strips, treating allergies and asthma, good oral hygiene, and adjusting your sleep position.

What is Mouth Taping?

Mouth taping is a home remedy that involves taping the mouth shut to prevent mouth breathing overnight. The goal of mouth taping is to improve sleep quality and reap the benefits of nasal breathing. The benefits of mouth taping may include enhanced sleep quality, reduced snoring and sleep apnea symptoms, better air filtration, moisturized sinuses, less anxiety, lower blood pressure, and better oral health. People considering mouth taping should use the appropriate materials to seal their lips together, such as 3M medical grade or kinesiology tape. Mouth taping could produce negative side effects such as irritation, pain, disturbed sleep, trouble breathing, anxiety, and discomfort.

How does Mouth Taping Work?

Mouth taping works by sealing the mouth shut, causing the sleeper to breathe through their nose instead. Since it’s difficult to control how you breathe while asleep, the logic of mouth taping is to force nasal breathing through physical means.

What are the Benefits of Mouth Taping?

The potential benefits of mouth taping include better sleep, decreased snoring and sleep apnea symptoms, improved air filtration, keeping the sinuses moisturized, less anxiety, lower blood pressure, and better oral health. The research on mouth taping is limited, so there is no conclusive evidence that it works. Some people have found positive results with this method.

What are the Possible Side Effects of Mouth Taping?

The possible side effects of mouth taping are irritation, pain after removing the tape, difficulty breathing through the nose, anxiety from having the mouth sealed shut, and discomfort. Although mouth taping aims to improve sleep, some of these side effects could lead to more disrupted rest.

How to Mouth Tape Safely

To mouth tape safely, you should follow several steps. First, speak with your doctor if you are considering mouth taping. Your physician knows your general health status and can determine if mouth taping would be safe for you. Second, test out mouth taping while awake to see if you can still breathe through your nose. For example, if you have a cold, mouth taping could be dangerous because you may not ‌breathe through your nose. Third, use the appropriate taping materials. Experts recommend applying 3M medical grade or kinesiology tape to the mouth area. Using tape intended for use on the skin should minimize your risk of skin irritation and pain. You can place kinesiology tape around the mouth or medical-grade tape over your lips. Fourth, ‌apply the tape while upright and get used to nasal breathing before lying down to sleep.

What are the Tips for Optimal Mouth Taping?

The tips for optimal mouth taping include placing the tape on while upright, breathing through your nose before lying down, applying medical grade tape over both lips, or placing kinesiology tape around the mouth. These tips should help ensure your mouth taping is as comfortable as possible.

What Kind of Tape Should You Use for Sleep?

The kind of tape you should use for sleep should be safe for skin use. Experts advise using 3M medical grade tape or kinesiology tape. You should use medical grade tape if you plan to place tape directly on top of your lips. You should use kinesiology tape around your mouth and not directly on the lips. Using the appropriate type of tape reduces your risk of developing skin irritation or pain, though this risk is still a probability.

What are the Alternatives to Mouth Taping?

The alternatives to mouth taping are listed below.

1. Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene
2. Nasal Strips
3. Treating Allergies and Asthma
4. Practicing Good Oral Hygiene
5. Side Sleeping

1. Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene

Good sleep hygiene refers to daily habits that can improve your sleep quality. Good sleep hygiene is considered an alternative to mouth taping because some people use mouth taping to improve their rest. Examples of good sleep hygiene include keeping a consistent sleep schedule, having a relaxing nightly routine, regular exercise, not eating late at night, cutting out alcohol and smoking, and avoiding caffeine late in the day.

2. Nasal Strips

Nasal strips are a type of adhesive placed across the nose to help curb snoring. Nasal strips are considered a mouth taping alternative because people may use mouth taping to reduce snoring. Nasal strips work by slightly lifting the side of the noses to open up the nasal passages for better breathing.

3. Treating Allergies and Asthma

Some people may attempt to use mouth taping for asthma or allergies. Breathing through the nose helps filter out allergens, but research suggests there’s no evidence that mouth taping improves asthma symptoms. People with allergies and asthma could benefit from hypoallergenic bedding products and regularly cleaning their bedding.

4. Practicing Good Oral Hygiene

Nasal breathing is considered helpful for overall oral health. Practicing good oral hygiene is equally important to achieving healthy teeth and gums. Good oral hygiene habits include brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, seeing your dentist every six months for a cleaning, and consuming a healthy diet.

5. Side Sleeping

Changing your sleep position may help with snoring, which is also a goal of mouth taping. The side sleeping benefits include better digestion, a lower risk of heartburn, better brain health, and improved snoring and sleep apnea symptoms.


Jill Zwarensteyn is the editor for Sleep Advisor and a certified sleep science coach. She is enthusiastic about providing helpful and engaging information on all things sleep and wellness.

Based in Los Angeles, she is an experienced writer and journalist who enjoys spending her free time at the beach, hiking, reading, or exploring new places around town.

She’s also an avid traveler who has a personal goal of being able to successfully sleep on an airplane someday.

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