The surge in national curiosity about this rather unconventional slumber strategy can be attributed to none other than Premier League sensation Erling Haaland. He recently revealed it as his secret to a restful night’s sleep. And when a high-performing athlete who scored an astounding 36 goals last season shares a sleep tip, it’s worth paying attention.
But what exactly is this “mouth taping”, and how can it benefit a non-athletes sleep? To unravel the mystery, these are the insights on mouth taping, its potential advantages, and how anyone can give it a try.
What is the unusual sleep strategy – mouth taping?
Mouth taping, as the name suggests, involves using medical tape to gently seal your lips during sleep. The goal? To encourage breathing through your nose instead of your mouth. While we acknowledge that further research is needed, early indications suggest some fascinating potential benefits.
And as you can see – Google searches are up by 30% in the past week since Erling had his interview with KSI.
What are the benefits of mouth-taping?
Firstly, it helps promote nasal breathing – breathing through your nose helps warm and humidify the air before it reaches your lungs, which can reduce dryness and irritation in your airways. Nasal breathing also helps filter out dust, allergens and other particles that can irritate your respiratory system. All of this is beneficial for the body and can improve sleep quality, as well as prevent bad breath and dry mouth.
It can also prevent snoring, which tends to occur more often when a person sleeps with their mouth open. When a person breathes through their mouth while sleeping, it can cause the airway to narrow and vibrate, which leads to snoring. By taping the mouth shut, this reduces the likelihood of snoring, as well as improves overall sleep quality. It can also promote proper tongue and jaw alignment, which helps keep the airways open.
However, there are negatives to mouth taping, including irritation to the lips and around the mouth, as well as causing pain when it comes to taking the tape off. It can also disrupt your sleep if you have difficulty breathing through your nose and it can cause anxiety or discomfort. In general, mouth taping should not be used by people with certain medical conditions, such as sleep apnea or asthma, as it may exacerbate them.
How to master mouth-taping as a first-timer?
Before embarking on your mouth-taping adventure, it’s crucial to seek advice from a healthcare professional, particularly if you have underlying medical conditions like sleep apnea or breathing challenges. Should your physician give you the green light, here are some essential tips to ensure safe and effective mouth taping:
Pick the right tape for the job
This is the most important thing when it comes to mouth taping: you need to use the right tape! Unsurprisingly, the Sellotape that you have lying around the house isn’t going to work and it’s not safe to use. Instead, use a medical grade that’s specifically designed for mouth taping. This type of tape is typically hypoallergenic, gentle on the skin and easy to remove.
You don’t want to use too much tape, as this can be uncomfortable and make it difficult to breathe. On the other hand, using too little tape may not be effective. Aim for a strip of tape that’s just wide enough to cover your lips comfortably. To get the right amount, tear off a strip of tape that’s long enough to reach from one side of your mouth to the other horizontally.
Practise throughout the day
This will help you to get used to the sensation of breathing through your nose – allowing you to feel more confident about trying mouth taping at night.
Make sure to remove it slowly
Removing tape from your mouth can be painful, especially if you have facial hair. If you use the right kind of tape, it shouldn’t be painful but try to remove it as gently as possible to avoid any discomfort or irritation. You can also use warm water to remove any residue that the tape may have left behind.
Martin Seeley is the founder and CEO of MattressNextDay.