Mouth taping is a bizarre new trend on TikTok for improving sleep – users gushing about the hack for deep sleep, which involves taping your mouth shut at night to encourage nasal breathing, reduces congestion and improve “overall wellness”. But is it dangerous? According to sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo, it could be.
What do experts say about mouth taping?
“Mouth taping is believed to reduce the likelihood of snoring and apneas (temporary lapses in breathing); which can otherwise leave you fatigued and foggy through the day,” Olivia tells 9Honey.
She warns there isn’t enough clinical data to prove the technique actually works. Olivia also says it can “potentially” be dangerous if used in the wrong way.
“I haven’t tried it myself nor would I recommend it to others due to the limited clinical data,” she adds.
There are plenty of other ways to encourage deep sleep and improve your overall sleep cycle, including avoiding alcohol or a sleep apnea mask.
“With regards to snoring and sleep apnea, techniques with greater scientific evidence include weight reduction and ensuring you are at a healthy weight, avoiding alcohol, sleeping on your side or a wedge pillow, and in the case of sleep apnoea specifically, using a CPAP mask,” Olivia says.
Professor Leon Lack of Flinders University, who specialises in sleep disorders, also tells 9Honey that mouth taping, while a popular trend online, has not been proven in any scientific studies.
“If the difficulty is insomnia (trouble getting off to sleep and long periods of wakefulness during the night resulting in daytime fatigue), I have not heard of any studies showing mouth taping to be an effective treatment,” Professor Lack explains.
What are TikToker’s saying?
Fitness TikToker @lexfiish shared a video about her mouth taping tip, revealing that it helps her “get the deepest sleep you’ll ever experience”. In her clip, Lex uses a clear piece of tape she bought from Amazon to cover her lips.
“Stitch this with something that has improved your overall wellness. [It’s] that simple. I’ll go first — mouth taping. Mouth taping. Try it. You get this on, sleep with it, it prevents you mouth breathing all night. You’re gonna start to get the deepest sleep you’ll ever experience,” she explained.
According to the Sleep Foundation, the negative side effects of mouth taping have not yet been fully studied.
“Anecdotally reported side effects include: Irritation on or around the lips. Pain when ripping off the tape, especially for those with facial hair. Disrupted sleep due to irritation from the tape or difficulty breathing through the nose,” the foundation states.
This article originally featured on 9Honey