What to Know About This Dangerous TikTok Trend

A person with tape over their mouth.

A person with tape over their mouth.Share on Pinterest
Movies claiming you may enhance the standard of your sleep and scale back loud night breathing are going viral on TikTok, however well being consultants strongly advise towards making an attempt this pattern. Vadym Pastukh/Getty Pictures
  • A brand new pattern referred to as “mouth taping” is sweeping TikTok, however medical suppliers say the dangers far outweigh the advantages.
  • Although sleeping along with your mouth closed reduces the chance of loud night breathing, taping it shut might exacerbate respiratory issues.
  • Specialists share that different remedies, together with an analysis for obstructive sleep apnea and behavioral modifications, are safer methods to catch extra Zzzs.

There’s a brand new viral pattern on TikTok that customers swear helps them sleep higher. It’s referred to as mouth taping. Movies utilizing the hashtag #mouthtaping have racked up almost 25 million views, they usually talk about a so-called sleep therapy that entails precisely what you most likely suppose it does.

“Mouth taping consists of utilizing tape to maintain the lips collectively throughout sleep,” says Carleara Weiss, PhD, MS, RN, Aeroflow Sleep’s sleep science advisor and a postdoctoral fellow in sleep and circadian rhythms.

The American Academy of Sleep Drugs (AASM), partnering with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), recommends adults ages 18 to 60 log at the very least 7 seven hours of sleep per night time. However a 2019 examine means that greater than one-third of working American adults don’t get that a lot.

TikTokers are additionally lauding mouth taping for stopping loud night breathing — one thing that may have an effect on the sleep of the snorer and any mattress companions. About 40% of grownup males snore habitually in comparison with 24% of ladies, in keeping with the AASM.

Sleep hygiene is essential. The CDC says it might probably decrease the chance of coronary heart illness, Sort 2 diabetes, and psychological well being points. So, it’s most likely not stunning that folks having issues sleeping would do nearly something to get extra relaxation. However medical professionals share that mouth taping shouldn’t be one among them.

Mouth taping guarantees to maintain the mouth shut throughout sleep. However is sleeping along with your mouth open really dangerous? And if that’s the case, do the dangers of mouth taping outweigh the dangers of sleeping along with your mouth open?

Dangers of sleeping along with your mouth open

One sleep specialist says it’s “considerably unhealthy” to sleep along with your mouth agape.

“You might be getting chilly, unfiltered air into your lungs,” says Michael Breus, PhD, a sleep specialist and medical psychologist. “Noses are specifically outfitted with tissue designed to moisten and heat the air and filter it earlier than it will get into your system. Mouth breathers will normally have unhealthy breath [and] extra tooth decay.”

Mouth respiratory is usually a signal of nasal obstruction, in keeping with a 2022 evaluation on loud night breathing. And analysis from 2020 does counsel that mouth closures can scale back loud night breathing.

Sleep drugs specialist Dr. Federico Cerrone, of Atlantic Well being System, concedes that mouth taping might technically scale back loud night breathing and mouth-breathing throughout sleep, however he says the dangers will not be value it.

“It’s extremely harmful and is probably going a fast repair as an alternative of treating the foundation trigger,” he says.

Dangers of mouth taping

Specialists say the dangers of mouth taping embrace:

  • obstructed respiratory
  • worsening of sleep apnea and its threat components
  • irritation from or allergic reactions to the tape
  • sleep disruption

Nasal congestion could cause an individual to sleep with their mouth open, because it helps them breathe, explains Dr. Alex Dimitriu, who’s double board licensed in psychiatry and sleep drugs and founding father of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Drugs and BrainfoodMD. It will also be a reason for loud night breathing.

Frequent causes of nasal congestion embrace:

  • allergy symptoms
  • sickness or an infection, resembling a chilly
  • deviated septum
  • enlarged turbinates (small constructions within the nostril that cleanse and humidify air because it flows by the nasal cavity and into the lungs)

So, although mouth taping proponents might say it helps with respiratory, Dimitriu warns it’ll possible have the other impact.

“It’s…essential to notice that laying down tends to make the nostril extra congested,” Dimitriu says. “Generally, individuals will breathe properly nasally when upright, then worse when laying flat. That is due to blood pooling. After we stand, extra blood goes right down to the legs, so there’s much less congestion within the nostril.”

Loud night breathing is usually a signal of sleep apnea, which happens when an individual repeatedly begins and stops respiratory whereas sleeping. Weiss warns that, although mouth taping might assist with loud night breathing, it might probably worsen sleep apnea by making respiratory tougher. In consequence, it places the person at a better threat for the hazards related to sleep apnea, together with coronary heart assaults and demise.

Weiss provides that the tape might irritate or trigger an allergic response on the face and lips. Dimitriu notes that, in uncommon circumstances, an individual might throw up or choke due to the tape.

Good sleep hygiene is important for bodily and psychological well being, however consultants stress there are extra confirmed methods to enhance yours. They counsel way of life and behavioral modifications as a first-line therapy, together with:

  • waking up and going to mattress on the identical time daily
  • making a bedtime routine that focuses on unwinding
  • lowering caffeine and alcohol use greater than six hours earlier than going to sleep
  • be affected person with your self

Weiss says constant wake-up and bedtimes will help people maintain a pure rhythm and enhance sleep high quality. She recommends getting publicity to gentle each morning “‘jump-start’ the organic clock.” This routine may embrace opening the curtains or taking a morning stroll.

Weiss and Cerrone agree that the bedtime routine ought to emphasize rest.

Cerrone says writing may be stress-free. A 2018 examine recommended that individuals who took 5 minutes to put in writing a selected to-do listing helped individuals go to sleep sooner than journaling in regards to the day’s occasions.

Caffeine is a stimulant, and Breus prefers that his sufferers stick to at least one cup per day about 90 minutes after waking up. Nonetheless, having a cup of joe later isn’t essentially a deal-breaker. However you’ll wish to lower your self off a number of hours earlier than bedtime.

An older 2013 examine indicated that caffeine consumption six hours earlier than bedtime might disturb sleep.

Cerrone says that he usually sees individuals use alcohol as a sleep assist however that it might probably really harm sleep. An older 2005 examine recommended that consuming alcohol six hours earlier than mattress might hurt sleep.

Lastly, getting higher sleep received’t occur in a single day — be affected person with your self and begin implementing one step at a time, resembling writing out that pre-bed to-do listing.

“Growing good sleep hygiene takes time and is one thing you may ease into,” says Cerrone.

Mouth taping might assist cease loud night breathing, however it’s not secure. Specialists counsel:

  • getting evaluated for sleep apnea
  • working with a physician to deal with bronchial asthma and allergy symptoms, two widespread causes of loud night breathing
  • altering sleep positions
  • weight reduction

The AASM estimates that about 30 million individuals have obstructive sleep apnea, and it’s largely undiagnosed.

Loud night breathing doesn’t robotically imply an individual has sleep apnea, however it’s a trademark signal of the dysfunction. Subsequently, Weiss suggests getting evaluated for it if loud night breathing is a matter.

A major care doctor can refer you to a sleep specialist for an analysis, which entails a examine wherein respiratory, blood oxygen, and coronary heart fee are monitored throughout sleep.

Folks with sleep apnea are sometimes prescribed a steady optimistic airway strain machine (CPAP) to assist with airflow and respiratory throughout sleep.

Generally, it’s allergy symptoms or bronchial asthma, stay awake apnea, triggering loud night breathing. Cerrone recommends working with a physician to handle these circumstances. He provides that again sleepers ought to try and sleep on their facet.

“This promotes spinal alignment and reduces compression of your airways, permitting you to breathe higher,” Cerrone provides.

The AASM mentions that weight problems is a threat issue for obstructive sleep apnea, and Breus says weight administration will help scale back loud night breathing. An older 2009 examine of people with obstructive sleep apnea and Sort 2 diabetes enhance obstructive sleep apnea.

Weiss says social media may be helpful, however individuals ought to converse with healthcare suppliers earlier than making an attempt well being and wellness tendencies at house.

“Whereas social media presents related and simply accessible data, please keep away from taking medical recommendation from non-healthcare professionals,” Weiss says. “As an alternative, good assets ought to come from respected healthcare suppliers.”