Tiktok trend: Mouth taping: Why more and more people are taping their mouths shut while sleeping

Sleep is healthy, they say.

Tiktok trend: Mouth taping: Why more and more people are taping their mouths shut while sleeping

Sleep is healthy, they say. However, it's not just the length of sleep that matters, but also the quality. And this can be increased significantly if you tape your mouth shut. Sounds absurd? Perhaps. Nevertheless, a number of influencers swear by the trend called “mouth taping” and proudly show on the social media platform TikTok how they painstakingly tape their mouths shut before going to bed. There is now under the hashtag

The basic idea behind the rather unusual practice: If you tape your mouth shut at night, it stays closed and you increase nasal breathing - and this in turn is said to have several benefits for our health. For example, nasal breathing is supposed to ensure a more restful and peaceful sleep, which our body thanks us for with more energy the next day. We also filter pollutants out of the air better through our noses and enrich them with nitric oxide, which is said to have a blood pressure-lowering and anti-anxiety effect.

In contrast, mouth breathing is almost demonized by many health experts. The air is not really processed and so it ends up directly in the lungs. In addition, mouth breathing during sleep is most likely to cause pauses in breathing and snoring. “Breathing through the mouth can also potentially lead to changes in the posture of the head and neck,” said sleep researcher Christian Benedict in an interview with the news agency spot on news. In addition, breathing through the mouth is said to be bad for the teeth, heart and lungs - and promotes the spread of bacteria and viruses.

The solution actually seems obvious: simply breathe easily through your nose. However, it's obviously not as easy as you think. According to a study from Stanford University, about half of people tend to breathe through their mouths. This can be due to habit, but also physical causes such as a narrowed nasal septum or a cold. "If you're healthy, you usually breathe through your nose at night, sometimes a little through your mouth. That's completely normal," says sleep doctor Martin Konermann in an interview with ZDF.

So breathing a little through your mouth isn't a problem. Is the tape even necessary – or is it just another Tiktok trend that has become a superfluous success? Neither, because it depends. If you wake up in the morning and feel as if a train had passed over you during the night, if you are constantly tired and exhausted and sleep restlessly or snore, “Mouth Taping” could really help if in doubt. However, Konermann advises: If you want to encourage mouth breathing with the Tiktok trend, you should talk to a doctor about it beforehand.

There is currently no scientific evidence of its effectiveness. According to sleep researcher Benedict, there are a few counterarguments: "If people have problems breathing through their nose during sleep due to allergies, moderate to severe sleep apnea or a narrowed nasal passage, they should avoid taping their mouth." In the worst case, they would not get enough oxygen while they sleep and would do more harm than good.

After all, you can't suffocate with mouth tape because the body's natural protective reflex would wake you up beforehand. However, the whole thing can still cause a few side effects. On Tiktok, some users report that their skin was irritated, there were problems removing the tape - especially for those with beards - and that taping the mouth shut was associated with an uneasy feeling. Healthy sleep also has its price.

What exactly taping your mouth shut at night can and can't do hasn't really been researched yet. However, initial pilot studies indicate that the mouth tapes can have a positive effect on the body if they are used correctly and carefully. In 2015, researchers were able to show in a study published in the journal “Otolaryngology” that “mouth taping” can reduce snoring. Another study from 2022 came to a similar conclusion. However, if you expect more than a peaceful night's sleep by keeping your mouth closed at night, you may end up waking up disappointed. Sleep scientist Konermann dispels a promise from the Tiktok team: "It won't make you more beautiful or fitter."

Sources: Study on “mouth taping” for sleep apnea, ZDF interview, Tiktok

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