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Vitae Vi's Wim Hof Method Workshop Set-Up at the WOW Clinic in Westbourne

Mouth Taping: Breathing techniques you can practise at home!

Today's topic is Mouth Taping. 


Welcome to this mini-series of breathwork techniques for different moments in life that you can practise at home.


However, before we continue please read and take note of the footnote before practising any form of breathwork. If it is not suitable for you from a health point of view, please seek an alternative or medical advice first.


In our previous blog we talked about nasal breathing and all its benefits. In this blog we want to introduce you to a valuable way to train yourself to breathe through your nose whilst asleep, but how can you make sure this happens?



Wim Hof Method Workshop & Class at the Cowdray Estate
Class at the Cowdray Estate


Taping your mouth at night, also known as mouth taping, to encourage you to breathe through your nose whilst asleep, has gained some attention as a potential health practice, particularly in the context of improving breathing patterns during sleep. 


When you wake up in the morning, your mouth should be naturally moist. A certain sign of mouth breathing at night is a dry mouth, smelly breath and a higher incidence of gum disease, halitosis and tooth decay than those who breathe through the nose (The Breathing Cure – Patrick McKeown).

For some, it may seem a little daunting, strange and even scary to tape your mouth closed at night, however, it is reassuringly easy to get used to and its popularity is increasing with specific mouth tape products such as MyoTape (www.myotape.com) available to help you at night, although a micropore paper tape (like you would find in your first aid kit) is as effective. Personally, we have found that two thin strips of Hypafix, which has some elastic “give” in it, placed diagonally across our lips to form a cross shape, is all that is required.


Both Karyn and I are now nightly mouth-tapers and we both 100% agree that it’s the single best thing we did to improve our sleep, when coupled with generally good sleep hygiene practices. 


Personally, I saw my “awake” score (taken from my Apple Watch Sleep monitor) move from 1 hr 32 mins a night, waking several times a night to 6 mins in less than 28 days! 

And...being a man of a certain age, needing to get up at night to pee is a thing of the past – it seems the production of vasopressin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, is enhanced by nasal breathing. This hormone communicates with cells to store more water, reducing the need to get up at night.    


For those worried about having your mouth taped at night, try using the tape for a few minutes during the day whilst focussing on slow, light but deep nasal breathing, or put it on a few minutes before you go to bed (after brushing your teeth!). 


If you have a blocked nose, you will find that nasal breathing actually helps keep it clear due to the nitric oxide produced in your nasal cavity creating dilation of the nasal passages.


Be aware that if you are a habitual mouth breather, you are likely to subconsciously pull off the tape or it falls off for the first few nights; however, within a few nights your body will re-learn a natural nasal breathing pattern and the tape will be there in the morning! 

Like us, you will begin to experience the best night's sleep you’ve ever had.   


Here are some reported benefits linked to mouth taping at night:


  1. Enhances Sleep Quality: Better breathing patterns, reduced snoring, and improved oxygen intake can contribute to enhanced sleep quality. Quality sleep is crucial for various aspects of health, including cognitive function, mood regulation, immune function, and overall well-being. 

  2. Reduces Snoring: Snoring is often associated with mouth breathing during sleep. By encouraging nasal breathing through mouth taping, some individuals may experience a reduction in snoring frequency and intensity. This can lead to better sleep for both the person taping their mouth and their sleep partner.  

  3. Supports Nasal Breathing Training: Mouth taping can serve as a training tool for individuals looking to transition from mouth breathing to nasal breathing during sleep. Over time, consistent use of mouth tape may help retrain breathing habits, making nasal breathing the default pattern during sleep and potentially even during waking hours. We’ve covered these benefits in our previous Blog – take a look. 

  4. Promotes Nasal Breathing: The nose acts as a natural filter, humidifier, and temperature regulator for the air entering the body, its what its there to do!   

  5. Improves Oxygenation: Nasal breathing allows for better oxygenation of the blood compared to mouth breathing. By keeping the mouth closed with tape, the body is more efficient in obtaining oxygen, which can have positive effects on overall health and vitality.

  6. May Aid in Sleep Disorders: Mouth taping might be beneficial for individuals with certain sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). While it's not a standalone treatment for OSA, it can complement other interventions by promoting better airflow through the nasal passages.

  7. Encourages Proper Tongue Posture: Mouth taping can encourage proper tongue posture, which is essential for overall oral and dental health. Proper tongue posture involves resting the tongue against the roof of the mouth, which can help prevent issues like teeth grinding (a cause of some migraines), and improper alignment of the teeth and jaw.


IMPORTANT PLEASE READ!


It's important to note that while mouth taping may offer benefits for some individuals, it's not suitable for everyone.


Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as chronic nasal congestion or respiratory disorders, should consult with a healthcare professional before attempting mouth taping.


Additionally, proper technique and the use of specialised, breathable tape are essential to ensure safety and comfort during sleep.


Mouth taping is not suitable for children under 4 years old. NEVER use mouth tape if you have been drinking alcohol, feel nauseous, or are suffering from a stomach upset. 


Footnote

 

At Vitae Vi, the well-being of our clients is of utmost importance to us. We deeply value your health and safety, and as such, we strongly encourage you to carefully review our Health and Safety Policy.


This policy outlines our commitment to creating a secure and protected environment, ensuring that your experience with us is not only enjoyable but prioritises your overall well-being. Thank you for entrusting us with your safety, and please take a moment to familiarise yourself with our policies for a seamless and secure experience.

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