Is Mouth Tape the Next Big Thing?
By Natalie Hickey
Graphic by Madison Mercado
We have seen people using eye masks, ear plugs, white noise machines, melatonin gummies… pretty much anything and everything in order to secure a good night's rest. Clearly, sleep is a number one priority for many individuals.
The newest trend is “Mouth Tape,” or the practice of using a skin-safe tape to seal your mouth shut at night to promote nose breathing during sleep.
Yes… this trend seems crazy, but TikTok influencers are stepping forward, swearing by mouth taping’s benefits. Mouth tape users claim a multitude of benefits, including lowering blood pressure, reducing anxiety, lessening allergies, and reducing snoring. But, really, it seems like the main goal is to promote breathing through one's nose rather than the mouth during sleep.
So, which influencers are swearing by it?
Well, for one, Lauryn Bosstick – wellness lifestyle coach and founder of “The Skinny Confidential” podcast – is a fan! She recently made a TikTok discussing how she has added it to her nightly routine, explaining its main benefits for her as “having a deeper sleep,” and “waking up with more energy.” In addition, she actually discusses mouth taping’s benefits in one of her podcasts back in December 2021 (in Episode #421 if you’d like to listen), where she interviews health coach and author Claire Grieves, who also brings up the benefits of mouth-taping.
However, there is one question that needs to be addressed. Is this just another influencer/TikTok fad? Or, even worse, does this trend have possibly harmful effects?
As we all know, many trends on TikTok are short-lived, if they ever make it off of social media at all. As mouth taping’s popularity grows, more individuals are starting to bring up some of its possible negative side effects. Some of these risks include obstructed breathing and the worsening of sleep apnea and related risks.
In addition to these risks, TikTok trends have a history of promoting potentially harmful health practices. Kate Evans, on the blog Kelly Jones Nutrition, discusses how the TikTok trend of an “internal shower” (through the means of “drinking copious amounts of chia seeds drenched in lemon water”) can actually have harmful effects, as the body is not typically used to these levels of fiber all at once. She also discusses the “fire cider” trend, which became popular as a “health and immunity” drink. She explains that while this fire cider (a mix of apple cider vinegar, veggies, and spice) sounds appealing, it has no tie to any real benefits and may even cause painful acid reflux.
With all of this said, it seems as though mouth taping may be a personal decision. So, the next time you're craving a good night's sleep, are you going to try mouth taping, or will you just stick to the melatonin gummies?