Our mouth is for eating, tasting, and talking; our nose is for breathing and smelling. It’s when our bodies, or body parts, begin to operate outside their intended function, that problems begin to arise.
If you’re breathing through your mouth while you sleep at night, it’s a big deal. Mouth breathing (asleep or awake) is a strain on your nervous system, airways and lungs.
But in a more positive light, there are huge benefits in nose breathing. Breathing in and out of your nose (instead of your mouth) is a simple way to reap the benefits of better sleep, improved oral and dental health, better focus, memory, and concentration and reduced anxiety.
What’s So Bad About Mouth Breathing?
During mouth breathing, air is forced through our airways at a larger volume than when we breathe through our nose. And when you breathe in air at such a high volume, the collapsible airway tends to collapse.
Mouth breathing impacts blood pressure and heart rate, worsens asthma, and deprives the heart, brain, and other organs of optimal oxygenation
If you’re breathing through your mouth while you sleep at night, it’s a big deal.
Not only does it reduce the quality of your sleep, but it disrupts the balance of your oral microbiome and makes you more prone to tooth decay.
Not just any old tape!
Mouth tape isn’t duct tape or any other random, store-bought tape that you just slap on your lips.
– it’s minimally invasive, pain-free, and completely safe (unlike trying to sleep with heavy-duty duct tape covering your mouth).
– many brands are hypoallergenic, easily removed by simply opening your mouth, and shaped to sit directly on the lips.
– if can’t breath with the tape on, then you wouldn’t fall asleep in the first place
– don’t tape if you’ve drunk alcohol or eaten under two hours before bed
– if it makes you anxious try taping after you’ve brushed your teeth and are getting ready for work – ie while you’re awake and til you’re comfy with it (there are also anti snore chin straps that keep your mouth closed). Just close your mouth.
– becoming a nose breather is a process, but even repeated cycles of just a few minutes of nose breathing can effectively train your body to do it regularly.
– if you‘re a mouth breather, it’s unlikely that your first night of mouth taping will be successful.
– the best thing you can do is to keep trying and be vigilant about practicing nose breathing during the day, when you’re more aware.
In fact we all should practice our breathing. Better breathing is better health: if we can only survive 3 min without breathing, how long can we while optimally breathing?! Surely longer!
Mouth breathing might be one of the biggest reasons for dental cavities but nose breathing is surely THE highest biohack for optimal health.