Eleven Unexpected Side Effects of Sleep Tape
Written by Fritz Nugent

Do you wake up tired after a full night of sleep? Do you have energy issues during the day? Do you sigh and yawn often? Answering yes to any or all of these symptoms may suggest that you are a chronic mouth breather. And if you mouth-breathe during the day, there is a very high chance that you’re also breathing through your mouth when you sleep. 

Do you wake up with terrible breath? A dry throat? Do you snore? You’re a dirty mouth breather! I used to be a dirty mouth breather, too (still am, sometimes). Things are so much better now. And it’s all linked to one keystone habit.

The Fix for Nighttime Mouth-Breathers

My number one weird life hack to improve everything from sleep, to allergies, to performance: tape your mouth shut at night when you sleep. Every night. No matter what. I’ve been doing this for 18 months and it has made a profound difference in my life across a number of areas:

Eleven Unexpected Side Effects of Sleep Tape

Reduced sinus infections. I used to get sinus infections every 3 months. You know – yellow and green gunk coughed up every morning for 1-2 weeks. This would happen 2-4 times a year. Since taping my mouth at night over the last 15 months, I haven’t had any sinus issues lasting more than a day during that time.

Bad breathMy morning breath used to kill plants. Not anymore. It’s gone. Well probably not gone, but I’d say normal or perhaps tolerable. Don’t ask my wife. She doesn’t know! Ha.

Sore throats. I used to wake up with a sore throat a few times a month. Gone.

Allergies. I used to have allergies to cats, dogs, pollen, and dust. Even my peanut sensitivity has reduced. (These were very unexpected and a major relief.)

Anxiety. I used to have anxious thoughts before big work and life events. For some reason, getting my breathing under control has lessened my anxiety. Probably because I sleep better and am less stressed.

Exercise. I can exercise at a high intensity while nose-breathing. When I started many months ago, I could not jog 200 meters nose breathing without gasping for air. Now I can run over 10 miles at a good clip without opening my mouth.

Water? Yep. Less water needed. This one was weird, and awesome. I don’t have to drink as much water each day and I stay hydrated. 

Hydration. This also holds true during running. I can go for a two-hour run without having to drink any water, and when I get back to my car, I am not thirsty. Keeping my mouth closed helps keep my mouth moist. I don’t get dry mouth anymore.

Sleep. My sleep quality has improved. I have been tracking my sleep with both Whoop and fitbit. For those who have fitbits, you know that they give you a sleep score out of 100. Fourteen months ago, my average weekly sleep score was 68-75. Six months later, 73-78. Today, 77-83. That’s over 10% improvement in sleep quality in a year. Sleep improvements do not happen immediately. You gotta give the body and brain time to adapt. I had some rolling higher and lower quality weeks, and still due. The trend has been consistently upwards!

Facial muscle access. I have a 75% deviated septum that has caused many sinus issues in my life (allergies, stuffy head, sore throat, colds, breathing issues, poor sleep). I had surgery (septoplasty) when I was 19, which was a huge mistake. I should have instead learned to breathe better. Since beginning my breathwork journey, starting with sleep taping, I have slowly and surely gained control of the muscles in my face and sinuses and am now able to expand my nasal passageway on command. This has opened up both nostrils (my left nostril especially) for more use during training and life.

Will power. I have kicked some major negative habits out of my life and replaced them with more fulfilling and rewarding alternatives. Lowered stress and improved breathing has been a major influence in these decisions. This can only be explained by an increase in will power, which is probably connected to better sleep, reduced anxiety, and less stress.

Thanks, sleep tape! You’re the best!!

Also Check Out…

Rethink Your Breathing

I Started Nasal Breathing – Now What?

10 Things You Should Know About Breathing

4 Myths About Nasal Breathing

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Russell Watts
Russell Watts
November 8, 2020 6:46 am

Going to give it a go tonight!

November 11, 2020 11:00 am
Reply to  Russell Watts

Let us know how it goes! It takes a few weeks to get used to it. Don’t be surprised if the first few mornings after applying sleep tape the night before, you wake up with the tape on your clothing, or on your top lip, or you find it a few days later in your pillow. It took me a few months to adjust to the sleep tape. At first I thought I was crazy, BUT my symptoms were very limiting and I was open for just about anything.