How to Sleep with Mouth Closed: Taping the Mouth At Night
By Dr. Artour Rakhimov, Alternative Health Educator and Author - Last updated on August 9, 2018
(Module 7. How to Maintain Nose Breathing 24/7)
In order to ensure nasal breathing and stop mouth breathing during
the night, in the 1960s Russian patients invented mouth taping techniques: how to sleep with your mouth closed. These techniques are a
part of the Buteyko breathing method.
First of all, it
is necessary to find out if one has this problem. This can be done by checking dryness in the
mouth just after waking up in the morning. If the mouth is dry, mouth breathing
is very likely.
This problem could appear when the person goes to sleep or it could appear at 3
or 4 am. In any case, just 20-30 minutes of mouth-breathing resets the
breathing center to lower Control Pause (body oxygen level), and such patients, as a rule,
have less than 20 seconds for the morning body-oxygen test.
Moreover, if you have a malignant tumor and your daily CP
is above 20 s, your tumor will grow only during the time of the night, when you
breathe through your mouth. Therefore, you need to learn how to sleep with your mouth closed. If you have sinusitis, the pathogenic bacteria in
your sinuses will multiply and colonize new mucosal surfaces when you breathe
through your mouth. If the mouth falls open during sleep there could be damage to the heart muscle, growth of inflamed areas in the GI tract, the advance of pathogens on your skin (in cases of eczema, psoriasis, etc.) and on other organs and tissues, and many other problems. It is common that people notice or complain about a blocked nose, more coughing problems, fatigue and other symptoms after nights with oral breathing. The solution may be simple, you need to tape your mouth.
How to sleep with your mouth closed (taping instructions)
For mouth taping, one needs a surgical
tape and cream to prevent the tape from
sticking. Both can be found in a pharmacy. Micropore (or 3M) and vaseline are
popular choices. First, put a small amount of cream on the lips so that it is
easy to remove the tape in the morning. Then take a small piece of tape and
stick it in the middle, vertically, across the closed mouth. Some students
prefer to put it along or horizontally, but a small piece in the middle is
sufficient. If you are afraid to seal the mouth completely, tape only one
half of the mouth leaving space for emergency breathing.
In 2006 one of my Buteyko method colleagues, Dr. James Oliver, a GP from the UK and
former president of the Buteyko Breathing Association
made a presentation to the British Thoracic Society about the safety of mouth
taping based on thousands of cases both in Russia and in the west. Previously he
conducted a survey among us, Buteyko method teachers and obtained the statistical data.
Mouth taping at night to stop mouth breathing should normally be a temporary measure.
Indeed, the experience of my breathing students revealed that mouth breathing at night
disappears once they achieve a certain result (criteria). This result guarantees nasal breathing
the whole night. Share this page on one of your social networks, to reveal this goal
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In this YouTube video below Dr. Artour Rakhimov explains mouth taping benefits and Volker Schmitz, a Buteyko teacher from Hamburg, Germany, shows the mouth-taping technique using a plaster or surgical tape.
Does it create distress when you tape the mouth?
A majority of students have no problems with mouth taping and they breathe only
through the nose during the whole night. Their mouth is not dry in the morning
and they report numerous benefits of mouth taping.
However, some students may find it difficult and uncomfortable so that they
remove the tape during the night. These incidents have physiological causes,
1. Sleeping on the back. If you turn on your back while sleeping at night, your
breathing gets almost twice as heavy, and it will be very difficult to pump more
air through the nose. Hence, learn the module devoted to prevention of sleeping
on one's back.
2. Overly warm sleep conditions. If your blanket is too warm, your breathing
becomes deeper and bigger during sleep. You will wake up finding out that
breathing through the nose is uncomfortable. To prevent overheating, use less
warm clothes and blankets during sleep.
3. Carpets in your bedroom. Presence of carpets makes air quality tens or
even hundreds of times worse. During night sleep several cubic meters of air with
millions of airborne particles, including dust, dust mites, their
droppings, bacteria, and viruses, will enter through the nasal
passages. These irritants make nasal passages dryer and can
penetrate into bronchi and the lungs causing stress for the
immune system and deep breathing. Sleeping in carpet-free rooms or covering
carpets with plastic will solve this problem.
4. Dusty or clean but old pillowcases, blankets, and bed sheets create the same effect,
as well as books, newspapers, hanging clothes, and old dusty curtains. Make sure
that your bedroom has good air quality.
5. Closed windows during the night greatly worsen air quality in the bedroom
due to poor air circulation and absence of air ions that make the air cleaner.
Either keep windows open or, if it is too cold or too noisy outside, buy an air
ionizer/purifier and keep it running through the night.
6. Skin rashes due to extreme skin sensitivity. Try to find a hypoallergic
tape or surgical paper tape. If rashes are still a problem, you can sew together two
clean socks making a circle. Wear it at night around your head so that to keep
your jaw closed.
You can find more information with extra details and a systematic approach to sleep and related lifestyle factors in Dr. Artour Rakhimov's book "Sleep Better and Less - Naturally".