TikTok’s lastest trend is putting tape on your mouth while you sleep. Here’s why experts say it’s dangerous
The tape is supposed to encourage nasal breathing
The latest TikTok trend has emerged — taping your mouth shut at night. The idea is that is stops mouth breathing while you sleep, thus allegedly preventing fine lines around your mouth. But it comes with potential dangers.
If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, mouth taping can be dangerous, according to CNN. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when an airway is partially or completely collapsed. It is also one of the most common sleeping disorders: an estimated 1 billion people between the ages of 30 and 69 have the disorder, a 2019 respiratory study in the Lancet journal reports.
Mouth tape videos have over 38.5 million views on TikTok. Many of the videos are made by certified TikTok users. Some users say mouth tape helps them sleep better, while others claim it helps with anti-aging.
“The purpose of this is to retrain the body to breathe through the nose,” one women said. “When we are mouth breathing we are inhaling lots of dirty and dusty air which can be traumatizing to our airways and our lungs.”
There are benefits to nasal breathing, CNN reports, but most of the videos do not warn of the potential dangers mouth taping can create.
“There is limited evidence on the benefits of mouth taping and I would be very careful — and even talk to your health care provider before attempting it,” said Dr. Raj Dasgupta, a sleep specialist at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.
Breathing through the nose does have health benefits, according the Heathline. Nose breathing helps filter out poor air particles, humidify the air you breathe and produce nitric oxide, which helps widen blood vessels.
There are safer options for encouraging nose breathing while you sleep, such as breathing exercises or sleeping on your back, according to U.S. News & World Report.