Why I tape my mouth shut at night

Founding Mother, Chard & Stripes

In recent years, lack of sleeping has become the new smoking.

And now, our health is waiting on us to wake up about breathing.

Like I said in my post about becoming radiant and growing energy, generally, we can live…

Three weeks without food,
Three days without water, and
Three minutes without air.

Yet the average person thinks little about breathing, and even less about breathing better.

But I’m hoping to change that as I learn about breathing better myself.

Who would have thought something as simple as
changing the way we breathe
could be so revolutionary for our health?


James Nestor is a journalist and author of the recent New York Times bestseller Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art. Using his words but my spacing:

The tome explores the million-year-long history of how the human species has lost the ability to breathe properly and why we’re suffering from a laundry list of maladies—snoring, sleep apnea, asthma, autoimmune disease, allergies—because of it. …

I [Nestor] ended up traveling the world in an attempt to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. … Drawing on thousands of years of medical texts and recent cutting-edge studies…, Breath turns the conventional wisdom of what we thought we knew about our most basic biological function on its head.

I’m not getting Breath until I read other books I just bought. But after hearing Nestor talk about mouth taping for better sleep, I gave it a shot and made it work using SomniFix Strips.

Mouth breathing is the leading cause of snoring and puts us at risk for health problems, including cardiovascular disease and cognitive illnesses.

Mouth taping promotes nose breathing, which helps to reduce hypertension, improve memory and more.

Your mind will be blown as we get deeper into breathing. But today, my goal is to interest you in training yourself (and later children in your life) for nose breathing with mouth taping, which, to my surprise, didn’t make feel claustrophobic at all. But it took some experimenting.

Experiment 1:
I put a short piece of tape vertically over my pursed lips.

This is the method I heard Nestor talk about. I was raring to go and used scotch tape. Though my mouth stayed shut, my lips got irritated. If you’re raring to go today, try a small band aid.

Experiment 2:
I put a long piece of medical tape horizontally over my pursed lips.

I could have taped vertically life before, but I went hard-core like my “friend” on the internet and liked it. This method might freak out claustrophobic types because the seal is strong. Too strong: I had to use soap and water to remove the tape without ripping my lips off my face.

Experiment 3:
I tried SomniFix Strips and rested easy.

SomniFix Strips have just the right stickiness. And they have a small breathing vent in case of freak out. For $22 dollars (as of now), you get 28 strips, which you can use about 3-5 times each.

(I’ve since tried Nexcare 3M Sensitive Skin Low Trauma Tape (from a local pharmacy) and like that too.)

So, are the strips helping my sleep?

Yes, but I still have changes to make to improve my “sleep hygiene”:

I drink too much tea at night and disrupt my sleep with trips to the bathroom. But I’m more careful about nose breathing during the day, so that’s a “win” for my health. And helps me make a point:

Train for nose breathing by mouth taping during exercise, or other times when you’re awake, if you shudder at the thought of sleeping with tape on your lips.

According to Dr. Jon Douillard of LifeSpa, exercising with our mouths taped closed can induce a meditative calm, or “runner’s high.” So why not try?

However, …

MOUTH TAPING IS NOT RECOMMENDED for people with the following:

Nasal breathing difficulties, obesity, very low blood pressure or severe heart or breathing problems. It’s also not recommended for folks with a cold or a sinus or ear infection, badly chapped lips, broken skin around the mouth, or who have consumed alcohol or sedatives.


In the 3-minute video below, Patrick McKeown—a leading breathing re-education expert who we’ll be getting to know better on our journey to better breathing—teaches an exercise to unblock the nose.

Unless you have health reasons to avoid mouth taping, I’d recommend trying SomniFix Strips for better sleep. They can help improve CPAP compliance and/or stop snoring straining your relationship!

Note: At no extra cost to you, I earn a bit of cash if you buy Breath or SomniFix Strips from this post.

Also, here are links to some science if you like:

Sleep Disordered Breathing in Heart Failure;
Dementia and the Brain-Breathing Connection

OK, I’m off. Here’s to better breathing and your health!

Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Harmon is a scientist turned storyteller and Founding Mother of Chard & Stripes, a “school” of prosperity making and word-of-mouth marketing platform for businesses in food, fashion and more. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter here.