Mouth taping is exactly what it sounds like–gently taping your mouth so that you breathe through your nose instead of opening your mouth during sleep.
“When you think about breathing through your nose during the daytime, it’s a lot easier because you can consciously tell yourself to do it,” says Nestor. “When you fall asleep, not only are you unconscious but your muscles and tissues relax, which makes it easier for the mouth to open.”
By changing the way you breathe at night to nasal breathing, you’re ensuring you are delivering the appropriate amount of oxygen to the body.
“More oxygen isn’t always better, just like eating more food isn’t always better for more energy,” says Nestor. “Your body will be able to upload more oxygen if you’re breathing in line with your metabolic needs. For most people, this means you need to breathe slower and deeper. The nose helps with this because it pressurizes air, slowing the rate it enters the body and allowing the lungs to have more time to extract oxygen.”
Allowing extra time for the lungs to tap into oxygen also releases more nitric oxide, which helps cells to deliver oxygen throughout the body, improves circulation, and widens the blood vessels to enhance blood flow and promote healthy blood pressure.