How to Reduce Snoring and Sleep Apnea by Wearing a Tape

SnoringSnoring and sleep apnea not only represent holistic health risk to an individual, the irritating noise at night can often create conflict to a couple’s relationship. I’d like to share with you a convenient alternative remedy that have helped all of my clients to reduce snoring and sleep apnea, which is by wearing a tape to keep their mouth closed during sleep. A new study published this year also showed that patching your mouth closed can help you reduce snoring and sleep apnea.

Major Cause of Snoring and Sleep Apnea

One major cause of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea is mouth breathing during sleep, especially when you sleep in the supine position. When you sleep in the supine position with an opened mouth, gravity easily pulls down your jaw and tongue which compresses your throat. As a result, your airway gets suppressed and narrowed, leaving smaller space for the air to pass through.

Mouth breathing also introduces stronger air flow as you inhale and exhale, which exacerbates the airway soft tissue vibration, causing the loud snoring noise. Strong air flow during mouth breathing also induces strong negative pressure that sucks in the soft tissues around the throat area, which further narrows your airway, and eventually causes your airway around the throat area to collapse, resulting in obstructive sleep apnea.

The Quick Fix? Wear a tape to keep your mouth closed

As I’ve discussed earlier, one of the main cause of snoring and sleep apnea is mouth breathing. A quick fix to keep your mouth closed during the night is to apply a small piece of a tape over it. When your mouth is closed and lips together, your jaw is harder to fall back even when you lie in a supine position. Keeping your mouth closed also forces you to breathe through your nose, which not only helps to regulate the airflow to reduce the negative pressure inside your airway, but also reduces soft tissue vibration.

An otoralyngology study published this year on American Academy of Otolaryngology Journal, demonstrated the effectiveness to reduce snoring and obstructive sleep apnea by using a patch to keep the patients’ mouth closed, which showed significant reduction in median AHI (Apnea-Hypopnea Index) score and snoring index [1].

In the past few years, ENT specialist Dr. Hung Cheng Tseng and I have recommended wearing a tape for all of our clients as part of our AirwayFit training program, and the feedback have been great. For some CPAP users, wearing a tape on their mouth can help to eliminate the air leakage issue. In addition, if you often find yourself waking up with a dried mouth and throat, this method will also help you keep your mouth and throat moisturized throughout the night.

How To Apply?

In practice, wear a tape to sleep is actually a lot less daunting than it sounds.

Visit any drug store near you, and pick up a small roll of medical grade paper tape. It should cost you no more than $10. I recommend ones that are hypoallergenic, porous, and non-waterproof. When you wear the tape, you want to roll your lips slightly inward so you don’t apply directly onto your lips. Otherwise your lips can really hurt when you remove the tape in the morning. Some people apply some lip balm or vaseline onto their lips first as a layer of protection.

You don’t have to wear the tape over your entire mouth. You can start by wearing the tape vertically, in the center, right beneath your nose, and that should suffice; as long as the tape keeps your jaw up. I also recommend you to pre-fold one of the corners of the tape, just so that there’s a corner you can grab onto easily in the morning to tear the tape off.  If you have a sensitive skin and you find removing the tape off hurts, you can wet the tape with water before you remove it in the morning. You could also reduce the stickiness of the tape prior to use, by sticking the tape onto your forearm a couple times before you put the tape on.

If you really are panicked by the idea, then like I’ve suggested, you can wear the tape only at the center portion of your mouth. This will leave gaps on the two sides of your mouth, but still keeps your jaw in the upright position during sleep. Also, if it’s your first night trying this method, wear the tape 30 minutes before you go to bed can help you accommodate.

Most people who have tried wearing a tape method to keep their mouth closed find it convenient, more comfortable and cheaper than the alternative methods. However, I would caution against wearing a tape to keep your mouth closed if you experience the followings: feeling nausea, or are epileptic, or if you have consumed alcohol or any pill or medicine prior to sleep. Otherwise, give it a try today and you will find yourself waking up much more energized with a moist mouth the next morning!

 

 

Source:

[1]    Huang TW., Young TH., “Novel Porous Oral Patches for Patients with Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Mouth Breathing: A Pilot Study” American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery 152.2 (2015): 369-373. Print.

 

24 responses to “How to Reduce Snoring and Sleep Apnea by Wearing a Tape

  1. I’ve been telling my hubby for yes to please tape his mouth shut so it would force him to breathe through his nose only and he has told me in crazy and laughed such a crazy notion off, & that I dont ubderstand. I want to send him by email a copy if this article!!!!!

    1. Try the mineral vanadyl sulfate before bedtime. No snoring or sleep apnea. Easy, simple. Also soda drinks with phosphoric acid will exacerbate apnea.

    1. Hi Carlos,

      There are many alternatives depending on what triggers the snoring / sleep apnea, and that could be different for anyone. For some could be lose weight, for some could be quit smoking, for some could be quit late night drinking. A popular alternative, sleeping on the side, has also proven to be very effective for many people.

  2. Works for me. I sleep with duct tape over mouth and no longer wake up with sinus issues and headaches. For me personally, it works great. This is simple and works far better than any snoring and apnea devices imo.

  3. I'm not overweight, don't drink, or smoke and sleep on side- but still srnored enough to wake my deaf husband. Tried tape over mouth & it works! No more dry, dry mouth, waking to drink water or snoring ++. I wake up refreshed, no headache, and ready to go. So simple.and cheap. THANKYOU! This simple thing has changed my life really.

  4. I've found taping the answer to my sleep apnea and would recommend anyone to try it. Why do you say no alcohol? I have a few drinks most days and havn't found it an issue.

    1. Glad to hear Danny. Regarding alcohol, it's all about moderation. Having the drink just before bed would have more impact than having it during the day. And obviously the quantity and your body type makes a difference too, since everyone's different. But in general, alcohol causes a deeper relaxation (not a good relaxation in this case) of the upper airway muscle, which increases the chance of snoring.

    1. Hi Clare, thanks for your message!
      I'm currently developing the tape with a medical company for this purpose, one that's designed specifically for this application. However, in the mean time, you can just go to any pharmacy store like Londondrug or Shoppers, and just purchase a roll of medical tape (in the bandage section). You would want one that's porous (breathable), and hypoallergenic.

  5. I tried using tape as an experiment when chin straps and a CPAP failed and I've found it's the only thing that works. I came to the internet to see if anyone else had tried this and recommended it. Glad to hear I'm not crazy – it does feel a little strange taping over your mouth. Like Liz above, I wake up refreshed without dry mouth. So pleased to have confirmed that others have found relief using this inexpensive, convenient solution.

  6. In the 1950s a Dr. Buteyko has a book with a chapter on Taping your mouth! He states we need to learn to breathe through our nose as a baby does for health reasons. Taping my mouth has taken away the need to use a mask that was never that effective or comfortable for me. 3M Nexcare for sensitive skin works best and its baby blue!

    1. In the 1950s a Dr. Buteyko wrote a book with a chapter on Taping your mouth! He states we need to learn to breathe through our nose as a baby does for health reasons. Taping my mouth has taken away the need to use a mask that was never that effective or comfortable for me. 3M Nexcare for sensitive skin works best and its baby blue! In addition, I am now able to sleep eight hours with adequate R.E.M. Sleep and a lot of dreaming . I am so fortunate to have found this resource of Dr. Buteyko's work.

      1. In the 1950s a Dr. Buteyko wrote a book with a chapter on Taping your mouth! He states we need to learn to breathe through our nose as a baby does for health reasons. Taping my mouth has taken away the need to use a mask that was never that effective or comfortable for me. 3M Nexcare for sensitive skin works best and its baby blue! In addition, I am now able to sleep eight hours with adequate R.E.M. Sleep and a lot of dreaming . I am so fortunate to have found this resource of Dr. Buteyko's work.

    1. That's great news John! Thanks for sharing! The tape is a quick, easy, and effective intermediate solution, to go one step further though I invite you to consider joining my program. Cheers,

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