Have you heard about this new health “hack”? Proponents believe that if you tape your mouth shut at night to force nasal breathing, you can fix snoring, sleep apnea and get better rest.
These claims aren’t wholly false, but don’t just jump on the mouth taping bandwagon just yet.
Taping your mouth shut can be dangerous if not done right and it feels mighty uncomfortable (go ahead and try it really quick, no one is watching). However, there is something to nasal breathing, and is a good practice to get into.
Nasal breathing helps your lungs work better and more efficiently and is what our nose was really designed for. Mouth breathing has been linked to snoring, halitosis, increased blood pressure, tooth decay and gum disease, and less oxygen in the blood.
Focus on your breath for a second, where are you breathing from?
If you find yourself breathing out of your mouth, here are few ways to change it.
First, you need to practice! If mouth-breathing is your default, you won’t change that unless you actively practice using your nose. This includes trying to use your nose while exercising. While hard at first, it will get easier.
Second, get your allergies under control. If you suffer from any allergies, make sure you are taking an allergy pill or spray to help control nasal inflammation. Use a saline solution to further clear out the sinuses if your allergies are particularly bad.
Finally, start meditating. This will not only help you relax, but when you focus on deep nasal breathing like a yogi’s pranayama (controlled breathing), you will find that your heart rate and blood pressure will drop as your breathing slows. It will then become easier to breathe through your nose and continue the habit, long-term.
If you are interested in finding out more, or how mouth-breathing might be impacting your health, hit ‘reply’ and let me know what’s going on or go HERE.
Further Reading: Breath by James Nestor is a fantastic book on nasal breathing and its innumerable benefits.