A lot of people suffer from sleep apnea to various degrees. It could happen to anyone even though there are a few risk factors. Overweight and the anatomy of the face and throat have an affect, but anyone can suffer from lack of oxygen at night. Sleep apnea is when the tongue falls back into the throat, or in some other way temporarily block the airways. One of the signs indicating that you don’t sleep properly during the night is sleeping with an open mouth.
I have ALWAYS slept with my mouth open, I had no idea it mattered. Above all I have always preferred to breathe with my mouth open instead of through my nose, but now we know that all sorts of diseases are connected to mouth breathing.
To find out how well you are breathing you can analyze your breathing during the night at a sleep lab. If you have a lot of apneic events, you will get a CPAP mask to use at night. It is a pressurized mask that maintains an even breathing rhythm throughout the night.
I had 4 of the 5 classic signs of mouth breathing
I don’t think a sleep lab is for me, but I did recognize myself in 4 out of the 5 signs that is used to detect mouth breathing or poor oxygenation during the night.
- You always have a glass of water on your bedside table
- Your mouth is drier than a desert when you wake up
- You wake up because you need to go to the toilet or a drink
- You wake up tired
- You snore
I answered yes on almost all of the above, except when I’m in good ketosis and keep my routine of getting up just before 5 am. When in ketosis I usually sleep all night, but it is not unusual that I have TWO large glasses of water on my bedside table that I DRINK during the night. For a while I drank MORE during the night than I drank in the day! I would also wake up with a jerk, breathing in panic feeling that everything around me was spinning.
So these were my signs, plus that I also had a very narrow palate as a child and I had to get it widened with braces that pressed my molars to the sides. This is an indication of sleeping with your mouth open, and actually the need of braces altogether is an effect of how you breathe! The nose, palate and airways is different from how they looked like on the stone age-men! Then 95% had perfect teeth and now only 5% of us have perfect teeth.. Isn’t that weird?
Taping my mouth at night have revolutionized my sleep
That’s when I got the tip about mouth taping, to simply tape your mouth when you sleep to make sure you ONLY breathe through your nose. The first night you may wake up and rip off the tape in panic, then the trick is to put it on vertically. From the nose to the chin. I have now used the tape on and off for months and at the moment I use it horizontally.
Another cool thing is if my nose is clogged when I go to bed, it just takes a few minutes for it to clear up and I can breathe well again. The taping is also very calming, I wake up well rested without a dry mouth, needing a drink or a wee.
I know it probably sounds totally crazy with mouth tape, but the nights I forget to tape I immediately sleep worse!
It has really revolutionized my sleep as I don’t need to drink several liters in the middle of the night, not having to wake up with a mouth dry like a desert and in addition now I need just over an hour LESS sleep!
Long breaking-in period but well worth it!
Update April – 2017: I have now used the sleep tape for almost a year and it took quite a while to get used to it. It took me at least 6 months to stop ripping it off during the night, maybe even longer. I have experienced only lately that I sleep all night in one sweep with my mouth taped. And I am NEVER to clogged up to use it. Of course, it does happen from time to time that I wake up a bit confused in the middle of the night, think it’s morning, take the tape off and fall back asleep. But it’s rare.
When it comes to my mouth tape, nowadays I tape my mouth RELIGIOUSLY every night. If I don’t use the tape I sleep a lot worse and wake up with my mouth dry as a desert. In addition, I wake up 1 – 3 times to get up and wee. I started taping my mouth summer 2016 after ticking all the boxes for light sleep apnea. I don’t need a CPAP mask, but gosh how many people would, without even knowing about it!