Sleeping with mouth open is a symptom seen among mouth breather. Mouth breathers are people who breathe through their mouth instead of their nose. While some mouth breathers breathe through their mouth only while sleeping, others breathe through mouth even when they are awake. Breathing through mouth is abnormal and has multiple health implications. It should be corrected upon detection at the earliest to avoid complications. The simplest way to detect mouth breathing at night is presence of dryness in the oral cavity immediately upon waking up.
The most common causes of mouth breathing include:
- Nasal obstruction
- Habitual tendency
- During third trimester of pregnancy.
9 Ways to Help Sleep With Mouth Closed
It is important to combat sleeping with mouth open for sound sleep and physical well-being. A few options to sleep with mouth closed are discussed below:
- Self-training to Breathe with Mouth Closed: Conscious effort to ensure that he or she is breathing through nose instead of the mouth will help in breaking the habit. Over a period of time, the brain will be conditioned to breathe through the nose instead of the mouth. Sticking notes or setting reminder on phones will also help. This tactic generally helps the people who breathe through mouth during the day and night.
- Performing Breathing Exercises Can Help Sleep with Mouth Closed: Certain exercises help in clearing the nose and helps in training the brain to breathe through the nose. One such nose clearing exercise is known as the Buteyko exercise. It helps in re-establishing breathing volume to normal. This is exercise is done by normal breathing through nose for few minutes followed by closing the nose with fingers and holding the breath as long as possible. Once you reach the threshold, release the air through the nostrils slowly. Through-out the task, ensure that the mouth is close.
- Elevating the Head While Sleeping: Mouth breathing while sleeping or snoring worsens with poor posture while sleeping. Head elevation with pillow or adjustable mattress can solve this problem by providing a clear passage for unrestricted flow of air or nasal breathing.
- Adopting a Proper Sleeping Posture: Certain sleeping posture, such as sleeping on the back can worsen mouth breathing at night. Sleeping on back causes intake of heavy breath making it difficult to release the air through the nose. Sleeping in back can also cause the tongue and soft palate to collapse making the breathing worse. It is advised to sleep on your stomach or the side for sleeping with mouth closed.
- Regular Exercise: Regular exercises such as yoga, cardio etc. helps in improving breathing pattern and in turn helps in sleeping with mouth closed at night. Being overweight also contributes to mouth breathing. Exercise can help in weight loss and thus the mouth breathing caused by it.
- Limit Exposure to Allergens: Removing any known allergen from the bedroom can also help in sleeping at night with mouth closed. This includes pets, certain plants, carpets, rugs etc. Old bedsheets, blankets, carpets and curtains can also hamper the quality of air in the room, which affects breathing. Plants in bedroom use up oxygen and produce carbon dioxide at night, which can affect normal breathing while sleeping.
- Mouth Tapping to Sleep with Mouth Closed: When all other management tips fail, mouth tapping is often suggested as the next option. This is often very effective in breaking the habit, as it forces to keep the lips sealed at night, forcing breathing through the nose. It is advised to apply a small amount of skin cream before sticking the tape, to ensure pain free removal in the morning. It may be a little uncomfortable initially, but effective in the long run.
- Saline Nasal Spray: Regular use of saline nasal spray can help in adding moisture to the nose, making it easy to breathe. It decongests the nose and helps in breathing smoothly through the nose.
- Using Mouth Guards to Sleep with Mouth Closed: Using sleeping mouth guards at night while sleeping helps in blocking the mouth, forcing him or her to breathe through the nose. It is one of the best options available at the moment. Mouth guards are easily available in the market. Customized mouth guards can be obtained from an experienced dentist. Some mouth guards are available with chin strips for added support and comfort.
The following ways will help you to improve your sleeping habits and also help you in sleeping with your mouth closed; thus, prevent further complications of sleeping with the mouth kept open.
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