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Mouth Breathing At Night: Why it's a Problem (And How to Fix It)

Sleep is one of the most important things we can do to replenish and revitalize our bodies and minds. But getting quality sleep proves to be difficult for many. 

In fact, nearly half of all Americans report feeling tired regularly (between three and seven days throughout each week).

man yawning

One of the largest contributors to poor sleep is improper breathing during the night. Mouth breathing is detrimental to our wellbeing -- especially mouth breathing during sleep. 

Before we dive into how to stop breathing through your mouth at night, let’s first go over why it’s such a problem in the first place. 

3 Problems with Mouth Breathing

Many people are surprised to learn that we aren’t designed to breathe through our mouths on a regular basis. Yet, more than 61 percent of people identify as mouth breathers. 

Here are just a few of the issues associated with mouth breathing. 

1. Mouth Breathing Leads to Snoring

When you breathe through the mouth at night rather than the nose, you’re actually over-breathing. More air than is necessary is pumped through the airway. The tissues in the airway, which become relaxed during sleep, begin to vibrate, leading to snoring. By sleeping with your lips closed and breathing through your nose, you may be able to eliminate snoring altogether. 

man snoring next to woman

2. The Mouth Doesn’t Filter the Air

The nasal cavity is filled with nose hairs, known as cilia, that act as a natural air filter for the lungs. The small hairs let in fresh oxygen while catching dirt, toxins, germs, and bacteria. The nostrils also work to humidify the air, protecting the lungs from drying out. Breathing through the mouth doesn’t allow for the filtration or humidification of the air you breathe. 

3. Mouth Breathing Causes Dental Issues

When you breathe through the mouth at night, your saliva evaporates. While you may not see this as a huge deal, your saliva is responsible for coating your teeth and guarding them against harmful bacteria, particles, and germs. On top of that, an open-mouth posture is unnatural for the teeth, which can cause problems with the jaw and alignment of the mouth. This can also lead to tooth grinding and even Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ). 

woman with mouth pain

Now that we’ve covered some of the problems with mouth breathing, let’s take a look at why nasal breathing is best. 

The Benefits of Nasal Breathing

In nature, most animals breathe through their noses. We were designed to do the same. For example, horses are one of many species of animals that are considered to be “obligate nose breathers,” meaning they canonly breathe through their nose as air intake is strictly confined to their nostrils and nasal passages.


#Animals breathe through their noses. We’re designed to #nasalbreathe, too! 🐆🐴🦮 #airwayhealth #jamesnestor #mouthbreathing #health #biohacking

♬ chicken tikka - han

Some animals such as dogs, which can be seen panting through their mouths, only do so to regulate their temperature, as they don’t have sweat glands as humans do.

Aside from helping you reduce the chances of snoring, nasal breathing helps to lubricate the nostrils, appropriately oxygenate the body, add moisture back into the sinuses, and more.

Nasal breathing can even improve cardiovascular health, blood pressure, concentration, and overall brain function. The powerhouse behind the health improvements associated with nasal breathing? Nitric oxide.

When you nasal breathe, the body produces nitric oxide, an astonishing molecule that acts as a vasodilator within the body. It also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for decreasing cortisol and stress levels while helping the body relax. 

woman sleeping with mouth tape on

Nitric oxide also improves the immune system and helps to boost endurance during physical activity, among many other benefits. 

Other benefits of nasal breathing include:

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved asthma symptoms
  • Elimination of chronic bad breath
  • Weight loss
  • Improved gut function
  • Reduced anxiety and depression
  • Enhanced memory
  • Improved sleep apnea symptoms
  • Pain relief
  • Regulated heart rate
  • Improved sleep quality

In summary, nasal breathing is one of the easiest ways to improve our overall health and potentially prevent illness and disease. 

That’s why it’s so important to focus on breathing through your nose instead of your mouth. Eventually, this practice will become automatic during the day (and easy to achieve while asleep at night). 

How to Quit Mouth Breathing

Believe it or not, your sleeping position may cause you to breathe through your mouth at night. Try switching to side sleeping to promote nasal breathing. 

Mouth breathing is more likely if you’re sleeping on your back. The tissues fall backward and you may feel forced to take heavier breaths. 

On your side, the tissues aren’t forced back into the airway and you can maintain better control of your breath and mouth posture.

You can also use physical aids during sleep that help to keep your mouth closed and promote nasal breathing. 

Nasal strips work by helping to keep the nostrils dilated and open, making it easier to breathe in and out through the nose. However, nasal strips don’t always encourage a proper lip seal since the mouth can still fall open, leading to mouth breathing. 

Mouth tape, on the other hand, forces you to breathe in and out of the nose rather than the mouth. 

Mouth tape can be used in combination with a nasal strip (and even a CPAP machine for those with sleep apnea). It works exactly how you would expect: the tape keeps the lips together, making mouth breathing virtually impossible. 

This helps to prevent snoring, dry mouth, poor sleep, improper tongue posture, and more. Most importantly, it ensures that you’re breathing properly and improving your health. 

Before you reach for any old tape, consider that most tape adhesive is full of harmful chemicals that can cause skin irritation, rashes, and are just plain uncomfortable. Enter: SomniFix. 

Nasal Breathe Into the Night With SomniFix

Once you’ve mastered nasal breathing during the day to improve and protect your health, you’ll want to ensure that you keep nasal breathing while you sleep. 

SomniFix Mouth Strips are hypoallergenic, latex-free, gluten-free, and so comfortable to wear that you’ll forget it’s there. 

Better yet, our Strips are equipped with a small breathing vent that allows you to take in a small amount of air through the mouth if necessary. 

somnifix mouth strip

Furthermore, you can wear the Strips in combination with nasal strips and/or a CPAP mask (and our Strips can even help you say goodbye to bulky CPAP chin straps for good). 

Add SomniFix to your nighttime routine tonight to stop breathing through your mouth at night and protect your sleep, health, and quality of life one breath at a time. 

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