If you’re tackling your nighttime mouth breathing, Park suggested you start by taking care of your nose to minimize congestion.
“Number one, avoid eating close to bedtime,” he said. That’s because stomach juices can come up into your nose, sinuses, ears and mouth, causing congestion and inflammation.
Park also recommended nasal saline irrigation, flushing the nose with salt water in a squeeze bottle. “That’s a mild decongestant, because the salt water draws out clear water from the membrane,” he explained. (Over-the-counter decongestant sprays can cause habituation and rebound symptoms, Park said, and should be reserved for short-term use.)
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Breathing problems are so widespread that they’ve spurred a whole industry dedicated to opening your nose. Park said some people find relief from nasal strips, which open up the nose from the outside, or nasal dilators that expand air passages from within.
But even if you get your nose to clear, nighttime mouth breathing can be a hard habit to break. That’s led some to seek out products that secure their lips closed at night.
Many experts warn against mouth taping while you sleep, because it can be dangerous.
“If you have obstructive sleep apnea, yes, this can be very dangerous,” said sleep specialist Dr. Raj Dasgupta, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, in a previous CNN article.
文字由Jen Rose Smith提供，插图由CNN的Max Pepper提供