Is mouth breathing hurting my sleep?

Is mouth breathing hurting my sleep?

In short. YES! 


Many of us are mouth breathers while we sleep. We initially lie down with open nasal passages and breathe comfortably through our noses. However, as the night progresses, nasal tissues swell while throat muscles simultaneously relax. This causes our relatively small airway to become constricted.

 What happens next? 

Blood oxygen and CO2 levels drop, triggering the brain into a “fight or flight” response through the influence of adrenalin and cortisol release. The adrenalin then awakens us enough to open the airway wider, and we subconsciously switch to mouth-breathing to further increase air volume. Consequently, a chronic and unhealthy sleep pattern is established.


Increased Nasal Congestion > Mouth Breathing > More Adrenalin > Awakening = Poor Sleep Quality


You’ll want to try to breathe through you nose all night. If you do, you will immediately realize deeper, more restful, sleep, often with less snoring. When we breathe through our nose effectively and efficiently, our heart rate decreases as the amount of adrenaline in our body declines. (If you have ever woken up in the middle of the night with your heart racing, you know what I am referring to here). A full night of nose-breathing will improve the oxygen level in your blood and reduce the amount of “brain fog” you experience in the morning resulting in a happier more well rested YOU.


So, do you know if you breathe through your mouth during sleep?

Below are some symptoms of mouth breathing:

  • Dry mouth when you wake up.
  • Snoring
  • Clammy or sticky feeling in your mouth when you awake.
  • Consistent bad breath.
  • Cracked lips.
  • Daytime fatigue.
  • Your throat hurts or is sore in the early morning.
  • Chronic allergies.
  • Enlarged adenoids.


What can you do about it?  Well, below are a few ways:

  • Sleep on your side
  • Use nasal spray before sleeping to stop any swelling in the nose
  • Tape your mouth closed (controversial but many professionals prescribe this method)
  • Practice nose breathing throughout the day (strengthens the nose muscles)
  • Use a chin strap which will help keep your mouth closed and force nose breathing

The main idea being is that you should do what you can to decrease mouth breathing as much as possible. If you are mouth breathing during sleep you will not be getting deep restful sleep!


I hope you now have a better understanding of why mouth breathing causes poor sleep.  If you have any questions, please email


Have a great sleep!

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