Woman Swears by Bedtime Routine That Looks Like She's Being 'Held Hostage'
Do you wake up feeling tired and desperate for a better night's sleep? One woman says she has the "best sleep ever" by following a unique bedtime routine, which includes taping her mouth shut.
TikTok user Hannah Chody (@hannahchody) is a 30-year-old vice president of strategy for Garrett Brands who is based in Austin, Texas. She told Newsweek: "After receiving an Oura ring [a sleep and activity tracker] for Christmas in 2021, I became very in tune with my sleep and wanted to optimize my sleep quality."
Chody outlined her detailed sleep routine in a viral TikTok video, in which she says: "My husband says that I look like someone being held hostage when I sleep at night. To that, I say 'fair.' But it's the best sleep ever, so I'm gonna show you guys how I sleep."
Around 50 to 70 million Americans have sleep or wakefulness disorders, according to the U.S. National Heart, Long and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
Sleep deficiency and untreated sleep disorders are associated with an increasing number of health conditions. These include heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, diabetes, obesity and certain cancers, warns the NHLBI.
"Healthy sleep requires adequate duration, good quality, appropriate timing and regularity, and the absence of sleep disturbances or disorders," the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society said in a joint statement. This was published in June 2015 in the peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
The latest viral TikTok clip, which has received over 213,000 views, sees Chody set the scene for a deep slumber with the help of various sleep rituals. She said she's been following this exact routine for a few months and believes it has been "very effective."
Below, we unpack some of the sleeping tips highlighted by Chody.
Chody said the first step in her routine entails setting the sound machine.
Carlie Gasia is a certified sleep science coach at Sleepopolis, a sleep health information website that tests various products including mattresses, pillows, sleep masks, weighted blankets. She told Newsweek that it's best to use "calming and soothing sounds" to induce sleep.
Some sounds recommended by Gasia include:
"These sounds can promote relaxation and help create a peaceful environment for sleep," Gasia said. "However, individual preferences may vary, so it's important to experiment and find the sounds that work best for you."
The sleep coach added that you should also be mindful of the volume level of the sound "to ensure it's comfortable for your sleep environment."
In the video, Chody said she uses a silk eye mask from a brand called Slip. She told Newsweek: "I had used an eye mask for quite some time before this, and I started sleeping on my back for anti-aging benefits."
Chody uses a "face pillow," which is used for sleeping on your back. The TikTok user said she had to get used to "sleeping on my back, which took a week or two of interrupted sleep until I adapted to this position."
Gasia said using multiple pillows stacked together, including a "face pillow" for back sleeping, has both advantages and disadvantages. The benefits include "proper spinal alignment, support for specific conditions such as acid reflux, congestion or respiratory issues and personalized comfort," the sleep coach explained.
However, there are potential drawbacks, such as neck and back strain and discomfort. "Stacking too many pillows can create an unstable surface, making it challenging to maintain a consistent and comfortable position throughout the night," added Gasia.
She also said that a "dependence on stacked pillows may make it harder to adjust to different sleeping environments."
"Individual preferences vary, so it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance on whether stacked pillows are suitable for your specific sleep needs."
Chody uses the Sleep Crown, a pillow designed to be placed over the face or head during sleep.
Gasia said that some benefits of this pillow include potential sensory deprivation by blocking out light and external stimuli, relaxation and reduced movement during sleep.
"However, there are significant cons, including safety concerns related to airway obstruction and discomfort or claustrophobia. I would approach the Sleep Crown pillow with caution due to safety risks. I would prioritize alternative strategies to promote restful sleep based on individual needs and circumstances," Gasia added.
The final step in Chody's routine is to close her mouth shut with tape before sleeping.
Gasia said that mouth taping is done to promote nasal breathing while you sleep, which can potentially reduce issues such as mouth dryness and snoring.
Chody told Newsweek: "I instantly noticed I felt better rested when I used mouth tape for the first time. I typically get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night, and my Oura ring shows great sleep quality and a low resting heart rate."
She said she first learned about mouth taping and its benefits from Andrew Huberman's Huberman Lab podcast. Huberman, a neurobiology professor at Stanford University, California, has previously spoken about the health benefits of nasal breathing.
Gasia said: "Nasal breathing has various potential benefits, including better air filtration, improved oxygen uptake, and increased nitric oxide production, which can support respiratory and overall health."
The certified sleep-science coach added: "Mouth taping may not be suitable for those with chronic nasal congestion or structural issues that prevent effective nasal breathing. It is important to address any underlying nasal issues before attempting mouth taping."
Some may also find mouth taping uncomfortable or feel anxious about the idea of having their mouths taped during sleep, Gasia added.
Do you have any unique tips for getting the best sleep? Send them to [email protected] with some details, and your story could be featured in Newsweek.Do you have any unique tips for getting the best sleep? Send them to [email protected] with some details, and your story could be featured in Newsweek.