Tired is a Warning Sign

By Holly, Practice Administrator 


As a dental office, chances are if we’re talking to you about your sleep it’s during a conversation related to your tooth grinding habit. We wanted to take a step back and take a more overarching look at sleep because there are often significant connections between sleep habits and teeth grinding. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation may increase stress and exacerbate tooth grinding. Inadequate amounts of sleep diminish people’s energy levels, which affects their cognition, management of their emotions, and ability to focus their attention. Sleep debt also increases our risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease. If we are in a constant state of sleep deprivation our relationships, health, work performance, and feeling of contentment will suffer. Though each person is unique, the National Sleep Foundation has published recommended windows that the experts agree on. How much sleep do you really need? Well, test it out. Try 7 hours a night for 7 days, then 8 hours a night for 7 days, and 9 hours a night for 7 days and see how you feel. If your magic number is 7, stick to your routine with reverence- your health and happiness will thank you for it.

Are you perpetually exhausted? Here are some warning signs that you may need to talk to your doctor about a sleep makeover:

  • sleepiness during the day
  • snoring
  • leg cramps or tingling in the night
  • gasping or difficulty breathing during sleep
  • waking up coughing
  • prolonged insomnia

Here are some simple yet effective healthy sleep tips that can also help reduce teeth grinding:

  • stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends
  • practice a relaxing bedtime ritual
  • exercise daily
  • evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal sound, light, and temperature (for adults it’s 60 to 67 degrees, and for small children it’s between 65 and 70 degrees)
  • sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows
  • beware of hidden sleep stealers, like alcohol, sugar, and caffeine
  • turn off electronics before bed
  • eat dinner no less than 3 hours before bedtime

Sweet Dreams!

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