Sleep is the most important part of the day
Sleep is the most important part of the day. With a consistently good night’s sleep you are more likely to have the physical, mental and emotional resilience to deal with the stresses we face in our modern world.
It also boosts your immune system, improves your weight, your hormone balance, ability to think clearly … in fact it improves every health measure and the likelihood of overcoming many diseases
At Sydney Holistic Dental Centre, we not only look at your dental hygiene… we also investigate your sleep hygiene.
Why is a holistic dentist interested in sleep?
Without a good night’s sleep, your body does not recover from the day’s activity.
Sleep is the building block of health and how the body regenerates every day … physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s our opportunity to rebuild, regenerate and reboot. So first and foremost make it a high priority in your life.
There are a number of potential consequences if you’re not sleeping well:
- Relationship breakdown
- Partners sleeping in separate rooms
- Impact on your career
- Increased risk of:
- heart attack
- Type II diabetes is
- increased blood pressure
- increased risk of motor vehicle and workplace accidents
How do you know if you need help with your sleep hygiene?
Simply ask yourself these three questions…
- Is it easy for me to go to sleep at night?
- Do I sleep all the way through the night, uninterrupted?
- And most importantly … do I wake up feeling refreshed in the morning?
If you answer no to any of these question, you may need help improving your sleep hygiene so you get the rest your body needs and deserves!
Also ask yourself:
- Do I wake up with headaches, neck aches or jaw pain?
- Do I, or does my partner snore?
- Do I, or does my partner notice that I clench or grind my teeth?
- Do I wake up with dry lips or a dry mouth?
If the answer to any of these is yes, then there may be steps we can provide you to lead to a better night’s sleep.
There are a number of ways we treat sleep problems, depending upon their severity.
These can include:
- Investigating further through a sleep study
- Address snoring
- Create a customised night time appliance to assist you in sleeping well
- Assessing and improving your nighttime breathing
- Work with a sleep physician to maximise the benefit of your sleep
- Provide guidance on retraining sleep position
We can also provide you with a number of sleep tips to assist you in improving your sleep hygiene.
While there are many factors to discuss when it comes to postural stress, and its relationship with your oral and general help, a simple way to improve your sleep is to find a comfortable sleep position.
Sleeping posture, particularly sleeping on your stomach, causes problems with your jaw, as well as your head and neck muscles. Sleeping on your stomach may be a strong contributor to your headaches.
We spend an average of 8 hours a day sleeping and the position in which we sleep can impact dramatically on the muscles of the head, jaw, neck and back.
Stomach sleeping is the worst position and can result in headaches, neck aches or jaw aches.It can also compromise your ability to breath well while asleep.
Retraining sleeping position is a simple, non-invasive and cost effective first step in a treatment regime and can itself have dramatic impact on the level of pain, your breathing and the success of subsequent treatment.
What will we do?
- Review the history of your sleep condition
- Complete thorough examination of your teeth and mouth head neck and jaw
- Work with a sleep specialist if required
- Determine the right course of treatment for you to improve your sleep
- Follow-up visits, to fit and adjust will ensure comfort and appropriate results
Stomach sleeping – a problem
- Note the twist in the cervical spine and the pelvis.
- Even with a pillow, the kink in the neck could be worse
For people suffering chronic headaches or neck aches correcting this position will take pressure off the neck and pelvis and may significantly reduce your chronic pain.
Side or back sleeping – ideal for muscles of the head neck and jaw as well as the airway
- A more ideal sleeping posture with neck, spine and pelvis unstrained
- The use of a contoured pillow to support the neck…
- …and the use of an additional pillow to support the legs and prevent twisting on to the stomach and straining pelvis and neck.
Commonly Asked Questions
Do you wake up to go to the bathroom at night?
It may surprise you to hear this is related to your breathing while you sleep. It is important to have 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. There are a number of ways we can address this, and your body will thank you for make some small changes.
Waking up with headaches, neck aches and jaw pain can be a sign of clenching and grinding while you sleep. Sometimes, a bed partner can hear the clenching and grinding of teeth, it is so noticeable.
Your teeth are only meant to be touching for a small period of time. If you clench or grind your teeth, your jaw muscles tighten together with the muscles at the back of the neck. Studies have shown that clenching of teeth causes muscles to tighten throughout the whole body. We can relieve this tension through the use of a customised dental splint, worn while you sleep.
Sleeping posture is critical to waking up refreshed. The position in which we sleep can impact dramatically on our ability to breathe well, as well as the muscles of the head, jaw, neck and back.
Stomach sleeping is the worst position and can result in headaches, neck aches or jaw aches. A more ideal sleeping position is on your back or, best of all, on your side with the neck, spine and pelvis unstrained.
Retraining sleeping position is a simple, non-invasive and cost-effective first step in a treatment regime for chronic musculoskeletal pain problems such as chronic tension headaches or neck aches.
It can in itself have a dramatic impact on the level of pain, and the success of subsequent treatment for head, neck and jaw pain.
Retraining your sleeping position may take 2-3 months…it can take time to break old habits.
Snoring is a widespread problem affecting the sleeping pattern of snorers and their partners. Holistic Dentistry has a significant role to play in eliminating this problem.
At the Sydney Holistic Dental Centre we have investigated many snoring appliance and feel that the SomnoMed is our best choice. Please read more on the snoring and sleep apnoea page.
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