Sleeping well directly influences your mental and physical health. If you fall short, it can take a serious toll on your weight, emotional balance, productivity, and daytime energy, and may also lead to conditions like bruxism. Yet, many of us toss and turn regularly at night, struggling to get the sleep we need.
As a leading provider of custom light teeth grinders, we discuss eleven ways to improve your sleep cycle and reduce the effects of bruxism:
1. Exercise early
As long as it’s done at the right time, exercise can help you fall asleep more soundly and faster. Exercise helps trigger the brain’s alerting mechanism by stimulating the body to secrete cortisol — the stress hormone. While this is fine, it’s counterproductive when you’re looking to get a good sleep. So, either work out earlier in the day or try to finish exercising at least three hours before bed.
2. Balance fluid intake
Drink sufficient fluid at night, so you don’t wake up thirsty. However, don’t overdo it, especially close to bedtime; otherwise, you’ll be awakened by the need for a trip to the bathroom.
3. Control yourself when eating evening meals
Eating a pizza at 11:00 p.m. can be a recipe for insomnia. Finish dinner at least three hours before bedtime and avoid foods that lead to indigestion. If you find yourself starving at night, snack on foods that won’t disturb your sleep, such as foods with carbohydrates.
4. Nap early or don’t do it
Most people take naps regularly during the day. However, if you’re not able to sleep well, afternoon napping may be the issue. This is because naps decrease sleep drive. If you can’t live without a nap, keep it short, and don’t nap later than 5:00 p.m.
5. Keep your sleep schedule consistent
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day sets the internal clock of the body to expect sleep at a certain time after night. To avoid a Monday morning sleep hangover, do your best to stick to your routine on weekends. Waking up at the same time every day is the best way to set your clock, and even if you didn’t sleep well the night before, you could consolidate sleep the following night through the extra sleep drive.
6. Use light to your advantage
If you want to keep your internal clock on a healthy sleep-wake cycle, use natural light to your advantage. So, in the morning, let the light in. Also, don’t forget to walk out of the office into the sun for a little break in the afternoon.
7. Don’t be a nighttime clock-watcher
Don’t stare at the clock in your bedroom. If you do this when you wake up in the middle of the night or when you’re trying to fall asleep, you’ll find it difficult to sleep. If possible, turn the face of the clock away from you.
If you wake up in the middle of the night and find it difficult to fall asleep in around 20 minutes, get up and do some restful, quiet activity like listening to music or reading. Do this in dim lights because bright lights can stimulate your internal clock. Return to bed when your eyelids are drooping, and you’re ready to sleep.
8. Establish a soothing pre-sleep routine
Do some relaxing activities an hour or so before bed — this will help you ease the transition from wake time to sleep time. Practice relaxation exercises, watch television, read a book, or take a bath (the rise and fall in body temperature lead to drowsiness). Avoid stimulating, taxing activities like discussing stressful issues or working. Psychologically and physically stressful activities may cause the body to release cortisol (the stress hormone), which can increase alertness. If you have a habit of taking your problems to bed, write them down and put them aside.
9. Create a sleep-inducing environment
A cool, dark, and quiet environment may help promote sound slumber. This is exactly why bats congregate in caves for their daytime sleep. Here’s how to achieve such an environment: use a ‘white noise’ appliance or earplugs to lower the volume of outside noise. Use an eye mask, blackout shades, or heavy curtains to block light — this will send a powerful cue to the brain. Keep the room well-ventilated and temperature comfortably cool. Ensure your bedroom is equipped with pillows and a comfortable mattress. Remember that many mattresses wear out after a decade.
In addition, keep your pet out of your bedroom if it regularly wakes you during the night.
Also, limit your bedroom activities to sleep and rest only. Keep TVs, computers, and work materials out of the room to strengthen the mental association between your sleep and your bedroom.
10. Avoid nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and other chemicals that interfere with sleep
Caffeinated products decrease the quality of sleep of a person.
If you love coffee, you’ll know that caffeine can keep you awake. So, stay away from caffeine (found in cola, chocolate, tea, coffee, and certain pain relievers) for 4-6 hours before bedtime. If you’re a smoker, using tobacco products too close to bedtime isn’t recommended.
While alcohol may help bring sleep, it acts as a stimulant after a few hours, decreasing the quality of sleep later in the night. Therefore, it’s best to limit alcohol consumption to a maximum of just one drink per day.
11. Order a night guard online from Clear Comfort Night Guards and wear them before you sleep
Clear Comfort Night Guards offer custom made night guards made by highly trained dental technicians to suit the varying needs of their customers. Their night guards help with teeth grinding, helping you to sleep well.
So, shop night teeth guards and start prioritizing your oral health; their night guards also protect your crowns, veneers, and dental works.
Visit their webiste now for more information!
About the Author
Christine C. Smith is a medical professional with a degree in dental hygiene. While she’s currently associated with a healthcare company, she also loves writing blogs to help her audience stay on top of their oral health.