Westminster dentist outlines 3 surprising things that could be keeping you awake at night
Do you frequently have difficulty falling asleep at night but can’t figure out why? If you do manage to get any rest at all, do you still wake up feeling unrefreshed? How often does this occur? While nearly everyone struggles with sleep occasionally, it is not normal or healthy if it becomes an ongoing nightly problem. If you have chronic sleep issues, here are three surprising things that may be keeping you awake at night and how your dentist can help.
What could be affecting your ability to sleep?
- There are many foods that can interrupt your sleep, including caffeine, spicy dishes, alcohol and tyramine, an amino acid found in various aged cheeses or other fermented foods. Caffeine is especially sly, because it is not just in the teas, coffees and sodas we love. It also hides in certain over-the-counter medications. Try to allow a three-hour window or more before your usual bedtime to allow these foods to fully digest. Caffeine may require an even greater window or cutting it out altogether.
- Stress is often unavoidable, and whether it is caused by financial concerns, job frustrations or relationship difficulties, the way it is handled is important. Many people resort to subconscious, habitual behaviors, such as grinding or clenching their teeth. Not only can this lead to a jaw problem, but the grinding also causes damage to the surface of your teeth.
- Sleep apnea, along with snoring, is an issue for millions of Americans, and many are unaware of their condition. The first clue often presents when a sleep partner complains about their own lack of sleep. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to stop snoring without some sort of treatment or snoring appliance, and continuing to live with it can affect more than your sleep. In fact it can be hazardous both to your health and others. Don’t risk falling asleep behind the wheel or on the job. If you are already sleep-deprived, it may be time to undergo a simple sleep test.
How can your dentist help?
While dentists can’t control your diet, solve your stress problems or give sleep tests, they can help in other ways. The first step is to pinpoint why you aren’t sleeping. Schedule a comprehensive consultation to find out if there is a dental reason behind your sleep issues.