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World Sleep Day 2021


Help me to


March 19th is World Sleep Day.

We all love sleep, I’m sure. I like nothing more than to have a good snooze. But if you’re kip is being interrupted at night, it can really affect your health and wellbeing.

From clenching and grinding, to sleep apnoea, we’re going to look at some of the dental related problems that could be affecting your sleep.

Clenching and Grinding (or Bruxism)

This is a super common problem that can affect anyone at any time. We find it afflicts people more at night though, when your brain is shut off and you can’t stop yourself from doing it. It’s also fairly easy to diagnose as well. On examiantion, we will be able to see bite marks on the inside of your cheeks and tongue. You’ll have white lined patches where your teeth have been constantly rubbing against your soft tissues, or you may have even been biting your tongue or cheeks. You may also be grinding down your teeth without realising, creating small flat areas on your teeth. You may be waking up with a sore jaw or neck.

The good news is that it’s also easy to fix with a mouthguard or night guard. You just pop it in when you feel like you’re clenching and grinding, and then the appliance takes all the flack instead of your teeth and soft tissues.

Good sleep helps tissue repair

We have all woken up from sleep that seemed too good to be true, because of how refreshed we felt on waking up! When asleep, you are mainly using less energy and less of your body parts (including your teeth) than when we are awake. Therefore, sleep gives your body the required time to rejuvenate, and by the same mechanism, improves your oral health


If you or your partner snore, then it can make sleep pretty hard for both of you. Sometimes, no amount of kicking in the ribs can make it stop either, and its usually worse when you have a cold. There are devices we can make to help ease the onset of snoring.

Sleep Apnoea

Sleep apnoea is when your breathing stops and starts while you sleep. The most common type is called obstructive sleep apnoea. It can be hard to tell if you have sleep apnoea. It may help to ask someone to stay with you while you sleep so they can check for the symptoms. If it’s very severe and you stop breathing for any prolongued amount of time, then it would be best to speak to your GP about undergoing tests.

Tips to get a good nights sleep:

  • Make sleep a priority. This is the most important thing to do. Otherwise your long list of things to do will always get in the way. You need to be kinder to yourself and let certain things go. The house doesn’t have to be sparking clean before you go to bed. It is more important that you are well rested and healthy.
  • Set a sleep routine that is doable with your schedule. If you set unrealistic expectations you will never meet them. Start by going to bed a little earlier each night until you found the right amount of sleep that leaves you rested and not stressed by your overflowing to-do lists. Once you follow your new routine for a while, your body will start to know when it is time to relax and get some ZZZ’s.
  • If you think you suffer from sleep apnea, don’t wait any longer to undergo a sleep study to see if you need to sleep with a CPAP machine.
  • Some dental issues like clenching and grinding your teeth can affect your sleep. If you suspect you do this, talk to your dentist about appliances that you can wear in order to get a better night’s stress.
  • It is not just the time you go to sleep that matters. When you wake up is also important. Make sure you are consistently going to bed and waking up at the same time. Otherwise you are messing with your body’s natural circadian rhythms.
  • Try not to eat anything after 7 p.m. and avoid all caffeinated and sweetened beverage before bed as well.
  • If you need a little soothing before bed, try some chamomile or any herb tea. It will help your body relax and prepare for bedtime.
  • Create a sanctuary in your bedroom where you can leave out all your troubles. Make sure your room is clean and uncluttered and that your bed is comfortable. Keeping your bedroom dark, cool and quiet will also help you snuggle under your blankets and sink into sleepy time land a lot sooner.
  • If your mind tends to race a lot at night with all the things you have to do the next day, start leaving a notepad and pen on the end table by the bed so you can write down a list for tomorrow and get back to sleep.

If you are effected by any of the issues raised in this post, please get in touch.

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