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The Top 8 Things That Can Improve Your Sleep

The Top 8 Things That Can Improve Your Sleep

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, sleep often takes a back seat. However, the quality of your sleep profoundly impacts your overall health and well-being. As a renowned TMJ specialist and advocate for better sleep, Dr. Nojan Bakhtiari emphasizes the importance of optimizing sleep hygiene for improved health outcomes. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore eight effective strategies endorsed by Dr. Bakhtiari to enhance your sleep quality and alleviate TMJ pain.

  1. Utilize Oral Appliances: Oral appliances tailored to improve the airway can significantly alleviate snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. Dr. Bakhtiari recommends customized oral devices designed to promote proper jaw alignment, reducing TMJ-related discomfort while facilitating uninterrupted sleep.
  2. Create a Tranquil Sleep Environment: A serene sleep environment is paramount for restorative sleep. Ensure your bedroom is dark and quiet, shielding it from disruptive external stimuli. Consider investing in a white noise machine to mask street noises, promoting a peaceful ambiance conducive to quality sleep.
  3. Regulate Room Temperature: Temperature plays a pivotal role in sleep quality. Dr. Bakhtiari advises maintaining cooler room temperatures, typically between 60-67°F (15-19°C), to facilitate optimal sleep conditions. Experiment with bedding materials and room ventilation to achieve the perfect sleep-inducing temperature.
  4. Limit Stimulants and Depressants: Consumption of stimulants like coffee and nicotine, as well as depressants like alcohol, can significantly impair sleep quality. Dr. Bakhtiari recommends abstaining from these substances, particularly in the hours leading up to bedtime, to mitigate sleep disturbances and TMJ pain exacerbation.
  5. Pre-Bedtime Stress Management: Engaging in stressful discussions or activities before bed can disrupt sleep patterns and exacerbate TMJ pain. Prioritize relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or gentle stretching to unwind and prepare your mind and body for restful sleep.
  6. Strategic Supplementation: Certain supplements, when timed appropriately, can enhance sleep quality and alleviate TMJ discomfort. Dr. Bakhtiari suggests incorporating magnesium and melatonin supplements into your bedtime routine, under professional guidance, to promote relaxation and regulate sleep-wake cycles effectively.
  7. Embrace Relaxing Activities: Engaging in calming activities like yoga or progressive muscle relaxation before bed can induce a state of tranquility conducive to restorative sleep. Dr. Bakhtiari advocates for incorporating these relaxing exercises into your evening routine to alleviate TMJ pain and promote overall well-being.
  8. Avoid Vigorous Exercise Before Bed: While regular exercise is beneficial for sleep quality, engaging in intense physical activity too close to bedtime can hinder relaxation and disrupt sleep patterns. Dr. Bakhtiari advises scheduling exercise sessions earlier in the day to allow your body ample time to wind down before sleep.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition where an individual stops breathing for certain periods of time during their sleep. It can consist of shallow breaths, a pause in breathing or gasping for air. The blockage of the airway occurs as a result of the tongue falling backwards and collapsing the muscles of the back of the throat. This lack of airflow results in a drop of oxygen levels to the brain. Once the brain senses the inability to breathe, it tries to reopen the airway, however this disturbs your sleep pattern (sometimes without you even noticing).

The repeated cycle of deeper and shallower sleep stages results in “lousy” sleep quality. Sleep apnea sufferers wake up with a mind fog despite sleeping enough hours. This mind fog can lead to decreased energy, lack of productivity at work, feeling irritable and morning headaches. Because sleep apnea is fairly common and undiagnosed in the general population, patients may spend years trying to cope by changing their behaviors. This may include excessive coffee drinking, energy drinks, and napping.

How Would You Know If You Have Sleep Apnea?

Common symptoms of sleep apnea include gasping for air during sleep, feeling tired in the morning, lack of memory or concentration, morning headaches, and moodiness. Loud snoring is also a frequent symptom. Often times it is very helpful to have your bed partner aid in identifying that you are at risk of sleep apnea. If any of these signs or symptoms are present, you should contact your physician and request a proper sleep test.

To diagnose sleep apnea, healthcare providers conduct sleep studies to help record the number of times you stop, or slow down your breathing in the duration of an hour. The oxygen concentration in the blood is also noted during such events, as low levels indicate lack of airflow.

Sleep studies can be conducted at a sleep lab or at the comfort of your own bed at home. Regardless of where you have your sleep test is conducted, bands and sensors are placed on your body to collect information from the heart, lungs and muscles.

In conclusion, prioritizing optimal sleep hygiene is paramount for overall health and well-being, particularly for individuals struggling with TMJ-related discomfort. By implementing these evidence-based strategies endorsed by Dr. Nojan Bakhtiari, you can significantly improve your sleep quality, alleviate TMJ pain, and enhance your overall quality of life. Remember, a restful night’s sleep is not a luxury but a necessity for optimal health and vitality. Book Your Appointment Now with Dr. Nojan!