Sleep problems can be rooted in a number of issues. Many people have poor sleep hygiene that thwarts their ability to sleep.
Here are a few tips to try to get a better night’s rest:
- Keep a consistent bedtime: Going to bed every night at the same time—even on weekends—will signal your body that it is time to sleep.
- Eat and drink wisely: Avoid consuming anything in the evening that may interfere with your sleep. Caffeine is a no-brainer, but alcohol and spicy foods can also fall into this category.
- Unplug: Go screen-free for the hour before bedtime. The light from the computer or television can have effects on your brain that will keep you awake longer than intended.
- Have a back-up plan: If you find yourself tossing and turning for more than a half-hour, get up and engage in a relaxing activity like reading until you feel sleepy. Then head back to bed.
Some people find that they try these behavioral and habitual changes and still wake up feeling less than rested. In these cases, a physiological condition can be at fault, and a consultation with an oral surgeon may help.
One particular health problem that interferes with your sleep is sleep apnea, which causes people to stop breathing periodically throughout the night. This happens when the soft tissues at the rear of the throat collapse in a way that obstructs the airway opening.
Patients can try a wide variety of interventions for sleep apnea. Obesity factors in to sleep apnea, so weight loss may help.
Because the structures of the mouth can be at fault, working with an oral surgeon may be helpful, as well. Some patients may get relief from wearing a custom-fitted nightguard that repositions the tongue or the jaw to reduce the chances that the soft tissues in the back of the throat will be able to cover up the airway. The oral surgeon can be involved in designing this appliance, in addition to any surgical intervention that might be needed if the nightguard does not reduce symptoms.
If you make simple behavioral changes, you may find that you get better sleep. If that doesn’t help, consult with our oral surgeons at ORA® Oral Surgery, Sleep Disorder & Implant Studio to see if you might have sleep apnea and learn what treatment may be effective. Call 312-328-9000 to schedule your visit today.