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Sleep Issues and Solutions

Sleep Issues and Solutions
Posted on 03/11/2024

Do you find yourself tossing and turning at night? Do you or your partner have snoring issues? Do you find yourself getting sleepy while driving or doing other daily tasks? Dr. Sheila Shah at MaconSmiles is here to help you with the best snoring therapy in Macon.

Proper sleep is a critical function for health. However, according to an online article from sleepfoundation.org, more than one-third of adults get less than 7 hours of sleep nightly, despite the fact that experts typically recommend 7 - 9 hours for adults. Lack of sleep has been shown in medical studies to create health problems and cognitive impairment. Fortunately, there are proactive steps that can be taken to improve sleep habits.

  •  Set a consistent sleep schedule
  • Create a regular bedtime ritual
  • Exercise regularly
  • Limit caffeine, including chocolate
  • Avoid nicotine and alcohol
  • Eat a proper diet

Milk, fatty fish, nuts, rice, kiwi, and cherries have each been found to help with relaxation and sleep. For healthier sleep patterns, it's also suggested that you avoid heavy meals before bedtime, as well as spicy or acidic foods, and those high in fat, like fried foods.

Exercise also affects your ability to maximize the benefits of sleep. Whether indoors or outdoors, working out can help you not only “get into better shape,” but also “get into better sleep.” Natural lighting, which is experienced when exercising outside, can help your body establish a good sleep-wake cycle. So, particularly finding ways to work more outdoor exercise and activities into your schedule can help you grab better Zs.

While eating and exercise can aid in a good night’s rest, maybe that’s not your problem. Perhaps the interruption to your sleep comes from, not yourself, but someone else. A partner who snores may rob you of the slumber you need. Although it may seem an innocent thing, snoring can actually lead to serious problems, such as a reduction of oxygen in the bloodstream.

Whether your lack of sleep comes from your own issue or your partner's, those who snore should consult with their local dentist who, in conjunction with a physician, may offer snoring therapies that can minimize sleep apnea – the condition where your airways collapse, shrink, or are blocked, preventing you from getting enough air while you breathe during your sleep. CPAP (a machine to keep your airways open) and surgery are some of the common treatments for snoring, but your dentist may be able to offer alternative options, such as dental appliances that don’t require any kind of invasive procedure. Dental appliances are simple devices worn by patients at night, positioning the mouth in a specific way to open airways for more comfortable and consistent breathing. The appliances resemble mouth guards, making them easy to care for and wear.

Oral dental appliances for sleep apnea are custom-made for each individual, so it’s important to work with your dental professional to ensure the proper positioning and fit of the device. High-quality molds of your teeth are used to craft each appliance to perfection. Compared with other treatment methods, not only are these oral devices more comfortable, but they are typically more affordable as well. That’s why you may wish to consult with your dentist about this recommended first choice before trying other methods. 

March is National Sleep Awareness Month, and there’s no need to miss out on quality of sleep which can affect your quality of life. Contact Family Dentistry in North Macon to schedule an appointment.

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