Yes, November is sleep comfort month. This topic conjures up many different ideas, so here are some key information points to help you analyze your sleep habits and evaluate how well you are sleeping and what you can do to improve your own personal sleep comfort.
What’s standing in the way of a good night’s sleep?
Comfort implies being relaxed and in an ideal environment for you. When it comes to sleep, you should prepare for a good night’s sleep EVERY day:
- Try to wind down at the end of your day and figure out what time you should go to bed to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night. The proper amount of sleep does vary slightly from person to person, but 7-8 hours is a good goal.
- Try to limit stimulating activities for at least an hour before bed. This includes cutting your time on a computer, tablet or smart phone.
- Try to avoid any caffeine after 3 pm; caffeine stays in your system for about 6 hours. Alcohol also negatively affects sleep, so try to limit alcohol consumption before bed.
- You should also try to keep your bedroom a little cool because this does help you sleep better.
- Relaxation techniques and meditation are very effective for many people. These need to become a regular ritual to get the biggest benefit from these practices.
Is your mattress causing you pain?
Often a good night’s sleep can be dependent on the right mattress you’re sleeping on, especially if you have back and neck issues. As a practicing dentist, painful backs and neck ailments are a common side effect of our work. Up to 80% of dental professional will experience neck and back pain during their professional careers. Awkward working postures, repetitive work and prolonged standing are the culprits.
I am quite particular about what I sleep on and my mattress of choice is Saatva, a hybrid mattress that offers the best of both worlds: cushioning and support. Although there are many excellent mattresses on the market which include Casper, Purple, TemperPedic, Helix sleep, Dreamcloud and Nectar. Go try several before you make a choice. Remember you will be sleeping on that mattress for years to come.
Is snoring keeping you and your partner up at night?
While focusing on the right mattress firmness, and the softest pillow is essential, achieving a good night’s sleep can be affected by other factors. Not only can these factors compromise our sleep comfort but they can also negatively impact on our overall health and wellness.
Snoring is a significant factor in many people’s lives. The individual who snores may wake themselves up from snorting and gasping sounds that happen during heavy snoring. When you talk about sleep comfort, speak to the bed partner of a heavy snorer and they will tell you their sleep comfort is quite compromised. Snoring can be much more serious than the annoying sounds it creates.
Snoring can be a sign of sleep disordered breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder and those who snore heavily are often affected with sleep apnea. When you fall asleep your jaw and all the associated muscles relax, including your tongue. When the muscles relax your airway can get blocked and that is when the obstructive sleep apnea occurs.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
If you do have sleep apnea you most likely wake up often during the night and often feel tired during the day. Your bed partner may often complain of loud excessive snoring and. You may also have high blood pressure because your heart is working harder because of less oxygen when you stop breathing. Or you might be developing type 2 diabetes. Alcohol and sedative type medications can make sleep apnea worse – so beware.
Untreated sleep apnea WILL lead to many possible health issues and is something that should not be ignored. Sleep apnea is a treatable condition. The options are: a CPAP (breathing machine), an oral appliance (made by a specially trained dentist), or a surgical procedure.
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, you must get a sleep test to accurately diagnose the condition. You should talk with your doctor or dentist if you feel you need to get a sleep test.
As we all know, good restful sleep is so important for your overall health and wellbeing. Sleep comfort is something you need to figure out what works best for you. But the bottom line is that you should do whatever you need to get the best sleep you can every day.
If you would like more information on sleep apnea and treatment, please contact
Dr. Robert Rawdin at Gallery 57 Dental