Sleep your Way to Better Teeth
Do you like to sleep? I know I do. When I found out that not sleeping the recommended 7-8 hours a night could make periodontal disease worse, I committed on the spot to going that extra mile and sleep longer. Researchers say if you sleep less than 6 hours a night, you could be hurting your oral health 1. It is believed that a lack of sleep represses your immune system’s ability to fight off bacteria. Since gum disease is a bacterial infection, it makes sense that gum disease progression will be greater in those who sleep less. So in the name of oral health (and National Sleep Better Month) Delta Dental of Arkansas has 5 tips for you to sleep on!
1) Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This helps your body get into a routine and it will be easier to fall asleep and wake up after a while.
2) Develop a sleep ritual that you do every night. You know, wash your face, brush your teeth and floss in the same order every night. The same routine can cue your body that bedtime is approaching.
3) Begin to unwind earlier. You don’t want the day’s worries and stresses to keep you awake once you get into bed. Keep a notebook by your bed to get your thoughts out of your mind before turning in.
4) Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Did you eat a heavy dinner really late? Did you drink a coke right before crawling into bed? Feeling stuffed could make you so uncomfortable that you don’t sleep well. Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants that can keep you awake, and too much water or liquids before bed could keep you up all night with trips to the bathroom.
5) Start exercising. Regular physical activity promotes better sleep and can help you fall asleep quicker. Beware of exercising right before bed though...It could get you too jazzed up! Now that you have these handy tips, turn out the lights and get some sleep! 1.Warner, Jennifer. "Smoking and Sleep Affect Oral Health." WebMD. WebMD. Web. 09 Apr. 2012. .