Good Sleep: Why is it so important?

As dentists, we often focus on meticulous oral hygiene practices and regular dental check-ups to keep our mouths healthy & happy. However, one crucial element that is sometimes overlooked is the profound impact of quality sleep on our oral and overall well-being.

Oral Health Well-Being

Reducing the Risk of Gum Disease

Quality sleep plays a significant role in bolstering our immune system. A well-rested body is better equipped to fend off infections, including those affecting the gums. Chronic sleep deprivation, on the other hand, can compromise the immune system, increasing the susceptibility to gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.

Oral Health and Sleep Breathing Disorders

Conditions like sleep apnoea can have a detrimental impact on oral health. The irregular breathing patterns associated with sleep apnoea can lead to dry mouth, a condition that contributes to an increased risk of cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. Exploring treatment options for sleep-related breathing disorders is crucial for maintaining oral health.

Bruxism and Sleep Quality

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common issue often linked to stress and anxiety, which can be exacerbated by poor sleep. Grinding or clenching the teeth during sleep can result in enamel erosion, tooth sensitivity, and even fractures. Establishing healthy sleep habits and stress-reduction techniques can play a pivotal role in addressing bruxism.

Saliva Production and Night Time Rest

Adequate saliva production is essential for neutralising acids in the mouth and preventing tooth decay. During deep sleep, saliva production typically decreases. Ensuring that you achieve sufficient overall sleep duration can contribute to maintaining a healthy balance of saliva, and so protecting your teeth.

The Impact of Poor Sleep on Dietary Choices

Sleep has a profound influence on our dietary habits, as it influences various hormones that control metabolism, growth and our responses to stress. By prioritising quality sleep, you are more likely to make healthier food choices that support your oral health.

General Health Well-Being

Enhanced cognitive function

Sleep is vital for maintaining normal brain functioning such as learning, memory consolidation, problem-solving, learning concentration, attention, creativity, emotional processing and judgement. Lack of sleep interferes with cognitive performance and can lead to problems with focussing and thinking clearly. A well-rested mind is more focused, alert, and better equipped to concentrate on tasks. Productivity and efficiency are significantly improved when you get enough sleep regularly.

Emotional Wellness

Sleep and mood are closely connected, sleep appears to be essential to our ability to cope with stress in our daily lives. Poor or inadequate sleep can lead to irritability, mood swings, and increased stress levels. On the other hand, good sleep fosters emotional resilience, stability, and a more positive outlook on life.

Restored Immune System

Sleep restores and repairs the body, making people feel refreshed in the morning. During sleep, the body produces growth hormones necessary for development in children and adolescents. These growth hormones also repair tissues and cells in people of all ages. Inadequate sleep can impact the body’s immune response to infection. Chronic sleep loss can make people more susceptible to common infections, such as a cold, while insufficient sleep over time can lead to a greater risk for immunodeficiency.

Improved Heart Health

During sleep the heart rate slows and the blood pressure decreases, allowing the heart and vascular system to rest. Lack of sleep causes the blood pressure to remain high for long periods, increasing the risk of unwanted cardiovascular events such as heart disease, heart attack and heart failure. 

Athletic performance 

Athletes and active individuals benefit from good sleep as it aids in muscle recovery, coordination, and reaction times. Quality sleep contributes to improved physical performance and reduces the risk of injuries.

Maintaining Healthy weight

Poor sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate appetite, leading to an increased desire for high-calorie and unhealthy foods. Adequate sleep helps maintain a healthier balance of hunger hormones, reducing the risk of overeating and obesity. Good sleep is linked to better overall quality of life, improved mood, higher energy levels, and increased ability to engage in daily activities and hobbies. Good quality sleep is crucial for maintaining physical health, supporting cognitive function, managing emotions, and enhancing overall well-being. Prioritising and adopting healthy sleep habits can have a profound positive impact on various aspects of life, allowing individuals to lead healthier, more productive, and fulfilling lives.

sleep apnoea

A goodnight’s sleep is important for you and your partner

Tips for Getting Better Sleep

To get better sleep, and the many health benefits that come along with it, we take a look at the healthy practices around sleep, known as sleep hygiene. A number of lifestyle adjustments can help improve sleep quality.

Create a Consistent Sleep Schedule

A regular sleep and wake routine helps the body keep a consistent internal clock. Sleep experts recommend going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, including weekends.

Make a Quality Sleep Environment

Although individual preferences may vary, most people sleep best in a dark, quiet, and cool bedroom. Replacing old, worn, or uncomfortable mattresses and pillows with new and supportive ones can help improve sleep quality.

Avoid Caffeine, Nicotine, and Alcohol Before Bedtime

Caffeine is a stimulant that provides a boost of energy and alertness. When taken in the afternoon or evening, caffeine can make it difficult to fall asleep at night. The use of nicotine, found in cigarettes, in the evening is associated with more time spent awake at night. While some people drink alcohol before bedtime intending to get to sleep faster, alcohol is associated with lighter, lower quality sleep.

Exercise During the Day

Daytime exercise can make it easier to fall asleep  and daily exercise is associated with better sleep quality. Exercise may also help individuals fall asleep faster and increase the overall time spent sleeping. It can be beneficial to exercise outside, as sunlight exposure during the day also improves sleep. People should avoid exercising too late in the day so that their bodies can relax before bedtime.

Avoid Screens Before Bedtime

Setting electronic devices aside at least 30 minutes before bedtime can make it easier to fall asleep. Phones, tablets, computers, and other electronics with screens emit blue light, which can disrupt the body’s natural production of the sleep hormone melatonin and make it difficult to fall asleep. Instead, sleep experts advise developing a relaxing routine in the hour before bedtime. During this period of winding down, choose a restful activity such as reading or taking a warm bath.

Talk to a Sleep Specialist

If you’re concerned about your quality of sleep or if you suspect you may have sleep apnoea, consult a health professional. At Renew Dental Lounge, we work closely with sleep clinics and the Good Sleep Co to provide you with individualised plans tailored to your needs. In the quest for a dazzling smile, don’t underestimate the importance of good sleep. Quality sleep not only rejuvenates your body and mind but also plays a pivotal role in safeguarding your oral health & overall. Sweet dreams for a healthier, happier you!

Goo

The Hushd Pro appliance from the Good Sleep Co can really make a difference in sleep apnoea cases

Book an appointment to discuss how we can help improve your sleep.

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