As a local sleep physician, we understand the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Popular culture has led people to believe that getting a good night sleep is important for “beauty rest” but it is often ignored that sleep plays an important role in staying healthy. Without proper sleep, your immune system can weaken, and accidents can occur. We help people to get a good night sleep so that they can stay healthy and feel great.
There are several reasons people may feel like they are not getting a good night sleep. Stress can be one of them. People that are overly stressed and worried find that they cannot get to sleep because there is too much on their mind. We recommend taking time to relax before going to bed by watching a show or reading a book. By taking your mind off of the stressful circumstances, you may be able to sleep.
What you eat and drink before bed can also make it more difficult to fall asleep. As a sleep physician, we recommend that you don’t drink coffee or caffeinated tea prior to trying to sleep. The exact amount of time that you need to wait is based on your body. Try an experiment by drinking coffee at different times during the day. Document what time you had a cup and if you had difficulty falling asleep. If you did, repeat the test in a few days. If the results were similar, that you likely have a caffeine sensitivity and should cut back on your intake.
Other people, especially children claim having difficulty sleeping due to nightmares and feeling restless. You can help with this by reading a pleasant book before bed and making sure that they get exercise every day. This way they will be more fatigued at bed time and will, hopefully, not experience any symptoms of being restless.
While some of these factors seem like obvious contributors to a difficult sleeping, they are external factors that can be addressed relatively easily. In many cases, people have difficulty sleeping not because of what they did or didn’t do but because of their body. With sleep apnea and snoring conditions, the lower jaw tends to fall backwards and as it does the tongue also falls backwards, blocking the airways. This makes it incredibly difficult to breathe while sleeping. Without the ability to breathe, the oxygen level in the blood is reduced, and people can spend their rest time grasping for breath. Even while sleeping, this places undue stress onto your body and creates a situation where your body is desperately trying to oxygenate all night long. As such, most people wake up feeling exhausted and like they hadn’t slept for most of the night.
As a sleep physician, we can help by providing patients with a removable oral appliance to be worn while sleeping. This device looks like a full upper and lower retainer that fits together. It holds the jaw in place so that it can’t fall backwards and the airways remain open throughout the night. If you suffer from not getting enough rest, give us a call to see if you have a treatable sleep disorder.