Patients with sleep apnea often suffer from being constantly sleepy throughout the day, headaches, memory problems, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, poor sleep is linked to higher body weight, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Aside from seeking professional help for sleep apnea, there are several things patients can do to improve their sleep quality. In this blog, our dental sleep medicine dentist, Dr. Timothy Mickiewicz, offers five tips to help patients sleep better.
1. Maintain a regular bedtime
Patients who struggle with sleep often benefit when they decide to be consistent with their sleep schedule. This means going to sleep at the same time and waking up at the same time every day (yes, even the weekends).
Our circadian rhythm helps increase our melatonin levels, allowing us to fall asleep more easily, stay asleep throughout the night, and wake up feeling refreshed the next day.
2. Establish a bedtime routine
A bedtime routine signals to the brain that it is time to go to sleep. To begin your routine, set an alarm for an hour or two before you want to be asleep. This is when your routine begins.
Start by winding down with a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or any other relaxing activity. Put away any screens—including the tv—as the blue light inhibits quality of sleep. If you’re hungry, eat a light snack that’s filled with protein and/or carbs. Once your mind and body are ready for sleep, get in bed.
You should be asleep in no time!
3. Create a sleep-conducive environment
What’s in your bedroom and how your room is set up matters to your sleep. People should walk into their room feeling relaxed. A major part of that is having a clean, organized, and cozy environment.
A tidy room is the first step, then eliminate as much external light and noise as possible. Set the room temperature around 70 degrees.
Finally, if you wake up with a sore back, neck, or shoulders, it may be time for a new bed. Go ahead and treat yourself to new bedding and pillows as well! All these factors will profoundly improve your sleep quality.
4. Exercise regularly
Science has proven over and over again the effectiveness of exercise for improving sleep. One study revealed that exercise cut the amount of time it takes to fall asleep in half and allowed for 41 more minutes of sleep at night.
We recommend exercising in the morning or early afternoon to increase energy throughout the day. Alternatively, exercising in the evening may make it more difficult to fall asleep because it increases alertness and adrenaline.
5. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
Each of these is a stimulant that can make it much more difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, and feel rejuvenated in the morning. This is because the body has a much more difficult time producing melatonin that is responsible for relaxing the brain and preparing it for sleep.
Help for Sleep Apnea
Implementing these five things should certainly improve sleep quality. However, problems like obstructive sleep apnea must be addressed by a professional. Known as the Face of Dental Sleep Medicine in Sacramento, Dr. Mick is prepared to help you find the rest you deserve.
Don’t put off treatment any longer—it could be as simple as wearing a dental device! Call us today at (916) 469-9178 to schedule your initial consultation.