Harvard Medical School

Can Changing your Bedtime Impact your Health?

March 13th, 2020

Sleep can often be overlooked when discussing personal health, but research education on sleep has proven that sleep should be a top priority! World Sleep Day, sponsored by the World Sleep Society (WSS), annually focuses on important issues regarding sleep in relation to many topics, including medicine, oral health, and everyday physical and mental performance.

Turns out, staying up to binge watch your favorite TV show may be putting your health at risk. A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that your risk of having a heart attack or heart disease significantly increases with the simple act of changing your regular sleep cycle in either direction by just 90 minutes! In fact, According to Tianyi Huang, the study's author and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, it was found that individuals with more than a 90 minute time difference on average for seven consecutive nights were two times more at risk of heart disease over a 5 year period. The participants of this study included over 2,000 people ages 45 to 84 who did not have any cardiovascular disease over a five-year period. The participant's sleep was monitored using a sleep wrist tracker for seven days. Approximately 1/4th of the participants were found not to have a regular bedtime. Huang notes that this observation may be even more drastic in younger people, as the demands for work and school are often present. Other studies have also linked lack of sleep with weight gain, a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer's, depression, anxiety and other disorders.

Here's what you can do to help improve your sleep schedule:
Be sure to get your daily Exercise:
According to the National Sleep Foundation, exercising helps promote good quality sleep! Staying active daily is important for your overall health.
Keep cool:
Be sure to make sure the room you sleep in is a comfortable tempetuare, typically between 60 and 67 degrees, and is well ventilated. Also, avoid watching television or doing work in your bedroom. Bright lights from electronics can disrupt your sleep cycle.
Avoid certain food and drink:
Avoid consuming caffeine at least six hours before your normal bedtime. This can include coffee, sodas, tea, and even chocolate. Also, heavy and spicy foods can cause digestive trouble and affect your quality of sleep. Sugar is also on the top of the list to avoid, particularly before bedtime as it is linked to restlessness. Not to mention, you will be helping your teeth by cutting back on the sugar! The National Sleep Foundation recommends switching to healthy snacks suchas nuts, cherries, bananas, and decaffeinated teas. Alcohol should also be avoided prior to bedtime, as it can disrupt the normal stages of sleep.
Create and stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up time:
Keeping our circadian rhythm consistent is important, as the more days you sleep irregularly, the more you are at risk for diseases such as heart disease as shown by research. Create a regular routine before going to bed each night. The recommended amount of sleep is typically between 7-10 hours each night, depending on age.
Be mindful of naps:
Although naps can be helpful, it is recommended to not exceed more than 45 minutes during naps. Taking longer naps can place you into a deeper sleep cycle and often make you feel more tired throughout the day. In addition, it can interfere with your ability to fall asleep during the night. The optimal nap should be about 15 to 20 minutes, but should be done before 3 p.m. to avoid interrupting your full night's rest.
Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.







Does the Word "Diet" Make Soda Any Healthier?

April 2nd, 2015

You know what they all say, “Sip All Day, Get Decay!” It's not only a catchy phrase, it's the truth! There is a clear correlation between soda consumption and tooth decay, as well as to other health complications including diabetes, kidney problems, and obesity. We all are familiar with the fact that bacteria in the mouth convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods and beverages you consume to acids, which decays tooth enamel. What's even scarier is that the acids can remain in the mouth for 20 minutes after snacking or drinking.

To avoid this reality, many turn to diet soda thinking that there will be no consequences for their teeth. You may have even been asked at one point or another, "Which is better, Diet Coke or regular Coke?" It turns out that their damaging effects on teeth are roughly the same!

What many individuals may not realize is that diet soda is still acidic, which negatively impact the health of your teeth.  Research from the Minnesota Dental Association, the Missouri Dental Association, and the University of Cincinnati Biology Department shows the pH of a regular Coke is around 2.6, which is highly acidic. On the other hand, the pH of diet coke is about 3.2. For comparison, the pH of battery acid is 1, which isn't too far off from the pH values of soda! While diet soda may not be as bad as regular soda, they do contain acids, which can cause serious damage to teeth. Phosphoric acid and citric acid is often present in many diet sodas to add flavor to the drink. These acids can demineralize and decalcify teeth. Sometimes the damage may require fillings, root canals, dental crowns, dental implantsdentures or other dental procedures.

Not to mention, many beverages use artificial flavorers and sweeteners in place of sugar for the purpose of maintaining the flavor. Although they may not contain sugar, they can make beverages acidic and can cause many problems for your teeth.

In addition to having negative oral health effects, diet soda can have a significant impact on your kidneys. According to an 11-year study at Harvard Medical School with 3,000 women participants, researchers discovered that diet cola is linked with a two-fold increased risk for kidney failure. Kidney function began to decline as women drank two or more sodas a day.

A consistent consumption of both regular and diet soda is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. Children and young adults are most prone to tooth decay because their tooth enamel is not yet fully developed. Unfortunately, many children and young adults in the United States  have decreased their intake of milk  and increased their intake of soda. In fact, according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children are consuming it more than double the rate of the last 10 years. Soda consumption among adults has grown approximately 25 percent!

A healthy diet plays an important role in your overall health. It is essential to choose foods and beverages that provide vitamins and minerals for not only a healthy body, but also a healthy mouth. Avoid giving the label, "diet or sugar-free" the same meaning as, "healthy for teeth!" You can prevent tooth decay and other health problems by staying hydrated with water and implementing good oral health habits. If you are a soda-lover, make sure to drink in moderation. Also, limit your intake of carbonated beverages, including sports drinks and juice. Most importantly, make sure that you are not substituting acidic beverages for water.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.





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