national sleep foundation

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.

References:

https://worldsleepday.org

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/13/health/10-sleep-commandments-wellness/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/02/health/irregular-sleep-health-risk-wellness/index.html

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Robbed of a Good Night's Rest?

August 10th, 2019

Sleep is an important part of each day, so much so that the effects of a restless night can change the entire productivity of our next day! Unfortunately, many people suffer from sleeping disorders. In fact, nearly 70 million adults in the United States have a sleeping disorder, the most common of which is sleep apnea. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a whopping 18 million adults in America have sleep apnea. So, what exactly is sleep apnea? There are two main types to know about:

  • The most common form, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), is a condition involving involuntary temporary interruptions in breaths for at least ten seconds at a time due to upper airway blockage. This causes a disrupted sleeping pattern and low blood oxygen levels, which can contribute to several health issues.
  • Central sleep apnea is much less common and is characterized by failure of the brain to signal the necessary muscles involved in breathing.

As a result of the interrupted breathing pattern, individuals with sleep apnea often produce snoring and choking sounds throughout the night. You may be wondering, what’s the big deal about having sleep apnea? Sleep apnea does not only just interrupt your night’s rest, it can also put you at a higher risk of developing many conditions, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and worsening of ADHD.

Who does sleep apnea affect?

Obstructive sleep apnea can impact people of all ages and any gender, however, there are some factors that can place some people at higher risk. This includes people 40 years of age and older, smokers, heavy alcohol users, males, African Americans, those who have a family history of sleep apnea, and individuals suffering from obesity, sinus problems, or allergies. Your anatomy also plays a role in your risk of developing sleep apnea. People with nasal septum deviations, a thicker neck, narrow throat, large tongue, small jaw, or enlarged tonsils are at higher risk of sleep apnea.

If you think you have sleep apnea or have been told that you may have sleep apnea by your doctor, don’t worry! Sleep apnea can be treated, and Wellesley Dental Group’s very own Dr. Emad Abdallah can help you conquer sleep-disordered breathing!  Dr. Emad Abdallah received his doctorate, certificate in orthodontics, and Master of Science in temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) and orofacial pain from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Don't be robbed of a good night's sleep, contact us today!

Stay tuned to our social media accounts including FacebookLinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter for more sleep-related posts!

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.

References:

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-apnea

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sleep-apnea-and-snoring

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/respiratory-conditions/is-sleep-apnea-or-snoring-robbing-you-from-your-sleep-0713

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March 6-13: National Sleep Awareness Week

March 8th, 2016

Have you been getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night? If not, make sure to add "better sleep" to your goals this month, because March 6-13 is the National Sleep Foundation's National Sleep Awareness Week! Check out this list of tips and the 2016 SAW Infographic.

In order to get a good night's sleep, here are some recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation:

  • Turn off electronics such as mobile devices and laptops (which give off blue light that can prevent you from falling asleep) before going to sleep.
  • Schedule enough hours of sleep. Plan ahead and stick with the same schedule.
  • Even a little exercise can mean better sleep.
  • Create a sleep-friendly environment (a comfortable bed, closed curtains, no loud noises, etc.).
  • Have a bedtime routine (relaxing exercises, deep breathing, light reading, calming music, etc.).

You may think that missing a few hours of sleep is no big deal, but the quality and quantity of sleep you get can have a huge impact (both short-term and long-term) your overall health. Still not convinced? Here are some reasons why sleep is important from the NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute:

Mental Health

A lack of sleep can lead to depression, suicide, risky behavior, and other emotional problems. It changes the brain's activity, which can cause children and adolescents in particular to lose focus, feel unmotivated, or have mood swings.

Brain Health

Adequate sleep is crucial for proper brain function, because it allows your brain to solidify what you've learned and get ready to learn more the next day. Don't think that pulling an all-nighter will help you score better on your exam: sleeping well improves learning and helps you solve problems more efficiently.

Physical Health

Sleep is connected to the healing of heart and blood vessels, maintenance of hormone levels, growth, and the immune system. If you don't get enough sleep, you could have a higher risk of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, or stroke.

Safety

Your safety could be at risk when you don't get enough sleep. Sleep deficiency means a slower reaction time, more opportunities for mistakes, and decreased productivity. You definitely don't want to be driving when you feel sleepy!

Take this Sleep IQ Quiz to find out how much of an expert you are on sleep now!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group 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 periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

Resources:

https://sleepfoundation.org/SAW

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-tools-tips/healthy-sleep-tips

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why

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