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The Science of Sleep: How Mouthguards Can Improve Your Night

Do you struggle to get a good night’s sleep? If so, you’re not alone. According to the American Sleep Association, 50-70 million U.S. adults have trouble sleeping. This can lead to health issues, stress, and anxiety. But did you know that choosing the right mouthguard could help? In this article, we’ll explore the science of sleep and how mouthguards can improve it.

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is essential for good physical and mental health. Without it, it can be difficult to stay focused and energized during the day. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep for optimal performance. Insomnia and other sleep disorders can lead to problems like obesity, heart disease, and depression. Good quality sleep is also essential for memory and learning.

The Science Behind Sleep

Researchers are still learning about the intricate mechanisms and chemicals behind sleep. Most people sleep in cycles divided into Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and Non-REM stages. REM sleep is important for maintaining memory and dealing with emotions, while Non-REM sleep is where bodily maintenance happens including healing, detoxifying and processing energy stores. Chemicals like serotonin, melatonin, and adenosine help regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle and contribute to the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness.

How Mouthguards Can Help

Many people think of mouthguards only as protective gear for sports. But they can also help improve your sleep. Mouthguards are appliances worn in the mouth that help move the jaw to a more comfortable position. They can help prevent symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or snoring. OSA is a potentially dangerous condition where the airway becomes restricted during sleep. This can cause the person to wake up and be unable to fall back asleep, or the person may have shallow breaths, or even stop breathing and have to be forcibly awakened to resume breathing.

Mouthguards used for OSA work by stabilizing and supporting the soft tissues in the patient’s airway and helping keep them open. This can help ensure a more restful night’s sleep. They can also help those who grind their teeth during sleep, or bruxism, by protecting the teeth and reducing jaw clenching. And they can help prevent painful migraines from tooth grinding.

Choosing the Right Mouthguard

There are several types of mouthguards from which people can choose. Boil-and-bite mouthguards are placed in a pot of hot water to make them malleable and then placed in the mouth to create a custom fit. However, this style of mouthguard is designed to protect teeth from injury during contact sports, and may not be the best choice for OSA. A more custom-fitted device may be required for more serious cases.

People who snore, have OSA, or grind their teeth may need a device customized by a dentist. These devices typically are made of dental materials designed to last a long time. They are also more comfortable and less likely to cause damage to the teeth and jaw joints.

Conclusion

With modern life becoming increasingly busier, it is crucial to make that precious sleep of 7-9 hours a night of high quality. Unfortunately, for many people getting this good quality sleep can be difficult. Fortunately, there is evidence that wearing a mouthguard can help. By moving the jaw to a more comfortable position during sleep, mouthguards can help treat symptoms of sleep disorders like the snoring associated with OSA. You will Wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to tackle the day!