What Helps You Smile?

A Good Night’s Sleep

We function at our best when we get enough sleep. We are more alert when driving, more productive at work, and it’s much easier to handle your annoying brother in law.

When you are sleep deprived you get cranky and when you’re in a bad mood it’s harder to smile.

What causes lack of sleep?

 It seems that it’s easier to get a poor night’s sleep than it is to get a good night’s sleep. The following may cause lack of sleep or disruption to normal sleep patterns.

  • Sleep Apnea (where we quit breathing for short periods throughout the night)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Too much caffeine
  • Anxiety
  • Bruxism (Grinding your teeth)

Are you getting enough sleep?

According to the National Sleep Foundation different age groups need different amounts of sleep:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
  • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
  • Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
  • School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
  • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)

What can we do to get more and better sleep?

The Mayo Clinic gives this advice:

Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off.

2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink

Don’t go to bed either hungry or stuffed. Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol deserve caution, too.

3. Create a bedtime ritual

Do the same things each night to tell your body it’s time to wind down. Be wary of using the TV or other electronic devices as part of your bedtime ritual. Some research suggests that screen time or other media use before bedtime interferes with sleep.

4. Get comfortable

Create a room that’s ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet. Your mattress and pillow can contribute to better sleep, too.

5. Limit daytime naps

If you choose to nap during the day, limit yourself to about 10 to 30 minutes and make it during the midafternoon.

6. Include physical activity in your daily routine

Regular physical activity can promote better sleep, helping you to fall asleep faster and to enjoy deeper sleep.

7. Manage stress

Consider healthy ways to manage stress. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Share a good laugh with an old friend. Before bed, jot down what’s on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.

Get enough sleep and you will have lots of energy, be able to concentrate, have patience for your family and co-workers and have lots to smile about!

8. Talk to Your Dentist about your lack of sleep 

Your Dentist can help with issues like sleep apnea or teeth grinding (Bruxism).

Helping You Smile