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Why better sleep should be one of your New Year’s resolutions

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If a better night’s sleep is not one of your resolutions for this year, it should be.

For one thing, quality sleep helps boost your immunity which is paramount right now as Covid-19 cases continue to surge (and it’s also flu season on top of that).

Another plus is that healthy sleep could act as a catalyst for other popular New Year’s resolutions, such as losing weight and being more productive at work, says Sleep Better Austin’s dental sleep expert Dr. Brandon Hedgecock.

“Sleep affects two important hormones that factor into weight loss, leptin and ghrelin,” explains Dr. Hedgecock. “One tells your body when you are full (leptin) and the other when you are hungry (ghrelin). Too little or too much sleep can lead to a hormone imbalance and deter your weight loss goals.”

Additionally Dr. Hedgecock says that poor sleep can leave you lethargic and unmotivated to work out or eat well.

And if mental goals like trying to be more productive at work or staying better focused in school made your list, getting proper sleep can help with those too. Your brain needs to rest and recharge properly each night to function at its full capacity. If you are not getting enough healthy sleep (at least six to eight hours for adults), your cognitive skills could suffer.

Sleep Better Austin recommends these three tips to help you log a better night’s sleep:

  1. Stick to a sleep schedule and a relaxing, wind-down routine each night
  2. Make sure your room is comfortable, including proper bedding and room temperature, and free of electronics and blue light which can disrupt your circadian rhythm and sleep cycles.
  3. Limit heavy foods, caffeine, and alcohol a few hours before bedtime.

If you have trouble getting a restful night’s sleep, or issues with snoring, you may have a common condition known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is characterized by loud, heavy snoring, as well as sporadically halted breathing at night due to obstructed airways.

A CPAP machine (used with a hose and fitted face mask) is typically first prescribed to help open up the airways and improve breathing at night. But for some people, these machines can often prove cumbersome and uncomfortable.

CPAP Machine Alternative:

The good news is that other options are available besides CPAP machines.  Oral appliance therapy involves a small dental appliance worn in the mouth at night. It positions the jaw in the most optimal way to encourage better airflow, improve breathing, and reduce harmful snoring that robs you of quality sleep.

To learn more about sleep apnea treatment and how it may be the key to keeping your New Year’s resolutions, please contact us to schedule a complimentary appointment with one of our experts in dental sleep medicine.