If you grind your teeth at night, it can be painful but it can also negatively impact the quality of your sleep. Fortunately, though, if you take a few simple steps, you can reduce the impact of teeth grinding and improve your sleep. Here’s how.

Practice relaxation techniques

An important tool in reducing nighttime teeth grinding and improving your quality of sleep is by reducing your stress. Whether you try meditation, guided imagery or breathing exercises, the right relaxation technique can make all the difference for stress relief. 

One way to practice relaxation is by following a 4-7-8 breathing technique which involves:

  • Inhaling for four seconds. 
  • Holding that breath for seven seconds.
  • Slowly exhaling for eight seconds.
  • Repeat for several rounds. 

As you continue to follow this relaxation routine, you will notice when your body and mind begin to relax. Continue this process until you feel more relaxed. 

Improve your sleep hygiene

Another way to relax is to make sure your sleep hygiene is properly followed. To improve your bedtime routine to get a better night’s sleep, make these changes: 

  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time each morning.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol at least a few hours before bed.
  • Put away all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Your lifestyle can impact your stress levels, which can, in turn, have an effect on your oral health. There is a link between chronic stress and bruxism, but that can be reduced through cognitive behavioral therapy. 

Not only is it an effective way to treat insomnia, but it is also effective against stress, anxiety and tooth grinding. Try journaling and self-reflection to process your thoughts, stop the cycle of negative or stressful thinking, and find healthy and productive ways to cope with their anxieties.

Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel at Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia for more information on teeth grinding and how to improve your sleep.