Just how important is a good night’s sleep?

Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to poor physical and mental health – including weight gain/obesity, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune system, poor growth, anxiety/depression, poor memory, and ADHD symptoms.  Kids grow while they sleep. We store our memories from the day while we sleep. Our bodies and brains “clean up” and detoxify the day’s toxic load while we sleep.

Did you know that our motor and cognitive performance after staying awake for 24 hours is like having a blood alcohol level of 0.10%? At that level, we can expect to have significantly impaired motor coordination, loss of good judgment, slurred speech, impaired balance, vision, reaction time and hearing, and sensations of euphoria. Ever wonder why your kids are so revved up and slap happy and revved up when you know they’re totally sleep-deprived and exhausted?

Have you ever considered kids diagnosed with ADHD may be sleep deprived? They have the same symptoms. What can we do to get a better night’s sleep and feel rested in the morning, and have a great memory.

Navigating the realm of sleep is like embarking on a mysterious journey, where each night holds the promise of rejuvenation and restoration. To truly appreciate the importance of a good night’s sleep, we must delve into the intricacies of various sleep disorders. From the types of sleep one experiences to the habits that shape our nightly routines, understanding sleep disorders is key to unlocking the secrets of a restful slumber.

The causes of sleep apnea include the physical obstruction of airflow in the nose, leading to lapses in breathing and, consequently, a reduction in the “amount of sleep” one can achieve. This disruption can have a cascading effect, manifesting as “daytime sleepiness” that infiltrates waking hours. Demystifying sleep apnea involves unraveling the  types, understanding the intricate causes, and exploring effective treatments to pave the way for rejuvenating and uninterrupted nights of rest.

Unlocking Better Sleep with Myofunctional Therapy: 

A Natural Approach to Sleep Enhancement

Myofunctional Therapy, often hailed as a natural and holistic approach, extending its benefits beyond the conventional realms of oral health. This unique therapy holds a key to unlocking better sleep, offering a pathway to enhanced sleep quality and overall well-being.

At its core, Myofunctional Therapy targets the muscles of the face, mouth, tongue and throat, addressing issues related to improper muscle function that can contribute to various sleep disorders. By incorporating exercises that strengthen these crucial muscles, the therapy aims to improve breathing patterns, alleviate snoring, and enhance the overall respiratory system.

What sets Myofunctional Therapy apart is its comprehensive approach, acknowledging the interconnectedness of oral and respiratory health with sleep quality. As we delve into the intricacies of Myofunctional Therapy’s role in promoting restful sleep, we uncover a natural and patient-centric avenue for those seeking to enhance their sleep experience.

Here are the top 3 things you can do to get that good night’s sleep!

Make sleep routine

We all know that a good sleep routine is important. But what exactly is a “good” sleep routine? Here’s a mnemonic to help you remember – R.E.A.L

  • R (Routine) – Establish regular sleep and wake up times. The sleep time between 10pm-1am is the most valuable, so adjust your sleep time accordingly. Bed = sleep. Go to bed only when sleepy and stay in bed only when asleep.
  • E (Environment) – sleep in a dark quiet room with no pets; decrease EMF by turning off wifi, move cell phones 6 feet away from your bed, use battery operated clock radios. E if also for Eating – at least an hour before bed for Good Night’s Sleep otherwise your body is busy digesting instead of resting and repairing
  • A (Activity) – do stimulating aerobic exercise early in the day and relaxing yoga exercises in the evening before 8 pm.
  • L (Light) – dim lights and turn off or dim digital devices at least 2-3 hours before sleep

LIGHT: Our “master clock” is reset on a daily basis. Preferably by the sun rise and set. Blue light tells our brain it’s time to be awake, and melatonin secretion from our pineal gland tells us it’s time to be asleep. In nature, blue light occurs in the early morning hours to tell our brain to wake up and get ready for the day. Blue light, though, is also emitted from most electronic screens (flat screen televisions, computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets) and fluorescent and LED lighting. If we’re using any of these devices in the evening, our “master clock” can be reset by as much as 3 hours, tricking our brains that it’s daytime and making it nearly impossible to fall asleep at a reasonable hour. We can do our part as adults, to limit screen time for our kids 2-3 hours before bedtime. Be sure to use blue light blocking glasses and screen dimming products to counteract this blue light effect on our sleep.

Get the Right Nutrients

Production of many of the neurotransmitters that regulate sleep depends on getting the right nutrients from our diet and supplements when necessary.

There are also many supplements that can make sleep easier and more restful. Supplements that can assist with sleep are usually taken 1-1.5 hours before the desired sleep time. 

  • Magnesium is truly a miracle mineral. Magnesium helps our minds to unwind and our muscles to relax. It also helps us to fall asleep faster by increasing melatonin levels and helps us to sleep longer!
  • Chamomile tea is safe for all ages to help relax our bodies and minds and get ready for sleep. It settles upset stomachs and helps decrease the worries that have built up throughout the day.
  • Melatonin is our sleep hormone. Melatonin supplementation can be especially helpful for better sleep.
  • Drive by Aroga Life moves fast—all gas and no brakes. The result? Days fueled by coffee and energy drinks, leaving you tired and anxious. Most days, you feel like giving up. Aroga Pathways Drive is here to help. Drive is the ONLY natural product that provides sustained energy and helps boost your mood. Once daily DRIVE provides nutrients that directly support apoptosis,  autophagy, and mitochondria. That’s science talk” for you’ll crush the day and be a better, healthier you.
  • Valerian root is the most studied herb for inducing sleep while promoting relaxation. However, it is not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and can taste quite strong.

You know when your body and mind won’t shut down as you go through your To-Do lists over and over in your head? Or when you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about these same To-Do lists and just can’t fall back asleep? That’s because cortisol, our stress hormone, is inappropriately surging at night and putting us in a “fight-or-flight” mode.  

Reducing Stress is Key

Stress reduction is key for a restorative night’s sleep for you and your children.

The 20-minute Ultra Bath from UltraMind Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman is another great way to start the relaxation process at night. In the hottest water tolerable, combine 2 cups Epsom salts, 1 cup aluminum free baking soda, 10 drops lavender (halve this for a child). Epsom salts (which is magnesium sulfate) aid detoxification and also increase magnesium levels in our body. Lavender relaxes our body and mind, decreases cortisol, and reduces inflammation. And hot water increases circulation and gets all those awesome Epsom salt and Lavender benefits flowing to all the parts of our body and brain.

Avoid stressful situations within 1 hour of bedtime – that includes TV shows, video games, etc. and even bedtime conversations. Save stressful discussions for the daytime, and focus on positive and uplifting conversations before bedtime. 

Read a book or sing goodnight songs with your children. Teach your children how to unwind through progressive relaxation, slow-paced belly breathing and nasal hygiene. End the night with gratitude by sharing 3 things that happened that day that you and your kids are grateful for. Send your children off to sleep with positive thoughts and feelings to fill their dreams and get ready for a beautiful new day.

So get into a good sleep routine, fill your body with the right nutrients, reduce stress – and get ready for a good night’s sleep!

Early research and  evidence indicates the possibility of repercussions that may impact growth and development and influence later diagnoses, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (more commonly known as ADHD) due to  lack of sleep in the pediatric population..

In theory if a child doesn’t sleep well and the brain is not oxygenated well in early life, that [individual] may have morbidities diagnosed later in life, like anxiety, a learning or reading disability, or behavior problems.

Children don’t normally report sleep issues. More often, the assessment is based on parents. But if the parents don’t find a sleep issue (such as difficulty falling asleep or nighttime arousals) to be a concern or, more likely, they don’t know about the child’s sleep patterns because they are themselves sleeping, then it is not likely to go unnoticed.

However, if parents are asked it is estimated that 80% will identify a sleep-related problem in their children. This doesn’t mean that 80% of children have sleep disorders but it does indicate that we need to be more alert about sleepiness during the day and how it is affecting our kids. Approximately 25% of all children experience some type of sleep problem at some point during childhood. Indicating the importance of focused screening.

There is significant need for additional education and support for primary care providers in the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric sleep disorders.

If you just look at growth and development, we know that sleep is a neurodevelopmental process, similar to walking and talking.

When a child is awake, stimulation comes from the environment. When asleep, it comes from dreaming—the brain is active during dream sleep storing all of the memories from the day. If that sleep is interrupted, so is the process the body needs.

Reaching Across Disciplines

We need more clinicians that can assess a sleep disorder. The identification of disordered sleep really rests on asking the right questions and being able to interpret the answers, and that really begins with all healthcare professionals.

We need a specialist to whom we can refer the patient if necessary. If you identify the problem but can do nothing about it, then the need for identification becomes questionable. Who do you get to help you? Finding practitioners who listen and don’t tell you your child will outgrow it is difficult at the moment. We are not all on the same page

Care also cannot be managed in isolation; it is a multidisciplinary approach. There are many dimensions and many disciplines involved that need to work together to identify those solutions that will impact children the most. These include (but are not limited to) child psychology, child psychiatry, pediatrician, pediatric otolaryngology, pediatric neurology, pediatric pulmonary medicine, pediatric dentist, oral surgery, Chiropractor, speech pathologist, OT, PT, and myofunctional Therapy.

Dr Kevin Boyd, DDS, MS, Dentistry for Children and Families, in Chicago, pediatric dentists offers training in sleep medicine risk assessment. Health professionals who frequently see children and can offer treatment options for some patients, particularly those diagnosed with sleep apnea and other airway ailments.

The sleep-specific education includes an assessment that incorporates parental interviews, patient responses, physical exam results, and risk factors, such as teeth grinding, snoring, chewing swallowing, and specific physical features visible on x-ray images. Patients with suspected sleep apnea or other relevant conditions are sometimes then referred for sleep studies.

As with adults, not every patient requires a polysomnogram (PSG). If the suspected diagnosis is a biological rhythm or circadian rhythm disorder, sleep terrors, or sleepwalking, you don’t necessarily need a sleep study. If it’s sleep apnea or seizures, then you would likely order a sleep study.

In the pursuit of better sleep, individuals may encounter challenges like the delayed sleep phase, impacting sleep patterns and leading to sleep disturbances. Recognizing the symptoms of insomnia, understanding common types of sleep disorders, and exploring available sleep aids are crucial steps in the journey toward achieving the optimal amount of sleep. The delicate dance between sleep and wakefulness requires a thoughtful approach, encompassing awareness of one’s sleep patterns and adopting strategies to facilitate the transition from wakefulness to a restful night’s sleep. By acknowledging the multifaceted nature of the quest for quality sleep, individuals can tailor their approach to meet their unique sleep needs and patterns.

Causes of Sleep Deprivation and Its Impact

Unraveling the intricate web of causes behind sleep deprivation unveils a multifaceted landscape that spans various sleep disorders, impacting the lives of many individuals. From the challenges of treating insomnia to understanding the amount of sleep  both children and adults need for optimal health, the journey toward healthy sleep involves navigating through different types of sleep disorders. For those struggling with sleep issues, it becomes essential to recognize symptoms, causes, and potential disruptions in the sleep cycle.

Restless Leg Syndrome is classified among the “types of sleep disorders,” RLS is characterized by an irresistible urge to move the legs, particularly during periods of inactivity. This condition, acknowledged by the “American Academy of Sleep Medicine,” can lead to restlessness that hinders the attainment of the recommended “hours of sleep.”

Central sleep apnea, characterized by a cessation of breathing during sleep, is among the disorders that can contribute to sleep deprivation. The importance of an adequate amount of sleep is underscored by its direct link to maintaining the quality of sleep each night. Insights from the National Sleep Foundation shed light on the chronic nature of sleep disorders and emphasize the role of cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia, offering valuable treatment options.

Disrupting the sleep cycle, shift work sleep disorder poses specific challenges, highlighting the importance of understanding the impact of circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders. By maintaining a sleep diary, individuals can record their sleep patterns and provide valuable information for healthcare providers who may refer them to specialized sleep treatments. 

With numerous sleep disorders affecting many, a comprehensive exploration of treatment options becomes imperative to address the major sleep disruptions that impact overall well-being.

Exploring the Role of Myofunctional Therapy in Enhancing Sleep

The role of myofunctional therapy in enhancing sleep involves delving into various aspects of sleep health. From understanding the potential causes of poor sleep to recognizing the impact of movement disorders on the ability to achieve a restful night of sleep, the path to restorative sleep is paved with insights into different types of sleep disorders.

Breathing during sleep, a seemingly involuntary action, becomes a focal point in comprehending sleep-related challenges. For those unable to achieve a restful night of sleep, exploring the nuances of types of sleep apnea becomes crucial. Myofunctional therapy, while not mainstream, emerges as a potential solution for individuals wrestling with sleep apnea or facing disruptions due to muscle dysfunction. The jaw teeth and tongue play a role in this dysfunctional condition airway being of the main concern.

In the pursuit of restful sleep, it becomes apparent that myofunctional therapy may offer valuable contributions to addressing sleep-related concerns. Whether individuals are contending with sleep apnea or encountering another sleep disorder, unlocking the potential benefits of myofunctional therapy could be a transformative step toward improving sleep quality and overall well-being.

Circadian Rhythm Disorders: Navigating Sleep and Wakefulness

In the symphony of our body’s internal clock, circadian rhythm disorders are a delicate balance between sleep and wakefulness. Understanding the rhythmic patterns that govern our sleep-wake cycle is crucial for maintaining a healthy sleep routine.

The circadian rhythm, often referred to as our internal body clock, orchestrates various physiological processes, influencing when we fall asleep and when we wake up. However, disruptions to this natural cadence, whether due to shift work, jet lag, mouth breathing or other factors, can lead to circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders. These disorders may manifest as difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing excessive sleepiness during waking hours, lack of focus or behavioral outbursts.

By recognizing the role of our internal clock and implementing strategies to align it with our daily lives, we can take intentional steps toward fostering a harmonious balance between restful sleep and wakeful alertness. Embracing this understanding opens the door to tailored approaches that promote a healthier relationship with our circadian rhythms, ultimately enhancing the quality of our sleep and waking hours.

Tailored Treatment

Ideally, it is a multidisciplinary approach meaning it takes more than one provider to solve the issues tailoring each program to the patient to encourage the best results. 

For instance, every child diagnosed with a sleep disorder undergoes a desensitization protocol tailored to the adaptability and acceptance of the recommendations. Hopefully we get to a child before they need a c-pap machine to get the oxygen they need to thrive. Expanding the upper dental arch and opening the airway are easier the younger the child is.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of sleep disorders is a vital step toward fostering a better understanding of your sleep needs. Whether it’s addressing chronic sleep issues, considering cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, or exploring various types of treatment, the journey to improved sleep is unique for each individual. 

By demystifying the complexities of sleep disorders and embracing tailored solutions, you can disrupt the cycle of disrupted sleep and embark on a path toward restful nights and revitalized days.

A sleep diary is a valuable record that can guide you, and if needed, your healthcare provider can refer you to a sleep specialist for further insights into managing and overcoming many sleep disorders. 

No matter our age, we all do better when we sleep well.

Ready to transform your sleep? Schedule a free consultation with our Myofunctional Therapy specialists and take the first step toward better rest.

Here’s to a future where you can enjoy the sleep you need, get to sleep with ease, and experience the rejuvenating power of restful nights.