Get better sleep with specialized dentistry services offered by your Indianapolis dentist
Healthy sleep is a term many of us are unfamiliar with. Just about a hundred years ago, most people slept an average of nine hours a night. Today, the numbers vary widely, with the average being eight. Statistics from the CDC indicate that approximately 30 percent Americans between 25 and 65 sleep six hours or less each night. Lack of sleep may be the result of a number of various causes. The important thing is to determine what may be causing you to lose sleep so that healthy sleep becomes normal.
If we wish to remain healthy throughout our lives, sleep is an important factor. Many of the things that cause us to toss and turn are within our control, such as relaxation or a productive sleep environment. There are some, however, for whom sleep is lacking for reasons beyond their control.
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Just what is healthy sleep?
Studies indicate that, each time we sleep, our bodies go through specific cycles, including lighter and deeper non-REM sleep, and REM sleep. Our first round of REM sleep is usually entered into about ninety minutes after we fall asleep. This first REM sequence may last around fifteen minutes. When we are in REM sleep, we experience the temporary paralyzation of our arms and legs, and may have dreams. Some say that the paralysis keeps us from acting out whatever we do in our dreams.
We do not remain in REM sleep throughout the night, but, rather, cycle back through non-REM sleep before entering into another round of REM sleep. While we often hear about the benefits of REM sleep, we may not be as familiar with the importance of non-REM cycles. During non-REM sleep, our bodies experience lowered blood pressure, lower body temperature, and a decreased heart rate, all of which promote cellular rejuvenation and physical and mental restoration.
The impact of sleep loss
When we do not get the sleep our body needs, we experience a range of uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
- Lack of ability to concentrate
- Lack of clear thinking
- Poor memory
- Excessive, chronic daytime drowsiness
- Greater risk of obesity
- Increased risk of accidents
- Mood swings
Connecting sleep to dentistry may seem a stretch. In our Indianapolis dental practice, however, we help patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea return to better sleep and better health.
If you, or a loved one, experience the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, we can provide comfortable, effective treatment. Contact Washington Street Dentistry to learn more about oral appliance therapy and its benefits.
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