You clock eight hours and feel completely rested and ready for the day when your alarm goes off. Or, you roll out of bed still dreaming, along with 51 per cent of Aussie women who report waking up feeling unrefreshed multiple times a week, according to the 2016 Sleep Health Foundation survey. So, what does this have to do with our mouth? “When you’re asleep, you should be breathing through your nose, with your tongue at the roof of the mouth,” says Dr Lewis Ehrlich, dentist at Sydney Holistic Dental Centre. “But a lot of the population actually mouth breathe, and when you do this, your tongue can drop back into your throat and compromise your airway.” This is stressful for your body because you aren’t getting enough oxygen, and this causes teeth grinding, according to Ehrlich. There are a couple of solutions: try exercises that focus on breathing through the nose, or ask your dentist about a night guard to open your airways and stop grinding. “There could also be an allergy reason why you start mouth breathing, so things like dust-mite covers and pillowcases are important to reduce irritation,” adds Ehrlich. Fascinating!