SLEEP

Women's Health Australia - - BEST BODY / HEALTH -

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!

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