This year, make a resolution to achieve a healthy smile by visiting your trusted family dentist and following these oral hygiene tips between visits.
Adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night to function and lead a healthy life—we hear this on the news, in our doctor’s office, from our parents. However, if you’re like half of the people diagnosed with ADHD, you suffer from sleep disorders and struggle to fall and stay asleep. Each night becomes a battle to get a good night’s rest.
In turn, tiredness and sleepiness can worsen your ADHD symptoms, making it harder to complete everyday activities, perform well at work, or bring your best self to gatherings with your friends and family. It may begin to feel like a vicious cycle: your ADHD keeps you from getting good sleep, and your lack of sleep keeps you from managing your ADHD.
The quality of our sleep affects every aspect of our overall health. So, in honor of National ADHD Awareness Month this October, our experts at Dastrup Dental are here to share tips on how to improve your sleep—including ADHD’s connection to airway dentistry.
ADHD & Sleep Disorder Facts
An estimated 4-5% of the US adult population suffers from ADHD and correlated sleep disorders, including:
- Sleep apnea (which affects 3% of all people and 25% of people with ADHD)
- Circadian-rhythm sleep disorders
- Restless legs syndrome or RLS (which affects 2% of all people and 44% of those with ADHD)
At Dastrup Dental, we believe that improving sleep quality is an investment for life. Here are some sleep hygiene tips that can help you take back control of your beauty rest.
Establishing a Sleep-Friendly Bedtime Routine
Your daily routine influences your sleep quality. While people with ADHD tend to struggle more to keep a balanced and constant routine, focusing on creating a sleep-friendly schedule can help.
Try to set a reliable bedtime for yourself. Then, as you get ready for bed, DON’T:
- Nap within four hours of your bedtime
- Drink caffeine within four hours of your bedtime
- Look at screens in the evenings
- Take your ADHD stimulant medication early in the day
- Invest in a comfortable bed
Taking even these simple steps can help you re-train your circadian rhythms to ensure a better night’s sleep, preparing you to take on the day with confidence and energy.
Leveraging The Power of Repetition
The circadian rhythm influences many aspects of our lives, from our mood to sleep cycles and digestive health. If your sleep troubles and ADHD prevent you from reestablishing a healthy biological clock, you should leverage the power of repetition.
Doing the same actions every day (with a maximum difference of two hours), regularly spending time in nature, and adjusting indoor light to natural light levels can help you establish this routine. In turn, this will help you regulate your sleep cycles.
Leading a Healthy Lifestyle
We know, this one is much easier said than done. But it’s true that your lifestyle will dictate your health, stress levels, mood, and sleep quality. Take it one step at a time—trying to overhaul your whole life at once is a surefire way to set yourself up for failure. But start thinking of ways to begin restoring balance, such as:
- Eating a healthier diet with less processed/fast food
- Quitting bad habits like smoking, using heavy medications, and alcohol abuse
- Reducing your stress levels by practicing meditation and mindfulness
- Exercising to reduce stress and release endorphins—studies have found that 20 minutes of aerobic exercise is ideal for those with ADHD.
Speak To Your Dentist
Wait a minute—what does dentistry have to do with sleep? Or ADHD? More than you’d think! Adults with ADHD are more likely to suffer from disorders like sleep apnea, and Dr. Karen Bonuck’s research has found that in children, sleep disordered breathing is associated with a 50% increase in behavioral problems like hyperactivity or misbehavior in the classroom.
Thankfully snoring, mouth breathing, and apnea in children and adults can be improved with the help of new therapies in the field of airway dentistry. By using techniques like tongue tie and myofunctional therapy, you can ease the impact of common sleep obstructions and disruptors that worsen or contribute to your ADHD symptoms.
Better Sleep, Better Health
At Dastrup Dental, we understand that the nature of sleep disorders can be different for each person. That is why we leverage root-cause analysis to diagnose and use the most suitable treatments for your specific needs. If you’re having trouble sleeping and believe it could be connected to sleep apnea or other sleep-disordered breathing issues, set up a consultation with Dastrup Dental today.
Dastrup Dental: Helping You Get a Good Night’s Rest
At Dastrup Dental, Dr. Dastrup offers knowledgeable, compassionate, and kind consultations and only uses the most advanced airway dentistry and dental surgery methods. Book an appointment with us at (704) 850-9431 or contact us here.