A Good Night’s Rest: The Saving Grace for TMJ Pain?
Almost everyone is a big fan of sleeping — who isn’t? It’s a good feeling to shut out the world temporarily and give the body a good night’s rest. Apart from the momentary shut-eye, some people claim that sleep might also be the ideal remedy for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ/TMD).
Sleep deprivation worsens pain due to TMJ. In fact, some sleep disorders mimic the symptoms of TMD. So, does this make sleep the ultimate solution?
What Lack of Sleep Does
Sleepless nights don’t only worsen your eye bags; it’s also harmful to those who suffer from autoimmune diseases and TMJ. Even your posture isn’t safe from the consequences. Imagine this: You sleep a little, wake up later, and hit the snooze button to end up running to the office and slouching into your chair.
Hunching and other forms of poor posture, according to The Jaw Health Resource, alter the alignment that affects the head, neck, and jaw.
It’s All in the Position
Strains on the face, jaw, neck, shoulders, and head result in worsening TMJ-related conditions. Some of the worst cases can occur while you are sleeping and unable to control teeth grinding or clenching. One way to ease the problem is sleeping in the best position.
Sleep position influences a number of factors, which include the following:
- Head and neck support
- How muscles in the head, neck, and shoulders are strained and supported
- Likelihood to grind or clench teeth
- Forces put the head, jaw, and neck regions
In the case of TMJ sufferers, sleeping on their backs is the ideal position.
The Habit of Sleeping on Your Back
Lying on your back lessens the pressure on the jaw and offers enough support for the head, neck, and shoulders. It also offers the right alignment for the body by keeping the spine in a neutral position.
For some people, sleeping on their back isn’t always comfortable. If you’re not a natural back sleeper and love sleeping on your stomach, start by getting the right pillow and mattress. Keep the bed comfortable to encourage sleeping on your back.
Sleep might not be the ultimate solution for TMJ, but it’s an important factor in relieving the pain. Get in touch with your nearest TMJ center to learn more.