One of the most common times people feel especially anxious and stressed is at night. This is because nothing can distract them from their intrusive thoughts when the lights are out and the world stays quiet. Perhaps the same goes for you.
During the night, as you lay in bed with your eyes closed, you may feel your mind spinning, replaying everything that happened in the day — all the interactions that didn’t go as planned, all the unexpected events that you didn’t see coming, and all the what ifs you can imagine.
As you stew over these stress-inducing situations, you end up more and more anxious at night to the point where you find it difficult to sleep. Besides impacting your quality of sleep, there are other side effects to experiencing nighttime anxiety, such as teeth clenching or teeth grinding, also medically known as bruxism.
Most people grind or clench their teeth from time to time. While this doesn’t necessarily cause harm, it does have the potential to damage your teeth and impact your oral health when done regularly.
There are many reasons why people grind their teeth, but the most common ones are linked with stress and anxiety. While some people may grind their teeth during the day, this condition more often than not occurs at night, when one is asleep. Because of this, it can be hard to stop or control.
If you’re not sure if you’re grinding your teeth at night due to stress and anxiety, there are some telltale signs you can take note of once you wake up. These include:
If you suspect you’re grinding your teeth at night, it’s best to address the problem immediately before complications arise.
The best way to minimize teeth grinding is to reduce your anxiety. One way to go about that is to enhance your nighttime routine and follow effective anxiety relief techniques. Here are five effective methods you can try to address your concerns.
Psychotherapy has been one of the most tried-and-tested approaches to treating anxiety. But one of the most effective and well-established methods is known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This kind of psychotherapy encourages patients to change their thought patterns to improve their mood and thought patterns.
While this treatment varies from one patient to another, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) suggests that this treatment can take anywhere from 12 to 16 weeks to take effect.
In most cases, dealing with anxiety requires a more holistic approach. This means that although psychotherapy is effective in and of itself, you can take prescribed medications in conjunction with the treatment to produce better results.
Depending on the severity of your stress and anxiety, your doctor can prescribe different kinds of medication. The most common drugs used to treat acute anxiety attacks are known as benzodiazepines. However, if you’ve been suffering from anxiety for a longer time, perhaps antidepressants may work for you.
But take note, every medication has pros and cons. It’s best to consult with your medical professional and discuss your options before making a final decision.
Another way to minimize nighttime anxiety is to change your lifestyle. Finding activities throughout the day that can help you relax and unwind is a great way to reduce your anxiety at night. Some of the activities you can explore include:
Developing good sleeping habits is an important aspect of treating anxiety. If you make it a point to be comfortable and happy before heading to bed, you’re more likely to relax and improve your overall sleep quality. Here are some of the methods that can help you establish healthy sleep habits and ensure better sleep for longer:
Finally, if you want to treat your anxiety and teeth grinding, you can invest in a night guard. Sleeping with a mouth night guard can prevent tooth damage and ease the strain on your jaws. They can also lessen headaches and pain in the morning due to teeth grinding. While it may take some time to get used to, once you get comfortable with your night guard for teeth clenching, you won’t have to worry about the discomfort caused by anxiety-induced teeth grinding.
It’s common for people to experience nighttime anxiety. But with these tips in mind, you can lessen its impact and improve your overall sleeping patterns.
Shop for your custom-made night guards at Shopremi. We offer dentist-standard night guards to help you achieve not only a better smile but, more importantly, a better night’s sleep.
Our customized guards are made by dental professionals, with impressions done at your home. Once we finish our product, we deliver it straight to your doorstep. Get yours today to minimize anxiety-induced teeth grinding and get better quality sleep.