If you suffer from inadequate sleep, your sleep hygiene is probably to blame.

What is sleep hygiene?

Sleep hygiene is how you sleep, when you sleep, and what you do before you sleep. Here are some tips to keep in mind to improve your sleep habits. Most importantly, if you are not tired, do not go to bed. Instead, do something that relaxes you like listening to soft music or reading. Be sure to keep a regular schedule in which you go to bed and wake up about the same time every day, this means even on weekends and holidays. Although some of us look forward to our days off when we can “sleep in,” you really should not “sleep in” more than an hour past your normal wake up time. It is also helpful to keep a bedtime or evening routine. This practice typically works well for children and just because we are older does not mean it will not work for us too!

Beginning a ritual in the evening that helps you relax will get your mind and body ready for sleep. Lean towards something calming that will not elevate your heart rate or stimulate your mind, such as taking a bath, having a small snack, or reading a book. Whichever activities you choose, be sure to not do these activities in your bed. This will cause your mind to associate things other than sleep when you are in your bed. Try going to another quiet area of your home, if possible.

Napping is another contributor to sleep hygiene. Some people think a good way to “catch up “on sleep is to take naps during the day, but the opposite of that is true for some people. If you have a difficult time falling asleep or staying asleep, a daytime nap may not be the best idea for you. However, if you must nap, keep it at a minimum, like a 20-minute power nap. This should typically be just enough time for you to recharge.

Another culprit to poor sleep hygiene could be attributed to consuming caffeine after lunch. Keep in mind everyone metabolizes caffeine at a different rate. Therefore, consuming caffeine after lunch may actually not be entirely to blame for your particular sleep hygiene. However, it is important to note your caffeine consumption and consider adjusting the amount or time of day in which you consume it.

Drinking alcohol within a few hours of bedtime is not recommended, because of its effect on your level of breathing while you sleep, preventing you from the deep sleep that you need. Nicotine also affects your sleep hygiene in that your body may wake up during the night due to a nicotine craving. Hence, smoking all together could be contributing to your sleep deprivation.

You’ve probably always heard you shouldn’t go to bed hungry, Although that is in fact true, keep in mind it is not advisable to consume a large meal near bedtime either. Going to bed with an empty stomach could cause your blood sugar levels to drop, causing sporadic sleep behavior at night. On the other hand, avoid a large meal within three hours of bedtime. Experts also advise avoiding tough exercise within six hours of bedtime. For most of us, that would mean if we did not exercise in the morning or on our lunch break, we might as well not exercise at all. That is certainly not the case. If your only option is to exercise in the evening, even though it is against the recommendation, it is better you exercise when it fits your schedule than to not exercise at all.

Another aspect of sleep hygiene some people do that contributes to sleep deprivation is using sleeping pills. Unless clinically necessary and prescribed by your doctor, consider using more natural methods of relaxation instead of sleeping pills. Most definitely, never combine sleeping pills with alcohol. Stress is another big contributor to our lack of sleep. Although, it may be difficult for some people to eliminate worry completely out of their mind, there are relaxation techniques that can help “turn off your brain.” Maybe talking on the phone with a friend or relative can help relieve your stressors in life. It may even be necessary to see a therapist to help you discover other stress relieving outlets.

Unbelievably, the temperature of your room contributes to the quality of your sleep. Keep your room at a comfortable, but cool temperature to ensure you do not get too hot during the night, which causes you to wake up.

Finally, avoid technology within an hour of sleep. Most people like to drift off into sleep with the sound of their television or will use a handheld electronic device, such as an eReader, cellular phone, or tablet, until they feel sleepy enough to go to sleep. However, the background light from these devices actually tricks your brain into thinking it is daytime. Therefore, you are doing your body more harm than good! Instead, consider browsing a magazine or reading a book, something without background light.

Now that you have taken all the fun out of your bedtime routine, seriously try our suggestions. Go home tonight, have a light dinner, relax to some nice music, and try reading a magazine, book, or even talking on the phone to a friend to help get your mind off your hectic day. If you do not enjoy reading, try a nice stroll around the block or a simple card or board game with your roommate or spouse. These tips do not require a drastic change in your day and certainly should cost you very little money, if any at all. It is worth a try and you just might wake up having had the best night’s sleep of your life! This information provides tips for helping you determine your sleep hygiene habits and hopefully make changes to improve your sleep habits. In some cases, you may still need to consult a physician for medical attention to your sleep deprivation.

If you are an elderly individual with dentures or partial dentures, you have to make sure you take the care necessary to clean them properly. You have to clean your teeth and gums as before with regular brushing and flossing but added to this you need to make sure your dentures are getting thoroughly cleaned so they do not promote further tooth decay.

To care for your dentures, thoroughly brush them every day with a denture cleaning compound. Don’t forget to clean the undersides. At night, put dentures in water or a recommended cleaning solution.

Brushing your teeth requires some additional care when you have dentures, too. It’s best to remove dentures before cleaning your teeth. Make sure to clean the surfaces where the dentures rest on your gums or abut your teeth. Check places where clasps or wires rest to make sure they’re clean and also to look for signs of excess wear.

With proper care, your dentures can be an attractive, functional part of your healthy mouth for many years.

To learn more about dentures in the Miami area, please contact Miami Designer Smiles today for an appointment.

Smoking, as you have probably been told, is not good for your body. However, it is even worse for dental implant patients. Smoking interferes with your circulation and with your body’s healing response. It increases your risk of rejection of the implant and any bone graft that you may have had to support the implant.

To give yourself the best chance of having a successful dental implant procedure, you will be asked to quit smoking for at least two months before your dental implant procedure and one month after. If you cannot do this, then you are not a good candidate for dental implants.

The impact of smoking on dental implants goes beyond the initial healing phase, though, since the impact of smoking on your immune system means that you will remain vulnerable to infection adjacent to the dental implant. The best thing to do is to quit smoking altogether. Most people who can quit for three months can quit completely, and it is worth trying for the health of your dental implants and your body as a whole.

To learn more about how to ensure the long life of your dental implants, please schedule a consultation with a cosmetic dentist at Miami Designer Smiles today.

The Role of oral hygiene and heart health
Did you know sleep apnea suffers are 3 to ten times more likely to be involved in a car accident? On the other hand, it is possible that a car accident, or other injury, is contributing to obstructive sleep apnea. You may think how could a car wreck I had years ago be contributing to my obstructive sleep apnea? If you suffer from any particular injury that causes you to limit the positions of your body during sleep, you could be depriving yourself of a restful night’s sleep.

Sometimes people who suffer from neck and back pain avoid sleeping on their sides or stomach, inevitably sleeping on their back. Sleeping on your back makes it easy for gravity to allow your lower jaw to slide backward making the base of your tongue close off your airway. Obstructed airways result in a restless nights’ sleep. Sometimes, sleeping on your side or stomach can reduce the possibility of obstructing your airways and sleep apnea symptoms. Some people even have a type of sleep apnea that is so bad that it exists in any sleeping position. People suffering from obstructive sleep apnea may also experience acid reflux, fullness in their ears, sinus pressure, nasal congestion, or headaches. When your airways are obstructed, it can cause a vacuum effect in your airways in which stomach juices are pulled up into your throat ears, and nose causing them to bother you in the ways described earlier.
As you can already see, obstructive sleep apnea essentially causes a domino effect on one’s health. If you suffer from an injury or health condition that keeps you from sleeping in a particular position, this could be contributing to your obstructive sleep apnea. If you wake up tired, feel fatigued throughout the day, or rely on caffeine to keep you stimulated throughout the day, you may need to consider a specific sleep study to evaluate more deeply your sleep quality. It is important to take your sleep habits seriously as it can adversely affect not just your health but also your life and those around you.

Contact our office today to schedule a sleep apnea consultation in the Miami or Coral Gables area. Miami Designer Smiles is run by Dr. Raul Garcia and Dr. Conchi Sanchez-Garcia and is located at 9301 SW 56th Street in Miami Florida 33165. Call us at (305) 595-4616 today or fill out our contact form, It just may save your life!

If you are considering dentures, you may be thinking back to childhood memories of an older relative, whose dentures unpleasant. They clicked when he or she talked and may have made noises even when he or she was just sitting around, absent-mindedly thinking. They may have been so uncomfortable and dysfunctional that he or she removed them for eating. You don’t want that kind of dentures.

Thankfully, you don’t have to have that kind of denture. Modern dentures are better fitted than ever in the past. They are made of advanced materials that make them highly attractive, and they can be so well affixed and so functional that no one but your dentist needs to know about them.

Modern dentures can be affixed using dental implants, but even if they are only fitted over your gums, modern imaging and neuromuscular dentistry techniques combined with centuries of experience mean that today’s dentures are better than ever. Modern dentures even have the power to rejuvenate your face, which is why they’re sometimes described as facelift dentures.

If you are considering tooth replacement options, you need to talk to a dentist who knows the true potential of modern dentures. To learn more about what modern dentures can do for you, please contact Miami Designer Smiles, serving clients from across the Miami metropolitan area.