Streamwood Family Dentistry Blog

 

From all of us at Streamwood Family Dentistry, we wish all of our patients and our community a happy and healthy new year!  After a fun but busy holiday season – you’re probably starting to feel pretty worn out. And, let’s be honest, New Year resolutions sound great in theory and on paper but you’re probably getting ready to dwell back into the mundane routine of a life that phases out all the excitement of a new year. It’s okay, you’re not the only one – most resolutions don’t often make it past March – if they even make it into February. So, how about trying something easier? We guarantee our suggestion will be simpler to pursue and can provide you with just as much benefit than what you already have planned, if not more. Want to guess what it is?

Sleep! Yes….SLEEP!

If you feel deprived of it, you’re likely not getting enough. We’ve got three tips that’ll help you master this boring, yet so important aspect of our daily lives once and for all. Let’s do it.

1. Consistency is key!  Keep your schedule consistent: Here’s a trick you can steal from the shift-worker playbook. In order for shift workers to stay healthy and free from exhaustion at work, they follow two simple rules: they regiment their sleep schedule each day of the week (including off days) and they consume their meals at times that parallel those waking hours. Skipping meals, or shifting one’s schedule from nights to days on the weekends throws everything off kilter. The key is sticking to a schedule. Try it out yourself for two weeks – from there, it’ll be automatic. Avoid sleeping in on the weekends, and rise and slumber near the same time each day. We guarantee you’ll feel more energized after just a few weeks of this. Need some help? Try a new app called Sleep Cycle. If you’ve got a smart phone, or even a newer iPad or iTouch, you can use this app to wake yourself up without an alarm clock. It really is amazing.

2. Learn from kids….Really, mimic the behavior of kids: Remember when you were a kid and bedtime was set for 8 or 9pm? It was: eat, watch some TV or do homework, brush your teeth, and hit the bed. That was it. And getting up for school was pretty simple after the routine was established, wasn’t it? Well, at least until high school when you started putting more on your plate. Extra-curricular activities, dating, television, homework … whatever it was, your later bedtime made getting up – and getting through school without getting tired – much more difficult.

Here are some questions for you to consider:

  • Once you’ve eaten dinner, do you really need to sit down and watch television for three hours to relax? Why not just go to sleep and actually relax the way your body desires?  Get rid of the desire to jump on Facebook or whatever social media that you desire and put that phone down.  Your mind needs a break and so does your body!
  • If you’re single, how about eating as the workday winds down instead of waiting till you get home?
  • If you’re in a relationship, or married, how about popping dinner in a slow cooker in the morning so it’s ready for the both of you when you get home? This works with or without kids.
  • Put in your day, do something relaxing when you’re home, and then go to bed. This may sound like blasphemy, but it’s worth a shot.

3. Get More Sunlight: Did you know you can reset your body’s clock with a camping trip? Yep. It seems the secret ingredient is exposure to the sun – something camping provides in spades. Since the invention of the light bulb, however, humans just aren’t getting enough exposure to natural light. What can you do?

  • Get sun exposure soon after waking, and several times throughout the day.
  • Go outside for a quick walk if you can during your workday, or, if it’s too cold to take in the great outdoors, find a window in your office with good sun exposure and enjoy the outdoors from inside. The exposure your eyes and skin will receive – even through a window – will help keep your body’s clock on track.
  • Lastly, try to go without the computer and smart phone when you get home – such devices trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime. The same goes for television viewing. If you absolutely must be on your computer, use a program called Flux, which dims your screen to match the outside ambiance. Realistically, though, your parents didn’t need a computer before bedtime when you were a kid, and just a few years ago you didn’t either, so see if you can muster up the discipline to try this one out … it is resolution time after all, right?

To get the most out of life in the New Year, you’ve got to first consider the foundation of happiness: your health. So, try these tips on for size, and aim to get better rest this year!

Yes, we are still your local, trusted dental office caring for your oral health.  However, with latest research linking oral health to overall health in astounding ways, we figured we’d start 2020 with simple yet very important aspect of our daily lives.  With enough sleep and rest, you will be energized to take on the challenges of keeping up with your other new year resolutions (We hope taking care of your teeth is high on the list) and schedule your over-due dental appointment with Dr. Lucy Shah at Streamwood Family Dentistry.

Happy 2020!

-From your dental home @ Streamwood Family Dentistry