How to Get to Sleep and Relieve TMJ Problems
TMJ (TMD) is a painful condition that causes chronic pain and discomfort in the jaw and which makes several everyday activities much more difficult than they should be. Eating for one is often affected by TMJ but so too are several other things including sleeping. Understanding how to use TMJ relief to get to sleep is very important though as it can otherwise have profound effects on your health.
How TMJ Affects Sleeping
Sleeping can be difficult with TMJ as the pain itself makes it hard to get comfortable and thus often keeps people awake. At the same time though, TMJ is also often combined with apnea. Apnea is a condition that causes you to wake up in the night for very brief spells because you’ve stopped breathing. It’s not normally dangerous and usually you won’t even be awake long enough to remember that you woke at all — but nevertheless it is enough to ensure your sleep is broken and shallow and that you don’t get the rejuvenating rest that you should unless you get TMJ relief.
Why it Matters
If you are suffering from TMJ, then it’s important to try and find ways to alleviate the problem enough to at least get proper sleep. Few of us get as many hours of sleep as we really need and this can result in drastically negative effects on our health and our general quality of life.
If you don’t get enough sleep then you will greatly increase your chances of struggling with headaches and mood fluctuations. At the same time, you will also find you are more prone to making mistakes and you are less able to perform well at work. Everything from your career to your relationships is affected by a lack of sleep.
Finally, failing to get to sleep means your immune system can’t do its job and you are immediately more likely to become ill and less able to recover from illnesses and injuries. This is a vicious circle as it actually exacerbates the TMJ itself too!
So how do you go about getting to sleep with TMJ and possibly apnea?
The first thing to do is to consider using ‘The TMJ Pill’. The TMJ Pill is a treatment for TMJ that works by combining the effects of anti-inflammatories with a multivitamin cocktail, muscle relaxants and analgesics. This provides short-term TMJ pain relief for sleeping but in the long term it can help to reduce inflammation and provide the body with the raw materials it needs to recover. Taken just before sleep it can help to relax the jaw and provide the pain relief you need to doze.
You can also use other strategies to further aid the relaxation of the jaw muscles. For instance, ginger is a well-known muscle relaxant and if you have ginger tea just before bed it can further help your jaw to relax. A hot shower is also very useful for relaxing the muscles but also for encouraging the production of melatonin and growth hormone which helps you to feel sleepy.
A little massage is another useful tool for getting to sleep. Some people — especially those with the posttraumatic form of TMJ — find that lightly massaging their jaw muscles offers great TMJ pain relief. Doing this a little before heading to sleep can help a great deal.
Finally, you should also consult your doctor about using a TMJ splint. These are mouthguards that keep your jaw slightly open in a comfortable position. Not only does this help provide further TMJ relief but it also reduces snoring and thus apnea. Combine with an upright position and you should find you wake up feeling much more alert! Also very importantly, splints can prevent tooth grinding which can often be a cause of jaw pain.