Teeth grinding may be your response to stress and anxiety or could be an indication of a sleep disorder like sleep apnea. Changing your nighttime routine can make a difference to the quality of sleep you get. Common tips to help you stop teeth grinding at night and waking up with sleep jaw include the cutting back of certain beverages. Replace them with sleep-enhancing drinks right before bedtime for a more peaceful night’s sleep.
The recommended number of hours sleep is 8 but according to the CDC only a third of adults reach this target. One of the simplest ways to ensure better sleep is to change up what drinks you are consuming late in the day and towards bedtime.
Drinks To Avoid Before Bed
Coffee Or Anything with Caffeine
Too much caffeine can cause
- feelings of anxiety
- fast heart rate
Caffeine is also a stimulant that can keep you alert and awake when you want to be sleeping.
The level of anxiousness and stimulation caused by caffeine can make your bruxism and teeth grinding worse when you do fall asleep.
It can take between four and six hours for the caffeine in your system to be metabolized. Aim to have your last cup of coffee at least 4 hours before bed. But according to one study drinking caffeine six hours before bedtime cut the hours of good sleep you get by one hour.
It’s not only coffee that contains caffeine. Green tea and black tea both contain caffeine as well as other caffeinated teas and colas. Coffee typically contains 80 to 100 milligrams of caffeine; a caffeinated soda contains about 30 to 40 milligrams and green tea contains about 30 to 50 milligrams.
Decaffeinated coffees do still contain a small amount of caffeine so if you are extra sensitive to caffeine and suffer from teeth grinding, it is best to avoid these before bedtime too.
You really don’t want to be upping your energy before bed, especially if you have trouble sleeping. Energy drinks not only contain between 40 and 250 milligrams of caffeine per 8 fluid ounces, but they also contain sugar and other ingredients that act as stimulants making it harder for you to fall asleep.
Alcohol may make you feel sleepy and relaxed, but it won’t give you a good night’s sleep. You may fall asleep quickly after a few drinks, but your sleep patterns will be disrupted. This can also make your teeth grinding and bruxism worse.
Alcohol decreases the amount of REM sleep you get resulting in shorter sleep cycles and a disrupted, poor-quality sleep. Heavy drinking before bed can also cause insomnia and worsen existing conditions such as sleep apnea.
Even a small amount of alcohol can reduce your sleep quality by almost 10%.
Even if you have a mouth guard or night guard, alcohol clearly influences your teeth grinding and it is best to stop drinking about four hours before you go to sleep.
Sodas Or Sugary Drinks
While sodas often contain caffeine which is bad for your sleep, they also contain a lot of sugar. Too much sugar in the system can also cause more sleep disruptions and make it difficult to stay asleep.
It is always good to drink plenty of water during the day to stay hydrated but drinking a lot of water before bedtime can keep you up at night, sending you on multiple trips to the bathroom. Skip that glass of water right before bed for a deeper sleep.
The Best Sleep-Enhancing Drinks to Try
Sour or tart cherries contain both tryptophan and melatonin which help you sleep. Tryptophan helps the body to produce more melatonin. Melatonin is called the sleep hormone, helping you sleep more soundly. A glass of sugar-free tart cherry juice before bed will help you fall asleep faster and get better quality sleep.
A glass of warm milk really does help you sleep better. Milk also contains tryptophan. Not only does tryptophan help the body produce more melatonin for sleep but also serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter known for helping with feelings of happiness and overall wellbeing. These increased feelings of wellbeing can also help reduce intensity of teeth grinding or bruxism.
Almonds contain magnesium for improved sleep quality. Some studies suggest almonds help lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone so lowering cortisol is important for reducing feelings of stress and anxiety, known triggers for teeth grinding.
Almond milk is also high in the sleep-promoting hormones, tryptophan, and melatonin.
There are several herbal teas that have relaxing and sleep-inducing properties. Decaffeinated teas are also a great alterative to coffee or caffeinated tea if you are looking for a replacement.
Chamomile tea has a calming effect on the body and just one cup before bed can aid better sleep.
Other sleep enhancing herbal teas to try are:
You may be used to having a smoothie in the morning, but a banana smoothie is high on the list of beneficial drinks for better sleep.
Bananas contain potassium and magnesium to help relax the muscles, while the good carbs they contain will leave you feeling satiated throughout the night. Bananas are also a good source of tryptophan and magnesium. Combine them with milk or almond milk for a double-dose of sleep-enhancing goodness.
Also known as golden milk, Turmeric lattes use the power of warm milk or almond milk boosted by the benefits of turmeric for a good night’s sleep.
Turmeric contains the compound cur-cumin which helps reduce inflammation and helps reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Reducing anxiousness and stress not only leads to better sleep but can help reduce the intensity of teeth grinding.
Golden milk is made with a combination of turmeric (1 teaspoon), honey, ginger and warm milk or almond milk. There are also many store-bought options.
We hope these healthy bedtime drinks help you to reduce teeth grinding and bruxism at night. Along with a custom night guard or mouth guard you can alleviate the feeling of sleep jaw or jaw pain experienced in the morning.