Believe it or not, your bed is a battle ground, but be glad the fight is on a mattress with pillows not up on “hacksaw ridge” strewn with rock and ruin and daytime nightmares. The battle going on at night for each of us is the tug of war going on between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems; the winner has dire consequences for our health and well being. If the “rest and digest” parasympathetic system prevails, we enjoy refreshed repairing deep sleep, facing the day ahead with energy, focus and enthusiasm. On the other hand, if the “fight or flight” sympathetic system is called in to play by a brain starved for oxygen, then the war of attrition and degraded performance mars your next day’s activities and a slow downward spiral of emotional, mental, and physical stress begins to squeeze the life out of you.
The simple fact for the alarming decline in Western health is directly related to the quality and quantity of sleep we need each night to recover and recharge to maintain health. Far too much medication has been prescribed for depression, anxiety, anger, ADHD, chronic fatigue, obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure when the it’s a pillow not a pill solution.
So what business does a dentist have to do with sleeping issues when we have the greatest health care system in the world with all the high-tech equipment to diagnose a misplaced gene or chromosome? Plenty! First, the greatest health care system in the world is you; not being in denial or making excuses for not feeling up to par and taking responsibility for the most basic, simple and natural key to health, learning and training ourselves to sleep properly throughout the night. There are at least 40 signs and symptom that every dentist sees every day that strongly correlate to dysfunctional sleep. It is as plain as the nose on your face, your eyes, and the wisdom of teeth telling the story that cannot be denied.
We are becoming a “quality” sleep deprived nation of premature overmedicated Zombies. There is nothing more important than your next breath and you have less than three minutes to get it right for the body to stay in a balanced healthy state. It all starts with the newborn and toddlers where breathing problems can be recognized and treated. Our teenagers are really sleep challenged with their electronic pacifiers and over charged lifestyle, but enough to say every age is affected to some degree.
The take home message is the Airway is the Highway to Health and the nose is the onramp. God intended us to breathe through our nose not our mouth. Our brain does not off load the oxygen it must have to function if you mouth breath. Let’s breathe right and not pillow fight.
Get more facts, gain knowledge, download “The Breath of Life” or call us to learn more: (727) 822-3156
John B. Harrison DDS, MSc