Mornings are often hectic and stressful as you rush to get yourself or your family members out the door for the day. You certainly don’t need pain from a temporomandibular disorder (TMD) making it any more difficult! But many people who suffer from TMD feel that mornings are one of the most challenging times, because they aren’t able to get the rest they need due to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain and other symptoms.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do tonight (and every night) to make your morning better. These simple tasks will help you have a better night and therefore, a better morning. That’s getting started on the right foot!
Consider Your Pillow and Bed
If you wake up with a sore neck or back, chances are, your jaw is feeling the discomfort as well. Look for a pillow that best suits your sleeping position. In general, we recommend TMD patients avoid stomach sleeping if possible, so look for a pillow that keeps your back and neck in alignment. Find the right pillow today and you could be sleeping better tonight!
Another long-term solution to a more comfortable night is a new mattress. Shop around for one with the proper support that will minimize pressure points along your neck, spine, and jaw. Most mattresses need to be replaced when they start to lose support and sag, or if you find that your allergies are worse when you got to sleep at night (mattresses attract dust mites). If you’re waking up in pain and a pillow alone doesn’t solve it, make the investment in a new mattress.
Plan Your Morning
If you’re stressed in the morning, your TMD symptoms may feel worse. High stress levels contribute to pain, sleep problems, and can make you more likely to get sick. All of these factors aggravate TMD.
You can reduce that morning stress with a few steps the night before. Plan the day ahead and do whatever you can in advance: pack lunches, get the coffee maker ready, select your outfit, and any other chores. You may find you have some extra time to relax and take a few deep breaths before the start of your day!
Kick the Screen Habit
Studies have suggested that blue light given off by electronic devices can seriously disrupt your sleep. If you spend your evenings on a smartphone, tablet, computer, or other device, you could be missing out on valuable sleep — and feeling awful the next morning.
Do your jaw — and your whole body — a favor by shutting off the screens at least two hours before bedtime. Your quality of sleep may improve significantly, and you’ll wake up feeling less stressed, more refreshed, and more ready to take on the day.
Is jaw pain or TMD making you feel miserable? Don’t wait for it to go away. Contact MedCenter TMJ to learn how you can start feeling better!