Our country is in the middle of a health care crisis. This crisis is putting financial strain on individuals and our economy, not to mention a decreased quality of life for so many. This crisis was brought on through lifestyle choices, financial and social requirements, sleep deprivation, and sleep disorders. This is an article describing the process that leads to sleep disruption and the negative effects on your health. This article ties together sleep disorders and bruxism, which is the clenching and grinding of teeth. The misunderstood connection between the two has made it challenging for us to improve our quality of life and health. We have had great advancements in medicine over the last 50 years. We have come to understand how our bodies work and the requirements to keep it healthy. It would make sense that with this understanding our general health care problem would be decreasing. Unfortunately, it is not. Health care demand and costs are rising at an ever increasing rate.
RiPPLE® Retainers – Our Solution to the Crisis
We have developed a product that directly addresses most of the symptoms associated with the health care crisis. The RiPPLE® night-time retainers prevents clenching and grinding which in turn reduces sleep disorders and dental damage. Before we describe what a RiPPLE® retainer is and how it works, we want to describe in detail the nature of the problem.
What our Healthcare Crisis Means?
The health care crisis adversely affects everyone. It affects those with illness, as well as, those supporting our health care systems and those providers obligated to take care of the ill. We look ahead and are concerned for our children’s and grandchildren’s economic and health future. Diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, obesity, depression and drug dependency, just to name a few, are far too common. Over 30% of our population are classified as obese and projections indicate obesity to increase to 60% by 2030. The human body and its physiology has not changed in the past 50 years, yet something pervasive has caused a decline in our general health.
The fact that we are facing an ever increasing crisis tells me we have not had the information needed to solve this problem. We believe that we can reduce or eliminate this crisis by treating sleep disorders. I want us to take an approach to modern medicine that is preventative and conservative.
Sleep disorders and how they affect health
Sleep disorders are on the rise and are being clinically linked to a very long list of serious and degenerative medical conditions. Sleep disorders can be caused by many different factors. These factors are bruxism, alcohol, pain, too low or too high of sleeping temperature, an uncomfortable mattress or pillow, a spouse interrupting one’s sleep, too much light or noise, lack of exercise, poor health, poor diet, sleep apnea, obesity and stress. It is challenging to get the right combination for a good night’s sleep because it just takes the presence of one of these factors to negatively affect sleep. Sleep is one of our most important bodily functions, and in today’s world, quality sleep can be hard to achieve.
When we sleep, our bodies regulate and repair mentally and physically. The endocrine (hormone) system regulates at night, mostly during deep sleep. If your sleep is interrupted, hormone regulation is diminished. Sleep disruption impairs the reproductive system, immune system, thyroid, and other vital systems.
Interruptions during sleep can also cause us to be tired, decreasing our ability to handle the challenges that come up in our lives. I like to use the concept of an over-flowing bucket to illustrate what happens when you are overwhelmed. Each of us have a bucket, the size depends on many factors, including stress level, pain tolerance and previous history. Pretend our bucket fills with “bad” information. Stress, financial problems, physical pain, emotional pain, lifestyle choices and so on fill our bucket. We can handle these “bad” things, as long as there’s room in our bucket. Like any bucket, there is a maximum capacity. If you go over its maximum capacity and it overflows, then your body and mind break down. Now you are at a state where you can’t handle anymore, no matter the situation, even if you have handled this before. Deep sleep is an opportunity to empty our buckets to be able to handle more of the various challenges in life.
One of the major culprits filling up our bucket is bruxism. Bruxism, which is the clenching and grinding of teeth, causes your body to be too alert and will impede staying in deep sleep. This is referred to as an arousal. This equals a spouse disturbing your sleep, a dog barking, or an alarm. All have similar arousal reactions, the difference is bruxism is more common at night and most don’t realize it’s extent. In addition to disrupting sleep, bruxism is the main reason for damage to teeth. Tooth damage occurs when teeth are together. In contrast, when we are awake, we protect our teeth by not allowing them to touch frequently and with significant force.
As the medical profession has reported and taught, deep sleep is directly correlated to good health. As you read on, I will explain the importance of deep sleep, as well as a conservative, preventative treatment option to induce deeper levels of sleep.
Sleep disorders put us into a “Poor Sleep Cycle.” This is a pattern of poor sleep leading to a false hunger, then we gain weight or are emotionally challenged, then back to poor sleep, and the cycle continues.
Poor Sleep Cycle
The signs and symptoms of sleep disorders range from worn teeth to life-threatening diseases. Some symptoms on this list are common knowledge but some may surprise you. We have used RiPPLE® retainers to treat or eliminate many of the symptoms that are associated with sleep disorders on the list. The list is:
Stress and Tension
Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Back and Neck Pain
Worn or broken teeth (abfraction)
Dental bone loss
Type II Adult Onset Diabetes
Most people are unaware of their quality of sleep and the damage being done by poor sleep quality. This article will help raise awareness and motivate us to discuss sleep with our doctors, including options for better health. But the best way to treat any disease is to prevent it! If we can sleep deeper from our teenage years forward, we will see less disease and live healthier, happier lives.
Treatment for sleep disorders varies widely. Some doctors will recommend medication, CPAP machine, surgery, or other treatment, and it is common to recommend multiple treatments. I recommend starting with the most conservative. RiPPLE® retainers is the preventative, conservative approach to treating sleep disorders.
What is good sleep?
Good sleep must be combined with two other essential ingredients. The other two are your diet and physical activity. Each of these are a leg to a three-legged stool. Take one out and the body will topple. They are each needed for us to be stable on uneven ground. Our population has been widely exposed to the fundamentals of a good diet; this includes drinking water and avoiding soft drinks. We have also been widely exposed to the benefits of exercise. Because we have not been able to successfully solve our sleep crisis, our population suffers physically and mentally. For example, a person could eat well, exercise regularly, but still have a sleep disorder and daytime tiredness. Even though people are doing two of the three, without the third, a person will still suffer the consequences.
RiPPLE® retainers can initiate the momentum to keep all three legs of the stool in our lives. The ‘Poor Sleep Cycle’ is hard to stop, but so is the positive momentum experienced with a healthier lifestyle, founded on adequate sleep.
Hope for the Future
There have been numerous studies that show the benefits of sleep. Our bodies repair and re-charge when we sleep and especially when we achieve deep sleep. Therefore our buckets are emptied. Our immune system is strengthened. Our hormone levels are adjusted. Our brain needs this. Our population needs this. When we don’t sleep, we crave immediately, satisfying, fast-fueled fuels; primarily due to hormone secretion that makes us hungrier. If we don’t achieve adequate sleep, we should expect an increase in health care costs, headaches, lack of ability to handle pain, infertility, depression, obesity, vertigo, behavioral issues, and many other negative symptoms attributed to a lack of sleep. We, as humans, should feel good. Again, modern medicine should prescribe less medication and be conservative and preventative! RiPPLE® retainers provides an effective solution for better sleep. By getting better sleep, we feel better and can realize our potential. Let’s RiPPLE®.