Tips to Help You Fall Asleep at Bedtime

Whether or not you are diagnosed with a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, you can improve your ability to fall asleep with a few simple lifestyle changes. Many reputable sources, including the Mayo Clinic, recommend similar tips:

  • Do not drink caffeine in the evening (coffee, sodas, tea, chocolate, etc.)
  • Avoid nicotine and alcohol before bed
  • Don’t eat or drink too much before bed
  • Exercise daily
  • Drink a cup of warm milk or decaffeinated tea before bed
  • Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day
  • Avoid the news and loud television shows before bed
  • Create a dark, quiet, and cool environment in your bedroom
  • Don’t take naps during the day
  • Go to the restroom, let the dogs out, and lock the doors before you get into bed
  • Turn off the lights when you go to bed
  • Use a comfortable mattress and bedding
  • Before bed, begin to wind down and limit stimulation

When you get into bed, practice deep breathing, picture a warm, comforting scene, and purposefully relax your body, starting with your toes and working up to your head. Some people like to listen to soft, relaxing instrumental music or enjoy some light reading to help them become tired.

I’m Dr. James Stewart, and I treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea in my Livonia dental office. If you try these tips and continue to have trouble sleeping soundly, give me a call.

Poor Sleep Related to Stroke, Heart Attack, and More

If you’re not getting good sleep, you may be at risk for serious health problems. We know that proper sleep allows the body to repair and the mind to renew. We also know that heart attack, stroke, and depression occur frequently in people with sleep disorders. But there’s more!

Research shows that sleep disorders might contribute to the frequency of epileptic seizures, low immunity, growth and development problems, mental disorders like depression and schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

There may also be a link between sleep problems and asthma attacks, which, like strokes, often occur in the early morning or during the night.

Another interesting fact—patients with sleep disorders tend to complain of more pain and request a higher level of pain medication. (more…)

Sleep Disorders have Significant Effect on Quality of Life

Sleep is not when the body goes dormant. On the contrary, sleep is an important part of life in which the brain is very active. Research shows that sleep may be when neurons repair themselves, and we know that certain growth hormones are released during sleep. The nervous and immune systems seem to be significantly impacted by lack of sleep. Furthermore, sleep appears to have an impact on mental and emotional wellbeing, as well as decision making, socialization, and learning.

There are five stages of sleep, the last being REM (rapid eye movement). REM is necessary for a person to feel rested and refreshed. People with sleep disorders often do not reach or do not have long enough periods of REM sleep. (more…)

The Overnight Sleep Test: My Experience

I am trying to learn all I can about sleep medicine. As part of my education the staff at St. Mary Mercy Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center suggested that I have a sleep test of my own. What a great idea for me to experience what I suggest many of my patients have done!

Prior to my test, there was a questionnaire to fill out as well as some basic instructions to follow such as maintaining my regular sleep times, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, etc. I arrived at 9:00pm for my study and like most patients who have this test done, I was tired.

The room where I was to spend the night was just like a hotel room. It was very comfortable and quiet with a chair and TV, nothing “clinical” about it. The technologist, Eric did a great job of explaining what was going to happen that night and what he would be monitoring. And there is a lot that is monitored! (more…)

Sleepless in Livonia? Tell Your Dentist!

I’m Dr. James Stewart. Welcome to my blog. How was your sleep last night? I hope you slept soundly. But if not, do you feel tired, forgetful, or irritable today? Do you feel unrested, even though you were in bed for 8 hours? As a sleep disorder dentist, I see many patients who report these symptoms, and oftentimes, the problem stems from obstructive sleep apnea.

Take this quiz to help determine if you might have a sleep disorder

Do you snore?
Do you awake suddenly, choking or gasping?
Do you feel lethargic, forgetful, or irritated a lot of the time?
Do you almost fall asleep during the day when you’re driving, watching TV, or sitting quietly without much stimulation?
Does your sleeping partner tell you that you stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep?

These are just a few common problems associated with sleep disorders. What many people don’t know is that a dentist might be able to help. I’ve studied sleep disorders, and I provide non-invasive appliance therapy for patients who suffer from snoring and/or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). (more…)

Improving Smiles and Lives with Full-Mouth Reconstruction in Livonia, MI

If your teeth are damaged, painful, and sparse, regardless of the cause of your situation, Dr. Stewart wants to give you back optimal oral health and better quality of life. You don’t have to live with poor oral health, embarrassing bad breath, and a smile you hide in public. With full-mouth reconstruction, you can reclaim the bold, healthy, beautiful smile of your youth. The first step is a consultation with Dr. Stewart.

When you visit, Dr. Stewart will want to know if you’ve avoided dental care because of fear, anxiety, stress, or physical limitations. With medication, he can help you overcome these very real issues, so you can enjoy peace of mind and body during your oral reconstruction process.

Dr. Stewart will talk with you about your primary concerns and objectives, then he’ll update your records and thoroughly evaluate your oral health. He’ll assess your teeth, bite, soft tissues, and jaw joints. A comprehensive understanding of your unique dentition and oral health will help Dr. Stewart design an effective full-mouth reconstruction treatment plan for you. (more…)

Dr. Stewart as Part of Your Bigger Healthcare Team

Your body is one unit. Independent systems aren’t really independent because they are influenced by, and have an impact on, other bodily systems.

In dentistry, the oral system has an effect on comfort, function, and even proclivity to diseases. Gum disease, for instance, is linked to an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes complications, low-weight births, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other serious health conditions. Malocclusion of the jaw joints (TMJ disorder) can cause headaches, as well as pain in the head, neck, face, neck, shoulders, lower back, and jaw. Missing teeth effect diet, thus contribute to poor overall health. Improper jaw position while sleeping can cause sleep apnea, which is linked to heart attack, depression, and other problems. The list goes on and on. (more…)

5 Reasons to Visit Dr. Stewart for Cosmetic Dentistry

If you think you need a specialist for cosmetic dentistry, get ready for a long search. The American Dental Association does not recognize cosmetic dentistry as a specialty, so there are no cosmetic dentistry specialists. They simply don’t exist.

What’s the next best thing? Dr. James Stewart. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should visit Dr. Stewart, your general dentist, for cosmetic dental procedures:

  1. Relationship. Our team knows you. We care about you and want the very best for your oral health.
  2. Integrity. Because he’s your general dentist, as well as your cosmetic dentist, Dr. Stewart has to have great integrity in your cosmetic dental care, creating the smile you want and restorations designed to last.
  3. Convenience. You won’t have to make the trek to a new office and meet a new dentist. Instead, you’ll feel comfortable and confident in our familiar Livonia dental office.
  4. Oral harmony. Dr. Stewart approaches all cosmetic dentistry with a focus on whole-mouth health and comfortable oral function. Your smile will look and feel good!
  5. Scope of services. Dr. Stewart has extensive training and experience in modern cosmetic dentistry procedures, ranging from porcelain veneers to teeth whitening to white crowns and fillings.

A smile makeover consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose. Call us today to reserve some time with Dr. Stewart. He’ll chat with you about your ideal smile, then explain the best way to achieve it.

Hey, Mom, We Want to Make Your Livonia Family Smile!

Research shows that, in most cases, moms choose the family dentist. It’s not an easy task. Will your kids like the dentist? Will your husband?

Find Out What they Want
You already know what your family needs from a dentist. But what do they want? Next time you’re driving to the pool with the kids, ask them, “What do you like/dislike about going to the dentist?” Ask your husband the same question. The more you know about your family’s expectations and preferences, the easier your decision will be.

The Family Dentist Interview
It’s easy to forget some of the details when you’re trying to find a new dentist – especially if you’re packing the kids for camp and planning the family vacation! Here are some great interview questions that can guide your interviews. Before using these questions, think about the answers you want to hear.

  • Where are you located?
  • Do you see children?
  • Are you accepting new patients?
  • Do you take insurance?
  • Do you offer financing?
  • What are your hours?
  • Do you offer _________________? (dental implants, sleep apnea treatment, cosmetics)
  • Do you have a website?
  • When can I get an appointment? (more…)

Children’s Oral Health: What Parents Should Know about the First Dental Visit

A Child’s First Visit

Dr. James Stewart supports the American Dental Association’s suggestion that children should visit the dentist by age one. Though your little one may not have many teeth at one year, he or she also has not yet been negatively influenced about dental visits. The first visit is called a Happy Visit because our primary goal is to make the child – and parent – happy with our office! In many cases, we have found that the best Happy Visit is conducted consecutively with a parent’s cleaning. Your child can take a ride in the dental chair, meet “Mr. Thirsty,” and become familiar with the sights, sounds, and friends at our office. Dr. Stewart will inspect your child’s mouth, looking for proper tooth development. Following the initial visit, be sure to schedule six-month checkups so that we can continue to build your child’s healthy future.

Click “more” to read about preventive and restorative dentistry for children!