Sleeping Tips For TMJ Patients

Sleep is an essential part of life that promotes health and wellness. A lack of sleep has detrimental effects on one’s physical and mental health, resulting in serious health problems. Sleep poses a significant challenge for TMD/TMJ patients. Sleeping in an improper position might aggravate TMD symptoms, and so finding a comfortable position that suits you is important. Grinding your teeth at night is also a habit that can aggravate TMJ. Although teeth grinding can be curbed with various gadgets or surgery, you can also switch up your habits for better sleep.

How to Sleep with TMJ

Sleep is one of the most painful problems induced by TMJ as it is the time when your jaw is not perfectly aligned and you are likely to grind your teeth. When considering the best methods to sleep with TMJ, one of the most common is to have the right head and neck support. Investing in good pillows that provide this support can help to relieve the overcompensation and tension on your neck and facial muscles. Support should be prioritized; you may prefer softer, flatter pillows, but choosing pillows with moderate to high support will make a huge difference. You should also aim for a sleeping position that doesn’t put any strain on your head or neck, or promote jaw clenching and teeth grinding. If you are facing these issues, speak with your TMJ specialist and they will be able to provide you with custom oral appliances to wear at night.

Best and Worst Sleeping Positions

Here are some common sleeping positions. Only one of them promotes better sleep and eases your jaw pain.

  • Sleeping on your stomach: This is the worst sleeping position for TMJ patients as your spine will be improperly aligned. Pushing your face into the pillow also puts a lot of pressure on your jaw, increasing the likelihood of teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
  • Laying on your side: It depends on the pillow used, but sleeping on your side can put your neck and head out of alignment, causing TMJ pain when you wake up.
  • On your back: For TMJ patients, the best position is lying on your back. It keeps your neck and back properly aligned without putting any stress on your jaw. Sleeping on your back can feel uncomfortable and even unnatural, but getting used to falling asleep in this position will yield great results.

Combat Your Sleeping Problems with Head Pain Institute

If you are experiencing sleeping problems caused by TMJ or TMD, turn to Head Pain Institute. We are committed to using the best evidence-based diagnosis and pain management treatment methods for you, allowing you to get better quality sleep. We are the leading providers for the treatment of TMJ/TMD disorders, head, ear, and neck pain, sleep apnea, and sleep disorders in the United States. Reach out to us if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.