Burke, Fairfax and Fairfax Station, VA

We all know at least one morning person who doesn’t need an alarm to wake up or, at the very least, seems to not be bothered by one. They wake up before the sun does, ready to tackle the world. Then there are the rest of us — those who set 10 back-to-back alarms so we can hit snooze nine times before actually rolling out of bed.

Our family dentist in Burke, Dr. Pam Marzban, is sharing five ways to get your day off to a better, more energized start. If your routine includes the following and you still feel tired and groggy during the day, then you could be suffering from sleep apnea, and our office can help.

Drink hot tea

Start a comforting morning routine with a hot cup of tea. Most people associate mornings with coffee, but the caffeine in tea provides a more gradual energy boost, helping sustain energy. Tea is also known to reduce stress, and it has antioxidants that can help with gut health. Some people like their tea the way they like their coffee: sweet. Our dentist advises against adding sugar because over time it can lead to bacteria and tooth decay. Similar to coffee, tea can also stain your teeth, so be sure to rinse your mouth with water after enjoying your morning cup of hot tea.

Eat a healthy breakfast

A big, heavy breakfast can make a person want to crawl back into bed and fall back asleep. But a moderate, healthy breakfast should boost a person’s energy level. Try egg whites and turkey bacon for a protein-packed breakfast. Complex carbohydrates like steel-cut oats, whole-wheat bread and quinoa provide your body with energy-sustaining nutrients. If you like oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast, add fresh berries and chopped nuts. It’s easy — and common — for people to skip breakfast. Maybe they’re not feeling too hungry when they first wake up, or maybe they’re in a hurry or don’t want to take the time to make breakfast. This is why our Fairfax family dentist encourages making breakfast ahead or at least making several steps of breakfast in advance so that a healthy morning meal requires nothing but a quick assembly on your way out the door.

Exercise

Movement gives a body energy. Try simple stretches in the morning to gently wake your body. You can also try jumping jacks, running in place, push-ups, squats or sit-ups to wake your body and mind, putting them in the right place to conquer your day.

Meditate

Some people love to start their day by reading a motivating or thought-provoking morning devotional. Others spend time meditating to clear their minds. Spending a few minutes with deep breathing can relax and focus the mind to get it ready for a productive day.

Sleep more hours

If you wake up tired every morning, it could be that you’re not receiving adequate sleep. A calming routine at the same time each night and a consistent wake-up time can regulate sleep patterns. Avoid caffeine or using computers or phones before bed. Reading a book, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and tire the eyes before sleep.

What if I still feel tired during the day?

If you’re following all of the above steps and still feel tired during the day, you could be one of millions of Americans who suffer from sleep apnea, a dangerous condition that interrupts the sleep cycle at night.

What is sleep apnea, and what are the associated dangers?

When the soft tissue of the mouth, throat and tongue relax during sleep, they can block a person’s airway. This leads to snoring – a telltale sign of obstructive sleep apnea – and repeated pauses in breathing that can last up to 20 seconds. During these pauses, the brain responds by startling the person awake to breathe. While these incidences usually can’t be recalled the following day, they have repeatedly interrupted the person’s sleep cycle during the night, oftentimes leading to severe daytime fatigue.

Sleep apnea has numerous negative effects on a person’s health and can lead to disastrous consequences if disruptions in the sleep cycle lead to a decrease in mental performance when on the job or behind the wheel of a car.

Sleep apnea treatment in Burke, Fairfax, and Fairfax Station, Virginia

If you feel you’re sleeping enough hours but still wake up tired or feel groggy during the day, our office in the Northern Virginia area near Burke, Fairfax and Fairfax Station can help. Give us a call at 703-323-8200, or reach us online today. Dr. Marzban can guide you through every step to rule out sleep apnea or to customize a treatment plan if you’re diagnosed with the sleep-breathing disorder.

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