This week’s TIPisode is with Dr. Uche Odiatu as he discusses why poor sleepers are poor healers.
Dr. Odiatu is a practicing dentist, certified trainer, author, speaker, and repeat AToTH guest. He always brings us content that we can use to make us and our patients happy and healthy. Be sure to check out the many episodes with Dr. Uche and head over to our YouTube channel and watch the videos Dr. Uche and Michelle did to help you stretch and take care of your body!
Book: The Miracle of Health
For your viewing pleasure this TIPisode has been transcribed:
Michelle Strange: A Tale of Two Hygienists presents this week’s TIPisode: Quick and easy tips to keep you up to date, and presented by the experts in the profession. Now, get ready for your unofficial TIPisode.
Uche Odiatu: Chairside discussions about sleep. Let’s start with your own sleep. This is Uche Odiatu. I’m a certified trainer. I’m a dentist. I’ve written a book called The Miracle of Health. I lecture in Norway, Denmark, Canada, throughout the USA, and I’m fortunate to lecture in Bermuda, Bahamas, and England. But this is [indiscernible 00:00:33] called sleep, and it’s going to be holding yourself to a higher standard. Because if you’re going to show people the way, you can never take people on a journey that you haven’t been on.
So, when I think about sleep, I think of restfulness. And I’m always reminded that, when I see patients who age well, and I see patients who heal well, I see patients who respond well to our soft tissue managing programs, they’re usually good sleepers. My mantra is “Poor sleepers make poor healers.” So, that being said, why is sleep so important? Well, I know how many articles I’ve read and how many books I’ve seen. Many times they start with the sentence “Scientists don’t know why we have to sleep.” Well, I challenge them to miss a few days and see how they feel. It’s the only time the body repairs.
Many times during the day, the immune system is simply on standby, and it only kicks into high gear at nighttime. There’s multiple stages of sleep. Experts call it — there’s five of them. Stages one, two, three, four, and then REM. Sleep experts now say we need at least 100 minutes a night of rapid eye movement sleep, or REM sleep. This is where the brain processes emotion and processes memory. And, without the brain dipping in and enjoying REM where the muscles of the body are basically paralyzed so you don’t act out your dreams, the body and the brain does not perform well during the day. So the quality and the quantity of the third of your lives that you spend horizontal in an altered state of consciousness dictates the quality of the other two thirds.
Did you know that 25 percent of your 21,000 protein-coding genes — so a quarter of your genes are modulated by your circadian rhythm, or your light-dark cycle. So people who sleep well at night and are awake during the day and also enjoy some sunlight and daylight have better modulation of the 21,000 protein-coding genes.
Good sleep is one of my seven pillars. When I think of my seven pillars of health, these are things that I go to. If I’m not feeling great or I want to heal something, this is what I look to to put myself in to a heightened stent of fitness. I have seven pillars. So sleep is one of my top three. But good sleep is one of them; second one is staying hydrated; third is how I breath; fourth is physical activity; fifth is excellent nutrition; six is stress management or the thoughts that I have; and seventh, of course, is oral hygiene, my flossing and brushing.
So, when I talk to patients about health and wellness, I can weave these concepts into any of the conversations I have considering the ability to heal, when I ask them about their lifestyle changes, or anything positive that’s happened in the medical history. Most of us, when you ask about medical history, it’s always looking for something bad. But why not something good? Ask them did they quit smoking if they’re a smoker. Ask them if they started an exercise program. Or if it’s summer, are they looking towards having a physically active summer? Or if they’re not looking good or they look tired, without saying “You look tired,” just say, “Have you been sleeping lately?” And they’ll often wonder why we care. But you can remind them that most of the body heals and the immune system kicks into high gear at nighttime.
That usually opens up the sleep discussion about snoring. It opens up a discussion about if there’s more bleeding during their hygiene session. It opens up the discussion about what else is going on. It opens up the discussion of body fat. The Canadian Obesity Network said good sleep and stress management is actually more important than exercise and diet in terms of getting people to control their obesity and get them to normal weight.
When you think about it, seven out of ten of our patients and one out of three of our patients — so seven out of ten are either over weight or obese because one in three people are obese. So you think if you’re seeing seven, eight, nine patients a day, three of them are going to be obese, and about six of them, seven of them, are going to be — are overweight. And this is intimately impacted by the quality of their sleep. They’ve shown that when people have disrupted sleep, or people have less than five hours of sleep, they become insulin resistant, and they also have more ghrelin, which is a chemical in the body that makes you hungry. It also makes you a poor fat burner.
So, when I’m looking at poor sleepers, I’m thinking of shift workers. And what they’ve shown is — the National Sleep Foundation has shown that 30 percent of the population is either a shift worker, which means they work at night and they don’t sleep at night, obviously, or they have rotating shifts. They’ve actually called sleep deprivation — or people who don’t sleep at nighttime that work the graveyard shift — they call it, actually, a Group 2A carcinogen. So very important to sleep because they only call it that way because you need to rest at nighttime, and you need to be able to take better care of the body.
“Be the change,” said Gandhi. So why not take care of yourself? Have a good night sleep so you can be the role model and share with patients your own journey and help your patients not just with their mouths but also with their overall health. You can find me at druche.com. My Instagram is fitspeakers. With that, I am going to bed.
Michelle Strange: We hope you enjoyed this week’s TIPisode. Be sure to reach out to our guest experts and let them know how helpful their tips were. Follow A Tale of Two Hygienists on Facebook, Instagram, and head over to ataleoftwohygienists.com and subscribe to our newsletter. You can also email us at email@example.com, and keep listening for more awesome content from your unofficial dental hygiene podcast.