Top Summer Stressors

 In Teeth Grinding

While the days may be longer and the nights may be warmer, summer isn’t always a totally carefree season. And where there’s stress, there’s often bruxism (nighttime teeth grinding). Stay away from enamel damage, cracked teeth, headaches, and more: keep your summer stress in check.

Here are three of the most common summer stressors — and how to address them so you can stay relaxed all summer long.

1. Vacations

You might be thinking, “Wait a minute, vacations aren’t stressful!” And while vacations should be all about taking it easy, they’re often the cause of summer stress — before, during, or even after.

Planning a trip or just some time away from work can be enjoyable, but it can also lead to squabbles over decision-making with your travel companions, anxiety about getting all your travel in order, and a hectic rush to get your house, job, or pets in order so you can leave.

In an ideal world, all of that stress goes away once you’re basking on the beach or checked into your hotel. But that’s not always the case. There’s a budget to keep track of throughout your vacation, dealing with unexpected weather or other situations, and possibly hearing from your coworkers or neighbors back home.

Do as much planning as you can, but also remind yourself that no trip will be perfect, that (in most cases!) your job can wait until you return, and that this is a precious opportunity to take advantage of. Take a deep breath, enjoy the moment, and leave the summer stress out.

2. School’s Out

Having your kids home from school can be a blast — but it can also wreak havoc on your schedule. Free of boundaries and regular scheduling, summer can quickly feel like a burden instead of a treat.

Managing summer camps, day camps, trips to the pool, and trying to avoid 23 hours a day of screen time can seem insurmountable. But having a summer schedule in place — to give you some sense of structure, even if it’s a little more flexible than your days the rest of the year — can make all the difference and give everyone in the household a little sense of normalcy instead of summer stress.

As with a vacation, doing some advance research can be a huge advantage. Make a list of all the things you and your kids hope to do this summer season — and keep at it! Encourage your family to look for ways to take advantage of all that daylight all summer long . . . and avoid the dreaded “I’m bored!”

3. Goodnight

Warmer weather, longer days, and more activities can make for some really full days — and some really empty nights. Many struggle with getting enough sleep during the summer, whether because of the higher temps, the later nights, or just packing more into your schedule all week long.

And the trouble with poor sleep is that it tends to feed on itself: a couple of nights with lost sleep leads to stress, anxiety, and more restless nights, creating a cycle that can feel impossible to stop. If you’re grinding your teeth at night, that only exacerbates things . . . and creates some dental health problems too.

Creating a solid sleep routine, including turning off your screens early, going to bed at the same time every night no matter what, and avoiding the temptation to sleep in, can be a huge help. Make sure you’re also practicing good sleep hygiene: keep your bedroom cool, remove all light, and consider turning on some white noise to make getting to sleep (and staying asleep) easier.

If you’re still struggling with stress, good sleep, or grinding your teeth at night, consider a dental guard. SleepRight’s innovative dental guards help you get a better night’s sleep while protecting your teeth and your jaw. Pick one up at your local Walgreens, CVS, or Walmart.

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