A couple of days ago, (averaging 75 grinding events per night) I decided to enter my biofeedback phase of the sleep study. I was excited, but a little bit worried. If I set off the beeping every few seconds, would I just be annoyed and have a crappy night of sleep?
The first night, I set the volume to 1 (lowest level) and got under the covers. What I noticed right away was that by swallowing, shifting body position, burping, or yawning, I would set off a very quiet beep. Kind of annoying. I also learned that I have the option of swallowing lightly or heavily. Swallowing lightly did not set off the beeping, so I resolved to keep doing this. As a result, it seemed that I had more saliva than usual! I guess drooling is a good thing, because at least it means I’m not clenching.
I fell asleep, and spent the night in a very light slumber. I was aware of keeping my jaw slack as much as possible, and the beeping became a very gentle reminder to keep doing so. I don’t recall if I incorporated the beeping into my dreams.
When I awoke 8 hours later, I was expecting to have about half the grinding events I was having without the volume on. Imagine how surprised I was to see that I only had 10 grinding events!
The next night, I did the same thing, and awoke to an even bigger surprise: 2 grinding events!? This appears to be a very dramatic improvement. Since I was sleeping pretty lightly, I wondered if I’d get tired later during the day, but so far I haven’t.
For the two past mornings, I have awoken with a more relaxed jaw than I can ever remember. Could it be that I am unlearning a lifelong habit? I’ll keep the headband on for the next month and report back.