As I collect the data every morning, I am noticing a distinct increase in the number of grinding events and total time. This is a bit worrisome, because I am getting more and more used to the beeping sounds, and sleeping through them for longer. I am finding them annoying rather than helpful. Often when I hear the beeping in the middle of the night, my first instinct will be “Why is this thing beeping at me? Is it malfunctioning?” It seems that my sleeping self has absolutely no awareness that I might be clenching or grinding. Reminds me of those people who snore chronically and flatly deny it.
A couple of nights ago, I decided that I would try some mind over matter. I would WILL myself to have a good night, with hardly any grinding events. I told myself that I would be relaxed, calm, and if I heard beeping, to realize that it was just trying to help me, and to let it help me.
Ironically that turned out to be my worst night since implementing the biofeedback mode! It took me only 3 hours to reach 20 grinding events. (Bathroom break) And in the morning, I had 37, with 79 seconds total. I was only at 50% of my baseline, so it wasn’t a total disaster, but still, it was very disheartening. I am not used to experiencing failure after trying so hard. The trajectory of my graph did not look the least bit hopeful.
Then last night, I thought, “What could I do to shake up this night time ritual/habit that is running out of control?”
What if I stopped wearing the bite guard?
I’ve been wearing the bite guard for 15 years, and I’m so used to it, I wondered that if by removing it, I could create a new situation in which my unconscious mind was more aware of what was going on. So, I spent the night with only the SleepGuard, and no bite guard.
In the morning, I had a mere 9 grinding events, for a total of 9 seconds. Whoa. My first thought was “What if the bite guard has been telling my brain all these years that it’s OK to grind???” Kind of like driving without a seatbelt, was I driving much more carefully now? Would my brain get accustomed to this before long? Now I am really intrigued. I am going to try this for a week and see how the results shake out.