More Than Physio / Melbourne TMJ & Facial Pain Centre
203 Balaclava Rd, Caulfield North VIC 3161.
03 9528 2233.
What inspired you to become a Physiotherapist?
I have always been fascinated with the human body and how everything is interconnected. My focus then honed in on the head, neck and jaw and how issues associated with these areas are not well understood or managed. That is when I set up Melbourne TMJ & Facial Pain Centre as a multidisciplinary clinic.
What is your philosophy when it comes to helping individuals improve their sleep health? Are there any specific principles or strategies you follow in your practice?
We recognise the crucial role that sleep plays in our health and well-being. The physiotherapist in me has always understood that sleep posture will impact sleep quality and like any other sustained posture, needs to be set up purposefully. This led me to find what I consider to be the most appropriate pillow shape and density, as well as ensuring a supportive mattress. We teach patients how to set themselves up for sleep, as well as principles that promote restful and restorative sleep.
What are some of the most common sleep-related issues you encounter in your practice?
Poor sleep quality is common and usually multi factorial. Some issues are the uncomfortable postures people adopt, adverse nervous system activity that affects the body's ability to get into a deep sleep, breathing issues like sleep apnoea or insomnia, and finally activities like teeth clenching and grinding. We also know that pain is worse when sleep quality is poor.
How do you go about diagnosing and addressing these issues?
Taking a detailed history and spending time understanding people's sleep experience and sleep quality is an important part of addressing these issues.
Advice for Better Sleep
Many people struggle with sleep problems. What general advice or tips would you offer for improving sleep quality and overall well-being?
Place as much importance on sleep posture as you do with regards to computer posture. This requires the right type of pillow, mattress and body posture.
Don't sacrifice this when away, always take your pillow or travel version. I encouraged the introduction of the Harmony Travel Pillow as my patients would freak out if they could not take their full-size pillow away with them.
Then, always create an environment that is conducive to sleep by avoiding exposure to bright lights prior to sleep time, avoiding caffeine in the afternoon or evening and avoid exercise later in the day.