Teeth Grinding - Why Does It Happen While Sleeping?

I have read that nighttime bruxism (teeth grinding) is due to psychological stress. How can this happen when you are asleep though? I mean, in order to be asleep your breathing and metabolism and heartrate must be down, so it doesn't seem like it would be possible to be in a high stress state.


I have started taking magnesium before bed (in the form of dolomite) to help with this, but I feel like I am still doing it a litttle. Any other tips besides getting a nightguard?


  • RodRod The Rodfather
    edited September 2013

    From my understanding, you body processes a lot of things when you are asleep. Your brain repairs in the stages of sleep so that may explain it.



    There are so many reasons this could happen so you would have to play the elimination game.

    Everything I learned about "biohacking" has been baby steps to "circadian biology", that's where the real biohacking comes in. You can buy a bunch of cool shit to "hack" but if you don't have context, you're not winning. Paleo is just a brand now and too many have opinions, it's on you to read and reread the material to not only find truth but to connect the dots. Much love to everyone who has helped me on my journey for restoring my health, please keep in touch. Feel free to message me with health questions [email protected] 

  • maybe because during the day you are more cognizant of your jaw positioning, aswell as things like when your vertical your jaw hangs down and when you lay down to sleep(i assume) you are horizontal, therefor gravity is not there to pull your jaw down... maybe things like pillow pushing your jaw more together. also i would imagine the muscles that close your jaw are in general more dominant than the ones that open them.(think crocodile) because you have to engage them against force more often(chew)


    on top of that your cortisol elevates while you are asleep to help you get up in the morning.


    those are just my attempts to speculate, i have no clue though, just food for thought.

  • No sorcery, just science. 

  • Cool, I'll try duct taping my mouth shut tonight. Haha, now I have a sleep mask over my eyes, foam plugs in my ears, and tape over my mouth.

  • Let me know how it goes!

    And get yourself to a holistic dentist! The tape is not a long-term fix.

    No sorcery, just science. 

  • I got a night guard for grinding my teeth, the night guard screwed up my bite causing me to need braces.  I just got them off 2 years later.  Lesson: get a night guard that covers your all teeth so that if you bite down, all night your bit will not change.  Braces are expensive.

  • You may also have a screwed up bite and your body is trying to find a stable position for the jaw. I clenched by teeth until I got fitted with a dental splint (will have braces soon) and did two months of physical theraphy to loosen some TMJ, neck, shoulder, back muscles up. If your teeth aren't aren't making fairly even contact at many points when you bite down, you probably have an issue. Also if your jaw 'pops' a lot, that is a tell. If you aren't sure, it might be worth going to a top orthodontist and being evaluated. 

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