Sleep Stages And Teeth Grinding

Updated on November 19, 2021

The American Sleep Association estimates that 20% of adults and 25% of youngsters gnash their teeth during sleeping. However, it is believed that 90 percent of individuals with this illness are unaware of their problem until physical symptoms or other sleep interruptions appear.

You’ve undoubtedly heard about REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and NREM (Non-REM) sleep when it comes to sleep. These two types of sleep are significantly different, but you might not realise that Non-REM sleep includes four phases as well. Each of these stages is critical, and it is at this period that nightly teeth grinding can cause serious sleep disruption. 

  • NREM Stage 1 – Within minutes of falling asleep, you will enter this stage. At this point, your brain creates alpha and theta waves, and your eye movement slows. This is a very light sleep stage that usually only lasts a few minutes.
  • NREM State 2 – Stage 2 is a light sleep stage in which your brain waves abruptly rise in what are known as sleep spindles. Sleep spindles are bursts of rhythmic brain activity that occur during sleep.
  • NREM Stages 3 and 4 – These are the first stages of deep and peaceful sleep. Delta sleep is named after the change in the brain’s production of slow delta waves. Your entire body’s muscles are entirely relaxed.

Teeth grinding at night can cause jaw problems and destroy teeth.

If you grind your teeth regularly while sleeping, it can be quite harmful to your oral health. Clenching your jaws on a regular basis can cause pain and, over time, can lead to jaw misalignment. Bruxism can also cause damage and early enamel loss by wearing down your teeth more quickly.

Bruxism can lead to headaches and earaches.

Grinding your teeth while sleeping can create symptoms such as headaches, earaches, and jaw difficulties during the day. If you frequently wake up with aching jaws, headaches, or earaches, it’s time to see a dentist.

Bruxism can cause sleep disturbances.

When many people with bruxism only experience symptoms while awake, the disorder can create sleep disturbances and make you feel tired when you wake up. According to the American Sleep Association, bruxism happens in numerous cycles and usually occurs in the early phases of sleep, right before REM sleep begins. This disorder has the potential to interrupt your sleep patterns by delaying REM sleep or waking you up before your deep sleep cycle begins. It is recommended by the doctors to get rid of the issue using teeth grinding night guard. They can help you by sleeping in the best manner. 

Teeth grinding during sleeping might be an indication of a sleep problem.

Bruxism can be a symptom of a variety of sleep problems. 


If you’re experiencing any of the signs or consequences of bruxism and think you could be grinding your teeth while sleeping, see a doctor or a sleep expert. While there is no cure for bruxism, it can be recognised through a sleep study and treated so you can relax and receive the rest you need.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.