January 24, 2020
If you’ve ever heard someone grind their teeth in the middle of the night, you know it’s the stuff of nightmares. As one Reddit user so aptly described it, “It was one of the strangest noises I have ever heard! Made me think of two massive blocks of concrete sliding together.”
What It Means If Youre Grinding Your Teeth (And How To Stop It)
The sounds occur when people unintentionally grind, chomp or clench their teeth — a condition called teeth grinding, or, more officially, bruxism. 
While we mostly think of teeth grinding as a nighttime ritual, it can actually happen when you’re awake, too. It’s estimated that about 8% of adults grind their teeth and up to 33% of children grind or clench their teeth. But some doctors suspect that number is much higher, as many people don’t even realise they do it while sleeping. 
Here’s why so many people grind their teeth:Stress is a huge factorStress and anxiety are the main reasons people grind their teeth, according to Michael Lerner, an ear, nose and throat doctor. When we’re stressed, our bodies release a surge of adrenaline and cortisol — two chemicals known to increase our heart rate, pump up our blood pressure and boost energy levels. Lerner said these intense changes can result in excessive muscle tension in our jaw and chewing muscles, causing some people to grind their teeth.
Others may simply clench their jaw when they’re stressed, something Lerner said is “not so different from more well-recognised anxiety-related behaviours such as nail biting, hair twirling or leg bouncing.” Evidence has found that people who are going through a stressful time — like a divorce, death or relocation — are more at risk for bruxism, as are those with neurotic or Type A personalities. 
Some medical experts also suspect grinding is more prevalent in major cities, where stress levels are off the charts.
“People in high-stress environments, communities, or jobs are thought to grind their teeth more — working out their anxiety. So, it may be that most New Yorkers grind their teeth, but this is not scientifically confirmed,” said Derek Steinbacher, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon.It could be your medications Certain medications ― including selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, or SSRIs ― are thought to cause bruxism. It’s not fully understood why prescriptions like Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft have this effect, but one study theorised it may be because SSRIs affect dopamine levels in the brain — a chemical that helps control muscular and motor activity. 
Certain antihistaminergic drugs may also be linked to bruxism due to a disinhibitory effect they have on part of the brain that controls sleep and circadian rhythms, according to past research. (Side note: If you suspect your meds are causing you to grind your teeth, your doctor may be able to change your dose or try another option.)Alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes can trigger itResearchers have found that sleep bruxism is twice as common in people who drink alcohol, though the reasons still aren’t clearly understood. Some sleep specialists suspect it may have to do with the simple fact that alcohol disrupts our sleep.
“Alcohol is just bad for sleep overall. Alcohol makes you fall asleep faster but it makes your sleep really choppy,” said Rafael Pelayo, a sleep specialist.
We don’t grind our teeth when we dream, and alcohol prevents us from getting into REM sleep, which is the phase of rest where dreaming occurs, according to Pelayo. That means, theoretically, there’s more opportunity for drinkers to grind their teeth since they tend to sleep more lightly. Most episodes of bruxism occur in sleep stages one and two ― which is your lighter sleep ― whereas bruxism in the later, deeper stages of sleep is much less likely.
Smokers are also more likely to have bruxism. One study found that bruxism is twice as prevalent in smokers compared to nonsmokers. The reasons smokers grind their teeth more aren’t well-known. However, it’s thought that nicotine also disrupts dopamine levels, which are related to muscle movements. 
In addition, because caffeine is a stimulant, chocolate, coffee, sodas and other high-energy drinks may trigger muscle activity and lead to teeth grinding. And like alcohol, consuming a ton of caffeine (think eight or so cups of coffee) is linked to lighter sleep, too. It might be a jaw issue or geneticsOften, clenching or chomping may be a response to a jaw issue, such as an abnormal bite or misaligned and missing teeth. Again, while there’s a known association between jaw abnormalities and grinding, the cause-effect relationship isn’t well understood. That said, it may have something to do with how the teeth hit each other.
“Usually the teeth interlock into each other [during sleep], but if the teeth are not aligned properly then the teeth don’t lock in correctly and then they kind of glide past each other — that’s that grinding sound you’ll hear,” Pelayo said.  
Up to 50% of people who have bruxism have a direct family member who also grinds their teeth, according to Lerner. But while there seems to be a strong genetic link, researchers haven’t yet identified a specific “bruxism” gene.What to do if you grind your teethThe telltale sign that you have a teeth grinding problem is if you wake up with jaw pain or a headache on a regular basis. A dentist can also take a look at your teeth and determine if they’re worn down from constant grinding. 
If you’re a grinder, there are a few solutions to try out. First is a mouthguard. Invest in a heavy duty one that your dentist can custom-fit to your mouth — it’ll help mitigate enamel damage and relieve muscle tension, according to Lerner.
If that doesn’t do the trick, some doctors recommend trying Botox injections around the jawline. Though injections last only a few months, they can be super-effective and stave off tension headaches, Steinbacher said.
If there does appear to be a genetic influence, you may want to cut out binge drinking and cut back on caffeine. As Pelayo said, “You can’t change your genes but you can change your lifestyle factors.” 
While bruxism can be an extremely painful condition for certain people, often it really only bothers the lucky spouse or partner who sleeps next to a teeth grinder — in which case it’s probably time to get some earplugs or bring home a sound machine. Related... This Is What Binge-Watching TV Does To Your Brain And Body Why You Twitch Awake Right Before You Fall Asleep Most Of Us LOVE Sleeping – So Why Aren’t We Good At It Anymore?
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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