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shutterstock 558428788 CroppedThis weekend is time to spring forward - at least in regard to the time on our clocks! With daylight saving time brightening the days and getting everyone out of bed an hour earlier, raise your hand if you're still tired!  For those of you who have slept through your alarm or are feeling that eye burn in the afternoon and craving a nap, Dr. Brittany Blair shares a few myth busting ideas about sleep.

True or False? A glass of wine before bed is fine and will help you sleep. 

FALSE! Dr. Brittany Blair, a sleep psychologist tweets, "Alcohol can be great to help you get to sleep but it can WAKE you up later... Alcohol can be sedating but has a half-life of 4-5 hours so can make you wide awake in the middle of your night!"

Translation: Avoid having alcohol within four hours of sleeping. You'll fall asleep due to the depressant effects of the alcohol, but as it wears off, you'll be awakened from your slumber. Leave the wine for an afternoon picnic. Have a glass of herbal chamomile tea which has been known to be a sleep inducer and mild tranquilizer.

True of False? Sleeping in on the weekends can help you make up for lost sleep during the week.

FALSE! Dr. Raghu Reddy, UAMS Pulmonologist and Sleep Medicine Specialist for treatment of sleep disorders says, "We can make up for a portion of the hours we lost on the week but not all of it.”

Translation: Get into a regular sleep schedule instead of varying it from weekdays to weekends. If you wake up early on Monday through Friday, expect a sleep-in day to be within 30-60 minutes of your regular waking cycle.  

True or False? Sleep machines can help you get a more restful sleep.

True, but they're not for children. According to a study at the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, "Sleep machines are capable of delivering enough decibels over a period of time to theoretically cause hearing loss." The study's senior author Dr. Blake Papsin notes that 85 decibels may incur hearing loss over a period of time, which most sleep machines deliver. As for adults, it's a matter of preference.  

Translation: Good for you but not good for the babies.

Best advice for a good night's rest:

  • Create a bedtime ritual
  • Exercise daily at least 4 hours before bedtime
  • Remove electronics including cell phones from your bedside 
  • Take a warm bath before bedtime to lower body temperature
  • Sleep in a cool room
  • Darken your sleeping space

All in all, just relax and dream good thoughts - the next time we change the clocks, you'll get that hour back!

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