Friday, October 23, 2015

“Fall back” without falling back

It’s the gift that comes once a yearan extra hour of precious sleep.

You’ll hear few complaints when that biannual agrarian ritual known as daylight savings time comes to a close at 2 a.m., Sunday, November 1.

But if you are truly looking to wake up refreshed with more energy to face the day, you might want to rethink spending that extra hour in bed once the sun comes up.

"There is a clock in your brain. That clock keeps your internal environment in sync with your eternal environment, and the most important signal for that clock is the light," says Carol Ash, D.O., Director of Sleep Medicine for Meridian Health. “That internal clock isn't flexible enough to adjust quickly to the time jump, she said.

If you truly want to maximize the benefits of that extra hour, the tried and true rules of healthy sleep still apply: Go to bed at a reasonable hour, get the best sleep you can, and get up when the sun comes up.

When it comes to "resetting" that internal clock, Dr. Ash recommends natural, cost effective alternatives to over-the-counter sleep medications, which she calls "short term solutions to recurring problems."

One potential remedy Dr. Ash lists is mindful breathing, an elegant solution for alleviating stress and achieving deep rest.

Dr. Ash adds that by making just a few changes to adapt the right sleep habits, you can create the feeling of having an extra hour not just once a yearbut every day.  

On November 7 at The Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank, Dr. Ash and a team of Meridian Health experts will present “The Power of an Hour,” a morning devoted to helping you sleep better, eat better, stress less, and develop lifelong habits to create a healthier, better-rested you!

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