AUSTIN (KXAN) — Daylight Saving Time ends next month, the day we change our clocks and “fall back” one hour. The change can also mean a change in your sleep patterns but before you reach for that extra cup of coffee in the middle of the day, one neuroscience expert suggests this advice.
“What our body needs is a good power nap or what we like to say a brain tapping session because we need to reboot our brain,” said Dr. Patrick Porter.
A power nap should be no more than 20 minutes, he said but it takes practice to condition the brain to do that and not oversleep.
“There’s actually a brainwave called SMR (The sensorimotor rhythm) right before waking up, that controls our balance, our moods, the way we concentrate and focus,” said Dr. Porter. “If you don’t wake up correctly, that is difficult to do. That’s why so many people don’t take naps, they say they feel tired throughout the rest of the day. So, it’s all about how we stimulate the brain in what we call brain fitness.”
Porter suggests a breathing exercise to exercise your brain.
“What I mean by that is we breathe in for a four count and then you breathe out very slowly to the count of eight. “
The technique according to Porter will help you sleep deeper, reset your circadian rhythm and leave you feeling recharged.
“Sleep is the time you can incubate those superpowers and get your brain and body working together functioning at the highest level [for] the next morning when you wake up.”
Porter said if you still didn’t get a good night’s sleep, don’t stress.
“You can’t catch up on sleep. That’s a misnomer. The nice thing is that if you have a good night’s sleep tonight, your body forgives you for 72 hours. The body has a natural cycle of 72 hours for the nervous system,” Porter said.