Dr. Alpher in the News

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Can Technology Help You Sleep?: Dr. Alpher Discusses Sleep with CNBC

Dr. Elliott Alpher Tackles the Question in CNBC Interview

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Here’s the dilemma. You need to sleep, but nothing seems to work to help you relax and drift off to dreamland. So, you turn to technology and find a plethora of phone apps, along with other digital and electronic aides designed to improve your sleep. But the question is whether these modern equivalents of “counting sheep” offer any real benefits.

In an article for CNBC, Dr. Elliott Alpher, a dental sleep medicine expert in practice in Washington, D.C., said only one thing can help you fall asleep. “The available technology monitors how you’re sleeping but it doesn’t literally help you sleep. The only thing that helps you sleep is turning off the technology,” Dr. Alpher told CNBC.

The article also included interviews with Arianna Huffington, whose Thrive Global initiative works to help people live healthier, and Randall Redfield, co-founder and CEO of Dreampad –
a “smart” pillow that plays music to help people relax and fall asleep.

All three experts agreed that our 24/7 lifestyles are major factors in the lack of sleep and stress we endure. Dr. Alpher told CNBC that across the globe, people are operating at a sleep deficit, thus increasing their stress levels. He said most people suffer from poor sleep hygiene.

“People think they can “make up” the lost hours, but the body doesn’t function well without proper rest,” Dr. Alpher said.

In the CNBC article, Alpher advised turning off technology in the bedroom, keeping a journal by the bed where you “empty your brain” before you go to sleep. He also said to avoid alcohol and heavy meals at least four hours prior to bedtime.

“Alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods are stimulants,” Dr. Alpher told CNBC.

Alpher warned that using technology to help you sleep could mask the need to be evaluated for a serious sleep or breathing disorder. He told CNBC that one serious sign is snoring, which is “the body’s warning sign that something is wrong with your breathing.”

Dr. Alpher told CNBC that if your sleeping partner snores, the detrimental effects are much like secondhand smoke. Alpher added that snoring is just one sign that you may have a serious disorder. In the article, he warned that sleep and breathing disorders are linked to a host of life- threatening illnesses such as high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks and emotional disorders. In children sleep and breathing disorders have been linked to attention deficit disorder and behavioral problems.

Read the full article here.