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Common Wives Tales About Sleep

There are Old Wives Tales about almost everything in life and sleep is no exception.  These folk cures and natural remedies range from really ridiculous to relatively reliable.  There are old wives tales about sleep that claim to cure insomnia, sort out a baby’s sleeping schedule, cure sleep disorders like RLS, and make you more beautiful by morning.  The key is to know which ones are real and which ones are really ineffective.  Here are some of our favorite old wives tales about sleep, see if you can guess whether or not they are true.


1.     Flipping Babies Helps Sort Out Their Sleep

Anyone who has ever been a new parent can attest to the fact that babies are the best sleep thieves in the world.  They seem to sleep whenever it is most inconvenient for their parents and when it is time to sleep, they are ready for action.  This messed up sleep schedule paired with night time feedings can leave new parents too exhausted to separate fact from fiction.  This may be why this old wives tale has lasted as long as it has.  According to these old wives, flipping the baby forward, head over heels, will reset their internal clock so that they will sleep at night and be awake during the day.  To sleep deprived parents who are just desperate for some downtime, this might seem logical, but if you guessed this was false, you probably got to sleep last night.


2.     You Need Your Beauty Sleep

According to the old wives, if you want to be more attractive, you need to get a good night sleep.  Although it seems farfetched, the old wives may have known what they were talking about with this one.  Research has shown that when people are overtired they appear less attractive to other people.  This may be due in part to the fact that they look tired and less healthy but the study shows that getting a good night’s sleep not only makes you healthier, it also makes you more beautiful in the eyes of others.


3.     Drinking Warm Milk will Help You Sleep

In today’s world, the concept of drinking warm milk can cause a variety of reactions, many of which will likely relate to either the raw mile industry or salmonella or possibly both.  However, there was a time when drinking milk that was not ice cold was more commonplace and the old wives of that time are the ones that convinced the rest of us that drinking a glass of warm milk at night will help you sleep.  While the thought of drinking warm milk may not be appealing, it turns out that these old wives actually knew what they were talking about.  Warm milk can actually make you feel sleepy but with only trace amounts of the sleep inspiring chemical tryptophan, it is most likely a psychological remedy more than one that is based on biology.


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Scottsdale, AZ