Although many sleep mysteries still need to be resolved, science has successfully debunked some of the most common sleep myths. Many people believe in some things that, as it turns out, are far from the truth. If you don’t want to believe in popular misconceptions around sleep, you should continue reading.
More is Better
One of the most popular misconceptions is that the more you sleep, the better for you. Something like this is not true. Sleeping too much can have an adverse impact on your sleep quality. The amount of sleep that we need varies, depending on the person and on the age. If you want to get well-rested during the night and wake up refreshed, your goal should be to get better sleep, not more sleep.
Everyone Needs 8 Hours of Sleep
This common myth is also not true. Our needs change with age. For example, newborns need between 14 and 17 hours of sleep each day. On the other hand, adults up to 64 years of age should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep, and older adults need 7-8 hours. Children need more sleep than adults. However, the time we spend asleep is not the only thing that matters; its quality is vital as well.
Snoozing is Good For You
No matter how painful it is to admit it but snoozing our alarm in the morning will only make us feel worse. Hitting the snooze button doesn’t give us more time to sleep, and it will only make us feel more tired. It would be the best to just drag yourself out of the bed as soon as the alarm wakes you up. No matter how tempted you are to press the snooze button and return to bed, you shouldn’t do it as it won’t do you any good.
Snoring is Not Harmful
Although this one is true to some point, it doesn’t apply to all. For most people, snoring is harmless. However, for some, it can be a symptom of a serious disorder called sleep apnea. It causes pauses in breathing that prevent the proper air flow in and out of the airways. People with this medical condition often wake up at night gasping for breath. Pauses in breathing lead to reduced blood oxygen levels and can increase the risk of the development of cardiovascular disease. Regular snoring is also associated with hypertension.
Obesity, Hypertension and Diabetes are Not Related to the Amount of Sleep
Some health problems are directly related to the quality and the amount of sleep that we get during the night. For example, obesity is related to insufficient sleep. If you don’t sleep enough at night, it will have an impact on the growth hormone secretion, which is directly linked to obesity. As the amount of secretion decreases, it will increase the chance of gaining weight.
Interrupted sleep also has a negative impact on our blood pressure, and it can lead to cardiovascular problems and hypertension. If you don’t sleep enough during the night, it can impair the ability of your body to use insulin, which can sometimes result in diabetes. As you can see, the lack of sleep is directly related to different health problems.
Watching TV Will Help You Fall Asleep
Many people believe that, if they have a TV in their bedroom, and watch it before going to bed, it will help them fall asleep faster. However, it is far from the truth. If you use your computer or watch TV close to bedtime, it will hinder the quality of sleep that you get. It would be the best idea to use the sleep environment only for sleep.
People Suffering From Insomnia Have Troubles Falling Asleep
Insomnia has four symptoms, one of which is difficulty falling asleep. People with this problem also tend to wake up too early, feel tired and unrefreshed, and wake up frequently during the night. If you have troubles with one of these symptoms at least a few times a week, it would be the best idea to consult your doctor. Insomnia has different consequences that can impact your life, such as depression, decreased performance at work, mood swings, and increased risk of car crashes.
Co-founder of Counting Sheep and Sleepaholic