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8 myths about sleep you should stop believing

13 September 2017 - 22:09


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You can catch up on sleep during the weekend

Chronic sleep loss cannot be caught up in a couple days time. A study in the American Journal of Physiology indicated that you cannot make up for the nights you have skimped on, regardless of how much you sleep. Participants who were deprived of sleep for six days were more tired with lowered ability to focus than before the sleep loss began. Their drowsiness disappeared as soon as they got their recovery sleep, however their attention levels did not return to normal. Therefore even if you 'catch up' on sleep over the weekends and feel well rested on your first day to work during the weekdays, you might not perform at your best. 

Go to bed early to fall asleep sooner

If you get into bed before you are actually sleepy, then it might lead to a different result . Your body will not be used to going to bed so early, which leads to you tossing and turning until the time you normally fall asleep.

 Sleep Expert Stephanie Silberman, PhD wrote in HuffPost “The more time you spend in bed each night without sleeping, the more you will associate your bed with being wide awake, instead of a restful, sleep-promoting place .. It can actually make it harder for you to fall asleep because your mind and body will think that you are supposed to be awake in bed.”

Stephanie recommends to wait until you are tired to go to bed.

Drinking coffee in the afternoon can't hurt

Caffeine can keep you up at night, depending on your age, caffeine sensitivity, and time of the month. You caffeine sensitivy changes over time, and your body takes up to seven hours to break down half the amount of caffeine consumed. If you are a regularly coffee drinker and are unable to fall asleep at night, try cutting out coffee in the afternoon and evening, or even limiting your coffee intake in the morning to just one cup. If you still cannot sleep, then try switching to decaf.

Eating carbs before bedtime will help you sleep

Having a carb-high snack before bed could ruin the quality of your sleep. Carbohydrates increases tryptophan, which results in raised seratonin level - sleep inducer. However, scientists who research on sleep, caution against eating foods that are heavy few hours before bedtime. Eating right before you sleep can raise body temperature, and create digestive problems, both of which can interfere with sleep.

Snoring is not a problem

Snoring is not harmless as you think it is, in fact it can be a cause of a much bigger issue. For some people, snoring is not a big deal and could be fixed with home remedies. But for others, it could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea - that blocks the airways (fully or partially) during sleep, awakening the body when it realizes you are not breathing. Obsturive Sleep Apnea ruines slwwp quality, increases risk of diabeties, high blood pressure, heart attack, strokes, and even obesity.

Everyone requires eight hours of sleep

How much sleep is needed, differs from person to person. The National Sleep Foundation reviewed 312 studies and stated that seven to nine hours of sleep will keep most adults healthy. While eight hours is the average mark, researchers stressed that some people may need more or less than the recommendations in order to function correctuly. Which means that you might feel great after getting just six hours of sleep everynight, or you require at least nine to be functional in the morning. There is nothing wrong with either as your body will know how much you really need.

A warm room will help you fall asleep

 According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature of a room for sleep is between 12 - 25 degree celcius, a wide range that allows that body temperature to cool down, and for the sleep cycle to begin. Moreover, important necessities for a healthy sleep includes; light to medium blankets, good air circulations, warm hands and feet.

Stay in bed if you have insomnia

This depends on the situation, and the person. Sleep experts often vary in opinion regarding this, however most agree that if you are relaxed and comfortbale it is best to stay in bed and allow the body and mind to rest. But if lying awake in bed results in frustration or anxiety, it is better to get up and do something else to keep yourself occupied.


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