Take a moment to think about all the things you know to be true about sleep.
When tossing and turning to find the perfect and most comfortable position to sleep in doesn’t work, you should try counting sheep, right?
We are here to clear the misconceptions and common myths about sleep once and for all! The “fact” above is a common myth that may be contributing to your sleepless nights. Counting sheep to fall asleep may make it harder for you to rest, as your brain is fixating on counting, as opposed to relaxing in bed. Hence, a study by Oxford University found this practice to increase the time it takes to sleep. Talk about an unhelpful tip!
But how can you separate fact from myth? Read our breakdown of some of the most shocking, yet false claims about sleeping below, and rest confidently remembering our 5 debunked myths and not how many sheep have jumped over the fence.
Myth 1. The amount of sleep you need changes with age.
A popular misconception about sleep and aging is that the younger you are, the more sleep you require, and the older you get, the less sleep your body requires. However, this is a mere myth. Aging does not reconfigure the amount of time your body needs to rest and recharge itself. Our body still requires the full 7-8 hours of sleep each night, regardless of if you are 15 years old or 55, keep the sleep coming!
Myth 2. Tallying your sleep
If you missed out on sleep during the week, unfortunately, you cannot simply make up for it on the weekend by oversleeping. Once the sleep window for the day has passed, there isn’t much you can do. As tempting as it may sound, sleeping past the recommended 7-8 hours a night can cause problems and negatively impact your health. So, set your sleeping goals for each week to hit the full hours every day, but do not exceed them.
Myth 3. The solution to your back pain is a firm mattress.
This common myth is particularly problematic, as it can worsen back pain and result in insomnia stemming from the discomfort of a stiff mattress. Mattress selection should be a personalized experience, and finding the right mattress can make all the difference in your sleep. Firm mattresses can be the right fit for you, but they should not be the default solution to your back pain. Explore different styles of mattresses at Dreamstar Bedding to find the style that supports your needs best!
Myth 4. Milk and alcohol, could it be the perfect pair for inducing sleep?
Growing up, you may have been told by your parents to drink a warm glass of milk before heading off to bed. They may have explained this ritual by saying it will help you sleep faster. Or, perhaps as you grew up, you may connect the drowsy feeling alcohol casts over you as an indicator of it helping you sleep. However, there is no evidence to suggest this correlation between milk and sleep, and alcohol before bed can cause more harm than good. Given that alcohol metabolizes during the night, it can disrupt your REM sleep. So, while drinking that warm glass of milk may be soothing, it won’t necessarily help you sleep; yet alcohol right before bed is sure to interfere with your sleep.
Myth 5. Snoring + Obesity = Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is often thought to be linked to obesity and snoring. However, obesity is not directly correlated with sleep apnea, anyone can be affected by it. Obesity may increase your chances of having sleep apnea, but it is more complex than your weight being the only determiner.
Sleep apnea is a breathing condition that causes breathlessness during sleep and results in waking the body to stabilize breathing. Given the disturbances this can cause, the condition affects the quality and quantity of one’s sleep. Yet, just because you snore, this does not mean you have sleep apnea and your weight is not necessarily a predictor of sleep apnea.
Now that you have read our top 5 debunked myths, think about how many you may have thought to be true? Use this knowledge to optimize your sleeping experience and spread the word!