We love sleep and we’re sure you do too. However, it seems like most of us don’t know as much about sleep as we should. This is what led researchers from the New York University to hunt the internet for the most common sleep related myths.
The team involved then published its study in the Sleep Health journal and gave scientific evidence to prove the myths wrong in an attempt to improve people’s physical and mental well-being.
Here are the myths that the researchers proved false:
Myth 1 – Less Than 5 Hours Of Sleep Is Fine
We’re all guilty here. Because of work, studies or other commitments, one too many times we have compromised on sleep and focused on other tasks. Myth says that catching less than 5 hours of sleep doesn’t pose any health risks, however, scientific evidence proves otherwise.
Substantial evidence shows that sleeping for fewer than five hours can damage health when made into a routine. Some common health conditions that have been linked to lack of sleep include cardiovascular problems.
Myth 2 – Booze Before Bed Leads To More Restful Sleep
Another myth that the researchers involved in this study busted is that drinking alcohol before heading to bed can boost sleep. We’ve all seen in the movies how characters fall into a deep slumber after getting groggy from drinking an alcoholic beverage.
But science doesn’t support this. Accordingly, while you do fall asleep fast after indulging in an alcoholic beverage, the sleep you get is anything but restful. In fact, alcohol diminishes the quality of your sleep as it disrupts your REM sleep phase which plays a huge part in memory and learning.
So, while alcohol makes you nod off quickly, you aren’t able to get the benefit out of sleep because of its effects. What’s more, since alcohol boasts diuretic properties, you’re likely to wake up several times in the night to empty your bladder.
Myth 3 – Watching Television In Bed Promotes Relaxation
This one has probably been made up because we all share a love for TV shows the best time for watching which is when all other chores are aside. However, tuning into TV before dozing off can be stress-inducing or can cause insomnia.
It doesn’t allow one to calm down and rest. Moreover, television, just like smart devices like phones and tablets, emit blue light which delay the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone which enables the body to catch relaxing zzz.
Myth 4 – Stay In Bed And Try Sleeping If You Can’t Fall Asleep
So, you’ve done all in your power to try to force sleep into visiting you. But it just won’t take you into its arms! Now, mum would tell you to keep trying by staying in bed and forcefully shutting your eyes. But that only makes your mind associate your bed to insomnia which furthers the issue.
If you take way longer than 15 minutes to drop into slumber, it’s time to get up to do something that doesn’t require too much of your mind. Say, for instance, folding your clothes. You’re likely to feel sleepy mid-way and fall asleep when you get back into bed.
Myth 5 – Snoozing The Alarm Isn’t So Bad
We’ve all done this as well; we’ve hit the snooze button to catch a few more minutes of sleep. And come on, how bad can that be? Turns out it is. The idea that the few more minutes of sleep that you get after the alarm goes off and you snooze it is deep is false.
Researchers say that these extra sleep minutes are of a low quality which is why it is a better idea to wake up at once as the alarm rings, open the curtains and control the urge to slip back between the sheets.
Myth 6 – Snoring Is Never Harmful
The last common sleep myth on the list is this one; snoring doesn’t indicate any underlying health problems. Which is why most of us just laugh or get mildly annoyed at the person snoring beside us on bed.
Snoring can be a teller of sleep apnea which is a sleep disorder that causes the throat’s walls to narrow down mid-sleep. This, in turn, can constrict breathing briefly. People who have sleep apnea are likely to have an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke or a heart attack.
So that was the list researchers put forward about sleep myths. Now that these have been busted, hopefully we’ll not be hitting snooze after the alarm goes off or drinking booze before bed. Have trouble sleeping? Here are some of our tips that can help you doze off.