5 Big Myths That May Be Sabotaging Your Sleep
Think you know a lot about sleep? The truth is that most of us actually don’t, and to make matters worse we tend to fall for the same persistent myths that, if believed, can actually rob us of sleep and even make the quality of the sleep we do get worse.
All of the following are very common myths about sleep. How many of them did you think were fact?
Myth #1 You can make up for lost sleep with a big lie in
Fact: If you think a big lie in at the weekend is going to make up for a week worth of sleep, think again. A new study shows that going long periods without sleep can result in a kind of “sleep debt” that can’t be simply undone.
In fact, too much snoozing on Saturday morning can disrupt your circadian rhythm and make getting to sleep every night even harder. Try to provide your body with a consistent number of hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping try out a sleep aid or two – a sleep mask, a sleep diffuser or a sleep pillow perhaps – and then once you’ve found one that works for you get into the habit of using it every night.
Myth #2 A good work out at night will make it easier to fall asleep.
Fact: Exercising regularly helps your body to relax and you to fall asleep, but only if it is performed at least three hours before bedtime. A work out elevates your body’s temperature which makes falling asleep difficult, so giving your body a few hours to ‘cool back down’ is the best idea all around.
Myth #3 Your brain needs sleep to rest.
Fact: During sleep, your body rests while your brain constantly controls all of your its essential functions, repairs cells and memorizes new information. It’s actually working really hard, but if you don’t sleep it can’t get this very important busy work done as there is just too much going on during the day for it to do so.
Myth #4 Everyone needs about eight hours of sleep.
Fact: The amount of sleep needed varies from person to person and depends on other factors, such as the individual’s lifestyle. The better the quality of sleep, the less time it takes for our bodies to renew itself.
Stress, poor diet, heavy alcohol consumption and bad sleeping conditions make it harder for us to part with the pillow and make us feel tired even after lots of hours of rest. So when it comes to sleep, quality trumps quantity every time.
Myth#5 People are divided into “night owls” and “early birds”
Fact: It is often believed that whether we like to get out of bed early in the morning or become more energetic during the night, genetics are to blame. The truth is that it all depends on your lifestyle and habits acquired over many years, with bedtime habits that develop during the teenage years often staying with us for life. This means that with a little will power the “night owls” can become “early birds.”, if they really want to.