Around here, we’ve heard lots of myths about sleep. The truth is simple, though; humans are animals, and just like other animals, we need sleep, food, water, and oxygen to live. Sleep is important to your health.So as much as you want to believe that all-nighter won’t catch up with you, don’t be fooled. Here’s a list of some of sleep related old wives’ tales, debunked.
Nope. According to the experts at the National Sleep Foundation, catching up on sleep is a thing of dreams. The studies say, “even when you sleep an extra 10 hours to compensate for sleeping only 6 hours a night for up to two weeks, your reaction times and ability to focus is worse than if you had pulled an all-nighter.”
Adults needs between seven to nine hours of sleep every night in order achieve peak performance during the day. Sleep deprivation has been linked to many health problems, including obesity and high blood pressure, bad moods, depression, and decreased productivity. So create a solid sleep schedule and try to stick to it.
Hmm… This one is dangerous. Really, we suggest that you pull over to the side of the road in a rest area or that you check into a hotel if you’re starting to doze off. Opening your window or turning up the radio is not a safe solution, according to the NSF. Drinking a coffee or a caffeinated tea can be helpful, but only for a small period of time – and at a certain point your body needs sleep to stay alert. So don’t drowsy and drive!
In most cases, this is true. But in serious cases it could be a sign of sleep apnea or narcolepsy. If you truly feel like you’re getting enough sleep at night, but are still sleepy during the day, you should discuss your symptoms with a doctor. Being foggy during working hours can have an adverse affect on your performance, and even wreak havoc on your emotions.
Well, not really. Your brain stays very active while you sleep, and it’s your body that gets rest. During sleep, your brain is still awake and controlling your bodily functions, but its being recharged – sort of like a battery.
Lying awake in the middle of the night is a symptom of insomnia, according to the NSF. If this happens to you, you could try to relax by doing deep breathing, or by ‘counting sheep.’ But if you’re awake for more than 10-15 minutes, the foundation suggests that you get out of bed and try a relaxing activity like reading a book or listening to music. Try not to watch the clock!
There are many other myths about sleep out there, so your best defense is to get informed. Talk to your doctor, or stay on top of reliable sources online. If you’re curious, have a look at the National Sleep Foundation website.