February 3, 2013
If you think you already know a lot of things about sleep, think again. In fact, some of the things you have always believed in about it are actually false. These are myths people have accepted as truth since they first acquired their knowledge of it. We shall debunk five of those myths with this post because, well, the truth will set you free.
1) You need eight hours of sleep each night.
A lot of individuals have long welcomed the notion that eight is the magic number when it comes to the best sleeping hours. In result, people think that getting eight hours of sleep is the fixed requirement regardless of essential factors such as lifestyle and body clock. It is important to note that specific sleep needs vary upon different individuals. Although there are recommended sleeping hours for each age bracket, there are a lot more factors that have to be considered, says Joyce Walsleben, Ph. D. of New York University.
2) Catching up with lost sleep is just fine.
During certain events, like evening parties for instance, it is so easy to give up some hours of sleep thinking that you can easily repay your sleep debt in the succeeding nights. Though this is a reasonable compromise, you still end up disrupting your sleeping pattern. And of course, an altered sleeping pattern will give you a hard time once time comes that need to put things back to their normal schedule. This is why it is still recommended by experts to follow a consistent sleeping schedule.
3) Getting more sleep is healthier all the time.
Because it’s already a common belief that getting less sleep can lead to serious health problems, people naturally assume that doing otherwise is automatically healthier. However, this is not true. Actually, there are already studies which show that people who engage in excessive sleep die younger. Appreciate your alarm clock. Don’t oversleep.
4) When you wake up in the middle of the night, you should not get up.
People believe that if you suddenly wake up in the middle of a good night’s sleep, you should just stay in your bed. This is due to the thinking that doing something out of your bed will just keep you from falling asleep again. This is, surprisingly, untrue. If you happen to wake up at night and fail to return to sleep after 15 to 20 minutes, it is advisable to engage in relaxing activities such as listening to good music.
5) Working before sleeping will help you fall asleep easier.
Sadly, this is false. While a lot of people are fond of bringing their laptops with them in bed in order to “stress themselves to sleep”, it has been found out that doing so will only keep them conscious longer. This is because working stimulates the brain, which only makes the person more alert and active.
Indeed, there are still a lot of things we do not know about sleep. There are a lot of myths out there that need to be debunked in order for us to be fully enlightened about one of the best things in the world.