While doctors continue to learn more and more about sleep, a number of sleep-related myths still remain. Listed below are some common sleep fallacies that can now be laid to rest.
Over Time, You Get Used to Getting Less Sleep: Some people claim that they have gotten used to subsisting on insufficient amounts of sleep. In fact, consistently skimping on sleep can lead to serious problems during the day, such as poor decision-making, foggy memory and lack of focus.
Adults Can Get By With Five Hours of Sleep (or Less): There are numerous adults who regularly get no more than five hours of sleep each night. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), such individuals aren’t doing themselves any favors. The NSF advises adults to sleep between seven and nine hours on a nightly basis.
It’s Bad to Toss and Turn While You Sleep: While tossing and turning is associated with poor sleeping habits, relatively small movements during sleep are perfectly normal. Movements during sleep only become a problem when they are chronic, aggressive and violent. Of course, issues like sleepwalking should definitely be addressed by a medical professional.
During Sleep, Your Brain Shuts Off: This couldn’t be further from the truth. While you sleep, your brain stays awake and active. The only thing that changes are its activity patterns as you pass through different sleep stages. In fact, it is these changes that play a major role in your daytime thinking patterns, memory recall and emotional processing.
Snoring Isn’t That Big of a Deal: Most people consider snoring to be a nuisance. And while this is true of relatively light snoring, heavy snoring that occurs on a consistent basis is not to be taken lightly. Such snoring patterns could be indicative of obstructive sleep apnea, a serious disorder that not only can interrupt sleeping patterns, but also prevent the body from inhaling sufficient amounts of oxygen.
You Can Make Up For Lost Sleep With Napping: Sorry, this isn’t true either. Naps don’t last long enough for the brain to pass through all of the typical stages of sleep. Furthermore, taking an afternoon nap can actually make it harder for you to get to sleep at night.