Falling asleep can be so difficult for many people, and most of us like to dish out reasons about why this is. Science-backed explanations make it clear about why people have difficulty in sleeping, but some of us still support the myths that mislead us.
Sleep myths exist for a long time now, and almost everyone believed them that they seem to become the truth. You will see and hear them in household tales, television, radio, and even on the internet.
It is important that you know the facts to bust these myths, so I listed here the ten common myths about sleep.
Eight Hours of Continuous Sleep is Good for Everybody
Who has not heard that eight hours of continuous sleep is the required amount of sleep that an average person needs to take each day? For sure, you have heard it. However, recent studies found out that sleeping for eight hours should not be the rule.
The reason behind this explanation is that not all people have the same sleeping pattern. In fact, there are several variations of sleep for different people. These are the biphasic (having two phases), the Uberman (applying nap), the Dymaxion (four times daily for around 30 minutes), and the Everyman sleep schedule.
Researchers even go on to say that those who sleep for eight continuous hours or more may have diabetes and high blood pressure. Aside from diabetes and high blood pressure, sleeping excessively long may be one of the signs of sleep apnea or breathing pauses.
Working Just Before Bedtime Gives You a Sound Sleep
Perhaps, someone has advised you that the solution to difficulty in sleeping is to work yourself out before bedtime. Someone would say that you should tire yourself out by watching TV or beating the deadline of your paperwork. Although this might work for some, it will take a toll on your physical health in the future.
Working before bedtime is harmful because it will lead you to think that your bedroom is a makeshift workplace. Sooner or later, it will only worsen your difficulty in sleeping.
Sleepiness During Daytime is a Sign of Sleep-Deprivation
For sure, a bad sleep or sleep-deprivation can make you feel like a sleepy zombie the next day. But if your daytime fatigue and sleepiness show a constant pattern, your lack of sleep might not be the real cause.
Stress, unhealthy diet, and other existing medical problems might be at work why you feel sleepy during the day. You should also look at your medications because they are sometimes to blame for your lack of energy.
For the right medical explanation and treatment, you should look for a doctor because there might be other possible causes of your daytime fatigue.
Alcoholic Drinks Helps You Sleep Better
In advertisement or movies, you will see your favorite actor drinking alcohol to get himself to sleep. Do not buy yourself into that trap. Yes, a shot may help you get to sleep at first, but it will have a negative impact on your body later on.
Drinking alcohol before bedtime on a constant basis will result in the disturbance of your regular sleep cycle. It will make you wake up in the middle of the night and prevent you from sleeping after.
Some people even use alcohol to wash down their sleeping pills. You should avoid it because drinking alcohol along with a particular medication can lead to blackouts and even death. Alcohol also has negative effects on your muscles which make your breathing difficult.
Snoring is Harmless
Some people consider snoring as a normal and harmless thing. According to a study way back in 2005, nearly 33 percent of American adults snore almost every night. However, when you frequently snores on a nightly basis, you should already see a medical expert.
Chronic snoring may be a symptom of a medical condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. People who have cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure also show symptoms such as snoring. So, be aware!
REM is a Condition that Causes Dreams
REM or rapid eye movement is a condition which occurs when you are sleeping. Thanks to Aserinsky and Kleitman, we now know that waking up from a REM sleep will make us recall our dreams more or less vividly.
However, REM phase is not only when dreams do happen. Hypnagogic state is another condition in which dreaming occurs, but what causes us to dream is still a largely unexplored field.
Insomnia is All About Difficulty in Sleeping
Waking up too early without adequate sleep, frequent awakenings in the middle of the night, and waking up exhausted are the other symptoms of insomnia. If you do experience these symptoms, it is advisable that you look for medical attention and treatment.
A Sleeping Pill Can Do Sleeping Wonders
Taking sleeping pills is not advisable because it can cause an overdose that can lead to death. Sleeping pills can make a profound change in the normal chemical processes of the brain. Dependence on these types of medicines is very harmful, so you need to take heed.
Munching Cheese Before Bedtime Causes Nightmares
You might probably have heard this crazy stuff: that eating cheese before bedtime will turn your dreams into nightmares. Yes, not the figurative nightmare, but the literal one. It is an old, persisting myth that some people still believe.
One explanation offered which regards to this myth is that there are people who ingest cheese along with an antidepressant known as Monoamine oxidase inhibitor.
When you eat this two at the same time, there is a slight probability that it will cause nightmares. The thing is that it is “just a slight probability” and other scientific proofs are still lacking with regards to this myth.
The Ideal Mattress for Sleeping is a Soft Mattress
A soft mattress provides a cozy and relaxing feel for a particular person, but it will not be the same for every sleeper. Different types of mattresses and beds are available for different people. You can choose either for latex, foam, innerspring, or hybrid mattresses for you to have a better sleep.
It is crucial that you know about the myths about sleep mentioned above for you to know what is true or not. As the old saying goes, a little knowledge is dangerous. You should always look for a scientific basis before you believe anything you read, hear, or see, especially when it is about sleeping.
Lisa Jones is a freelance blogger and health enthusiast. She writes topics about health such as tips on how to have an adequate sleep. Lisa loves to spend her time playing badminton. She also likes to discover new adventures like rock climbing and skydiving.