Dispelling Sleep Myths

Dr. Dan JensenSleep

Dispelling Sleep Myths
Dr. Dan Jensen

When it comes to sleep, we think we know it all and everyone’s got their own take! Surprisingly, a lot of us believe some myths about sleep, and these misconceptions could be stopping you from getting the good night’s sleep you deserve.

Myth: 5 Hours of Sleep Per Night is Enough

One of the hardest myths to debunk is the myth that adults don’t need much sleep. We put our kids to bed early, and make sure they’ve slept at least 9 hours, but we don’t look after ourselves in the same way. You might be used to sleeping fewer hours because you just don’t have enough time during the day to get all your projects finished, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need more sleep.

To function well during the day, protect your health, and strengthen your immune system, you need to sleep at least 7-9 hours per night. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that over 30% of Americans are sleeping fewer than 7 hours per night! Sleep deprivation leads to a host of health problems, including moodiness, irritability, trouble concentrating, high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, depression, and a higher chance of falling ill.

Myth: Snoring Is Harmless

Snoring is a sensitive issue for many couples. Your partner might spend half the night lying awake listening to you snore, but you get very defensive whenever they bring it up, since you think snoring is harmless. However, even though snoring affects one in three adults, it isn’t normal and should be taken seriously. If you snore during the night, this is an indication that you’re struggling to breathe, or that your breathing has been interrupted. You may be suffering from a cold or congestion, an allergy, or worse. Snoring can often indicate the presence of a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, that makes it difficult for you to breathe at night, and disrupts your sleep patterns. If you’ve been snoring throughout the night, you haven’t had the restful night you’d like to believe, and you need to find out why you’re snoring.

Myth: Alcohol will Help You Sleep

Many people believe that having a beer before bed will help them sleep better. After all, you start to feel sleepy and heavy after a drink, and often find yourself half asleep before you climb into bed. However, this nightcap is having to opposite effect, and drinking before bed will lead to worse sleep. It’s true that you may fall asleep faster, but drinking before bed inhibits the normal rhythm of your sleep cycles, and you’ll wake up more during the night, have a restless sleep, and not spend enough time in REM sleep. You won’t wake up feeling rested and refreshed if you’ve had alcohol before bed.

Myth: Laying in Bed Will Help You Fall Asleep

Are you struggling to fall asleep? You may be tempted to lay in bed trying to fall asleep for an hour, but this could be making it harder for you to fall asleep. If you’re lying in bed awake for more than 20 minutes, it’s time to try a new tactic. When you’re feeling restless, get out of bed for a few minutes, do some light stretching, or do some easy task like putting away the dishes or folding the laundry. This will help your mind relax, and in a few minutes, you’ll be able to fall asleep easily.

Myth: Watching TV or Scrolling Through Instagram will Help You Sleep

If you’re struggling to fall asleep, you might be tempted to reach for your phone or turn on the TV. However, spending time with your electronics before bed will have the opposite effect, and you might find yourself pulling an all-nighter catching up on your favorite TV show. The reason your TV or phone inhibit sleep is because your devices emit a blue light, and this light signals to your brain that it’s still daytime. It prevents your body from producing melatonin, the hormone that tells your body it’s time to sleep. Experts recommend that you avoid using your electronics for 2 hours before sleeping, and using a red filter app on your phone in the evening.

Sound Sleep Medical

For more facts about sleep, visit us at Sound Sleep Medical, and find out how we can help you get a great night’s sleep every night.