Most things have myths associated with them, and sleep is not excluded from it. There are different myths associated with sleep and we tend to follow them too. However, today we are going to dispel certain myths associated with sleep.
Common Myths And Facts About Sleep
Myth – Sleeping just a few hours is enough to keep me going
Fact – Sleeping for the right number of hours is significant for our well-being. On average, an adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep at night every day. Children and teens require more hours. Individual variability in need for sleep is subjective to behavioral, genetic, environmental, and medical factors.
Sleep, along with exercise and diet, play an important role in weight management, productivity, and energy levels. Depriving your body of sleep can lead to many problems including depression, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity.
Myth – Alcohol or wine helps in falling asleep faster
Fact – People who drink alcohol know that consuming it does make them feel drowsy and most will feel that alcohol helps them to sleep. But you must know that if you think alcohol is helping you fall asleep at the moment, it only disturbs your sleep later at night. It interferes with your circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle) and will wake you up at midnight. Drinking alcohol leads to the production of adenosine, which is a sleep-inducing chemical produced in the brain. The adenosine is it helps in sleeping early but this chemical subsides quickly and you will wake up in the middle of the night.
Myth – People having irregular work shifts other than 9 to 5 can easily sleep when their work shift ends
Fact – A large percentage of the world’s employed population work at odd shift timings. When everybody is sleeping they are working. Their body asks them to sleep with the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, but they defy their body requests and continue to work. And when they finally come back home and try to sleep against the schedule of their body clock, they will not get complete 8-hour sleep. Some common health issues that often come up for people who work irregular shifts are heart problems and high blood pressure.
Myth – watching TV or working on a laptop while you are in your bed laptop helps me doze off easily
Fact – Complete your work at least an hour before you go to bed. The same thing should be done when you are watching the TV. News, crime shows or horror stories, work pressure, targets, etc. will keep your brain alert. Moreover, when you are comfortably tucked in and watching a show, you will not notice how soon time passes, you are losing out on your sleep time and the more awake you are, the longer you will take to fall asleep. The quality of sleep in people that work on laptops and watch TV when they are in the bedroom, is always poor. Make a quiet, cool, noiseless, dark, and comfortable environment in your bedroom. This is the place where rest, use other rooms to watch TV or to work from home.
- Myth – Older people do not need 8 hours of sleep
Fact – As we discussed earlier, an average adult usually requires between 7 and 9 hours of sleep at night. With age, our sleep patterns may alter, but the amount of sleep required for the body is still the same. Older people often wake up throughout the night, which causes them to get less sleep. But since they sleep less during the night, they are likely to catch up on their lost sleep time during the day. Taking naps during the day will help the older person remain more active when they are awake. It will help them to finish their daily chores more energetically without feeling tired.
Myth – Insomnia is when an individual has difficulty in falling asleep
Fact – There are four main symptoms that a person suffering from insomnia may show and difficulty in falling asleep is just one of them. The other three symptoms are getting up frequently at night, waking up early, and waking up feeling drained. Causes of insomnia can be either a medical issue, sleep disorder, or a psychiatric or psychological issue. Although it can be treated, there is a large percentage of people across the globe that are affected by it. Our poor lifestyle, work pressure, or personal relationships are majorly the cause of insomnia. However, if find you are facing these symptoms often or if it is impacting your work, then you must approach your doctor or a health expert and get yourself treated.
Timely and sufficient sleep is important for us. Make sure you go to bed on time, and if you are facing any problems, get medical help.