Only recently I wrote about the importance of enough quality sleep. We know it affects our brain function, appetite, productivity and creative output.
The following are some incorrect myths about sleep.
1. The more you sleep, the better.
Not true. In fact, too much sleep can be detrimental to your health. Over 9 hours of sleep may diminish the quality of the sleep. According to Harvard Medical researchers 8 hours of good uninterrupted sleep are optimal for a healthy adult. A persons age must also be taken into account. Babies need more while older adults may need a little less.
2. A nightcap will put you to sleep.
Great grandma may have a home remedy for sleep: a shot of alcohol before bed. For medicinal purposes, of course. Sorry to burst Grandma’s bubble but although liquor may knock you out, it will wake you up during the night, possibly with strange dreams and often you will find yourself unable to fall back asleep. Quality of sleep suffers, avoid it.
3. Certified insomniacs should stay in bed and count sheep.
The reason behind this is that if you simply are unable to fall asleep, stay in bed and occupy your mind with something super boring. Instead, get out of bed, do something unstimulating and disregard the clock. Then get back under the covers, take deep breaths, close your eyes and empty your mind.
4. If you are tired during the day it is due to insufficient sleep.
This could be true. However, if it is a constant condition, investigate elsewhere too. Diet, medications and allergies may all be possible culprits.
5. Power naps will restore you.
Naps are great but they must be relatively short and sweet. Aim for about 20 minutes and it will boost your energy. Longer naps might leave you groggy.
6. Morning Person or Night Owl?
There is a belief that the early bird catches the worm and morning people accomplish much more. Not correct. We can be equally productive, healthy and get enough sleep, if our lifestyle allows for our natural cycles.
7. You can catch up on sleep on the weekend, right?
Wrong! It will mess up your sleep cycles and make you sleepier during the week. Who knew?
8. Snoozing with the alarm clock gives you extra sleep time.
Wrong again! It makes you feel worse than jumping out of bed at the sound of the alarm. You sink back into a new sleep cycle but before you finish it, another snooze jolts you out. Several repeats and you awaken a zombie.
Happy sleep to us all!