Sleep Myths and Facts – Myths about sleep are needed to get revealed or debunk. Clear information about sleeping is important for us to know in order to have positive feeling every time we wake up in the morning. There are experts who gave clarification about some myths on sleeping that you need to know. They are Dr. David Rapoport and Rebecca Robbins, PhD. Some of their clarifications are presented bellow and we’ve listed to you in most comprehensive way.
We’re proudly shared this 20 myths about sleep to you in regard to help you to get clear understanding about sleep. Most of them are sleep myths psychology that are commonly misinterpret by most of people. We back you up by providing facts about sleep that scientifically proved. Therefore, there is no need to worry or scare about sleeping disorders that you may think you have such as not being able to sleep, insomnia, or other sleep disorders.
At the end of this article, you should be able to:
● Identify 20 myths about sleep
● Understand each effect of its true meaning
● Incorporate the true meaning to daily basis
● Have high quality sleep and sufficient amount of sleep
● Get healthy body and brain
● Experience happy life
Table of Contents 📚
Sleep Myths and Facts:
#1 Watching TV in bed is a good way to relax before sleep
It’s not necessarily recommended for us to watch TV to relax us before sleep. Commonly, TV emits bright blue light, that bright light is considered as strongest cue to kick start our body and brain to become awake and alert. It’s called Zeitgeber, the strongest input for our body and brain to get awake and alert in the morning. That’s why people get awake by seeing bright morning shine light or at least get awake temporarily then sleep again by covering their eyes with pillow or blanket for some particular people. So, watching TV in bed is a good way to relax before sleep is a myth about sleep. Moreover, that practice would confuse your brain. Trouble in sleep would be result for some people.
#2 Drinking booze before bed will improve your sleep
For some people drink one or twice alcohol is effective to make them fall asleep. Also, it becomes like sleeping pill for them to put them to sleep. It’ okay if the amount just a little. However, the effect is only temporary which means once the alcohol is gone form the body system, it would interrupt the sleeping process of normal sleep like force you to wake up resulting low quality of sleep. Therefore, it’s not generally recommended to drink booze to improve sleep. As the result, drinking booze before bed will improve your sleep is also a myth about sleep.
#3 Lying in bed with your eyes closed is almost as good as sleeping
Sleep is a very specific process that our body goes through. Actually, sleeping is not like closing all documents, programs, and other applications in our laptop then turn it off and then leave it the next morning to turn it on and it works. However, sleeping is a very active process. During sleep, there are several stages that your brain needs to going through in order to get into a stage where you’re in a really deep sleep that beneficial to refresh your body and brain. If you don’t complete all the stages to meet the deep sleep, you’d likely to feel unrest in the morning. Therefore, closing your eyes for sometimes like a half hour or more is not equally good as sleeping or it doesn’t count as sleeping because your brain doesn’t experience all the stages. In other words, it’s a myth about sleep.
#4 If you can’t sleep, you should stay in bed and try to fall back asleep
Trying to fall asleep is considered as forcing yourself to sleep. Good sleep is not obtainable if you force it. Similar to people with insomnia, the more they force themselves to sleep, the worrier they become. Therefore, they’d never get asleep. Therefore, this is also myth about sleep.
The key to fall asleep is to relax without thinking about anything related to sleeping itself. If you can’t sleep, you should stay in bed and relax. Additionally, there is a specific and effective way to fall asleep within minutes. This method is developed by US Navy Pre-Flight School which inspired by the book called “Relax and Win: Championship Performance. To be honest, some of our team member have tried this scientific method and it’s amazingly worked. This method is very suitable for ones who get insomnia. Without further ado, here is how to do the method:
● Relax every muscles in your face including tongue, jaw, and muscles around the eyes;
● Relax your shoulder by dropping it as far down as they’ll go, followed by your upper and lower arms, one side at a time;
● Breath out and relax everything from your chest down to your legs; and
● Spend 10 – 15 seconds to clear your mind or don’t think of anything instead thinking about these:
○ You’re lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but a clear blue sky above you;
○ You’re lying in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room;
○ You relax and enjoy yourself in that state of thinking; and
○ You are sleeping or not because of this, please mention it in the comment below.
#5 Many adults need five hours of sleep or less
Five hours of sleep is not enough for vast majority of adults as scientific data show by Sleep Lab. Maybe some people around you like your friends or your relatives brag about their sleep less and okay with it. That may be true, but they need sleep replacement on the weekend or other available time to cover needed hour of sleep. In fact, sleeping for seven to eight hours is still a solid recommendation for vast majority by experts. Some phenomena also arise like sleeping less is related to manliness or other thing to brag about and sleep early and enough is something that is not okay to brag about. In fact, sleeping is good. There is nothing wrong about getting enough hours of sleep. That’s your need as nature of human. Therefore, many adults need five hours of sleep or less is a big myth about sleep.
#6 Your brain and body will adapt to less sleep
It’s a myth! Sleep is like diet to your body. Meaning, good sleep is like good healthy diet with great nutrition that positively affect your body and brain. So, less sleep means bad diet that negatively affect your body and brain. Therefore, you can’t maximally functioning as normally you do. As scientific study shows that people with less sleep have cognitive performance problem – lack of attention, slow working memory, poor decision making, and negatively affect long-term memory. It’s a wise decision to get yourself enough sleep – seven to eight hours of sleep.
#7 It doesn’t matter what time of day you sleep
We have our own clock for regulating our time of sleeping. Our sleeping time is at night and our wake up or “on” time is at the day. That’s why even you didn’t sleep at night, you could still wake up okay in the morning because your clock says it’s time to wake up. Simply, you can do that but it’ll cost your health. Take example of shift worker like nurse or firefighter, they work at night and still can do that. However, the healthy risks like high blood pressure, hearth disease, or obesity are haunting them. Therefore, time of your sleep is really matter.
#8 Exercising within four hours of bedtime will disturb your sleep
An hour before sleep, it’s recommended to avoid active activity that stress your body by exercising. For some people who are okay doing exercising and still getting good sleep till morning, this may not applicable. However, when you don’t have that routine and just trying to do that, it’ll negatively influence the quality of your sleep. Remember that relaxing is the key to have a quality sleep. Therefore, exercising within four hours of bedtime will disturb your sleep is myth for vast majority of people.
#9 Remembering your dreams is a sign of a good night’s sleep
It’s not true! The sign of a good night’s sleep is able to check by your condition in the morning. People are dreaming in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, but some of dreams are forgettable and some memorable. However, it doesn’t determine how your sleep by remembering your dreams. Likewise, having a nightmare doesn’t determine that you got bad night’s sleep. Experts said that some nightmares are caused by unsuitable room temperature where you’re sleeping – whether it’s too hot or the opposite that make your sleep fragmented. Therefore, remembering your dreams is a sign of a good night’s sleep is a myth.
#10 Eating cheese or any other food before bed causes nightmare
Commonly, uncomfortable and unrelaxed body and state of mind can cause bad sleep or fragmented sleep like waking up often during sleep or even causing bad dreams. Any food can cause nightmare is not proved scientifically yet. In some cases, people who has allergic reaction to a particular food and intentionally eat that forbidden food by doctor before sleep would get disturbed sleep because of bad reaction in their stomach. Hence eating cheese or any other food before bed causes nightmare is a myth.
#11 Loud snoring is annoying but mostly harmless
Loud snoring is caused by blockage in the throat. It’s a common disorder called sleep apnea – potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. In other words, it’s a condition when you’re actually choking because the air is not freely go in and go out from your longue which is bad. The way of your body saving you is by waking you up. That’s why a person who is snoring would eventually suddenly wake up then back to sleep because of that. Therefore, loud snoring is bad to your body and your sleep quality.
#12 Hitting snooze is better than getting up
Many of us have be friended with snooze button in the alarm that we set ourselves. Hitting the snooze button is an indication of not enough sleep. Continuing your sleep between that snooze periods is not a good sleep because it’s fragmented your sleep. The best practice is setting your alarm at the latest possible without disturb your activity in the morning like preparing going to work. Remember that seven to eight hours of sleep is recommended by experts to vast majority. Therefore, hitting snooze is better than getting up is a myth.
#13 You can simply become a morning person
Genetic plays pivotal influence on your type of person including morning or evening one. It indicates that practicing hard to be morning person while you’re an evening person may not work effectively. It’s not something that you can change by training. You can only do, however, by tricking your body to thinking you’re the opposite of yourself. Bright blue light therapy is used for some people who are really required to do a necessary in the morning for evening person. Also, waking up early is also considered as tricking method to be morning person for evening one. Therefore, you can simply become a morning person is a myth.
#14 You can catch up on sleep during the weekends
The best practice is keeping your sleeping schedule sufficient enough each day. If keeping your sleeping schedule is so hard to practice, feeling less sleep will hit. So the best practice is by taking a nap in the afternoon in order to remove the debt of sleep. Try to avoid catch up on sleep during weekends because you’ll sacrifice valuable times that potentially improve your development when you work it out.
#15 Boredom makes you tired even if you got enough sleep
Boredom that makes you tired is a mask of not enough sleep. Some experiment findings show that people who have enough sleep will not feel sleepy during boring situation. In other words, when you feel sleepy in boring situation means only you don’t have enough sleep or low quality sleep. So, boredom makes you tired even if you got enough sleep is not true.
#16 Fall asleep in class for student is bad habit or indicator of laziness
Students or younger ones than adults need more sleep hours. It’s recommended for them to sleep eight to ten hours each night. Most of them stay awake later in the evening because of several factors such as doing homework and other activities related to school and not necessarily related. Meanwhile, they need to wake up in early morning for getting ready to school. That’s why come students feel sleepy at school. Fall asleep in class for student is indicator of not enough sleep of poor sleep quality.
#17 Feeling sleepy while driving could be solved by listen to loud music, open car window, or turning on car air conditioner
Again, this is a problem related to poor sleep quality or insufficient sleep hours. All of these aids are not helping and can be dangerous for that driver who feeling drowsy while driving. The best way to overcome this situation is by pulling off the road in a safe area and taking a nap for 20-40 minutes. Drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages can help temporarily. However, their effects are not instantly kick out just after you consumed them – it takes at least a half hour for that caffeine plays the role. Therefore, listen to loud music, open car window, or turning on car air conditioner are not the solution for getting rid of sleepy or drowsy. It’s a myth.
#18 Difficult to fall asleep means insomnia
In most cases, insomnia is a symptom of sleep disorder or other medical or psychological problem. In order to be called insomnia, you need more symptoms than just difficult to fall asleep. Generally, problems such as wake up to early, not being able to fall back to sleep, awake more frequent during sleeping process, and wake up with unrefreshed feeling are complete symptoms for you to get addressed as having insomnia.
#19 Depression, obesity, hypertension, diabetes are not related to the quality and amount of sleep
Many studies have figured out about the link between poor quality and insufficient amount of sleep toward health problems and disease. First, people get depressed because they don’t have good night sleeps – unfulfilled needs of brain and body to refresh. Second, most obesity cases are linked to insufficient sleep – lack of sleep makes the body to decrease secretion hormone that increase the chance to gain weight. Hypertension is also related to interrupted sleep. Blood pressure normally falls during sleep, however, interrupted sleep makes this process not working properly. Diabetes is also related to insufficient sleep because it weakens the ability of operates insulin to balance blood sugar level. Therefore, all mentioned health problems are related to low quality and less amount of sleep.
#20 Counting sheep is most effective way to fall asleep
Many scientific studies indicate that relaxing is way more effective way to fall asleep rather than counting sheep. Counting sheep make your brain to work in processing data which limit the mind to reach stages of sleep. Relaxing, however, a hint to mind that it’s time to rest and re-energize the body and brain. Therefore, it’s a myth.
Good sleep is equally important as healthy food you eat daily. High quality sleep brings joy to your life. There are some misleading information about sleep that you need to clarify in order to get real key to happiness and healthy living. Also, revealing the myths about sleep has positive goal to remove the superstitions about not being able to sleep and other presumptions that make you trouble in sleeping. In other words, understanding which one is myth and which one is fact about sleep will give you healthy good sleep.
Finally, we’re really appreciate your time used to read this article about 20 mindblowing myths about sleep. We hope you find it helpful. So, did you find something new that you don’t know before about sleep from this article? or do have more interesting myths and facts about sleep to share?