Until recently, or to be precise when the CDC declared sleep deprivation a public health epidemic, people mostly took sleep for granted. In order to fight this severe epidemic, we need to educate ourselves about sleep in every way we can. Sleep education also includes addressing the most common misconceptions. Make sure you ask yourself how many of these statements have you heard before and how many you thought were true. Counting Sheep sleep research has helped us bust the top 7 sleep myths.
Brain Shuts Down During Sleep
Sleep is completely opposite of a passive state. In fact, this is the time when our brains are the most active. Among many other things that happen during sleep, our minds sort and process information gathered during the day and cement some of the data into our long-term memory. This can help you realize why rest is so vital for learning and memory.
The Body Can Be Trained to Function on Less Sleep
Well, that would be great, but things are not that simple. Forcing your body to get out of bed earlier every day and thinking you will become accustomed to it is wrong. You will only end up sleep deprived. Forcing yourself to sleep less will also have negative consequences on your health. You concentration abilities will be reduced; you will be less alert, confused and distressed. Long-term effects include a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and diabetes.
You Can Catch Up on Sleep
It is possible to return your sleep debt if you make up for it the next day. However, making for lost sleep over the weekend for the entire week is not possible. Studies show you can quickly recover from 2 or 3 night of lost sleep, but you can’t catch up that easy if you have lost more than 20 hours of sleep in a week.
Spending More Time in Bed Help to Fall Asleep
Spending more time in bed doesn’t mean you will fall asleep faster or stay asleep for longer. If you have insomnia, this actually makes things worse because it boosts the negative association between bed and sleep. For better sleep, it is best to spend less time in bed and use your bedroom only for rest and sex.
Daytime Naps are a Waste of Time
If you have insomnia, most sleep experts recommend avoiding naps during the day. However, that doesn’t mean napping is bad for your health. Studies have shown that short 20 minute naps can refresh you and make you more productive during the day.
The Brain Adjusts Quickly to New Sleep Schedules
If this were the truth, then we would never experience issues like jetlag. Sleep is controlled by our circadian rhythm or otherwise known as an internal body clock. This internal clock is regulated by sunlight. This is why we are the sleepiest between midnight and dawn. Lifestyle changes and changes in sleep schedules affect our circadian rhythm, and we usually need some time to adjust to the new change. Until we adjust, our sleep quality suffers.
Elderly People Need Less Sleep
Our sleep needs are relatively stable once we become adults. Children, as you certainly know, require plenty of sleep, but as they grow up, they need less and less sleep. Once kids become young adults, the amount of sleep they need to function normally will stay the same for the rest of their lives.