Experts Rate Sleep Myths
One of the most persistent myths about sleep is that being able to fall asleep anytime, anywhere is healthy. It turns out this is wrong: the experts say it’s likely a sign of being chronically sleep-deprived. Worse, excessive daytime sleepiness could be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea.
The notion that many adults need only five or fewer hours of sleep is also incorrect, as is the belief that your brain and body can “adjust” and learn to function just as well with less sleep.
Another myth holds that it doesn’t matter what time of day you sleep. Wrong – research shows that night-shift workers are more vulnerable to depression, diabetes and cancer as well as lower sleep quality.
The belief that having a warmer bedroom is better than a cooler one is also a fallacy. The experts say the best temperature is between 65 and 70-degrees Fahrenheit.
And just in case you’re wondering, remembering your dreams isn’t necessarily a sign of a good night’s sleep.
However, it is true that occasionally losing one night’s sleep has no lasting health consequences.
Rebecca Robbins et al, “Sleep myths: an expert-led study to identify false beliefs about sleep that impinge upon population sleep health practices,” Sleep Health, April 17, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2019.02.00
More from this week’s bulletin:
- A Little Exercise & Your Brain
- Whitening Might Harm Your Teeth
- True Food Kitchen Recipe: Cashew Poblano Ranch Dressing