Do you think you know everything about sleep? If the answer’s yes, you may be surprised to find you’ve been fooled by sleep myths that have left you in the dark. See if you recognize any of the following and, until you read this article, imagined they were true.
You can pay back you sleep debt.
After many late nights partying, studying, or sitting in front of the TV watching old movies, you don’t need to worry about lack of sleep. You can pay back your sleep debt by getting up late on weekends can’t you? According to sleep experts, you can’t cheat when it comes to the amount of sleep you need to function well.
Most people require between seven and eight hours of sleep. When you enjoy less slumber, you suffer. You might become irritable, slow to react to stimuli, and susceptible to catching bugs because your immunity is low.
You need less sleep when you’re older.
Older people need less sleep than younger folks. Isn’t that right? The idea you can get by on fewer hours kip as you age is a myth perpetuated by the recognition elderly folks rise early and often get up in the night. However, the truth is they need as much sleep as younger people.
Elderly people catnap during the day, which means they are prone to waking early in the morning as they’ve enjoyed part of their sleep quota the previous day as well as during the night. Also, they wake frequently at night because they have to visit the bathroom, not because they are revitalized.
Once an insomniac, always an insomniac.
Many people think because they haven’t slept well for years they are natural insomniacs and can’t learn to sleep well. In fact, although poor sleep patterns can be habitual, it’s always possible to improve your sleep if you’re an insomniac. Insomnia is a sign something’s wrong and needs to change. It doesn’t mean you aren’t designed to enjoy healthy sleep.
Your brain takes a break when you sleep.
Do you ever feel like you need to rest your brain? If so, you might imagine taking a nap will do the trick. Nonetheless, the idea your brain rests when you sleep is a myth. Your brain carries out plenty of work while you’re in the land of Nod, flushing out toxins and consolidating memories, and it never takes a break. When you perceive your brain as tired, you need to reduce stress. Try meditation, mindfulness, or a walk in the countryside instead of spending extra hours under the duvet and you’ll feel better.
Counting sheep makes you nod off.
Have you ever tried to count sheep with the aim of going to sleep? If you have, you already realize doing so is a myth. The idea is watching cute sheep leaping over a fence, one-by-one, will help you nod off because it’s relaxing and doesn’t tax the mind.
However, if your mind is overloaded due to stress, your anxiety might increase once a whole flock try to rampage over the fence at once. Also, the act of concentrating on counting keeps some people alert rather than making them sleepy. If you can’t sleep, it’s better to read a few pages of your favorite book or potter around for a while rather than herd an imaginary flock of uncontrollable animals.
Now you know the myths mentioned are folklore rather than facts, you really do understand more about how to enjoy a good night’s sleep and can put old wives’ tales to rest.