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10 Myths About Sleep – Part 1

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There’s nothing better than a great night’s sleep! We know that going without sleep for too long makes us feel terrible, and that getting a good night’s sleep can make us feel ready to take on the world. Research suggests that that the optimum amount of sleep per night is around 7 to 9 hours. We are all aware how important sleep is but what are some common myths about sleep?

 “You Can Learn to Get by on Less Sleep”

If you get less sleep than you need, your ability to do certain cognitive and physical tasks is decreased. Unfortunately, there’s no way to train the body to reduce its sleep requirement. Studies on chronic partial sleep deprivation (<5 hours sleep) found that people continue to get sleepier and their performance becomes more impaired the longer the ‘debt’ goes on.

To meet that deadline or study for that exam you may be able to function on less sleep for a short time, but you will feel more tired, work less efficiently, and get less done in the day. Evidence is showing us that overall health is very much tied to sleep quality and quantity. This includes hypertension, heart disease, depression, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease and can even affect your life span.

“Snoring is a harmless nuisance”

Yes, snoring can be very annoying but it is actually a sign of an obstructive sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. This condition is characterized by repeated pauses in breathing that prevent air flowing into a sleeping person’s lungs. Sleep apnea is a serious risk for heart disease. If you do snore, it is suggested to see your doctor.

 “Now that I’m older, I don’t need as much sleep”

As children, many of us had grandparents who always seemed to be up at the crack of dawn, cleaning the house and making a glorious breakfast. It seemed as if older people didn’t need much sleep somehow.  In truth, older people need just as much as sleep as younger adults. They may have trouble getting it because of changes in sleep pattern training the natural ‘body clock’ shifting to an earlier time but total need for sleep does not decrease much with age.

“I Just Don’t Have Dreams – is this normal” ?

Everybody dreams, but not everyone remembers those dreams. Not being able to recall your dreams is perfectly normal and has no negative health effect. Whether or not you remember your dreams is determined by when you wake up in relation to having those dreams.

 “I Can Get by Fine on 5 or 6 Hours of Sleep”

Most people seem to think they can get by with minimal sleep  any effect on their well-being.. Not getting this amount will cause a ‘sleep debt’ to accumulate and after a few days leads to irritability, decreased productivity and daytime drowsiness posing a real risk to your safety.

 

Stay Tuned for Part 2!

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