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4 Common Sleep Myths You Should Know

by Morgan Spencer

When we think we know everything about sleep, including its benefits and how it works, it hits us that many myths have made their way into people's minds. The worse of all is these people hold these myths so dear to their hearts that they believe them to be true. On the contrary, these common misconceptions do more harm than good and disturb sleep cycles.

Sleep is a crucial part of life that affects our mood and general well-being. Over 70 million Americans suffer from poor sleep habits and deprivation, which hinder their day-to-day productivity. While some factors like genetics and medical issues play a key role, sleep myths play a bigger role. It is important to dispel these myths to promote healthier sleep habits, which in turn, leads to better overall health.

Below are 4 common sleep myths you should know.

1. You Can Condition Yourself to Need Less Sleep

woman reaching to turn off alarm clock

This sleep myth is false in all ramifications. Your brain and body can't be conditioned to function well with less sleep. Studies show that reduced sleep decreases daytime performance.

A person sleeping consistently for 5 hours per night might believe they don't need as much sleep as others. It's possible that this has become their new reality, and they don't know how they will react if they slept for 7-8 hours as recommended by CDC.

Sleeping less has a serious health effect on the body and cognitive performance. Studies show that adults between 18 and 60 years should sleep a minimum of 7 hours every night for optimal functioning. Only a tiny percentage of the world population functions on less sleep.

Sleeping less has been linked to several chronic diseases, such as hypertension, obesity, depression, etc. Lack of sufficient sleep also affects concentration.

2. Napping Makes Up for Missed Sleep at Night

woman taking a nap on a blue couch

This is a myth common among night shift workers. While taking a nap is better than no sleep at all, the timing of the sleep has an impact on overall health.

Research involving night shift workers shows a lower sleep quality than daytime workers. Also, they report less sleep than their daytime counterparts. Night workers are also at risk of long-term health issues like depression and cancer.

3. Alcohol Before Bed Improves Sleep

two wine glasses filled with red wine on bedside table

While alcohol is known to induce sleep, it doesn't mean it’s restful sleep. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol consumed before bedtime causes sleep disturbances. According to research, alcohol has been shown to worsen sleep apnea. If you enjoy drinking something special before bed, experts suggest chamomile tea, almond milk, tart cherry juice, warm milk, valerian tea, or a banana-almond smoothie.

4. Sleeping with a Light on Is No Big Deal

image of a hand reaching to turn off lamp on bedside table in a darkened room

False. Sleeping with a light on is a big deal. In fact, studies reveal sleeping with artificial light is linked to obesity and other health issues. While watching TV is a nice way to relax, the blue lights can affect sleep quality. Light from device screens suppresses melatonin and can lead to shorter sleep duration.

As much as some of us love to have the night lights on, it affects our sleep. Kids sleep better with limited exposure to screens before bedtime. Unplug all gadgets and light-emitting objects an hour before bed. This means you should put your phone down and turn off the television and computer. Your brain will prepare the body to sleep after doing these.

Sleep is vital to health, and we must all strive to inform the public about sleep habits and debunk these myths. Beliefs go in tandem with behaviors. Therefore, altering these false beliefs is one promising way to promote sleep habits and good health.

Better Sleep Is a Click Away

Another way to promote healthy sleep is by sleeping on the right mattress. The best mattress keeps you comfortable and properly supports the spine, which in turn, promotes good sleep. Crane's Mattress has a wide selection of mattresses and materials tailored to your comfort. Shop online or stop by today to find your new mattress and experience more restful sleep.