We’ve all heard them, but how do we know whether or not they have any merit? Many sleep myths have been dispelled through the findings of sleep studies, and being able to distinguish between fact and fiction can actually help you to become a better sleeper.
- To function best during the day, you need to get eight hours of sleep at night.
Eight hours of sleep may be perfect for some individuals, but sleep studies have proven there is nothing magic about the number eight when it comes to sleep. In fact, many people function better on six or seven hours of sleep a night than on eight.
- Humans can function perfectly on four hours of sleep per night.
While there are famous political figures and celebrities, such as Bill Clinton and Madonna, who swear that four hours of sleep is all they need to be productive and that sleeping any more than that is a waste, sleep studies have shown this to be an unhealthy practice. Consistently sleeping less than six hours has been linked to obesity, increased risk of heart attack and impaired performance during the day.
- More sleep is always healthier.
As they have done with sleep deprivation, sleep labs have linked sleeping in excess of eight or nine hours on a regular basis to health problems. If you sleep more than eight hours every night, then you may want to consider participating in a sleep study, as long sleepers often suffer from sleep apnea and a variety of other medical conditions.
- Waking up during the night means you are not sleeping well.
If you are one of those individuals who rarely sleep straight through the night, then you may be tickled to hear that waking up for an hour or two during the night may be part of our natural cycle and it does not mean that your rest is of poor quality. Of course, if you wake up so many times throughout the night that you do not feel rested in the morning, then you could be suffering from sleep apnea and may want to spend a few nights in a sleep lab.
- Like camels store water, humans can store sleep.
The notion that humans can make up for lost sleep during the week by bingeing on Zs during the weekend is one of the most widely propagated sleep myths of our day, but it is not true. Sleep studies have shown this practice to upset the circadian rhythm, making it all the more difficult to get a truly refreshing sleep.
Sleep studies really are a great way to dispel these myths. If you have a belief about sleep that is unconfirmed, then look for research that has been done on it or search for opportunities to spend some time in a sleep lab contributing to such research. If you think you may have a sleep irregularity like sleep apnea, then contact Comfort Sleep to participate in a sleep study and get an expert diagnosis. We are boutique sleep center serving Monmouth County and the surrounding areas.