Did you know that around 70 million Americans have chronic sleep problems?
Poor sleep hygiene has many detrimental effects. From general tiredness to early death, there are many problems associated with not getting a good night’s sleep.
However, before jumping into bed with a new resolution to sleep better, it’s worth learning about some common sleep myths you may have heard thrown around.
So read on if you want to get educated on sleeping better (and avoid chronic disease, mental illness, poor well-being, and decreased work productivity!)
Alcohol Helps You Sleep Better
There are several types of sleep, each essential for different reasons. You might think that a nightcap before bed helps you sleep better, but it actually severely limits your sleep.
Drinking alcohol before bed can make you drowsy, which aids with falling asleep. But that’s where the benefits stop.
Once you’re asleep, alcohol interferes with your sleep cycles and prevents you from falling into a deep sleep. Therefore, despite sleeping eight hours, you can still wake up feeling sleep deprived due to the lack of restorative sleep.
Snoring Isn’t Harmful
Although you might think snoring isn’t harmful (except maybe to your sleeping companion’s state of mind!), this isn’t the case.
Snoring is one of the main signs of sleep apnea. If you think you have sleep apnea, it’s important to get this addressed as soon as possible. Sleep apnea can become dangerous and even lead to death.
Although snoring isn’t always harmful, most people in optimal health do not snore. Snoring can be an indication of problems with body weight, respiratory, or sinus problems.
Napping Is an Acceptable Substitute for Sleep
“I’ll stay up late tonight, I can always have a nap tomorrow if I need.”
If you haven’t ever had this though process, you’re probably lying! We’re all guilty of it sometimes.
However, taking a nap is not an adequate reason to skip a good night’s sleep. Your sleep pattern is essential for your overall wellbeing.
Even though a quick nap can give you an energy boost, you should only do this when your circadian rhythm is already stable. To reap the benefits of restorative sleep, you need to move through all the stages of sleep. Only getting five hours at night, and one hour during the day does not allow this.
You don’t need to write of naps entirely, just don’t rely on them to get you through the day. If you constantly feel the need to nap even though you’re rested, see a doctor to investigate why this is.
Sleep Myths: Don’t Believe Them!
Now you know all about these common sleep myths, you can enlighten your friends the next time they say anything that doesn’t represent the actual facts about sleep.
So, time to ditch the alcohol, address your snoring, and prioritize getting a whole night’s sleep every night. Your health will thank you!
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