CNN recently published a brilliant article debunking common sleep myths. To read the full article click here. Which one are you guilty of believing?
Myth #1: Adults can survive on five or fewer hours of sleep
Evidence shows that sleeping five hours or less can massively impact your mental and physical health. Poor sleep is proven to contribute to high blood pressure, a vulnerable immune system and dementia. If your body isn’t rested, it directly affects your ability to pay attention and solve problems and, according to the National Institute of Health, your ability to learn new things drops by 40% when you don’t get enough sleep. So basically, a chronic lack of sleep is highly likely to have a negative effect on your performance and increases your chances of making mistakes.
Myth #2: It’s healthy to be able to fall asleep anywhere, anytime
If you find yourself falling asleep as soon as you get on the train or lie on the couch that isn’t a healthy napping skill. It’s a sure-fire sign that you aren’t getting enough sleep. Your body is so desperate for extra kip that it will take whatever opportunity it can get to play catch up. Want our advice? Go to bed when your body is telling you to, not when you’ve finished watching “just one more” episode of Game of Thrones.
Myth #3: Drinking alcohol before bed helps you fall asleep
A night cap may put you to sleep faster, but it also reduces the quality of your sleep. Alcohol has negative affects on your REM sleep, which is the stage of sleep that helps boost your memory, concentration and learning. Why not wind down with a cup of Sleep Well instead as your nightcap of choice. A warm cup of milk as part of your healthy bedtime routine really can help you fall asleep and stay asleep and you don’t wake up feeling groggy in the morning.
Myth #4: Watching TV helps you relax before bed
This might be true, but it will also delay you feeling sleepy. Whether it’s your TV, laptop, iPad or smartphone, the blue light that is emitted from these devices suppresses the production of melatonin (the hormone your body produces to signal to your body clock that it’s time for shut eye). No melatonin, no feel sleepy. So try and avoid exposure to blue light from 45 minutes before you head to bead. Cozy up to a good book instead to help your mind settle. In a study from the University of Sussex, cognitive neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis found that enjoying a book was one of the best ways to help people get to sleep.
Myth #5: Hitting snooze in the morning is fine
Hitting that snooze button does you no favours. You might drift back off to sleep, but those extra few minutes could do more harm than good because it confuses your natural body clock. By drifting back off to sleep, you are entering a new sleep cycle. You’ll then be woken up a few minutes later and waking up at the start of a sleep cycle makes you feel like you’ve had a bad night’s sleep. So try putting your alarm clock on the other side of the room so you are forced to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you’re up you’re far less likely to hit snooze.