12 Sleep Myths

When I am asleep, my brain switches off
When you fall asleep, your sense of self-awareness shuts down, and so it may feel as if you have become inactive. In fact, your brain remains highly active during sleep, and carries out several tasks that are essential for your well being.

I can learn to function well on less sleep
Sleep is a biological need, and it simply isn’t possible to cut corners. OF course, you can force yourself to sleep less, but you will not be fully rested, and the way in which you think, feel and behave will be impaired.

Napping is a sign of laziness
Your circadian rhythm makes you feel sleepy throughout the night and for a much shorter period of time toward the middle of the afternoon. Napping is entirely natural, and helps make you more alert, focused, creative and productive.

Snoring is annoying, but harmless
Snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnoea. This serious medical condition causes you to experience hundreds of mini-awakenings throughout the night, and is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, obesity and cancer.

I know when I am getting sleepy
People are very poor judges of how tired they are. As a result they often drive when they are drowsy, and struggle through the day not realizing that they are far from their best.

Dreams consist of meaningless thoughts and images
When you dream, your brain is often attempting to work through your concerns. As a result, your dreams can provide a useful insight into your worries, and also help come up with innovative solutions to these issues.

You can easily master a foreign language in your sleep by putting on a CD
In the many experiments that have been carried out, there has never been one with any hard, clear proof that this is an actual thing.

Sleep is for wimps, and productive people spend less time in bed
If you don’t get enough sleep the you’ll struggle to concentrate, become accident-prone, lack willpower, and become less productive. Worse still, you will increase your chances of becoming overweight, having a heart attack, and dying early.

I don’t have problem getting enough sleep, and so there’s no need to try an improve things
A small percentage of people are super-sleepers. They enjoy a good night’s sleep almost every night, can fall asleep whenever they want, and have sweet dreams. Compared to most, they are happier, healthier, and wealthier. Even if your sleep is OK, you can still improve by becoming a super sleeper.

A Small amount of alcohol use before bedtime improves sleep
Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it also results in far more disturbed night. Even a small triple results in you spending less time in restorative deep sleep, having fewer dreams, and being more likely to snore.

I can catch up on my lost sleep at the weekend
When you fail to get enough sleep you develop a sleep debt. Spending more time in bed for a day will help ease this problem, but won’t fully restore you for the coming week. Over time this lifestyle results in many of the problems associated with sleep deprivation.

Teenagers who spend lots of time in bed are just being lazy
When we hit our adolescence our circadian rhythms become delayed by 3 hours, causing us to become more ‘evening types’ . In addition, teenagers require between nine and ten hours sleep each night. They are not being lazy, it is just biology at work.

Source: Night School by Richard Wisemanjaneedit


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