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Dispelling Myths About Sleep

If you’re trying to practice better sleep hygiene, then you’ve probably spent some time searching the Internet for tips and advice. Unfortunately, cyberspace is filled with lots of misleading information and outright myths about sleep that could end up interfering with your rest rather than enhancing it. Read on as we bust five of the most common sleep myths for you right here:

 

Myth: Everyone needs at least eight hours of sleep per night.

Truth: While eight hours is regarded as the sweet spot for many folks, not every person functions in exactly the same way. Therefore, anywhere from six to eight hours of sleep can be deemed adequate depending on a combination of other factors, such as age, general health, and activity level.

 

Myth: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) only affects obese adult males.

Truth: While it’s true that overweight men over the age of 40 are most at risk for OSA, this disorder can afflict virtually anyone—including children, women, and people within normal weight ranges. If you consistently snore loudly, wake up with a sore or dry throat, or suffer from restless sleep, OSA might be to blame.

 

Myth: Insomnia refers only to having difficulty falling asleep.

Truth: Although the term “insomnia” is almost always used in casual speech to mean the inability to fall asleep, the actual definition is broader than that. Insomnia also covers waking too early (and not being able to fall back asleep); frequently waking up throughout the night; and not feeling rested or refreshed in the morning.

 

Myth: Sleeping in on the weekend is a great way to make up for lack of sleep during the week.

Truth: Sure, sleeping until noon on Saturday feels good in the moment, but studies show that this restorative effect only lasts for an average of six hours or so. A bigger problem with this approach is that sleeping late typically means you’ll go to bed later at night, which can disrupt your circadian rhythm. Instead of trying to erase your sleep deficit every weekend, a better solution is to stick to a regular sleep-waking cycle each day.

 

Myth: Elderly people need less sleep.

Truth: According to many sleep experts, individual sleep requirements do not vary significantly over the course of an adult’s lifetime. Thus, the amount of sleep you need when you’re 40 is pretty much the same amount you need when you’re 80. If you are elderly and only sleep 4-5 hours per day, you should see a doctor to learn if there might be other health issues at play.

 

These are only a handful of the more prevalent sleep myths circulating on the Internet and related resources, which just goes to show that you need to take such “advice” with a grain of salt. If sleep deprivation, OSA, or other sleep disorder is affecting your health or lifestyle, we suggest seeking the help of a qualified medical professional today.

– See more at: http://www.cityofsleep.com/top-5-sleep-myths-busted/#sthash.GoiKCFak.dpuf

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