7 Sleep Myths…Busted!
March is National Sleep Awareness Month, which is a time designated for promoting awareness of healthy sleep habits and health. Sleep is a very important building block of a healthy, productive, happy life. The necessity of sleep makes it important for you to understand your sleep habits, and make sure that your slumber is indeed rejuvenating and healthy.
Here are seven myths about sleep, busted by The National Sleep Foundation, to help you ensure you are getting the quality of sleep you need and deserve:
1. Snoring is common but harmless problem
While snoring is common, particularly in men, it is not always just harmless noise made during sleep. Frequent snoring can be a symptom of dangerous sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing for short periods while you sleep, and can be life-threatening if it is not caught and treated. Luckily, sleep apnea can be diagnosed through a sleep study, and treated with a nighttime breathing machine. If you snore excessively, or wake up feeling unrefreshed and tired often, you may be suffering from sleep apnea.
2. You can play “catch-up” with your sleep
Many people believe that sleep deprivation can be cured by sleeping excessively to “catch-up” on rest later. For optimal health, adults should get 7-9 hours of sleep per night, on a consistent basis. Depriving yourself of sleep, and then sleeping in long sessions to play catch up can contribute to health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
3. Insomnia is having issues falling asleep
While a common symptom of insomnia is trouble falling asleep at night, that is just one of the symptoms of this sleep disorder. Other symptoms of insomnia include:
• Waking up feeling lethargic and unrefreshed
• Waking up frequently throughout the night
• Waking up too early, and having trouble going back to sleep
4. Sleepiness during the day means you didn’t get enough rest
While being tired or drowsy during the day can mean you simply didn’t get enough rest the night before, it can also be a symptom of health issues or sleep disorders if it happens to you frequently. Daytime drowsiness can be a side effect of sleep apnea or narcolepsy, and can put you at risk for injury or mistakes at work or school. A sleep specialist can help you identify if a sleep disorder is causing you to be tired all the time, even though you’re sleeping.
5. Sleep deprivation doesn’t significantly impact your overall health
Sleep deprivation can have drastic and negative impacts on your health, and is known to contribute to serious health issues such as:
• High Blood Pressure
6. You need more sleep as you age
While babies and children need more sleep as they grow, once you reach adulthood, you need a consistent 7-9 hours per night to stay rested and healthy.
7. Your brain rests while you sleep at night
Even though your body is resting and rejuvenating during sleep, your mind is actually at its most active. While you sleep, your brain processes and sorts information absorbed throughout the day and practices problem solving in your dreams.