Are you getting enough sleep? We all know that not getting enough good quality sleep can lead to more than just grogginess and irritability. Repeated nights of poor sleep can drain you of energy, harm your productivity and even hinder your focus and clarity of mind. In time, long-term sleeping troubles can even increase your risk of many diseases.
What’s so unfortunate is that many people are misinformed about the amount of sleep they need. To help make sure you have good sleep health, here are three common sleep myths and the truth you should follow.
Myth: You Only Need 5 Hours
This myth has long been circulating, despite many studies proving how detrimental it can be to your health. In one study, participants who reduced their sleep from seven hours down to five were twice as likely to suffer from illness, especially heart disease.
Seven hours, however, may not be enough either. In general, researchers suggest that adults should get between 8 and 10 hours of sleep each night. Failing to do so can lead to increased blood pressure, a weakened immune system, depression and increased risk of diseases like Diabetes.
Myth: You Should Be Able to Sleep Anywhere
Many people boast about their ability to fall asleep quickly as soon as the plane, bus or train takes off or in other daily settings. However, according to experts, that’s not necessarily a sign of a well-rested person. In most cases, people who can fall to sleep so easily can only do so because their nighttime quality of sleep isn’t giving them the rest they need.
While napping can be beneficial, especially as we get older and our sleep requirements change, you should always focus on getting a solid block of high-quality sleep after the sun sets. In fact, the time of day you sleep has been shown to have an impact on how well your body is able to function.
Myth: You Can Adapt to Less Sleep Over Time
To put it simply, sleep is a necessity in life and there is no way that you can “train” your body to run on less sleep. While you may be able to get used to operating in your less-than-optimal state, your body will never stop needing sleep. We can liken this to continuously running your car with just enough gas to get you to-and-from work. It’s risky, limiting and, with time, it will impact your performance.
Myth: Your Snoring Is A Common Problem That Is Not Harmful
In many cases, snoring can be a disruptive but harmless problem. In other cases though, snoring may be a sign of a sleep disorder called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is characterized by episodes of decreased airflow or complete lack of airflow throughout the night and can be associated with other medical problems. People with sleep apnea may remember waking up frequently during the night with a feeling of gasping for air. The pauses in breathing may be related to reduced blood oxygen levels, which can strain the heart and cardiovascular system. Over time, sleep apnea can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease if not treated. People who snore loudly, with pauses in their snoring along with daytime tiredness are recommended to consult a physician. Snoring on a frequent or regular basis has also been associated with hypertension.