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Debunking Sleeping Myths

Is it true that a glass of milk helps you fall asleep? We’re Debunking Sleeping Myths and so much more in this blog entry! Separate fact from fiction.

Myth: Everyone Needs Eight Hours Of Sleep A Night

Fact: What works for someone else doesn’t always apply to yourself. “A person’s sleep need is genetically pre-determined,” says Michael Decker, Ph.D., associated professor at Georgia State University and spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Some people need a little bit more, and some need a little bit less.”

While there is no magic number for the perfect amount of sleep each night, individuals should strive to sleep more than 6 hours and under 10 hours a night.

Myth: More Sleep Is Always Better

Fact: More is not necessarily better. People who consistently clock more than nine or 10 hours a night also face a number of health problems, says Michael A. Grandner, Ph.D., an instructor of psychiatry and a member of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Myth: You Can Make Up Your Lost Sleep By Sleeping In On The Weekends

Fact: Playing catch up doesn’t necessarily undo the damage done. Lack of sleep can negatively affect your body and performance. Additionally, if you sleep in too late on the weekends, you’re setting yourself up for trouble falling asleep Sunday night.

Myth: If You Can’t Sleep, Continue to Relax in Bed

Fact: Lying in bed longer can create more anxiety making it even more difficult to fall asleep. Instead, try getting up and doing something for 30 minutes, such as reading a book, listening to music, drinking a glass of milk, or anything else to help you relax.

Myth: Staring at a Screen Is A Good Way To Relax Before Bed

Fact: Televisions, smart phones and computers all produce the same stimulating light to keep you alert, making it even more difficult to fall asleep. Instead, turn off the electronics at least 30 minutes before bed to give some time to transition to bed.

Myth: Snoring is Harmless

Fact: According to WebMD, Habitual snorers can be at risk for serious health problems, including obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea creates several problems, including long interruptions of breathing (more than 10 seconds), frequent waking from sleep, even though you may not realize it, light sleeping, strain on the heart, prolonged suffering from obstructive sleep apnea often results in higher blood pressure and may cause enlargement of the heart, with higher risks of heart attack and stroke.

Myth: Alcohol Will Help You Sleep

Fact:  While alcohol may make you pass out, alcohol can definitely lead to a difficult night of sleeping. It not only dehydrates your body, but as your body processes the alcohol, it can begin to act as a stimulant. Drinking a lot of water after your alcohol consumption can help combat the poor night’s sleep.

Myth: Your Bedroom Should Be Warm And Cozy

Fact: Even though cuddling up under loads of blankets is nice for falling asleep, a cooler environment is more conducive to good sleep, according to Huffington Post. Your body is sensitive to temperature changes. However, having two sheets and a blanket is a great option as you can kick off the blanket if it gets too hot.

Myth: It’s OK For Your Pet To Share Your Bed

Fact: While it may be tough to push man’s best friend off the bed, if your pet frequently moves around at night, it may worsen your sleep quality.

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