Another day, another awesome blog on sleep. We take sleep for granted, with statements like "I'll sleep in the afternoon and stay up all night", "I just need 4 hours of sleep - no dark circles!" "I feel lazy if I sleep for more than 5 hours."
Do you know what an expert would say?
These myths are false! Last week's blog focused on why sleep is essential, and how you can unlock a good night's sleep. This week's blog is going to bust widely-believed myths revolving around sleep.
More hours = better sleep
Sure, sleeping for 12 hours straight might magically drive your trouble away (by avoiding them, of course), but sleep quality is more important than sleep duration. Sleeping for longer hours with lots of disturbance and a constant wake-sleep-wake-sleep pattern does more harm than good. Sleeping deeply takes one through all the stages of healthy and restorative sleep (there are 5 stages!) and leaves a fresher, healthier you!
If I don't move around in my sleep, I'm a good sleeper
False again. Deep sleepers can shift positions constantly, just like any other person on the sleep scale. Good sleep is not characterized by stillness or minimal movement but the deepness of your sleep. However, consult a sleep specialist if you notice any of the following signs in yourself or others.
Your sleep movement are chronic
They cause you to wake up frequently at the night
They disturb your partner (seriously, no one likes a bed-tosser)
Aggressive or violent movements
Abnormal sleepwalking (sleepwalking)
Your brain stops when you sleep
Seriously, these myths get weirder and weirder. Your brain remains active when you sleep, shifting through stages of REM and non-REM sleep. Your brain also uses this time to organize, store, and process information crucial to your cognitive processing. That is why you should read something you want to remember just before you sleep!
More sleep is better
This myth is closely tied to the first one. Sleeping too much can be bad for your health! If you're recovering from an illness or an injury, extra rest will help. But otherwise, excessive sleep can be a symptom of other health issues. To start with, pursuing fitness regularly can help you cut down on that lethargy!
Snoring isn't bad, it's normal
When you sleep, light snoring isn't harmful to a certain extent, but loud and constant snoring is definitely a red flag. Loud snoring is often a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a disorder that prevents the snorer from breathing normally. Chronic snorers should definitely get this checked out! (If you don't, your partner most definitely will)