You love to sleep, we know – but does that make you an expert on sleep? Probably not. Don’t worry, we all get lost sometimes, even when it comes to our favourite things, and you wouldn’t believe some of the things we’ve heard when researching the most popular and most well-known facts about sleep. Do you want to know which are true and which are false? We’ve debunked some of the most common myths about sleep – so that you can really start calling yourself a sleep expert from now on!
Myth #1: Watching TV before going to bed is a great way to fall asleep
We’ve all fallen asleep in front of the TV, especially after a long and tiring day, but while watching TV may be a nice way of drifting off into the land of dreams, it’s not going to do much for the quality of your sleep – especially if you continue to sleep in front of the TV. The noise and light will make your sleep lighter and less relaxing, which in turn means that you won’t be able to get a good night’s sleep. That’s also one of the reasons why it isn’t such a great idea to have a TV in the bedroom. Keep it in the living room, watch it in the evening and then shut it off at least an hour or so before going to bed.
Myth #2: You should go to bed early and wake up early as well
Well, this may be true for some people – but it’s not the right choice for everyone. First of all, getting enough sleep is far more important than when you’re getting your sleep, so before deciding on your wake-up time, think about your bedtime and calculate if you will have at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. And the second important factor: we’re different, our bodies are different and our sleep needs differ as well. While some people sleep best between 10 PM and 6 AM, others prefer to fall asleep at midnight and wake up at 8 AM. Find out what works best for you – then stick to it!
Myth #3: If you cannot fall asleep, stay in your bed anyway
While you may fall asleep eventually, it’s a whole lot more likely that you’ll start associating your bed with tossing and turning instead of sleeping. If you feel that you cannot fall asleep, it’s much wiser to get up, read a few pages of your favourite book, take a short walk, have a nice cup of hot cocoa or listen to some music. When you start feeling sleepy again, go back to bed – it’ll be so much easier to fall asleep then and your brain won’t start to resent your bed.
Myth #4: Some people simply don’t need more than a couple of hours of sleep
You may have heard of some famous people who can easily function with just a couple of hours of sleep per night, but we wouldn’t count on it – more often than not, these people just choose to ignore their sleepiness or decide to battle their tiredness with a number of different stimulants, coffee included. In reality, anything less than about 8 hours of sleep will make you less effective, more confused, less healthy and more obese. Want to know just how much less effective you really are when lacking sleep? If you spend 18 hours awake, you’re in about the same state as a drunken person. Spending a healthy number of hours in bed doesn’t sound all that bad anymore, does it?
Myth#5: Snoozing your alarm is a great way to buy a couple of extra minutes of sleep
While it may feel just the opposite in the morning, snoozing your alarm clock is actually a terrible idea. Sure, you’ll fall back asleep in a matter of seconds, only to be once again woken up in shock – and then once again and once again. Do yourself a favour and just get out of bed the first time you hear your alarm – surprisingly, you’ll actually feel better and you will probably sleep a lot better the next night. It’s a win-win situation!