Widespread myths about sleep, in addition to shortening our life expectancy, also affect our health and mood. Here are six myths refuted by science.
A team from New York University has gone through the net to find the most common advice and affirmations for a good night’s sleep. They then compared these claims with the best scientific evidence and published their findings in Sleep Health. “Sleep is one of the most important things we can do to improve our health, mood, well-being, and longevity,” says research leader Dr. Rebecca Robbins (NYU Langone Health). The BBC has grouped five.
“You can cope with less than five hours of sleep“: some amputate their sleep to work more or enjoy their evening longer. Yet, researchers believe that the myth that five hours of sleep is enough is one of the most damaging to health. “We have a lot of evidence to show that sleeping five hours or less steadily increases the risk of adverse health consequences,” says Dr. Rebecca Robbins. This includes an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and reduced life expectancy. The researcher recommends that everyone aim for a constant sleep of seven to eight hours a night.
“Alcohol before bedtime promotes sleep“: according to the team of researchers, relaxing with a drink in the late evening is a myth, regardless of the alcoholic drink chosen. “It can help you fall asleep, but it significantly reduces the quality of your rest,” confirms Robbins. Alcohol particularly disturbs the phase of paradoxical sleep, which is important for memory and learning. Since alcohol is a diuretic, you are also more likely to wake up in the middle of the night.
“Watching TV in bed helps to relax“: relax yes, but in front of what? Bad news and violent series or movies are not conducive to sleep. “When we watch TV, it’s often the evening news … it’s something that will cause insomnia or stress just before going to bed,” as we’re trying to calm down and relax, says Dr. Robbins. The other problem, which is also that of smartphones and tablets, is blue light, which can delay the production of melatonin, the “sleep hormone”.
“If you have trouble sleeping, stay in bed“: after counting the sheep tirelessly, still not wanting to sleep. Only one tip: stop trying. “We start to associate our bed with insomnia, it can take about 15 minutes for a healthy person to fall asleep, but beyond that … get out of bed, change the environment and do something that does not require too much attention, “says Rebecca Robbins, who advises, for example, to fold the laundry mechanically.
“Press the ‘nap’ catch”: the exploration group educates to get out with respect to bed illico when the caution rings. From one perspective, a couple of additional minutes won’t have any kind of effect in the event that you are truly inadequate with regards to rest. On the other hand, it is normal to be a little groggy when waking up. “We are all, but do not prolong your night Your body will go back to sleep, but it will be a very light and poor sleep”. It’s better to open the curtains and expose yourself to as much natural light as possible.