A good night sleep is essential for the maintenance of good health and well- being. It relaxes us after a hard day’s work and prepares us to face the challenges of the next day. On the contrary, less sleep or incomplete sleep affects our mood, productivity, general health and cognitive function.
A large number of factors such as medical condition, psychological factors and poor lifestyle affect sleep. Researchers and sleep experts also attribute the role of common misconceptions and myths for the poor quality of sleep among insomniacs.
Some of the Common Misconceptions And Myth About Sleep
You can stay normal with five hours of Sleep
The duration of sleep varies from individual to individual. While some feel relaxed after 8 hours of sleep, others feel contented with just 6 hours of sleep. However, sleep experts have shown that less than 5 hours of sleep can adversely affect the health of people. A study by the National Center for Cardiovascular Research has stated that less than 5 hours of sleep can cause atherosclerosis – which is the main cause of strokes and heart attacks.
Alcohol can assist you to doze off
Alcohol does induce sleep, but reduces the quality of rest. Use of alcohol before retiring to bed disrupts REM sleep, which occurs within an hour after dozing off. Alcohol reduces sleep latency and leads to other sleep disturbances. Moreover, consumption of alcohol suppresses breathing and can worsen the symptoms sleep apnea.
Watching TV in Bed Induces Sleep
Sleepless people think that watching TV late at night can help them to doze off. On the contrary, use of electronic screens such as TV, laptop, tablet and smartphones before bedtime suppresses the production of melatonin, a sleep inducing hormone and disturbs circadian rhythm. Further, continuous exposure to blue light also increases the chances of blindness and eye diseases.
Snoring Is Mostly Harmless
Normal smoking from time to time is normal, but chronic snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder, in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts while a person is asleep. It can lead to fatigue and deprive a person from attaining quality sleep. It left untreated, sleep apnea increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, liver problems and abnormal cholesterol levels.
It Doesn’t Matter What Time You Sleep
Nothing can match the benefit of a calm and uninterrupted sleep at night. In fact, the timing of the sleep is closed related to the health of the person. Studies have shown that call centre employees, air traffic controllers, truck drivers and cab drivers have a lower sleep quality than daytime workers. Further, night shift workers are more prone to disrupted circadian rhythm, diabetes, depression and cancer.
A night of quiet and peaceful sleep is, therefore, vital for your health. There should be a greater effort by sleep experts to inform the people regarding the benefit of a sound sleep. By discussing healthy sleep habits with their patients, physicians can prevent sleep myths from aggravating into a serious medical complication.