5 Common Sleep Myths DEBUNKED

Did you know that ⅓ of your life is spent sleeping? Imagine that, ⅓ of your life will pass without you even being conscious of it. There are thousands of articles that discuss what happens when you sleep, the best way to sleep, even what tea you should have when you wake up. (Ok, maybe we wrote that last one, but that’s not the point)

There are tons of myths out there about sleeping and we’re going to debunk some of the most popular.

Myth - Snoring is common and not harmful

Ok, so this is a tricky one because it’s both true and false. Snoring is an extremely common sleep occurrence. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 90 million American adults snore. For most of those 90 million, snoring is completely harmless. However, snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder when breathing starts and stops throughout sleep. It can leave sufferers gasping for air and can be life threatening. If you find you snore loudly and/or are tired after a full night’s sleep, this could be a potential cause, though you should always consult your doctor. 

Myth - You can "catch up" on lost sleep

I’m sure you’ve heard people say they didn’t sleep much and are planning on sleeping longer next time to “catch up.” As great a plan as that sounds, sleep doesn’t work like that. The more sleep you lose, the more “sleep debt,” or the difference between the sleep you need and the sleep you get, you have. Every time you lose sleep, the debt grows. Though the debt can be resolved through consistently sleeping an hour or two more, it can’t be repaid through sleeping through the weekend. Bottom line: Prioritize sleep at night and you won’t be in debt.

Myth - If you're sleepy during the day, you aren't getting enough sleep

Ok, there’s a difference between being tired because you stayed up too late the night before and being consistently exhausted despite the amount of sleep you get. The latter could be another signal of sleep apnea or other kind of sleep disorder. If you find that you are suffering from this symptom, contact your doctor.

Myth - Teens falling asleep in class are lazy

Ah, the conundrum of lazy teens. Unlike adults, teens need an average of 8-10 hours of sleep since their bodies are still developing. Biologically speaking, they are also more likely to be up late. Since schools typically start early in the morning, their bodies have a hard time functioning that early. Therefore, sleepy teens aren’t lazy, but biologically in need of more sleep.

Myth - As your age increases, your need for sleep decreases

While many things slow down as we age, the average amount of sleep adults need (7-9 hours) does not. Older adults are more likely to wake up throughout the night, so planning for a short nap each day can help promote energy.

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Monet Moore

Written by Monet Moore