A recent study came out from NYU Langone Health School of Medicine, published in the Sleep Health Journal says that most of what you thought you knew about sleep is wrong. What? A panel of doctors and sleep experts tirelessly reviewed thousands of online content and found that most of the information circulating on the web about healthy sleep is indeed false. Continue reading to see what sleep medicine experts say are the top most unhealthy assumptions we've been making about sleep.
Adults need 5 or fewer hours of sleep
Think you can survive off a couple of hours? Think again. Sleeping less than 5 hours a night consistently increases cardiovascular diseases and believe it or not, early mortality.
Falling asleep 'anywhere, anytime' is good
Feel good about that nap you took on the train to work? You shouldn't. Falling asleep anywhere and anytime is a sign you're so darn exhausted that your body needs to sleep at any chance it can get.
You get use to 'less sleep'
Your body and brain do not adapt to less sleep over time. It will not be able to function properly and optimally. To achieve restorative sleep, our bodies need to go through 4 very specific stages of sleep. Removing these sleep stages leads to poor mental and physical capacity.
Alcohol helps you fall asleep
Alcohol actually keeps you in the lighter phases of sleep and out of REM sleep reducing your quality of sleep, resulting in un-restored and groggy feeling when you wake.
Stay in bed with your eyes closed even if you can't sleep
It's not recommended to lay around if you can't fall asleep within 15-20 mins. Keep it dim, change your environment, and do something boring and go back to bed after a period of time.
Sleep any time of day is good
Also not recommended! Follow a healthy sleep schedule to keep your circadian rhythm (which controls appetite, temperature and hormones) functioning well. If your internal clock is out of whack, you can feel moody, tired and mentally unclear and unproductive.
Watching TV in bed helps you wind down
We are all guilty of watching TV to fall asleep, but we should be avoiding the blue light prior to bed. TV sets the tone for a bad night's sleep and that's a fact.
Snoozing the alarm is good
Snoozing means your body will fall back to sleep - a REM cycle, but in low quality and when your alarm goes off again, you will be in a middle of a REM cycle instead of the end, making it harder to get up.
Looks bad right? Don't fret, just know it can be all uphill from here. Start small, make incremental changes and work to improve your sleep hygiene for your own quality of life and overall longevity.
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