It seems that there’s a new sleeping myth released every week. Whether it be foods you shouldn’t eat, supplements you must have or even the kind of bed you need – it can all become very confusing. So what are the biggest myths in the world of sleep? Well here are a few common myths debunked:
1: Yawning Means You’re Tired
In fact, why we yawn is still a mystery to scientists. Some say it’s due to a lack of oxygen and some recent studies have suggested yawning helps to cool the brain. Either way, yawning isn’t a sure indication that you’re tired.
2: Exercise Before Bed is Bad for You
Sadly, this sleeping myth appears to have just been an excuse for us not to exercise after work but, in reality, exercising before bed will not adversely affect your sleep. In fact, light exercises such as yoga can actually help you relax before bed making it easier for you to get to sleep.
3: You Can Catch Up on Sleep at the Weekend
Not getting enough sleep during the week due to a busy schedule? Don’t worry, simply have a super long-lie at the weekend. Wrong! If you don’t sleep enough on a weekday then you will feel the disadvantages of this the very next day. By the time the weekend comes it will be too late.
4: Going to Bed Early Means You’ll Get to Sleep Faster
If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, simply jumping into bed a few hours early will not help. Your body knows if it’s tired or not, so going to bed will mean you’ll probably end up just tossing and turning. Instead, try to train your body into a regular sleeping time and aim to go to bed at this time every night.
5: Some People Can Sleep Fine After a Nighttime Coffee
We all have that one friend who claims they can drink coffee before bed and still get a great night’s sleep, however this is not the case. Caffeine will interrupt your sleep no matter who you are. What’s more likely is that this person is so tired that they get to sleep despite the caffeine – just think how much better they could have slept without that coffee?
6: Counting Sheep Makes You Sleep
Counting sheep isn’t going to get you to sleep, in fact, it’s more likely to stress you out. When trying to get to sleep the last thing you want to do is to make your brain process information – this will make you alert. Instead try to relax by thinking about pleasant things like where you plan to go on holiday or an outing you are looking forward to.
7: You Need 8 Hours of Straight Sleep
The amount of sleep you need at night really depends on your own body but as a rule of thumb adults tend to need 6-8 hours of GOOD QUALITY sleep a night. You can ‘sleep’ for 8 hours but if it’s not good quality sleep then it’s no good.
8: No Food before Bed
True, some foods before bed are detrimental to your sleep, but that doesn’t mean you have to avoid all foods. A small carbohydrate snack with a little protein can actually trigger your brain into producing serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is known to calm the body and help you sleep.
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