The Truth About the 8 Sleeping Myths Your Grandparents Taught You
Debunking the 8 Sleeping Myths Your Grandparents Taught You
Sleep is important. How many times have you heard this from your grandparents?
The Internet already overflows with information to prove this however, just as the information found online are not reliable, so are the sleeping myths that your grandparents may have taught you.
Read on as we debunk some of the sleeping myths that you were made to believe ever since.
1. You Need 8 Hours of Sleep
Your granny may have always reminded that you need 8 hours of sleep each night. But the truth is sleep requirement is unique for every individual. Furthermore, it is the quality of your sleep that matters more than the number of hours you spend asleep.
A study reveals that sleep requirements vary based on age group: newborns need 14 to 17 hours of sleep each day, while adults (18-64 years old) should get 7 to 9 hours daily. Children on the other hand generally need more sleep than adults.
Did You Know? There are consequences both for having less or more sleep. Sleep deprivation has a long record of having several negative effects on health. Likewise, oversleeping may have similar untoward effects.
2. Snoring is Harmless
You always knew that snoring is harmless, maybe because your granny pacified you when you were teased about snoring at night. However, loud and chronic snoring is not normal. It can be a symptom of a serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
This life-threatening medical condition is manifested by shallow breathing or breathing pauses while sleeping which are caused by blocked airways. If left undiagnosed, it can increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.
3. Going to Bed Early Helps You Sleep Better
You go to bed earlier to have plenty of time to fall asleep (because your granny told you). However, this is such a dangerous myth since while you may have a hard time falling asleep, lying in bed for a period of time can only make the sleep even worse.
Likewise, the perception that lying in bed for quite a time is as helpful to your body as if you were asleep is a myth. In truth, the benefits of sleeping are far from that of resting. There are certain activities that only occur during asleep. This include the fluctuation of heart rate and blood pressure levels that are important for promoting a healthy heart.
4. Warm Milk Induces Sleep
There is no evidence to suggest that drinking warm milk before bedtime can lull you to sleep. However, it can help you relax before bed which aids to a better sleep. It contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that converts into a hormone (serotonin) that leads to relaxation and can aid sleep.
5. Count Sheep to Fall Asleep
If your granny told you to count sheep to fall asleep, you should not use such tactics as they don’t really work at all. Out of all the ways to induce sleepiness, it is probably the most terrible one.
6. Spicy Foods Will Give You Nightmares
Your granny’s belief that spicy foods (hot peppers, spicy dishes) will give you nightmares goes back as far as centuries. While spicy foods may actually give you a restless stomach before bed, it certainly has nothing in connection with your nightmares.
We don’t have any substantial studies proving any connections between foods and bad dreams. However, eating anything too close to bedtime can actually trigger bad dreams. Experts say that if you are having nightmares, avoid eating within 3 hours before bedtime.
7. Older People Need Less Sleep
Your granny may have told you they need less sleep than you. However, it is just another statement of misconception. What is true is that while sleep patterns may change as you age, the amount of sleep you need does not.
Older people may sleep less at night, but their need for sleep is no less than that of when they were younger. Their growing difficulty in sleeping may be linked to underlying medical conditions, changes in their activities and the fact that adults don’t get as much deep sleeps as the body ages.
8. You Swallow Spiders as You Sleep
Aside from the fact that critters are simply hard to swallow, it has been explained that spiders usually avoid humans while asleep because their vibrations send off the message of danger. Additionally, spiders are unlikely to be going near a bed since there is no prey to found in the first place.
A 2002 study observed participants trying different distraction insomnia remedies. The result showed that those who pictured sheep had a hard time dozing off compared to those who visualised calming images, who in contrary, fell asleep faster.
Did You Know? The idea of counting sheep to fall asleep likely originates back to the shepherds of ancient Britain. Their tallying system to keep track of their herd was interpreted as a system for inducing sleep.
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