The Accurate Science of Sleep
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over one third of American adults do not get enough sleep, with 35% getting less than the recommended seven hours per night. Insufficient sleep has been linked to a range of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and mental health issues.
To find out what’s fueling the sleep deprivation crisis, researchers in the Department of Population Health at New York University’s Langone Health reviewed over 8,000 websites to find the most common beliefs about sleep and see if these widespread misconceptions about good sleep hygiene are negatively affecting the population.
The most common myths about sleep:
- You can function well on five hours or less of sleep
- Loud snoring is normal
- Drinking alcohol before bedtime helps you sleep
- Hitting the snooze button is okay
The top myth researchers found was that getting less than five hours of sleep is okay is the one most likely to cause long-term damage to one’s health. Researchers claim the consequences of this myth can result in cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes, and shorter life expectancy. Science has also linked poor slumber with high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, weight gain, a lack of libido, mood swings, paranoia, depression and a higher risk of diabetes, stroke, dementia and some cancers.
Researchers say the second most popular myth of snoring being normal can cause people to ignore signs of sleep apnea, a dangerous condition where breathing stops and starts throughout the night, which affects 18 million Americans. If left untreated the condition cold lead to heart attacks, stroke, or depression.
Nightcaps before bedtime have long been thought of as a relaxing way to end the evening, but there is ample evidence that drinking alcohol before bed reduces the body’s ability to achieve deep sleep, which can leave you feeling groggy, distracted, and depressed the next day.
Hitting the snooze button may feel satisfying temporarily, but your body will go back into a very light, low-quality sleep. As the clock ticks closer to sounding the alarm, your body is nearing the end of its last REM cycle. When you hit the snooze button, the brain falls directly back into a new REM cycle. Now, when the alarm goes off a few minutes later, you’ll be in the middle, not the end, of that cycle, and you’ll wake up feeling groggy and stay that way longer.
Sleep is the most efficient and effective way to restore the body, so developing a healthy sleep routine is key to functioning at your best. If you’re having trouble getting your Zs, visit a Factory Mattress to help you sleep tight every night.