What are some of your misunderstandings and truths about sleep? You know, the things you’re sure you should and shouldn’t do to have a good night’s sleep. According to studies, the majority of us are unintentionally indulging in poor sleeping habits, which can have serious health consequences. How well do your sleep beliefs hold up?
Myth or truth?
If you lie in bed long enough, you’ll fall asleep. Myth. When it comes to sleep no-nos, experts say this is a significant one. Even with your eyes closed, lying in bed for more than 15 to 20 minutes is one of the worst things you can do since it educates your brain to associate the bed with a lack of sleep.
It can lead to prolonged sleeplessness, according to clinical psychologist and sleep specialist Michael Grandner. “It’s contradictory, but spending time in bed awake turns the bed become the dentist’s chair,” said Grandner, who directs the University of Arizona’s sleep and health research programme and the Banner-University Medical Center’s Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic in Tucson, Arizona.
You want the bed to feel like your favourite restaurant,” he explained, “where you go in and feel instantly hungry, even if you just ate.” “You want the bed to do that for sleeping.”
Myth or facts?
Don’t check your phone if you wake up in the middle of the night. That is correct. Cell phones (or any other electrical device that emits blue light) should be removed from the bedroom an hour or so before bed and during the night, according to specialists.
Light inhibits the production of melatonin, the body’s natural sleep aid, and studies have found that blue light is especially damaging to sleep. When you get out of bed after 20 minutes of sleeplessness, avoid bright light, watching TV, or monitoring social media.
Instead, dim the lights and do something mundane like folding socks. Better yet, try one of these methods to settle your mind and get ready for bed.
Is it true that exercising late at night interferes with sleep?
This is a fallacy that used to be true “back in the day,” according to Dasgupta. “Now, because of all the medical benefits, evidence shows that exercising at any time is better than not exercising,” he continued. “It also aids in the decrease of stress, which aids sleep.”
“When you’re doing intense workouts like those used by Olympic athletes, the evidence for not exercising at night comes into play.” People who exercised for 35 minutes right before bed slept as well as those who did not exercise at all, according to a 2011 study.
If working out late at night disrupts your sleep, experts advise doing so early in the evening so that your heart rate and body temperature may return to normal before going to bed. “If you ask me when the best time to exercise is, I believe it is first thing in the morning when the sun is still shining.
It resets the circadian cycle, kicking off the day “Dasgupta elaborated.”However, if you like to exercise at night, that’s fantastic.”
Myth or reality?
You can catch up on sleep on weekends. Who doesn’t believe this to be true? Unfortunately, science indicates that we are incorrect.
While sleeping in on a Saturday or Sunday morning may make us feel better, experts say it is bad for our overall sleep health.
When you modify your wake-up time and bedtime on weekends (or day to day), your sleep habits become unpredictable, potentially disrupting your body’s circadian rhythm.
“You want to build a continuous rhythm,” Grandner added, “like a drummer calculating the beat for the band.” “You regulate when you wake up and go to bed to set the beat.”
Break this habit by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays, or after a very restless night’s sleep. He stated, “The brain prefers predictability and regularity.”
“By getting up at the same time every day and then adding light and exercise as soon as you wake up, you may set your other rhythms for the day and increase your energy and mood.” Learn more about sleep myths and facts by taking our interactive sleep quiz. Sleep well tonight.