Sleep Myths That Can Harm Your Health
A night of bad sleep means more than just being grumpy in the morning. In the short term, it can mean poor work or school performance. However, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems including heart attack and early mortality.
A new study published in the journal of Sleep Health is taking on pervasive sleep myths and debunking them.
Myth #1: Watching television is a great way to relax before bedtime
Television, cell phones, tablets, and all kinds of personal electronics are not a good idea when you're trying to get ready for sleep. Researchers have increasingly focused on the blue light being emitted by screens and its effect on sleep and negative sleep-related health outcomes. Blue light at night appears to negatively affect melatonin secretion and circadian rhythms.
Myth #2: Alcohol before bed will help you sleep soundly
A nip of brandy before bed or a glass of red will put you to bed. However, it won't help you sleep any better. In fact, it will likely make you feel less clear in the morning. A nightcap can also cause sleep apnea or make it worse.
Myth #3: Loud snoring is mostly harmless
Loud snoring is one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea, a disorder in which an individual may stop breathing while asleep. Chronic loud snoring can indicate that the airway is being blocked at night. However, keep in mind that not all snoring is a sign of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea affects sleep quality. If you snore loudly and suffer from fatigue and sleepiness during the day, these symptoms together could indicate sleep apnea. You should consult a doctor. Individuals with other health conditions including being overweight, having high blood pressure or smokers have an increased risk of sleep apnea
Sleep quality is associated with both positive and negative health outcomes. Researchers hope that by debunking these myths, individuals will gain a better understanding of sleep and improve their own sleep behaviours, thereby also improving their health.
Disclaimer: The content of this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.