Common Misconceptions about Sleep

Sleep is essential for a person’s health and wellness. It allows the body to reset, both physically and mentally, while promoting proper hormone and biochemistry processes. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions surrounding sleep, leading many individuals down the wrong path.

 

Sleeping Pills are Safe

Just because they are sold over the counter doesn’t mean they are safe. One study found that over-the-counter sleeping pills increased the risk of stroke. Prescription sleeping pills are even worse, with research showing a direct correlation between their usage and an increased risk of early mortality.

 

There’s No Such Thing as Too Much Sleep

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than one-third of Americans don’t get enough sleep. Too much sleeping, however, can also cause health issues. Research cited by the HuffingtonPost found that people who oversleep on a regular basis have higher rates of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Therefore, most experts recommend adults get between seven and nine hours of shut-eye at night.

 

It’s Okay to Catch Up on Sleep During the Weekend

Many people struggle to sleep during the week because of work, school and other responsibilities. As a result, they sleep more during the weekend, believing this will counter the effects. But there’s no such thing as catching up on sleep. Sleeping less during the week and more during the weekend disrupts the body’s circadian clock while preventing the individual from getting into a normal sleep schedule.

 

Snoring Is Harmless

Everyone snores on occasion, and normally it doesn’t pose any health risks. If a person snores every night, however, it can cause a myriad of problems. For starters, snoring is often a sign of nasal obstruction, meaning the person isn’t getting enough air when he or she breathes. Secondly, research has shown that people who snore regularly are more likely to suffer from carotid atherosclerosis, which can lead to stroke.

 

Body Position Doesn’t Matter When Sleeping

This couldn’t be further from the truth. The position in which a person sleeps can affect his or her health. Sleeping on the stomach, for example, bends the spine while contributing to back pain whereas sleeping on the side places pressure on the stomach and lungs. Therefore, most experts recommend sleeping on the back.

Sleeping does more than just protect against fatigue; it promotes a healthy body and mind.