Sleep Myths That Harm Health
Our bodies tend to follow a natural rhythm of wakefulness and sleep that is attuned to sunrise and sunset for a reason.
While some missed sleep here and there isn’t necessarily a big deal, shifting your sleep schedule long term isn’t healthy.
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Sleeping five hours or less consistently increases your risk greatly for adverse health consequences. These included cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes, and shorter life expectancy.
Everyone should aim for a consistent seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
It may help you fall asleep, but it dramatically reduces the quality of your rest that night. It particularly disrupts your REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep, which is important for memory and learning.
You will have slept and may have nodded off more easily, but some of the benefits of sleep are lost.
Often if we're watching the television it's the nightly news… it's something that's going to cause you insomnia or stress right before bed when we're trying to power down and relax.
The other issue with TV - along with smartphones and tablets - is they produce blue light, which can delay the body's production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Although snoring may be harmless for most people, it can be a symptom of a life-threatening sleep disorder called sleep apnea, especially if it is accompanied by severe daytime sleepiness.
Sleep apnea can be treated; men and women who snore loudly, especially if pauses in the snoring are noted, should consult a physician.
Sleep experts say most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimum performance, health, and safety.
The resulting sleep deprivation has been linked to health problems such as obesity and high blood pressure, negative mood and behavior, decreased productivity, and safety issues in the home, on the job, and on the road.
... opening the window, or turning on the air conditioner are effective ways to stay awake when driving.
These "aids" are ineffective and can be dangerous to the person who is driving while feeling drowsy or sleepy.
It's best to pull off the road in a safe rest area and take a nap for 15-45 minutes. Caffeinated beverages can help overcome drowsiness for a short period of time.
Our molecular clock inside our cells aims to keep us in sync with the sun.
When we disregard this circadian rhythm, we are at a greater risk for illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and dementia.
Thomas Edison said that sleep is "a bad habit." Like Edison, we seem to think of sleep as an adversary and try to fight it at every turn. The average American sleeps less than the recommended seven hours per night, mostly due to electric lights, television, computers, and smartphones.
However, we are ignoring the intricate journey we're designed to take when we sleep.
When we fall asleep, the nearly 86 billion neurons in our brain starts to fire evenly and rhythmically. Our sensory receptors become muffled at the same time.
The first stage of shallow sleep lasts for about 5 minutes.