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Sleep myths 'damaging your health'

Alcohol before bed boosts your sleep

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.

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Sleep myths 'damaging your health'

Sleep myths 'damaging your health'

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-47937405

bbc.com

6

Key Ideas

Five hours of sleep

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.

Watching TV in bed

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. 

Struggling to sleep

It takes the healthy sleeper about 15 minutes to fall asleep, but much longer than that… make sure to get out of bed, change the environment and do something that's mindless.

Hitting the snooze button

The research team says that when the alarm goes off, we should just get up.

Realize you will be a bit groggy - but resist the temptation to snooze. Your body will go back to sleep, but it will be very light, low-quality sleep.

Snoring is always harmless

Snoring can be harmless, but it can also be a sign of the disorder sleep apnoea.

This causes the walls of the throat to relax and narrow during sleep, and can briefly stop people breathing. People with the condition are more likely to develop high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat and have a heart attack or a stroke. One of the warning signs is loud snoring.

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Watching Television before bed

Cellphones, tablets, and all kinds of personal electronics are not a good idea when you’re getting ready for bed.

Researchers have increasingly focused on “blue light” emitted by screens and its effect on sleep and negative sleep-related health outcomes.

It doesn’t matter when you sleep

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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Snoring isn’t harmful

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. 

You can "cheat" on sleep

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.

Turning up the radio

... 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. 

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8 Hours Of Sleep

Although it is recommended that healthy adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep, everyone is different. There are people who need just three to four hours to stay alert. 

If you’re not sure how many hours of sleep you need on a daily basis, experimentation is the best way to go. Try waking up without an alarm and figure out what your natural wake-up time is. Observe how adding or subtracting one hour of sleep impacts your productivity.

“Catch Up” Sleep On Weekends

The harm of bingeing on sleep on Saturday and Sunday is that it makes it hard to get a full and well-constructed night of sleep on Sunday night, which then sends us off into the workweek on the wrong foot.

If you don’t try to wake up at a similar time at the weekend, it is similar to giving yourself jet lag every weekend.

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