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Sleep Myths

By Sandra Reece

   Obesity is an epidemic that has struck America in the last decades, and the movement towards a heavier America has been one that health experts and researchers have been trying to reverse for many years now. Most people know that getting ample exercise and eating the right foods is key to living a healthful lifestyle, but many underestimate the importance of getting an adequate amount of sleep every night. In fact, there are many myths that pervade in society today that may be contributing to problematic health for people today. In this article, some of these myths will be debunked.

1) Myth: Adults only need about five hours of sleep every night for health purposes. This myth is a very harmful misconception because adults feel that the little sleep they are actually getting is enough to keep them healthy. In actuality, studies show that to maintain the best health, adults should still be getting between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Without ample hours of sleep, the risk for diabetes and obesity are increased.

2) Myth: Watching television is a good way to fall asleep. Even though people may find that watching television is a way for them to wind down at the end of the day, in reality, this action is negatively impacting the quality of sleep they are getting. Usage of any type of technology before bed can be detrimental, because of the harmful blue light emitted by them.

3) Myth: It doesn’t matter when you sleep, but just how many hours you get. This is a common misconception that many people have. People who get inadequate hours of sleep at night feel that taking long naps in the middle of the day is enough to replenish their sleep. Actually, taking naps in the middle of the day shifts the sleep schedule, and doing this too often is not healthy. The shift causes circadian rhythm desynchronization, which then causes lower quality sleep.

4) Lying in bed with eyes closed can attain the same sleep results as regular sleep. This is incorrect because when one sleeps, their body functions differently than being awake. The breathing and pumping of blood while awake changes, and the consequences can potentially be harmful. Therefore, staying away from distracting environments that prevent falling asleep is important to maintaining health.

These are just some of the myths that are common in today’s society. Not taking everything that is heard on the street or internet as fact is important in preventing these types of misunderstandings from arising. Make sure that whenever reading about something, it is from a credible and well-known source.

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