You've tossed and turned, watched the hours tick by, tried counting sheep, and yet you're still awake. Trust me, we've all been there. Some may find it hard to initially fall asleep while others have trouble staying asleep. A Consumer Reports survey showed that 68% of American adults have trouble sleeping at least once a week (that's an estimated 164 million Americans).
There are so many myths out there surrounding sleep; we decided to dig deep into the interweb so that you can finally understand how to improve your sleep. Here are the 5 most common sleep myths debunked by science.
Myth #1: There's nothing you can really do about snoring.
Whoever started this myth obviously didn't try to change anything to stop the snoring. Whether it's you or your partner that is snoring, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to reduce snoring, including losing weight and quitting smoking. A study published in the journal Sleep Medicine showed that women who had a high level of physical activity complained less about habitual snoring. Other research has also shown that singing, yes..singing can help reduce snoring. Singing is known to strengthen weak, snore-prone muscles in your throat!
Myth #2: A nightcap will help you sleep better.
Nope. Unfortunately, a couple of glasses of wine before bet won't help your quality of sleep. It may help you doze off quicker but you may wake up multiple times in the night and feel groggy the next morning. A study published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research stated that alcohol reduces REM sleep (the deep, restorative sleep that happens when we dream). Co-author Irshaad Ebrahim added that the more you drink the less REM sleep you'll get.
*If you're having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep at night, you may be interested in Smart for Life's new sleep aid supplement, Sleep & Relax! It combines Sensoril, Melatonin, Hemp, and Lepticore to help ease your mind and relax your gut so that you can calm down and fall asleep easier. Click here to learn more about this natural sleep aid.
Myth #3: You can catch up on sleep when you have extra time.
Yes, you may be able to make up for a missing hour or two of sleep but if you're regularly sleep-deprived and trying t0 make up for multiple hours at a time, that won't help and can actually make matters worse says Sleep Medicine Specialist Dr. Raghu Reddy. A Harvard study found that people who sleep an extra 10 hours to make up for sleeping 6 hours a night for two weeks actually have worse focus and reaction times than if they’d pulled an all-nighter.
Myth #4: More sleep is always better for you.
While most of us aren't getting enough sleep, there are some people out there that could be getting too much sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you regularly sleep more than you should, you may be increasing your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Oversleeping can also cause headaches and may increase your risk of being overweight. An Oxford study showed that long sleepers were 25% more likely to gain 11 pounds over six years than people who slept the average amount. ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said that getting too much sleep also disrupts our circadian rhythms and our metabolisms.
Myth #5: If you don't get enough sleep tonight, the worst that will happen is that you'll feel tired tomorrow.
Yes, you probably will still feel tired the next day, however, being regularly sleep-deprived can lead to neurocognitive decline, dementia, poor concentration, and mood disorders like depression and anxiety in the future, said Dr. Jennifer Ashton. "Poor sleep affects our ability to efficiently metabolize food, and puts us at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer," said Dr. Ashton.
*If you're regularly having trouble sleeping, speak to your doctor to find out how you can improve your sleep.