Sleeping brain has been a mystery for a very long time. Psychologists, Neuroscientists or even physiologists haven’t been able to fully unravel this mystery. This makes room for confusion and myths. Fortunately, scientists are able to understand some of sleep’s critical functions, and the reasons we need it for optimal health and wellbeing.
Let’s decode some myths about Sleep :
- Sleep is a time when the mind and body shut down.
But this is not the case; sleep is an active period in which a lot of important processing, restoration, and strengthening occurs. This is one of the major reasons why maintaining your sleep schedule is so vital.
- One only needs 6 hours of sleep to function.
This isn’t true. To operate optimally, you need seven to eight hours of sleep.
- One can catch up on sleep on the weekends.
Those who are not able to have a healthy sleep schedule on weekdays tend to catch up on sleep on the weekends.This is partially true, but if you’ve had chronic partial sleep deprivation, it could take days to weeks to recover.
- One can sleep too much.
The truth is you can’t sleep too much. You probably overslept because your body needs that rest. But if you do feel worse when you’re sleeping more, it’s probably because you’re recognizing your true sleep needs.
- If I wake up at night, I will play on my phone or watch my tv to help me relax.
We fall for the unhealthy habit of using our phone or watching tv to help us relax. What we don’t realise is that the bright light from our devices activates our brain, and also can shift our melatonin release, shifting our circadian rhythm which eventually ends up disturbing our sleep furthermore.
- Alcohol helps me sleep.
Isn’t that a common statement? Well, it’s true that alcohol does help people relax. But the loophole is that once it’s cleared from the body, it fragments the sleep making it a poor quality.
Here are some tips that can help improve your Sleep:
It is very crucial to maintain a regular sleep-wake pattern to establish a stable circadian rhythm which eventually helps in improving the quality of your sleep.
Get the amount of sleep you need during the week, and avoid sleeping in on weekends, as doing so will disrupt your sleep rhythm. Even if you sleep poorly or not at all one night, try to maintain your regular schedule the next.
If you have trouble falling asleep at night, avoid napping if possible. Evening naps should be especially avoided because they will make you less sleepy when you go to bed.
A few changes in our sleep schedule can do wonders for our health.
We spend one third of our lives sleeping, so it’s very essential for us to have as many good night sleeps as possible. The best sleep habits are consistent, healthy routines that allow all of us, regardless of our age, to meet our sleep needs every night, and keep on top of life’s challenges every day.