Wednesday February 19, 2020

Common Myths Around Sleep Decoded!

"Sleep is important to health, and there needs to be greater effort to inform the public regarding this important public health issue"

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The authors encourage patients not to dismiss loud snoring, but rather to see a doctor since this sleep behaviour may lead to heart stoppages or other illnesses. Pixabay

Common myths around sleep like snoring is harmless or having a drink helps fall asleep not only shape poor habits but may also pose a significant public health threat, say researchers.

The claim by some people that they can get by on five hours of sleep was among the top myths researchers were able to dispel based on scientific evidence.

This myth also poses the most serious risk to health from long-term sleep deficits, said the study published online in Sleep Health journal on Tuesday.

“Sleep is a vital part of life that affects our productivity, mood, and general health and well-being,” said study lead investigator Rebecca Robbins at New York University Langone Health.

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This myth also poses the most serious risk to health from long-term sleep deficits, said the study published online in Sleep Health journal on Tuesday. Pixabay

“Dispelling myths about sleep promotes healthier sleep habits which, in turn, promote overall better health,” she added.

To reach this conclusion, researchers reviewed more than 8,000 websites to identify the 20 most common assumptions about sleep.

With a team of sleep medicine experts, they ranked them based on whether each could be dispelled as a myth or supported by scientific evidence, and on the harm that the myth could cause.

Another common myth relates to snoring.

While snoring can be harmless, it can also be a sign of sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder.

The authors encourage patients not to dismiss loud snoring, but rather to see a doctor since this sleep behaviour may lead to heart stoppages or other illnesses.

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The claim by some people that they can get by on five hours of sleep was among the top myths researchers were able to dispel based on scientific evidence. Pixabay

The study authors also found sufficient evidence that, despite beliefs to the contrary, drinking alcoholic beverages before bed is indeed unhealthy for sleep.

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“Sleep is important to health, and there needs to be greater effort to inform the public regarding this important public health issue,” noted study senior investigator Girardin Jean Louis.

Robbins and her colleagues suggest creating a consistent sleep schedule and spending more time, at least seven hours, asleep. (IANS)

Next Story

Scent of Your Partner’s T-Shirt May Help You To Have Good Sleep, Says Study

The study, published in the journal Psychological Science suggests that the scent of a romantic partner can improve your quality of sleep. This is true regardless of whether or not you are consciously aware that the scent is even present

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The study, published in the journal Psychological Science suggests that the scent of a romantic partner can improve your quality of sleep. This is true regardless of whether or not you are consciously aware that the scent is even present. Pixabay

Having trouble sleeping? Forget counting sheep. All you may need is your romantic partner’s favourite T-shirt wrapped around your pillow, as researchers have found that the scent of a romantic partner can improve sleep.

The study, published in the journal Psychological Science suggests that the scent of a romantic partner can improve your quality of sleep. This is true regardless of whether or not you are consciously aware that the scent is even present.

“A growing body of evidence has shown that close relationships are essential to our health and well being,” said study co-author Frances Chen from the University of British Columbia in Canada.

“But far less is known about the role of scent in relationships and social support processes. The current study provides new evidence that the mere scent of a romantic partner improves sleep efficiency,” Chen added.

Previous research has shown that romantic relationships and close physical contact can provide many physical and mental benefits, including aiding in a good night’s sleep.

Other research has shown that scents can have profound and evocative effects on the brain. What has not yet been clearly demonstrated is a direct connection between the two.

For the findings, the researchers set out to investigate this intersection and to understand how romance, scent, and sleep interact.

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Having trouble sleeping? Forget counting sheep. All you may need is your romantic partner’s favourite T-shirt wrapped around your pillow, as researchers have found that the scent of a romantic partner can improve sleep. Pixabay

They began their research by asking one member of a heterosexual couple in a long-term (three or more months) relationship to wear a plain cotton T-shirt for 24 hours.

During this time, the wearer was to avoid typical scent-producing behaviours, like eating spicy food or doing vigorous exercise. They were also told to avoid perfume, cologne, and antiperspirants.

The T-shirt was then hermetically sealed and frozen.

Afterward, the second member of the couple was given two identical shirts, one previously worn by their partner and another that either had been previously worn by a stranger or was scent free.

When a participant used their partner’s worn, scent-bearing T-shirt as a pillowcase, they experienced an average of over nine additional minutes of sleep per night.

This equates to more than one hour of additional sleep per week, achieved without spending any more time in bed.

The increase was due to participants sleeping more efficiently, meaning they spent less time tossing and turning.

Sleep efficiency was measured using a wrist-worn sleep monitor that tracked movement throughout the night, the study said.

Participants also gave self-reported measures of sleep quality each morning, which increased on nights they thought they were sleeping with their partner’s scent.

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But far less is known about the role of scent in relationships and social support processes. The current study provides new evidence that the mere scent of a romantic partner improves sleep efficiency. Pixabay

“The effect we observed in our study was similar in magnitude to that reported for melatonin supplements–a commonly used sleep aid. The findings suggest that the scent of our loved ones can affect our health in powerful ways,” said study researcher Marlise Hofer.

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This research suggests that simple strategies such as taking a partner’s scarf or shirt along when travelling may have measurable effects on our sleep. (IANS)