Tuesday June 18, 2019

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

Unable to Sleep at Night? This One Trick Can Help Advance Snooze Time by 2 Hours

Having a late sleep pattern puts you at odds with the standard societal days

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Such changes can also lead to improved performance in the mornings. Pixabay

Researchers have found that a simple tweak to the sleeping patterns and maximising outdoor light during the mornings for a period of three weeks can help night owls — people with extreme late sleeping and waking habits – bring forward their sleep/wake timings by two hours.

Such changes can also lead to improved performance in the mornings, better eating habits and a decrease in depression and stress among people with late sleeping habits, showed the findings.

The study, published in the journal Sleep Medicine, showed that it was possible to shift the circadian rhythm of ‘night owls’ using non-pharmacological and practical interventions.

“Having a late sleep pattern puts you at odds with the standard societal days, which can lead to a range of adverse outcomes – from daytime sleepiness to poorer mental wellbeing,” said study co-author Andrew Bagshaw from the University of Birmingham in the UK.

Sleep, Night, Trick
A simple tweak to the sleeping patterns and maximising outdoor light during the mornings for a period of three weeks can help night owls. Pixabay

The researchers wanted to see if simple things could solve this issue.

In an experiment with a small group of participants that spanned for three weeks, the group were asked to wake up two-three hours before regular wake up time and maximise outdoor light during the mornings.

They were also asked to go to bed two-three hours before habitual bedtime and limit light exposure in the evening, have fixed sleep/wake times on both work days and free days and have breakfast as soon as possible after waking up, eat lunch at the same time each day, and refrain from eating dinner after 7 p.m.

“We wanted to see if there were simple things people could do at home to solve this issue. This was successful, on average allowing people to get to sleep and wake up around two hours earlier than they were before,” Bagshaw said.

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“Most interestingly, this was also associated with improvements in mental wellbeing and perceived sleepiness, meaning that it was a very positive outcome for the participants.” (IANS)