Myths About Sleep

Sleep is an essential function of life. It allows the body to rest and repair itself after a day of activity. It is so important that it accounts for one third of your life. Getting enough of sleep can help preserve your health. Sadly, a lot of people nowadays have to forgo sleep for getting more done and by becoming more productive. The eventual result is that the health is affected and the body becomes more susceptible to stress and the elements.

Getting enough sleep can mean getting as much as 7 to 8 hours of it daily. But to some people, it can be easily said than done. There are others who might suffer from sleep problems. Others don’t think that they would need as much as 7 to 8 hours sleep in order to become productive. And there are certain myths about sleep that people tend to believe but are actually not true. Here are some of them.

Most highly productive people can go for less than 5 hours of sleep.

Studies have shown that only an estimated 10 percent of people are able to go for less than 7 to 8 hours of sleep without their health being affected. For the rest, cheating on their sleep can have disastrous consequences. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania had volunteers divided into groups that followed different sleep regimes.

The results showed that participants who had only 6 hours of sleep per night did as poorly on memory and alertness tests after two weeks as did those people who did not get any sleep in a span of 24 hours. The difference is that the participants in the six hour per night group did not show any signs of being sleepy during the time they performed their worst on the tests. Sleep deprivation can lead to the brain going into "micro" sleeps even while awake. The sleep deficit can cause the brain to go offline for half a second at times and even more, depending on how sleep deprived the brain is.

Alcohol can help you sleep.

Many people who drink alcohol seem to equate it with getting a good night’s sleep. Alcohol is considered as a sedative but its effects can actually mess up your normal sleep cycle. The initial effect of alcohol can actually relax your muscles and therefore help you sleep easily. But after four hours, the effect usually wears off and leaves the body in a more active state. This can make you undergo lighter sleep which can cause you to easily be disturbed into waking up. Alcohol can actually deprive you of getting a much needed deep sleep that the body requires to repair and rest itself.