Misconceptions of Sleep & How They Help You Understand Sleep Better

Misconceptions of Sleep & How They Help You Understand Sleep Better

At least 40 million Americans have over 70 distinct sleep disorders. These include jet lag, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy. Additionally,  60 percent of American adults report issues occurring many nights per week. Each person has a perception regarding their sleep. Some may feel that they are receiving adequate amounts of sleep when the reality is that they are not, and vice versa. The pitfall to these perceptions is that it can lead to a person not seeking medical advice when it is warranted, or they may end up spending countless hours worrying about a problem that is nonexistent. Allow us to shed some light on common misconceptions regarding sleep, as well as identify which concerns may require medical attention.

Deep Sleep Means It's Refreshing 

Disruptions always affect the quality of sleep. The smallest disruption can lead to drowsiness the next day; this is especially concerning for drivers, since driving while drowsy has been found to be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 100,000 of the annual motor vehicle crashes stem from drowsiness and fatigue.Good sleep isn't possible when it is noisy; that may explain why the teacher ensures the room is quiet during naptime at preschool. Establishing an environment that facilitates rest is of the utmost importance. Therefore, it is imperative that you sleep in an area where you won't be disturbed by noise, light, or other external stimuli. During times or situations when ideal sleeping conditions may not be available, implementing the use of black-out curtains, or noise canceling headphones may help produce the desired resting environment.

Snoring is Funny & Harmless

Snoring is the sound of the upper airway's soft tissue vibrations. It sounds funny but has links to problems that kill. The sound of snoring is often offensive and can lead to disruptions in sleep. As mentioned earlier, disruptions in sleep can result in drowsiness the next day. Additionally, snoring indicates apnea, which has connections to cardiovascular problems that cause 38,000 deaths yearly.Snoring accompanied by frequent awakening throughout the night gasping for air, or pauses in respirations while sleeping may suggest that you have sleep apnea. If you are concerned that you are exhibiting these symptoms, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. In this case, your snoring could be an indicator of other underlying conditions.

All Naps Cure Drowsiness

Ten to 30-minute naps can improve mood and performance; however, this is not true for everyone. On average, napping longer than 30 minutes can result in grogginess. Experiencing drowsiness in the afternoon does not necessarily indicate that you require a nap. The drowsiness can be the result of a lack of potassium, magnesium, or vitamin D.You must ask yourself whether naps benefit you and if they don't, why?Would consciously incorporating them into your routine help? No? Also, how could naps be used to optimize your day? According to a Harvard Health Study, when implemented correctly, naps help memory, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

You Can Add and Subtract Sleep

Sleep is sleep as time is time. If you lose it now; you cannot pay for it later. That later is called another session.

With Age Comes a Lesser Need for It

From a child to a young adult, the need for sleep does decrease, but, throughout adulthood, the need remains the same - seven to nine hours per night. However, during the latter years of life,  an adult may require less sleep because the neurons that are the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus start dying. This nucleus regulates sleep patterns. With this neurological change, you may need less sleep to achieve sufficient relaxation. Medicines that can replenish the number of neurons and restore control are currently being researched. Until they are available, you will need to explore other options with your doctor.Sleep is best when understood. With these truths, you can work to make your eight hours refreshing.

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