We spend about one-third of our lives asleep. Despite that, knowing how to achieve optimal rest still remains somewhat of a mystery. Do we really need 8 hours of sleep? Are power naps during the day effective?
Here is a collection of 7 most common (mis)beliefs about sleep. Some are true, some are half true and some are not true at all. Let’s find out!
1. Sleeping before midnight is best
Not true. It doesn’t matter if you go to bed before midnight or after midnight. What matters is that the first hour after falling asleep is uninterrupted. Because that’s when deep sleep occurs — when our body is most rested.
2. Everyone needs at least 8 hours of sleep
Not true. Some people need eight hours, others feel fit after just six hours. It’s important that everyone knows their rest needs and gets the optimal amount most suitable to them.
In fact, a study carried out by researchers from the University of California and American Cancer Society found that those who had six or seven hours of rest had a lower death rate than those who regularly rested eight or more hours.
3. Exercise helps you sleep better
True, but not at all times of the day. People who exercise regularly tend to doze off more easily, get better quality rest, and have a longer period of deep rest. It is important to finish your daily exercise before the early evening, otherwise the opposite of what you want to happen happens: your mind remains alert, making it harder to fall into slumber.
4. It’s normal to wake up at night
True. Healthy people wake up at least ten times every night. But rousing usually lasts no longer than a minute and are not remembered in the morning. The older you get, the more you remember these waking moments.
5. Older people need less sleep
Not true. Sleep needs only decrease in the first year of life: a newborn baby may need 20 hours, then after puberty most people drop to 7-8 hours, which doesn’t change in old age. However, older people rest differently: they wake up more often, their rest becomes more shallow, more “wakeful”, which is why they sometimes feel tired during the day and take a nap.
6. Sleeping during the day is relaxing
True, but only if it’s short. A 15-30 minute nap is a mood-booster, leaving you feeling fit and full of energy. However, after more than an hour, we feel drowsy, weak and worse still, we find it harder to doze off in the evening and become sluggish.
7. A drink before bed helps you fall asleep
It’s true only if the drink is a non-alcoholic beverage as it can disturb and prevent quality rest. It is recommended to have a cup of soothing tea such as Sunrider’s Calli Night, which may help you to relax and promote quality rest.
Getting A Good Night’s Rest
Following a consistent bedtime routine is fundamental to getting sufficient and quality rest. For you to feel your best, focus on both sleep quality and quantity. Just like not obtaining enough rest could make it difficult to function, poor quality of rest could also leave you tired and fatigued the following day and even affect your frame of mind. Decent rest quality could improve your mood better than quantity since uninterrupted rest lets you obtain the optimal amount of restful and restorative sleep.
Experts recommend regulating the bedroom temperature to what works best for you and keeping the room as dark as possible so the body releases melatonin that makes us feel sleepy.
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