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There are always myths floating around in the area where sleep is concerned.  These untruths may be preventing you from getting the best sleep possible.  Once these myths have been dispelled you are guaranteed to sleep better and have a better quality of sleep.

Myth 1: Your brain and body shuts down for rest and relaxation while you sleep.  There is no evidence to support that your major organs including your brain stops operating while you sleep.  On the contrary, certain hormones are secreted while you sleep and various parts of the brain are heightened.

Myth 2:  Getting less sleep each night will not have any adverse effect on your daytime activitiesSleep deprivation, even one hour less per night will make you sleepier during the day.  Your ability to think properly and your productivity will be diminished.  Also, your cardiovascular health and your immune system will be adversely affected when you lose sleep at night.  When you constantly lose sleep you will build up what is known as sleep debt, which makes you excessively tired during your working or daytime hours.

Myth 3: Your body will adjust fast when you have different sleep schedules.  Naturally, your biological clock communicates to your body to be most alert during the daylight hours and drowsier at night.  Even if you normally work a graveyard shift, your body will naturally feel a bit sleepy at nightfall.   When you reset your body’s natural biological clock it still take some time for the change to take place.  Generally speaking, it will take at least a week or longer for your body to adjust to the new sleeping schedule.

Myth 4:  People who are older need fewer hours of sleep.  It’s not true that older people need less sleep.  Often times people who are older have more difficulty getting deep sleep at night and are easily awakened.  Also, people who are up in age experience more health challenges that creates insomnia for them.

Myth 5:  Getting extra sleep at night can alleviate problems of daytime fatigue.  Both quality and quantity of sleep is important.  If you are able to log 10 hours of sleep but the quality of your sleep is poor you will wake up feeling tired.  Sleep disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea can adversely affect your quality of sleep.  Sleeping more will not by itself erase your feelings of daytime fatigue.

Myth 6:  If you lose sleep one day you’ll be able to make it up another day.  Although sleeping more one day in an effort to make up for lost sleep will help correct you’re your sleep debt it will not completely erase it.  In addition, it will not make up for the impaired performance and sluggishness that you experienced during the week.  It’s best to establish a sleeping pattern that allows you to get proper rest every night.

Myth 7:  Naps are a waste of time.  Naps are definitely not a replacement for a good night’s sleep they can definitely help give your body more energy.  They provide a quick energy boost to your body as well as a restorative quality that you will notice.  Try not to take naps past 3 p.m. as it may interfere with your ability to sleep well at night.  Naps should be a duration of an hour or less to avoid the risk of your becoming sluggish during the day.  If you find yourself constantly taking naps during the day it may be the result of a sleeping disorder that may require you to pay a visit to a sleep specialist.

Myth 8: Snoring is a normal part of sleep.  Although snoring while asleep is normal behavior for some especially older people it can be a sign of a sleep disorder known as sleep apnea.  Also, research shows that chronic snoring will not only make you feel sleepier during the day but it can also lead to a higher incidence of heart disease and diabetes.

Myth 9:  Children who fail to get adequate sleep at night will be sleepier during the day.  Children bodies, unlike the body of adults, tend to bounce back more quickly and become more active during the day when they get less sleep.  The downside is that sleep deprivation in children can lead to attention deficit and behavioral problems.

Myth 10:  The main cause of sleep deprivation is due to worry. Although stress and worry are big contributors to sleep deprivation, there may also be many other factors.  Prescription drugs, medicines, sleep apnea, snoring, depression, asthma and arthritis may also cause insomnia.

When you sleep better at night your overall health and well being is improved.  Adequate sleep makes your body feel more alive and it improves your ability to ward off infectious diseases.  Now that you are better informed about sleeping, you can take the necessary steps to improve your sleep quality.