We all have an idea about what sleep is, but some of it's wrong.
Below you'll find 7 myths about sleep.
Myth 1: You need 8 hours of sleep.
Fact: You don't need 8 hours of sleep to function.
The reality is we need only about 7.5 hours of sleep and 20% of the population sleeps 6 hours or less per night. We can even get by on as little as 3 hours of sleep per night.
The sleep you get is enough. Anymore and you can feel lethargic (and shorten lifespan).
Myth 2: You think you didn't get any sleep.
Fact: We get more sleep than we think.
We tend to underestimate how much sleep we got through the night. We think it takes longer to fall asleep and think we spent too much time awake during the night. Why is that?
We wake up about 4 to 6 times through out the night when we enter the lighter stages of sleep. So it's natural to be wakeful throughout the night, and to sleep lightly sometimes. So on nights when you're having difficulty with sleep, don't get frustrated. Remind yourself that it's natural and you've entered a lighter sleep stage.
We spend about half the night in lighter sleep stages (stage 2). And older adults spend most of the night in lighter sleep stages (stage 2).
Myth 3: You think you can't function off of poor sleep.
Fact: We can function on very little sleep.
We can actually function pretty well, with no major impact on our day according to studies. It's the boring tasks that are the hardest to complete after a bad night's sleep.
If you get 5.5 hours of sleep you can still experience good memory and problem solving skill during the night. Why is that?
It contains 100% of our deep sleep, which is the most important stage of sleep to get to function during the day.
Myth 4: You think you're moody because of poor sleep.
Fact: You're not moody because you didn't get good sleep.
If you think you're moody because of lack of sleep, I have bade news for you. it has nothing to do with your sleep.
It's myth that you irritability, anxiety, frustration, fatigue, and reduced motivation is because of sleep. It's a result of negative thoughts about your sleep.
For example, when you say "I only slept 4 hours last night, I'm so tired" do you feel tired and maybe frustrated? Most likely yes.
Now compare that to when you haven't slept when having fun on the weekend, or out on vacation? Do you feel frustrated? Probably not because you had positive thoughts so your mood wasn't affected.
Negative thoughts affect your mood when you don't sleep, it's not because of the lack of sleep. By managing your negative thoughts, you'll become more relaxed and feel more rested.
Myth 5: We need to recover sleep we loose.
Fact: We don't need to recover the sleep we loss.
The world record for staying awake has been 11 days. The worst thing that happened to this person is that they were irritable and sleepy. They never had delusions or hallucinations.
When he did sleep, he only slept for 15 hours. So even at the extreme end, he didn't need to recover 11 days worth of sleep.
And when we do loose a significant amount of sleep, there's no serious consequences.
When we don't get the deep sleep, our brains will do everything possible to make sure you get deep sleep the next night. It produces and increased percentage of deep sleep and dream sleep. According to studies it can take 4 to 9 days to recover from just 1 hour of sleep loss.
So we don't have to worry about recovering from deep sleep, your body will take care of it naturally.
Myth 6: You shouldn't nap
Fact: You can take a nap.
Takes a nap catch up on sleep and feel rested. Nap anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes to feel rested and not groggy. Naps can improve mood, attention, and lowers your stress levels. When you feel rested and less stressed you'll sleep better at night.
Myth 7: Pain keeps us awake
Fact: Pain is not keeping you awake.
We wake up multiple times throughout out the night, slowly waking up. Most people go back to sleep. But if you have bad pain, you will wake up.
You'll then worry and have negative thoughts that can keep you awake. And once you're awake, you're alert with an active nervous system. To fall sleep again, you'll need to relax.