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Myths about Sleep Dispelled

August 24, 2012


Myths about Sleep Dispelled

Although sleep is still a part of the human condition that is shrouded in mystery, there are a number of myths regarding our resting time that we can dispel right here and now. We have adapted the answers to these myths from an article supplied by the National Institutes of Health in a document entitled Your Guide to Healthy Sleep. We hope you find them useful…


Sleep Myth 1: Sleeping for 1 hour less a night won’t affect your cognitive functioning! 
Even though you might not be noticeably sleepy during the course of the waking day the missing hour of sleep will still affect your ability to think and respond properly. It will also compromise your cardiovascular health, your energy balance and your body’s ability to fight infections.

Sleep Myth 2: A person’s body will quickly adjust to a new sleep schedule. 
Even though most people are able to reset their biological sleep clock it can only be done with appropriately timed cues. But even then the biological sleep clock can only be changed by 1 – 2 hours per day at best. Because of this it can take up to a week (and sometimes more) to adjust to long distance air travel or the change of work shifts (such as night shift). 

Sleep Myth 3: An extra few hours of sleep at night will stop excessive daytime fatigue. 
It is not only the quantity of sleep that one gets that is important, but also the quality of the sleep that one has. A person can sleep for 9 hours and still wake up feeling tired if their sleep quality is poor. 

Sleep Myth 4: A person is able to make up for lost sleep during the week by sleeping more on the weekends. 
This is simply not true! In fact sleeping for longer at the weekend can affect the normal sleep-wake cycle and make it even more difficult to sleep.


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