Sleep less than 5 hours a night, drink a glass of alcohol to fall asleep … The most common myths about sleep can be dangerous to health, warns a new study published in the journal Sleep Health.
In this article, researchers at the University of New York School of Medicine list all of the so-called methods to "improve" sleep. The authors of the study reviewed more than 8,000 sites to identify the 20 most common misconceptions and then, with the help of a team of experts in sleep medicine, have classified them as two categories: those based on unfounded beliefs and those validated by scientific evidence.
"Sleep is a vital part of life that affects our productivity, our mood, our health, and our overall well-being. The dispersion of sleep myths promotes healthier habits that in turn promote better overall health."says Rebecca Robbins a doctoral student at NYU and lead author of the study.
Saying that you can sleep for 5 hours a night while staying healthy was at the top of the lists of claims that are not supported by scientific evidence.
Rebecca Robbins' team recalls that it is essential to sleep at least seven hours a night to avoid the deleterious effects of long-term sleep deprivation (fatigue, irritability, weight gain, etc.) and, if possible, to try to go to sleep. bed and wake up at a fixed time.
Alcohol to sleep better?
Another tenacious myth identified in this study is to say that snoring is harmless. While this may actually be the case, regular snoring can also signal sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder that can lead to cardiac arrest. Scientists, therefore, encourage patients who snore heavily and / or regularly to seek a doctor.
The consumption of alcoholic beverages before bed, which would help to fall asleep, also results from an erroneous reasoning. Experts point out that alcohol reduces the body's ability to achieve deep sleep, which is necessary to be in shape during the waking period.
"By discussing sleep patterns with their patients, doctors can alert patients to sleeping myths that contribute to increased risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes."says Jean-Louis Girardin, a professor in the Department of Population and Psychiatry at NYU and co-author of the study.