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 New York University School of Medicine (NYU) list all of the so-called methods to "improve" sleep. Authors and other study participants examined more than 8,000 sites to identify the 20 most common misconceptions then, with the help of a team of experts in sleep medicine, they were divided into two categories: those based on unfounded beliefs and those validated by scientific evidence.
Dispel the myths
"Sleep is a vital part of life that affects our productivity, our mood, our health, and our overall well-being." sleep promotes healthier habits which, in turn, promote better overall health, "stresses Rebecca Robbins 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 sleep at least seven hours a night avoid long-term deleterious effects related to lack of sleep (fatigue, irritability, weight gain, etc.) and, if possible,try to go to bed and wake up at a fixed time.
No, alcohol does not help you sleep better.
Another tenacious myth identified in this study is to say that snoring is harmless. While this may actually be the case, a regular snoring may also report sleep apnea, potentially serious sleep disorder which 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 sleeping, which would help to fall asleep, also results from erroneous reasoning. Experts recall that alcohol reduces the body's ability to achieve a deep sleep, needed 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," said Jean-Louis Girardin, a professor of Population and Psychiatry at NYU and co-author of the study.