ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sleep Myths

Updated on April 28, 2019
Pamela99 profile image

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

Sleeping Peacefully

Source

Normal Sleep Cycles

First, there are just two types of sleep cycles, which are REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep) and non-Rem sleep (with three different stages). Specific brain waves and neuronal activity link each type of sleep throughout the night.

Stage 1: Non-REM sleep is the time between being awake and falling asleep. Stage 1 of sleep typically lasts several minutes. It is a time of light sleep where rapid eye movement occurs, the heart rate slows and the muscles relax.

Stage 2: Non-REM sleep is also a short period of time before you fall into a deeper sleep. The muscles relax even more, and the heart rate and breathing slow. The brain waves have brief bursts of electrical activity, and this sleep cycle is repeated more than any other stage throughout the night.

Stage 3: The is also a non-REM sleep, and it is a period of deep sleep, which is necessary for you to feel well rested in the morning. This happens in longer periods during the first half of the night. The brain waves are much slower. The breathing and heart rate are slow during Stage 3, and it is difficult to wake up during this stage of sleep.

Therefore, the REM sleep usually occurs during the first 90 minutes after going to bed. This is the time of rapid eye movement after falling asleep. Your breathing may be faster and irregular, plus your heart rate and blood pressure are typical of waking levels. Dreaming usually occurs during REM sleep. The legs and arms are temporarily paralyzed during REM sleep, so you cannot act out your dreams. You tend to spend less time in REM sleep as you age.

Facts about Sleep You Probably Didn’t Know

Common Myths about Sleep

While many think alcohol right before bed is a good way to get to sleep, but many studies have proven this to be untrue. Alcohol delays REM sleep, therefore the dream cycle. It is also dangerous for those who have sleep apnea.

Other sleep myths include:

  1. Many adults only need 5 or less hours of sleep.There are a very few people who have a particular genetic mutation and can function on much less sleep. Clear evidence reveals almost all adults need at least 7-9 hours per night, and this is for optimal mental and physical health.
  2. Remembering your dreams reflects a good night’s sleep.
  3. Snoring annoys bed partners, but it is not harmless despite popular opinion. It can be a symptom of sleep apnea, which is also related to hypertension and heart disease.
  4. Many think the body and brain can learn to function with less sleep. Eventually daytime sleepiness may plateau, which can even result in a traffic accident and you certainly will not feel well.
  5. Having the ability to fall asleep anywhere at any time is a healthy sign. This only reflects an underlying sleep problem.
  6. As you age you need less sleep.
  7. If possible getting more sleep is always better.
  8. If you can lie in bed with your eyes closed it is almost as good as a nap. While you may feel more relaxed, this is not the same as good sleep.
  9. Sleep deprivation for one night has lasting health consequences.
  10. Watching TV in bed is a great way to relax before sleep. Listening to music or reading a book an hour before bed is a better way to get a good night’s sleep.
  11. If you have trouble falling asleep or if you wake up and can’t go back to sleep, it is better to stay in bed to try to fall back to sleep. It is actually better to get up for a while and read, then go back to bed when you feel tired. Keep bright lights off, including the computer and phone.
  12. Sound sleepers rarely move at night.
  13. It is better to hit the snooze button on the alarm to get a bit more sleep.
  14. It is better to sleep in a warmer bedroom rather than a cooler one.
  15. Fix your sleep problems by napping in the afternoon. This may actually make it more difficult to sleep at night.
  16. If you exercise within 4 hours of bedtime it will disturb you sleep.
  17. Your brain is inactive during your sleep.
  18. Teens who fall asleep in class are lazy. Teens need from 8.5 to 9.25 hours of nightly sleep, but this is a time their internal biological clock can keep them up later at night, which interferes with morning wakefulness.

These sleep myths are all untrue, and some of them have serious health consequences. Ignore them and get a good night's sleep.

Koala Bear Asleep

Source

Insomnia Symptoms

Insomnia can be a sign of a sleep disorder, which may be either psychological, medical or a psychiatric problem.

There are four insomnia symptoms, which include:

  • Great difficulty in falling asleep
  • Waking up frequently
  • Waking up too early without being able to fall back asleep
  • Waking up exhausted or not feeling refreshed

12 Psychological Sleep Facts

Stars at Night

Source

Sleep Conclusions

Recently, additional scientific studies show correlations between poor sleep and numerous diseases. Furthermore, a night of fragmented sleep can lower the metabolism and increase the cortisol hormone. This causes an increased appetite, plus a decrease in the ability to burn calories. Obviously, this can lead to obesity.

Getting a good night’s sleep is very important for good health. It is wise to make sure children always get a good night’s sleep. Developing a bedtime routine while a child is still young.

Sleep Poll

How do you sleep at night?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

Submit a Comment
  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Miekabagh, Thank you.

  • Miebakagh57 profile image

    Miebakagh Fiberesima 

    5 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

    Well noted.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi RTalloni, I agree that many of the artificial sweeteners are not relly h but healthy, but then neither is too much sugar. I agree that people do want the alcohol as well. I appreciate your comments.

  • profile image

    RTalloni 

    5 months ago

    The myth about alcohol is widely believed. That it couldn't be more wrong is a proven fact, but people do not care, they want the alcohol. One contributor to insomnia is artificial sweeteners. Thanks for this food-for-thought look at the myths.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Maria, I remember being a student, particularly when I went back to college to complete my degree while I was working fulltime. Sleep was sure a problem at that time. I am glad you can share this article. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 

    5 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Dear Pamela,

    Sleep difficulties can start so early these days. The students I teach are forever struggling with "sleep versus study". What a Catch-22, as they are not able to concentrate on what they're studying due to excessive sleepiness / not able to sleep as they worry about their studies.

    This post is informative and much needed - will share.

    Wishing you a beautiful Mother's Day. Love, Maria

  • Miebakagh57 profile image

    Miebakagh Fiberesima 

    5 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

    The comment is noted, please.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Genna, You are absolutely right. Yhank you so much for your kind comments.

  • Genna East profile image

    Genna East 

    5 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

    There are gems of wonderful advice in this article, Pamela. "Clear evidence reveals almost all adults need at least 7-9 hours per night, and this is for optimal mental and physical health." Absolutely true! And as we age, our need for healthy sleep does not decrease at all.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Lora, You summed up this article quite well as to the importance of a full night of sleep. It is important for physical and even emotional health. Thank you so much for your comments Lora.

  • Lora Hollings profile image

    Lora Hollings 

    5 months ago

    A wonderful article Pamela on sleep and how important it is go get enough of it for our brain to function at its optimal level and how inadequate sleep can also lead to longterm health problems. I found that the videos were also enlightening about facts pertaining to sleep that I wasn't aware of. Each stage of the sleep cycle is integral to getting a goodnight's sleep. Not getting adequate sleep can be the cause of many of the health problems that we see today! Thanks for sharing.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Sharon, I think your sleep pattern is typical for most of us. I am glad you liked the article, and I appreciate your comments.

  • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

    Chitrangada Sharan 

    5 months ago from New Delhi, India

    Excellent and informative article!

    Sleeping well is very important for everyone. I do have occasional sleeplessness issues, which may be due to some personal stress etc. Once the problem is over, I am back to my sound sleep.

    Important read for everyone. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hello RoadMonkey, I understand as I slept much better when I was younger also. I appreciate your comments.

  • RoadMonkey profile image

    RoadMonkey 

    5 months ago

    I used to sleep really well as a young adult but now my sleep is not great. Too many sleepless nights as a parent!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Alyssa, Reading is sure a healthier thing to do before bed than watching TV or working on the computer. I get to bed fairly early as well because I don't get nearly enough sleep otherwise. I appreciate you sharing your experience and making comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Yes Miekagh, working night shifts are difficul for the body to adjust, but if that is you lot in like you have to get as much sleep as possible. Thank you.

  • Alyssa Nichol profile image

    Alyssa 

    5 months ago from Ohio

    This is fascinating! I'm always trying to find more ways to make sleep a priority, especially as I get older. I get up early with my husband every day, so I try to get to bed by 9pm. I love to read before I go to sleep. It relaxes me and allows me to wind down from the day. It's also about the only time I have to read. (which is something I love to do.)

  • Miebakagh57 profile image

    Miebakagh Fiberesima 

    5 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

    The question put out by Rajah, is very serious and significant to note. But Iwillnotcomment on it because I am not the author of the article. Thank you all.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Rajan, I think it really takes an adjustment to work the night shift, but some seem to do so better than others. My husband is one of those people, but as a nurse I occasionally had to work nights. I did not adapt very well.

    Most people sure function better if they get a good night's sleep. Thank you for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Shauna, I am glad you can go back to sleep easily. I have a problem going back to sleep sometimes if I wake up too early. I appreciate your comments.

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 

    5 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

    How good one's sleep does make a difference to one's functional ability the following day. Interesting sleep myths. I'm wondering how the body behaves when a person is constantly on a night job?

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 

    5 months ago from Central Florida

    Fortunately, I've never had a problem with insomnia. I sleep pretty well. However, almost like clockwork, I awaken at about 3:00 a.m. each morning to tinkle. I have no problem going back to sleep. I simply don't open my eyes fully (I know my way to the bathroom in the dark) during the process. It seems I'm back off to slumber land as soon as my head hits the pillow.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda, I am glad you found this article interesting. I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Ms. Dora, I'm glad you know the importance of getting a good night's sleep. Thanks you for your comments. Have a blessed day.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 

    5 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

    Thanks for sharing another informative article, Pamela. The facts about sleep are interesting.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    5 months ago from The Caribbean

    Without a good night's sleep, I have difficulty functioning the next day. Thanks for clearing up these myths and promoting good sleep habits.

  • Miebakagh57 profile image

    Miebakagh Fiberesima 

    5 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

    Good to note.

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 

    5 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

    Thank you so much, Pamela. I also use oxygen that attaches to my Cpac.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Audry, I am sorry to hear you and most of your family has sleep apnea. I don't know of any cures, unfortunately.

    My brother-in-law sleep with a tight oxygen face mask, and I know morst people don't like that. I hope medical researchers will come up with a cure. Most of the people with seep apena are over weight, but obviously that does not apply to you. I will do a bit of research and see if I can find any medical studies that address this problem. If I can find anything I will let you know Thank you for sharing.

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 

    5 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

    Everyone in my family, including siblings have insomnia. I have sleep apnea and have been treated for years without it helping me. I'm a small person and at a normal weight. I've worked with sleep specialists for a long time. Still, my problems remain.

    Thanks for this informative article.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Clive, I have heard that also. Each to there own. Thanks for commenting.

  • clivewilliams profile image

    Clive Williams 

    5 months ago from Jamaica

    I once heard weed makes you sleep like a baby...Once heard.

  • Miebakagh57 profile image

    Miebakagh Fiberesima 

    5 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

    Hi, Pamela, very well appreciated, and thanks.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Miebakagh, I am glad you get enough sleep. Thank you sharing this information.

  • Miebakagh57 profile image

    Miebakagh Fiberesima 

    5 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

    Getting enough sleep for the body is medicinal. It helps nourishes and rejuvenates every system and organs of the body. Glad I am getting enough quality and quantity sleep daily.

  • Miebakagh57 profile image

    Miebakagh Fiberesima 

    5 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

    Hello, Pamela, it is very well appreciated. And thanks.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi again Eric, Thank you for the additional facts. I thin 203 seconds is fairly short lived, but no anxiety would be better.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    5 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Of for sure Pamela and I include reading scripture. My anxiety lasts about 203 seconds. I remember dreams. Dalai Lama said to the effect "Sleep is the best meditation". How cool is that! St. Joseph had much to say about the qualities of sleep as I think Pope Francis.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Eric, If you feel rested after 6 hours, that is fine. Maybe you could change your early morning routine to help relieve anxiety, like playing some music or some meditation or prayer. I wish you well and appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda, Maybe your husband's snoring is happening when you are in your REM sleep, as you are basically paralyzed during that time. That is so you can't physically act out your dreams. I remember that happening to me a few times several years ago.

    I imagine I could write a full article about dreams also. Has your husband tried any of the over-the-counter items for snoring, like a tape that goes over your nose to open it wider. I appreciate your comments Linda.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Ruby, I agree with you. Thank you for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Lorna, I appreciate your kind comments. I don't do well when I don't get at least 7 hours, so I think most people are like you.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Bill, I rarely ever remember a dream either. If 6 hours suits you than great. Thanks for commenting.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    5 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    So cool Pamela. I have fallen for some of those myths. My doc says he would rather not prescribe a sleep medication in that we may become reliant on them. I am generally only a six hour sleeper. Sometimes though I still wake up with some anxiety about the day.

    What do you say about those things.

  • Carb Diva profile image

    Linda Lum 

    5 months ago from Washington State, USA

    Pamela, another well-written and informative article from you. My husband has undergone a sleep study and the findings were that he does NOT have sleep apnea, yet he snores like a bear (honestly, he sounds like a tuba). It doesn't occur every night, but I can count on it 2 or 3 time a week. Needless to say my sleep is not of the highest quality.

    One topic that you didn't cover (perhaps another article?) is dreaming. Specifically, I have problems with wakeful dreams (I'm certain that I am awake but feel/sense something that isn't there) and at times dreams wherein I am struggling to wake up but cannot move or cry out--it's as though I'm paralyzed.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    5 months ago from Southern Illinois

    Very informative piece. Sleep is a must for physical fitness. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lorna Lamon profile image

    Lorna Lamon 

    5 months ago

    Hi Pamela , This is a very informative article about an extremely important subject. Getting enough sleep is so essential to our health and well-being. It takes me a while to get over, however, I do tend to sleep through - when I don't I really notice the difference. Thanks for sharing Pamela.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    5 months ago from Olympia, WA

    You always tackle interesting topics. For the record, I average six hours of sleep per night,and I never remember a dream or dreaming. :)

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi John, I am sorry to hear you wife suffers from sleep apnea. My brother-in-law suffers from it also and uses the oxygen equiptment at night. I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Flourish, I'm glad you make sleep a priority. Thanks for sharing your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Miebakagh, I hope people understand that good sleep helps you have good health. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 

    5 months ago from Queensland Australia

    This is a very good article, Pamela. My sleep patterns are ok. If I fail to get enough at night I often catch up with a nap in the afternoon. My wife suffers sleep apnea however and I have a friend who has insomnia and trouble getting to sleep at night. Helpful and interesting.

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 

    5 months ago from USA

    Sleep is a top priority for me. It is so restorative, particularly for people with health issues. I used to cut corners on my sleep but not now. I get at least 8 solid hours each night and stick to a schedule.

  • Miebakagh57 profile image

    Miebakagh Fiberesima 

    5 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

    Hello, Pamela, this is a serious article about sleep. I hope it will help many due to its educative and informative nature. I realized that this your article has some similar points like my "Good Sleep to Fuel the Body." Thanks for sharing, and enjoy your day.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)