April 01, 2017
THIS APRIL FOOLS’ DAY, be one step ahead of the sleep pranksters. Sleep myths are exactly that, and we are here to prove it.
Most sleep experts will tell you they know how many hours of sleep you should have. However, according to the National Sleep Foundation, every person needs their own amount of sleep. Your age, activity level, occupation, health, stress, etc. …all affect how much sleep you need.
You might need 8 hours of sleep this month, but only 6 hours next month given the season. Therefore, you can’t trust a solitary number, typically 8 hours, when it comes to determining how much sleep you need. Your magic number of hours needed for sleep will change as often as you do, so take notice if your sleeping routine starts to turn sour and make adjustments accordingly.
Fortunately, this is a myth as noted by the Washington Post; otherwise, the natural progress of human evolution would be in jeopardy. After all, if men and women weren’t designed to sleep similarly, it would be difficult to mate naturally.
Men and women may have some differences, but these are biological and differ across genders. For example, while some women may sweat more frequently when sleeping, so do some men. Same goes for having restless legs syndrome, a preference for softer mattresses, and being cold at night.
We are all different in how we sleep, and this has nothing to do with gender. The only sleep gender differences that occur are those when discussing occupations and family duties, i.e., night shift jobs or tending to a newborn.
If you are behind on the zzz’s throughout the week, you should be able to make up for it on the weekend, right? Sorry, that’s not the case. If you don’t get enough sleep during the week, you’ll just have to try fitting sleep into your schedule better. If you wait until the weekend to try to catch up on your sleep debt, this will cause you stress come Monday when you try to wake as usual.
A study at Harvard proves that instead of helping you catch up on your sleep, sleeping more on the weekend leads to other dangers. You can experience an increased risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity because you’ve messed up your internal biological clock. So save the weekends for savoring the moment, and avoid sleeping in and missing out on the fun.
As you move toward a healthier sleeping habit, take note of these smashed myths. Rather than letting these little sleepy lies mess up your biological clock and natural rhythms, sleep according to the facts.