Adequate and consistent amount of sleep can help lower the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, depression and obesity.
But many people have problems falling asleep. Forty-five percent of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affected their daily activities at least once in the past seven days, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Those who report poor quality sleep also report poor quality health.
Some sleep myths, such as exercise before bed keeps you restless, are innocent. But other legends, such as snoring is annoying but not dangerous, are serious and should be dispelled.
It’s important to debunk another popular myth that kids don’t get sleep apnea. In fact, the prevalence of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is approximately 3 percent in children, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
There are a lot of misconceptions around sleeping pills. Many people believe they are harmless but there is alarming evidence that taking the medication can increase risk for other health dangers. Some pills last longer in the body causing daytime sleepiness which comes with its own risks of falling, hurting yourself and getting in a car accident. Some people take them for longer than they should and the risk of overdosing becomes serious, Dr. Karl Doghramji, Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, says.
Sleeping at least eight hours a night can also be a myth. The number is nothing but a guideline. How many hours of shuteye people need varies with every person and is also genetically determined, Dr. Doghramji adds. Some people, depending on age, lifestyle and habits may need five, while others 10.