Let's debunk the most common myths related to sleep

Myth: Your body has the ability to adjust to different sleep schedules.

Fact: Several people hold the capability of resetting their biological clock but only by appropriately timed cues—and even then, by one or two hours per day at best. Consequently, it can take more than a fortnight or even a week to adjust after traveling across several time zones or switching to the night shift.

Myth: If you suffer excessive daytime fatigue, you can compensate it with extra sleep at night.

Fact: The quality of sleep is equally important as the quality of sleep. Few people sleep eight or nine hours a night but don't feel well rested when they wake up because the quality of their sleep is poor. On the other hand, a lot of people just feel refreshed after sleeping for just seven hours.

Myth: The older you get, the fewer hours of sleep you need

Fact: Our sleep patterns might change as we age but the amount of sleep our body needs generally does not. Older people may wake up more frequently throughout the night and may actually get less nighttime sleep, but their sleep need is no less than younger adults. Because although older people sleep less during the night, they tend to sleep more during the day.

Myth: By sleeping more on the weekends, you can make up for lost sleep during the week.

Fact: This sleeping pattern will only help you relieve part of a sleep debt. It will certainly not make up for the lack of sleep. Furthermore, sleeping later on the weekends can affect your sleep-wake cycle so that it is much harder to go to sleep at the right time on Sunday nights and get up early on Monday mornings.

Myth: Snoring is harmless!

Fact: Although snoring is harmless for a lot of people, it can be a symptom of (if it accompanied by severe daytime sleepiness) a life threatening sleep disorder called sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea awaken frequently during the night gasping for breath. The breathing pauses reduce blood oxygen levels, can strain the heart and cardiovascular system, and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Also, snoring on a frequent or regular basis has been directly associated with hypertension.

Myth: Sleeping an hour less than usual would not affect us during daytime.

Fact: If you lose an hour of sleep daily, you might not feel sleepy during the daytime but losing even one hour of sleep can affect your ability to think properly and respond quickly. It also affects your cardiovascular health, energy balance, and ability to fight infections.

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