1. It doesn’t matter what time of day you sleep
Although sleeping during the day is better than no sleep at all, it’s certainly not ideal. For instance, night-shift workers who typically get less sleep and have lower sleep quality than day workers are at higher risk for depression, diabetes, breast cancer, and all-cause mortality.
2. Hitting ‘snooze’ is better than getting up right away
Sleep disruptions are bad. Fragmentations in sleep caused by the snooze function are linked to reduced mental flexibility and decreased subjective mood. You’re better off setting the alarm for the exact time you need to get up instead of breaking up your sleep by “snoozing” between alarms.
3. Snoring, although annoying, is mostly harmless
4. Falling asleep anytime or anywhere is a sign of a good sleeper
Being able to “sleep on a clothesline” can actually be a sign of sleep deprivation, possibly due to obstructive sleep apnea or some other sleep problem. People who have sleep apnea are at higher risk for motor vehicle accidents.
5. Drinking alcohol before bed helps you fall sleep
6. Not sleeping? Stay in bed with eyes closed and try and try
You have to admit, it makes sense: How can you fall asleep if you’re not in the bed trying? Yet sleep experts say that continuing to count sheep for more than 15 minutes isn’t the smartest move.
7. Watching TV in bed helps you relax
8. Being bored makes you sleepy
Listening to a boring lecture won’t put you to sleep on its own. Rather, boredom may more readily unmask sleep deprivation, resulting in sleep. Just being bored, however, doesn’t make you sleepy.
9. Exercise at night disturbs sleep
The rationale that exercise before bed will amp you up and keep you from sleeping is false. Researchers have shown no adverse effect of nighttime exercise on sleep. In fact, exercise and sleep can be mutually beneficial.
10. The older you get, the more you sleep
Duration of sleep varies greatly during the course of a lifetime. Instead of getting more sleep, older adults actually tend to sleep less, in part due to health conditions. But this doesn’t mean that older adults need less sleep than younger adults, but rather that they just get less sleep.
- More sleep is always better (no, you really can sleep too much and harm your health)
- Taking a nap in the afternoon can fix insomnia (actually, if you sleep long enough to enter a REM or deep sleep cycle, it can mess up your body clock even more)
- It’s better to have a warmer than the cool bedroom (no, you sleep better in cooler temps)