Did you know?
The Japanese believe that if you can’t sleep, you are actively moving around someone else’s dream.
You would think that the information age would make us all experts in topics as important as sleep science. But with so much data around, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. If you think you know everything about sleep, check and see if you still believe any of these common sleep myths.
1. You can catch up on sleep on the weekends
If you don’t get enough sleep for a few days, you can’t just make up for it with a weekend snooze-fest. Research shows that you’ll continue to experience symptoms of sleep deprivation.
2. It’s okay to drive drowsy if you roll the windows down and turn the music up
An alarming number of Australians admit to driving drowsy, which can be as dangerous as driving drunk. Sleep deprivation slows your reaction time and hampers your reasoning skills, and no cold blast of air or heavy metal soundtrack will fix this.
3. Drinking alcohol before bed helps you sleep better
Many people swear that a glass of wine or a scotch neat before bed helps them fall asleep faster, and technically, they’re right. Mild boozing before bed decreases sleep latency, or the time it takes you to fall asleep. But it also negatively affects the quality of your sleep!
In particular, alcohol seems to reduce the amount of REM sleep you get, which can cause you to feel sleepier during the day. If you really must, be sure to keep it to one drink max. But your best bet is the good old warm milk or herbal tea.
4. Waking a sleepwalker could kill them
Sleepwalking was poorly understood for most of human history, so it makes sense that this myth persists.
There’s never been a documented case of someone dying from being woken up while sleepwalking. However, a sleepwalker may react with distress and confusion, so the best strategy is to gently guide them back to bed without waking them up.
Do you know what’s a true sleep fact? Sleeping on a well-fitted, supportive surface to get higher quality sleep.