Since sleep is such a universal subject, it makes sense that there would be a surplus of opinions on the subject. There is no debate that sleep is an integral component of a person’s physical and mental wellbeing; however, there is some disagreement on the amount and quality of sleep that a person needs to feel and perform their best. To help clear the air, the healthcare providers at Family Practice Center wanted to debunk some of the more common myths about sleep.

Myth #1: I Can Get by On Five or Fewer Hours of Sleep Per Night

This simply is not the case. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over a third of adults in the US do not get enough sleep. Even if you feel alright after a night or two of getting this amount of sleep, regularly sleeping five hours a night (or less) can catch up with you and lead to effects of long-term sleep deprivation. We recommend getting a minimum of 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night.

Myth #2: Snoring is Annoying, but Harmless

For some people this is true. However, loud, raucous snoring interrupted by pauses in breathing can be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition that affects over 18 million people in the US. Sleep apnea can increase your risk for several serious health conditions including heart attacks, asthma, high blood pressure, glaucoma, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, and more.

Myth #3: Getting to Sleep Anywhere, Any Time is Good for Me

This too is false. Not all sleep is created equal. If you fall asleep quickly after entering a car, train, or airplane, it can be a sign that you are not getting enough sleep. These “micro sleeps” can indicate that your body is exhausted and craving sleep wherever it can get it. Additionally, sleeping during the day (aka napping) or at odd hours can also have a negative effect. It’s important to have a regular sleep schedule and control of your biological clock. Doing so will help balance several important health factors including levels of certain hormones, body temperature, sleep-wake cycles, and more.

With so much information available on the Internet, it can be difficult to differentiate what is accurate and what might be harmful misinformation. Hopefully this will help you understand the importance of getting proper sleep each night. For more information or to schedule an appointment today, contact Family Practice Center. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional health tips, news, updates, and more.