Sleep Myths versus Sleep Facts

We’re all aware of ‘fake news’ and so-called ‘experts’ giving advice on social media. There are quite a few myths about sleep – and we’ve found eight common ones that we’ve tackled below!

Myth One: You Swallow Spiders While You Sleep

This myth claims that you will swallow about 8 spiders a year whilst you sleep! This is very unlikely, as spiders are very wary critters and the noise and vibrations you give off whilst you sleep are more likely to keep spiders away.

Myth Two: Sleeping On Your Front Is Bad For You

This is often blamed for increasing facial wrinkles and contributing to neck aches. According to research, there is no significant difference between sleeping on your back, side or front. A slide sleeping position is best for snorers though. Whichever way you prefer to sleep, it’s important to ensure that you have the right pillow to provide support for your head and neck. At Devon Duvets, we do a range of pillows, including lower pillows for front sleepers and higher firmer pillows for those who need a bit of extra support.  If you’d like advice on which of our pillows is likely to be the best for you, just get in touch and the team will be happy to help!

Myth Three: The Older You Get, The Less Sleep You Need

It is true that sleep patterns change as we get older, this doesn’t necessarily mean we sleep less. Sleep experts recommend 7 – 9 hours sleep for the average adult. Older people may wake up more during the night (especially for trips to the bathroom!) or wake up early but they also tend to nap during the day, so the amount of sleep they have overall in a 24-hour period tends to stay the same. If you are having trouble sleeping, then perhaps take a look at your bedtime habits – such as watching TV in bed or eating late – and see if altering these will help.  Also check out our recent blog about why a good night’s sleep is so important.

Myth Four: Successful People Sleep Less

Although there are some people who can manage quite well on five hours sleep a night, this can be difficult to sustain. Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to many illnesses, including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. So, rather than burning the candle at both ends, ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep each night will set you up better for success.

Myth Five: A Nightcap Helps You Sleep Better

It may be a bedtime habit for some – and it can make you feel a bit sleepy – but having an alcoholic drink before bed means that you won’t sleep as deeply during the night. Studies have shown that alcohol disrupts sleep patterns. It is also a diuretic, which means more bathroom trips during the night.

Myth Six: Never Wake A Sleepwalker

It’s a common misconception that waking up a sleepwalker can cause a heart attack, shock or even kill them! It can be difficult to wake a sleepwalker but, of course, it is a concern to leave them wandering around. The best option is to gently return them to their bed. If they do wake up then this is fine and they are unlikely to remember anything in the morning.

Myth Seven: Eating Cheese Gives You Nightmares

There is no solid evidence that cheese causes nightmares. In fact, if you need a small pre-bedtime snack, then cheese is a good option, especially when combined with oat crackers. Calcium, which is found in cheese, is a natural sleep aid as it contains tryptophan, an amino acid the body uses to produce the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. However, it’s best to avoid eating too close to bedtime, and it is especially recommended that after eating a heavy meal it is healthier and better for your metabolism to allow 2 to 3 hours between eating and going to bed.

Myth Eight: Counting Sheep Helps You Fall Asleep

Of course, we especially like this one! Technically it can help, but then so can counting dogs, cats or any animal. This is because it is the repetitive nature of the task that makes you feel sleepy. Also, if you are counting sheep, you are less likely to be thinking of other things that might be playing on your mind. Absorption in a non-challenging mental task is an aspect of mindfulness and can help to relax you.

Your sleep will also be affected by the type of bedding that you use. Generally speaking, synthetic materials are not breathable so are less likely to help you to maintain a stable temperature throughout the night. This can lead to disrupted sleep, making you feel tired in the morning and less able to carry out your daily tasks. Bedding made from 100% natural materials are breathable and temperature regulating, helping you to achieve a more restful sleep. For more information on our 100% natural filled bedding ranges, visit our website or give the team a call on 01752 345399.

 

References:

Sleep Well magazine - Sleep Well magazine features sleep experts such as Dr Neil Stanley, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan and Dr Vikki Revell.

The Sleep Charity – www.thesleepcharity.org.uk