Everyone has something to say about sleep. Maybe your grandmother swears a certain drink concoction helps her sleep better, or your best friend has a secret even better than coffee to stay awake.
There is a lot of false information about sleep out there. Gaining clarity about whether or not the sleep trivia you know is true can be time consuming, so we did all the work for you. We’ve compiled 20 of the most common sleep myths as well as over 50 sleep facts to help you decipher fact vs fiction.
|Sleep Myths||Sleep Facts|
|The older you get, the fewer hours of sleep you need.||Adults need an average of 7-9 hours of sleep a night. (National Sleep Foundation, 2019)|
|Count sheep to fall asleep easier.||Tactics such as counting sheep are more distracting than helpful when trying to fall asleep. (National Sleep Foundation, 2019)|
|Turning up the radio helps keep you awake while driving.||The safest way to handle drowsy driving is to pull over for a quick nap, or prevent it altogether with a good night’s sleep. (National Sleep Foundation, 2019)|
|Snoring isn’t harmful.||Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea or other breathing issues. Consult your doctor if you snore incessantly. (Cleveland Clinic, 2014)|
|Exercising before bed helps you fall asleep easier.||Exercising right before bed inhibits melatonin production, making it harder to sleep. (Mattress Advisor, 2019)|
|People can train themselves to operate effectively on less sleep.||One of the biggest causes of drowsiness among Americans is self-imposed sleep deprivation. (National Sleep Foundation, 2019)|
|Mothers lose the most sleep with a newborn baby.||A newborn affects men’s sleep more than women’s. (The Good Body, 2019)|
|Some people don’t dream.||Everyone dreams even if you don’t remember your dreams. (Mattress Advisor, 2019)|
|Your mind rests during sleep.||Brains are active throughout the night, using more oxygen than when awake. (Sleep Health Foundation, 2019)|
|You only yawn because you are tired or bored.||Yawning gives your brain extra oxygen and keeps it cool. If you yawn randomly throughout the day, your brain is just taking what it needs. (Live Science, 2012)|
|With enough effort, you can force yourself to fall asleep.||We can’t make ourselves fall asleep; we can only create favorable sleep conditions. (Sleep Health Foundation, 2019)|
|Couples who sleep in separate beds are having relationship issues.||Getting a sleep divorce can help each person get a better night of sleep, especially couples with different work schedules. (Mattress Advisor, 2019)|
|Nappers get the most sleep.||Nappers sleep less than non-nappers overall. (U of G University Health Center, 2019)|
|Staying up late to study will help you pass.||Getting more sleep will help with recall of the test material. (Sleep Advisor, 2019)|
|Insomnia means trouble falling asleep.||Insomnia is not only characterized by difficulty falling asleep, but frequently waking up throughout the night, excessive tiredness, and waking up without feeling refreshed. (Mattress Advisor, 2019)|
|Drinking alcohol before bed helps you fall asleep.||Alcohol reduces your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, thus disturbing your body’s natural sleep cycle. (Mattress Advisor, 2019)|
|Don’t wake a sleepwalker.||The best thing you can do is guide them back to bed, and if you wake them up, they are unlikely to remember. (Live Science, 2016)|
|You eat 8 spiders a year in your sleep.||When you sleep with your mouth open, you’re probably snoring, effectively scaring away any spiders. (Scientific American, 2014)|
|Hitting the snooze button gives you more time to rest.||The snooze button disrupts your sleep and sleep cycle. (LifeHacker, 2016)|
|Watching TV helps you relax before bed.||TVs emit blue light that keeps you awake. Try to avoid this before bed. (CNN, 2019)|
Which of these facts surprised you the most?