Sleep Myths and Facts

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The information passed down through generations on the subject of sleep is mostly hearsay as they lack scientific evidence to back them.

So can one identify the mythsfromthe facts?

Well, we have compiled a list of the most famed sleep statements and segregated the“Sleep Myths” from “Sleep Facts”.

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8 hours of sleep is compulsory - Myth

The amount of sleep required varies from person to person. Recent scientific studies conclude that ideal sleep hours are between 6-9 hours i.e. less than 6 or more than 9 hours sleep adversely affects health. So if you feel refreshed every morning then you’re sleeping enough.

A night-cap helps sleep - Myth

The effects of alcohol may make your mind and body feel relaxed however in reality it actually hampers your sleep cycle. Therefore avoid alcohol before bedtime for quality sleep.

Power naps boost efficiency - Fact

15-20 minutes of napping has been proven to improve productivity and concentration whereas anything more than that leads to daytime grogginess and impacts the quality of night sleep.

Weekend Sleep-ins help to cover lost sleep - Myth

This is actually the most harmful one as change in sleep schedule impacts the body clock causing a sleep deprivation known as "Social Jet Lag". If unchecked this can cause obesity, depression, and other health problems.

Heavy dinner causes nightmares – Myth

Though scientifically food and dreams have not been linked, still a heavy dinner is not advisable as it shifts the body’s energies towards digestion rather than relaxation of mind to get quality sleep.

Warm milk helps us sleep better – Fact

This age-old tradition has been scientifically approved. Warm milk contains amino acid tryptophan which the brain uses to make melatonin. Melatonin regulates the circadian cycle and is required more at night to induce quality sleep.


Avoid spicy food at night – Fact

A thumbs-up from scientists on this one as it’s proven that spices in the food increase body temperature causing disturbed sleep. Hence a big no-no to dinner prepared using Tabasco and mustard sauce.

Sleep for youthful looks – Fact

It’s true that sleep is the elixir of youth. In our sleep our body produces growth hormones that help repair damaged tissues.


Stay in bed until you’re sleepy – Myth

Lying in bed to fall asleep will eventually lead to staying awake longer than sleeping. If you don’t sleep within 15-20mins of getting into bed, leave your bed and do some activity to calm your mind like reading. Return to bed only when you’re sleepy.

It is impossible to sleep in a standing position- Myth

As strange as it sounds it is true. Buddhist monks have proven that it is possible to sleep when standing however we commoners must refrain from this as it carries high risk of injuries and falls.

Sex helps sleep – Fact

Yes, it is true and has been scientifically proven. The act of sex helps your body release hormones to reduce stress ,making you feel relaxed and sleepy.

So now that you have a clear picture of what’s a Myth and what’s a Fact you can finally try some of the facts to achieve that blissful night sleep.



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