For all of you poor sleepers out there, rest easy. There’s more to your bedtime story. Dr. Debi Lynes, LPC, CEDS, CBTI, who works with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and MUSC Department of Psychiatry, breaks down five sleep myths.
Myth 1: We need at least eight hours of sleep to feel refreshed and function well during the day.
Fact: Anything over four and a half hours of consolidated sleep is cognitively restorative.
(Note: Some people require a few more hours because everyone is different.)
Myth 2: You can never get too much sleep.
Fact: People that slept more than eight hours are equally impaired as those who slept too little.
Myth 3: Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling asleep.
Fact: Difficulty falling asleep is but one of four symptoms generally associated with insomnia. The others include waking up too early and not being able to fall back asleep, frequent awakenings, and waking up feeling unrefreshed.
Myth 4: If you wake up in the middle of the night, it is best to lie in bed, count sheep, or toss and turn until you eventually fall back asleep.
Fact: Waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep is a symptom of insomnia. Most experts agree that if you do not fall back asleep within 15 to 20 minutes, you should get out of bed, go to another room and engage in a relaxing activity such as listening to music or reading. Return to bed when you feel sleepy. Avoid watching the clock.
Myth 5: When I don’t get a proper amount of sleep on a given night, I need to catch up the next day by napping or the next night by sleeping longer.
Fact: Napping is the worst thing you can do. Napping may inadvertently be causing insomnia. It is best to have a consistent go-to-bed and wake-up time every day.
—Becca Edwards, founder of Female IQ
Note: For the full-length article, check out CH2 Magazine