Do you find yourself tossing and turning in your bed at night? There’s nothing worse than a sleepless night and according to the BBC, 25% of the UK population suffer some form of sleep disorder that results in excessive daytime sleepiness.1 We've explored some of the common sleep myths to determine what you can do to get a better nights kip...
sleeping in for a long time will restore my energy – We all love a good lie in, but be careful not to sleep in for too long as this could result in side effects. Apart from the obvious outcome of making you late to work, oversleeping has been linked to a range of problems. According to an article published in 2010 by webmd.com, the possible side effects include headaches, back pain and depression.2
i’ll make up for lost sleep on the weekend – Just because you’ve missed sleep during the week doesn’t mean you can overcompensate by binge sleeping on the weekend. In order to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern, you need to have the right dosage of sleep each day. An article published by Bupa in November 2011 states that you should try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day.3
doing exercise keeps you awake – This is not necessarily true, a publication by Bupa in 2008 states that on the whole, people who are regularly active tend to fall asleep faster and sleep longer and more deeply than those who do not exercise regularly.4
adults should aim to get 8 hours of sleep each night - Yes, this is an estimated average - a publication by Bupa in September 2008 states states that eight hours of sleep continues to be the optimum for most people5, but remember, this relates only to the average. The amount of sleep we need varies from person to person, some people can sleep for a short while and feel fine and others require longer sleeping periods. It is something that can not be generalised as it is completely dependant on the individual and their lifestyle.
don't get out of bed if you can't sleep - False. The frustration of not being able to sleep can make it even more difficult to nod off. Harvard Medical School recommends that if you are not asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room, and do something relaxing, like reading or listening to music until you are tired enough to sleep.6
If you are really struggling to sleep at night, it might be worth consulting your GP for medical advice.