There are a lot of myths floating around regarding sleeping and sleeping habits. It’s important to note that most of them are just that, myths. However, some of them may be true! Let’s take a look at five common sleep-related myths and see just how true they are! 

Can you die from a lack of sleep? 

This is somewhat true, but not because of a lack of sleep alone. Humans cannot die from sleep deprivation, but the consequences of sleep deprivation can. When sleep deprived, your body is not functioning at the proper level of alertness.

Because of this, there is an increased chance of vehicular accidents and immune system suppression. Your body needs sleep to recover and prepare for illnesses. Without sleep, your immune system is less likely to fight off bugs and viruses, and your brain is not ready to react to changing traffic. 

So technically, no, you cannot die from a lack of sleep. You can, however, die from the consequences of a lack of sleep. 

Can some people live better with just 6 hours of sleep? 

This is true! There are some people who thrive on low amounts of sleep. Researchers have found that there is a “short sleep gene” that allows people to get very few hours of sleep and feel just fine! The standard 8 hours of sleep is not necessary for these individuals! This myth is actually true! 

Is more sleep better? 

Getting more than the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night is actually not beneficial to your health and overall well-being. Similar to the side effects of not getting enough sleep, getting too much sleep can negatively affect your health. Too much sleep can raise the risk of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, anxiety, and obesity. With that being said, keep an eye on how many z’s you’re catching each night!

Can you “catch up” on missed sleep?  

This is definitely a myth! Unfortunately, sleeping extra on the weekends or on a vacation will not make up for the sleep you missed during the work week. Your brain is a creature of habit, so with varying amounts of sleep here and there, you actually end up confusing your brain, and creating a bigger sleep issue. Try to stick to a schedule, your brain will thank you for it, and your sleeping will improve!

Contact us at AZ Sleep & TMJ Solutions to learn more about sleep-related myths, especially if you are having trouble sleeping!