Are you still following those age-old sleep myths? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. According to a new study from the Better Sleep Council (BSC), the nonprofit consumer-education arm of the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA), many Americans have a hard time separating fact from fiction when it comes to sleep.
We can all agree that we need to sleep in order to function and be productive. And although the amount of sleep necessary to be at your best varies from person to person, most people could use more sleep. So let’s explore the truth and debunk the myths about sleep – and get on our way to a better night’s sleep.
Myth #1: Nothing is happening while you sleep.
154 million Americans believe nothing’s really happening when they’re asleep. However, research shows that the brain not only recharges during sleep, it also stays in an active state. Of those who believe sleep is passive, 67% of adults under the age of 50 believe this compared to 51% of adults older than 50.
Myth #2: You don’t need to replace your mattress until it is 10 years old.
66% of adult Americans, about 164 million people, believe the myth that mattresses last about 10 years before they need to be replaced. In fact, after seven years of use, you should assess your current mattress: Is it supportive? Are there springs or lumps sticking out? Do you sink to the middle of the bed or does your mattress have a funky smell? Time for a new mattress.
Myth #3: You can catch up on missed sleep.
Many American adults (43%) believe that it’s possible to “catch up” on lost sleep. In reality, there is no sleep bank – you can’t get back the sleep you’ve lost. You can sleep in on the weekends, but that doesn’t make up for the late nights during the week.
Myth #4: If you have a bad back, you should use a very firm mattress.
151 million American adults (61%) believe that the ideal mattress for a sore or injured back is one that is very firm. Choosing a mattress is personal, and while a firm mattress is often recommended for back support, the mattress that will improve back issues for one person may not be the same for another. In addition, one person’s assessment of firmness can be very different from another’s. Many people have found that a hybrid mattress option combines support with comfort.
Myth #5: It is illegal to remove the tags on your mattress.
Have you read the tag on your mattress and feared removing it? You’re not the only one! About 122 million American adults – 53% men and 45% women – believe it’s actually illegal to remove mattress tags. Truth be told, once the mattress is yours, you can take the tags off. There are no mattress police!
Myth #6: Some people just don’t dream.
Many Americans can’t remember their dreams, and so they think they don’t have dreams. Around 122 million Americans believe that some people just don’t dream. In fact, we all dream. Even if you can’t recall your dreams in the morning, it’s likely that you spent a good portion of your sleep dreaming. Interestingly, men (52%) were more likely to believe that some people don’t dream than women (46%).
Now that you know the truth about sleep, remember that a good night’s sleep can improve your brain function, memory, and overall mood throughout the day. And that’s no myth!
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