6 Myths About Sleep Cycles And Naps That May Affect Your Health

There is many myths revolving around sleeping pattern and naps. Know these myths to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: Jul 19, 2021Updated at: Jul 19, 2021
6 Myths About Sleep Cycles And Naps That May Affect Your Health

Humans spend a lot of time sleeping without even noticing it. Even after this most of the people are not able to get a healthy sleep. This is because an average person spends almost 30% of his lifetime in sleeping but that sleep hours differ from person to person. Most of the people believe that 8 hours sleep is required, the time and frequency does not matter much. However, this is not the case, those who do not maintain a healthy and regular sleeping schedule end up having sleeping disorders of mental health disorders. You must have also heard many saying from different people regarding sleeping patterns and napping.

According to health expert Dr. Supreet Nigam, general physician from Sahara Hospital says that having irregular sleep patterns or napping without having proper schedule can impact your health. Sleep deprivation and napping problems can cause chronic sleep deprivation or serious health problems. Believing in some myths might also lead you to heart attack at later stages of your life. Hence here are some myths you must remain aware of as to protect your health. 


6 Myths About Napping And Sleep Patterns

1. Adults Need Just 6 hours or Less Sleep

Many people believe that adults especially those who are young do not need proper 8 hours of sleep. Rather they can make it up with 6 hours of less sleep without having any impact on their health. This is believed because most of the working professional tend to end up working or being awake till late nights and do not get adequate sleep. For that they make it up by taking small naps in between. However this does not fulfill their body demand of sleep and rest and affects their health at later stage of life. 

The immediate impact of this lies in their performance, central disease control and prevention centre says that a variability of sleep patterns and naps affects the memory and health of the person. He might increase the risk of obesity and diabetes immediately. Hence proper 8 hours of rest in mandatory for everyone.

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2. Watching television relaxes you before sleeping

This is a very general activity which is done by most of the people throughout the country. When people come home from office or after dinner, they spend their time watching TV for leisure and relaxing. But this is not a very health practice because phones, tablets, television or any electronic item which you use emit blue light from the screen which affects your health and sleep both. It increases you negative thoughts in the mind and does not let you recover as fast as otherwise possible.


3. Taking naps at odd times does not affect your health

Our body has a natural clock which follows a particular rhythm for sleeping and being awake. However this does not remain the case when you change your sleeping pattern and take naps at odd schedules between different time zones. It is true that because of tight schedules and giving time to family, social life and career our sleep gets affected and hence naps are important but the time for that nap should be set. For example if you feel sleepy at afternoon between you work schedule, then take out time for half an hour and maintain that. Do not change the nap timing as per your comfort regularly as it may then affect your health. 

4. Lying in bed with eyes closed is equal to sleeping

This myth is absolutely false; keeping your eyes closed is nowhere close as compared to the relaxation that is provided to your body during sleep. Sometimes, we close our eyes and lay down for 10-15 minutes before sleeping, which is natural but otherwise exchanging your naps with closed eyes is potentially harmful for your health.

Our brain function and heart work differently when we are asleep and when we are awake. The body also reacts and works at different pace which affects the functioning of lungs, kidneys and heart as well. Therefore overlapping naps with lying with closed eyes cannot be true at any point.

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5. Alcohol before bed will improve your naps

This habit or myth is inspired from many movies and western lifestyle where people are seen taking sips of different alcoholic drinks before going to bed. What is not shown or observed is that western countries habitat and environmental conditions are different from ours and thus the requirement of the body also differs. Drinking before going to sleep can be terribly dangerous especially if you take alcohol in excessive amount. It can cause apnea and some serious health disorders.


6. Brain can adapt to your sleeping habits and nap timing

People often exclaim that those who have a habit of sleeping for 5-6 hours only, their brain function develops that particular way, which is actually not true. Brain and all the parts of the body need proper rest and that cannot be fulfilled by any other method. Consequences of insufficient sleep on a daily basis or taking naps and waking up with coffee increases pressure on your brain and power. 

Even studies from psychological department of mental health showcase that people who lack sleep in their young adulthood suffer from chronic problems at the later stage of the life. Therefore it is a myth that body adapts to sleep cycles and nap schedules according to your needs. Insufficient sleep for 5-6 hours or less can have serious consequences later if not at current stage.

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