Sleep Science - Seven Myths About Sleep

1. Can one not sleep?

There are several theories that explain the importance of sleep, one of which is that sleep is about resting the body and reducing energy expenditure. During sleep, the body's worn-out cells start repairing.

Another theory states that during sleep, there are different cycles, each of which has a different effect on the brain. The entire sleep cycle can be divided into two categories: non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM).

When entering the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) period, it gradually enters the deep sleep period as the brain waves become slower and slower. Deep sleep is very important for the repair of the body. If a person has enough sleep in the deep sleep period, he will feel that his body is rested enough when he wakes up.

Therefore, sleep is very important for the brain and various functions of the body.

2. How long is the best time to sleep a day?

Everyone is genetically influenced, and the best hours of sleep are different. On average, about a person sleeps about 7 to 8 hours, but this number tends to evolve with society, and the more industrialized countries, the shorter the sleep time. How long does it take to sleep? It depends not only on personal needs, but also from the influence of the social environment. The best standard depends on how you feel after waking up on weekdays, whether you are in good spirits after waking up, your body feels very relaxed, and whether your daily life will be affected. .

3. What are the requirements for sleep at different ages?

Generally speaking, children need more sleep because their body and brain cells are growing. Newborn babies sleep most of the day and have more REM cycles.

As you get older, your sleep time will get shorter and shorter. After the age of 18 until old age, the total amount of sleep required per day should be similar.

Many people think that the elderly don't need to sleep for so long, but this is not quite right. The elderly need the same sleep as adults, except that the sleep of the elderly will become very light and easily interrupted, so they often need to supplement sleep during the day.

4. Is it healthy to go to bed early and get up early?

It is healthier to go to bed early and get up early, which is more correct for people over middle age, which is more in line with the physiological cycle after middle age. Because our melatonin secretion will be earlier and earlier after middle age, so we tend to go to bed earlier and get up earlier to be more comfortable. Whether staying up late will hurt your body also depends on the situation. If your sleep time is different from social customs, it may affect the quality of sleep and cause you to lack sleep for a long time. This may injure the body and cause health problems. So whether you go to bed early and get up early or go to bed late and get up late, the important thing is that the sleep process will not be disturbed a lot, and it is best to be able to adapt to your own biological clock.

5. What are the consequences of long-term lack of sleep?

The most obvious consequence of sleep deprivation is poor daytime performance, even unexpected. Studies have found that long-term lack of sleep can lead to inattention, affect immunity, and make it easier to get sick.

Recently, it has also been found that people with insufficient sleep have poor blood sugar control, are even more prone to obesity, and often have gastrointestinal diseases in digestion. For children, lack of sleep will affect the growth hormone of the child, because the growth hormone of the child is secreted during the first third of sleep, so when the deep sleep period is not enough, the growth hormone will not be secreted. Therefore, in addition to mental satisfaction, sleep also has a great impact on physical health.

6. I can't get enough sleep. Is it sick? Still have narcolepsy?

If you feel sleepy all the time, it may be drowsiness. Sleepiness is not a disease, but a symptom of sleep disturbance. The most common cause may be "sleep apnea", because snoring and hypoxia cause breathing interruption, sleep is interrupted and sleep is not enough. In addition, like "limb movement disorder", when you sleep, your feet will twitch. These limb movements will cause wake waves to run out of the brain, so sleep will be interrupted, and it is easy to not get enough sleep. In addition, colds, viral infections, nasal congestion, arthritis, mental illness, chronic diseases, drowsiness caused by medication, etc., will make people sleep very lightly and not get enough sleep.

7. Is it good to take a nap?

According to foreign observations, children must take naps. The younger they are, the more they need to sleep. After elementary school, they don’t necessarily need to take naps. So, whether it is good to take a nap or not is not very sure. If you are prone to low energy in the afternoon, it is recommended to take a nap, but it is best not to exceed half an hour. Sleeping for more than two hours will make you more tired, because you will feel more tired when you enter the rapid eye movement period.