Let’s put to rest some common myths about sleep.
Myth (1) – Your brain is inactive during sleep.
In fact, your brain is very busy. Among its activities is sorting and processing information on what happens each day, then consolidating it into your long term memory. This is essential for learning and memory.
Myth (2) – Sleeping in this weekend can prevent sleep loss effects next week.
Extra sleep helps catch up on lost sleep. But you can’t bank sleep in advance. Sleep loss will always be felt when it happens. To be at your best during the week, you need to keep having a restful night’s sleep.
Myth (3) – A restful night’s sleep requires sleep without waking up.
No, normal sleep is a cycle of deep sleep, light sleep and brief awakenings, repeated several times in the night. What counts is how quickly you go back to sleep after waking up. If you think waking up during the night is abnormal, you might get anxious about it and find it hard to fall back to sleep. Try to relax if you wake up and let sleepiness take over.
Myth (4) – Children who don’t sleep enough are sleepy during the day.
Lack of sleep may not cause a child to feel tired, but can cause other problems such as poor concentration, moodiness and behaving badly. This is a concern, because you might not realise that these problems are due to not sleeping enough.
Myth (5) – You need less sleep as you get older.
Certainly children need less sleep as they grow up. But once you’re a young adult, the amount of sleep you need will stay the same for the rest of your life.
For more information speak to your GP, visit www.sleephealthfoundation.org,au