(True or False)
1. When you sleep, you’re just unconscious for a few hours.
False. When we sleep, we are not unconscious since we are still able to hear sounds in the environment. When we sleep the brain and body cells are very active. Sleep proceeds in cycles of light sleep, deep sleep and dream sleep. We are physically refreshed and regenerated during deep sleep and emotionally refreshed and regenerated during dream sleep. Learning, memory and the immune system are also supported during sleep.
2. Six hours of sleep is enough for adults.
False. Sleep needs vary from person to person. Experts believe most adults require a minimum of six hours of sleep, but most recommend getting between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night as research shows that this amount of sleep on a regular basis provides the best health outcomes.
3. The only outcome of sleep loss is sleepiness.
False. Because sleep is critical to our health and well-being, research is showing that sleep loss is implicated in diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular illness and cancer. Because sleep supports the immune system, sleep loss also makes us more prone to various auto-immune conditions. Sleepy people also make more mistakes, work less efficiently and are more at risk for accidents.
4. You can catch up on lost sleep.
True and False. We can usually catch up on a few hours of lost sleep, but if the sleep debt is high, then we cannot recoup all the lost sleep.
5. Exercise promotes sleep.
True. Exercise may help you relax and be better able to sleep. Exercise also promotes deep sleep.
6. Sleep is as essential as water for survival.
True. Oxygen, water and food are essential for survival. So is sleep. Most people cannot go more than 3 days without sleep. Without sleep, we start to experience ‘microsleeps’ – those brief moments when we are asleep, but are unaware of it. Recent research also indicates that sleep loss may contribute to a shortened life span.
7. To get more sleep, one should just go to bed earlier.
True and False. If you are perpetually delaying your bed time because you are choosing to do other things, then a decision to go to bed earlier would certainly allow you to get more sleep. However, if you are a night owl, going to bed earlier will not allow you to get more sleep because your body is simply not ready for sleep yet. You will have to manage your sleep time in other ways.
8. Getting something done is usually more important than getting a good sleep.
There are those occasions when getting something done before the next morning is absolutely critical. However, because sleep is so critical to our health, our well-being, our safety and our success, getting a good sleep is usually more important than getting some other task completed.
9. Not everybody dreams.
False. Everyone with normal sleep patterns will dream. Lack of dreams compromises one’s emotional well-being.
10. Quality sleep contributes to better health.
True. Quality sleep means getting enough deep and dream sleep. Those subject to sleep disorders are not able to get quality sleep and this compromises their health