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5 Myths About Sleep Debunked

The Ultimate in Safety, Service and Satisfaction

Business travel is tiring, occasionally frustrating and often unpleasant. It’s hard to maintain the correct levels of rest when you’re on the road and constantly sleeping in a different bed. Additionally, it’s likely that you will have a lot on your plate, so your sleep schedule is going to take a hit. As a result people often try and catch up at the weekend, drink more coffee or just go without sleep. Sadly this may not be the right answer. This post explores 5 common myths about sleep, so you can make the best choices to allow you to stay on top of your game.

Sleep just lets your brain rest

Sleep definitely lets our body rest but the mind is actually more active while we’re sleeping, says Jim Maas, author of Sleep for Success: Everything You Must Know About Sleep But Are Too Tired to Ask. The brain is performing vital tasks, such as transferring information from short term to long term storage.

You get used to sleeping less

Most people feel they can get used to surviving on less sleep, they also probably recognize that, when they’re exceptionally tired, their performance declines significantly. This is demonstrable: a 2003 study by the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Medical School found reducing sleep time to six hours or less hindered cognitive performance as much as staying awake for as many as two nights straight.

You can catch up on the weekend

This is only partially true. Studies have shown that you’d need to catch up on all the lost hours of sleep and have your normal sleep. This is difficult and not wholly practical and it’s likely to mess with your sleeping pattern in to the following week.

Coffee can substitute for sleep

This is also partially true but only for about 20-30 minutes. After that the body and mind tend to feel more tired. The caffeine in the coffee is treating the symptoms of a lack of sleep – feeling drowsy – by inhibiting some of the chemicals that make us feel tired. What it’s not doing is repairing the brain and doing all the other vital things sleep does. This means, while you feel more alert, you’ll still exhibit all the mental deficiencies that lack of sleep causes, like poor judgment.

Sleeping too much leads to weight gain

This theory at first may sound logical – if you’re doing nothing in bed, surely you are using less calories than otherwise would be the case. The opposite would appear to be true. A lack of sleep can cause cravings for high fat and high carbohydrate foods and tiredness actually reduces our metabolism.

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Posted on Jun 17 2014

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