Sleep myths

Posted in: Wellbeing Last updated: 05 Jul 2013

Getting enough sleep is key to feeling good – it could also help you live for longer. But getting into good sleep habits can be easier said than done.

How to fall asleep is a question that many of us have asked at some point. There are plenty of answers out there – but which ones are true?


Help me to sleep

Take a look at our truths and myths about sleep – you could be making some big sleep mistakes!

Sleep truths

  • If you can’t sleep, get out of bed, 
    Frustration at not being able to sleep can make it even more difficult to nod off. If you’re not asleep after 20 minutes, you may find it helps to get out of bed and do something relaxing until you’re tired enough to sleep
  • Exercise can help you sleep
    People who are regularly active do tend to fall asleep faster, and sleep longer and more deeply than those who don’t exercise regularly.
  • You should avoid tea and coffee at bedtime
    Caffeine in coffee and tannin in tea are stimulants and for many people this can make it harder to drop off.

Sleep myths

  • You can catch up at the weekend
    If you’ve missed sleep during the week, you can’t catch up by binge sleeping on the weekend. For a healthy sleeping pattern, you need to have a good dose of sleep each day.
  • Everyone needs eight hours of sleep a night
    The amount of sleep we need actually varies from person to person. Eight hours may be the average, but some people can sleep for a short while and feel fine and others need longer.
  • Sleep problems are normal
    Many people do experience some problems. But, if you’re really struggling to sleep at night, it might be worth a visit to your GP.

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