People often say they can get by on 5 or fewer hours of sleep, that snoring is harmless, and that having a drink helps you to fall asleep.
These are, in fact, among the most widely held myths about sleeping that not only shape poor habits, but may also pose a significant public health threat, according to a new study publishing online in Sleep Health on April 16.
Researchers from NYU School of Medicine reviewed more than 8,000 websites to identify the 20 most common assumptions about sleep. With a team of sleep medicine experts, they ranked them based on whether each could be dispelled as a myth or supported by scientific evidence, and on the harm that the myth could cause.
“Sleep is a vital part of life that affects our productivity, mood, and general health and well-being,” says study lead investigator, Rebecca Robbins, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Health, in a release. “Dispelling myths about sleep promotes healthier sleep habits which, in turn, promote overall better health.”
The claim by some people that they can get by on 5 hours of sleep was among the top myths researchers were able to dispel based on scientific evidence. They say this myth also poses the most serious risk to health from long-term sleep deficits. To avoid the effects of this falsehood and others identified in this study, such as the value…