How much sleep does one need? Is snoring harmless? Why do some people sleep more than others? These are some of the questions that are often asked of an expert. While you may think of sleep as a regular part of your daily life, it has a much greater impact on your health, experts say.

But, according to Dr Nitin Rathi, Senior Consultant, Pulmonology, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, there are also many myths surrounding sleep. Here, he busts some.

Myth 1: Adults can manage with less sleep

Every person needs adequate sleep for a healthy life. Some adults may sleep for less than five hours, and still lead normal life. But, one should ideally sleep for at least 7 to 10 hours per day (health conditions may vary). A study says that around 30 per cent adults are taking less than seven hours sleep which can lead to several health issues over a period of time. These may include anxiety, depression irritability etc, he said.

Myth 2: Snoring is harmless

Snoring may appear harmless but it is a sign of blocked airways. Delaying or ignoring snoring may lead to problems like congestion; allergies etc. it is an apparent sign of breathing issue. Sometimes, it may even be an initial symptom of sleep apnea.

Do you snore? (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock; representative image)

Myth 3: Alcohol can help to sleep

Alcohol may make you feel sleepy, but its harmful effects cannot be denied. If consumed regularly, over a period of time, it may potentially affect sleep cycle as well as well as quality of sleep.

Myth 4: Some people can sleep anywhere

It is said that some people can sleep anytime, anywhere – even if the place is uncomfortable. But this condition may not be right for your health. “If one can sleep anytime, anywhere then it shows one is suffering from fatigue and leading a restless life,” he said.

Myth 5: Body gets habitual to less sleep

Studies confirm that lack of sleep affects brain functioning. Inadequate sleep for a few nights can make a person sleepier in the daytime. After few more days, body can even find it difficult to adjust to sleep even after much tiredness. This condition may potentially affect almost every active area of your life and daily performance.

Myth 6: A good sleeper doesn’t move at night

Movements are normal during sleep, but they may reflect a problem if they are chronic, bothering bed partner, violent, or leading to sleepwalking.

Myth 7: Brain slows down during sleep

In reality, the brain remains active even during sleep. It just changes its functioning from active thinking to witnessing stored memories.

Myth 8: More sleep is better

Along with lack of sleep, sleeping till late is also a problem. Sleeping too much or excessive sleep can be an underlying symptom of illness.

Myth 9: Sleeping with a light on is harmless

Lights can add to the risk of sudden awakenings and studies have confirmed that sleeping under light can increase eye strain.

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