5 Common Sleep Myths June 17th 2016 Filed under: Healthcare Sleep myths abound due to the ambiguity that surrounds sleep and its health benefits. We’ve compiled a list of five of the most common sleep myths in order to set the record straight. Sleep is a time when your body and brain shut down for rest. Although your body is mostly immobile during sleep, your brain remains very active. During sleep your brain regulates many functions in the body and follows a complex series of orchestrated events every night. You can make up for lost sleep during the week by sleeping more on the weekend. Incurring “sleep debt” during the week by consistently sleeping less than is necessary cannot be remedied by longer sleep sessions on the weekends. The benefits of a long sleep session will only show benefits for as little as 6 hours after waking and can cause long-term health problems. Naps are a waste of time. Although daytime naps are often viewed as an indication of laziness, research shows that a quick 25 minute nap during the workday can improve productivity. Even some of our most famous scientists, politicians, athletes and artists favored daily naps, including Thomas Edison, Leonardo DaVinci, Connie Mack, Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy. Snoring is a normal part of sleep and isn’t harmful. Snoring may be harmless for some people but it can also be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, especially if accompanied with daytime sleepiness. Loud, chronic snoring is more indicative of this condition. Obstructive sleep apnea is a life-threatening condition that can reduce blood oxygen levels, increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart attacks. Daytime fatigue always means a person isn’t getting enough sleep. Excessive fatigue after getting sufficient sleep can be a sign of an underlying medical condition or sleep disorder. Sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, circadian rhythm disorder and narcolepsy can all cause daytime sleepiness and should be evaluated by a sleep specialist. Other causes of daytime fatigue include clinical depression, tumors, hypothyroidism, drug abuse and a vitamin deficiency.