Sleep is one of the most mysterious domains of the human experience. Brilliant minds throughout history have wrestled with its cryptic depths, and to this day, many misconceptions surround the nature of sleep. What is it? What affects it? And what in the world causes nightmares? Here are four sleep-related myths, which science has shown are simply not true.
You can bank sleep
Many people ascribe to the notion that you can catch up on sleep by sleeping longer on weekends. As comforting as this idea may be, this is not actually how your body functions. The fact is that you never truly pay off your sleep debts. Instead, experts recommend that you sleep eight hours each night so that you are never in the position of having to catch up in the first place.
Drinking alcohol helps you fall asleep
Common sense holds that, since drinking alcohol can make you feel sleepy, it must be a good sleep aid. But while a glass of wine before bed may make it easier to fall asleep, it also makes it more likely that you will wake during the night as your metabolism starts converting alcohol into sugar. Furthermore, alcohol reduces the amount of time your body spends in REM sleep, which is a crucial part of the sleep cycle when your body restores itself. So though that glass of wine might make you yawn, it’s not actually improving your sleep at all.
Turkey makes you snooze
What is more American than falling asleep while watching TV on the couch after Thanksgiving dinner? Conventional wisdom says that this phenomenon is explained by tryptophan content of the turkey you’ve just gobbled. While tryptophan does indeed cause sleepiness, turkey does not contain any more or less of the hormone than other meats. And so the post-Thanksgiving nap remains unexplained—maybe we do it simply because...we’ve always done it.
Eating cheese gives you nightmares
One weird legend has it that eating lots of cheese before bed will give you especially vivid nightmares. Cheese lovers, do not fear: science has been unable to confirm this myth. It looks like the origin of nightmares is housed somewhere deeper in the psyche, and has nothing to do with brie or gouda or extra-sharp cheddar.
Now that all your sleep beliefs have been shattered, where can you look for truth in this disenchanted world? Here’s one thing we know to be true: a Molecule mattress can help you get the best sleep of your life. In fact, its patent-pending airflow technology helps regulate your body’s temperature throughout the night, so that instead of tossing and turning from metabolized sugars and strange cheese nightmares, your night are spent immersed in blissfully restorative sleep.