Insomnia Myths and Facts

Posted On Dec 27, 2019

Department of

Manipal Hospitals

Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which the person finds it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep as long as desired.

Here are few of the myths and facts about insomnia:

Myth no.1: Alcohol can help falling asleep

Most of the insomniacs think that consuming alcohol before getting on to the bed can help in falling asleep. Undoubtedly, alcohol can help you fall asleep. But as it moves through the body, it can also lead to restless sleep or wake you up earlier.

Myth no.2: Insomnia is related to mental issue only

Although psychological disorders can cause insomnia, it is not the only reason which triggers the disorder. Many things along with psychological issues can cause insomnia including poor hygiene, illness, side effects of any drug, chronic pain, restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea (a disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing while sleeping).

Myth no.3: Reading on the computer or watching TV can help falling asleep

Reading on the computer or watching TV before bed can actually raise levels of nervous activities instead of helping you in falling asleep. The light and noise of the computer or TV can reduce the brain melatonin levels. The melatonin levels should increase around bedtime to help you fall asleep.

Myth no.4: Sleeping pills are risk-free

Undeniably, sleeping pills are more effective than any other drug. But few of them can have potential risks including the risk of addiction to it. Hence, one should always consult a doctor before using sleeping pills. Although few of the sleep aids can help relieve insomnia, it cannot cure the disorder.

Myth no.5: Catnap can offset insomnia

For some people, a 10-20 minutes nap can be refreshing. For most of the people with insomnia, an afternoon nap can decrease the sleep drive of the brain. It can further make it harder to fall asleep at night.

Myth no.6: One can easily learn to need less sleep

This is the most common myth about insomnia which can lead to serious consequences. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep which is necessary for a healthy living. One cannot train his/her body for less sleep. Less sleep can make it harder to pay attention or remember things. Few of the other consequences of lack of sleep are poor work performance, poor health and increased risk of accidents.

Myth no. 7: The disorder will go away on its own

Without understanding the actual cause of insomnia, one shouldn’t expect it to go away by its own. It is necessary to consult a doctor about the actual cause and treatment of the sleep disorder on facing any of the symptoms of insomnia.

Fact no.1: Regular exercise can help you sleep

Regular exercise can help get a better sleep. If you are facing sleeping disorder, avoid working too late. Besides, try to complete workouts 2-3 hours prior to sleep.

Fact no.2: Relax and get out of bed if cannot sleep

On finding difficulty in falling asleep, one should get up and do some activities such as reading or listening to relaxation music. A mild activity can help relax and feel sleepy. Staying on bed while insomnia can lead to frustration and various serious health conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart attack.

Fact no.3: Train yourself to sleep

The best way to train yourself to sleep is consistency. Find what work relaxes your body and make it a part of your routine before going on to the bed every night such as reading and warm bath.

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