Study: Americans know nothing about getting a good night’s rest

Adam Warner
April 16, 2019 - 11:22 am
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – A new study about sleep finds Americans hold many false beliefs about sleep and that it could be hurting our health.

The study by NYU Langone Health's School of Medicine looked at 8,000 websites to learn what people think are healthy sleep habits, CNN reports. They then had sleep medicine experts analyze them.

Number one on the list: Adults only need five or less hours of sleep a night to avoid sleep deprivation. In reality, experts say we need between seven and ten hours of sleep a night to hold off illness and stay mentally sharp.

"It turns out a lot of people felt less than five hours of sleep a night was just fine," Girardin Jean-Louis, the senior study investigator, told CNN. "That's the most problematic assumption we found."

Another fallacy is that being able to fall asleep “anytime, anywhere” is a good thing. That’s actually a sign that someone is not well-rested.

"It means your body is so exhausted that whenever it has a moment, it's going to start to repay its sleep debt," lead study investigator Rebecca Robbins told CNN.

Respondents also told the survey-takers that the human body can adjust to less sleep and still function at peak performance. Experts say that’s not true -- if you don’t get enough sleep, you will not function optimally.

As for snoring, it isn’t as harmless as many people believe. In fact, it can be a sign of sleep apnea, which increases the risk of a heart attack, high blood pressure and other health problems.

Other sleep suggestions: Stick to a regular sleep schedule, don't watch TV or drink alcohol before bed and avoid counting sheep if you can't sleep (it's better to get up and do something mindless until you get tired).

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