On March 17, Dream Day was celebrated and Infoveritas published information debunking some sleep-related myths. Sleeping and resting in a pleasant way is essential to face the challenges of everyday life and, although some people sleep without problems, others suffer every time they have to fall asleep.
I need to sleep eight hours
FALSE. It is part of popular belief. Both children, young people and adults must preserve the eight hours of sleep for complete rest. Opinions are mixed.
According to the Multidisciplinary Sleep Unit of the Jiménez Díaz Foundation, they consider that not all people have the same needs. If it is considered possible that, with about four hours of sleep, we can perform the maintained vital functions, it is also recommended that the ideal is to rest for about seven or eight hours. As long as this dream is not interruptedotherwise, the repair capacity decreases.
The National Sleep Foundation of the United States of America comes to the same conclusion. A study conducted in 2015 determined that the needs of individuals with normal sleep, adequate duration is articulated based on age.
For example, for newborns was established between 14:00 and 17:00 and for you drink between 12 and 15 hours. To the teenagers 8 to 10 hours and 7 to 8 hours of sleep were considered adequate for adults. This has an explanation. “The amount of daily sleep we need throughout our lives is progressively decreasing,” says Dr. Miguel Ángel Saiz Sepúlveda, head of the Sleep Unit at the University Hospital of Torrejón de Ardoz, whom we consulted about some of the doubts they They grow around the dream.
Light from screens slows down the sleep process
TRUE. The Spanish Sleep Society (SES) published a report in 2018 related to an increase in cases of insomnia. In this, the role of screens became the cornerstone of the problem. Before going to sleep we must desensitize the brain of the light and auditory stimulation. Light from electronic devices delays the onset of melatonin.
Although it is the most repeated practice, watching television at night can excite our body and delay the natural synthesis of melatonin. The Doctor. Miguel Ángel Saiz Sepúlveda recommends restructuring the type of routines before the rest process. He recommends avoiding exposure to devices with LED lights in the last hours of the day to progressively reduce our mental activity.
How many hours before bed should we move away from technology? Dr. Mª Fernanda Troncoso Acevedo, Pneumology Associate at the Multidisciplinary Sleep Unit UMS-FJD, CIBERES IIS-FJD and secretary of the Spanish Sleep Society-SES, shares her point of view; in which he recommends get away from technology a few hours before going to bed.
It is better to have dinner the closer to bedtime
FALSE. In Spain, possibly, we have a double problem with this point. In addition to not limiting ourselves to light dinners, we dined with very late hours. The average dinner time in Spain is around 9 pm, as indicated by INE. Matches even with the Prime time attention to the media, especially television.
All of this contributes to prolonging bedtime. It would be preferable to have dinner two hours before bedtime, as indicated by Dr. Miguel Ángel: “Let some time pass before going to bed after dinner.”
In addition, it is not entirely true that the best option is not to have dinner. Despite being one of the hygiene measures recommended in consultations, going to bed hungry can compromise the onset of sleep.
Ideally, dinner should be light to facilitate the digestion process and avoid uncomfortable digestive phenomena that can appear after a hearty dinner.
Caffeine and theine are bad for light sleepers
TRUE. Drinks with a high caffeine and theine content are fully internalized in the routine. Its excessive consumption can prolong the time to fall asleep or the development of insomnia. it comes to stimulants that intervene in the process of decreasing drowsiness and increasing the level of attention.
The Doctor. Miguel Ángel confirms that the consumption of these stimulants is showing an increase in the time it takes us to fall asleep, the number of interruptions and a discount on their duration.
Mª Fernanda says that another negative effect that the consumption of caffeine is that “although it does not cause dependence (physical dependence in the organism), it can cause psychological dependence”.
It’s good to exercise before bed
TRUE AND FALSE. The SES report also clarifies the need to emphasize, as sleep specialists, measures to prevent insomnia.
Among them, strenuous physical exercises should be avoided in the hours before sleep. For Dr. Mª Fernanda, we must avoid vigorous types of exercise in the previous 3 or 4 hours. “The nervous system can be activated and it will be more difficult for us to fall asleep”, says the doctor.
Doctor Miguel Ángel enlightens us: “In this case, something similar to dinner happens. Of course it’s healthy to exercise. O feeling tired It can help us fall asleep. However, intense exercise performed shortly before going to bed can have a rebound effect, causing our level of alertness to increase.”
This sensation may be conditioned by the type of exercise. Some can cause musculoskeletal discomfort, preventing us from not being able to sleep.
Reading a book or an ebook helps you fall asleep
TRUE AND FALSE. The reading support we choose is important. The issuance of led light emitted by digital devices can delay the onset of sleep.
In the same way, a reading can be very positive to help our mind to disconnect from everyday worries. However, as revealed by Dr. Miguel Ángel, we can find the opposite effect if a very interesting read to keep us on edge.
Dr. Mª Fernanda adds: “in bed it is recommended to avoid activities such as: watching television, reading, listening to the radio.” The brain associates the bedroom and bed with sleep activity. When we do other activities, it can get messy.
Snoring, a symptom of deep sleep
FALSE. Almost everyone snore from time to time, especially the elderly and overweight people. Snoring is the sound produced when air passes through the relaxed tissues of the throat, causing them to vibrate as we breathe. It can occur during any phase of sleep.
Eye! Snoring can be an indicator of sleep apnea and that’s how Dr. Miguel Ángel exposes him. He explains to INFOVERITAS that it can reveal the existence of a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
This is a serious breathing disorder that disrupts sleep and prevents people from absorbing oxygen what your body needs. In addition, it can cause some social inconvenience, cause discomfort in the couple or fear of falling asleep in a public place.
Dr. Mª Fernanda asks that we consult the medical opinion of the sleep unit. If we snore and are told we have the shortness of breathe, in addition to poor quality sleep and a feeling of non-restorative sleep when waking up feeling tired and daytime sleepiness. “Snoring can be an alarm symptom of sleep apnea disease,” she clarifies.
Drink water before sleeping better
TRUE AND FALSE. A drink can be relaxing, induce tiredness that facilitates the perception of sleep, as happens with hunger. However, Dr. Miguel Ángel warns us that we should go to bed without feeling thirstyas it may interfere with sleep reconciliation.
When it comes to drinking a large amount of water before going to bed, it can make us have to get up to go to the bathroom during the night –interrupting our sleep–, not knowing whether we will go back to sleep easily or not. However, there is a clear risk of disrupting sleep quality when factors such as alcoholic beverages are involved.
Infoveritas, the verification agency specialized in verifying news and denying fraud, signed a collaboration with El Debate to publish two weekly verifications. With this agreement, both vehicles seek to promote critical thinking and reduce misinformation in society.