Quality Sleep: The Myths & Benefits
Are you guilty of believing these sleep myths?
Getting quality sleep sure can have its challenges. As a result, people believe they can learn to function on less sleep. Some even believe they can make up their sleep deficit on the weekends. Sound like you? Unfortunately, these beliefs are false — and they are two of the three most common sleep myths. Read on to find out what our very own Pete Bils, Vice President, Sleep Science & Research, has to say about the myths and benefits of getting quality sleep.
You may have it all wrong …
I can teach my body to function on less sleep.
When you are getting less sleep than your body needs, you lose the ability to tell that you’re impaired (much like the effect of consuming too much alcohol). Ah, that explains why your fuzzy brain can’t finish a sentence at work.
I can “catch up” on sleep later.
Sorry, but the sleep deficit you accrue during the week can’t be balanced out by sleeping more on the weekend. There are cumulative, negative health effects from inadequate sleep. Sleeping later on the weekends shifts your body’s sleep schedule, making it even harder to get proper sleep the following week. If you fall behind, your best bet is to get back to a regular, consistent sleep schedule vs. thinking you can binge sleep to make it all better.
It’s the amount of sleep that matters.
The truth is that sleep quality is as important as quantity. Not all sleep is created equal — just as junk food fills you with empty calories, “junk sleep” can occupy your night but not perform the restorative sleep functions your body needs. The choices we make during the day, such as what we consume, our activity and stress levels, and our sleep environment, affect the quality of sleep we get at night.
So, then, what are the benefits of getting quality sleep?
Sufficient, high-quality sleep
People who get enough quality sleep:
- Have more energy
- Have better cognitive function
- Have healthier immune systems
- Have improved memory, alertness, attentiveness and performance throughout the day
- Are in a better mood
- More easily learn and perfect new skills
- Are better able to connect new information with current knowledge
- May better manage pain (as the analgesic aspects of sleep increase pain thresholds)
- (Those who sleep eight hours per night) have higher levels of the appetite suppressing hormone leptin, which helps improve weight control.
See why we love sleep so much?!
Sleep involves the most powerful set of processes in the body when we let it happen naturally. Unfortunately, many of us put barriers in the way of sleep and then struggle with the consequences.
For more tips to manage your sleep debt, check out these 5 tips.
Experts say when you can’t get the 7 to 8 hours of sleep you need, focus on getting QUALITY sleep over quantity. Sleep Number customers who adjust the firmness of their bed — their Sleep Number® setting — are 58% more likely to have improved sleep quality.* SleepIQ® technology inside the beds lets you track and optimize your sleep so you know how to adjust for your best night’s sleep, and Sleep Number research shows people who used SleepIQ® technology experienced improved sleep quality and more restful time in bed.
*Increase measured in a 2015 Select Comfort study including 1,079 individual participants.