Everyone knows eating cheese before bed equals terrible dreams, right? And if you’re struggling for some shuteye you count sheep… don’t you?
When it comes to getting quality sleep, not all advice is good advice—and not all the bad stuff is actually true.
Check out some of the most common sleep myths below. You might be surprised!
Napping is good
Everyone has those days when you just need a quick nap on the sofa. Unfortunately, if repeated too often these power naps can be troublesome for your body.
Short snoozes reduce your ability to get a good night’s rest, and a study by the National Sleep Foundation showed napping also triggered inflammation in the body, which can have considerable health implications over time.
In any case, you don’t need a study to tell you it’s common to wake up feeling worse!
Counting sheep helps you get to sleep
Despite what you might’ve been told as a child, counting sheep can actually delay getting to sleep. It’s better to steady your breathing and visualise a relaxing scene like lying on the beach or taking a warm bath.
You can catch up on sleep over the weekend
If you’ve had a hectic week with little sleep, spending extra hours in bed to pay off your ‘sleep debt’ can be tempting. But sleeping until noon lessens the chance of you falling asleep at your usual bedtime—setting up a new, unbalanced sleep cycle for the week to come.
The best way to improve your sleep quality and routine, reducing the need to “catch up”? Exercising in the morning.
It’s fine to drink caffeine before bed
A sophisticated post-dinner espresso looks classy in European movies—but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to order it. Caffeine interferes with your body long after you’ve drunk it, and drinking coffee or Coke—especially close to bedtime—can really affect your quality of sleep.
Limit your caffeine intake by the early afternoon to ensure you fall asleep easily.
Being warm is good for a blissful night’s sleep
Cosying up in a pair of pyjamas might make you feel sleepy—but beware of overheating, as that can result in disrupted sleep. Having a bath, then cooling right down is a good way to prepare your body for sleep and help make sure it’s a good quality one.
Eating cheese gives you nightmares
We’ve all been told time and time again that eating dairy before bed can induce vivid nightmares … but this isn’t true at all.
Of course, we wouldn’t recommend loading up on the cheese right before you hit the hay—overfill your stomach up with anything and it’s going to make it harder to sleep—but if cravings persist, a slice or two won’t hurt.
Your mattress makes a difference
One thing that isn’t a myth is the importance of sleeping in a bed that matches your body’s needs—and replacing your bed every 7-10 years.