How Sleep Savvy Are You? Common Sleep Myths Debunked

It's no surprise envello loves sleeping.

And, like many of you, we pride ourselves on the sleep-centric information we’ve gathered over time – you know, the best sleep-better podcasts, what bedding suits your body temperature, the ideal temp for falling and staying asleep.

But amongst all this helpful information, we’ve discovered that there’s a lot of misinformation out there, sleep myths if you will.

These myths are contributing to a collective lack of sleep, which is a serious and growing concern.

In our previous “When Did Sleeping Become a Skill?” blog, we revealed that, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, 50% of adults have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, 1 in 5 don’t find their sleep restorative and a third have difficulty staying awake in waking hours. What’s more, women in particular are increasingly susceptible to insomnia, in part because of hormonal imbalances and the increased pressure to juggle family and work-from-home responsibilities.

With this, and your good nights and good mornings in mind, we decided to debunk some of the most common sleep myths.

Myth 1: 5 Hours of Sleep a Night Is Fine

Truth: Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night (7-9 is the ideal range). In fact, 5 hours or less can contribute to serious health problems including weight gain, depression and compromised immunity.

Myth 2: More Sleep is Better

Truth: While we may need a little extra sleep every now and again, experts are wary about the effects that consistent long sleep times have on health. Adults who regularly sleep long times (10 hours or more) could have underlying health concerns and undiagnosed issues.

Myth 3: You Can Catch Up on Sleep

Truth: If you think sleeping more on the weekend will make up for late nights during the week, think again. Sleepers who snooze for just 5 hours a night during the week are more likely to snack at night, gain weight and have trouble focusing no matter how much they sleep on the weekend.

Myth 4: Seniors Need Less Sleep

Truth: No matter the age, all adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep to feel good and function at their very best. The problem is that sleep patterns can change as we age and older sleepers can wake more frequently at night so they might need more sleep – naps – during the day.

Myth 5: Naps Are Bad for You

Truth: Napping as a habit is a no-no, but if you had a bad sleep, a 20- to 30-minute nap can be restorative – just remember it’s not a solution to sleep issues.

Myth 6: You Need to be Relaxed to Sleep

Truth: Obviously, being relaxed feels great both physically and mentally but it doesn’t guarantee a great sleep. In fact, striving too hard to be relaxed can backfire, causing stress and worry that makes for a worse sleep.

Myth 7: A Glass of Wine Before Bed Helps You Sleep

Truth: Alcohol may put you to sleep but it won’t keep you asleep or contribute to a good sleep. Its sedative effect can bring on sleep quickly but it won’t be restorative and you won’t feel rested in the morning.

Myth 8: Poor Sleeping is A Fact of Life

Truth: This is our favourite myth to debunk. It is always possible to improve sleep patterns and get a good night’s sleep. At envello, we are big on sleep protocols: a cool, dark room, no screen time, eating well, exercising…and of course, choosing the right sheets for your sleep-type! Taking a holistic approach to sleep and creating a comfortable bedroom are impactful ways to improve sleep patterns and overall well-being.