15 Common Sleep Beliefs: Fact or Fiction?

  1. The older you get, the more sleep you need.
    FALSE: From age 21 to old age 8 hours, more or less is needed.
  2. The main reason teens are sleepy is the brain produces melatonin later than other age groups.
    TRUE: The biologic clocks in teens are usually delayed and Melatonin is produced later at night so they dont get as sleepy until later.
  3. Melatonin is the hormone of darkness.
    TRUE: The brain produces it and releases it at night, when in the dark. It is low in the early morning light.
  4. About 40% of people who are very overweight have sleep apnea, even if they don’t know it.
    TRUE: For example, there are 8 million truck drivers in the USA. 30-40%, at least, are significantly overweight. and 40-50 % of them have sleep apnea….almost 2 million!!! and many are sleepy…
  5. If teens are not getting enough sleep,the rates of depression, sleepiness, and motor vehicle accidents goes up and grades go down.
    TRUE: Studies have shown this.
  6. Restless legs can be easily treated most of the time with either Iron, Melatonin or prescription medications.
    TRUE: Iron deficiency is a cause. Recently it was shown that Melatonin helps decrease restless leg syndrome.
  7. Children from age 3 to 9 can have significant apnea if their tonsils are big.
    TRUE: This is the main cause of pediatric apnea
  8. CPAP is the only way to treat sleep apnea.
    FALSE: There are several other ways.
  9. CPAP is the best way to treat severe sleep apnea
    TRUE: Very effective.
  10. Sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, diabetes and weight gain
    TRUE: Also heart attack and stroke.
  11. Sleep apnea and AFIB are often found together in the same patient.
    TRUE: Apnea can make it worse.
  12. Behavior problems in children don’t cause sleep problems
    FALSE: They often do.
  13. Children with Autism Spectrum disorder occasional have sleep problems.
    FALSE: It is 40-80%
  14. Children with ADHD are so active in the daytime that they sleep well at night.
    FALSE: Often they have difficulty settling down and falling asleep.
  15. Autism, Narcolepsy, Seizures, Insomnia, Restless legs and Obstructive Sleep Apnea are all brain/neurologic problems.
    FALSE: All are except sleep apnea which has other causes.

A Good Night’s Sleep is More than a Dream!

Sleep is an important contributor to overall brain health. Sleep disorders are linked to a variety of neurological and other health problems. If you suspect a sleep disorder, it is important to get an evaluation from a Board Certified Sleep Medicine Specialist.

Read the Full Article Here >

Article Excerpt:
“Today’s youth are also at tremendous risk for long-term, sleep-related health impacts. Sleep-related disorders are on the rise, creeping upward among older workers and becoming staggeringly common in young adults. We’ve long known that sleep is crucial to good health: Bodies subjected to sleep deprivation undergo an ugly metamorphosis until they are in many ways fundamentally different from their sufficiently-slept counterparts. A study published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)showed that chronic sleep deprivation caused “shifts” in the expression levels of more than 700 genes. “Many of these [genes] are related to inflammation and immune and stress response, and overlap with the program of gene expression that is generally associated with high stress levels,” explains Malcolm von Schantz, a researcher at the University of Surrey who helped conduct the PNAS study.

Sleep loss has tremendous cognitive consequences: Dozens of studies have connected lack of sleep to deficits ranging from poor insight formation to diminished working memory. Chronic sleep deprivation is also associated with increased mortality and especially obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and impaired cognitive function, says von Schantz. REM sleep in particular is needed for maintaining brain cells: “Brain cells are some of the few cells in our bodies that we retain throughout our lives,” says Czeisler. “We store our memories, and through their complicated architecture, they are difficult to replace.” Sleep is when toxins accumulated by the body get flushed out of the brain—including big-name baddies like amyloid beta, the plaque that, if it builds up, eventually causes Alzheimer’s.”