A new study by meditation app Calm has revealed the most popular sleep myths us Brits commonly believe. From drinking alcohol before bed to using the weekend to 'catch up' on sleep, these old tales may not actually be doing our health any good.
By conducting a poll with YouGov, the experts at Calm were able to ask more than 4,000 people about which myths they believed the most.
"There are so many common myths about sleep that we wanted to find out which ones are, in fact, most widely believed," Michael Acton Smith, co-founder of Calm told the Metro.
Find out if your myth has made the list below...
10 popular sleep myths
1. Cold air will keep you awake when driving
The study found that 66% of Brits believed that if they opened the window when driving it would help to keep them awake. While it may seem like a good idea, a sign of tiredness is best tackled with coffee or a break.
2. Your brain is resting while you sleep
Our brains are actually fairly active when we sleep. In the poll, 48% of Brits didn't know this and believed their brains would also sleep when they did.
3. You shouldn't wake a sleep walker
How many of you have heard of this one before? This common myth is also one that needs debunking. The study shows it can actually be dangerous to let a sleep walker stumble around in their sleep and it's best to safely lead them back into bed without alarming them.
4. You swallow spiders as you sleep
Here's another myth that thankfully isn't true. While creepy crawlies can be known for walking across our beds in the night, it's not common that we swallow them on a regular basis.
5. You only dream during deep sleep
According to the study, you have your most vivid dreams during REM sleeps (which happens around 90 minutes after you first fall asleep) and not during your deepest sleep.
6. If you can't sleep you should stay in bed
When you're tossing and turning during the night, it can be tempting to stay wrapped up under the covers — but the study shows this is another myth. The experts at the National Sleep Foundation recommend heading to another room if you can't sleep to read or do something to relax you.
7. You can catch up on missed sleep
Busy and jam-packed working weeks often mean we rely on our weekends to catch up on much-needed sleep. But according to the study, this is also a myth that's not good for our health. Research found that 20% of people regularly use the weekends to catch up on sleep.
8. Alcohol will help you sleep
It's been long believed that a quick swig of alcohol can help you to sleep, but this also isn't true. In fact, it could be even harming your sleeping pattern.
9. Snoring is harmless
While a quarter of Brits in the study thought snoring is harmless, research shows that it could be a sign of something more serious — and it's always best to head to your local GP for more information.
10. Cheese will give you nightmares
The study found that 22% of Brits believed cheese would contribute to nightmares, but this also has never actually been proven. Good news: you can still enjoy a cheese board in the evening!
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