Debunking Sleep Myths

There are so many myths around sleep that it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. Have you ever heard that eating cheese before bedtime causes nightmares? Or that rolling the window down when you’re driving will keep you wide awake? 

Let's challenge your beliefs!

Myth: Rolling down the window when you’re too tired to drive is a good idea

As we all know, it’s dangerous to drive when tired, and fresh air won’t do much for your concentration. Listening to loud music (as fun as it is!) isn’t a solution either. Before a long drive make sure that you get a good sleep the night before, stay hydrated to boost concentration and snack on high protein foods during your journey. Taking a 15 minute nap somewhere safe will also do wonders. You’ll be back on the road in no time.


Car on a road


Myth: You can always make up for lost sleep

A ‘sleep debt’ occurs when we’ve experienced poor quality sleep over a long periods and the debt can’t be made up easily in the short term.  Think of it as a bank account; we might be in overdraft from time to time but if we don’t sort it out quickly, we’ll eventually be in such deep debt that we’re seriously affected.  It is the same with sleep. 

Missing a few hours over a couple of nights doesn’t usually cause serious problems, but the effects of long-term sleep deprivation can’t be solved by having a lie in for the next few days. 

Myth: Eating cheese before bedtime causes nightmares

This old wives’ tale has been challenged in recent years.  One of the amino acids in cheese – tryptophan – in fact may reduce stress and improve sleep, and there is no evidence that cheese causes nightmares.  Great news for all cheese aficionados!


Sleep Foundation: Myths and Facts About Sleep

The Dairy Reporter: British study on cheese


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