Have you ever heard that you swallow eight spiders in your sleep every year? Don’t worry, it’s not true — but 20 percent of participants in a recent survey believed it. The results in the survey show that there’s still some serious confusion about what’s helpful, what’s harmful and what’s true when it comes to sleep.
The survey, conducted in September by OnePoll on behalf of Mattress Advisor, asked 2,000 Americans about the facts and fiction of sleep. OnePoll is a survey company based in the United Kingdom.
Almost one-third of respondents believed that a nightcap helps them sleep, making it the most-believed myth of the survey. In truth, alcohol might help you drift off at first, but it actually causes worse sleep later in the night, so you don’t wake up feeling rested.
At least half of participants could correctly define sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia and narcolepsy. But 24 percent thought that they could train their bodies to need less sleep.
Sleep deprivation is more dangerous than people might think, coming with increased risks of heart disease and dementia, according to Johns Hopkins University. It can also affect a person’s judgment, which might be why they don’t notice its affects and think their “training” has been successful.
“As with anything related to your personal health, knowledge is power,” Alesandra Woolley, executive editor of Mattress Advisor, said in a press release. “The more you know about the behaviors that promote quality sleep, the better chance you have of improving your sleep health.”