Truth or Myth About Sleep Problems

Tue, Jul 28, 2009

Sleep ProblemsTests & Quizzes

What do you know about sleep problems?  Read below and find out the truth and the myth about sleep problems:

Health problems have no relationship to the quantity and quality of sleep

Myth: more and more scientific studies proving a link between poor sleep and/or lack of sleep with a variety of other illnesses including hypertension, diabetes and depression.  For example, lack of sleep can affect the body’s ability to use insulin, which subsequently could lead to even more serious form of diabetes.  The condition of patients with poorly controlled diabetes and sleep apnea significantly improved after the treatment of apnea.  The same applies to patients suffering from hypertension. Treatment of apnea improves blood pressure.  Also, lack of sleep reduces the formation of growth hormone, which in turn, leads to obesity.

Older people need less sleep

Myth: the average person needs sleep from seven to nine hours a day.  Even when people get older the need for a certain amount of sleep is not.  Older people sleep less due to frequent awakening at night, but their requirements for sleep is the same as in young people.

Snoring is very harmful

Truth: Snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, the sleep disorder, which is associated with other medical problems, such as cardiovascular disfunction.  Sleep apnea is characterized by episodes of breathing interruption and temporary shutdown of sleep. Typically, people describe the attack as sleep apnea when they are frequent awakening through the night due to the lack of.

You can control how long you need to sleep at night

Myth: experts on the problems of sleep believed that in order to maintain normal health, all adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep per night.  The lacking amount of sleep should be recuperated in the next few days.

Adolescents need more sleep than adults

Truth: Adolescents need to be from 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep a day, while adults need 7-9 hours a day.

Insomnia is characterized by the inability to fall asleep

Myth: insomnia is characterized by one or more of the following four symptoms:

  • Inability to fall asleep
  • Early awakening and the inability to fall back asleep
  • Frequent awakening through the night
  • Feeling tired after the night sleep.

Drowsiness during the day – a sign lack of sleep

Myth: Drowsiness during the day may not only be due to the lack of sleep.  This can occur during normal full dream. Such sleepiness can be a symptom of a disease or sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea or narcolepsy.

Мозг отдыхает во время сна.The brain rests during sleep

Myth: Our body rests during sleep, but not our brain. The brain remains active and continues to monitor body functions, including breathing.

If you awake at night and can not get back to sleep, you need to get up and do something

Truth: If you woke up at night and can not get back to sleep again within 15 to 20 minutes, then get up and do something relaxing. Не сидите в кровати и не смотрите на часы. Do not sit in the bed and do not look at your watch. Sleep experts recommend that in such situation go to another room and read something or listen to a quiet music.  Return to bed only when you feel tired.

Lack of sleep can causes an obesity in people

Truth: The duration of regular sleep can affect your weight alright. The duration of sleep hours affect certain hormones, especially leptin and ghrelin, which are responsible for appetite.  Leptin and ghrelin operate as a “checks and balances” system, which controls the feeling of hunger and food saturation.  Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, controls appetite, whereas leptin, which is produced in fat cells, sends signals to the brain about the degree of food saturation. When you experience the lack of sleep, leptin level is decreasing, subsequently creating a constant feeling of hunger (not a feeling of saturation), whereby the level of ghrelin is increasing and, respectively, increasing appetite.  As a result, these two factors lead to overeating, which may result in excessive weight and obesity. 


Leptin: Greek leptos meaning thin) is a protein hormone that plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, including appetite and metabolism. In addition to being a biomarker for body fat, serum leptin levels also reflect individual energy balance. Several studies have shown that fasting or following a very low calorie diet (VLCD) lowers leptin levels. It might be that on short term leptin is an indicator of energy balance. This system is more sensitive to starvation than to overfeeding. That is, leptin levels do not rise extensively after overfeeding. It might be that the dynamics of leptin due to an acute change in energy balance are related to appetite and eventually to food intake. Although this is a new hypothesis, there is already some data that supports it. (Wikipedia)

Ghrelin is a hormone produced mainly by cells lining the fundus of the human stomach and epsilon cells of the pancreas that stimulates hunger. Ghrelin levels increase before meals and decrease after meals. It is considered the counterpart of the hormone leptin, produced by adipose tissue, which induces satiation when present at higher levels. In some bariatric procedures, the level of ghrelin is reduced in patients, thus causing satiation before it would normally occur. Ghrelin plays a significant role in neurotrophy, particularly in the hippocampus, and is essential for cognitive adaptation to changing environments and the process of learning. (Wikipedia)

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