Medical Misconception: Common Sleep Myths

Each month, we set the facts straight on a health and wellness myth.

This month’s myth: Physical activity is only beneficial in long sessions

For many, tossing and turning, late nights and early mornings, and snoring are just a part of a typical night’s sleep. But what is it doing to our health? This month, we debunk three common sleep myths:

Snoring can’t be harmful. Simply put, snoring is noisy breathing during sleep, as described by the National Sleep Foundation. Snoring can be harmless, but it also can be a sign of sleep apnea, which is when the airway becomes blocked during sleep. Symptoms of sleep apnea, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke website, include snoring, restless sleep and excessive tiredness during the day. Sleep apnea can be helped in a variety of ways, including lifestyle changes and use of a CPAP machine to help keep the airway open at night. If you suspect you or a loved one are experiencing sleep apnea, talk to your doctor.

Adults need less sleep as they age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 18-year-old adults need the same amount of sleep as those who are age 65 or older: 7 hours or more of good quality sleep is ideal. Tips for getting a better quality of sleep include having a consistent bedtime, sleeping in a quiet, dark bedroom without electronics, and avoiding large meals and alcohol shortly before bed.

Not getting enough sleep won’t affect my overall health. Sleep doesn’t just make you feel rested. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke website describes sleep as essential as food and water—and important for your brain and body functions. A chronic lack of sleep is linked to a variety of chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and depression, according to the CDC and the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute.

Join Us for Sleep Awareness Day on May 1

Learn more about sleep at the hospital’s annual Sleep Awareness Day event, taking place on Wednesday, May 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. in Carroll Hospital’s Shauck Auditorium, located in the hospital’s East Pavilion at 291 Stoner Ave. in Westminster.

The event kicks off with a sleep fair, featuring exhibitors displaying the latest equipment to treat sleep apnea and providing information on the condition and other health-related issues. Attendees will learn the latest information on the hospital’s complementary health services, the importance of exercising for a better night’s sleep, smoking cessation and more.

Then, at 6:30 p.m., join us for the featured presentation Interrupted Sleep: What Happens to Your Body, presented by Amit Narula, D.O., medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Carroll Hospital.

Registration is preferred for the presentation. To learn more or to register, please call Care Connect at 410-871-7000.

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