Hit Snooze! We Bust 6 of the Most Common Sleep Myths
When it comes to sleep, everyone has their own ideas on how to get a good night's rest. But do these sleep myths actually work? We found out.

July 27, 2022

grumpy dog in blanket

A full-night’s rest is the stuff of fables for many of us. Whether it’s an uncomfortable mattress, noisy neighbour or a constant wrestling match for the blankets with the SO, it feels like there are hundreds of obstacles standing between you and those forty winks. Unsuprisingly, the five-letter-word sleep has spawned more than just a few sleep myths. Everyone, and we mean everyone, has their own hacks for snagging extra Z’s. Problem is that everyone, and—yes—we mean everyone, has their own snooze struggles, too.

Read More: 7 Ways You Could Be Sabotaging Your Sleep. PLUS, Win With Sloom!

Don’t worry, we’re here to cut through the fluff (and BS science) to crack the most common sleep myths.

1. You Need Eight Hours of Sleep

alarm clock

Reality: The amount of sleep someone needs depends on a variety of factors, including genetics.

“Sleep need is like height, we are all different and how much we need is to a large degree, genetically determined,” sleep expert Dr. Neil Stanley explained to The Independent. Tracking your bed time, how many hours you sleep a night, and how well rested you feel each day can help you find the ideal amount of sleep for your body, according to sleep experts at Harvard.

2. A Glass of Warm Milk Will Knock You Out

Reality: Drinking milk to go to sleep is such a popular theory, it’s been featured everywhere from dairy commercials to Happy Gilmore.

However, there’s no scientific evidence that drinking milk will help you sleep, according to the University of Arkansas. As the university explains in a blog post, the myth began because milk has small traces of tryptophan, an amino acid used to make the hormones serotonin and melatonin in our bodies, which do help us sleep. However, there’s not nearly enough tryptophan in milk to make anyone drowsy.

3. Afternoon Naps Will Ruin Your Sleep Schedule

Reality: Some believe napping is bad for bed time, but a quick afternoon rest won’t disrupt your ability to go to bed, according to the American National Sleep Foundation. In fact, our internal clocks are programmed to make us sleepy in the afternoon. A short 20-minute nap is best so you don’t enter a REM, or a deeper stage of sleep, as this will only make you tired later in the day.

Read More: Is Sleeping for Five Hours a Night Really That Bad?

4. Cheese is Nightmare Fuel


Reality: Although people often blame cheese for their bad dreams, nutritionist Joy Dubost, previously told MensHealth.com there is no evidence to support this idea.

Researchers believe people who are sensitive to lactose may have trouble sleeping if they consume dairy before bed due to gas, bloating, or cramps — but not due to nightmares.

5. You’re Feeling Sleepy Because You Got Too Little Sleep

Reality: It’s entirely possible to sleep for eight or nine hours a night and still feel fatigued if you suffer from sleep apnea. People with the condition stop breathing while they sleep, which causes them to repeatedly wake up throughout the night. This makes it hard to sleep deeply, which causes daytime sleepiness.

Read More: How Sleeping More Could Help You Lose Weight

6. Not Everyone Has Dreams


Reality: Researchers say that everybody dreams each night. In fact, the average person will dream four to six times per night when they enter REM sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

People who think they don’t dream simply don’t remember, and scientists aren’t sure why some are able to recall their dreams better than others.

Originally published on menshealth.com