The popular knowledge is often an inexhaustible source of wisdom … until it reaches science and debunks some myths. As centuries ago stopped believing that the Earth was flat, there are some myths about sleep to which you can stop ignoring!

Myth # 1 “If you exercise before bed will cost you sleep.”

This is great news for busy people, the undecided and those who love to run in the light of the moon can now exercise before bed. Although doctors and sleep experts were against this idea, because the increase in adrenaline and heart rate could stay awake, actually there was a lot of hard evidence to support that theory.

myths about sleep

In early 2014, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) conducted a survey which revealed that people who exercise close to bedtime usually experience no differences in sleep quality compared with those who exercise earlier in the day. There is even evidence that gentle exercise such as walking, yoga, pilates and toning with weights before going to bed can help sleep, says H. Craig Heller, professor of biology at the School of Medicine, Stanford University.

Myth # 2 “The worst thing you can do is fall asleep watching television.”

Several sleep experts admit they regularly watch television in bed, but warn their patients who never do this. They, like many people, have fallen into the habit of letting the background noise numb. However, TVs are not to be lit all night, because the light from the screen interferes quietly with melatonin production and disturbs sleep, says Sam J. Sugar, MD, director of the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Doral , Florida, who recommends putting a timer to turn off after 30 minutes the entire system.

Myth # 3 “Almost everyone needs eight hours of sleep.”

Most people need seven to seven and a half hours of sleep, says Michael Breus, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan, adding that some people do very well with six half hours. However, if you think you are one of those people who need less than six hours, you’re probably wrong. While a select group of “super sleepers” can survive with just close your eyes, are extremely rare and account for only 1 to 3 percent of the population.

Myth # 4 “Only a few people are affected by caffeine before bedtime.”

Breus is always amazed at the number of people who say they can have a cup of coffee before bed without suffering negative effects. “Caffeine is a stimulant that has been shown to affect everyone,” says Breus. “I know if your brain waves measured with an EEG, we would see an increase in mental activity that may disrupt sleep.”

Breus says that most people who make this claim are probably so exhausted and sleep deprived, you are still able to sleep despite the extra stimulation. But if you omit the night cup of coffee, you probably have a more relaxed brain and a quieter night.

Now that you know the fallacy of these important myths about sleep, you can free yourself from its deceptive effects!