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Sharp Health News

4 myths about sleep (infographic)

Aug. 26, 2016

Some sleep tips seem obvious: keep a consistent schedule, avoid caffeine before bed and exercise regularly. But is it true that you need eight hours of sleep every night? Does your sleeping position affect the way you sleep?

Dr. Victoria Sharma, medical director of the Sharp Grossmont Hospital Sleep Disorders Center, sets the record straight and debunks four common sleep myths keeping you up at night.

4 myths about sleep. Do you stay up at night counting sheep? Good sleep habits are vital to your health, but some of the most well-known sleep tips may contain just a kernel of truth. Myth: You need eight hours of sleep a night. While most people function best with seven to eight hours of sleep, the normal range spans from six to 10 hours per night. Rather than focusing on a number, consider how you feel the following day when determining how many hours you need. Myth: Children don’t get obstructive sleep apnea. Although the risk of obstructive sleep apnea increases with age and being overweight, even younger people (including children) can have significant sleep apnea. Myth: During sleep, your brain rests.
While your body rests during sleep, the brain remains active. It continues to control important body functions during sleep, such as breathing and regulating body temperature. Myth: Insomnia is best treated with medications. Although medication is sometimes useful in treating insomnia, cognitive behavioral therapy – along with practicing good sleep habits – works best in the long-term. “Sleep is a vital part of our lives,” says Dr. Victoria Sharma, sleep expert at Sharp Grossmont Hospital. “However, with our increasingly busy, electronic-filled lifestyle, sleep has been put on the back burner. With so many Americans suffering from the consequences of poor sleep, it’s important to understand the facts and seek help when a sleep disorder is suspected.”

View the printable version of this infographic.

For the media: To talk with a Sharp doctor about sleep disorders, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at

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