5 sleep myths debunked by an expert

1. I can make it up on weekends.

Nope, you can’t simply undo the horrible sleep patterns you engaged in all week by sleeping until noon on Saturday and Sunday. “When you’re sleep deprived, you’re impaired. Period,” says Bils. “Making it up on weekends is a bad strategy; you should strive to get a regular seven to eight hours per day, seven days per week.”

2. Sleeping with the TV on helps you sleep.

Sorry, but not even watching Leonardo DiCaprio’s long-overdue Oscar win is reason to justify keeping a remote control on your nightstand.

3. I sleep better with my pet.

You may think it’s adorable when your kitten “makes biscuits” on your leg or your dog cuddles up between you and your partner, but the reality is all that cuteness is jeopardizing your ability to sleep soundly.

4. I can have coffee after dinner and still go straight to sleep.

There’s an element of truth in this statement, but that doesn’t mean you should be so fast to down that cup of java before turning in for the night. Bils says that yes, you probably will fall asleep fast, but it’s likely because you’re sleep deprived, not because the coffee you consumed didn’t make an impact. You see, he makes it clear that there’s a difference between sleeping and sleeping well – which is why you should re-think that coffee craving before going to bed.

5. Naps are bad.

I’ve often observed sleepy friends and family members, watching them stretch while talking about how tired they when it’s not even noon. When I suggest closing the office door or taking a nap during their lunch break, I often receive a look that indicates they think I’ve lost my mind.