Snoring ''does not mean deep sleep''; exploring sleep misconceptions
Snoring at night does not necessarily mean that the person is
in deep sleep, according to sleep experts, who recently arranged a
seminar in India discussing many sleep facts and sleep
Snoring is probably the first thing that springs to mind when you
think of deep sleep, but experts have recently revealed that this
is not the case. Indeed, it may be exactly the reverse. Snoring
occurs because of a blocking to the air pathway. Not only is this
not related to your sleep stages, but it could also be very
dangerous to the sufferer.
This is an issue that was raised at an interactive session on
'management of sleep apnoea' organised by Neeti Clinics run by ENT
surgeon Dr Madan Kapre. The session included two talks delivered by
sleep experts Dr Magne Tvinnereim from Norway and Dr Kapre, who are
setting up a sleep disorder hospital in the Indian city of Nagpur.
The speakers saw sleep disorder as a growing epidemic in the
Although snoring may have several misguided connotations
associated with it, there seems to be a wider area of
misunderstanding and misjudgement when it comes to sleep as a
One such misconception is people who believe that the more you
sleep, the better it is for you. This is mistaken because sleep is
more about quality than quantity. For example, it would be more
beneficial for you to get eight hours of good sleep than 11 hours
of disturbed sleep.
Another misguided thought is that feeling sleepy and feeling tired
is the same thing. Although being sleepy includes being tired, the
opposite is not always true.
Tiredness is the mind's or body's need for rest, which does not
necessarily mean sleep. Sleepy on the other hand, is the distinct
need for sleep. If you got to bed because you're feeling tired, you
may find it difficult to get to sleep.
One of the main misconceptions that gets flagged up when it comes
to sleep and caffeine. Many people incorporate caffeine as part of
their lives, and feel a necessity to have it at certain times.
However, this is not the case, and caffeine could be seriously
damaging your sleep patterns.
As a general rule of thumb, caffeine reduces sleep quality. The
half-life of caffeine in the human body is normally around five
hours, and even after ten hours, a quarter of a cup of caffeine
could still be there. So knowing when to drink caffeine and for
what purpose is important if you want to avoid it from disturbing
your night's sleep.
Another interesting misconception is that if you wake up tired, it
means that you haven't slept enough. There are a number of reasons
why you might not have woke up rested, like caffeine disturbing
your sleep phases, having nightmares or sleeping on an
uncomfortable bed. Alarm clocks often cut into your sleep patterns,
which means that even if you are one or two minutes off your ideal
level of sleep, you still might wake up feeling drowsy.
One way that people like to overcome this drowsiness is by
oversleeping. Throughout the week we tend to document how much
sleep we've been having, paying off our sleep debt little by little
when we can. But it is far better to sleep in consistent sleep
patterns rather than keeping a tally of what sleep we owe, and
living a system of under and over sleeping.
The best practice when it comes to sleep is to forget any
conceptions you may have over sleep quality, and rely on the
basics. Good quality sleep means that you should sleep for the
recommended amounts each night in sleep-centric rooms without the
distractions of the outside world. As long as you rate sleep as
important, you will usually naturally adhere to these
Posted by Elizabeth Mewes