Sleep Your Way Out of Myths

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Misconceptions about the factors which can help you to go to sleep are many. Some of these may be partially true, but many of them lack substance.

  1. Alcohol can put you to sleep

It is indeed true that excessive alcohol consumption can put you in some form of sleep, but this sleep is anything, but perfect. However, red wine if consumed in moderate amounts may assist in getting a good night’s sleep. The factor operating in the case of red wine is a substance called melatonin. This is a substance secreted by the pineal gland of the brain. This substance is a hormone and has been called the hormone of darkness because its secretion peaks at midnight. This natural hormone from the brain is a sleep promoter. In addition to the brain, this substance has also been found in plants and red grape is one of the sources. Therefore, red wine which contains melatonin can promote sleep.

  1. Exercise promotes sleep

There is some element of truth in this statement. A person who is sedentary finds it difficult to go to sleep. On the other hand, a person who is involved in a profession which includes hard work finds it easy to go to sleep. In fact, the only thing he wants to do is to jump into his bed. A tired body is the best thing that can happen in insomnia. However, vigorous exercise just before bedtime may actually interfere with sleep. The reason for this is that active exercise increases the alertness levels. Hence, any physical workout must be carried out at least three hours before bed time.

  1. Watching TV increases drowsiness

This statement is way off the mark. Actually, there are two habits which produce a similar reaction in people. One is watching TV and the other is sitting in front of the computer. In both cases, light is involved. Both these habits actually, increase the alertness. The reason for this is clear. Light inhibits the secretion of melatonin, the hormone which promotes sleep. Thus, longer we are in front of TV or computer, longer it takes for the melatonin to peak. Thus, by watching TV, we are killing sleep.

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