Myths and facts about sleep

Common sleep myths exposed


One less hour of sleep each night won’t affect the way I function the next day.

It’s true you might not be obviously sleepy during the day. But even a little less sleep can affect the way you think, how quickly you respond, and your overall energy balance.


Your body can easily and quickly adjust to different sleep schedules.

Most people can reset their biological clock, but only by appropriately timed cues, and usually for only 1–2 hours per day. This means that if you travel across several time zones or switch to working a night shift, it will take your body more than a week to adjust.


Sleeping a few extra hours at night will eliminate any chance of excessive daytime fatigue.

It’s not just the quantity of sleep that’s important, but the quality of sleep. If your sleep quality is poor, extra hours in bed aren’t going to make you feel well rested. Some people sleep 8 or 9 hours a night but don’t feel well rested when they wake up because their sleep quality is poor.


The weekend is coming. You can make up for lost sleep then.

Not really. Getting some extra sleep on the weekend will take care of some of your sleep debt but not all. And it’s going to be harder getting up on Monday morning if you’ve spent too many extra hours in bed over the weekend.