LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- THV 11 is working for you this morning. Here are five common beliefs about sleep and why they aren't true from Yahoo! Small Business Advisor.
1. The belief that sleep is just a way to let your brain rest. Your brain is actually more active at night than during the day. During sleep, your cardiovascular system and brain are doing a lot of work when it comes to creativity, critical thinking and memory.
2. You can get used to sleeping less. When you're chronically sleep deprived, your mental performance declines and we lose the ability to accurately judge how impaired we are. You're going to lose the ability to focus and have a greater likelihood of making mistakes.
3. You can catch up on the weekends. If you lost about two hours of sleep for five nights straight, you'd need to tack an extra 10 hours onto two full nights of sleep and that's highly unlikely. Without that much extra sleep on the weekend, you'll start the next week just as depleted as you were at the end of the previous week.
4. Coffee is a substitute for lack of sleep. Coffee might help you feel more awake, but your body doesn't get the same nourishment from caffeine that it gets from sleep. Besides making you jittery, excessive caffeine can also cause you to feel even sleepier.
5. Sleeping longer will make you gain weight. A University of Chicago study found that lack of sleep affects metabolism and can lead to obesity. The hormones in your brain that cause you to feel hungry actually increase in your body with less sleep. And when we are tired and sleep deprived, we tend to have cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods.