Celebrated financial successes such as President Trump, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk love to brag about how little sleep they need.
But myths about how much sleep we need rise to the level of a & # 39; public health threat & # 39 ;, according to a new study by New York University.
The most harmful is the idea that you can get stuck at five or fewer hours a night, as Trump maintains.
Americans also believe that snoring is harmless and that a & # 39; nightcap & # 39; you will get a more peaceful sleep – but these are all false and harmful to our health, warn the study authors.
President Donald Trump boasted that he needs less than five hours of sleep per night – but a new study warns that this is unhealthy – and that such myths pose a threat to public health (file)
Great Britain and the US are among the poorest countries in the world. Not getting enough has been associated with a large number of diseases from dementia to heart disease and cancer.
Study leader Dr. Rebecca Robbins, an epidemiologist at the School of Medicine at New York University, said: “Sleep is a vital part of life that affects our productivity, mood, and overall health and well-being.
& # 39; Dispelling of myths about sleep promotes healthier sleep habits which in turn promote overall better health. & # 39;
At the first survey of its kind, her team reviewed more than 8,000 websites to identify the 20 most common assumptions.
Experts from sleep experts each judged on the basis of whether they could be expelled as fiction or supported by scientific evidence – and about the damage it could cause.
The claim of some that they can only survive five hours a night was one of the top myths they could disprove.
It also poses the most serious health risk from long-term sleep deprivation, the researchers said.
They propose creating a consistent sleep schedule and staying more time in sleep – at least seven hours, as recommended by the World Health Organization, the American Heart Association, and various sleep and public health experts around the world.
HOW DONALD TRUMP, DORSEY JACKET AND ELON MUSK SLEEP
President Donald Trump says he sleeps four to five hours.
He claims that this is a key to his business success.
Trump once asked: & # 39; How can someone who sleeps 12 and 14 hours a day compete with someone who sleeps three or four? & # 39;
Some claim that he shares a genetic trait with Margaret Thatcher, making them part of the & # 39; sleepless elite & # 39; who needs fewer closed eyes than most.
The Twitter CEO claims to stick to an eccentric & # 39; health & # 39; regime.
He said he sleeps between 11 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Dorsey claims that in his waking hours he only eats food, does nothing on Saturday, meditates for 30 hours, and trains seven times a day three times a day.
Musk, who is at the helm of both SpaceX and Tesla, claims to function best with minimal sleep.
He believes he's not as sharp as he sleeps for seven hours.
Instead, Musk strives for six to six and a half hours of slumber time per night.
He also claims that his tight sleep schedule is a by-product of his supposed 120-hour work weeks.
This would avoid the consequences of this lie and other identified ones such as the value of taking naps when you routinely have trouble sleeping at night.
Many people also believe that snoring is completely harmless, according to the new study.
In some cases this is true, but in other cases the noisy nocturnal habit may indicate that someone has sleep apnea.
It stops breathing and starts during the night. Sleep apnea is in turn associated with the development of dementia.
The researchers said that patients should not shout loud snoring, but consult a doctor because this can lead to cardiac arrest or other illnesses.
They also found sufficient evidence in published studies that, despite the fact that they believe the opposite is the case, drinking liquor before bedtime is indeed unhealthy to sleep.
According to experts, alcohol reduces the body's ability to achieve deep sleep that people need to function properly.
Co-author Dr. Girardin Jean Louis, NYU psychiatrist, said: “Sleep is important for health and more effort needs to be made to inform the public about this important public health issue.
& # 39; For example, by discussing sleep habits with their patients, doctors can help prevent sleep myths from increasing the risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. & # 39;
The researchers, whose findings have been published in Sleep Health, say that some myths still cause disagreement even among experts.
This is especially true when it comes to people who cannot sleep optimally in any way.
For example, some scientists say that sleeping on the weekend disrupts the natural circadian rhythm or body clock.
But, again, others say that shift workers who generally do not sleep soundly are better off catching up with & # 39; if they can sleep.
According to them, these differences suggest that further research is needed.