Myths exist in all walks of life. Folklore about sleep, though, might worry you. It can keep you up at night when you need your kip. Here are four, not-so-talked-about sleep legends you’ll be glad to know aren’t true.
An incubus might kill you
Killed by an incubus? “Don’t be absurd,” you might remark. Well, plenty of adults, not just children, fear nasty creatures lurk in the dark. From cheetahs in the closet, to ghosts under the bed, countless threats exist if you fear something terrible happening to you in your sleep.
In medieval times people believed sleeping was dangerous as an incubus might sit on your chest, preventing you from moving when you were half-asleep, and murder you.
Of course, no one can promise a daemon won’t crouch on you and suck your soul from your nostrils, but the chances are low.
In case you’re concerned, those terrified insomniacs of bygone days who believed in incubus attacks, most likely experienced sleep paralysis; a condition involving full mental consciousness while your body continues to sleep.
If you don’t sleep, you’ll die
Lack of sleep won’t kill you but–and this might upset you–it will start a chain of unfortunate physical events that can lead to death. After one day of not sleeping, your blood pressure and stress will rise. After two days, you won’t metabolize glucose well. Oh, and soon your immune system will stop working and you’ll feel cold.
Not sleeping won’t kill you. But your body and brain won’t work on all cylinders and you will be wide open to diseases that might send you to your coffin.
If you don’t get eight hours, you’ll die
Most people understand not getting eight hours of shuteye won’t result in death. Many, though, take the eight-hour theory about sleep so seriously that they lie awake worrying. Luckily, you need not experience a full octave of sleep to be well.
Sleep quality is vital rather than many hours of kip. You must go through all the crucial stages of sleep to benefit from shuteye, though, and waking on and off in the night may mean you miss later cycles. Up-to-date reports suggest people should aim for seven hours sleep a night.
Wake a sleepwalker and you’ll give them a heart attack
You may think waking your sleepwalking housemate will injure or kill them. The idea doing so will make them have a heart attack or fall into a coma, however, is wrong.
It’s fine to lead a sleepwalker back to their bed, where they can sleep safely, or wake them. It’s also okay to coax a child suffering from a night terror from slumber.
Sleep myths are entertaining as long as you don’t believe them. Now you know an incubus won’t spirit away your soul as you doze. Also, not sleeping will not kill you, hopefully. Nonetheless, aim for seven hours kip. Waking a sleepwalker won’t turn you into a murderer either so you can enjoy a peaceful night’s rest.
References: Medievalists.net, Huffingtonpost.com, and Bestlifeonline.com.