7 Sleep Myths and Superstitions Explained

Lots of us believe or abide by superstitions and old wives tales when it comes to going to bed. These range from not eating cheese late at night to not waking up sleepwalkers, but is there any truth behind these superstitions? Here at Sleepy People we have picked out 7 of these myths and superstitions to sort the truth from the fiction.



Cheese Gives You Nightmares

Plenty of scientific studies have looked into this popular sleeping myth, but non have proved conclusive. What has been proven is that the ingestion of different cheeses can potentially influence what you dream about. The study taken out by the British Cheese Board found that eating cheddar for example can potentially influence dreams about celebrities, whilst eating Red Leicester can lead you to having reminiscent dreams, particularly of your school days. So whilst there is no proof of nightmares, Eating a specific cheese before bed can potentially affect the topic of your dream.


Teenagers Are Lazier Than Adults

It is widely accepted that teenagers enjoy more sleep than anyone else, and is often a losing battle for parents who are hoping to get their kids out of the house early at the weekend. The National Sleep Foundation actually say there is truth to teenagers needing more sleep than the rest of us. The recommended daily amount of sleep for an adult is between 7-9 hours, whilst the amount recommended for a teenager is at least 8-10 hours. This is because of a teenagers natural body clock and their development through adolescence.


Counting Sheep Helps You Sleep

Probably one of the oldest and most common pieces of sleep advice is imagining sheep hopping over a fence, but is there any truth to its sleep easing abilities? According to a study from the journal for Behaviour Research and Therapy, those who use “imagery distraction” fell asleep faster than those weren’t given any instructions. However counting sheep is seen as too strenuous of an activity for the brain and is not the recommended imaginary tool to help get to sleep. A more successful way is to imagine relaxing, less thought provoking images such as laying on a beach.



Waking A Sleepwalker Will Give Them A Heart Attack

Experts advise not to wake sleepwalkers, however it is not because it can cause initial fatal harm such as a heart attack. Sleepwalking is known as one of the deepest forms of sleep, and whilst forcibly waking someone from it won’t cause serious harm to their vital organs, it can leave them agitated, confused or disgruntled and can even lead them to lashing out. So as the superstition goes, it is far from the truth, but for plenty of other reasons, you probably shouldn’t wake a sleepwalker.


Single Women Sleeping With Wedding Cake

One of the oldest sleep-themed wives tales around says that if a single woman sleeps with a piece of wedding cake under her pillow, she will dream of her future husband. Unsurprisingly as of yet, there is no evidence to support this.


Getting Up On The Wrong Side Of The Bed

The well known phrase used to suggest someone is in a bad mood originates from an accident superstition believing it was bad luck to put ones left foot down getting out of bed in a morning. It since has since developed in popular culture throughout history, first appearing in a number of 17th century plays, to become the well-known expression many of us use today.


Having Your Bed Close To The Bedroom Door Can Cause Disease

This superstition comes from the Chinese system of aesthetic placement known as Feng Shui. Amongst many of its superstitions, this is certainly one of the most dramatic. Within its many pieces of guidance on bed positioning, Feng Shui suggests keeping your bed as far away from the rooms door as possible, whilst making sure the entire room is visible from the bed.


Due to the age and origin of many of these myths, we will likely never know where they stem from. What we can conclude with the majority of them is that they contain little or no truth. Here at Sleepy People we hope knowing this might just help you rest a little easier at night.