5 sleep myths – we clarify

This week we asked you about sleep myths that you know on our Autonom Health Instagram account. We now want to go into a few selected ones in more detail and thus perhaps provide a little more clarity. 


1. Exercising before going to sleep is bad

According to the National Sleep Guidelines Foundation this statement depends on the type of exercise and how long before bed. Aerobic exercise in the early morning has been shown to improve sleep quality more than the same exercise in the afternoon or evening.

junge Frau auf einem Fahrrad während einem High-Intensity-Intervall-Training

Exercise in the morning has also been linked to more time spent in slow-wave sleep.

There are studies which are both, pro and con doing exercise before bed. It may end up being an individual decision. A good general rule is to stop strenuous exercise 90 minutes before bedtime. This is to ensure that both the endorphin level and the body temperature can be reduced to a sleep-promoting level. Because in preparation for bedtime, our body temperature drops, our heart rate slows down, and our brain waves slow down.

However: Yoga and other stretching exercises may be more suitable for evening exercises, as they promote feelings of relaxation and can improve the quality of sleep.

2. Being able to fall asleep anytime and anywhere is healthy

In some diseases, the sleep-wake regulation is disturbed, so that falling asleep always and everywhere is not always healthy. It can be a sign of exhaustion or sleep cycle problems, narcolepsy, or sleep apnea.

3. 8 hours of sleep is best!

A person’s need for sleep is individual and depends on various factors such as age, genes, sleep routine, state of health, etc. 90% of adults require 7-8 hours of night sleep. 5% less than 7 hours and 5% more than 9 hours. The National Sleep Guideline Foundation https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need assumes a sleep duration of between 7 and 9 hours per night.

HRV by Autonom Health: Generally speaking, for 20- to 69-year-olds, women sleep an average of exactly 8 hours, men almost 15 minutes shorter.

Daytime cycle tiny person flat vector illustration. Natural planet movement around the sun. Daily morning till evening routine. Healthy human Circadian sleep rhythm system. Earth science and astrology

4. Good sleepers don’t wake up at night

Even good sleepers wake up several times at night, which is a completely normal phenomenon. Up to ten times an hour some wake up for a few seconds, up to 23 times a night they are awake for more than a minute. Everything that remains under 1-2 minutes is not noticed at all and you cannot remember it in the morning. It is only remembered after a waking time of more than 3 minutes. Waking up at night is therefore part of a healthy sleep.

5. Only a few people dream every night

Everyone dreams every night, just not everyone can always remember it. Usually only when you wake up immediately after a dream phase.

Dreams mainly occur during REM sleep. In addition to dreaming, our brain also uses this sleep phase to give our emotions a meaning and to process what we have learned during the day. Researchers have identified a specific group of neurons that play a key role in helping your brain forget new information it deemed unimportant, including dreams. These neurons are activated during REM sleep.

If you want to remember more of your dreams, it can be helpful to write them down in a dream journal as soon as you wake up.


We wish you a good sleep!


Dolezal, B., Neufeld, E., Boland, D., Martin, J., & Cooper, C. (2017). Interrelationship between Sleep and Exercise: A Systematic Review. Advances in Preventive Medicine. Retrieved fromhttps://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1364387

Hirshkowitz, M., Whiton, K., Albert, S. M., Alessi, C., Bruni, O., DonCarlos, L., Hazen, N., Herman, J., Katz, E. S., Kheirandish-Gozal, L., Neubauer, D. N., O’Donnell, A. E., Ohayon, M., Peever, J., Rawding, R., Sachdeva, R. C., Setters, B., Vitiello, M. V., Ware, J. C., & Adams Hillard, P. J. (2015). National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary. Sleep health, 1(1), 40–43.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2014.12.010

Izawa, S., Chowdhury, S., Miyazaki, T., Mukai, Y., Ono, D., Inoue, R., Ohmura, Y., Mizoguchi, H., Kimura, K., Yoshioka, M., Terao, A., Kilduff, T. S., & Yamanaka, A. (2019). REM sleep-active MCH neurons are involved in forgetting hippocampus-dependent memories. Science (New York, N.Y.), 365(6459), 1308–1313.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31604241/

Stutz, J., Eiholzer, R., & Spengler, C. M. (2019). Effects of Evening Exercise on Sleep in Healthy Participants: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Medicine, 49(2), 269–287. Retrieved fromhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-018-1015-011.

DiNardo, K. (2020, October 10). Rest Better With Light Exercises. The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2020, fromhttps://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/10/at-home/exercises-for-better-sleep.html



Adobe Stock Photo: DATEI-NR.:  302712559
Adobe Stock Photo: DATEI-NR.:  311345867

Enter your keyword