What’s on : Lectures

Sleep: the science and the myths

19 Sep 2017
Start time
7:30 PM
Tempest Anderson Hall
Professor Graham Law
Graham Law

Event Information

Sleep: the science and the myths
Professor Graham Law
, University of Lincoln

We all sleep. We should not be surprised that a long list of myths has grown up around this daily activity: “You need 8 hours sleep”, “I can’t function without my snooze button”, “Naps are for old men”.

Professor Graham Law is a sleep researcher working for many years on the health effects of good or bad sleep. With the help of his new book ‘Sleep Better: the science and the myths’ he will tackle some of your favourite sleep myths. Many of these will be debunked by science, but some will also have grains of truth.

Member’s report

Insomniacs were doomed to disappointment, because many questions and myths about sleep were not resolved. Instead sleep is confirmed as a remarkable, essential (non)-activity. If you don’t sleep, you die – as a rare genetic disorder has proved. It has a significant relationship with an individual’s circadian rhythms and their exposure to light. Lack of sleep seems to affect blood glucose levels and impacts on the incidence of diabetes.

Most people need a core period of 4-5 hours of deep sleep; statistically, most achieve around 7-8, often with a break. Teenagers, whose brains are changing, need much more, and achieve better academic results when they are allowed it.

Myths about cheese, wine, milky drinks, coffee, reading, and routine, were explored inconclusively, as individual-dependent. But too much blue light, from TVs, mobiles, and laptops – and active work on them – are proven sleep preventers. Insomniacs, just try not to worry…

Carole Smith