Debunking Health Myths

Debunking Health Myths

You’ve probably heard these nuggets of wisdom from your parents and grandparents since you were young. Or perhaps everyone around you has been doing these acts since the dawn of time, so you assume that it definitely has to be right.

No matter where you hear from, these health myths are actually old wives’ tales that carries no evidence of being true.

Sure, there’s no harm to your health in continuing to do them, but there’s no real scientific evidence to show they are actually harmful or beneficial to your health.

Read on to find out which of these you’ve fallen prey to!

1. “Don’t sleep with your hair wet, it’s not good!”

Imagine having a nice, warm, and relaxing bath when you return home after a long and tiring day outside. All you want to do when you come out of the bath is hit the sack immediately and fall into a deep slumber, right?

But upon seeing your full head of wet hair, your mother warns, “Don’t sleep with wet hair! You will catch a cold/get pneumonia/get a headache/grow fungus in your hair!” (or insert your mum’s health scare of choice)

In fact, the only result from sleeping when your hair’s wet is a wet pillowcase!

While sleeping with wet hair might make you feel colder, it won’t give you a cold. We only catch a cold through viruses.

Fungal diseases or scalp infections require contact with contaminated sources, so unless your pillowcase has fungus growth, you won’t have fungus growing in your hair just because you slept with wet hair.

There is also no scientific evidence that links headaches to sleeping with wet hair.

2. “I can finally sleep in this Saturday to clear the sleep debt I’ve accumulated over the week.”

Can’t sleep at night, can’t wake up in the morning.

Living in this day and age, this is a sentiment most of us can relate to. As a result of keeping up with our homework or revising for exams, we often end up sleeping less than 6 hours every night during the week.

“Oh well, I’ll catch up on my lost sleep and sleep for 12 hours this Saturday,” is what most of us will think.

That’s where you’re wrong! This deprivation of sleep, or a “sleep debt”, cannot be repaid just by having an extended sleep marathon.

In fact, if you sleep too long at one go, you might wake up feeling even more tired than before. You end up in a state of sleep drunkenness for the rest of the day!

The best way to recover from your sleep debt is to gradually add 1 or 2 more hours of sleep every night, until you recover from your fatigue and regain your focus and attention, and then keep up the regular recommended 8 hours per night!

3. “When you have a fever, sweat it out under layers of blanket.”

Most of us have definitely done this before. When you’re down with a fever, your mother will come along and tuck you in under the blanket. Soon, you feel hot and end up drenched in your sweat, but you have to stay under the blanket to “sweat out the fever”.

Guess what. This actually escalates your fever!

Being cooped under the blanket will keep the heat in and cause your body temperature to increase even more, thus increasing your fever.

Technically, sweating does help to bring the body temperature down. So this method might occasionally cause your fever to break, if you’re lucky.

But it is actually a dangerous way to break a fever because of the high body temperature and dehydration that occurs.

There are better and safer ways to bring your fever down, such as taking a shower or applying a cold washcloth to your forehead.

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