15 Myths You Probably Still Believe About Your Body But Shouldn’t

We hear people, IN 2019,  still explaining some fairly obvious things about the body as being caused by any number of age-old beliefs from last century or older. As we learn more about the human frame, and are able to test more of the science behind everyday occurrences we grow wiser about the workings of the body. Many of these are based on folk knowledge and passed down generation. We debunk some popular myths about our bodies.

1/15 – You Need Eight Hours of Sleep Per Day
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Different people need differing amounts of sleep, and how much you need is unique to your body, age, physical fitness level, time of year and many obvious, and not so obvious, factors. People can cope well having between 4 and 12 hours of good sleep. (non-REM,REM), though sleeping too much or too little can have health consequences.

2/15 –  You Can Catch a Cold from Being in the Cold
https://www.babycenter.com

Being in the cold or feeling the freeze can\’t actually make you ‘catch’ a cold from feeling cold. It\’s a rhinovirus, and like all viruses you need to ‘catch’ it through transmission, through the usual route of being exposed to the pathogen.

3/15 – It Is not Possible To Drink Too Much Water
https://healthnplaces.com

Too much water can actually harm your body if you lose too much water through sweat. Especially if you are active or overheated and you sweat a lot, which literally dilutes your body fluids, depriving your body of a sufficient amount of salts. When the level of salt, or sodium, in your blood drops too much, it causes a rare state called hyponatremia.

4/15 – Your Fingerprints Are Completely Unique
https://www.simplyscience.ch

Regarding fingerprints “It’s impossible to prove that no two are the same,” Mike Silverman, a forensic science regulator in the United Kingdom, told The Telegraph, and it seems there is no conclusive way to prove that your fingerprints are unique to you.

5/15 – Body Hair Grows Back Thicker When You Shave It
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When your hair starts emerging it actually looks thicker because you can see every follicle sprouting hair, and the hairs have a uniform thickness, which they don’t always have when they have been brushed and blow-dried over time, growing on your head.

6/15 – Rolling Your Tongue Is Genetic
https://videos.usatoday.net

In the 40s a published paper claimed that genes determined your ability to roll your tongue. Just 12 years later, geneticist Philip Matlock disproved this finding with a study of his own. When he compared 33 sets of identical twins, Matlock found that seven of those pairs contained one twin that was unable to roll his or her tongue, though their identical twin could. Since the genes of identical twins are the same, genes appear not to be the determining factor in tongue flexibility.

7/15 – Reading in Dim Light Ruins Your Eyes
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Not entirely true. It may give you a headache because you are straining the muscles in your eyes to compensate for focusing without sufficient illumination, but the damage isn’t permanent.  The headache is from the muscle strain, not any damage to the retina.

8/15 – Crossing Your Legs Causes Varicose Veins
https://cache.marieclaire.fr

Vein disorders are due to genetic weaknesses in your connective tissue, which causes a host of venous problems varicose veins being just one of them. The weak connective tissue enables the walls of the veins stretch and bulge, creating enlarged veins visible through the skin.

9/15 – A Slow Metabolism Makes You Fat
https://www.nutritionpromise.com

According to a study by Dr Jim Levine, your basal metabolism is the calories you burn to keep your body going, so if your body is bigger of course your basal metabolism is greater. If your body is smaller your basal metabolism is usually lower.

10/15 – Spots On Your Nails Are Caused By A Lack Of Calcium

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Not true. These spots are not caused by calcium deposits or calcium deficiency and are likely caused by small lacerations under the nail when your nails are growing.

11/15 – More Heat Escapes Through Your Head

http://media.factmyth.com

You don’t lose much more heat through your head than you do from any other part of your body. Because of the number of blood vessels and the fact that most heads are covered in hair, heads keep warm easily, but only about 10% of your total body evaporations happen through your head. However, you lose no more heat from your head than other exposed areas of your body.

12/15 – You Have Just Five Senses

https://www.worldatlas.com

We are taught we have five senses that we can name – sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell. However, we actually have more than five senses – some unmeasurable and almost intangible, but definitely working for us. Scientists now estimate we have between 21 to 33 senses.

13/15 – It is Dangerous to Wake a Sleepwalking Person
https://wonderopolis.org

The disorientation and shocked reaction of the sleepwalker is the only danger, and that they may hurt themselves while sleepwalking. Nothing bad can happen to their bodies from being woken.

14/15 – Some People Are Double-Jointed
https://wonderopolis.org

Some people are born with joints that are extra flexible. This condition is called hypermobility or joint laxity, and it affects an estimated 10 to 25 percent of the population. There are very few documented cases of a human having extra joints.

15/15 – Your Muscle Will Turn Into Fat If You Stop Exercising
https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com

This is mostly an illusion. What actually happens, according to head trainer at the Title Boxing Club, is that,  “The muscles get smaller and the body fat will probably rise depending on the diet. This leads most people to believe that in fact their muscle is turning into fat,” says Rob Delara. But shrinking, looser muscles make you look less ripped and fatter.

The grand machine called the internet can spread the debunking of some of these long held beliefs (not facts) like wildfire and pretty soon we will all be much smarter about the our frail (not) human bodies.

Sources

Nivea – It Is not Possible To Drink Too Much Water
Lifehacker- 10 Stubborn Body Myths That Just Wont Die Debunked
Futurism – IBM Announced 50qubit Quantum Computer
Tuck – You Need Eight Hours of Sleep Per Day
Title Boxing Club – Your Muscle Will Turn Into Fat If You Stop Exercising
Telegraph – Your Fingerprints Are Completely Unique
ABC News – A Slow Metabolism Makes You Fat
Academic Oup – Rolling Your Tongue Is Genetic
Link Springer – Some People Are Double-Jointed
The Conversation – More Heat Escapes Through Your Head
Mercola  –  You Have Just Five Senses
NHS – Crossing Your Legs Causes Varicose Veins

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