Sleep myths you should really stop believing

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Sleep Myths You Should Really Stop Believing

At some point in our lives, nearly everyone will have nights where catching some shut-eye isn't so easy.

Yet considering how common sleep issues can be, there are still so many myths out there about how to be properly rested.

Let's break down some of the many misconceptions about sleep:

1. Catching (up on) some ZZZ's

Try as you might, you can't actually make up for lost sleep. So sleeping late on the weekends isn't going to cut it.

There's a reason why you feel groggy Monday morning on four hours of sleep, even though you slept until 1pm the day before.

Scientific research shows that consistently getting about seven hours a night is the best way to go.

Click through to see more sleeping tips:

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Sleep myths you should really stop believing

Lavender 

The scent of lavender is known to be very relaxing and can help you get to sleep at night. 

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Shut off the screens

Avoid being on your computer, phone or e-reader before going to sleep. Studies have shown the use of these items before bed can decrease the quality of your sleep.

(Photo credit: Tetra Images via Getty Images)

Melatonin supplements 

Taking sleeping pills sounds scary to many people, but melatonin supplements are like a sleep vitamin, giving you a little extra of the naturally produced hormone. 

(photo credit: Ekspansio)

Stick to a schedule

Going to sleep and waking at the same time every day helps your natural sleep/wake cycle. You sleep much better when you go to bed when actually drowsy and wake naturally at the same time each day. 

(photo credit: FogStock/Alin Dragulin)

Exercise 

Regular exercise, even as little as 20 mins a day can help you sleep better at night. 

(photo credit: John Fedele)

Skip the afternoon nap

Taking a nap during the day can exasperate insomnia for many people. 

(Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

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2. No time for catnaps? You must be kitten me

One reason you may be exhausted is you refuse to give in when your body calls for a midday nap. Fear not, napping is not a sign of immaturity or laziness.

Studies show the occasional 25-minute nap can turn your whole day around. So keep calm and nap on. Your body will thank you for it.

3. Don't count on it

We've all heard the old tip: if you can't fall asleep, try counting sheep. But it turns out that's baaaaad advice.

So ditch the sheep or whatever you've been counting. Visualizing a relaxing situation is more helpful.

4. You booze, you lose

Forget about having a nightcap to help you drift off to sleep. Yes, it might make you sleepy, but the rest you're getting isn't the best.

So try getting at least seven hours of sober, quiet sleep as often as you can. And to quote Edward R. Murrow, "Good night, and good luck."

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