Sleep Myths

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Story Updated: Mar 10, 2014

Exercise is a good sleep aid. Sleeping in makes up for sleep loss.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently concluded that Americans suffer from a poor sleep epidemic.

A 2009 CDC survey of nearly 75,000 Americans determined that more than a third of us get fewer than 7 hours of sleep each night while almost half of us snore. Nearly 38% said they unintentionally fell asleep during the daytime in the preceding month and nearly 5% admitted to nodding off while behind the wheel. With that in mind, some common sleep myths addressed with some words of wisdom from the National Sleep Foundation:

True or False: napping during the day helps one get more sleep at night. False. Better to try cutting out catnaps during the day, so you can more easily fall asleep at night.

True or False: exercise is a sleep aid. True. Vigorous or even light activity so long as it's not too close to bedtime does promote sleep.

And finally, True or False: sleeping in once a week makes up for chronic sleep loss. False. There's no easy way to recoup lost sleep. Better to catch your zzz's on a routine basis. Plus, a regular sleep schedule helps regulate your body's clock and can help you sleep easier and better.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news that can help you stay healthy, happy, and fit.

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