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FOX43 Reveals: Biggest sleep myths and how to get more shut-eye

Insufficient sleep is one of the leading lifestyle factors that increases your risk of getting Alzheimer's Disease.

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — More than a third of Americans are not getting enough sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control. As the coronavirus hits home, it may become even harder to get more shut-eye. FOX43 Reveals some myths and tips to getting a good night’s sleep.

The CDC reports more than 115 million people are sleep-deprived. Doctor Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, a sleep psychologist with Penn State Health’s Sleep Research and Treatment Center, debunks one of the biggest sleep myths.

“The biggest myth about sleep is that you can get this magic one cycle of the night of 4 hours and as long as you get that, you’re good to go throughout the day,” he said.

Dr. Fernandez-Mendoza said people should try to get at least six hours of shut eye every night (though adds 7-9 hours a night is ideal). Insufficient sleep is one of the leading lifestyle factors that determines your risk of getting Alzheimer’s Disease.

RELATED: It's National Napping Day. Here are some tips to get extra ZZZs

“In fact there is a lot of research going on nowadays on age-related cognitive decline as well as developing cognitive impairment and age-related dementia or Alzheimer's Disease,” explained Dr. Fernandez-Mendoza.

Sleep is imperative to keep your immune system strong and stress levels low. Sleep doctors recommend focusing less on bedtime.

RELATED: A later bedtime linked with obesity for children under 6, study says

“One of the top recommendations is focus on your wake up time,” said Dr. Fernandez-Mendoza. “Wake up every day at the same time, no matter how you slept.”

Here are some tips to get a good night’s sleep:

 - If your mind races at night, try to book a time for “planned worry” at least two hours before you go to bed.

- Do not remain awake in bed. If you have trouble falling asleep or falling back asleep, get up and walk around. Too much time in bed only fuels insomnia.

- Common household remedies like drinking a warm glass of milk before bed, unfortunately, do not work.

- Avoid heavy meals or alcoholic drinks before bed.

Sleep is not a one size fits all scenario. What works for one person may not work for someone else. If you feel like you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked, it might be time to see a specialist. 

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