10 common sleep myths: Put bad habits to rest and wake up a better sleeping routine

ABC News’ Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton walked us through some of the most common myths about sleep.
6:27 | 08/19/19

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Transcript for 10 common sleep myths: Put bad habits to rest and wake up a better sleeping routine
Are talking about sleep how much do you need how to get better sleep tips and tricks I have them all for you here. Your body needs three things every day. It needs fuel it needs some rest and it needs movement and the rest unfortunately. Is a massive problem in this country so how much sleep do we need if you're an adult. Really get ready seven to nine hours a night. Just because you can function on less sleep does not necessarily mean you should function on lastly. Too little is bad but so is too much sleep. Too much sleep sends different messages to our body that something is wrong maybe we're sick maybe were injured. It disrupts sister Katie and rhythms our metabolism are hormones your body needs to move. It also needs to rest but it needs to be done in the proper proportions. I'm a big fan of the NAFTA. By a nap is twenty. Maybe thirty minutes not two hours but it does not add up. To 79 hours of continuously. When you hear the recommendations for adults of sevenths nine hours tonight that refers to continue his sleep. The average teenager needs and nine to ten hours of sleep every night and this is where I encourage parents. To really lock down those sleep behaviors before. Those kids go off to college a lot of teenagers will. You know have had jam packed today come home and do their home mark and then be. On their screens till all hours of the night. Not good for their help it affects their academic performance their mood in some cases puberty in their hormonal development. And their immune system people who consistently get. Insufficient sleep are at increased risk for narrow cognitive decline and dementia. For concentration. Mood disorders like depression anxiety. Poor concentration and then if you work your way down cardiovascular disease cancer. Both increased risk in people who get insufficient sleep consistently. Over years. It affects our immune system some studies have shown a three times increased risk of getting the common cold because of the effects on our immune system. Our sleep has direct effects on two of the most important hormones that regulate. Our hunger our fullness and our metabolism. Leptin growling and insulin cortisol are all affected. By insufficient sleep so a lot of times when I see patients. Who are struggling with weak management or weight loss trying to prevent weight gain again we go back to the basics. And that's tell me about your sleep routines and tell me how you sleep. Tell me how many hours you're sleeping and I you're sleeping environments should be three things should be cold should be dark and it should be quiet white noise machines can be helpful for people. Noise canceling earphones earplugs are headphones can be helped for for helpful for some people darkness super important even light outside your bedroom a hall lite and nite light. Street lights outside your room. Can affect the quality of your sleeping can actually suppress your brain's production of melatonin which is to sleep hormone. So get those. Complete blackout drapes lower the shades closed the drapes turn the lights off. Don't fall asleep with the TV on you might think you're asleep but your brain is registering that late and it's actually stimulating your brain and helping to prevent. Good quality sleep temperature. I am a fanatic has to be 66 degrees. All year round if you get hold you wanna sleep under comforter like I do that's great but a lot of people sweat a lot when they sleep. And they Wear a lot of heavy clothing and when they get. A weekend during the middle of the night. Which disturbs her sleep they're not aware that that's really coming from the temperature in the room that their sleeping and so cold dark and quiet first order of business. If you're having difficulty getting enough sleep. Behavior is he unplugged an hour before you wanna go to bed so that means turn off the TV step away from the desktop a laptop. The screen your phone. Dark in the room because our body is very sensitive to light cues dim the lights a little bit that starts to send messages to our brain and that it's night time and we're getting ready to shut it down. And then you know some common sense things absolutely can help a warm bath a warm shower. Some counter mile T meditation or deep breathing reading. But when you getting into your bed your brain should say I'm here to sleep getting regular exercise. Absolutely will help you get sleep. I guarantee you if you exercise for her. Thirty to sixty minutes today. You'll be tired by the time you get into the add caffeine and alcohol are huge sleep just daughters both can disrupt to Rem sleep certainly if you to get up. More than once during the night to use the bathroom that is a big sleep to structure as well I see a lot of women with hormonal sleep disruptions. That could be anything from. They're period pregnancy. Perry Mann a pause for a man a pause hot flashes if your finding that there's some kind of our emotional component to your sleep patterns. Definitely talk to your gynecologist or health care provider of last thing sleeping aids. There are no prescription. Sleeping pills that are approved for long term use it can be safe and effective in a short term. 100%. But it is a not for every single night. Week after week month after month year after year so if you are finding that you cannot sleep. With out a sleeping pill. He really should talk to your doctor your health care provider about what is the end point can you switch it up we'll lower the Doe's. Alternated with something else. Because that does affect your brain chemistry there's no question about it if you are not getting enough sleep. It is affecting your body in ways that you may or may not be aware of their short term we're down or out. Fleet has a PR problem actually I think we look at sleep like it's a luxury when the reality is it's a medical necessity.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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