Tired of counting sheep? Here are 7 sleep myths, debunked

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Getting a good night sleep feels like wining the lottery sometimes.

Experts are revealing seven sleep myths that may be getting in the way of the rest you need.

Sleep Myth No. 1 -- Alcohol will help you sleep.

It may help you relax but it's very disruptive to your sleep cycles. It takes about an hour per drink for the alcohol to go through your system. So if you are going to imbibe, make sure it's well before bed time.

Sleep Myth No. 2 -- Sleep is a passive state.

Mary Helen Rogers, with the Better Sleep Council, says being conscientious about temperature, lighting and sounds will help you get the restorative sleep your body craves.

Sleep Myth No. 3 -- If you have a sore back you need a firm mattress.

Rogers says it varies person to person.

"The trick is, your mattress should support your head, your neck and spine as if you're standing up with good posture. If you don't have the right pillow or an old mattress that sags in the middle, then your body is not going to be in the correct alignment," Rogers said.

Sleep Myth No. 4 -- Removing your mattress tag is illegal.

That's only true if you do it in the store where it's there to prove it's new, that it meets federal standards for flammability, and detail who made it and where.

Sleep Myth No. 5 -- Mattresses will last about a decade.

Rogers says if nothing else, your body can change dramatically in 10 years.

"You may be a single girl at a certain weight when you bought that mattress, and maybe your body has changed, you've had children, you're married. So within that ten years even if that mattress is still perfectly good, it's probably not supporting the changes in your body," she said.

Sleep Myth No. 6 -- Not everyone dreams.

If you successfully go through all the sleep cycles you are having dreams, you just don't remember them.

Sleep Myth No. 7 -- You can catch up on sleep.

"You cannot bank sleep, it's not like a piggy bank. You can't have 10 hours today, four hours tomorrow, 'Oh, but I averaged eight hours.' It doesn't work that way," Rogers said.

So even though you're tempted to sleep in on the weekends, you're better off to get up within an hour or two of your normal wake time. It gets your body in a pattern. If you do this long enough you won't need an alarm clock.

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