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True or false? Busting sleep myths for World Sleep Day

True or False: My exercise routine and diet impact how well I sleep.

True. “Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to improve your sleep. Studies have shown that moving during the day can support better sleep quality and minimize anxiety, too,” Conor says.

Sleep can also be impacted by your diet, especially when it comes to alcohol. “While we all enjoy an occasional drink in the evening, on the whole, data shows alcohol too close to bedtime has a negative effect on your sleep. Alcohol might make you fall asleep a little faster, but you’re more likely to get restless throughout the night because it can disrupt your REM sleep, a restorative stage when you’re deep in your dreams. If REM is interrupted, it’s common to feel drowsy the next day,” Conor says.

True or False: The snooze button is your friend.

False. It’s best to allow yourself to sleep in until you need to wake up rather than setting an early alarm and snoozing. “Each time your alarm goes off, you’re disrupting your sleep, so any ‘sleep’ you get after hitting snooze isn’t restorative,” Logan says. “It takes a while for your brain to fall back to sleep. By snoozing, you’re breaking up the natural cycles of sleep and keeping your brain in more alert and resulting in lighter sleep, which won’t actually help you feel rested.”

“Consistency is what’s best for sleep,” Conor says. “And hitting snooze can disrupt that consistency, so you won’t feel refreshed.”

Plus, Logan says, you’re tricking your brain into thinking that snoozing feels good, when, in fact, you’re not actually getting more of what you need — refreshing sleep.

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