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EXCLUSIVE: Oprah's sleep doctor busts the biggest shut-eye myths and shares the exact amount of rest you need each night

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 06/08/2018 Sophie Haslett

© Provided by AP Now that two-thirds of adults fail to obtain the recommended eight hours of nightly sleep, getting a decent night's shut-eye has never been more important.

But while you might think that it's easy to tune out and get good quality rest, if you want it, thanks to the stressful nature of our day-to-day lives, more people struggle to clock eight hours than ever.

Here, speaking exclusively to FEMAIL, Oprah Winfrey's 'sleep doctor', Dr Michael Breus, reveals the sleep 'hacks' that really work, while busting the myths that don't.

He also reveals the sleep 'sweet spot' and the perfect amount you need each night.

a man sitting in front of a window posing for the camera: Dr Breus (pictured) also revealed the sleep 'sweet spot' and the perfect amount you need each night - which amounts to 7.5 hours - this can boost productivity © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Dr Breus (pictured) also revealed the sleep 'sweet spot' and the perfect amount you need each night - which amounts to 7.5 hours - this can boost productivity SLEEP HACKS THAT WORK 

Constantly find yourself tired during the working day, and in need of a quick pick-me-up? You need Dr Breus's 'nap-a-latte'.

The sleep doctor's nap-a-latte concept involves 'taking a cup of black coffee, cooled down with three ice cubes and drinking it quickly'.

'Immediately take a 25 minute nap after drinking the coffee,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'The caffeine then blocks the sleep-inducing factors and the little 25 minute nap will give you enough sleep to feel better.'

a person on a bed: The sleep doctor's nap-a-latte concept involves 'taking a cup of black coffee, cooled down with three ice cubes and drinking it quickly' before napping for 25 minutes (stock image) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The sleep doctor's nap-a-latte concept involves 'taking a cup of black coffee, cooled down with three ice cubes and drinking it quickly' before napping for 25 minutes (stock image) Elsewhere, Dr Breus recommends you get out into the sunshine for 15 minutes each morning, 'which helps to discontinue the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone'.

'You might not think that light first thing is what your sleepy body needs, but the internal body clock - the circadian rhythm - runs on a 24-hour schedule and functions best when you are exposed to a regular pattern of light and dark,' he explained.

Related: 12 Expert-Approved Tips to Get a Better Night's Sleep (Provided by Health.com)

Dr Michael Breus's top sleep hacks

* Try a nap-a-latte: 'Drink a cup of black coffee, cooled down with three ice cubes and immediately take a 25-minute nap after drinking. The caffeine will block the sleep-inducing factors and the little 25-minute nap will give you enough sleep to feel better.'

* Get outside: 'Try getting out into the sunshine for just 15 minutes each morning. The bright light will help to discontinue the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.'

* Count sheep: While this is not quite counting sheep, Dr Breus does recommend you count backwards from 300 in increments of threes. 'It's so complicated that you can't think of anything else, while it's so boring that you're out like a light.' 

* Drink banana tea: 'Take a chunk of organic banana, peel on, cut it in half and with the stem and trip removed, brew it in boiling water for four minutes and drink. The water will be loaded with magnesium, which is very calming and is a great replacement for camomile tea.'

a person wearing a white shirt: Dr Breus said that it is entirely false that you can't make up for sleep on the weekends - instead, this leads to sleep debt and gets your sleep entirely out of hand (pictured: Oprah Winfrey) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Dr Breus said that it is entirely false that you can't make up for sleep on the weekends - instead, this leads to sleep debt and gets your sleep entirely out of hand (pictured: Oprah Winfrey) For those struggling to sleep at night, Dr Breus recommends a simple trick to get you to sleep in no time.

'Count backwards from 300 in increments of threes,' he said.

'It's so complicated that you can't think of anything else, while it's so boring that you're out like a light.' 

Meanwhile, he also swears by a 'banana tea' recipe for good sleep:

'Take a chunk of organic banana, peel on, cut it in half and with the stem and trip removed, brew it in boiling water for four minutes.'

The sleep expert explained that the water is then 'loaded with magnesium, which is very calming and is a great replacement for camomile tea'. 

BIGGEST SLEEP MYTHS

Speaking about the myths we are so often fed about sleep that have no basis in reality, Dr Breus said that it is entirely false that you can't make up for sleep on the weekends.

'Many people build a sleep debt during the week - a growing deficit between the sleep you need and the actual amount of sleep you get,' he said.

'Research shows that after sleep deprivation, weekend makeup sleep doesn't completely restore attention, focus and other measurements of cognitive performance.'

He added that getting into general sleep debt results in irregular and inconsistent bedtimes and wake times, meaning you're more likely to sleep poorly during the week.

'In an ideal world, you should stick to within 60 minutes of your regular bedtime and wake time at the weekends,' Dr Breus concluded.

'Focus on getting more of the sleep you need during the week.'

a person sitting on a bed: Dr Breus (pictured) also said that 99 per cent of the population can't get by on consistently fewer than six hours of sleep as this will lead to poor health and performance © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Dr Breus (pictured) also said that 99 per cent of the population can't get by on consistently fewer than six hours of sleep as this will lead to poor health and performance The other sleep myth that the expert is keen to bust is that you can get by on fewer than six hours sleep:

What is the 'sweet spot' for the amount of sleep you need? 

* The average sleep cycle is 90 minutes long, and a typical night of sleep includes five full sleep cycles.

* 90 x 5 = 450 minutes or 7.5 hours. 

* 7.5 hours is the sweet spot for the amount of sleep for most adults, but you might need more time in bed if you need some time to switch off and go to sleep.

'Sleep needs do vary person to person, but nearly everyone suffers deficits to health, well-being and performance when they regularly get less than six hours of sleep a night,' Dr Breus said.

'Only a very small fraction of the population can function well and maintain good health on a sleep routine of fewer than six hours per night.'

Oprah's sleep doctor said that you need to aim for ideally around seven and a half hours - which is the 'sweet spot' for slumber:

'The average sleep cycle is 90 minutes long and a typical night of sleep includes five full sleep cycles,' he said.

'So, if we apply some simple maths, 90 x 5 is 450 minutes - or 7.5 hours.' 

Dr Michael Breus recently worked with Princess Cruises to conduct their first-ever international sleep survey, which aimed to find out how sleep and relaxation habits vary in different countries. 

Related: That Sleep App You're Using Probably Isn't Helping You Sleep (Provided by Buzz60)

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