Busting myths about sleep that could affect your health

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(NBC News Channel) -- Many of the myths about sleep are false, and potentially harmful to your health.

Sleep experts from New York University say the most damaging myth is that some people need only 5 hours of sleep.

That's because long-term sleep deficits actually increase the risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Another false assumption is that snoring is harmless.

But the experts say snoring can be a sign of Sleep Apnea.

And the myth that having a drink can help you fall asleep? Also false.

Studies show alcohol reduces the body's ability to achieve deep sleep.

Researchers reviewed more than 8,000 websites to identify the 20 most common assumptions about sleep.