What are Some Interesting Facts of Sleeping?

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Getting a good night’s sleep is extremely important for your well being. Currently, it is recommended that we sleep for anywhere between 7 to 9 hours a day to recharge our body and our mind. Unfortunately, many hours do not get this amount of sleep.

Interesting Facts of Sleeping

Sleep is greatly affected by a number of different factors. Associated stress, lack of exercise, late working hours, shift changes and even long distance journeys can all affect how we sleep. Today, we will not discuss too much about the problems but instead will talk about some interesting facts of sleep.

Interesting Facts of Sleeping:

Fact 1

We Spend One Third of our Life Sleeping.

It may be hard to believe, but if we sleep around eight hours a day every day we are already spending a third of the day sleeping. Depending on the number of hours of sleep, the total proportion might change, but as we get older we tend to sleep a lot more. Sleeping difficulties can accompany advancing age and this can sometimes change the total quantity of sleep we have in a lifetime. Generally however, most of us sleep for at least a third of our entire life.

Fact 2

Sleep is Essential for Memories

If we do not sleep, we will have difficulty remembering things. Sleep is extremely important in the memory consolidation process and a good night’s sleep will only help us create stronger memories. Clinical studies have found that those people who sleep within 2 to 3 hours of learning something new tend to remember it longer compared to those who sleep around 8 to 9 hours after they have learnt it. This may be quite important for students and young individuals who are learning a new skill or gaining some new knowledge which may help them with their future career.

Fact 3

Most of Us Do not Want to Get Out of Bed:

Have you ever been enthusiastic about waking up in the morning? Not many people who go to sleep in the night wish to wake up on time and may even have a great deal of difficulty getting out of bed. The state of finding it difficult to get out of bed is called dysania. While it can be mild in most individuals, there are people who find it extremely difficult to wake up in the mornings due to associated fatigue. Chronic fatigue syndrome has a close link to dysania and usually require some form of treatment to make sure that the sleep cycle is not prolonged.

Fact 4

Jerking Moments in The Sleep is Common:

Many a times, as we fall asleep we may notice that our body suddenly jerks. This often takes place when we are not completely asleep but are just about to drift off into a deep sleep. This type of body jerk is called hypnic jerks. They are also called myoclonic jerks or hypnogogic jerks. They are entirely normal but may be worsened in those individuals who suffer from anxiety or those who perform vigorous physical activity closer to that bed time. Caffeine is also a triggering factor.

Fact 5

Sleepwalking Exists:

It is believed that around 15% of people in the world are active sleepwalkers. While the body is in a state of sleep, the mind is able to control movements and help them walk around in familiar territory. It is absolutely fine to wake up someone who is sleepwalking to help them back to bed.

Fact 6

Man is The Only Mammal that Can Delay Sleep:

Every other mammal in the planet has a set sleep pattern. According to the National Sleep Foundation, man is the only mammal that is willing to delay his or her sleep. Altered sleep patterns due to shift works or for any other reason can ultimately affect normal sleep pattern and duration.

Fact 7

We Forget Our Dreams Quickly:

Another interesting fact of sleep is our dreams. Around 12% of the population experience dreams in black and white when the remaining experience them in colour. Within five minutes of waking up, we forget around 50% of our dream. While we may continue to remember fragments of it, an additional five minutes leads to around 90% loss of recollection.

There is a theory behind is that has been put forward by Sigmund Freud. He believed that dreams sometimes indicate thoughts that we repress in our minds. We do not wish to remember them and hence the brain gets rid of them quickly. There also may be other explanations such as the lack of requirement to remember the dream or the pre-occupation with the morning routine making it difficult to remember the dream.

Fact 8

We Experience Less Pain in Our Sleep:

When we sleep, our muscles and tendons along with the joints go into a state of complete relaxation. The brain has partially shut down and is resetting itself during our sleep. As you will very well know, the brain has to be very active to experience symptoms of pain. Clinical studies have found that when sleeping, the tolerance to pain reduces dramatically. There is no clear reason why this happens. This may also be the reason why you have no idea how you ended up with a bite on your leg in the night from an insect!

Fact 9

Sleep Position May Indicate Personality:

Did you know that the position in which we sleep in is reflective of our personalities? In an article published in the Telegraph, a scientist by the name Prof Chris Idzikowski reported that there are six different positions that we all sleep in. The most common position is the fetal position (the position which is taken up by the growing fetus in the uterus) which is seen in 51% of women and less so in men.

The other positions include the starfish position which indicates that those individuals are good listeners who are able to make friends easily but do not like being the centre of attention.

6.5% of people sleep in the ‘freefall’ of position and these individuals apparently appear confident but have a nervous disposition when criticised.

Other positions include the ‘soldier’ position and the ‘log’ position.

Interesting, right??

Fact 10

Snoring May Lead to Heart Disease:

One of the other interesting facts about sleep disorders is that snoring has an effect on the heart health. According to certain studies, snoring appears to be the primary cause of sleep problems in around 19 million American adults.

Those who are overweight can develop a condition called obstructive sleep apnoea where an individual stops breathing momentarily during their sleep. This is accompanied by increased daytime sleepiness which in turn can affect vital structures like the heart and raise the blood pressure. Obstructive sleep apnoea requires treatment with a device called a CPAP machine.

Fact 11

Sleep is As Important As Diet and Exercise:

If you have read other articles on this blog, you will be very well aware that following a healthy diet and performing a regular cardiovascular exercise for at least 30 minutes a day is essential to keep both your body and your mind healthy. Similarly, sleep is just as crucial when it comes to staying healthy.

This is because the lack of sufficient amount of sleep has been linked closely to the development of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and depression. Reduced efficiency at work is also been a problem in those who do not sleep well.

The longest time anybody has ever stayed awake without sleep is around 11 days by Randy Gardner. This is never recommended as it can be life-threatening.

The lack of sleep can lead to an alteration in certain hormones in the body that are responsible for controlling appetite. If you do not sleep sufficiently long enough, these hormones can go haywire and this can lead to excessive eating which in turn leads to weight gain. Furthermore, the lack of sleep decreases the satiety hormone called ghrelin and increases the levels of the hunger hormone leptin. This is why those who get poor sleep tend to snack late in the night on high calorie foods which adds to the body weight.

Fact 12

Babies Sleep The Longest:

Newborns require anywhere between 14 to 18 hours a day of sleep. There are times of wakefulness that are quite short and sufficient amount of sleep is essential for their normal development. In fact, babies who do not sleep well may find it even more difficult to sleep and can become sleep deprived.

Fact 13

We Move Our Eyes in Our Sleep:

Our regular sleep has two cycles in it – rapid eye movement sleep and non-rapid eye movement sleep, also called REM sleep and NREM sleep respectively. In the former, eye movements are fairly common and the sort of sleep is usually a deep sleep. It is difficult to make an individual wake up during the REM sleep. We dream in our REM sleep and snore in our NREM sleep.

Fact 14

How Quickly You Sleep Matters:

Normally, an individual falls asleep within 10 to 15 minutes of attempting to do so. If it takes less than five minutes to fall asleep at night, it is sometimes indicative of being sleep deprived. If it takes longer than 20 – 30 minutes, then it could indicate insomnia.

Changing one’s lifestyle, following a healthy diet and performing a regular exercise can all help reduce sleep deprivation and improve the quality of sleep.

Fact 15

Sleep In Animals or Birds:

One of the most interesting facts about sleep is the patterns that is seen in animals. Whales and dolphins do not sleep completely but only fall half asleep. Each side of their brain remains awake so that they can come up for air from the water. Cats spend most of its time sleeping throughout its lifetime. A giraffe only requires 1.9 hours sleep a day. On the other hand, bats can require up to 20 hours of sleep per day.

Sleep is an extremely important part of staying healthy. I hope you enjoyed some of these interesting facts of sleep!

News on Sleep and Its Facts:

Sleeping Habit Indicates Your Intelligence:

– 9th July 2018

Raise your hand if you have a habit of hitting the snooze button every morning. Sound familiar, right? Your crazy night owl habit won’t let you sleep timely at night and this blocks your way to an early morning wake up plan. Hey, now don’t regret on your habit as it’s scientifically proven that a night owl is often, the intelligent one. You can either blame your genes or take a pride in your slow-rising habit, the choice is yours.

According to a research, it is estimated that people who can control their circadian rhythm (a cycle that influence crucial body functions like a sleep-wake cycle) are more intelligent than a normal person who follows the 9-6 sleep routine.

The reason behind this is, when we set an alarm for the next day, we set rules for our body to follow it accordingly. But in the next morning, when we snooze the alarm, we actually resist the urge of our body i.e. break the body rules. This fact indicates that we are not in tune with our body needs, instead naturally ambitious and creative that we want to set-our-own-rules and strong enough to tackle our own problems.

Several studies are found favoring this situation. A study from the University of Southampton also indicates the same conclusion. They compared the socioeconomic status of approx. 1,250 people with their sleeping patterns and found that people who went to sleep between 11 p.m. and woke up after 8 are tended to report a happier life with good earning. Although, National Sleep Foundation advises 7-9 hours of sleep/day for adults.

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