25 Crazy Facts About Sleep

Posted by , Updated on June 14, 2018

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Why do you sleep? Okay we know, it sounds like a pretty dumb question with a fairly obvious answer, but the truth is that scientists have not yet been able to fully figure it out. In fact, it probably should have been on our list of the 25 biggest mysteries of history. Over the last several decades though, using modern technology, researchers have been able to measure brain waves and find out a little bit about what is going on in our heads at night. It’s thanks to these trailblazers that we can bring you 25 Crazy Facts About Sleep.

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25

With an average lifespan of 6 - 8 years, mattresses have plenty of time to gather some nasty stuff. One study even linked them to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

mattress
24

Another study showed that people getting only 6 to 7 hours of sleep every night have a longer life expectancy than those who sleep 8 hours.

sleeping man
23

Both whales and dolphins only fall half asleep. Their brain hemispheres take turns so they can continue surfacing to breathe.

whale
22

The world record for not sleeping was set by 17-year-old Randy Gardner in 1964 when he was awake for 264 hours and 12 minutes. He set this record intentionally and without any stimulants.

eyes open
21

Do you suffer from aches and pains? According to one study, your pain tolerance will drop with sleep deprivation. Consider this another reason to rest when you're recovering from an injury.

in painhttps://www.dreams.co.uk/sleep-matters-club/25-facts-about-sleep/

20

In 2004, more than 35 million sleeping pill prescriptions were filled in America, a number that more than doubled from the previous four years.

sleeping pills
19

Upon joining the European Union, Spain launched a campaign to get rid of its world famous siestas, or afternoon naps, in order to show that it was intent on integration.

siesta
18

Although people born blind don’t see images when they dream, they do have an increased auditory, tactile, and olfactory experience.

blind woman
17

Scientists haven’t been able to figure out why exactly we need sleep. Common theories include adaptation, energy conservation, restoration, and brain plasticity.

sleeping man2http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/why-do-we-sleep
16

Do you find that you wake up a few times in the middle of the night? Well, you're not exactly alone. While the statistics vary, the average person wakes up between 2-6 times per night, and one study said that some participants woke up as much as 11 times a night!

woman insomniahttp://www.businessinsider.com/you-probably-wake-up-9-times-a-night/#while-individuals-sleep-needs-vary-after-an-exhaustive-2-year-study-the-national-sleep-foundation-recommends-that-adults-get-between-7-9-hours-of-sleep-every-night-people-over-65-can-get-by-with-7-8-hours-a-night-and-kids-need-more-than-8-7
15

Somniphobia is the fear of sleep.

afraid to sleep
14

12% of people have black and white dreams. Before color television though, the number was 75%.

black and white seascape
13

You can only dream about faces you have already seen.

dream face
12

Snoring is a common problem. About 40% of men and 24% of women are said to be habitual snorers. For those really concerned about it, there's a surgical proceedure, Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, used to fix snoring by tightening the throat. Possible side effects include changes to the tone of your voice.

snoring and awakehttp://www.sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep/snoring/overview-and-facts
11

If it takes you less than five minutes to fall asleep then very likely you are sleep deprived. The ideal amount of time is about 10 minutes.

on phone in bed
10

Scientists have determined that counting sheep is ineffective for putting oneself to sleep. Evidently, it's too boring, and imagining a calming landscape generally works much better.

counting sheep
9

According to sleep experts, there's a direct link between your favorite sleeping positions and your personality.

sleep on sidehttps://www.dreams.co.uk/sleep-matters-club/25-facts-about-sleep/
8

When you die, you will have slept about 1/3 of your life, which for the average person is approximately 25 years.

sleeping old woman
7

Not sleeping for 16 hours leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to having a blood alcohol level of .05%

breathilizer test
6

The British military figured out a way to reset soldiers’ body clocks so they can go without sleep for up to 36 hours by simulating a sunrise on their retinas.

sleeping military
5

Every 90 minutes, during REM sleep, a burst of electrical activity flows through your brain-stem, which also happens to be when you experience dreams.

dream
4

The average person spends 6 years of their life dreaming.

dreamcatcher
3

That moment right before you fall asleep when all of a sudden you jolt wide awake has a name – it’s called a hypnic jerk.

open eyes in bedhttps://www.dreams.co.uk/sleep-matters-club/25-facts-about-sleep/
2

The Challenger space shuttle disaster, the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, and the 1989 Exxon oil spill were all caused to some extent by sleep deprivation.

chernobylhttps://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/news/researchernews/rn_sleep.html; http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2017/ph241/walker2/; https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/05/12/406137352/short-on-sleep-you-could-be-a-disaster-waiting-to-happen
1

Almost everything we know about sleep, including the facts on this list, was all learned in the last 30 years.

sleep study
Photo: 1. shutterstock, 2. Piotr Andryszczak, Chernobyl HDR, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 3. shutterstock, 4. pxhere (Public Domain), 5. pixabay (Public Domain), 6. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Justin P. Morelli (Public Domain), 7. shutterstock, 8. shutterstock, 9. shutterstock, 10. shutterstock, 11. shutterstock, 12. shutterstock, 13. shutterstock, 14. shutterstock, 16. shutterstock, 17. shutterstock, 18. shutterstock, 19. shutterstock, 20. shutterstock, 21. shutterstock, 22. shutterstock (not actually Randy Gardener), 23. shutterstock, 24. Tony Alter via Flickr, Sleeping, CC BY 2.0, 25. shutterstock

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