25 Reasons That Everything You Thought You Knew About Sleep Is Wrong

Posted by , Updated on November 21, 2022

Did you know that the reason you sleep isn’t to rest? At least not in the way you would think. These are 25 reasons that everything you thought you knew about sleep is wrong.


Despite the fact that you will sleep for roughly 1/3 of your life, scientists are still not entirely sure as to why

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As far as resting your body is concerned, sleep doesn't really make much of a difference. 8 hours of sleep will save you 50kCal. That's roughly the same amount of energy in a piece of toast.

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The real reason you sleep is because your brain needs it. But its not like your brain just shuts down. It actually gets more active than it is during the day.

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So, basically the idea of sleeping to rest is for the most part wrong. If you don't sleep though, after only 17 hours you'll start to experience cognitive difficulty with remembering and perceiving things.

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Your pain tolerance will decrease and you'll become more sensitive to stimuli

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You will probably gain weight because during sleep your body releases hormones that regulate your appetite

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In fact, after 24 hours you will be functionally worse off than someone with a blood alcohol level of .05%

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If you decided to give up both food and sleep indefinitely, you would likely die from sleep deprivation before you starved to death.

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In spite of that, the longest officially verified record for sleep deprivation without stimulants is 11 days. It was accomplished in 1965 by high school student Randy Gardner under strict scientific supervision.

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Since then the Guinness Book of World Records has stopped keeping records for fear that people might harm themselves

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Some mammals like giraffes and Asiatic elephants typically sleep less than 2 hours per night

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Koalas are the longest sleeping mammal at 22 hours per day

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When dolphins sleep only half there brain loses consciousness. This helps them to maintain breathing because unlike humans, dolphins and whales are conscious breathers

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin - Stenella Plagiodon

Ever since the advent of color television studies claim that the percentage of people dreaming in color has increased significantly

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If you don't dream, the prevailing consensus is that you most likely have some sort of personality disorder

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Don't panic though, within 10 minutes of waking up almost all of your dreams will be forgotten

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You can allegedly only dream about faces you have already seen.

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To extend this, people blind from birth typically have dreams involving smell, taste, emotion, and touch

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Parasomnia is a sleep disorder that causes involuntary actions and movements during sleep.

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Benign forms of parasomnia involve sleep talking and sleep walking. The more serious types have lead to sleep driving, robberies, and even rape or murder.

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British soldiers were the first to develop a method of consistently staying up without sleep. When they got fatigued they would put on special visors that simulated the brightness of a sunrise and woke them up.

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A survey of 6,000 British adults found that listening to Coldplay did in fact make them more likely to fall asleep

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It has also been scientifically proven that counting sheep is an ineffective method for falling asleep.

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Somniphobia is the fear of sleep

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Speaking of fear...an adult bed bug can survive up to 1 year without feeding

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