What can be more pleasant and relaxing than having a good sleep after a long working day? Sleep is one of our major needs. Scientists all over the world keep studying it, hundreds of articles have been written about it. It’s surrounded by dozens of myths and curious facts that we tried to collect in one article. So here’s the list of twelve major facts about sleep.
1) Our brain rests during sleep
In fact, the brain works as hard as if you were awake. It analyzes the events that happened during the day, checks the condition of your internal organs and predicts possible future scenarios. Thus, the only thing that rests is your muscles, but the point of sleep is not to give them rest. Its main function is to allow the brain to do all the work mentioned above.
2) There are prophetic dreams
Obviously, this myth is nothing more than fiction. In fact, in a dream, a man sees possible scenarios that the brain calculates. We immediately forget most of them. So, a prophetic dream is basically a perfectly predicted scenario.
3) There are people who never sleep
On the Internet, you can find a lot of stories about people who don’t need to sleep at all. In fact, no such person is known to science in the whole history of observations.
4) By sleeping more at weekends, you can store extra energy for the upcoming week
Unfortunately, an extra hour of sleep on the day off does more harm than good. There’s nothing bad in sleeping; what is harmful is breaking your personal schedule. If you sleep a little and get up at six in the morning, at least be sure to get up every day at the same time. Sleeping ahead for a few days won’t work. Your body will use all the extra energy during the first day of the weekend; you’ll just go to bed later than usual.
5) If you haven’t slept for 24 hours, you can catch up later
Science has proved that if a man is awake for more than one day, the body suffers significant damage: all its biochemical indicators change, including the brain biochemistry. These indicators partially restore on the second or third day, but the body still doesn’t recover completely.
6) All sleepwalkers walk while sleeping
There is a myth that sleepwalkers can accidentally go out the window instead of a door or even play the piano. All these facts are really proved by science. However, real sleepwalking is a very rare phenomenon. Most sleepwalkers don’t go anywhere while sleeping; they just sit on the bed and lie down again after a while.
7) The dreaming phase of sleep is followed by the phase when we don’t see dreams at all
It was commonly believed that we see dreams only during the fast sleep phase. Now it’s proved that it’s also possible during the deep sleep phase. However, during the fast sleep phase we see a “movie”, and in the slow one, we mostly see pictures and photos.
8) All sleeping pills are harmful
Modern drugs, unlike the old ones, are harmless. The main thing here is to learn how to tell the difference between old and new medicines. After all, the production of old drugs is still going on.
9) A man dies after five days without sleep
If you don’t give an animal, for example, a rat, enough sleep, it will die in about five days. But human body works the other way. You won’t die in five days; instead, you’ll start sleeping with your eyes open. You can deprive someone of sleep or constantly wake this person up, and he/she would walk, talk, answer your questions, do some work, and all this while sleeping. After awakening, this person wouldn’t remember anything, just like a sleepwalker.
10) Women sleep longer than men
A lot of research has been done on this topic. Some studies have proven that women really sleep for 15 to 20 minutes longer than men. Other studies have shown quite the opposite result. According to them, it’s men who sleep longer. As a result, scientists agreed that men and women need the same amount of time to sleep. Only pregnant women sleep longer.
But both sexes have different attitudes towards sleep. A man usually thinks that he slept well; a woman, on the contrary, may say that she hasn’t had enough sleep. However, studies show that the quality of sleep in both cases is approximately the same.
It is proved that sanguine people sleep more than others (for eight to nine hours). They are so impressionable that if they watch a movie before going to bed or experience some emotional excitement, the duration of their fast sleep phase, during which the brain processes all the received information, immediately increases. So if you’re a sanguine person, you should stay away from adult movies or browsing dating websites, like Vava Girls, full of beauties’ profiles. Melancholic people need only about six hours of sleep.
11) After the evening workout, you’ll get tired and fall asleep more quickly
It’s believed that the evening workout makes your blood pump faster, so it will be more difficult for you to fall asleep. Doctors recommend finishing your exercises at least 3 hours before bedtime. The perfect time for exercises is 5 pm. But everything is purely individual here; it all depends on the physiological characteristics and intensity of training.
12) The older we become, the less sleep we need
This is pretty far from the case. The need for sleep remains unchanged, but the myth that with age it becomes harder to fall asleep is true.
Interesting facts about sleep
1) Do you get enough sleep? To find this out, try to remember how quickly you fall asleep usually. If this time goes down to five minutes, it means that you don’t sleep enough. The normal amount time needed for falling asleep is between 10 and 15 minutes.
2) Did you know that children and teenagers need to sleep for 10 hours a day? And for adults, six or eight hours would be enough.
3) During their baby’s first years, young parents usually undersleep for about 450-750 hours.
4) After 17 hours without sleep and rest, you won’t be able to concentrate. The same thing happens if you get at least 0.05% of alcohol in your blood.
5) People, who don’t sleep enough for a long time, get drunk faster.
6) People snore only during a slow sleep phase.
7) Approximately 70% of people experience a sensation of falling during sleep. The fact is that when we fall asleep, our brain sends a false signal to the muscles; as a result, they start contracting, and we may wave our hands and feet uncontrollably. The brain sends these signals because we change the position of the body from the vertical to the horizontal, and the brain doesn’t have time to adapt to these changes.
8) During the fast sleep phase, the movements of our eyes repeat the movements of our body.
9) When sleeping, we go through five phases, which don’t repeat.
10) During a deep sleep phase, the heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing reach their minimum value for the day.
11) Women and elderly people suffer from insomnia more often than others.
12) The maximum number of days spent without sleep is 18. All this time a person experiences memory disorder, hallucinations, and difficulties with orientation in space.
13) Some people can sleep with their eyes open and not even know about it.
14) The alarm clock light can influence your sleep cycle. Therefore, try to sleep in total darkness, and send the light from the alarm clock to the other direction.
15) People discovered most of the facts about sleep over the past 25 years.