This national lock down is proving a great time to catch up on all the sleep we have lost due to our busy schedules. While all of us are trying our best to engage in different activities to keep ourselves busy and entertained, we cannot deny the one activity we are all too happy to participate in – sleeping. And it isn’t as unproductive as others make it seem. Sleeping is absolutely important for our health, physically and mentally. Here are some really cool facts about sleep and how it affects us:
- Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) proposed that sleep occurred as long as digestion took place.
- Man is the only mammal that willingly delays sleeping. Now we all knew that, didn’t we?
- We naturally feel tired at two different times of the day: about 2:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Probably because of endless scrolling through social media or a heavy lunch.
- Those who relish naps are in good company: JFK, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and George A Bush all savored an afternoon nap.
- During the first two years of a baby’s life, new parents will miss six months of sleep on average. Now that’s a big compromise. Phew!
- Scientists still don’t know — and probably never will — if animals dream during REM sleep, as humans do. Bummer.
- When applied patiently and systematically, sleep deprivation can be the single most effective form of coercion and torture.
- For most people, a snooze of 15–30 minutes in the afternoon is best. Difficult to follow, but we can try…
- People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have bigger appetites due to the fact that their leptin levels fall, promoting appetite increase.
- Studies show that less sleep (six hours or less) can lead to higher inflammatory proteins in the blood.
- Want to fall asleep but can’t? Researchers suggest that repeating a simple word like “the” at irregular intervals blocks the mind from racing and helps a person to fall asleep at night or to take a nap. Try it!
- Children don’t react the same way to sleep deprivation as adults: while adults get sleepy, children become hyperactive.
- Upon five minutes of waking, 50% of a dream is forgotten. Within 10 minutes, 90% of it is forgotten.
- In general, carbs make you sleepy while protein makes you more alert.
- On the first night of sleeping in a new place, one hemisphere of our brain remains more active than the other while sleeping. Scientists believe this “vigilant mode” allows us to respond more quickly to unfamiliar, potentially danger-signaling sounds. Typical brain.
Have fun planning your naps in this lockdown!
- 25 Random Facts about Sleep. Available at: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/25-random-facts-about-sleep. Accessed on 02 June 2020.
- 63 Eye-Opening Sleep Facts. Available at: https://www.factretriever.com/sleep-facts. Accessed on 02 June 2020.
- 46 Interesting Napping Facts. Available at: https://www.factretriever.com/napping-facts. Accessed on 02 June 2020.