We already know that getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day is crucial for physical and mental well-being. In this article, we will explore other interesting facts about sleep that you’d love. But before we start, how much do you know about sleep?
Well, most of what people know about sleep has only been discovered in the last 30 years. Big thanks to modern technology, researchers were able to study brain waves and found out more about what’s happening on in our heads while we sleep. Below are some fascinating facts about sleep.
Humans spend 1/3 of their life sleeping.
The average human spends about 79 years, or 28,835 days here on Earth. Given that an individual sleeps for 8 hours in a day that means an average person will sleep for 230,680 hours in his lifetime. That’s 1/3 of his life. Throughout our life, we spend a whopping 26 years sleeping. Moreover, we also spend an addition of 7 years trying to get to sleep. So, that’s a total of 33 years or 12,045 days spent in bed! It’s like watching Titanic for 96,630 times.
The record for the longest period without sleep is 11 days.
Richard Gardner, a Californian student, holds the record for the longest period without sleep which was achieved in 1964. Gardner set this record intentionally and without taking any stimulant. This is a case of extreme sleep deprivation which is not safe, as such it is not recommended. Other people have died while staying awake this long.
Sleep deprivation will kill you quicker than food deprivation.
This is why what Richard Gardner did is not recommended. This also means that in the short term, sleep is more important than food.
Blind individuals also dream at night, which involve things such as sound, smell, and emotions rather than sight.
At one point in your life, you might have wondered if blind people dream, too. Now, you have your answer. Moreover, the timing of one’s blindness also plays a part in what a person dreams about. You can learn more about this here.
Ideally, an individual should take about 10 to 15 minutes to fall asleep at night.
If it takes you less than 5 minutes to sleep, then, you are most probably sleep deprived. On the other hand, if it takes you more than an hour to sleep, it means that you are sleeping too much or you are struggling with insomnia.
Sleep deprivation reduces one’s pain tolerance.
According to a study, decreasing a person’s sleep in half dramatically cuts the pain threshold. This is why it’s so important to get enough sleep if one is recovering from an injury.
About 12% of the human population dreams in black and white.
Before colored television, the number was 75%.
Snoring is a common problem, affecting more men than women.
About 40% of men and 24% of women are habitual snorers, and about 37 million Americans snore. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is the surgical procedure used to fix snoring by tightening the throat. Possible side effects include changes to the tone of your voice.
Sleep deprivation may have caused some of the world’s biggest disasters.
The Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, the Challenger space shuttle disaster, and the 1989 Exxon oil spill were to some extent caused by sleep deprivation.
Sleep sex is real.
We’ve heard about sleepwalking. But, have you heard about sleep sex or sexsomnia? Well, it’s real, it does happen. About 8 percent of people experience it, wherein they engage in sex while they are not fully conscious.
The average person dreams about 4 to 6 times a night.
This also means that people dream at night even if they don’t remember it. Don’t worry because you are not alone. 99% of the population doesn’t recall that they had about 4 to 6 dreams while asleep. You might want to keep a dream journal beside you, where you can jot down anything that you could remember from your dream as soon as you wake up.
Only 12% of Americans get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
While this is the case in the US, it’s different in France wherein people sleep on average 8.83 hours per day. France holds the record for the best country for sleep in the developed world.
More than 1,500 deaths a year in the US are caused by drivers falling asleep.
We couldn’t emphasize enough the importance of getting enough sleep. It doesn’t only contribute to our overall health, but it also keeps us and the people around us safe and alive.
It is estimated that about 1 in 25 drivers reported falling asleep behind wheels in the last 30 days.
This is why under the “Maggie’s Law” in New Jersey, it is illegal for a driver to drive if they’ve been awake for 24 hours.
Forty-seven percent of Americans sleep in the fetal position.
In addition to this, women are more likely to sleep in the fetal position than men. On the contrary, the log is the least popular sleeping position. In this position, an individual is sleeping on his side with both arms down.