Sleep facts 101 – and some foolish myths debunked
Sleep plays a crucial part in our lives and it’s fascinating how much we don’t know about snoozing (my goodness, we spend 8 hours per night doing it). So many questions bubble up when we think about sleep – the biggest one is why do we do it?
We set out to uncover the most jaw-dropping facts about sleep.
10 fascinating facts about sleep
- Babies steal 1,055 hours from their parents – According to data from Medical Daily, new parents lose an average of 44 days of sleep per year from their beautiful, sleepless newborn.
- Humans can sleep with their eyes open – Yes, you can sleep with your eyes open, which makes it truly impossible to tell whether someone is really sleeping or not.
- Altitude disrupts sleep – Due to lower amounts of oxygen at altitudes of 13,200 feet or higher, it’s much harder to get your snooze on. Be careful next time you’re visiting the Rocky Mountains.
- Some people dream in black and white – Studies show 12% of people dream in black and white. Surprisingly, this number was 75% before color televisions came into the home.
- Humans are the only mammal that can delay sleep – Dogs, cows and even sheep must go to sleep when their body tells them to. We have the ability to tell our body no to exhaustion (to an extent), and finish watching Stranger Things on Netflix.
- 11 days is the record for the longest period without sleep – In 1964, Randy Gardner fought exhaustion and suffered extreme sleep deprivation after his feat. We definitely don’t recommend trying this, like a Chinese man who dies in 2012 from staying awake 11 days to watch soccer. (No thanks!)
- It’s common for the deaf to sign in their sleep – Just like talking in your sleep, the hearing impaired communicate via sign language while sleeping. There are many recorded instances of people who have reported seeing their deaf partner or child signing while snoozing.
- You can’t sneeze while sleeping – Humans are more prone to sneezing while asleep, but since we aren’t moving to stir up dust particles, the reaction doesn’t occur.
- The strangers in your dreams aren’t strangers – You might know them personally, but you’ve seen everyone in your dreams before. Crazy, right? The brain can’t create people, so it uses registered faces.
- You grow .3 inches while sleeping – But the growth is temporary as you shrink back down to normal after you’re awake for a few hours. When you sit or stand, your cartilage discs are squeezed by gravity, like sponges.
The more you know about sleep, the better you can sleep…
Were you surprised by any of these facts? What can you change about your sleep based on these facts? We’ll never know everything about sleep, but it helps to keep the knowledge coming so we can work on perfecting our sleep routine for a better life.
For more fun sleep facts, check out this BuzzFeed video: