Each of us spends approximately 25 years in sleep, and on average, this is a third of life.
Given that we spend so much time in slumberland, we thought it wise to delve deeper into the world of sleep.
We sought to answer questions such as: does your mattress or cool bed sheets affect your sleep, how long can you stay without sleep, and can you catch up on lost sleep?
And why should we make sleep a necessary part of our personal care?
To get answers to these questions, let’s look at five surprising and fun facts about sleep.
Humans Can’t Do Without Sleep
Sleep experts conclude that to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy; you have to get enough sleep. Sleep is necessary, and going without sleep for extended periods will lead to irritability, paranoia, delusions, psychosis, and in some instances, death.
The only person who didn’t sleep for eleven days and survived was Randy Gardner, who was a high school student in 1964 and took part in this dangerous experiment. He survived for 264.4 hours without sleep. However, when Randy, who was under strict supervision, was asked if he would do the same thing again, he gave a resounding “no.”
Sleep Can Be Delayed, but Unfortunately No One Catch Up on Their Lost Sleep
Did you know that from all the mammals on the Earth, only humans can ignore and delay their sleep? Even when the body is giving you clear signals that it’s time to sleep, you can successfully keep yourself awake for a few more hours. Unfortunately for other animals, they can’t delay sleep.
Interestingly, though humans can delay sleep, sleeping for longer hours won’t help catch up on lost sleep. Sleeping extra, according to one study, doesn’t compensate for lost sleep time.
In fact, too much sleep can negatively affect your ability to focus and react.
So, you should aim to sleep for only the recommended seven to nine hours if you want to enjoy the full benefits of sleep.
A New Bed Can Lead to More Minutes of Sleep
Past research shows that swapping your old bed with a new one can give you 42 minutes of extra sleep.
Similarly, getting a new mattress, comfortable bed sheets, and pillows can also improve the quantity and quality of your sleep.
If you notice that you often wake up with aches and pains even after sleeping on a comfortable mattress, maybe it’s time to replace your bed. You’d better replace mattresses every seven to ten years, maximum.
It’s also advisable to invest in comfortable bedsheets if you want to enjoy a good night’s rest. Sheets made of cotton are breathable, soft, and have moisture-wicking properties. Other excellent bed linen options are bamboo and eucalyptus fibres.
Remember to launder your bedding a minimum of once per week. This way, you will get rid of various pathogenic bacteria and other nasty irritants.
It’s Possible to Commit a Crime While Sleeping
Sleep disorders such as parasomnia and sleepwalking can cause people to commit crimes.
In one incident, Brian Thomas strangled his wife while sleepwalking. Dale Kelly was also accused of sexually harassing a woman, something he couldn’t remember doing as he suffered from parasomnia.
According to a recent study, 3.6% of adults in the US sleepwalk. Studies have also shown a strong association between sleep deprivation and sleepwalking.
The Most Common Sleep Disorder Is Insomnia
According to the American Sleep Association, insomnia is the most prevalent sleep disorder. Past data further shows that more than 30% of adults have short-term insomnia, while 10% experience long-term insomnia.
Insomnia is characterized by trouble falling asleep and the inability to stay asleep. If you’re struggling with insomnia, exercising regularly can help. Engaging in relaxing activities before sleep and following a consistent sleep routine are other natural remedies for insomnia.
What other interesting sleep facts do you know? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.
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Moksha is a whiz with cars and all things tech. He loves to work on his own car and spent many hours in the garage as a kid, tinker- ing with anything he could get his hands on. These days, he's the go-to guy for all things automotive at work and can usually be found tinkering with something in his free time. He's also quite the tech nerd, spending hours upon hours online researching the latest gadgets and devices.