You’re about to read some facts you didn’t even know you needed to know. But, after you know, we know you’ll be glad you know them. Y’know what I’m saying? Anyways, here are 20 totally random facts about sleep.
The record for the longest period of time without sleep is 18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes during a rocking chair marathon. The person experienced hallucinations, paranoia, blurred vision, slurred speech and memory and concentration lapses.
REM dreams usually have bizarre storylines, but non-REM dreams are pretty boring with little imagery.
Certain types of eye movements during REM sleep correspond to specific movements in dreams, suggesting at least part of the dreaming process is similar to watching a film.
Elephants sleep standing up during non-REM sleep, but lie down for REM sleep.
REM sleep may help developing brains mature. Premature babies get 75 percent REM sleep while full-term babies only get 10 percent.
17 hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%.
The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska, the Challenger space shuttle disaster and the Chernobyl nuclear accident have all been attributed to human errors in which sleep-deprivation played a role.
Experts estimate that fatigue is involved in 1 in 6 fatal road accidents.
Exposure to noise at night can suppress immune function even if the sleeper doesn’t wake. Unfamiliar noise, and noise during the first and last two hours of sleep, has the greatest disruptive effect on the sleep cycle.
The “natural alarm clock” which enables some people to wake up more or less when they want to is caused by a burst of a stress hormone called adrenocorticotropin. Researchers say this reflects an unconscious anticipation of the stress of waking up.
Tiny luminous rays from a digital alarm clock can be enough to disrupt the sleep cycle even if you do not fully wake. The light turns off a “neural switch” in the brain, causing levels of a key sleep chemical to decline within minutes.
A night on the town will help you get to sleep, but it will be a light slumber and you won’t dream much.
After five nights of partial sleep deprivation, three drinks will have the same effect on your body as six would when you’ve slept enough.
Humans sleep on average around three hours less than other primates like chimps, rhesus monkeys, squirrel monkeys and baboons, all of whom sleep for 10 hours.
10 percent of snorers have sleep apnea, a disorder which causes sufferers to stop breathing up to 300 times a night and significantly increases the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
Deep sleep matters. Snoring occurs only in non-REM sleep.
Teenagers and small children need about 10 hours of sleep while those over 65 need only six hours. Average adults aged 25–55, eight hours is considered ideal.
As a group, 18 to 24 year-olds deprived of sleep suffer more from impaired performance than older adults.
Experts say one of the most alluring sleep distractions is the 24-hour accessibility of the internet.
The extra-hour of sleep received when clocks are put back at the start of daylight has been found to coincide with a fall in the number of road accidents.
Whew. That was probably more facts about sleep than you care to know. But, nevertheless, you’re smarter than you were a few minutes ago!