We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping, and for good reason – it plays a vital role in our overall health and well-being. But despite its importance, there are still many things that people don’t know about sleep. In this article, we will discuss 10 surprising facts about sleep that you probably didn’t know!
Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Sleep
When you think about sleep, what comes to mind? Snuggling in bed under the warm covers, dozing off, and waking up feeling refreshed? It’s probably not a scene of you wrestling with a python or counting sheep.
Contrary to what you may believe, there’s more to sleep than just catching 40 winks. Here are some surprising facts about slumber that will have you rethinking your nighttime habits.
#1 – The amount of sleep you need depends on your age
As we age, our sleep patterns change. Newborns sleep an average of 16 hours a day, while adults should aim for seven to eight hours per night. Seniors need about the same amount of sleep as young adults, but they tend to sleep for shorter periods during the night with more frequent awakenings.
Age isn’t the only factor that determines how much sleep you need. Your lifestyle, health, and medications can also play a role. People who are physically active tend to need less sleep than those who are sedentary. And if you’re not feeling well or taking medication that interferes with sleep, you may need more hours of rest.
#2 – Sleep helps your heart
Getting enough sleep is important for your heart health. Studies have shown that people who sleep less than six hours a night are at greater risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Sleep also helps to regulate blood pressure and keep cholesterol and triglyceride levels in check. All of these factors can contribute to a healthy heart.
#3 – Some people can only dream in black and white
It’s not just a movie trope – some people really do only dream in black and white. This was first discovered in the 1950s when a group of researchers found that a small percentage of their subjects only dreamed in black and white. While the reason for this isn’t clear, it’s thought that it may be due to the way our brains process information.
Black and white dreams tend to be more common in people who grew up before color television was invented. This suggests that our dreaming brains may be influenced by the images we see while we’re awake.
#4 – There are foods that may help you fall asleep faster
If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, you may want to try incorporating some of these foods into your diet. Foods like almonds, chamomile tea, and honey have all been shown to help people fall asleep faster. So, next time you’re having trouble sleeping, try reaching for a snack that will help you drift off to dreamland.
However, remember that some foods you definitely want to avoid before bed. Caffeine, for example, is a major sleep disruptor. So, if you’re looking to improve your sleep habits, it’s best to steer clear of coffee and soda before bed.
#5 – Your sleep position may determine your personality
Have you ever wondered why you sleep the way you do? Well, it turns out that your sleep position may actually say a lot about your personality. For example, people who sleep on their stomachs are often seen as independent and strong-willed. People who sleep on their backs are often creative and optimistic. And people who sleep on their sides are often seen as good communicators.
#6 – Sleep can help improve your memory
It’s no secret that sleep is important. We’ve all heard the saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” But what you may not know is that sleep can actually help improve your memory. Contrary to popular belief, cramming for an exam and getting a good night’s rest are not mutually exclusive – in fact, they go hand-in-hand!
So, if you’re looking to boost your memory power, be sure to get plenty of shut-eye. Science has shown that during deep sleep, our brains consolidate memories from the day before. This means that if you’re trying to learn something new, it will be easier to remember if you allow yourself time for a good night’s sleep afterwards.
#7 – What you eat before bed can affect how well you sleep
What you eat before bed can have a big impact on how well you sleep. Eating a large meal right before bed can make it harder to fall asleep and may even cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
Drinking alcohol before bed can also impact your sleep. While it may help you fall asleep initially, alcohol can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty falling back asleep. Caffeine can also impact your sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant and can keep you awake if you drink it too close to bedtime.
There are a variety of sleep disorders that can impact your sleep. Some of the most common sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome. If you suspect you may have a sleep disorder, it’s important to talk to your doctor.
#8 – Sleep deprivation is more harmful than food deprivation
While you may think that going without sleep is no big deal, it can actually be quite harmful. Sleep deprivation can lead to a number of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. There are a variety of things you can do to improve your sleep:
Creating a bedtime routine, avoiding caffeine before bed, and investing in a comfortable mattress are all great ways to get better sleep. If you’re struggling with insomnia or another sleep disorder, there are treatments available that can help you get the rest you need. Don’t let lack of sleep ruin your health—make sure you’re getting enough shut-eye every night.
#9 – Sleep helps reduce stress
There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to help reduce stress levels. Sleep allows your body and mind to relax and rejuvenate, helping you feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. Getting enough sleep is essential for keeping stress at bay, so make sure you’re getting at least seven hours of shut-eye each night. In addition to reducing stress, getting enough sleep can also improve your mood, cognitive function, and overall health.
#10 – Light disturbance from your smartphone can affect your sleep
If you’re someone who likes to use your smartphone in bed, you may want to rethink that habit. According to a study published in the journal PLOS One, light disturbance from smartphones can affect sleep quality. Researchers found that when people used their phones in the evening, it took longer for them to fall asleep and they had poorer-quality sleep. If you must use your phone in bed, try using a red light filter or turning the brightness down as low as you can.
Sleep is one of the most important things for our health and yet many people don’t get enough of it. We hope that after reading this post, you have a better understanding of sleep and why it’s so important. If you want to learn more about how to get a good night’s sleep, check out some of our other posts on the topic. And be sure to share this article with your friends and family – let them know how important sleep is!