10 Facts Worth Knowing About Sleep

1. People born blind don’t see images in their dreams. However, they do experience higher auditory levels in which they hear the dream instead of seeing images of it. A blind person’s vivid dreams utilize their other senses such as smell and touch.

2. In their first year of life, newborn babies often cause their parents to lose two hours of sleep per night. That balances out to a whopping average of 730 hours NOT spent in bed on dream street. Crazy, right? Now go thank your parents for their services and buy some condoms if you aren’t prepared to endure such massive depriving.

3. In 1965, Randy Gardner set the record for the longest sleepless stretch by a human being (with NO pick-me-up stimulants). Gardner remained awake for 11 days, 264 total hours, and experienced hallucinations, mood changes, troubles concentrating and memory lapses. So the next time you tell everyone about how you’re pulling an all-nighter (with the assistance of coffee), know the story of your 24-hours awake is a snoozer in comparison.

4. If you fall asleep in less than five minutes, you were most definitely sleep deprived. Ten minutes or so is where you want to be – that means you were sleepy, but not exhausted. And here I am wondering what it means when you feel exhausted, yet it takes 2-4 hours to finally doze off.

5. Being awake for 17-19 straight hours declines your performance to lesser than or equal to a person with a blood alcohol level of 0.05%. That means extremely sleepy you is about as good of a driver as four-drink-Freddy at the bar. Scary. Also, if you go five straight nights deprived of sleep, three adult beverages will have the same effects as six would on a sufficiently rested you.

6. We grow 8mm during our sleep. Unfortunately this extra height is short-lived as we shrink back down to size when we get up. Still, I feel the urge to attempt dunking a basketball immediately after waking, as if my inability to reach the rim is solved by 8mm, and not by working on my pathetic vertical leap.

7. A primary cause of extreme sleepiness in America is self-inflicted deprivation. We want our late night YouTube sessions and we often knowingly choose to be groggy tomorrow, if it means we can continue surfing the web tonight. In addition, humans are the only mammal that willingly postpones going to sleep.

8.  Somewhere around 1-½ hours after dozing off, for 2 hours every night, we experience spurts of what is known as REM sleep. That cycle is the cause of our wild, crazy dreams, whereas non-REM sleep produces our tedious, less aesthetic, more though dreams. Whatever the case, it’s very possible that every last second of sleep is spent dreaming.

9. Women need extra sleep at night in comparison to men, and not getting that hour or so makes them more vulnerable to depression. Also, depressed people are known to spend more than the average person in REM sleep.

10. On average, a person who lives to be 75-80 years old will spend 25ish years of that time asleep. Depressing in a way, huh? All that time spent tossing, turning, dreaming and snoring. However, statistics like that should encourage you to splurge when it comes to purchasing a super comfortable bed. C’mon, 25 years on a Tempur-Pedic mattress is the key to a happy life.  Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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