Sleep Facts & Guides

20 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About Sleep

20 Sleep Facts About Sleeping You Probably Didn’t Know.

Sleep is one of those things that all 7.5 billion of us have in common. We all need sleep just like food or water to survive. We spend about a third of our lives asleep, yet we know so little about what goes on when we are asleep.

The following are 20 things you didn’t know about sleep:

  1. Delaying sleep.

Humans are the only mammals that delay sleep willingly. Most people have a time that they normally sleep depending on their age or jobs. Other animals sleep whenever they feel like. Some, such as bears, will even sleep for months at a time.

  1. Dysania.

Do you find it hard to get out of your bed in the morning? Well, it might not be laziness; you could be suffering from dysania. Dysania may be a sign of depression, nutritional deficiency, or other problems.

  1. Sexsomnia.

There have been plenty of reported cases of ‘sleep sex’, or sexsomnia, where they get it on while asleep. While there is no clear explanation of why this happens, some experts have pointed out that there is a higher chance of it happening if you went to sleep feeling horny or if you dream about sex and the body acts it out.

  1. Sleep is just as important as exercise and diet.

While trying to live a healthier life, most people put a lot of focus on putting in more work at the gym and eating right. Many people don’t know that getting enough quality sleep is just as important as sleep deprivation is known to cause depression, heart disease, and diabetes.

  1. You have dreams even when you don’t remember them.

On average, a person has four to six dreams every night, but most people can’t remember 99% of them. If you want to improve your dream memory, keep a dream journal next to the bed and jot down anything you can remember immediately after waking up.

  1. You can lose weight just by sleeping.

Sleeping helps regulate hormones that control your appetite. Sleep deprivation decreases the production of ghrelin, a hormone that makes you feel satiated. It also increases the hunger hormone leptin.

  1. Some people dream entirely in black and white.

According to studies, most people used to dream in black and white but after coloured TVs were invented, most people now dream in colour. However, some people, especially the older generation, still dream in black and white.

  1. The world record for the longest period of time without sleeping is 11 days.

In 1964, a California student named Randy Gardener set thus record after going 11 straight days without sleeping. If you are tempted to try to beat that record, think twice. Just like Randy, you will experience extreme sleep deprivation or even die from staying awake for such a long time. Some scientists actually believe that sleep deprivation can kill a person faster than food deprivation.


  1. It is not uncommon for the deaf to use sign language while sleeping.

Most people talk in their sleep. Deaf people have something to say too, but since they can’t speak like normal people, they use the words they are used to; sign language. There are many cases where people have reported their deaf children or partners using sign language while asleep.

  1. Parasomnia.

This is a sleeping disorder characterized by unusual behaviour of a person’s nervous system while they’re asleep. Some people have even committed serious crimes as a result of parasomnia, including sleep driving or even murder.

  1. Falling asleep at night should take about 10-15 minutes.

If it takes you less than 5 minutes to sleep, chances are you are sleep deprived or extremely exhausted. If it takes more than 20 minutes, you may be suffering from stress, depression, or other causes of insomnia.

  1. Sleep deprivation takes only 16 hours to show.

Symptoms of sleep deprivation can be seen when you’ve not had any sleep for 16 hours. It lowers your body performance as if your blood alcohol level was 0.05% (the legal limit is O.08%)

  1. Sleeping at work.

In Japan, sleeping on the job is less of a problem than most other parts of the world. Companies in Japan accept it as a sign that the employee is exhausted from working too hard. If you want to get a promotion in Japan, always be asleep when your boss comes to see you.

  1. Sleep and exercise.

Regular, scheduled exercise is known to improve sleeping patterns and overall sleep quality. However, exercise sporadically or just before bed can keep you up.

  1. Do dolphins and whales sleep?

Dolphins and whales need to come up to the surface for air from time to time. As such, their brains have adapted in such a way that they only fall half asleep. Each side of their brains takes turns to stay awake so that they can come up to breathe.

  1. Sea otters.

Otters literally use the sea water as their mattress while sleeping. If two sea otters are sleeping together, they hold hands so that they don’t drift from each other.

  1. Health benefits of Sleeping styles.

Sleeping on your front has been proven to aid digestion. For this to happen, you should place your hands above the pillow such that you’re in a freefall position. Sleeping while laying on your left side apparently helps reduce heartburn.

  1. Sleeping patterns in the 17th century.

Back in the 17th century, it was normal for people to get up in the middle of the night. People used to sleep in two segments divided by a short time for reading, intimacy, praying, or socializing.

  1. You may jolt yourself awake.

It is normal to feel like you are falling physically while falling asleep. This feeling may trigger your muscles to jolt yourself awake. This is referred to as a hypnic jerk and it may be as a result of anxiety or taking caffeine before bed.

  1. The moon and sleep.

According to research, most people sleep better when there is a new moon and worse when there is a full moon. There is no clear explanation as to why this is the case.


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