Sleep is Weird: 11 Odd Facts About Your Sleep
Sleep is refreshing, revitalizing, and absolutely necessary to experiencing a day of thriving in energy, productivity, and good health. However, sleep can also be perplexing, odd, and just plain weird.
According to the National Sleep Foundation and the Sleep Matters Club, here are some of the more bizarre facts about sleep that will cause you to think a bit differently about your needed nighttime ritual of good sleep and rest:
- Humans are the only known mammal to purposely neglect sleep.
Humans are the only known species who deliberately delay sleep in exchange for other activities deemed more important than resting.
- Most people naturally experience sleepiness at 2AM and 2PM.
Your body clock is set to an internal wake-sleep cycle that is dictated by the presence of light or dark, signally day or night. The peak times of drowsiness in this daily rhythm are 2AM and 2PM. This is why you may feel a drowsy lull come over you in the afternoon.
- Snoring noises can reach as loud as 38 decibels.
Snoring is the most common sleep disturbance, and according to SleepEducation.org, 40 percent of men and 24 percent of woman are habitual snorers. The average loud snore can reach 38 decibels, which is approximately the same as a refrigerator hum on the noise scale.
- Some employers allow napping breaks at work.
A growing number of employers are recognizing the strong link between productivity and being adequately rested, and are offering employees nap breaks at work. According to Sleep.org, progressive companies such as Google, Ben & Jerrys, Zappos, Nike, and NASA offer employee nap breaks and provide designated, comfortable areas for naps during the work day.
- Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
Many people can function well on less or more sleep, but the recommended average of seven to nine hours will help keep an adult well rested and healthy.
- Relationship stress can contribute to insomnia.
Stress within relationships can lead to lost sleep. People who are divorced, widowed or separated also tend to suffer more from insomnia, losing sleep most nights of the week, for many months at a time.
- Higher altitudes can cause sleep disturbances.
Your sleep can be disrupted as you adjust to higher altitudes, due to shifting oxygen levels. Your body will typically adjust to high altitude in two to three weeks, at which point sleep disruptions should fade away as well.
- Deaf people often use sign language while sleeping.
Many people talk during their sleep, and it is not uncommon for deaf people to communicate through sign language while they sleep as well.
- It should take you 10 to 15 minutes to fall asleep at night.
If you fall asleep in under five minutes, then you are likely very tired and sleep deprived. If you have trouble with falling asleep within 15 minutes, you could be struggling with a sleep disorder. A sleep study with a professional sleep expert can help you determine this, and help you get more rest with treatment.
- Stomach sleeping can help your digestive tract.
Sleeping on your stomach, with your arms above your head can help aid your digestion. If you experience heartburn at night, try laying on your left side to alleviate your symptoms and get the rest you need.
- Good sleep habits are not always addressed by healthcare professionals.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, six in ten health care professionals report that they don’t have adequate time during appointments to discuss sleep health or disorders. Illness and sleep issues are very closely linked, so you should mention any sleeping troubles with your doctor. You can also undergo a sleep study through a professional sleep center to get a diagnosis and treatment.