Fun Facts About Sleeping

Why do you sleep? Okay we know, it sounds like a pretty dumb question with a fairly obvious answer, but the truth is that scientists have not yet been able to fully figure it out. Sleep is extremely important though, but almost nobody gets enough of it.

Most people say that your brain recharges, your cells repair themselves and your body releases important hormones.

Here is a compilation of funny, random and informative facts about sleeping that you might not know:

1. Sleeping directly after learning something new will improve your ability to remember it effectively.

2. Both whales and dolphins literally fall half asleep. Their brain hemispheres take turns so they can continue surfacing to breathe.

3. The average person wakes up about six times per night.

4. The desire to lie, cheat and steal is increased when you get less than 8 hours of sleep.

5. It is possible to control your dreams through means of lucid dreaming. These methods are also used on people who are experiencing recurring nightmares. There are a small amount of people who are natural lucid dreamers and can freely control every dream they have.

6. In Santa Ana, California, it is illegal to let a horse sleep in a bakery.

7. The record for the longest period without sleep is 18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes during a rocking chair marathon. The record holder reported hallucinations, paranoia, blurred vision, slurred speech and memory and concentration lapses.

8. If it takes you less than five minutes to fall asleep then very likely you are sleep deprived. The ideal amount of time is about 10 minutes.

9. When you die you will have slept about 1/3 of your life, which for the average person is approximately 25 years.

10. The Challenger space shuttle disaster, the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, and the 1989 Exxon oil spill were all caused to some extent by sleep deprivation.

11. Teenagers need as much sleep as small children (about 10 hours) while those over 65 need the least of all (about six hours). For the average adult aged 25-55, eight hours is considered optimal.

12. In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to sleep on a refrigerator, but only outside.

13. Some studies suggest women need up to an hour's extra sleep a night compared to men, and not getting it may be one reason women are much more susceptible to depression than men.

14. Using the snooze button on your alarm clock is actually really bad for you. Check this video why:

15. Giraffes need an average of 1.9 hours, but cats need more than 12 hours a day.

16. Sleep deprivation makes you more sensitive to positive rewards, but less to negative consequences.

17. Scientists have determined that counting sheep is ineffective for putting oneself to sleep.

18. During sleep, the brain “consolidates” memories and skills, meaning that the brain strengthens, reorganizes, and restructures memories during sleep.

19. REM atonia, or sleep paralysis, occurs in the typical sleeper every night to prevent people from acting out their dreams. Only a few muscles have the ability to move during REM sleep, such as the eye muscles, the auditory muscles, and the diaphragm for respiration.

Are you a good sleeper? Had any interesting dreams recently? 

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