Sleep. It’s something that we all do, every single day. But how much do you really know about it?
Over the last 25 years, scientists have conducted a lot of research into this area – learning facts about sleep that we could never have even dreamed of (pardon the pun!). And with a vested interest in this topic, here we’ve rounded up just a few of our absolute favourites.
10 interesting facts about sleep
1. We spend approximately one third of our lives asleep
On average, that equates to about 26 years of sleeping. It’s the one activity that you spend most of your life doing – exceeding work (13 years), eating (4 years), and socialising (1 year). That’s why it’s so important to make sure you have the right bed. You’re going to spend a lot of time in it!
2. The average time taken to fall asleep is around 10-20 minutes
If it takes less than that, and you’re asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow, you’re likely to be sleep-deprived. If it takes more than 20 minutes, you could be suffering from insomnia.
3. Humans typically have about five dreams per night, lasting 15-40 minutes each
Even if you don’t remember them, you’ve still had them. In fact, according to the experts, we forget 50% of our dreams within just 5 minutes of waking up. And 90% after an additional 5 minutes. That’s why you can recall them vividly upon waking, but the memory quickly fades away.
4. 12% of people dream in black and white
This is more common amongst the older generation, and research suggests that it’s caused by childhood exposure to black and white TV. Interestingly, before the coloured television was introduced, it was the other way around – then, only 15% of people dreamt in colour.
5. The sensation of falling and jerking yourself awake is called a ‘hypnic jerk’
Scientists are still not sure why this sensation occurs. Some evidence suggests that it may be linked to anxiety, caffeine or physical activity close to bedtime. But it’s nothing to worry about. Lots of people experience ‘hypnic jerks’ and they’re deemed to be a perfectly healthy phenomenon.
6. Tiredness peaks twice a day, at 2am and 2pm
We’re all familiar with the post-lunchtime slump. It turns out, it has nothing to do with how much you ate (so no need to feel guilty about the big bowl of pasta!). Humans are biphasic sleepers. Which means, physically, we’re designed to sleep twice a day and our body clock begs for a nap at 2pm.
7. Humans are the only animals that willingly delay sleep
Of course, unlike animals, it’s impossible for us to sleep whenever we want. But we’re so desperate to binge-watch the latest box set or to have one more drink at the pub, we often go against nature to do so.
8. Sleep deprivation will kill you more quickly than food deprivation
Officially, the record for the longest period without sleep was set by a student – Randy Gardner – in 1964. He lasted for 11 days in total. But he did experience severe sleep deprivation symptoms as a result, and others have died trying to stay awake for too long. So it’s certainly not recommended!
9. Insomnia is thought to affect about one third of people in the UK
Around 35% of adults struggle to get to sleep at least once a week. Insomnia is more common in people aged 55 and over, and a woman’s lifetime risk of insomnia is 40% higher than that of men.
10. Approximately 15% of the population are sleepwalkers
Although it’s more common during childhood, adults can and do sleepwalk quite regularly – and it’s a myth that it’s dangerous to wake them up. It won’t harm them, but there is a risk they could be disorientated and strike out at somebody close. So it’s best to simply guide them back to bed.
Around 8% of people have also experienced an episode of sleep paralysis in their lifetime.
The most important fact about sleep – it’s important
There are a lot of weird and wonderful facts about sleep that you’re probably not aware of and scientists are learning more and more every day. But the only thing that you really need to know, is that sleep is incredibly important. And to get a good night’s rest, a high-quality bed is essential.
That’s where we can help – here at Dreamers Bed Centre.
We’re by no means experts in this area. But we do understand what it takes to get comfy and make the most of your nightly 7 hours shut-eye. Which is why, we stock a comprehensive range of beds and mattresses by some of the best brands in the industry, with a type and style to suit all sleeping preferences. All of which are available for a competitive price and ready for home delivery.
So, why not take a look today? And remember, we’re always happy to help. For more fun facts about sleep – or if you have a question about any of the products in our store – please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can either give us a call on 01942 275 464 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.