The record for the longest period of time without sleep stands at 264.4 hours (11 days) and was set by a high school student in 1964
12% of people dream entirely in black and white.
Light exposure, even just to the glowing numbers on an alarm clock can cause sleep disturbance even if it doesn’t wake you up.
Some sleeping pills and sleep aids suppress REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep which can be unhealthy over a period of time.
Humans spend 1/3 of their life sleeping.
Pain tolerance is reduced by sleep deprivation.
41% of the British population sleep in the fetal position.
You may find it very difficult to fall asleep if the temperature of your room is too high. In order to fall asleep, our body temperature has to decrease slightly and if the room is too warm it can keep this from happening and keep us from sleeping.
You only have to be awake for 17 straight hours to begin experiencing the symptoms of sleep deprivation. This includes functional deficits similar to those experienced by people with a blood alcohol level of .05%.
It’s thought that up to 15% of the population are sleepwalkers
Sleep deprivation will kill you more quickly than food deprivation
Humans are the only mammals that willingly delay sleep.
Why is it important to get a good night’s sleep?
To understand why sleep is important, think of your body like a factory performing a number of vital functions. As you drift off to sleep, your body begins its night-shift work:
- Healing damaged cells
- Boosting your immune system
- Recovering from the day’s activities
- Recharging your heart and cardiovascular system for the next day
We all know the value of sleeping well, experiencing the feeling of being refreshed after a good night’s sleep and the feeling of fatigue after a poor night’s sleep. But even though we know this, in our busy society, many of us are not getting the quality of sleep needed to truly receive the health benefits of sleep.
Sleep Cycle REM VS NREM
Understanding what happens during sleep also means understanding the sleep cycle, which consists of two recurring phases:
NREM (non-rapid eye movement)
NREM sleep typically occupies 75–80% of total sleep each night. Many of the health benefits of sleep take place during NREM sleep – tissue growth and repair occurs, energy is restored and hormones that are essential for growth and development are released.
REM (rapid eye movement)
REM sleep typically occupies 20–25% of total sleep each night. REM sleep, when dreaming occurs, is essential to our minds for processing and consolidating emotions, memories and stress. It is also thought to be vital for stimulating the brain regions used in learning and developing new skills.
Both phases are important for different functions in our bodies.
If the REM and NREM cycles are interrupted multiple times throughout the night — either due to snoring, difficulties breathing or waking up frequently throughout the night — then we miss out on vital body processes, which can affect our health and well-being the next day and long term.
What happens if you don’t get enough sleep?
If your body doesn’t get a chance to properly recharge – by cycling through REM and NREM – you’re already starting the next day at a disadvantage. You might find yourself:
- Feeling drowsy, irritable or sometimes depressed
- Struggling to take in new information at work, remembering things or making decisions
- Craving more unhealthy foods, which could cause weight gain
If this happens night after night, it places a tremendous strain on your nervous system, body and overall health. So if you’re not sleeping well or aren’t feeling rested when you wake up in the morning, it’s important to talk to your doctor and ask if a sleep study is right for you.