How much do you really know about sleep? We live in a time of Siri, the Amazon Echo, and Snapchat, yet we still study the science of sleep. Sleep remains incredibly mysterious and important to our health and well-being - meaning we're still studying it like it's an ancient and powerful magic. It's something we do every day and is more vital to our mental and physical health than eating - but what should you know about sleep? How much should you sleep each night? What other sleep facts should people keep in mind when their head hits the pillow?
You'd think something we spend years of total time doing would be well-established by now, but it's not. Every year, we discover new facts about sleep, from why we do it to how it affects us. Science has made more advances in our knowledge of sleep in the last 25 years than in all prior years, but there's still much more digging left.
We're still, to this day, not 100% sure why we sleep. But let's dive into the facts we do know. All of the crazy sleeping facts the average person probably doesn't realize. It's time for learning - you can nap later.
You'll Never Dream About Someone You Haven't Already Seen
You can't dream about a person unless you've seen them somewhere. Every face you've ever dreamed about is one you've seen at some point in your life.
If You Feel Drowsy, You're Most Likely Sleep-Deprived
According to experts, feeling drowsy before the evening indicates a lack of sleep. Even mundane activities shouldn't make you feel tired. And if you fall asleep less than five minutes after hitting the pillow, you could be experiencing a severe form of sleep deprivation.
Sleep Is A Wonderful Memory Aid
Studies have proven time and time again that sleeping right after you learn something can drastically improve your ability to retain the new information.
Falling Half-Asleep Is A Real Thing
For humans, it's merely an expression, but for whales and dolphins, it's a survival skill. Both whales and dolphins literally fall half-asleep. Their brain hemispheres take turns sleeping so they can continue surfacing to breathe.
The Precursor To The Alarm Clock Was Very Silly
Before the alarm clock, people were hired as personal wakeup calls. Called "knocker uppers," these human alarm clocks would use long poles, pea shooters, and soft hammers to tap the windows of workers in industrial Britain who needed rousing. A few even existed well into the 1970s.
Lack Of Sleep Could Shorten Your Life And Make You Gain Weight
Consistently getting less than six hours of sleep a night can dramatically shorten one's lifespan. Sleep deprivation can also cause weight gain and insulin spikes, making it harder to lose fat.