We all know that sleep is a very important part of everyday life. Most of what we know about sleep has come about in just the last 25 years. We might think we know all there is to know about sleep, but here are a few facts about sleep that may surprise you.
Dolphins are very unique in their way of sleep. One half of their brains are awake while the other half is asleep. This is called “unihemispheric sleep.” Dolphins also sleep for, 1/3 of their lives, just like humans.
The word “catnap” means short sleep. Some people take catnaps with their eyes open and may not even be aware of it.
When a person wakes up in the morning, half of a dream is forgotten in the first 5 minutes. 90% of the dream is gone within the first 10 minutes.
12% of people dream only in black and white.
People can survive longer without food than without sleep.
A snoring partner affects a non-snoring partner by waking the non-snorer an average of 20 times per night, making the non-snorer lose approximately 1 hour of sleep each night.
Our brains are more active during sleep than they are while watching television. Sleeping also burns more calories than watching television.
The phrase “good night, sleep tight” came from woven mattress bed frames that were tightened with a key when the ropes started to sag.
The largest bed ever made was in Great Britain. It was built in 1596, measured 11 feet by 11 feet, and could sleep 12 people comfortably.
The famous Charles Dickens was an insomnia sufferer. He claimed that he could fall asleep fastest by sleeping in the middle of the bed, facing north.
How many of these sleep facts did you already know? For more information on these fun sleep facts, visit HERE
Ever wonder where your city ranks for getting the best night’s sleep?
Here’s a study that has the answer. Find out if your city made the top 10.
“Sleep in the City” Study Examines Relationship Between Sleep and Happiness
A new study unveils the best and worst cities in America for getting a restful night’s sleep. Minneapolis was ranked as the best place for restful sleep while Detroit was identified as the least likely city in which to wake up. New York City is notorious for being “the city that never sleeps.” Perhaps that’s why it was ranked 6th among the worst cities for sleep.
The analysis was based on five criteria, including:
- Happiness index
- Number of days when residents didn’t get enough rest or sleep during the past month
- Average length of daily commute
- Divorce rates
- Unemployment rates
Best Cities for Sleep
- Minneapolis, MN
- Anaheim, CA
- San Diego, CA
- Raleigh-Durham, NC
- Washington, DC
- Northern NJ
- Chicago, IL
- Boston, MA
- Austin, TX
- Kansas City, MO
Worst Cities for Sleep
- Detroit, MI
- Cleveland, OH
- Nashville, TN
- Cincinnati, OH
- New Orleans, LA
- New York, NY
- Las Vegas, NV
- Miami, FL
- San Francisco, CA
- St. Louis, MO
For the best-ranked cities for sleep, the study found higher scores for overall happiness and low unemployment. The cities that scored poorly on number of nights with good sleep also had low scores on measures of happiness, and were established as the worst cities for sleep overall. According to the study, Detroit earned the distinction as the worst place for sleep due to a low number of nights with good sleep, along with a high unemployment rate and a low happiness index. Minneapolis was identified as the city where residents may have the easiest time getting a restful night’s sleep. Other factors that helped Minneapolis clinch the title of best city for sleep were a high score on the overall happiness index, a short commute time, and low unemployment.
For more information on this sleep study, visit HERE
Have you ever noticed your partner sleeping at night and all of a sudden gasp for air or stop breathing? It can be a scary thing to witness. There is a term for it; it’s called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea will cause you to stop breathing multiple times a night anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute in length. You may notice you have it if you take that first deep breath and it sounds like a gasp for air, if you snore loudly, or if you feel tired even after a full night’s sleep.
In an article written by Market Wired, they discuss 7 health concerns that can result from sleep apnea:
- High Blood Pressure – Thirty to 40 percent of people with high blood pressure, and up to 85 percent of those who have treatment-resistant high blood pressure, have sleep apnea. Research shows that when sleep apnea is treated with oral appliance therapy, blood pressure can be reduced. Oral appliance therapy is offered by select dentists and uses a custom-fit, mouth guard-like device to support the jaw in a forward position and keep the airway open, without the need for a mask or constantly running CPAP machine.
- Heart Disease – A study from the University of Wisconsin found that sleep apnea is common in people who have heart disease. The study also shows that those who suffer from untreated, severe sleep apnea may be five times more likely to die from heart disease.
- Depression – Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that men who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea are more than twice as likely to exhibit signs of clinical depression, such as feeling hopeless and uninterested in everyday activities. The study also found that women who were diagnosed with sleep apnea were five times more likely to report symptoms of major depression.
- Erectile Dysfunction – Men with sleep apnea commonly suffer from erectile dysfunction and overall sexual dysfunction. In a study conducted in Germany, researchers found that this relationship may be due to the repetitive drop in blood oxygen levels that occurs during sleep as a result of sleep apnea.
- Acid Reflux – It has been shown that people who have sleep apnea often suffer from acid reflux, which can increase sleep disruption and daytime sleepiness. However, treating sleep apnea can help improve the symptoms of acid reflux.
- Diabetes – Research shows that up to 83 percent of people with Type 2 diabetes suffer from sleep apnea but are not aware of their sleep disorder. As the severity of sleep apnea increases, glucose control within the body weakens.
- Stroke – Research shows that untreated obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk for stroke, even without the presence of other risk factors. Obstructive sleep apnea is also frequently found in people who have already suffered a stroke, which contributes to impairment of the brain’s recovery.
If you or a loved one suffers from sleep-related issues like sleep apnea, there is good news! There is a solution to help it or prevent it from happening altogether. Please reach out to your family doctor and express your concerns about your sleeping habits. You will be put in touch with a sleep expert, who can run simple tests to determine what is needed to get you sleeping again.
For the full article, click HERE.
Summer vacation is almost over, and whether kids break from summer, winter, spring, or even a long weekend, they seem to want to stay up later. Late nights can lead to difficult mornings transitioning back into their normal school routine. It is important for parents to put healthy sleep on the back-to-school list of necessities. Here are some helpful tips to get kids prepared to go back to school.
First, calculate how much sleep your child needs. Preschoolers need 11 to 12 hours of sleep. Ages 5-10 need 10 to 11 hours, and teenagers 9 to 10 hours.
About 10 to 14 days before school starts, parents should gradually start adjusting their child’s bedtime schedules. Have them go to bed 15 minutes earlier each day before school starts. This will help set their circadian clock to school time. Try to also keep the same sleep schedule, even on weekends, to keep sleep rhythms regulated.
Stick to an age-appropriate bedtime routine to help them wind down. For younger children this may consist of taking a bath before bed, brushing their teeth, or reading a bedtime story. For older children, they may want to read a book to relax or find a relaxation technique such as meditation, yoga, or deep-breathing exercises.
Control the sleep environment by keeping the room cool, quiet, dark, and comfortable. Electronics such as, cell phones, televisions, video games, and computers should be turned off an hour before bedtime.
Limit caffeine intake after lunch or at least 6 hours before bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant and inhibits sleep. Healthy meals and regular exercise can help promote quality sleep.
Avoid food close to bedtime, especially spicy foods that can cause acid reflux and raise body temperature, both of which inhibit sleep.
Practice what you preach. Studies have shown that parents who set rules and abide by them themselves are more likely to have children follow their example. The right amount of sleep every night can help your child do better in school and help with mood and anxiety.
These strategies can help you and your child have a healthy, successful upcoming school year.
You are all settled in for the night, cozy and warm in your bed. You start to drift off to dreamland, and all of a sudden you are falling or something hits you in the face. Whatever it is, you are suddenly startled awake with a jolt.
This strange sensation actually occurs on a regular basis to many people, and scientists have finally figured out what it means.
This process of being startled awake is referred to as the “hypnic jerk.” Although everyone has their own unique experiences with the hypnic jerk and describe the feeling a little differently, it is often explained as the feeling of falling.
The hypnic jerk is most often seen when a person falls asleep rapidly during or after an exhaustive state. When the body is exhausted, the brain can process the stages of sleep too quickly. This confuses the brain into thinking that the body and its major systems are failing. The brain then responds by jolting you awake with a burst of chemicals and then builds a dream designed to wake you up.
Check out this video from Discovery News to better understand the hypnic jerk and why we twitch.
Have you ever had trouble sleeping when you are in a new place? Do you toss and turn or easily wake when you travel or sleep somewhere other than your own bedroom? If so, you are not alone. According to a new study published in the journal “Current Biology,” it is a very normal occurrence for your first night’s sleep in new surroundings to be less than satisfactory.
Researchers at Brown University found that, similar to some animals, only half of the human brain “sleeps” the first night a person sleeps in a new environment. Research showed that the left hemisphere of the brain, the more logical and analytical side, was still actively “awake” throughout the night. The researchers believe that it is our brain’s way of “keeping watch” in unfamiliar territory. Though humans no longer worry about predators lurking in the darkness, our brains evolved during a time when that threat was very real.
So next time you are traveling or house sitting, plan accordingly, because your first night of sleep away from home will most likely not be as good as usual.
For more information, check out NPR’s article, “Half Your Brain Stands Guard When Sleeping In A New Place.”
We dedicate about a third of our lives to sleeping but why? This informative video from it’s OKAY to be SMART discusses the many reasons why we need to sleep, as well as the processes our bodies undergo while snoozing.