7 Surprising Facts About Sleep That You Probably Didn’t Know
Here are 7 surprising facts about sleep that you probably didn’t know. You’ll view sleep a lot differently after reading this…
1. Sleep Promotes Creativity
If you’re feeling the writer’s block, or maybe you can’t seem to think creatively, then perhaps you’re missing out on your sleep. This is because when you sleep better, your brain is able to reorganize and restructure your ideas more effectively, as well as consolidating your memories.
Studies at Harvard University and Boston College also found that people strengthened their emotional components of a memory in sleep, which is another reason you’ll be more creative with sleep.
2. The “I’m Falling” Feeling – Explained
The terrifying sensation of feeling like you are falling whilst in the midst of sleep is called the ‘hypnic jerk’. The causation of the ‘hypnic jerk’ is likely to be feelings of anxiety, caffeine or having physical activity close to bedtime. They are perfectly healthy, by the way, so don’t be concerned by the good old ‘hypnic jerk’.
3. Sleep Boosts Your Athletic Performance
Are you an athlete, looking for that extra boost to crush your competitors and become a champ? Well, as you know, it all comes down to the simple things, nutrition, hard training and quality sleep.
Stanford University found that football players at college level improved their average sprint times, had less fatigue throughout the day, and more stamina – when they slept for ten hours or more per night. These results mirrored similar studies taken place with tennis players and swimmers.
4. Sleep Helps You Focus
Poor sleep can incur ADHD type symptoms in young children and teenagers, says specialist Dr Rapoport.
“Kids don’t react the same way to sleep deprivation as adults do,” Dr Rapoport says. “Whereas adults get sleepy, kids tend to get hyperactive.”
A study from 2009 from the journal Pediatrics discovered that young people and children as young as age seven who got less than eight hours of sleep per night, were more likely to be impulsive, inattentive and hyperactive.
5. Sleep Deprivation Kills You Quicker Than Food Deprivation
Disclaimer – please don’t experiment this for yourself.
If you go seven days without food, ’you’d probably be hungry, perhaps a little weak, and almost certainly somewhat thinner. But basically, you’d be fine’, wrote Tony Schwartz in the Harvard Business Review.
However, if you go seven days without sleep, you’ll be in real trouble, with your body being completely unable to function. Click here to check out why. This is also why Amnesty International lists sleep deprivation as a form of torture.
6. Good Sleep Lowers Stress
When it comes to our own health, sleep and stress are very closely linked, as they both affect one another and have a terrible effect on our cardiovascular health.
Sleep specialist Dr. Jean says, “Sleep can definitely reduce levels of stress, and with that people can have better control of their blood pressure.”
It’s also true that your cholesterol levels are very much affected by your cholesterol levels – bad sleep leads to higher cholesterol levels, and more chance of heart disease.
7. 50% of Your Dream is Forgotten Within Five Minutes
After just five minutes of waking, 50% of your dream is wiped from your brain’s hard drive. Within 10 minutes, 90% of your dream is forgotten. Freud actually believed that this was down to our dreams representing our repressed thoughts, and our conscious brain wanting to rid of them as soon as possible when awake. Although, it’s probably down to the fact that our brain is being used much more as we awaken, and not having the mental RAM to process any dreams.
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