Bedworld has put together a list of fun facts about sleep in our “Did You Know?” Facebook series.
Sleep is something we all have in common and it is something we all need. So here is a list of some truths, debunked myths, and interesting facts about sleep.
Fun Facts About Sleep
1. Knockers where once a thing
Before alarm clocks “knockers” were employed to rattle your windows to wake you. Apparently factories would employ people to do this so their workforce would be at work on time. I wonder if they served tea or if it was strictly knocking only?
2. 75% of people dreamt in black and white before colour televsion
Yes, apparently not everyone dreams in colour. Is it because they don’t remember the colours in the dream or they have been influenced by technology? There are many theories and quite a few studies have been done. Dream research is very subjective, so we’ll just take it at face value as an interesting titbit and add it to our fun facts about sleep.
3. Working night shift is very hard on the body
Night shift interferes with our circadian rhythm, responsible for many biological processes. People who work nightshift have a higher risk of developing diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. If you work nightshift, here are some ways you can minimise the impact.
4. One in three adults get too little sleep
Too little sleep is putting our long term health at risk. One in three adults are getting too little! We have a lack-of-sleep epidemic on our hands, and people do not realise how bad it is for the body. Sleeping 5 hours a night is not ok. It should be as much as 9 for a healthy body.
5. Strangers in dreams are always faces you have seen
The mind does not make them up. Again this is a very difficult thing to demonstrate – how do you prove the stranger in your dream is someone you have never seen? It is likely to be true as neuroscientists think that’s the way the sleeping brain works. We think it’s interesting even if “facts about sleep” is stretching it.
6. Parents of newborns lose 300 hours of sleep in the first 5 months
By the time baby is 5 months old, parents have lost an average of 25% of their sleep. You can spot the parent of a newborn a mile away- blood shot eyes, dazed look, nodding off. It does get better but the first few years can be exhausting.
7. You CAN wake a sleepwalker
It’s not true that you should never wake a sleepwalker. Yes, that’s a myth. I suppose it is a cautionary warning that the somnambulist (fancy for sleepwalker) may hit you on the nose in their confusion as you wake them. It’s best to gently guide them back to bed, but waking them poses no risk to the sleeper.
8. Counting sheep is for the birds
When you count sheep it takes you longer to get to sleep. They did a study. And what they concluded is that it takes less time to fall asleep with general distraction, such as white noise, than with specific imagery, like counting sheep. Who knew?
9. It’s easier to sleep in a cool room
The ideal room temperature for a good night’s sleep is between 15ºC and 19ºC. This is one of the facts about sleep you can really work with 🙂 Keeping your room at this temperature is a great way to help you sleep better. Not too hot, not too cold…just right.
10. A nightcap will not help you get to sleep
Alcohol disrupts the sleep cycle so having a drink before bedtime will not in fact give you a good night’s sleep. We’re not saying it’s not a nice practice or that you shouldn’t do it. Just know that it is not helping you sleep.
11. Drinking coffee at night will keep you awake
That may not sound revolutionary. Surely it is obvious. Studies have shown, however, that having coffee any less than six hours before bedtime will impact getting to sleep. Some facts about sleep aren’t new but it’s worth being reminded.
12. You can train yourself to wake without an alarm
This one won’t work if you are sleep deprived. If you are deep in sleep whenever your alarm goes off you probably desperately need the sleep. When you are in a regular sleep pattern and you are getting enough sleep, your body will wake you at much the same time every day. That is very much more pleasant than being rudely awoken by an alarm!
So there you have it. 12 fun facts about sleep. Do you have some you would like to add?