Interesting facts about sleep and sleeping problems
If you’re having problems sleeping, you’re not alone. Thousands of other people experience problems sleeping every single day, and scientists are only just beginning to unravel the mysteries of sleep.
Here are some strange and interesting facts about sleep and problems
Mrs Maureen Weston of Peterborough, who stayed awake for 18 days, 21 hours and 40 minutes during a rocking chair marathon, currently holds the record for the longest time without sleep. Mrs Weston slurred her speech and reported hallucinations, blurred vision and memory lapses during her record-breaking attempt.
Lack of sleep has played a role in several major disasters, including the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the Challenger space shuttle disaster.
A 1998 study showed that shining a bright light on the back of a human being’s kneecap can reset the brain’s sleep-wake clock. The study still baffles scientists.
Elephants sleep standing up during non-REM sleep, but they lie down for REM sleep.
Do you wake up right before your alarm clock goes off? Scientists studying this phenomenon have noticed a sudden burst of the stress hormone adrenocorticotropin right before you wake it. It seems anticipation of the stress of waking up is actually helping us to wake up.
If you think you have problems sleeping … ducks sleep with one half of their brain awake to be on alert for predators.
If your sleeping problems continue, they can start feeling normal. Awareness of the problems of sleep deprivation – lack of concentration, Daytime drowsiness, etc – drop off after sustained periods of sleep deprivation. You may have problems sleeping and not even know it!
After five nights of sleeping problems, three standard drinks will have the same effect on your body as six on a person who has had enough sleep.
Continuous recordings of brain activity – through which scientists uncovered REM sleep cycles – were not conducted till 1953. This was because scientists were concerned with wasting paper.
A newborn baby results in approximately 400-750 hours of lost sleep for its parents in the first year. That same baby will sleep around 16 hours per day.
Dreams were once thought to occur only during REM sleep, but scientists have recently discovered that we sleep during non-REM sleep too. Non-REM sleep dreams tend to be mundane and repetitive, with very little visual imagery (which explains why we don’t remember them), while our REM dreams can be quite bizarre.