Sleep: we all do it, and we all love it. But there's a lot about sleep that we don't know.
From its effects on our health to the role it plays in our dreams, sleep is a fascinating subject.
Here are five surprising facts about sleep that will leave you wondering why you didn't learn this stuff in school.
#1 A Third Of Our Lives Goes To Sleep!
Most people are aware that they don't sleep as much as they should.
What they may not realize, though, is that poor sleep habits can cost them a lot of time, regardless of whether they're over or undersleeping.
Optimizing your sleeping habits is important for two reasons.
First, it can help you to wake up feeling rested and refreshed, meaning that doing certain things will take you less time.
Oppositely, when you don't get enough sleep, your body feels fatigued and your mind is foggy.
This can lead to excessive daytime napping, which can eat into your productivity and cost you time.
In the best-case scenario, you'd sleep about 6-8 hours, meaning that 25-30% of your life, you will spend asleep!
#2 Sleep Is Essential For Good Health
When we think of recovery, we often think of massages, good nutrition, and meditation.
However, our bodies recover in many ways and one of the most important is during sleep.
Sleep is essential for good health because that's the state during which the body is in its deepest recovery.
When we are asleep, our bodies repair damaged cells, replenish energy stores, and release hormones that help to promote growth and development.
In addition, sleep helps to improve mood, memory, and cognitive function.
As you can see, there are many reasons why sleep is essential for good health, and the best part is... We don't entirely understand sleep, yet!
#3 Sleep Has Different Stages
Getting a good night's sleep is essential for both physical and mental health, but many people don't realize that sleep is not a single, continuous state.
In fact, sleep is made up of different stages that cycle throughout the night. The first stage of sleep is called N1, or non-REM sleep.
This stage is light sleep from which a person can be easily awakened.
N2 is the second stage of sleep (also non-rem), and it is characterized by deeper relaxation and occasional bursts of brain activity called sleep spindles.
The third stage of sleep, known as N3 or slow-wave sleep, is thought to be the deepest and most restorative stage of sleep.
During this stage, the brain produces slow delta waves and is less responsive to external stimuli.
Finally, REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is the dreaming stage of sleep during which our eyes rapidly move back and forth.
This stage is critical for learning and memory consolidation, emotional processing, and healthy brain development.
#4 Some People Dream In Black & White
Some people dream in black and white. Most of the time.
Dreams are strange things, anyway - a jumble of images, feelings, and memories that seem to make no sense at all.
But dreaming in black and white is even stranger. It's like watching an old movie or looking at a photograph from a long time ago.
Everything is in shades of gray, without any color at all. People who dream in black and white say that it's just as vivid as dreaming in color.
They can see all the details, and it feels just as real as any other dream. But there's something about it that feels different, too.
It's like looking at the world through a different lens. Maybe it's because black and white dreams are more like memories than regular dreams.
Or maybe it's because they're so rare. Either way, dreaming in black and white is a fascinating phenomenon!
#5 You Can Control Your Dreams
Dreams. Everybody has them. Every night, we journey into the land of slumber, and our mind conjures up all sorts of strange and wonderful things.
But what if you could learn to control your dreams? Lucid dreaming is a technique that allows you to do just that.
With practice, you can learn to become aware that you are dreaming, and then take control of the dreamscape.
Want to fly like Superman? No problem. Feel like having a chat with specific people from your past, present, or future? Easy peasy.
Lucid dreaming takes time to learn but it is a skill that can be mastered by anyone with a bit of patience and practice.
So why not give it a try? Who knows what sort of adventures await you in the land of dreams?
Sleep is a crucial part of our lives, and yet it remains shrouded in mystery.
We’re still learning new things about sleep all the time, and we hope you found these five facts as fascinating as we did.
What do you think is the most surprising thing about sleep? Let us know in the comments!