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Five Cool Sleep Facts

cool sleep factsWant To Learn Some Cool Sleep Facts?

Writing about mattresses day in and day out can get a little dry at times, so today I’m bringing you a bit of a light-hearted blog post. Since the main job of a mattress is to help you sleep, I thought why not take a look at some cool sleep facts? I have written articles about the importance of sleep etc, but let’s have a bit of fun today. Who knows, you may even be able to impress your friends with some of these random bits of knowledge! Here are five cool sleep facts and three scary ones.

1. You are paralyzed while you dream

Did you know that while you dream, scientists think your body actually really wants to act out those dreams? And can you imagine the chaos that could happen if we were able to do this? It would be hectic!

Luckily, our bodies have a system in place to stop us acting out our dreams, keeping us (and everyone else) safe. Only our eyes and the muscles we use for breathing can move when we are in the dreaming stage of sleep, otherwise known as REM sleep.

You may have had the scary sensation of sleep paralysis before: this is when you are actually conscious to experience the paralysis that is meant to be reserved for dreaming. According to WebMD, a common cause of this scary experience is when you do not move through the stages of sleep as smoothly as normal.

cool sleep facts

2. 12% of people dream entirely in black and white

Yes, that’s right! Some people dream in black and white! Why is that? Psychologists used to think that the more creative someone was, the more vividly they would dream in color. However, a recent study has found that the answer is quite different.

If you’ve never dreamed in black and white, you’re likely under the age of 60. That is because the study I mentioned above found that pretty much only people who had watched black and white tv before color tv was available could recall dreaming in black and white.

So what you first saw on TV impacts the color of your dreams!

I wonder if people who lived before the advent dreamed in color… because there was no black and white TV. Hmm.

3. You feel better if you believe you slept well (even if you didn’t)

Gosh, I wish I could have told myself I’d had the best nights’ sleep ever when I was up with my newborn baby. If I could have felt better just because I THOUGHT I’d slept better, that would have been amazing!

This is the classic placebo effect. Our brains are so strong at making things seem true for us if we believe them. This can be a scary thing, but in this case, especially when so many of us are sleep deprived with negative consequences for our health, tricking yourself into feeling better sounds kind of nice.

4. The longest a person has gone without sleep is…

In an experiment during their school holidays in 1965, two teenage boys decided to see how long they could stay awake for, and see what happened. Randy, the boy who was chosen to stay awake while the other monitored him (and eventually sleep experts joined in too) managed to stay awake for 11 days and 24 minutes.

This story gained massive media attention at the time, it was the 1960’s version of today’s viral stories.

No one has been able to come close to replicating this, and anyone thinking of getting themselves in the Guiness Book of Records to break this record can put that thought to bed now: Guinness stopped adjudicating any attempts as they believe it’s too hazardous for your health.

If you want to know more about the effects of sleep deprivation and what Randy would have experienced, watch this short TED video:

5. You can’t sneeze while you’re asleep

Seems like a strange one, but it’s got you thinking now, hasn’t it! I bet that if you’ve sneezed while you were asleep, you were jolted awake by it.

In fact, being woken up by their body’s need to sneeze is a really annoying problem for a lot of people.

Sleep researchers and sleep physiologists all pretty much agree that it is impossible for us to sneeze in our sleep. Why is that? This is because our brains shut down that type of muscle activity while we are asleep. You will wake up if you have the unavoidable need to sneeze. Same goes for coughing.

 

Did you enjoy reading these sleep facts? Drop me a comment if you’ve got another fun one to share. I love these.

If you’re looking for more helpful articles on sleep, you can find a whole bunch here.