7 interesting facts about sleep you didn't know about
If we sleep an average of 8 hours a day, that means we spend about a third of our life in bed. So, if we live to be 75 years old, we will spend 25 years sleeping. But what do we know about sleep? Here's a good list of some surprising facts about this mysterious phenomenon. Some will make you laugh, while others may help you understand your sleeping disorders.
Millions of people have snoring problems, many of which suffer from it chronically. Those individuals probably have REM sleep disorders:
- They breathe unevenly
- Blood pressure rises
- Vivid dreams appear
People who snore dream normally, but they rarely remember anything. Not a big deal. Unless you develop a disorder that make you act unconsciously during your sleep as a direct reflection of your dream. This is due to the absence of sleep paralysis. A person suffering from this disorder can not only talk while sleeping, but also scream, hit, or jump out of the bed.
Weight loss and sleep
People who get too little sleep have a larger appetite than the average. This is due to the leptin hormone which is produced in the body while we sleep. The leptin is responsible for regulating metabolism. A small amount of sleep results in an equally small amount of this hormone.
The consequence is simple: we are hungrier than usual and can’t control the need to compensate for that craving. If you want to lose a few pounds and eat less, then first consider whether you are getting enough sleep.
Sleeping in socks
When the body is ready for sleep, the regulation of heat inside of it changes. As the heat spreads to the limbs, it makes the palms and feet warmer. This is why many people notice that they cannot fall asleep when they have cold feet. Socks can help in this situation, but you won’t fall asleep until your body changes the way your blood circulates and ultimately warms your feet from the inside.
We need silence when we are sleeping. Noise or loud disturbances can cause us to wake up in the middle of our deepest and healthiest sleep. This is obviously annoying. But, surprisingly, those are equally destructive when they don’t wake us up. The brain can sense any external sound and respond to it in many ways, of which waking up is just one thing.
Research has shown that noise or loud disturbances significantly affect the processes that take place in the body as it rests. Among other things, it significantly affects the immune system.
Sleep and paralysis
Believe it or not, but your body is virtually paralyzed when you sleep. This is most likely for your own safety as it prevents your body prevents from functioning as the dream dictates. Thoughts and senses are literally turned off: the pupils are narrowed, and the eyeball is turned upwards. This causes the eyelids to drop, which means that the eyes can no longer be affected by external factors. Your whole body system slows down:
- Salivation is reduced
- Body temperature drops
- Heart rate decreases
- Oxygen consumption shrinks
- Respiration is slower
- Adrenaline drops
A world of symbols
Dreams use deep symbolic language to communicate with us. If you dream about something special several times, it does not mean that you actually dream about it. Wait, what? So what is really happening? Dream symbols need to be interpreted in a different way.
The subconscious is trying to transform your dreams into something else, into something similar. Dream interpretation is actually the art by which we get to know ourselves. The symbols we dream are carrying a lot of information. The most common example is unconsciously dreaming about some problems that you’ve been trying hard to avoid while being awake. It can be uncomfortable, but if we look at the bright side, maybe your dreaming self can actually solve that problem. It’s a reminder to face your fears, get out of your comfort zone, and not run away from things.
We dream what we know
Our dreams are often full of strangers - but did you know that your mind does not invent these faces? Those are real people that you’ve seen in your life but don’t remember it. The evil killer in your last dream may be a man who pumped gasoline into your father’s car when you were a small child. Namely, we all see hundreds of thousands of faces on a daily basis. This created an unlimited store of signs for our brains to use in our dreams.