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10 crazy facts about sleep

Sleeping plays a very crucial part in our lives. Have you ever wondered what would happen to us if we decided not to sleep, just because? Well, you don’t have to wonder. Here’s what will happen: hallucinations, paranoia, blurred visions, memory lapse, slurred speech and what not! I am not making all this up just to scare you to sleep, all of this is true. The person who holds the record for longest period of time without sleep reported all of the above symptoms, scary, isn’t it? Well, this tells you how important sleep is, for every species.

But there are some pretty wild facts about sleep that many might not have heard of. Well, here are ten:

#1 You grow 8mm while you are asleep

baby asleep

Image Source: http://flickr.com

It is temporary, though. You shrink right back the next day, and become your former self. Why that happens, one might ask. The reason behind this is that when you sit or stand your cartilage discs are squeezed by the gravitational force, just like sponges.

#2 Our body is set for two sleeps

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woman sleeping

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People believe that 8 hours of continuous sleep at night is sound and healthy. Well, that is not true. Our body is basically designed for two sleeps, first being at night and the second, and the less deep sleep during the day. As a matter of fact eight hours of combined sleep is much better than the typical eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.

#3 Depressed people spend more time in REM sleep

depression

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If you think real life doesn’t play a part in your dreams then you are wrong. In fact, there is a very strong relation between depression and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. The amount of REM sleep depicts the depth of depression of that person.

#4 There actually is a sleep related disease, where eventually you could die

And hopefully you don’t have it. It’s called FFI (fatal familial insomnia) as it is a very rare brain disease. The symptoms of this disease are rapidly increasing insomnia, hallucinations, delirium which is followed by dementia (in the given order). Problem is, there is no cure.

#5 Less sleep equals to more junk food

junk food

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Well, this may sound ludicrous, but it’s the truth, scientifically proven. It’s what your body demands when you sleep less. No wonder I crave pizza, candies, soda, et cetera during an all-nighter.

#6 The strangers in your dreams, they are not strangers

strangers in dream

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 Well, technically speaking. They are strangers, but not in the terms of never having seen them even once in your life. Let’s keep it simple. The strangers in your dream, you’ve seen them before. Wicked, huh? The thing is that brain cannot create people, so it uses the faces it has already seen and registered, funny thing you don’t remember them but your brain does.

#7  Days longer than 24 hours!

Sufficient sleep

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I’m sure when you read this you thought, “Wow!”, but this is about a chronic disease called Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Syndrome, where the people suffering from thus disease have internal clocks longer than 24 hours.

#8  The moon can deprive you of your sleep

moon

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The moon does many things, but it definitely doesn’t make you go crazy or turn into some hideous monster (suggested by folklores). But it can keep you wide awake, according to some studies conducted at University of Basel, Switzerland.

#9  The fact that alcohol can make you sleep better is actually a myth

alcohol

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 Well, it is true that alcohol can make you go in sleep mode faster, but saying that the sleep will be sound and healthy is totally not true. Alcohol induced sleep turns out to be REMless sleep (which is not good), and even if you have dreams they would most probably be tiresome nightmares.

#10  Counting doesn’t work

count sheep

Image Source: http://flickr.com

The idea behind counting while trying to sleep is to occupy one’s mind with a monotonous task, but it won’t work in many cases as more interesting thoughts come creeping in your head.

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