The science of sleep has been discovered in the last two decades, but scientists found a lot of interesting facts about it. This is a list of the ten most interesting things about sleep that you may not be aware of.
1. Excessive internet use- sleep’s enemy
Checking your smartphone during night may seem a normal practice, but it harms your sleep routine. Excessive internet use before sleep causes many problems. Why? Because it makes people use their phones in bed and they stay up later.
Blue-light exposure disturbs the sleep cycle, so you should use the iPhone’s Night Shift for better rest.
2. Sleep practices
Sleep practices help you sleep better. For example, you can take a hot bath two hours before sleeping. A hot bath lowers your core temperature and it helps you fall asleep faster.
You can also read a relaxing book before sleep. While reading, your brain acquires new information and your eyes tire, so they need rest. Don’t forget that reading is a well-known stress reducer that helps you sleep faster.
3. Dreaming in black and white
Some of us dream in color and some of us dream in black and white. Some researchers think that dreaming in black and white is related to creativity. If you are a creative person, your dreams tend to be more animated and colorful.
A new study found out that childhood exposure to black and white media is a cause of achromatic dreams. People 65 or older dream in black and white almost 25% of the time, while young people almost never experience this type of dreaming.
4. Insomnia-a hereditary disease
Anxiety, stress, and depression are the main causes of insomnia, but your genes may influence this disease too. Researchers discovered that insomnia has a genetic base and it often runs in families.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 10 percent of American adults suffer from chronic insomnia. Good sleep hygiene, a regular sleep schedule, and a relaxing bedtime routine can help you fight your sleeping disorder.
5. Sleeping during full moon
The full moon affects your sleep cycle. The glow of the moon creates a powerful energy that stimulates colorful dreams. This energy makes you need less sleep and disturbs the deepest phase of sleep, the REM phase.
Studies show that you sleep twenty minutes fewer during the full moon times and it takes five minutes longer to sleep on those nights.
We’ve all had those lazy mornings when it’s hard to get out of bed. But some of us may be suffering from dysania, the state of finding impossible to get up in the morning.
If you find this experience too overwhelming, you should go to see a doctor. Although dysania is not formally recognized, experts say it is a symptom of something more dangerous like depression or chronic fatigue.
7. 264.4 hours without sleep
Randy Gardner holds the record for the longest sleep deprivation. In 1964, he remained awake for almost eleven days, without using stimulants.
You shouldn’t follow Gardner’s example because it is harmful to your health. Three days of sleep deprivation increase your heart rate and increase your negative emotions. It also reduces the power of concentration and causes short-term memory problems.
8. Food affects sleep
We all know that coffee is a main factor of sleeping problems, but did you know that food can harm your sleep as well?
Eating sweets or too many fruits cause changes to blood sugar and affects your sleeping patterns. If you eat too much and too late before bedtime, you may have trouble falling asleep. You should have the last meal for 2 or 3 hours before going to bed. This allows digestion to occur and the contents of your stomach to move into your small intestine.
9. Nightmares indicate health problems
Nightmares are usually just bad dreams, but they can also indicate health issues. For example, nightmares can be linked to heart disease, sleep apnea, depression or anxiety. You may think you are completely healthy, but the frequency of your nightmares can prove the contrary.
Weird dreams have many reasons. They may indicate certain medical problems, possible infection or they can be the side effect of alcohol or of wrong medication. But you don’t have to worry: there are less frightening reasons for your nightmares. Stress is the best example in this case.
10. Sleep-a useful memory aid
When we have a good sleep, we focus and learn better than when we are sleepy and prone to mistakes. Sleeping well puts us in the right state of mind so we can retain new information over the long term.
The science of sleep continues to grow, but one thing is for sure: our brain needs at least 7 hours of sleep to function properly. Make sleep a priority and schedule it like any other activity if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle.