9 Fun facts about sleep

Instead of a blog about some technical aspect, I decided to share a few fun facts with you about sleep. I found so many interesting sleep facts on the internet, but here are some of my favourites!

1.  Humans are the only mammals who deliberately delay sleep

It is, in fact, true that humans are the ONLY mammals who willingly delay sleep. About a 100 years ago most people got an average of about 9 hours of sleep per night. Ever since then, new innovations gave us more and more reasons to stay up later. With the introduction throughout the years of things like electric lights, the television and eventually the internet, people started sleeping less and less. Instead of getting the necessary amount of sleep, we now stay up late to play games, watch television or to catch up on work that has fallen behind.

2.  Dysania - the state of finding it hard to get out of bed

DysaniaI have seen this term on the internet many times but didn't think that this is really a thing. After reading a couple of articles, I discovered that this is a legit condition, and I think I definitely suffer from this to a certain degree - and I am sure many of you do too!

Dysania is literally an addiction to your bed. Scientifically they say that it can be due to conditions such as anxiety and chronic fatigue syndrome but personally, I don't suffer from any of these (that I know of) and still snooze my alarm about 4 times each morning.

3.  Lack of sleep can make you fat!

Waiste measuringYes, this is indeed true and affect men and women differently. A recent study found that after a few days of only 4 hours of sleep, participants' hormone levels changed. Men saw an increase in a hormone that stimulates appetite and women had less of a hormone that signals fullness. Generally, this change in hormone levels can cause you to gain about 1kg in a week!

4.  While you sleep your brain filters out noises if it doesn't think  you're in danger

Certain noises, that should've woken you up, are filtered out by your brain if it feels that you are not in danger. I personally can confirm this to be true indeed! With my brother working shifts and often only coming home after midnight, I use to wake up every single time by the sound of him banging the front door or walking up the stairs. Now I hardly ever wake up when he comes home.

5.  One sleepless night can put you in the same mental state as being drunk

In a UK sleep study, they found that only one night of not sleeping could put you the same cognitive state as being legally drunk. Yes, that's right, pulling an all-nighter will have the same effect on your brain as downing a couple of beers.

6.  Before alarm clocks, you had a profession known as a knocker-upper

knocker-upperIn the early 1900's, before alarm clocks were available, a knocker-upper would have the job of waking up their clients in the morning.

At a specific time, they would go up to the windows of their clients and knock on the window until they woke up. They sometimes used long bamboo sticks for 2nd floor windows or even a pea shooter. Generally the job was carried out by elderly men and women but sometimes by police constables to supplement their pay.

 7.  Sea otters hold hands when they sleep

otters sleepingNow to get to some fun animal sleep facts - I thought this one was really cute! Sea otters actually hold hands with their mate while sleeping. The reason for this being that they would not drift away from each other while asleep. Now let's all say "aaaaaaw!"

8.  Only half a dolphin's brain goes to sleep

Unlike humans, dolphins need to be conscious when they sleep in order to breathe. Therefore only half of their brain goes to sleep to avoid drowning and possible dangers.

9.  Koalas can sleep up to 20 hours a day

Sleeping KoalaKoalas only eat eucalyptus leaves which are very low in in nutrition and very high in fiber, which makes them extremely difficult to digest. To make the most of their meals they need a very slow metabolism which allows them to get as many nutrients from their meals as possible and for this reason, they sleep up to 20 hours per day. 

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