May 27, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

10 Weird Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Sleep


According to the Ministry of Health, more than two million Greeks suffer from sleep disorders, while around one in three adults across the European Union suffer from similar problems.

This phenomenon disproportionately affects women, shift workers and the elderly, about half of whom have sleep problems. Conditions such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, sleep deprivation, and sleep-disordered breathing (such as obstructive sleep apnea) lead to loss of sleep quality, which in turn can lead to many health problems such as:

  • Hypertension.
  • Heart diseases.
  • Stroke.
  • Diabetes.

Most of what we know about sleep has only been discovered in the last 25 years, but it is fair to say that scientists are constantly making significant additions to the “base.” Scientists and researchers around the world are learning more and more about sleep every day, teaching us things we never even dreamed of.

So, here are 10 of the strangest facts about sleep that you may not know:

  1. 1.12% of people dream entirely in black and white. Before the advent of color television, only 15% of people had color dreams. Older people have black and white dreams more often than younger people.
  2. Humans are the only mammals that deliberately delay sleep (invigorate themselves so as not to fall asleep). How pleasant it must be to sleep, whenever and wherever you are.
  3. People spend 1/3 of their lives sleeping. This obviously depends on the person’s age, but on average it is about 1/3. And that’s a lot, if you think about it.
  4. Cats spend 2/3 of their lives sleeping. This won’t come as a surprise to most purr owners. Every sofa, keyboard, pillow, rug, blanket, table, etc. becomes the perfect place for your furry pet to sleep.
  5. The record for the longest period without sleep is 11 days. The record belongs to a student from California named Randy Gardner and was set in 1964. Randy experienced severe sleep deprivation while others died from staying awake for too long.
  6. Dysania is a condition that makes it difficult for you to get out of bed in the morning. We all find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning at some point. But it is especially difficult for those who suffer from dysania. This is most likely a form of chronic fatigue syndrome.
  7. The sensation of falling and twitching as you fall asleep are called “hypnagogic spasms.” No one knows exactly why these jerks happen when we fall asleep, but they are thought to be completely normal. However, they may be worsened by stress, caffeine, or physical activity before bed. They are more common in young people and decrease with age.
  8. Almost one in four married couples sleep in separate beds. And despite the fact that some consider it a sign of a deteriorating relationship, “sleep divorce” works great for many couples.
  9. Sleep deprivation can kill a person faster than food deprivation. Neither scenario is obviously good, but scientists say that in the short term, sleep is actually more important than food.
  10. Within the first 5 minutes of waking up, you forget 50% of your dreams. After the first 5 minutes, 90% of your dream memories disappear. Sigmund Freud believed that this happens because dreams represent our repressed thoughts, and therefore our brain wants to get rid of them quickly.



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