We all need sleep to feel our best – but how much do we really know about this essential part of our daily routine? Here are 10 weird and wonderful facts about sleep that you may not know…
1. Sleep helps to boost our immune system
During sleep, our bodies produce more cytokines – these are proteins that help to fight infection and inflammation. So if you’re feeling under the weather, make sure you get plenty of rest!
2. Sleep deprivation can lead to some serious health problems
Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. So make sure you’re getting enough shut-eye!
3. We spend around a third of our lives asleep
On average, we spend around eight hours asleep every day – that’s around a third of our lives!
4. Sleep helps to improve our memory
During sleep, our brains process and consolidate memories from the day before. So if you want to remember something, make sure you get a good night’s sleep!
5. REM sleep is when we dream
REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement – this is the stage of sleep when we dream. Our eyes move rapidly from side to side during REM sleep, and our breathing and heart rate also increase.
6. We usually dream for around 20 minutes each night
We usually have around four or five dreams each night, lasting for around 20 minutes each.
7. Sleepwalking occurs during non-REM sleep
Sleepwalking typically occurs during the deeper stages of non-REM sleep. It’s more common in children than adults, and can be triggered by stress, sleep deprivation or certain medications.
8. Sleep paralysis is a type of sleep disorder
Sleep paralysis is a type of sleep disorder where a person is unable to move or speak when they wake up. It can be a very frightening experience, but it is not dangerous and usually only lasts for a few seconds.
9. Narcolepsy is a type of sleep disorder that affects the brain’s ability to regulate sleep
Narcolepsy is a type of sleep disorder that affects the brain’s ability to regulate sleep. People with narcolepsy often experience excessive daytime sleepiness and may fall asleep unexpectedly during the day.
10. There are many different types of sleep disorders
There are many different types of sleep disorders, including insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome. If you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s important to talk to your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.