Sleep is the body’s way of recovering and rejuvenating itself and this is what makes it essential parameter of good health. An average adult human being requires a minimum of eight hours of sleep every day to stay fit at all levels, physical, mental and emotional. Sleep is such an activity which continues to baffle scientists and researchers all over the world, as they keep on making amazing new discoveries related with this simple daily activity.
Here are 10 interesting and lesser unknown facts about sleep:
1. What happens during sleep
One third of the human life span goes in sleeping, which can be a surprising fact for many. When a person sleeps, he goes into an unconscious state, but the body carries on all its functions in the normal manner, though it is all done in a rest mode. The body cells repair themselves, hormones are released, the brain gets rejuvenated and detoxification process takes place. So don’t think that your body is not working while you are asleep!
2. Optimal period of sleep
The optimal amount of sleep is not same for all people, though an eight hour schedule of sleep is recommended, but if you feel restful in seven hours, it is good enough. Age also plays a key role in deciding the optimal sleep pattern for an individual. While a baby requires at least 16 hours of sleep, adolescents can do with 10 hours of it, adults need 8 hours and old aged people over 65 years can manage with only 6 hours, as sleep requirements decline with age.
When you sleep, dreams are imminent and these are images and sensations that bog the mind involuntarily. They are not manifested when you are in a deep slumber, rather they come during the rapid eye movement phase of sleep. But the most interesting thing about dreams is that we seldom remember them as they are gone from the memory, right within 5 minutes of waking up.
4. Sleeping patterns
You would be surprised to know that a person does not sleep in the same manner throughout the night. A normal sleep pattern constitutes of the active phase, which is characterized by Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and then the deep slumber, when the body and brain is at complete rest. REM, which lasts for an average of 2 hours, is a very important phase of the sleep pattern as it essentially rejuvenates the body and mind.
5. Sleep positions tell a lot about your personality
Every person has a distinctive sleep style which means his physical positioning while asleep and the changes which occur during the sleep time. Sleep position has a bearing on the personality of a person as well as reflects it. Research has linked various sleeping positions with different character traits, such as those who sleep in fetal position are warm hearted while those slumbering in freefall position are regarded as fun loving people. Sleeping position also determines the comfort a person gets while asleep.
6. Parasomnia Sleep Disorder
Some people suffer from a sleep disorder called parasomnia, which involves something as simple as sleep walking or driving, to something dangerous as rape and murder while sleeping. It happens in those people who show abnormal behavioral patterns during the various stages of sleep.
7. Sleep deprivation
Another interesting fact about sleep is that a large number of people suffer from sleep deprivation, which is chronic in most of the cases. Such people stay depresses, tired and unhappy during their waking moments because their body and brain do not get adequate rest. The problem may not seem big but it can even become life threatening if continues for several days.
8. Wet dreams
When boys reach puberty, they experience phenomena called wet dreams, which involve nocturnal emissions or leakage of semen during their sleep. It can happen in an involuntary fashion or due to some arousing dream and people generally do not come to know of them till they are awake. These dreams are part of developmental process of young males.
9. Even blind people dream
One of the most amazing facts about sleep is that even blind people sleep while they dream, though they may dream more of sensations such as smell, touch or emotions, which make these dreams quite complex in nature.
10. Bed wetting
Bed wetting is another common sleep related phenomena, which are usually seen in young children and sometimes, even teenagers. It is usually seen as a social stigma, but is rather a physical or psychological problem, which needs medical attention and a sympathetic attitude for being treated.
All these facts make something as normal as sleep very interesting, don’t they?