Sleep: it’s something that both humans and animals do, and we all seem to need it to survive. However, until recent years, not much was known about slumber and the reasons for it. Here are six facts that should help you get in the know about shuteye.
1. The knees know.
In 1998, a study was done on humans to see how exposure to light can affect sleep patterns. It was discovered that shining light on the back of the knees seemed to trick the brain into changing its internal clock in terms of waking and sleep patterns.
2. Elephants have strange sleeping cues.
It has been discovered that elephants get into different positions depending on the kind of sleep cycle they are going through. When they are in REM sleep, they tend to lie down, but when in other sleep phases, they slumber while standing.
3. Why we dream has two schools of thought.
Dreams have long been disputed in terms of their usefulness. Many scientists believe that we dream about things that the brain deems forgettable so that we can flush out unnecessary memories. Others believe just the opposite: that we dream of significant episodes to fix them in our minds for the long term.
4. Forgoing sleep can have medical consequences.
So far, the longest time a person has gone without sleep is 18 days and more than 21 hours. However, you might not want to try this yourself; the individual who did so had side effects like slurred speech, blurred vision, hallucinations, memory lapses, and even paranoia!
5. It’s possible to sleep with your eyes open.
Unlike being ill or being angry, it is tough to tell if someone is asleep or not, without very close supervision medically. It is entirely possible for individuals to take short naps with their eyes open, utterly unaware of the fact.
6. There is an ideal timeline to slipping into the Land of Nod.
Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t abnormal to fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. If you are slumbering in less than five minutes of lying down, you may be deprived of sleep. The ideal timeframe is to doze off within 10 to 15 minutes.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential, and it can be more accessible than ever with the right mattress.