It is amazing how important sleep is to our health, both physical and mental. Considering that we spend approximately one-third of our lives sleeping, it is logical that ideal slumber is crucial to our well-being. The National Sleep Foundation and other sources have come up with a wide variety of ways that you can promote a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed.
We take sleep for granted and don’t realize how many factors are involved in that process. Research studies have shown that adults require at least seven hours of sleep each night to function effectively through the day, but a lot of people get much less, which is to their detriment.
Following are some interesting and helpful examples of how sleep affects our bodies and our minds:
* The most important thing is a comfortable bedroom, the proper mattress, making a prior-to-sleep routine that is relaxing and is free of any stress, electronics of any kind, loud noises, exercise, or interruptions. It is difficult to fall asleep if the room is too warm because our body temperature has to slightly decrease.
* The average time to fall asleep is between 10 and 15 minutes. If you fall asleep faster, it means you are overtired, and if it takes you under five minutes, you may be sleep deprived.
* Sleeping can curb your appetite by 45 percent. If you don’t get the proper sleep, you will have a bigger appetite because your leptin, the hormone that regulates appetite, levels fall.
* Sleeping on your stomach can help digestion, and sleeping on the left side can reduce heartburn.
* Snoring is the primary reason for sleep being disrupted for about 90 million adults and for 37 million on a regular basis.
* Up to 15 percent of the population consists of sleepwalkers. However, if you have a sleepwalker in your family, be relieved that it is a myth that you shouldn’t wake that person.
* They still haven’t discovered why we dream or what purpose our dreams serve, but theories claim that we dream to sort and store experiences, to help our memory, to “clean out” our brains of unneeded information, and other things.
* 11 or 12 percent of people dream in black and white, and older people do so more often than younger people. Before color television, only 15 percent of people would dream in color.
* Within five minutes of awakening, 50 percent of your latest dream is forgotten. Another five minutes and 90 percent disappears. Sigmund Freud’s belief was that dreams represent repressed thoughts and our brains want to get rid of them. It is more likely because our brains are used more when we awake and we forget the dreams.
* The world record for the longest period without sleep is 11 days or 264.4 hours. That was set by Randy Gardner, a Californian high school student, in 1964. Nobody should try to break the record because Randy had extreme sleep deprivation and others actually died trying to stay awake for that long.
Author Bio: Paige Jirsa– I work with Top10.Today, a shopping comparison site, where we strive to help consumers find the best quality and priced products.