Five Fascinating Facts About Sleep
Sleep is incredibly important for us as a species. Getting consistent sleep can improve your immune system, help keep your weight stable, improve your mood, and much, much more. Not to mention, we spend approximately one-third of our lives asleep, so we might as well make it count! Here are five facts about sleep that’ll inspire you to get a good night’s rest tonight!
There’s a Word for Repeatedly Hitting the Snooze Button in the Morning
If you’re anything like the rest of the human population, then you probably aren’t a fan of waking up early in the morning. So what do you do? You hit the snooze button on your alarm clock a few times every morning. After all, it can’t be so bad to get another couple extra minutes of sleep, now can it? Actually, it is detrimental to your health, and there’s a word for it: Drockling – or continuously hitting your snooze button in the morning. Drockling can make you feel even groggier because sleeping for just 10 minutes or so isn’t enough time to give you a complete sleep cycle. In summary, if you REALLY want to feel well-rested in the morning, just grit your teeth and get out of bed after one alarm!
Daylight Savings is Bad for You
Practically everyone hates daylight savings, but did you know that it’s actually detrimental to your health? It’s true, when the clock moves an hour forward, we lose an hour of sleep, and studies have shown that during this time, the number of fatal heart attacks rises. On the flip side, when the clock moves back an hour, we gain an hour of sleep and the number of fatal heart attacks decreases. It’s certainly proof that losing just one hour of sleep can drastically affect your health!
Take the Time to Wind Down Before Bed
It takes the average person between 10 and 20 minutes to fall asleep at night. More for insomniacs, and less for those who are positively exhausted or sleep-deprived. But either way, instead of going straight from browsing Twitter to having your head hit the pillow, take some time to wind down – more specifically, try to spend about 30 minutes away from your phone or electronic devices. It’ll help your brain switch gears and realize that it’s time to go to sleep. And if you’re still having trouble falling asleep at night, it never hurts to try some melatonin.
You Dream Every Night
Even if you wake up and don’t recall dreaming at all, you still dreamt; you just forgot the dream upon waking up. Most people have between four and six dreams every night, and while you can dream at any point in your sleep cycle, the most vivid dreams occur during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Dreaming still isn’t incredibly well-understood by researchers, but many say the phenomenon occurs in part to help us process the events of the day, or events in our lives. It’s why you have that annoying recurring dream of being back in high school and showing up late to class for an important exam!
A Good Sleep Schedule Can Help Control Intrusive Thoughts
In a 2020 study published in Sage Journals, researchers found that when confronted with reminder stimuli, participants who were sleep-deprived were less able to control their unwanted memories than people who had regular, healthy sleep habits. The ability to suppress intrusive thoughts isn’t very well-understood yet, but according to the study, sleep deprivation may disrupt “prefrontal control over medial temporal lobe structures that support memory and emotion.” In short, maintaining a good sleep schedule may help to better control psychiatric disorders that are characterized by unwanted thoughts.