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5 Amazing Facts About Sleep

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“Sleeping is no mean art: for its sake, one must stay awake all day.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche

Sleep is a very important part of human life. Our body and mind are built and coordinated to have a fixed amount of sleep every night. Without that sleep, the body clock and functions go off balance, concentration goes for a toss, simple functions like walking, counting and handling objects seem like Herculean tasks. In today’s hectic life and busy schedules, sleep is on everyone’s minds — whether it’s a contented siesta on a beachfront sun-lounger, or a nap after a sweaty commute from the office. Lucky for us, sleep experts around the world are working even more harder to understand our favorite nightly activity better.

#1. It’s official: You need 7 hours of sleep


The debate over “What is the optimal sleeping time for adults?” has gone long enough, but now sleep researchers have reached on a consensus of somewhere between 5-8 hours. But recently, West Virginia University has come up with the magic number of 7 hours. The study also pointed out that the risk of cardiovascular disease was significantly lower among those who claimed to regularly sleep 7 hours a night.

#2. Sleep deprivation is FATAL than Starving


Do you know that you can die of sleep deprivation before food deprivation(starving)? It would take around 2 weeks without food for your body die of starvation, but just 10 days, without any sleep or rest would impair your cognitive functions, reasoning, cause severe stress and disorientation. Lab animals confirm this duration, though there hasn’t been a record of any human being suffering the same.

#3. New parents miss out on 6 months’ worth of sleep


The saying “Sleeping like a baby” doesn’t go too well with new parents, apparently. And there is a very strong reason for that; researchers in the U.K. have determined exactly how much sleep new parents miss out on during the first 2 years of their child’s life: an astonishing 6 months’ worth. Many new mommy-daddy, sometimes, even have to make do with less that 4 hours a night. Quite a stress! But then, there is always an solution. Studies have shown that babies tend to respond to “emotional availability”, meaning the babies, whose parents talk softly, cuddle or sing to the baby, show a trend of sleeping soundly through the night. Obviously, getting angry with your wailing baby only makes things worse.

#4. Your sleep position may reveal your personality


The position we sleep in could also reveal more about our personality, just like our favorite color or star sign. Research done by British scientists, concluded that the 6 main sleep positions correspond to personality traits. The most common, the fetal position, indicates someone with a “tough exterior” who is, nevertheless, “still sensitive.” The rare few who sleep in the “starfish” position are “good listeners, helpful, and are uncomfortable being the center of attention.”

#5. Women DO require more sleep than men


One of the thousands of domestic arguments: Who needs more rest, men or women?. Finally, science and research has weighed in on the fairer sex; according to a British sleep expert Jim Horne (Sleepfaring: A Journey Through The Science Of Sleep), women’s brains typically require an extra 20 minutes of sleep each night to “recover” from additional stresses — a reflection of the fact that women generally multitask more than men. The study also concluded on the facts that sleeplessness is a huge cause of friction in many relationships and a woman’s sleep can be more easily disturbed because of her bed partner.

Even if you are not getting the requisite amount of sleep, the important thing is not to worry or be stressful all day about it. After you have had a bad night’s sleep or a whole night without sleep, you don’t need to go to bed for 14 hours. It is only the deep, refreshing sleep that you need to catch up on, so you need to try to recoup only about a third to a half of what you missed.

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