Special facts about sleep

A good night’s sleep is important to function properly. It ensures that both your body and mind recover so that you can get back to work. What about catching up on sleep, snoring and dream duration? What is sleep paralysis and how long can a person stay awake? What about the weird things about sleep that everyone wants to know?

When you work, do you sleep less?

It is a fact that people who work generally sleep longer on their day off than on a working day. On average, people sleep 6.7 hours on a working day and 7.1 hours on a day off. There are also outliers of people who only sleep 5 hours a night during the week and stay in bed around the clock on the weekend.

Can you catch up on lost sleep?

It is not possible to catch up on all missed hours. It is true that after a sleepless night you could use some extra sleep the following night. It is not so much about the duration of sleep, but mainly about the quality of sleep. When you are very tired, you are more likely to enter the deeper stages of sleep. Women tend to catch up on sleep during the week, while men prefer to do so on the weekends.

How long can you stay awake?

There are people who can still function reasonably after a sleepless night, but there are also people who need at least eight hours of sleep to be able to get through the day. It differs per person. The world record for the longest stay awake is 18 days, 21 hours and 40 minutes. The man then started to hallucinate, suffered from persecutory delusions, his vision became blurred and his memory no longer worked.

How loud is the loudest snore?

Snoring is especially irritating for the partner. There are people who can snore extremely loudly and keep the whole family awake. A British snoring champion snored so loudly that he produced 92 decibels, which is louder than a pneumatic drill.

Can you sleep with your eyes open?

Many parents sometimes see their babies sleeping with their eyes partially open. Adults can sleep with their eyes open or partially open. Sleepwalkers are technically sleeping with their eyes open. What might be nice to know is that fish cannot close their eyes because they have no eyelids. The question remains whether fish can sleep at all.

Do people sleep longer than animals?

People generally sleep shorter than animals. For example, a human sleeps on average 3 hours less than a chimpanzee. These monkeys sleep ten hours a day. Dogs also need at least 10 hours of sleep per day and spread this out throughout the day. A giraffe sleeps about 2 hours a night and a bat needs almost 20 hours of sleep.

Can you sleep standing up?

The moment you fall asleep, the muscles will be completely relaxed. Therefore, it is impossible to remain standing during sleep. To stay upright you have to tense certain muscles and for this you have to be conscious. Some animals work differently and therefore they can sleep standing up. For example, horses have a system of tendons and ligaments that keep them upright when they relax their muscles. These animals can sleep either lying down or standing up.

How long do dreams last

Most dreams last as long as REM sleep. REM sleep is also called the dream phase of sleep and lasts about 20 minutes. Realistic dreams last just as long as reality. Suppose you dream that you are riding a bicycle down a street, this will take as long as in reality. For surreal dreams it is difficult to estimate. We usually dream in color, but quickly switch to black and white.

Is it possible not to dream?

Everyone dreams during normal sleep, but not everyone can remember dreams. For example, if you take medication for depression, this causes you to sleep less in the REM phase, which often means you no longer remember dreams. Depressed people often dream about bad things, so it may be better to stop dreaming for a while.

Not being able to move when you wake up

It’s a scary experience when you wake up and you can’t move. You’re having an attack of sleep paralysis. It is especially a bad experience if you have a frightening dream. You try to scream and move, but it’s impossible. It lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes. It happens because the boundary between wakefulness and REM sleep is blurred. Your brain is awake, but you are still dealing with the paralysis symptoms of REM sleep. This is more likely to happen in people who suffer from sleep deprivation. It is not dangerous and if you experience this, remember that your brain has woken up earlier and the muscles will quickly start working again.

read more

  • The stages of sleep
  • Learn to sleep with the power of your thoughts
  • Insomnia due to stress: what can be done about it?
  • Insomnia: how can you best deal with it?
  • The sleep study: polysomnography
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