People often don’t realize that sleep is just as important as diet and exercise. Here are some interesting facts about sleeping that may have you rethinking the way you feel about your sleeping habits.
1. Humans are the only mammals that willingly stay up later to delay sleep.
2. The higher the altitude, the greater the sleep disruption. Generally, sleep disturbance becomes greater at altitudes of 13,200 feet or more. It may be caused by diminished oxygen levels and accompanying changes in respiration. Many people adjust to new altitudes in approximately two to three weeks.
3. Generally, exercising regularly makes it easier to fall asleep and helps contribute to a sounder sleep. However, exercising sporadically or right before going to bed will make falling asleep more difficult.
4. Individuals who are divorced, widowed and separated people report more insomnia.
5. Generally, most healthy adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. However, some individuals are able to function without sleepiness or drowsiness after as little as 6 hours of sleep. While some others can’t perform at their peak unless they’ve slept ten hours.
6. We naturally feel tired at two different times of the day: about 2:00 AM and 2:00 PM. It is this natural dip in alertness that is primarily responsible for the post-lunch dip.
7. People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have bigger appetites due to the fact that their leptin levels (leptin is an appetite-regulating hormone) fall, promoting appetite increase.
8. According to the International Classifications of Sleep Disorders, shift workers are at increased risk for a variety of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases.
9. Newborns sleep a total of 10.5 to 18 hours a day on an irregular schedule with periods of one to three hours spent awake.
10. One of the primary causes of excessive sleepiness among Americans is self-imposed sleep deprivation.
11. The body never truly adjusts to night shift work!