Interesting Sleep Facts
- There are over 100 recognized sleep disorders!
- "Hypnic Jerks" = waking up because you felt like you were falling. 70% of the population suffers from this.
- Sleepwalking affects 6.9% of the population.
- Falling asleep takes on average 10 to 20 minutes. If you are falling asleep in less than 5 minutes it could mean you are sleep deprived.
- The average person burns 50 calories per hour while sleeping.
- Everyone dreams, but not everyone dreams in color! 12% of people dream in black and white.
Unfortunately, we live in a sleep-deprived world. A hundred years ago we slept 8-9 hours a night, now we average 6-7 hours a night.
According to a report done by the National Institute of Medicine on sleep, 50-70 million American's are regularly deprived of adequate sleep or suffer from sleeping disorders. This may be good for Starbuck's bottom line, but it's not good for your body or brain.
Sleep is when your body repairs and heals. It's considered one of the three main pillars of health and wellness, and what happens during your sleep determines how you respond to your day.
Does Sleep Affect Health?
New studies indicate that improving the quantity and quality has a more significant effect on overall health than either diet or exercise! To understand sleep, one must first understand the importance of quality sleep habits to overall health.
People still rarely associate sleep patterns with their overall health and well-being. It's important to know and understand the different stages of the sleep cycle like the REM sleep cycle and the Non-REM sleep cycle so you know if you're getting a good night sleep or a poor night sleep.
Consequences of Sleep Deprivation
Moderate and long-term sleep deprivation leads to increased:
- Insulin levels
- Weight gain
- Attention deficit disorder (A.D.D.)
- Problems with learning and memory
Insufficient sleep deprivation can be a contributing factor to more severe health conditions. That's not to mention 100,000 car accidents a year-especially by teenagers.
If that doesn't get you to sleep more, then you should know that sleep deprivation spikes levels of the hormone ghrelin, which increases hunger, and lowers your appetite-suppressing hormones known as PYY. You eat more to compensate for the lack of sleep and you crave more sugars and refined carbohydrates as a result.
A lack of sleep also increases stress hormones such as cortisol, which kills brain cells in the memory and mood center called the hippocampus.
Sleep is not a nuisance or a luxury, it's part of regular maintenance and repair. Getting enough sleep can mean the difference between a sick, tired, foggy, unfocused, life and one where you feel vibrantly healthy and fully tuned into the world around you.
What many people forget is that good sleep is linked to a great quality mattress. The quality of your mattress can have a huge impact on your sleep, and poorer quality mattresses, also expose you to toxic glues, chemicals, fire retardants, dust-mites, and allergens that can inhibit sleep and have adverse effects on health. Read our mattress buying guide and tips to learn what to look for when buying a good mattress.
The critical "system maintenance" your body performs while sleeping includes:
- Growth hormones are released, for healing and development.
- Discs are re-hydrated.
- Blood flow is directed to areas needing healing.
- Memories are cataloged for later use.
- Motor skills are fine-tuned.
"A good mattress is critical to both prevention and care of a bad back" Dr. Stephen Elsasser, American College for the Advancement in Medicine". National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research.
Learn more about finding the best mattress for your back in our article related to solving back pain.