As today is World Sleep Day (yes, real thing), and students are *stereotypically* creatures of the night, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to talk about just how beneficial some proper sleep can be! Whilst that might seem blatantly obvious, the effects of a good kip just might surprise you. We got Joe on the case to reveal the facts!
Ah, sleep. Beautiful, wonderful, precious sleep! We all love catching some Z’s right? As a new Dad and recent ex-student, sleep for me has gone from any time and as long as I want, to catch it when and whilst you can! It’s not until you have no choice but to get less sleep than you’re used to, that you realise just how big an effect this has on other aspects of your life. Without this turning into a ‘please feel sorry for the sleep deprived young parent’ article, I’ve been searching around for 10 ultimate facts about forty winks! So, without further ado; did you know?…
- Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise. (Start with the obvious!)
- We naturally feel tired at two different times of the day: about 2:00 AM and 2:00 PM due to a natural dip in alertness.
- The ideal time taken to fall asleep is between 10 & 15 minutes. If you drop off in 5 minutes or less at night, you’re probably sleep deprived.
- 75% of us dream in colour. Before colour TV started, only 15% of us did.
- Dolphins literally fall half asleep! The other half of their brain stays alert to help with breathing cycles.
- Less sleep makes you more hungry… Your body creates less leptin, which is a hormone that regulates your appetite.
- Humans spend around a third of their entire lives asleep!
- A lack of sleep can be like being drunk – 17 hours or more without sleep is like having a blood alcohol level close to the drink driving limit!
- A good sleep allows you to ‘consolidate memories’, which basically means you’re less, erm… err… forgetful!
- Beauty sleep actually exists! Sleeping allows your skin to repair damage and regenerate new cells.
The study of sleep is also something that has been a focus of academics at Coventry University. The Centre for Research in Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement have previously worked on a project that explored the impact of sleep and cognitive development in young children, and the relationship this has to children with and without Down’s syndrome. You can see further info about the project here.