Human bodies are very thirsty machines. We need plentiful amounts of food, water and social contact in order to function at peak efficiency, however there is one thing our body requires far more than any of these: sleep. Scientists are still very much engaged in a debate regarding the function sleep serves, but despite our surprising lack of understanding of sleep, we have gleaned some intriguing insights in to this most daily of phenomena. Here are six of the most interesting!
Whenever You Want
Of all of the creatures of the class Mammalia, humans are the only ones that can willingly delay their own sleep. Unsurprisingly, no one is particularly sure how or why this is the case.
Sharing a Bed is Best
Studies have concluded that couples who sleep together are healthier than those that sleep apart, enjoying lower levels of stress and enhanced immune systems. If you and your partner are looking to enjoy some of these benefits, get a double bed.
You Need Sleep!
The longest time anyone has ever gone without sleep is 11 days. This record was set in 1964 by Californian student Randy Gardener, who, according to scientists, was very lucky not to lose his life during his record attempt; many have died from far less deprivation.
The Ideal Length
According to sleep scientists, the perfect amount of sleep that adults should enjoy every night is between seven and nine hours. The older you get, the more sleep you need; take a look at this chart to work out your perfect amount.
In Black And White
Twelve percent of humans dream entirely in black and white, and whilst at first this might seem like a physiological effect, the crux of the issue is far more technological in its conception. Before colour television was introduced, a mere fifteen percent of people dreamt in Technicolor, proving that our minds are evolving as new technologies have been introduced!
Sleep Away Indigestion
If you sleep on your front with your hands positioned above the pillow, you can ameliorate the effects of indigestion! The same goes for heartburn, this being reduced by laying on your left hand side.
Next time you sit down for a snooze, nap or wink, just remember – sleep is an amazing part of our lives, and a biological process that shouldn’t be taken for granted!