We sleep through a third of our lives on average, but does that also make us experts on sleeping? Not really. There are so many things we don’t know about this special way of resting although we do it every single night, so it’s time to reveal 7 important truths about sleeping!
#1: Why do we sleep with a pillow between our knees?It feels good and comfortable, that is why! While this is certainly true, sleeping with a pillow between our knees also provides two specific benefits that many of us crave for when sleeping. The first is better air circulation, which is especially handy through the warmest parts of the year, and the second is a healthier sleeping position that puts less strain on lower back and hips, preventing possible issues with these areas in mature age and also relieving pain in these areas if it already exists.
#2: Why some people experience sleep paralysis?Sleep paralysis is a nasty and sometimes frightening condition that temporarily prevents people from moving, speaking or reacting to any other stimuli in the environment. It can occur in two phases of sleep – falling asleep and waking up. It is often also accompanied by hallucinations and a feeling of pressure or current running through one’s body. So, why do some people experience this nasty phenomenon? Experts believe it is caused by a disruption in the REM phase of sleep, which causes the mind to be partially awake while the muscles are still “asleep”.
#3: Why is sleep so important when we are sick?Let’s face it – when we are sick, our bodies are good in just one thing really: sleeping. Luckily for us, this is also what most doctors recommend when facing the most common illnesses. But why is sleep so important then? Because it strengthens the immune system, giving the body more “soldiers” to fight the nasty infections. So, next time you get sick, shut the blinds, turn your lights off, cover yourself with a cosy blanket and sleep as much as you can! There is a big chance your sickness will end much more quickly this way …
#4: Why do we often sleep right after eating?Admit it – how many times have you taken a quick nap after eating a big lunch? Well, you are not the only one as reasons for feeling sleepy after a meal are purely biological. The body needs rest to efficiently digest food and store the energy that is hiding inside it. More specifically (for those curious scientific minds) – eating triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn decreases heartbeat and breathing but increases the motility of the gastrointestinal track, causing the well-known feeling of drowsiness that calls for a quick nap.
#5: Why do some people talk while sleeping?Somniloquy is the term medical experts use when talking about sleep talking, and they also stress that it is a fairly common condition. Research shows that about half of children sleep talk and about 5% of adults, too. Why do they do it? We still don’t know exactly as sleep talking can occur in practically any stage of sleep. Sometimes it can be a consequence of an undelaying disorder or medical condition, but most of the time it can be a consequence of certain medications (or substance abuse), stress, various issues or worries in real life, or fever.
#6: Why is sleep good for our brains?
How many times has your mother told you when you were a child that your brains need sleeping so that you will grow up to become a healthy and smart adult? She was right, you know – brains really do need sleep, because it strengthens neural connections, which in turn boosts brain function and leads to, among other things, quicker learning, better memory and improved ability to focus. Crucial skills for any young mind, definitely, but also for minds of adults. Did you know that lack of sleep also contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease?