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14 Surprising Facts About Sleep

Amber Brandt  |  August 08, 2023

If you’ve ever had difficulty falling or staying asleep for an extended period of time, you know just how precious a good night’s sleep can be. The same is true for your child. When they enjoy a steady routine of good meals, ample exercise, and a restful night of sleep, they perform better at school and can regulate their emotions more easily.

We already know how good it feels to wake up rested, but here are some surprising facts about sleep that may be new to you:
  1. Going without sleep can make you hungry because it causes your leptin levels (a hormone that regulates appetite to fall.
  2. Statistics show you’re less likely to have a traffic accident when daylight saving time ends – turns out that extra hour of sleep really does help.
  3. It’s normal to feel less alert after lunch because tiredness peaks twice a day for most people: once at 2 AM and once at 2 PM.
  4. You should be falling asleep within 10-15 minutes after laying down. If you fall asleep in under 5 minutes, you’re probably sleep deprived.
  5. Before the advent of color television, just 15% of people dreamed in color. Today 75% of people do. (That means the rest dream in black and white.)
  6. The longest someone has gone without sleep is 11 days, 25 minutes.
  7. Humans are the only mammals who delay sleep. All others must go to sleep when their bodies feel the need.
  8. Every human has between 4 and 6 dreams a night, but most are forgotten before awaking.
  9. Circadian rhythms are different for men and women. On average males have a longer rhythm by 6 minutes which means they feel less tired in the evening, while women’s shorter cycle leaves them prone to earlier waking.
  10. Sleep boosts immunity, so 7-8 hours are recommended during flu season.
  11. Sleepwalking is common for 15% of the population.
  12. No one sleeps through the night. According to The Sleep Council, everyone goes through different stages while we sleep, waking several times throughout the night (even if we don’t realize it).
  13. Our sense of smell decreases during sleep. While studies show that noise easily wakes us, smells typically don’t. This is one of the reasons fire alarms were invented.
  14. Moms and dads really are exhausted. On average, a newborn robs their parents of 44 days of sleep per year.

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