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27 Interesting Facts About Sleep and Dreams You Might Not Know

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Sleep is somewhat of a mystery. Many people are still unaware of just what happens when we close our eyes.

Time to change this!

There are a number of interesting facts about sleep and dreams, some of which you might not have heard before.

 

1. Sea Otters Hold Hands in Their Sleep

We’ll start with one of the most adorable facts.

To stop themselves drifting away, sea otters hold hands in their sleep!

These animals sleep on their backs in the water, in huddles. If one of them can’t find a hand to hold, they have been known to wrap themselves around kelp or seaweed instead.

 

2. We Spend an Average of 25 Years Sleeping

Of course, this one might not apply to those who suffer from sleep problems!

But, we spend a third of our lives in bed… So, make sure your bedding is luxuriously soft.

 

3. Blind People Dream in Sounds

Want to learn more about dreams?

Those who are born blind experience sleep a little differently. Their dreams consist mostly of sounds, but also smell and emotions.

If blindness occurs later in life (usually after 5 or 6 years old) sight can occur during sleep.

 

4. Parasomnia Refers to Abnormal Behaviour During Sleep

Parasomnia is a disorder that refers to unusual behaviours while a person is sleeping.

This includes: sleep walking, eating or even driving a car.

 

5. It’s a Myth that You Shouldn’t Wake a Sleepwalker

15% of the population are sleepwalkers. While it’s not a nice feeling to be abruptly woken up, it’s unlikely to be dangerous.

Many of us falsely believe we can cause a heart attack, or even a coma, by waking up a sleepwalker!

 

 Facts about dreams and sleep

 

6. Sleep Deprivation is More Dangerous than Food Deprivation

The longest recorded period of time without sleep is 11 days. But, going without sleep for more than a few days is extremely dangerous.

It can cause hallucinations, weight gain, a weakened immune system, reduced pain tolerance and even death.

 

7. You Forget 50% of Your Dream in 5 Minutes

Ever struggled to recall a dream? You’re not alone.

For this reason, many of us keep dream journals as a way of remembering.

Also, you often dream without remembering anything at all.

 

8. The Ideal Sleeping Position When Pregnant is On Your Side

It can be tough to fall asleep when pregnant. But, the perfect position is on your side, which is safest for both mother and baby.

It’s also important to avoid sleeping on your back in your second trimester - if you can.

 

9. Knocker Uppers Were the Original Alarm Clocks

Ever wondered how people woke up without the help of an alarm?

In Industrial Britain, and until the 1970s in some areas, many workers were awakened by the sound of tapping on their window. Outside, someone with a large stick - known as a knocker upper - would be making sure they made it to work in time!

 

10. People Can Be Awake in Their Dreams

Here’s one of the most interesting facts about dreams.

Lucid dreaming is where people are aware they’re asleep - and can sometimes control what they dream about.

 

You May Also Like: Sweet Dreams: 20 Books You Should Be Reading In Bed

 

11. Sleeping Helps You Lose Weight

If you’re trying to shift a few pounds, getting a decent amount of sleep (7 to 9 hours ideally) is as important as diet and exercise.

Plus, there are many foods you should avoid eating before bed!

 

12. Before Colour Television, Only 15% of Us Dreamt in Colour

Today, 75% of us dream in colour.

 

13. Technology and Sleep Don’t Mix

In recent years, one of the biggest reasons for lack of sleep is technology.

 

14. Exercising Right Before Bed Might Keep You Awake

Fond of a late-night run?

While exercise helps regulate your sleeping pattern, doing it right before bed can keep you awake.

 

15. Deaf People Often Use Sign Language in Their Sleep

Just as many of us talk in our sleep, some deaf people have been known to use sign language.

 

16. Hypnic Jerks are Very Common

Ever jolted yourself awake? Many of us have.

This occurs in the lightest stage of sleep, where your body isn’t paralysed yet. So, the feeling of falling can cause your limbs to jolt awake - known as hypnic jerks.

While these aren’t thought to be dangerous, they do increase in those suffering with anxiety.

 

17. Whales and Dolphins Sleep Half-Asleep

Half their brain is asleep, while the other keeps them coming up for oxygen.

 

18. Sleep Paralysis Isn’t Dangerous

Looking for weird facts about dreams? Sleep paralysis is one of the strangest and most frightening disorders.

Those who suffer from it are conscious but unable to move.

But, while terrifying, it’s not dangerous.

 

19. Finding it Hard to Get Out of Bed in the Morning is a Disorder

It’s known as Dysania, thought to be a chronic sleep condition.

 

20. Cats Spend Two Thirds of Their Lives Asleep

Think your cat spends most of its time asleep? You’re probably right!

 

21. Toddlers Don’t Dream About Themselves

We don’t feature in our own dreams until we’re around three or four.

 

22. Fear Isn’t the Most Common Emotion to Experience in Sleep

When we talk about dreams, we tend to focus on nightmares.

However, fear isn’t the most common emotion to feature in our dreams. Usually, we dream about sadness, anxiety or guilt.

 

23. Men and Women Dream Differently

Men have more violent and aggressive dreams than women.

 

24. Sleeping Positions Can Help With Ailments

Got indigestion? Sleep on your front.

Suffering from heartburn? Sleep on your left side.

 

25. You Can't Tell the Time When Dreaming

Many of use realise we're asleep, as you can't see clocks (or tell the time at all) when dreaming.

You also can't read a book!

 

26. Google Was Invented in a Dream

The idea for Google came to Larry Page when dreaming! This is just one of the exciting innovations inspired by sleep. Others include the sewing machine, and the periodic table.

This just proves the power of a great rest...

 

27. You Only Dream About Faces You've Seen 

If you think you don't recognise someone in your dream, you're incorrect. We only dream about people we've met and faces we've seen. 

Due to the fact we meet so many people, even on a day to day basis, these faces are easily forgotten - except in sleep.


There are many weird and wonderful facts about sleep and dreams. The one thing they all have in common? They show that good night’s sleep is extremely important. To achieve this, you need the right bedding. Curl up on luxuriously soft sheets every night with NOUR Luxury. Our bedding is 100% organic and irresistibly comfortable. Browse our full range of bedding here.

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