10 of the most interesting and unexpected facts about sleep
March 14 is World Sleep Day, in different countries, conferences and other events dedicated to this most important part of human life. And we offer a selection of reading facts about sleep that we found most interesting.
1. Why did you wake up screaming
Night terrors - a sleep disorder associated with abnormal physical movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions and dreams. With the nightmare of confused easily, but the only similarity is that the one and the other takes place during sleep.
At night the fear of people do not realize what is happening to them. The main difference of the night for fear of the nightmare is that in the first case, the person wakes up in part and in the second - continued to sleep. In addition, they come in different stages of sleep. Most often, fears arise between midnight and two o'clock in the morning, and during naps.
During the attack the night of fear man suddenly straightens up and starts to cry, often something quite meaningful like, "They'll kill me!" The person sleeping is distorted with rage, or the person appears to protect yourself from an invisible threat, or fear of something like worms in bed . Heartbeat - palpitations, sweat acts, pupils on the body - extended. This condition can last anywhere from ten to twenty minutes, and if the state is chronic, the attacks may occur up to 16 times a night.
A distinctive feature of night terror is that affect a person's impossible. In fact, to intervene even dangerous - people nekontroliruem. Most of the people in the morning is absolutely nothing not remember the night the incident. Well just what they are then easy to fall asleep - in contrast to the nightmare.
Most often suffer from night terrors boys from five to seven years, but the girls, too, are subject to this, although less often - according to statistics, about 17% of young children experience night terrors. As a general rule, as they grow older night terrors occur less often, and then completely pass. But in addition to age, there are other factors - the cause of night terrors can be emotional stress, stress, fatigue or conflict. Also, the reason may be associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder or sleepwalking.
From night terrors helps psychotherapy - the bottom line is that the stresses of life should be reduced to a minimum.
2. Optional sleep much - just enough to believe that you slept well
A new study suggests that there is a placebo effect of sleep: easy to believe that you slept well enough to be productive and energetic during the day. Especially this technique works well if people say that they slept well, any reputable psychologist or doctor.
The experiment was conducted on a group of seniors. Students briefly told in lectures about the nature of sleep, and then connect them to the equipment, which supposedly should give researchers information about the quality of their sleep the previous night (in fact, the equipment simply measures the brain frequency). Then one of the experimenters allegedly calculated ratio as well as the students slept. Those who said they slept well, performed better and faster tests of those who said they slept badly.
Of course, if students stop to sleep at all, this technique will not work. The effect is similar to most other, we already know the effect: If a man say that he will cope with the task, he probably really cope with it, and if you set it in advance to failure, then the probability of failure increases.
3. Only 3% of people are able to normally feel if not sleep more than 6 hours per night
The dream - something purely individual, so that the sleep time during which a person is fully enough sleep, too, depends on the person. There are two factors that affect the sleep time according to research by scientists from the Department of Medicine at the Harvard School, is the age and genetics.
Genetics influences not only on how much sleep you need, but also on the structure of sleep and wake-up time as well as your preferences for certain tasks at different times of the day. Most adults need about eight hours of sleep per night, and a very small percentage of people (about 3%) can be productive during the day, emptying the entire six hours - that they owe to their genetics.
Generally, the older you get, the less sleep you need. We give a short list of how many hours on average you need to sleep to people of different ages:
neonates (from a month to two) - from 10, 5 to 18 hours;
infants (from three to 11 months) - from 10 to 14 hours;
young children (of one to three years) - from 12 to 14 hours;
preschool children (three to five years) - from 12 to 14 hours;
children (five to 12 years) - from 10 to 11 hours;
adolescents (from 12 to 18 years) - 8, 5 to 9, 5 hours;
adults (18 years before the end of life) - from 7, 5 to 8, 5 hours.
Studies have confirmed that those who sleep too much or too little increases the risk of mortality compared to those who sleep enough.
4. Hungarian soldiers had not slept for 40 years and felt perfectly
Paul Kern was a Hungarian soldier who participated in the First World War. He was an excellent soldier and fought, even when all the other soldiers from his company, for which he was awarded the medal had been killed. Despite their fighting skills, he also received a gunshot wound that was to kill him, but Paul survived. Paul was shot in the head and part of his brain was damaged. The bullet destroyed a part of the frontal lobe - this wound would have killed anyone. But the only thing that has changed in the life of Paul after the injury - he could not sleep. At all.
The doctors carefully examined it and could not understand how he managed to survive. In fact, the inability to sleep was the only soldier problem. Hypnotics and sedatives pills did not help. It may sound awful, but Paul did not suffer - part of his nervous system was also destroyed. The man did not take depletion and assured everyone that feels great. Kern did not sleep for 40 years - until his death in 1955.
5. Your dreams really affect your real life
According to studies, the content of our dreams reflect our real relationship with other people while you are awake - for example, a matter of controversy and doubt on the very next day. Thus, dreams can predict the future behavior of couples, especially intimate relationships.
Researchers asked more than 60 men and women to record the details of their dreams as soon as they wake up, and also keep a personal diary and pay particular attention to the records relating to relationships with their second half.
If people see a partner in his sleep at night, then the next day it led to problems in the relationship, and after dreams in which a partner was a conflict, followed by serious difficulties in the relationship. If the dreamer in the dream changed the second half, then it led to a decrease of love and trust, and the effect is kept for several days.
However, not all the results were negative: those who in a dream saw something nice relatively partner spent more time with him and approached him in real life. However, researchers are not entirely clear whether the subjects acted unconsciously influenced by dreams, or their actions were motivated by an analysis of his dreams - all the dreams they can then read in the diary and rethink.
6. Why did you wake up five minutes before the alarm
The internal clock of your body just as good, if not better, as well as mechanical watches. In the center of the brain is the accumulation of nerves called suprahiazmalnoe core supervising the body clock - the circadian rhythm. It defines the periods of sleepiness and vitality, controls blood pressure, body temperature and a sense of time.
In fact, our body - perfectly tuned machine, and this machine likes predictability: the body work is most effective when there is a routine sequence. So if you go to sleep and wake up at the same time for a few days, the internal clock adjust to this schedule.
Sleep-wake cycle is regulated by protein PER. protein levels rise and fall throughout the day, reaching a peak in the evening and at night fall. When the PER is low, your blood pressure falls, heart rate slows down, and thinking becomes vague - you become drowsy.
If you wake up every day at the same time, the body learns to produce sufficient amounts of PER at the right time - about an hour before waking PER levels along with body temperature and blood pressure starts to rise. To prepare for the stress of waking body produces a cocktail of stress hormones - cortisol.
That's why you wake up before the alarm. In fact, your body hates the Service - a rude awakening is stress, shock to him. Service negates all the work of your body - it prevents him to wake up gradually, naturally. By the way, if you do not wake up to an alarm clock, it will probably not fill up or go to sleep not on schedule. For example, if you get up at different times on weekdays and weekends, the "reset" the internal clock settings. Without schedule your body does not know when to wake up, so when the alarm goes off, you feel stunned and annoyed.
You press the snooze button, and because your body is awake, even under stress, subsequent REM sleep even more knocks internal clock. Hormones that help you fall asleep, mixed with hormones that help you to wake up - the body gets confused, and with each repeated wake-up call is only getting worse. So that morning trills - this is the worst way to start the day.
7. Sleep on your left side can relieve you from heartburn
The acid indigestion, or heartburn - a burning sensation in the chest. The reason for this unpleasant phenomenon is the regurgitation of stomach acid contact. Originating in the chest, a burning sensation may spread to the neck, throat, and even the jaw. Heartburn can lead to the development of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Most of us are familiar with this unpleasant sensation, but keep in mind - sleep on the left side of the body can help to cope with heartburn, while sleeping on the right will only exacerbate the situation.
Presumably, this is because while sleeping on the right side of the circular muscle that prevents the penetration of food residues from the stomach into the esophagus, relaxes, ceases to perform its function, and the acidity of the esophagus thus increased.
8. Using brain scans can spy on what you dream of
The scientists were able to develop brain impulses decoding technique that enables to understand the category to which belongs your dream, up to 60%. The fact that the same visual images are often repeated in our dreams, like "tree" or "man." Researchers have identified about 20 major categories developed separately for each participant. Note that items such as, for example, "ice-ax", "key" and "piston" belong to the same category - "guns".
Three volunteers were asked to look at pictures from the Internet, corresponding to these categories, and at this point their brain activity was monitored. Then the data were entered into a specially designed computer program, after which scanning will resume even during sleep. Researchers led by neurologist Yuki Kamitani at this point monitored the brain activity of subjects. As soon as possible to determine what the volunteers see in a dream, they were awakened and asked to describe their dreams.
So far, the system is far from perfect and can only guess the visualization of a wide range of categories. Decoding same dreams details are not currently possible.
9. If you suddenly wake a sleepwalker, nothing wrong with it does not happen to
There is a common myth that if you wake up a sleepwalker, he can survive the strong shock, and it may even have a heart attack. In fact, the awakening from this dream in itself is not dangerous. But if you happen to see a man who walks in his sleep, it's better not to wake him - for him and for you.
While in the own human awakening, suffering from sleepwalking, nothing dangerous to his health is not, there is a high probability that a person can get hurt by surprise himself and harm to the one who woke him up. Usually lunatic starts to go in the third stage of non-REM sleep, also known as "REM sleep." At this stage of sleep is very deep and wake up at this time rather difficult, although not impossible. However, the awakening can lead to cognitive impairment (scientists call this state "sleepy inertia"), which may last for about 30 minutes. Experts in the field of disorders associated with sleep, argue that a man suddenly awakened from a deep sleep, may be very frightened, could not understand where he is or come in a very excited state. He could easily do not know, to push or hit. But even if such a person did not respond aggressively, he still can cause harm to you and to myself many sleepwalkers in a dream go to the kitchen to cook, or even try to sit at the wheel of the car with all the ensuing consequences.
Instead of walking in the wake of human sleep, experts advise to gently and slowly bring him back to bed.
10. Lack of sleep spoils you with privacy
Poor sleep dramatically affects your everyday couple relationships: usually one of the partners, which is less than enough sleep or frequent dreams nightmares, becomes grouchy, begins to complain about life and blaming the other is that it does not appreciate or do not pay enough attention. Researchers from the University of Berkeley wondered why.
The scientists asked 60 couples of all ages, from 18 to 56 years, keep a sleep diary. Participants write down how well they had slept every morning, and add that they feel towards their partner. Also during the settlement of disputes in the family conducted a video recording. Those people whose sleep was worse, turned out to be much more impatient and irritable.
There are several reasons why a person can not sleep - such as snoring or loud noises from the next room, which interfere with sleep. And some people are proud of the fact that sleep 4-5 hours a day and can go without sleep for a long time. The expert recalled that restful sleep is extremely important for physical and mental health, and to feel vigorous and active person needs 5 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
To date, one in three people in the world suffering from insomnia. Normal enough sleep, only 40% of the population.