7 Fascinating Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Sleep

young cheering woman running with colorful balloons on mountain peak

1. Millennials Tend to Dream in Color

Believe it or not, there was a point in history when not many people dreamt in color, but today’s generation regularly dreams in color, while the elderly report dreaming in black and white more frequently. Contemporary studies on dreaming indicate that television has played a major role in the way we dream. In fact, statistical data reveals that only 12 percent of people dream in black and white, and that prior to the innovation of color television, it was more like 75 percent.

Sleeping in bed

2. The Anomaly of the Hypnic Jerk

If you’ve ever felt like you were falling in a dream, only to be woken up by the twitching of one of your limbs, or by involuntarily motion, what you experienced was no extraordinary phenomenon. Rather, it’s just what is known as a hypnic jerk. This is an anomaly experienced by over half of the population, though there is little explanation as to what causes it.

Peaceful newborn baby lying on a bed sleeping

3. Newborns Sleep Up to 18 Hours a Day…

Newborn babies live on erratic schedules for the simple fact that their bodies haven’t yet acquired a circadian rhythm, or in other words. What that means is that babies, unlike adults, don’t really have an internal clock regulating their eating and sleeping. But the hours that a baby sleeps are not necessarily sequential, and in some cases, a baby may just sleep for a few minutes or hours at a time.

Portrait of an exhausted mother taking a nap while holding her newborn baby at home

4. …But Their Parents Certainly Don’t

Ironic, isn’t it? Studies indicate that 10 percent of parents with newborns only fit in around 2 hours of sleep each night, and that more than half of all parents with children under 2 fit in less than 4 hours of sleep each night. In the long run, this accounts for an average of about six months’ worth of sleep lost!

Woman programming temperature inside home

5. Temperature Affects the Way You Sleep

This may seem like a no-brainer, but there’s an actual science to this. The ideal temperature to sleep in is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. As your body prepares itself for sleep, your temperature decreases, and maintaining this room temperature is the best for easing the process. If you want to guarantee that you’re waking up on the right side of the bed each morning, this temperature adjustment is necessary.

man sitting on the bed with woman on the back

6. Sleep Deprivation Kills Your Libido, and Not Just Because You’re Tired

In addition to lowering levels of testosterone in both sexes, studies indicate that there’s a correlation between erectile dysfunction in men or genital arousal (or lack thereof) in women and sleep deprivation. If it weren’t already apparent, there’s also a connection between sleep deprivation and depression – and this too has a significant impact on your libido.

Young woman lying on couch and sleeping at home. Casual style in

7. You’re Dreaming More Often Than You Think

Our dreams can tell us a lot about ourselves and our minds’ inner workings, but unfortunately a large majority of us don’t remember up to 90 percent of our dreams. This may be due in part to norepinephrine – the hormone that regulates memory retrieval – being inactive during periods of sleep and dreaming.

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