25 Random Facts about Sleep

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February 9, 2009

In honor of the latest Internet sensation, the National Sleep Foundation has created a list of 25 random facts about sleep. But we're not restricting this information to our 25 closest friends. Share it with everyone you know!

  1. Man is the only mammal that willingly delays sleep.
  2. The higher the altitude, the greater the sleep disruption. Generally, sleep disturbance becomes greater at altitudes of 13,200 feet or more. The disturbance is thought to be caused by diminished oxygen levels and accompanying changes in respiration. Most people adjust to new altitudes in approximately two to three weeks .
  3. In general, exercising regularly makes it easier to fall asleep and contributes to sounder sleep. However, exercising sporadically or right before going to bed will make falling asleep more difficult .
  4. Divorced, widowed and separated people report more insomnia.
  5. Six in ten healthcare professionals do not feel that they have enough time to have a discussion with their patients about insomnia during regular office visits.
  6. More than eight in ten survey respondents think that people often or sometimes misuse prescription sleep aids.
  7. Caffeine has been called the most popular drug in the world. All over the world people consume caffeine on a daily basis in coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, some soft drinks, and some drugs .
  8. In general, most healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. However, some individuals are able to function without sleepiness or drowsiness after as little as six hours of sleep. Others can’t perform at their peak unless they’ve slept ten hours .
  9. We naturally feel tired at two different times of the day: about 2:00 AM and 2:00 PM. It is this natural dip in alertness that is primarily responsible for the post-lunch dip .
  10. Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise.
  11. According to the International Classifications of Sleep Disorders, shift workers are at increased risk for a variety of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases.
  12. Newborns sleep a total of 10.5 to 18 hours a day on an irregular schedule with periods of one to three hours spent