As a Sleep Consultant, I confess: I am unabashedly a sleep nerd.

There’s something genuinely fascinating about the world of sleep – it’s like a vast, uncharted universe right inside our minds. Sleep isn’t just a nightly routine; it’s a journey into a mysterious part of our existence. A realm where the body and mind rejuvenate and engage in an intricate dance of restoration.

My passion for sleep isn’t just professional; it’s personal. I’ve seen firsthand how a good night’s sleep can transform lives.

It’s remarkable how many of life’s problems seem less daunting after a restful night.

Imagine a tool so powerful it enhances your memory, boosts your creativity, strengthens your immune system. Even helps maintain a healthy weight. That’s sleep for you! It’s not just about shutting down for the night. It’s an essential process that keeps our bodies and minds in optimum condition.

Here are twelve fun facts that highlight just how incredible and bizarre the world of sleep can be:

Twelve fun facts

1. Humans spend 1/3 of their lives sleeping: That’s a significant investment in time. Indicating just how crucial sleep is to our overall health and well-being.

2. The record for longest period without sleep: Randy Gardner holds this record, staying awake for 264 hours (about 11 days) in 1964. Though it’s definitely not recommended to try this!

3. Dolphins sleep with one eye open: They shut down half of their brain and one eye while the other half remains alert. A behaviour known as unihemispheric slow-wave sleep.

4. Humans are the only mammals that willingly delay sleep: Other animals follow their natural sleep patterns unless interfered with.

5. Sleep deprivation can be torturous: It has been used as a form of torture as it can lead to severe psychological and physical impairments.

6. The ‘First Night Effect’: Many people don’t sleep as well in a new environment due to a survival mechanism where the brain stays more alert.

twelve fun facts

7. Snails can sleep for three years: They can enter a state of prolonged sleep to survive when the weather is not conducive.

8. The shortest sleeping mammal: Giraffes only need about 1.9 hours of sleep a day, often in small naps of just a few minutes.

9. Cheese can affect your dreams: Some studies suggest that eating cheese before bed can influence the nature of your dreams, though the reasons remain unclear.

10. Pre-industrial sleep patterns: Historical research suggests that before the industrial revolution and advent of electric lighting, people used to have two distinct periods of sleep. ‘First’ and ‘Second’ sleep. Separated by a period of wakefulness during the night.

11. Exploding Head Syndrome: This rare, misunderstood condition causes individuals to experience loud, imagined noises (such as a bomb exploding, a gunshot, or a cymbal crash) as they are drifting off to sleep. It’s a type of sleep disorder known as a parasomnia. Thought to be related to stress and fatigue.

Twelve fun facts

12. The Role of the Full Moon in Sleep Patterns: Various studies have explored the impact of the lunar cycle on human sleep patterns. Some findings suggesting that people may experience poorer sleep quality during a full moon. This phenomenon, sometimes referred to as “lunar insomnia,” is thought to be rooted in ancient human rhythms that date back to a time when moonlight might have influenced our ancestors’ sleep-wake cycles and nocturnal activities. However, the scientific community is still debating the extent and consistency of the moon’s effect on sleep. The evidence is not conclusive and varies between studies.

As sleep consultants, our love for sleep extends beyond the sheer mechanics of it. We are constantly in awe of its complexities and idiosyncrasies. We believe that embracing good sleep practices can profoundly impact every aspect of life, from health to happiness. Sleep well, live well – that’s our motto.

May these fun facts inspire you to cherish and prioritise your sleep, just as we do every day. Sleep well!