10 things you didn't know about sleep

Dare you to make it to the end without nodding off 😉

Most of what we know about sleep has only been discovered in the past 25 years, but it’s fair to say we’re making up for lost time (which, ironically, you can't do if you've had a bad night's sleep).

Scientists and researchers all over the globe are discovering new things about sleep every day (and night), teaching us things we never even dreamed about. So to help you understand a bit more about this age-old pasttime of ours, we've put together a list of 
10 things you might not know about sleep:

1. Sleep consists of five phases
It begins with two light sleep phases (where our consciousness hasn’t fully shut down), which moves into two vital phases of deep sleep. This is then followed by the REM sleep phase (the phase in which we dream), which usually leads into snoozing your phone alarm.

2. Around 12% of people dream entirely in black and white
Interestingly, before colour television was introduced, only 15% of people dreamt in colour.

3. The 8-hour guideline is just a guideline
Some studies have found that people who regularly sleep for eight hours, have a 13% higher risk of developing illnesses, compared to those who sleep for 7.5 hours. The reason why is unknown - but the takeaway is that it's OK to sleep a little longer or shorter than the "ideal" values. What’s important is that you stick to your own sleep pattern.

4. A giraffe only needs 1.9 hours of sleep a day. 
On the other end of the scale, a brown bat needs 19.9 hours a day. So the question is - would you rather be extremely tall, or get to sleep all day?

5. Sleep can affect your weight
According to the University of Chicago, the amount of time you sleep affects how your body burns fat and regulates muscle building. People who sleep for less than 7.5 hours per night reduce their fat burning ​ability by as much as 55%.

6. Sleep can affect how you look
A recent study found that a well-rested face is instantly judged to be healthier and more attractive. On the flipside, someone who is normally perceived as being attractive can appear less so when they haven’t had enough sleep. Guess they don't call it "beauty sleep" for nothing!

7. Within five minutes of waking up, 50% of your dream is forgotten
And after a​nother 5 minutes, 90% of your dream is gone. Freud believed this was because dreams represent our repressed thoughts, and so our brain ​is trying to get rid of them quickly. However, it’s more likely due to our brains being used much more as soon as we’re awake, and so we forget what we’ve dreamt about.

8. Humans are the only mammals that willingly delay sleep
We mostly blame Netflix's 'auto-skip to the next episode' feature.

9. We naturally feel tired at two different times of the day - 2am and 2pm. 
It's this natural dip in alertness that is primarily responsible for the post-lunch dip. Big lunches don't help either!

10. Snoring can be hereditary
In fact, nearly 70% of snorers have a familial link.

If you're ​a snorer (or know someone who is), Specialist Clinics of Australia's consultants are experts at recognising the symptoms of snoring and sleep apnoea, and can advise the best ways to help you manage, reduce or even prevent snoring with the aid their revolutionary laser treatment.

Book a complimentary, no obligation, consultation today via their website, or visit them on Level 1, 300 Barangaroo Avenue.