When you need some stimulating party conversation, why not talk sleep? The topic of sleep is far from a snoozefest! I’ve scoured the internet to uncover some captivating tidbits that are sure to get your audience’s attention!
- More than 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. 60% of those have a chronic disorder, meaning it has occurred over a long period of time.
- There are at least 84 different sleep disorders identified by researchers.
- Insomnia is almost twice as common in women as it is in men.
- New parents will miss an average of six month’s sleep during the first two years of their baby’s life.
- Neither mother’s nor father’s pre-pregnancy sleep pattern fully recovers even when the child reaches six years of age.
- 50% of women with children, and 41% of women without children, say that sleep is the best way for them to recharge.
- Sleep deprivation was used as an interrogation technique dating back to the 16th The United Nations recognizes sleep deprivation as a form of torture, and it is now illegal in many countries.
- Adults get tired when they haven’t gotten enough sleep, but children often react by becoming hyperactive. When a child stays up too late or misses a nap, the body makes more cortisol and adrenaline so that he can stay awake. Parents often describe this as the child “fighting sleep.”
- Stress is cited as the culprit in 65% of people who say they have problems sleeping.
- The legend of the “Sandman” originated in European folklore. This traditional character appears in many children’s books and stories. The Sandman is said to sprinkle sand or dust on the eyes of children at night to help them fall asleep and have sweet dreams. The morning grit found in the corners of the eyes upon waking was supposed to be the result of the Sandman’s visit the night before.
- “Mr. Sandman” is a popular song written by Pat Ballard in 1954 and recorded by the Chordettes and the Four Aces.
- In Greek mythology, the god of sleep is Hypnos. Sleep-inducing plants such as poppies grew at the entrance of Hypnos’ home. The name Hypnos is the origin of the word “hypnosis.”
- The 97th Pokémon (an internationally popular Japanese media franchise) character is named Hypnos, and its signature power is putting others to sleep.
- In Roman mythology, the god of sleep is named Somnus. From Somnus come the words somnolent meaning sleepy, and insomnia, or “not” sleep.
- William Shakespeare made several references to sleep in his plays. His accurate depictions of insomnia have led scholars to think that Shakespeare likely suffered from insomnia himself.
- Who sleeps? All complex living organisms including mollusks, insects, amphibians, birds, and mammals… except for:
- Jellyfish don’t sleep because they don’t have a brain.
- Sea Urchins also do not have a brain, so they do not sleep
- Bullfrogs don’t sleep, they are alert both day and night. Scientists haven’t figured out why this is yet.
- Some insects, such as butterflies, don’t technically “sleep” but rather enter a state known as “torpod” where the body temperature is lowered and they appear dormant. This enables them to go without food for longer periods of time.
- A baby dolphin doesn’t sleep for the first full month of her life. The mother also stays awake during this time to protect her child from predators until she can fend for herself.
- Rather than sleeping through the night, giraffes take short power naps in the daytime. It is important for them to stay alert so that they don’t fall down or become vulnerable to a predator. They get about 2 hours of sleep total in a day.
- Whales also nap in 10-15-minute breaks, and only get about 1 ½ hours of sleep a day. Sperm whales sleep vertically, so that it looks like they are sleeping standing up.
- Koalas are known as the animals who sleep the most, up to 22 hours a day.
- Housecats sleep from 16-20 hours a day, with newborn and elderly cats sleeping the most. However, cats can awaken almost instantly if they hear a strange sound. It is a part of the nature that they inherited from their wild counterparts. They are always alert, even when they sleep.
- We have an average of four to six dreams each night, even if we don’t remember those dreams. About two hours of sleep each night is spent dreaming.
Do you have some interesting Sleep Trivia to share? We’d love to hear it! Please post on the Better Sleep Council’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/BetterSleepOrg