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The Importance of Sleep for Health and Well-being has long been an undisputed truth. In a busy world where time is often seen as scarce, sleep too often tends to fall low on the priority list. In this article, you will find ten facts that you may not have known before – about sleep itself!

Sleeping immediately after learning has repeatedly proven effective…

Studies have consistently shown that sleeping immediately after learning something significant can enhance your ability to retain the new information. Therefore, it’s a hot tip to review the material before a test or exam just before going to sleep!

You will never dream of someone you haven’t already seen…

You cannot dream of a person if you haven’t seen him or her somewhere before. Every face you’ve ever dreamed of is one you’ve seen at some point in your life – consciously or subconsciously.

“Half-sleeping” is actually a real thing…

For us humans, it’s just an expression, but for creatures like whales and dolphins, it’s a survival skill. Both whales and dolphins literally sleep half-awake. Their brain hemispheres take turns sleeping so they can continue to surface for breath – or keep an eye out for predators.

Different foods affect sleep in different ways…

It’s not just caffeine and ginseng that affect your sleep… it’s also everyday food. Both carbohydrates and proteins can induce drowsiness, so a snack with a combination of both is best before bedtime.

Sleep deprivation can shorten your life and make you gain weight…

Consistently getting less than six hours of sleep per night can dramatically shorten your lifespan. Sleep deprivation can also cause weight gain and insulin spikes, making it harder to lose fat. In other words, our sleep is incredibly important!

Our dreams fade surprisingly quickly…

If you want to remember a particularly interesting dreamwrite it down as soon as you wake up in the morning! Dreams reside in the same part of the brain as our “wandering thoughts,” which means your nocturnal adventures start fading very quickly.

Increasing nightmares can indicate other health problems…

Heart disease, depression, drug withdrawal and cancer have all been linked to an increase in nightmares. If you suddenly find yourself having many nightmares without being entirely sure why, you should seek medical attention immediately!

Humans are the only mammals who consciously delay sleep…

Humans are the only mammals known to willingly and consciously delay sleep, a ability that can be as practical as it is harmful.

Light and noise = Sleep’s greatest enemies…

Light has a powerful impact on your circadian rhythm and ability to fall asleep – and stay asleep. Not only can lights in your environment wake you up, but the light from a computer or phone screen displayed before bedtime can also make it harder to fall asleep. Most noises, from traffic outside to your family running around at home, also affect your sleep. Irregular noise disturbances disrupt your heart rate and blood pressure, thus waking you up from sleep. However, white noise can actually help you relax and fall asleep.

Elephants can sleep both standing and lying down…

Elephants don’t sleep much – between 3 to 5 hours at a time, which might only happen every other day. When they do, they spend a majority of their sleep time standing upright.

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