21 Sleep Facts To Tide You Over Until Bed Time

Published July 13, 2016
Updated November 7, 2023

Getting a good night’s rest is crucial for your health. But even though sleep deprivation can be deadly, most of us simply aren’t getting enough time to recharge. Here are twenty-two surprising sleep facts that help explain why bedtime might be the most important activity of the day.

Sleep Facts
Humans spend around one third of their lives sleeping. Pixabay

Sleep Phone
Our dependence on technology extends even to sleep ,apparently: One survey found that 71 percent of adults sleep with their phone nearby. Jean-Sebastien Evrard /AFP/Getty Images

Nap Couch
Indulging in an afternoon nap could make you more productive, and improve your memory and creativity, according to Harvard Medical School. They recommend keeping naps short: 20-30 minutes at most. Dominique Faget /AFP/Getty Images

Couple 1
Twenty-three percent of married couples sleep in separate beds in order to get more sleep. The National Sleep Foundation found that on average, people in relationships will lose an average of 49 minutes of sleep per night because of their partner's sleep problems. Hero Images/Getty Images

A recent study found that many people over 55 still dream in monochrome because they were brought up on black and white television. People under 25 almost universally dream in color. Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

Sleep Bed
The way you sleep can benefit your health: Sleeping on your left side eases the pain of heart burn, while lying face down can aid digestion during the night. AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Sleeping Feet
The falling sensation you might get as you drift off to sleep has a name: Hypnic jerks, or sleep starts.Pixabay

Sleep Park Bench
A whopping 40 percent of American adults are sleep-deprived, or get less than seven hours of sleep per night.Pedro Armestre/AFP/Getty Images

Sleep Student
The National Sleep Foundation reports that only 15 percent of teens get the recommended 8.5 hours of sleep per night, and a study by University of Utah Health Care found that 90 percent of American high school students are chronically sleep deprived.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Single Mom
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that single moms are the most sleep-deprived population in the U.S.: 44 percent get less than seven hours of sleep per night.Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

A UC Irvine study found that toddlers who regularly co-sleep with their parents grow up to be more independent. That means they're more likely to be self-reliant, and have an easier time making friends. Elva Etienne/Getty Images

Waking Up
Car accidents increase by 17 percent on the Monday after the switch to daylight saving time — when people lose an hour of sleep. Researchers say that even the loss of an hour of sleep can cause a dangerous disruption in sleep cycles.Milan Markovic/Getty Images

Puppy Love
Forty-two percent of all dog owners allow their pets to sleep in the bed with them at night. Dr. Russell Rosenburg, Chairman of the Board of the National Sleep Foundation, told the Huffington Post that though pets are known to reduce stress levels, "sleeping with a pet can be bad for you" because of their disruptive behavior during the night. Jin Chu Ferrer/Getty Images

Monday Morning
There's a real term for struggling to re-adjust to your work week after several days off: It's called social jet lag, and according to researchers at the Institute of Medical Psychology, it increases your risk of obesity. Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

Not Getting Up
That "natural alarm clock" that enables some people to wake right around when they need to is caused by a burst of the stress hormone called adrenocorticotropin. This natural wake up call is the result of an unconscious anticipation of the stress you'll face once you're awake. Tara Moore/Getty Images

Side Sleeper
Various studies have shown that getting a good night's sleep increases stamina in athletes; reduces inflammation (which can lead to heart attacks); makes it easier to study, and lowers stress levels. C. Beth Ellis /EyeEm/Getty Images

Lack of sleep puts your mental health at serious risk. Mark Rosekind of the National Transportation Safety Board told The Washington Post that, "Your decision-making, reaction time, situational awareness, memory, and communication...go down by 20 to 50 percent" when you lose sleep. Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy/Getty Images

Sleep Taxi
Twenty-seven percent of Americans report that they've driven to work drowsy, which can be fatal. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that people who sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a car crash as those who sleep eight hours.Gonzalo Arroyo/Getty Images

Ambien Bottle
A book entitled The Secret Life Of Sleep claims that in 2005, U.S. doctors wrote six million prescriptions for Ambien, a medication prescribed to alleviate insomnia.

The drug is known as a "sedative-hypnotic" and users can become dependent on it to fall asleep in as soon as two weeks. Ambien addiction can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms like confusion, nausea, and even worse insomnia than before the drug was prescribed.
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Sleep paralysis is the temporary inability to move or speak as you're either waking up or falling asleep -- and the condition usually involves terrifying hallucinations.

The condition affects less than eight percent of Americans, but those who suffer from it report feeling as though a ghost-like presence is sitting on their chest, and some even claim to see shadowing figures moving around the room.
Lynn Koenig/Getty Images

Sleep Desk
Tiredness peaks twice a day, first at 2 a.m. and again at 2 p.m., which accounts for your daily post-lunch crash.Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Next, find out about these unusual disorders. Then, step inside the mysterious Kazakh town where people fall asleep abruptly and stay asleep for bizarrely long periods of time.

Elisabeth Sherman
Elisabeth Sherman is a writer living in Jersey City, New Jersey. She holds a Master's in writing from Columbia University, and her work has appeared in Food & Wine, The Guardian, Yahoo, BBC, HuffPost, VICE, MSN, and Vulture.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
Cite This Article
Sherman, Elisabeth. "21 Sleep Facts To Tide You Over Until Bed Time." AllThatsInteresting.com, July 13, 2016, https://allthatsinteresting.com/sleep-facts. Accessed April 21, 2024.