For most of us, nothing is better than a good night’s sleep. The feeling you get when you get into bed, wrap up in fresh sheets, and drift off is one of the best. However, there are some things that you don’t want to know about this seemingly perfect experience. So, read on with caution.
1. You can stop breathing – A lot of people experience this problem, which is known as sleep apnea, and most people don’t even know they have it. Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing, and it can last a lot longer than you think, and it can happen regularly too, with some people pausing in breath about 30 times an hour. In most cases, you will resume breath with a large snort or choking sound.
2. You might grind your teeth – A lot of people can grind or clench their teeth during their sleep, which is known as bruxism. Unfortunately, there is no medical reason for why this occurs; yet it can be exacerbated by a misaligned jaw or stress. In some cases, people can end up with sore jaw muscles and even worn or cracked teeth.
3. Your head may explode – Okay, not literally, but there is something that is known as exploding head syndrome, and it is more common in those that are over the age of 50. Exploding head syndrome is when you hear a loud bang, such as a gunshot or a bomb exploding, while you are falling in or out of sleep. This can be exacerbated by a lack of sleep and stress, as is the case for other sleep conditions, such as bruxism and sleepwalking.
4. You reveal your deepest secrets – Unfortunately, the five per cent of the population that talk in their sleep have no way of controlling what they are saying. So, if you have a deep and dark secret, don’t bank on you not giving it away while you are none the wiser. Maybe a good reason to start sleeping alone?
5. You are paralysed – During REM sleep, you are in such a deep sleep that you cannot move a muscle. REM stands for rapid eye movement sleep, and so the only thing that you are able to control is your eyes. It can last for up to 20 minutes, and the paralysis stops you from acting out your dreams, from kicking in the winning goal at the World Cup to dancing with your favourite celeb! REM sleep is the best kind of sleep, though, so it’s all good!
Of course, don’t let these facts put you off getting a good night’s sleep! The importance of getting those Zzz’s cannot be underestimated. In fact, not getting enough sleep is way worse than what has been mentioned above, and here are some of the reasons why…
- A lack of sleep has been linked with hearing loss. Sleep is critical in maintaining proper hearing health, and so without it, you may find that you need hearing aids. There have been a number of studies that have shown that blood vessel function is damaged through a lack of sleep. Because good blood flow is necessary for the auditory hair cells of the inner ear, a lack of sleep can permanently damage this part of the ear, which is where hearing problems start to arise.
- A lack of sleep will age your skin. After a few nights of missed sleep, puffy eyes and sallow skin become the norm. However, if you have chronic sleep loss, you can expect dark circles under your eyes, fine lines, and lacklustre skin.
- A lack of sleep can cause a number of serious health problems. This ranges from diabetes to heart attacks and heart disease.
- A lack of sleep can also make you a bit stupid! Sleep plays a vital role in terms of learning and thinking. If you do not get enough sleep, these cognitive processes will get damaged in a number of ways. It makes it more difficult to work efficiently, as a lack of sleep impairs problem-solving, reasoning, concentration, alertness, and attention.
So there you have it: some things you may not want to know about sleep! Did you learn something new?