Have you ever thought about sleep? If the answer is yes, it means this article is for you.
People always thought that sleep is a passive part of our daily life. The reality is different because our brains are very active during sleep.
Why Do We Need Sleep?
Sleep is an important function that allows our body and mind to recharge. Animal studies show that we need to sleep for survival. For example, normally rats live about 2-3 years but when deprived of all sleep stages live only 3 weeks.
Have you noticed that when you do not sleep one night your concentration becomes weak the other day? It harms your physical performance, memory, and focus. So, the nervous system cannot function appropriately if you are sleepless.
The Science of Sleep
Humans are the only mammal that willingly delays sleep. In general, most healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. However, some individuals can function without sleepiness or drowsiness after as little as six hours of sleep. Others can’t perform at their peak unless they’ve slept ten hours. People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have bigger appetites since their leptin levels (leptin is an appetite-regulating hormone) fall, promoting appetite increase and sleep is just as important as diet and exercise.
The average person can survive 2 weeks without H2O but only 10 days without sleep. Today, only 12% of people dream in black and white – the rest of us dream in color. Before color television, just 15 percent of people dreamed in color. Moreover, you will die more quickly from sleep deprivation than food deprivation.
Sigmund Freud, who greatly influenced the field of psychology, believed dreaming was a “safety valve” for unconscious desires. Only after 1953, when researchers first described REM in sleeping infants, did scientists begin to carefully study sleep and dreaming. They soon realized that the strange, illogical experiences we call dreams almost always occur during REM sleep. While most mammals and birds show signs of REM sleep, reptiles and other cold-blooded animals do not.
The studies show that dreams differ between men and women. Men’s dreams contain more aggressive content than the dreams of women. Women tend to have slightly longer dreams that feature more characters. When it comes to the characters that typically appear in dreams, men dream about other men twice as often as they do about women, while women tend to dream about both sexes equally.