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The Scoop on Sleep

Posted by Lauren Juarez on

The Scoop on Sleep

Sleep is a beautiful thing. And dreaming is one mysterious, and fascinating, aspect of it. Below, you’ll find some intriguing facts about sleep. Enjoy! 

  • People can take cat naps with their eyes wide open without even knowing it.
  • While adults who don't get enough sleep tend to be lethargic, children who don't get enough sleep are more likely to be hyperactive.
  • Humans spend about a third of their lives sleeping (that's 25 years!) and cats spend about two-thirds of their lives sleeping.


  • Shakespeare made many references to sleep in his writings and his descriptions were so detailed, it is believed that he suffered from the disorder.

  • On average, 12% of people dream entirely in black and white.
  • About 75% of people dream in color.
  • Elephants can sleep while laying down (REM sleep) or while standing (Non-REM sleep).


  • Sleep deprivation will kill you faster than food deprivation (11 days vs. 2 months).
  • Your sleeping position is directly linked to aspects of your personality.
  • A giraffe requires less than 2 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.

  • English Bulldogs are the only canines known to suffer from sleep apnea.
  • Whales and dolphins only fall half asleep to allow them to come to the surface for air.
  • Most parents lose between 400-750 hours of sleeps in a child's first year (6 months over the course of 2 years!)
  • Deaf people have been known to sign in their sleep.

  • It only takes 17 hours of wakefulness to begin experiencing sleep-deprivation symptoms.
  • Snoring only occurs during non-REM sleep.
  • Regularly sleeping less than 7 hours a night can shorten your life expectancy.
  • Before alarm clocks, there were people whose job it was to knock on people's windows to wake them for the day, they were known as "knocker-ups".

  • It's impossible to sneeze while sleeping.
  • Rabbits typically sleep with their eyes open.

  • You burn more calories while sleeping than while watching TV.
  • Koalas can sleep up to 20 hours in a day.

  • 8% of Americans sleep in the nude.
  • We lose over a pound of weight while sleeping just by exhaling.
  • "Dysania" is defined as "the state of finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning".
  • Depression can make you dream 3-4 times more than usual.
  • "Somniphobia" is defined as "the fear of falling asleep".
  • In North Dakota, it's illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.

  • Trees "sleep" at night by relaxing their branches and "awake" by perking them up at sunrise.
  • Sea otters hold hands when they sleep to keep from drifting away from each other.

  • Violent dreams may be an indication of certain brain disorders, including Parkinson's and Dementia.
  • Studies have shown that napping at work can boost productivity.

  • NASA researches say that the ideal nap lasts 26 minutes.
  • Approximately 3% of the world's population are known as "short sleepers" and can live happily on just a few hours of sleep.
  • Regularly sleeping less that 7 hours a night makes you 3 times more likely to catch a cold.

  • "Somniloquy" is defined as "a sleeping disorder that causes a person to talk while sleeping unknowingly".
  •  There are 5 distinct stages of sleep. Stage 1 takes places when you first lay down and your breathing rate slows, transitioning from consciousness to a light sleep. Stage 2 takes place about 2 minutes after stage 1 when you are more relaxed and your body temperature drops. Stages 3 and 4 are when sleepwalking and talking is likely to occur, and your brain waves have slowed considerably. Stage 5 in the time when REM sleep occurs, and dreams take place; your heart rate accelerates, your breathing becomes rapid and irregular, and your eyes dart back and forth.
  • A snail can sleep for 3 years.

  • The record for the longest amount of time without sleep is 11 days.
  • Approximately 15% of people sleepwalk.
  • A python needs 18 hours of sleep a day.

  • A mere 16% of employers offer a napping area for their employees.
  • Pulling an "all-nighter" can reduce your capacity for studying and remembering what you studied by a whopping 40%.
  • You strengthen memories that were made during the day while you sleep at night.
  • We can only dream about faces we've seen, whether we actively remember them or not.
  • A snoring partner wakes up their non-snoring partner an average of 20 times per night, with a sleep loss of almost an hour.