25 Important Facts You Should Probably Know About Sleep

by Robert Anthony

Sleeping is a lot more important than you might think.

In today's "rise and grind" world, we're urged to sleep less and work more. We're told that "sleep is for the weak." We're told "sleep is the cousin of death." But is it really? Or is the whole anti-sleep narrative actually just fabricated folklore working against us?

It's important that we understand all of the different ways sleep is important for the human body. For instance, did you know sleeping for less than 7 hours a night shortens your life expectancy exponentially?

Let's face it: sleep is awesome.

Check out 25 important facts you should know about sleep, and hey, next time you're looking to take a nap at work, you can tell your bosses all about Japan's obscure appreciation for sleeping on the job.

1. We, as humans, sleep for one-third of our lives (approximately 25 years).

2. Cats, on the other hand, sleep for about 70 percent of their lives.

3. Among Americans, self-imposed sleep deprivation is one of the main causes behind excessive sleepiness.

4. People who fail to get an adequate amount of sleep typically find themselves to be hungrier than those who sleep well.

5. Those who are separated, divorced or widowed tend to experience more insomnia than others.

6. Not getting a sufficient amount of sleep can cause a 2-pound weight gain in less than a week.

7. Scientists still haven't figured out if animals actually dream during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep like humans do.

8. Memory foam (visco-elastic polyurethane foam) was initially created by NASA for use in space.

9. Exercising regularly will lead to a more sound sleep. If you exercise right before attempting to sleep, however, it won't be easy.

10. The world record for the longest period without sleep is 11 straight days.

11. Women are said to experience more nightmares than men.

12. Sleeping for less than 7 hours per night shortens your life expectancy.

13. The state of struggling to get out of bed is scientifically called Dysania.

14. According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly 15 percent of the world's population are said to be avid sleep walkers.

15. More calories are burned sleeping than watching television.

16. According to America's leading consumer magazine, the Leesa mattress is the highest-rated memory foam mattress on the market.

17. People who make a decent amount of money ($70,000-$100,000) typically sleep better than others.

18. Sleep deprivation is more likely to kill you than food deprivation or starvation.

19. Snails have the ability to sleep for 3 years straight.

20. Newborn babies cause their parents to lose about 6 months worth of sleep combined during the first 2 years of life.

21. In Japan, it's totally acceptable to fall asleep on the job because it signifies you've been working hard.

22. Rabbits have the ability to sleep with their eyes wide open.

23. Nightmares are caused by a number of things including sleep deprivation, heart conditions and migraines.

24. Eight percent of Americans sleep naked.

25. The average human falls asleep in 7 minutes.

Citations: Random Facts about Sleep (Sleep Foundation), 48 Facts About Sleep (Fact Slides)