10 Curious Facts About Sleep

Given that we spend around a third of our life asleep (that’s approximately 25 years, by the way), we thought we’d delve deeper in the world of sleep to unearth some interesting facts about sleep and what we do when we’re sleeping.

Some were quite surprising, some were entertaining, and some were altogether new!

1. Some of us dream in black and white

Nowadays, studies show that roughly 12% of people dream in black and white. Whilst this may seem surprising, before the introduction of colour television, this was closer to 75%.

2. We are the only mammals that can delay sleep

We are able to keep ourselves awake when our body is telling us it’s time to go to sleep. Interestingly, all other mammals have to go to sleep when their bodies feel the need.


3. Sleep is different for men and women

According to the National Sleep Foundation, male and female circadian rhythms are slightly different. On average, men have a longer circadian rhythm by six minutes meaning they feel less tired in the evening. Women are more likely to have a shorter cycle, meaning they are more prone to waking up earlier. 

4. Sleep boosts immunity

During the flu season, it’s recommended to sleep seven to eight hours sleep a night to help keep your hardworking immune system in tip top shape.


5. 15% of the population sleepwalk

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 15% of sleepwalk, and apparently, you can wake someone if they’re found sleep walking.

6. It should take 10 – 15 minutes to fall asleep

This is the ideal amount of time it takes to fall asleep. If you find yourself dropping off in 5 minutes or under, the likelihood is you're suffering from sleep deprivation.

7. A new bed can increase the amount of sleep you get

According to The Sleep Council, you can get an extra 42 minutes sleep when you trade in your old bed for a new one.


8. Nobody sleeps through the night

We all wake up several times throughout the night, mostly without even realising, whether that’s due to being too hot or cold, partner movement, kids or noise. Waking through the night isn’t anything to worry about, according to The Sleep Council; we go through different stages as we sleep and these are peppered with brief awakenings.

9. Altitude affects sleep

When you're at altitude (approx. 13,200 ft plus), there is less oxygen which makes it much harder to go to sleep.

10. Our sense of smell decreases when we’re asleep

Studies have shown that noise can wake us up as we slumber, but smells won’t, which is one of the reasons fire alarms were invented.


We couldn’t go without finishing with a couple of fun facts… giraffes only need 1.9 hours of sleep a day, you can’t sneeze in your sleep, and apparently, newborns can rob their parents of 44 days of sleep per year!


If you’re in any doubt over what mattress, bed or bedding to buy, our handy Buying Guides are here to help, providing information to help you make an informed decision.


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