Sunday, July 3, 2005

Apple #86: Sleep


Something I need.

We all know a lot of facts about how much sleep adults are supposed to get and how not enough sleep screws up your health, yah yah yah. Here are some lesser-known sleep facts that I find much more interesting.
  • If it takes you less than 5 minutes to fall asleep, it probably means you are sleep deprived.
  • We all know about REM dreams, which are often bizarre and deeply involved. But we also have non-REM dreams, which are more repetitive and closer to our thoughts, such as a continuous return to the certainty that you have left the oven on, or that you have not set your alarm clock.
  • It is possible that there may be no moment when we are asleep that we are not having some kind of dream.
  • The only way it is possible to ascertain without doubt that a person is awake -- not asleep, but awake -- is by medical examination.
  • Elephants sleep standing up during non-REM sleep, but once they hit REM sleep, they lie down.
  • Birds only nap in their nests. They actually sleep elsewhere, outside the nest.
  • Primates like chimps, rhesus monkeys, squirrel monkeys, and baboons sleep for an average of 10 hours per day. Armadillos, on the other hand, sleep on average 18.5 hours a day.
  • Ducks are able to balance the need for sleep and alertness for predators by keeping one half of their brain awake while the other slides into sleep mode. Dolphins can do the same thing.
  • Armadillos, opossums, and sloths spend about 80% of their lives asleep.
  • A snail can sleep for 3 years.
  • It is possible that plants spend their lives in a perpetual anabolic state, or a state during which the body metabolizes food and builds up organs and tissues. Since this typically happens during sleep, one might say that plants are perpetually sleeping.
  • Ants do not sleep at all.
The National Sleep Research Project, 40 Amazing Facts About Sleep
High-Tech Science Centers, Fun Science Facts You Didn't Know
Absolute Astronomy reference, category: sleep
Useless Facts about animals
Freaky Animals, Facts 001

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