7 Surprising Facts About Sleep

There are some pretty surprising facts about sleep if you really dig into it. As a universal human experience—and most animals too—sleep is something we all need, we all want, and it feels objectively great. Why we need to sleep has long been a mystery, but with modern science, here's a look at 7 surprising facts about sleep!

1. Sleep Is as Important as Food

A chocolate spread on a bedIt is believed that on average a lack of sleep is more disruptive to your body than starvation in the short term. A good way to understand this is to imagine yourself going on a week-long fast. The body just can't handle sleep deprivation the way it can handle starvation. However, because sleep is a regular occurrence, it almost slips into the background of our lives. When's the last time you heard of someone going on a “sleep diet” or taking real steps to regulate their sleeping patterns? It doesn't happen as often as it should. Which brings us to our next point.

2. 16 Million Adults in the UK Deal with Insomnia

If you're frustrated with your struggle to get a good night's sleep, know that you are not alone. 16 million adults in the UK live with the burden of insomnia. Some are stressed from their jobs, others from their busy day-to-day life, and many find it difficult to sleep for no reason at all.  Insomnia is rampant in the UK and people approach this challenge in a number of ways. Around 15.3 million prescriptions for sleep medication are written each year in the UK. That's a significant number of people seeking alternative methods to induce what comes naturally for so many. Fortunately, with the rapidly growing popularity of CBD in the UK, more and more people are turning to natural solutions as opposed to pharmaceuticals.

3. Too Much Sleep Is a Bad Thing

A man covers his face in bed with a pillowLack of sleep is something we know is bad. But did you know too much sleep can be bad for you too? The average person needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. However, any longer and you increase the chance of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression, and more. There are a variety of reasons that people sleep too much. For some this constant exhaustion stems from depression, and others may have physical ailments they're unaware of such as sleep apnea. If you regularly need more than 9 hours of sleep to feel fully rested, it might be a sign of an underlying health condition. Oversleeping can be serious and deserves the same attention as a lack of sleep.

4.“Siestas” Are Common Practice For Many Cultures

Personally, I hated nap time as a child, but as an adult, I'd be incredibly happy to have a midday nap written into my daily schedule. In many cultures, sleeping in the middle of the day is standard practice. One of the most famous examples of this in Spanish culture. From 12pm-3pm the majority of shops in Spain close to give people a chance to eat and sleep, so they can recover and function at their peak for the remainder of the day. This practice is referred to as “Siesta”, which comes from the Latin “Hora Sexta” and means the sixth hour. This practice is not exclusive to Spain or to modern times. It is believed that the midday nap was a regular practice in ancient Egyptian culture as well. The concept of the siesta is both appealing and beneficial. 

5. The Average Person Spends 26 Years Sleeping 

A man lying down on a bedThis is truly one of our most surprising facts about sleep. Some would argue life-changing. It’s absolutely fascinating to look at the different ways in which we humans spend our time here on Earth. The average person spends a few years of their life eating, a few years socializing, too many years behind a screen, and so on... But the single thing we do most with our time is sleep. Our days are filled with different activities and endeavors, but at night our bodies and minds are focused on a single task; sleeping. The average person who lives to be 79 years old will have spent 26 years of their life sleeping, and 7 whole years just trying. That comes out to 33 years in your bed either sleeping or trying to get there. It's hard to even conceive of spending 26 years doing one thing, but it's so essential to life that we have no choice. This fact makes a strong point for investing in a good bed and making your sleep environment is suitable for royalty. After all, you are going to be hanging out there for 33 years!

6. Humans Are the Only Mammals that Intentionally Delay Sleep

Sleep is incredibly important, but for many different reasons, people decide to intentionally deny themselves sleep. Some of us stay up to party with friends all night. Others pull all-nighters for school or work projects. When mammals are tired, they either stop and sleep—with a secondary goal of finding a safe place to do so. We humans, on the other hand, will have perfectly safe and comfortable places to sleep available to us, and simply avoid it for one reason or another.  What's so strange about this is that sleep is necessary for our survival, and yet we'll abandon our natural instinct of self-preservation for indulgences. 

7. Sleeping Pills Can Make It Harder to Sleep

A woman lying down on a couchThere are countless individuals in the UK who rely on prescription medications to sleep. While these medications may help, they can often make it more difficult to sleep in the long run. Many sleeping pills have a risk of addiction both physically and mentally. Your body gets so used to having assistance in the chemical process required to sleep, that it becomes less capable of performing these tasks on its own. This can make it very difficult for a person to get back to any sort of regular sleep pattern after having been prescribed sleep medication.

Final Thoughts

The above is just a shortlist of surprising facts about sleep. Hopefully, you're rethinking your priorities in life—either getting less sleep or getting more. However, if you're still neglecting your slumber, there is a solution Many people turn to CBD when they’re longing for the perfect night of rest. CBDfx offers a fantastic line of Sleep Gummies that hold a wealth of beneficial botanicals such as chamomile and lavender. So, give these gummies a go and get ready to hit the snooze button on insomnia.