11 SHOCKING Things You Never Knew About Sleep


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We know we feel great when we have a good night's sleep, and awful when we don't. But there's a lot we don't know about sleep, from how much we need, to how to increase our sleep quality. Turns out, there's a great deal to learn about bedtime. Here's what you should know.

1. Pain is one of the biggest causes of lack of sleep.

"According to a national survey of 200 healthcare professionals (HCPs) commissioned by Advil PM ... 98 percent said their patients have expressed that their pain keeps them up at night or prevents them from getting a full night's sleep. And 100 percent of HCPs said that not having a full night's rest can negatively impact a person's job performance," says Dr. Michael Breus, board certified sleep specialist.


2. Sleep deprivation has a domino effect.

Anyone can be in danger of not getting enough sleep. There are many reasons for sleep deprivation: Too much work, crazy schedules, tending to children, and so on. With today's busy schedules, people often don't make sleep a priority.

Dr. Sabrina Magid Katz, says what people don't realize is that by trying to gain more hours in a day, they're actually creating less productive and healthy hours.

"It is also important to note that even when enough time is set aside for sleep, not everyone may be getting the effective sleep needed. Sleep disorders, such as Sleep Apnea, can cause someone to have 'mini-arousals' in which he or she wakes up multiple times an hour, sometimes every other minute, without knowing it.


This is very exhausting on the body and does not allow the proper cycle of sleep needed for regeneration and repair. Despite having enough time for sleep, a person can be left tired and at risk for health consequences. One must set aside enough hours for sleep every night and make sure that the sleep itself is healthy and productive."

3. Sleeping in a cool room allows for optimum sleep.

"Your room temperature should be around 67 degrees. A cool room allows your core body temperature to drop, which is necessary to fall asleep and stay asleep," says Dr. Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep To Live Institute.

4. Drinking cherry juice before sleeping improves the quality of rest.


"Cherries affect your melatonin levels, the body's sleep hormone. Try a glass of tart cherry juice before hitting the sack," says Dr. Oexman. Research also shows that juice helps some insomniacs sleep deeper.

5. Electronics inhibit your ability to fall asleep.

You've heard it before, and you'll hear it again because it's that important. Your bedroom should be completely dark. No excuses!

"Blue light emitted from TVs, computers, smartphones, and tablets is extremely alerting to the brain and can inhibit the production of melatonin, hurting the natural sleep processes... Your room should be reserved for sleep, sex and nothing else. If your cell phone is your alarm clock then buy a $5 alarm clock and solve the problem," says Dr. Oexman.


A 2014 study published by the National Academy of the Sciences also found that people who use a tablet at night produce 55 percent less melatonin.

6. A quiet bedroom is the best place to sleep.

If you cannot eliminate outside sound, invest in a "white noise" machine. Don't use the other settings, as waterfalls and rainforests may put you to sleep but alterations in the recorded track will eventually wake you back up.

7. Napping is essential for your brain.

Dr. Oexman says that napping can help with the feeling of exhaustion from not getting enough nighttime sleep. It can increase your cognition by promoting the same level of memory improvement as a full night of sleep. It also helps you process your emotions, so you not only think better but you feel better after a nap.


Dr. Oexman recommends that people nap for 30 minutes as often as possible. That amount of time will refresh you without letting you wake up groggy.

8. You're dreaming in all stages of sleep.

You don't only dream in REM sleep  you dream in all stages of sleep. But you're most likely to dream in REM.

9. Getting the "required" eight hours of sleep is a myth.

This is because everyone's sleep need is individual. One person may require up to 12 hours of sleep, while others can function on less than eight hours, says Breus.


10. You should never sleep longer than you usually do.

You cannot catch up on more than about 30 minutes of sleep by sleeping in, in the morning, says Dr. Breus. If you do sleep longer, it will affect your circadian rhythm and throw off your schedule.

11. Poor sleep quality is a form of sleep deprivation.

"If you have, for example, too much caffeine or some sort of pain, it will keep you out of the deeper stages of sleep (Stages 3/4 and REM). The real purpose of sleep is physical restoration (Stages 3/4 sleep) and mental restoration (REM sleep)," says Dr. Breus.