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Strange sleep facts

26-04-2013

Sleep is a mystery. We all do it every night (well at least most of us do), yet scientists are still somewhat baffled as to why we sleep. Sure there are plenty of theories, but no concrete answers. In fact, it seems that the more we learn about sleep the weirder it gets. Here are some strange sleep facts.

1. REM dreams are like chaotic stories with bizarre plots and twists, while non-REM dreams are repetitive and thought-like, with little imagery.
2. Elephants sleep standing up in non-REM sleep, but lie down for their REM sleep.
3. Scientists are still not able to explain a 1998 study showing that a bright light shone on the backs of human knees can reset the brain’s sleep-wake clock.
4. The longest someone has gone without sleep is 8 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes during a rocking chair marathon. Yes, a rocking chair marathon!
5. Waking up seconds before your alarm goes off is caused by a burst of the stress hormone adrenocorticotropin. Researchers believe this reflects an unconscious anticipation of the stress of waking up.
6. Talking about alarms, even the light emitted by your bedside alarm clock is enough to play havoc with your finally calibrated body clock.


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