22 Surprising Sleep Facts


Different facts keep on surprising us every day. But, did you know, there are so many facts related to sleep? Surprising, isn’t it? We all know, sleep is an essential part of our life. We, the humans, spend one-third of our entire life sleeping. Also, we all differ from one another in terms of sleep need, sleeping pattern and dreaming! Let’s look at some other sleep facts that you never knew.

  1. In improving your lifestyle, sleep is equally important as diet and exercise.
  2. We humans, are the only mammals who willingly delay sleep.
  3. Newborn babies sleep more. They sleep almost 14 to 17 hours a day on an irregular schedule with phases of one to three hours’ wakefulness.
  4. People who sleep late or suffer from sleep deprivation are more likely to have bigger appetites as their leptin levels fall and promote more appetite.
  5. 12% of people dream entirely in black and white. More than 80% of people under 30 dream in colour.
  6. Deaf people use sign language in their sleep too.
  7. Within 5 minutes of waking up, 50% of your dream is forgotten. After an additional 5 minutes, 90% of recall is gone.
  8. During sleep, our minds can incorporate with sounds and smell around us. So, if someone’s cooks a South-Indian dish when you are asleep, you might start dreaming you’re dining at a South-Indian restaurant.
  9. Blind people sometimes struggle to fall asleep because they have no perception of light. Their circadian rhythm (internal body clock) lacks the ability to receive the signals of day and night.
  10. We get sleep disturbed when we climb high. The higher the altitude, the greater the sleep disruption. Generally, it gets severe at altitudes of 13,200 feet or more. Lower oxygen levels and changes in respiration may be responsible here. Most people take two to three weeks to adjust with this altitude changes.
  11. Ideally, we should take 10-15 minutes to fall asleep at night. If it takes you less than five minutes, maybe, you are sleep deprived.

Interesting sleep facts exist in the animal kingdom too. Animals do have different sleep patterns! Let’s dive deep and dig out some surprising sleep facts again.

  1. Whales and dolphins fall asleep with their brains half-awake. It helps them to continue to surface breathe.
  2. A cat spends two-thirds of its life staying asleep.
  3. A giraffe needs only 1.9 hours of sleep a day. On the contrary, a much smaller animal, a brown bat needs 19.9 hours a day.
  4. Koalas can sleep up to 22 hours a day. They don’t need this much sleep, they do it for pleasure.
  5. Octopuses can change their colour during sleep.
  6. Giraffes, elephants, camels, horses, and cows can sleep while standing. This time, they lock their legs so that their muscles don’t get engaged. It is known as ‘stay apparatus’. 
  7. Birds can also sleep standing when they can't find a safe and comfortable place to sleep. Flamingos are bound to sleep standing as they live in caustic salt flats.
  8. Snails can go into a long hibernation period. It can reach 3 years also. 
  9. Guinea baboons sleep on the tops of trees on their heels. They do it to be always ready to run off instantly if attacked.
  10. Sea Otters hold hands while sleeping so that they don’t drift apart.
  11. The sleep position of brown bats is really weird. They hang themselves upside down from the branches of trees and sleep.

We hope you learnt some new facts about sleep today. Now, go out there and try researching yourself. You may get even more surprised with what you find! Till then, we wish you a good sleep.