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14 Surprising Facts About Sleep As Told By Tired Animals

Most scientists agree that human sleep is very much a mystery and also tired animals are the best.

1. We need sleep to clear out brain garbage.

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Studies have found that neural activity produces metabolic waste. While our brains do clear it during the day, they are much more efficient at doing so while we're asleep.

2. We can trick ourselves into thinking we got a good night's sleep.

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A study showed that when participants were told they got a good night's sleep, they performed better on tests than those who were told they slept poorly, when in fact both groups had the same sleep conditions.

3. We sleep worse around the full moon.

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In a study controlled for environmental factors like increased light, participants experienced less deep sleep and took up to five minutes longer to fall asleep during the full moon.

4. A nap as short as six minutes can improve brain function.

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Nap away! Naps between six and 30 minutes have been shown to improve memory in study subjects.

5. But naps longer than 60 minutes could be an indicator or deeper health issues.

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Research has found that naps 60 minutes and longer were associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

6. Night owls have a tough time.

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Studies have found that late chronotypes (more commonly known as night owls) frequently experience a type of jet lag, are more susceptible to depression, and have more addictive personalities.

7. Genetics has less influence on weight in well-rested people.

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While scientists are still working to determine why, research has shown that genetics has more influence on subject's BMI when they are sleep deprived than those that are well rested.

8. One in five pilots admit to making a serious error due to lack of sleep.

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If that's not scary enough, in the same poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, one in six train conductors and truck drivers admit to similar near misses while on the job.

9. People have died from sleep deprivation.

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Lack of sleep can lead to a whole host of problems such as depression, anxiety, and mood swings, and in extreme cases can even lead to death.

10. Little brown bats sleep almost 20 hours a day while horses only sleep about three.

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Humans and pigs both sleep an average of eight hours a night, and cats, unsurprisingly, spend half their day sleeping.

11. Blind people have heightened sensory dreams.

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In a sleep research study, 30% of blind-since-birth participants reported smelling in their dreams compared to only 15% of non-blind participants. Blind participants also reported touch sensation in 70% of their dreams compared to 45% of the non-blind participants.

12. One in 50 teenagers wet the bed.

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According to a Hong Kong–based study, severe bed-wetting cases in childhood that weren't properly addressed just carried over into adulthood.

13. The majority of our nightmares are not based on fear.

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A recent study found that most nightmares are driven by the emotions of sadness, disgust, guilt, and confusion.

14. That sensation of falling and then jolting awake while you fall asleep? Totally normal.

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The technical term for this is "hypnic jerk." And scientists have no idea why we do it. One theory is that the mechanisms that keep you awake and help you fall asleep are basically picking a fight with each other.

Never underestimate the importance of sleep. Need help? Drink Neuro Sleep. Your brain will thank you.