How would you rate your sleep IQ? The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has curated a list of 25 facts about sleep (or the lack thereof) that brought new awareness to light for me. I bet most of you know at least a handful of them whether you embrace them as a part of your nightly routine or not so I won’t bore you with the obvious ones, such as the fact that caffeine has been called the most popular drug in the world and definitely inhibits sleep. Instead, I thought I’d take the time to share the most unusual ones here today—ones I had not concretely equated with sleep deprivation until now.
Test Your Sleep IQ
First up, the NSF declares that man is the only mammal that has a habit of willingly delaying sleep. [That applies to you, too, womankind!] I bet I would be hard-pressed to find a human being among us who hasn’t been guilty of this tactic in the interest of “getting more done.”
The higher the altitude, the greater the sleep disruption, says the NSF, noting that anyone climbing above 13,200 feet will likely have sleep disturbances caused by diminished oxygen levels. If you live in the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Tetons or the Sierra Nevada Range, I have good news for you—most people adjust to higher altitudes in approximately two- to three-weeks. This fact doesn’t bode well for international travelers, however. All the more reason to take a high-quality travel pillow, ours is filled with Hungarian goose down, with you as you traverse time zones at jet-propelled speed!
Did you know divorced, widowed and separated people report more insomnia? This is an intriguing fact I will be delving into in more detail soon. Does the pattern of your life support this fact, or does it run counter to your experience? I’d really love to know.
The NSF list of facts includes this tidbit: “In general, most healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. However, some individuals are able to function without sleepiness or drowsiness after as little as six hours of sleep. Others can’t perform at their peak unless they’ve slept ten hours.” My sweet spot just happens to be a solid nine hours. What’s yours?
The behavior of my grandchildren proves this next point they presented in their list of enlightenments: “When infants are put to bed drowsy but not asleep, they are more likely to become ‘self-soothers,’ which enables them to fall asleep independently at bedtime and put themselves back to sleep during the night.”
Until reading this informative list, I had never realized that scientists still don’t know—and probably never will—whether animals dream during REM sleep as humans do. If only our little darlings, like Coco above, could tell us!
This next fact is perhaps the most alarming: “According to the results of NSF’s 2008 Sleep in America poll, 36 percent of Americans drive drowsy or fall asleep while driving.” I wonder if this is still the case. My instincts tell me it may have grown even worse, and I implore all of you to get a better night’s sleep—it’s as simple as that.
Nap Time at the Office and at Home
And this last one is particularly on-point for my company since we envelope people in our European Sleep System when we exhibit at shows: thirty-four percent of respondents reported their employer allows them to nap during breaks, and 16 percent of them provide a place to do so. I’m betting the manager landing on this Pandora de Balthazár Experience post would give a morning latte to have our beds with their yummy ergonomic pillows made of Hungarian goose down as part of their office-scape like we do!
If you attend either High Point Market or the Round Top Antiques Fair, stop by and let us test your sleep IQ; we will show you how to reverse some of the missteps that may be hampering the quality of your sleep.
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