Questions tagged [sleep]

Sleep is a naturally recurring state characterized by reduced or absent consciousness, relatively suspended sensory activity, and inactivity of nearly all voluntary muscles. It is distinguished from quiet wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, and is more easily reversible than being in hibernation or a coma.

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87
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2answers
20k views

Does polyphasic sleep work? Does it have long-term or short-term side effects?

Cutting sleep down to 6, or 4, or 2 hours per day sounds fantastic. It also sounds like something that should have evolved naturally if it were possible. From the Polyphasic Society: Humans are ...
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Do you eat a certain number of spiders whilst you sleep?

Over the course of your life time, the average person eats X spider/insects/whatever whilst they are sleeping. X tends to vary according to who you ask. Is this just an urban legend?
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Do teenagers fall asleep and rise up later than kids or adults for biological reasons?

In a TED talk "Why school should start later for teens", Wendy Toxel made an assertion that teenagers naturally fall asleep and rise up a couple of hours later than children OR adults (related to ...
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Do we need 8 hours of consecutive sleep a day?

It is said that an adult human needs around 7-9 hours of sleep per day. Do human beings need around 8 hours of consecutive sleep a day? Is it prejudicial to the body and brain that you don't? Or is ...
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Does the color temperature of a computer screen affect sleep patterns?

There's a little tool called f.lux that claims: During the day, computer screens look good — they're designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn't be looking at ...
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Is it better to sleep before midnight?

My father and I couldn't be more different when it comes to sleep. I rarely go to bed before midnight, while he will often retire around 9:30. While growing up, we'd often get into discussions on the ...
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Were our ancestors segmented sleepers?

Historian A. Roger Ekirch contends that in ancient times, people naturally had two sleeping periods at night- the first starts shortly after sundown and ends in an short break, where people were semi-...
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1answer
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Did Albert Einstein sleep 10-11 hours daily?

I heard many times that Albert Einstein needed a lot of sleep. For example, this BBC article claims that he typically needed eleven hours of sleep: People's sleep needs can differ significantly. ...
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1answer
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Does eating just before sleeping cause nightmares?

In many cartoons and on Sesame Street there are many storylines where a character eats just before going to bed (usually pizza) and they end up having nightmares or very crazy vivid dreams. Normally ...
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Death by lack of sleep — is it possible?

I had an argument with a friend in college who claimed that it was possible to remain awake with little to no detrimental affects for an arbitrarily long period of time. I am wondering, has anybody ...
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Can devices detect your sleep cycle and wake you in a more refreshed state?

There are a number of products on the market that claim to be "better alarm clocks" that allows you to feel more refreshed when you wake - even if you sleep a few minutes or tens of minutes less. ...
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1answer
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Does radiation from sleeping next to your smartphone affect your brain patterns negatively?

Vivian Giang writes in Sleep Drives Metabolite Clearance from the Adult Brain: In fact, as part of Swart’s Neuroscience For Leadership class at MIT in April, she discussed the serious health ...
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Has “the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger… been linked to insufficient sleep”?

According to Daylight Savings Time and Traffic Accidents N Engl J Med 1996; 334:924-925 Major disasters, including the nuclear accident at Chernobyl, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the destruction ...
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Is “co-sleeping” (infant sleeps in bed with parents) safe?

Among some circles, co-sleeping is highly advocated for newborns/infants due to ease of breastfeeding and potential developmental bonding to the mother (for more examples, read about proposed ...
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1answer
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Do teddy bears help people go to sleep better?

There are so many kids in this world who go to sleep with teddy bears and dolls. It seems like they need these toys to go off to Dreamland. I just recently realised this because my own child, about ...
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Is there a risk of drowning if you fall asleep in the bath?

Are there any documented events of people drowning in slippery baths after falling asleep? I've tried to Google it but wasn't able to find anything. Probably just used wrong terms, or maybe there ...
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Is it possible to induce a lucid dream?

I've seen some websites like this that guide you to lucid dreaming, but still wondering is this just a myth? I tried to search for Lucid Dream but there seems like no result about people who sharing ...
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1answer
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Do side sleeping postures contribute to breast sagging?

CNN claims that sleeping on your side and sleeping on your stomach can lead to saggy breasts. Sleeping on your side can cause you to get wrinkles," Glaser says. Blame all that smushing of one side ...
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If you put your hand in water while sleeping/drunk, will you pee yourself?

This is like an urban myth and a classic prank, but I never saw it in action. Supposedly if someone is passed out or sleeping, the contact with water will make him pee. Is this true? If true, why ...
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Can you tell if you're dreaming by pinching yourself?

Just yesterday I read how Tyrion tries to figure out if he's sleeping by pinching himself. And this seems to be a commonly held truth which often comes back in tales. But I'm not so certain. So can ...
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Are there people who do not sleep at all?

There have been reports about people who didn't sleep at all for many years, see e.g. this newspaper article. The case of Paul Kern is the subject of this Wikipedia article, and this newspaper article....
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Do mattresses double their weight after 10 years?

I've heard this story for years: After you bring a mattress home, dust mites move in (possibly even before). Like all creatures, they create waste products, which allegedly accumulate over time. The ...
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Do memory foam mattresses give off toxic fumes?

I recently purchased a memory foam (polyurethane) mattress and was looking online to see how long they take to "air out". They produce a strong odor for awhile after manufacture. However, instead of ...
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Does learning immediately before going to sleep increase the effect?

I have read now several times as a "secret tip" that learning directly before going to sleep significantly increases the effectiveness of learning, probably the long-term memory when, for example, ...
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1answer
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Do adults sleep better when they sleep alone?

Newyorker: Research studies consistently find … that adults “sleep better when given their own bed.” Is that an accurate assessment? Do adult sleep better when they sleep alone rather than with their ...
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How effective is melatonin for aiding with sleep difficulty?

From Wikipedia: Taken 30 to 90 minutes before bedtime, melatonin supplementation acts as a mild hypnotic. It causes melatonin levels in the blood to rise earlier than the brain's own production ...
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1answer
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Are intelligent people more nocturnal than people not considered intelligent?

Some sites claim that people with higher intelligence tend to go to bed later. For example: People with higher IQs are more apt to be nocturnal night-owls. Those with lower IQs tend to restrict ...
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1answer
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Does using the computer before sleeping affect sleep patterns?

According to this Bloomberg Businessweek article using electronics before bed may hamper sleep. Is it true that using a computer, watching T.V. or using some other type of face-to-screen electronics ...
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Do memory foam mattresses help reduce back pain?

Memory foam and related products have claims like TEMPUR Mattresses create a custom fit for your body, virtually eliminating painful pressure points and reducing your body’s need to toss and turn ...
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Are there people who can naturally and sustainably function with much less sleep than average?

Over the years I've heard many claims of the ability to have very little sleep every day, sometimes including weekends and vacation, and be highly functional at work. Most recently these claims showed ...
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Does caffeine later in the day affect quality of sleep?

My wife is often telling me that drinking coffee later in the day will lower my "quality of sleep." Is this so? For an example of a bit beefier of a source for this claim, consider THIS blog post, ...
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While driving (or otherwise), do people experience microsleep and are unaware that it happened?

From Wikipedia (emphasis mine): When experiencing microsleeps while driving an automobile, from the perspective of the driver, he or she drives a car, and then suddenly realizes that several ...
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1answer
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Is sleeping on your left side bad for your heart?

I have been presented with the following conundrum. Either you sleep on your back and snore, or sleep on your right side and get acid reflux, or sleep on your left side and put a heavier load on your ...
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Does reading off a self-luminous tablet impact the quality of sleep?

I've heard claimed many times that reading an iPad in bed makes for worse sleep quality than reading a book or a Kindle with a bedside lamp, Possible explanations I've heard are because of the ...
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Is it better to wake up in between sleep cycles than during one?

I saw this cute online sleep calculater. They claim (put in any time, and you'll see it): Sleep cycles typically last 90 minutes. Waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle leaves you feeling ...
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Learning while you are sleeping

Just to clarify, I'm not asking about Hypnopaedia, but about using a lucid dream as a training/rehearsal stage. The Lucidity Institue claims: ... many people use lucid dreaming to rehearse for ...
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3answers
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Is sleep training a form of neglect or harmful?

Some people claim that "crying it out" is harmful. For example, the article on PhD Parenting states that crying it out is harmful to a child. I've heard others suggest that it's neglectful. I expect ...
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Is it impossible for a human to feel pain in a dream?

I am absolutely sure that humans can feel emotions in a dream. I've experienced some of the strongest anxiety in my life during nightmares. Sometimes the emotions were strong enough to persist in the ...
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1answer
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Can anyone function on just 2 hours sleep per night?

This infographic advert describes the sleeping habits of a few well-known people: A few of them were claimed to have gotten by with extremely little sleep. For example: Tesla, 2 hours of sleep per ...
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1answer
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Do expensive mattresses give better quality of sleep?

I'm currently shopping for a mattress, and prices range from $200-$2000+. My current mattress is a $500 IKEA memory foam mattress, and I feel like I get a good night's sleep, but if it could be shown ...
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1answer
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Does drinking warm milk help people fall asleep and if so what is it about it that does?

I always thought drinking warm milk before going to bed helps one fall asleep. According to Dr.Oz's friend, it does Dr. Oz talked with a sleep expert who said warm milk will help you fall ...
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1answer
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Does sleeping on your left side improve digestion?

Does sleeping on the left side improve digestion? This article claims that it does, is there any truth to it? http://www.healthylifetricks.com/this-is-why-you-should-be-sleeping-on-your-left-side/ ...
16
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1answer
833 views

Are we supposed to keep a 24 hour rest/wake cycle?

I find it nearly impossible to keep a 24 hour day cycle and the developed world have been structured into the 8 hour work day where you have: Eight hours labour, Eight hours recreation, Eight ...
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1answer
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Is there a connection between sleep patterns and meat-eating?

There are a number of different and sometimes contradictory claims that changing your diet (especially with regard to avoid meat) can have an affect on your sleeping pattern. Here are a few related ...
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0answers
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Should you regularly replace your pillow?

According to an article in the Guardian: Out of 2,200 men and women, only 18% knew they should replace their pillows every two years. The average person uses the same pillow for three years and two ...
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0answers
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Which position is healthiest for sleep?

If you believe the internet, there is no healthy way for you to sleep: front, back, side, fetal; they are all going to cause you problems like acid reflux, spinal problems, skin problems, problems ...
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1answer
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Has lucid dreaming been scientifically observed?

I found this anecdote in Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman. In the passage below, Feynman describes his attempts to analyze his dreams I also noticed that as you go to sleep the ...
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1answer
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Does white noise improve sleep quality?

I've heard it claimed that white noise improves sleep quality, and anecdotally I've found it to sometimes be true. There are many white noise devices targeted at improving sleep, but research on the ...
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Is charging your phone overnight dangerous?

There are a number of news stories like this (in Russian) of an iPhone 5 burning up and causing a fire while charging overnight, seriously damaging the owner. There's another story going around of a ...
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1answer
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Is it possible to drive while sleepwalking?

I recently watched a movie called In My Sleep where the character allegedly is able to drive and even have sex while he is "sleepwalking." Marcus struggles with parasomnia, a sleepwalking disorder ...