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About This QuizSome days, there's nothing like a good nap, even if you know it might keep you up into the wee hours of the night. Have you ever pondered the secrets of sleep? Take this quiz to learn all about sleep and those little jumping sheep.
First things first, do people really even need to sleep?
Adults don't technically need to sleep, we've just been trained to sleep from infancy.
Oh we need it all right, things usually get pretty dicey after a few nights of no sleep.
Your comforter might be super-snuggly, but that's not the real reason for curling up in bed. A night or two of skipping sleep can cause someone to have trouble concentrating and be irritable, moody and depressed. Three days with no sleep can cause someone to hallucinate; rats who were continually kept awake eventually died..
Sleep isn't an absolute necessity, but it's important if you want to be in top health.
OK, now that we know we need sleep -- got any idea why?
You sleep to get rid of that tired feeling and recharge your batteries, there's nothing else to it.
You sleep so you don't age as quickly -- more time asleep means more years on the old biological clock.
It's a little more complicated than that. Right now the jury's out, but they've got some promising ideas.
No one's 100 percent sure why the body must have sleep, but here's a few offerings: Sleep gives our bodies time to heal themselves and replace old cells; it decreases how much energy we need to consume so we don't need to eat so much; and it lets new memories get organized and archived.
Which brain waves are most commonly associated with deep sleep?
alpha and beta
kappa and sigma
theta and delta
Theta and delta brain waves generally signal periods of deep sleep. These two brain wave patterns are slower than alpha and beta (the ones our brains usually generate when we are awake and more active) and the slower the brain waves, the deeper the sleep.
Besides a great band, what's R.E.M.?
R.E.M. is the period of sleep during which brain waves hit levels similar to what you experience when you're awake.
R.E.M. (or rapid eye movement) is the period of sleep when brain waves can speed up to levels matching those when you're awake. This is when most dreaming happens, and R.E.M. is critical for a restful sleep.
R.E.M. is the period of sleep when your brain waves are at their slowest levels.
How should I know? I don't sleep, I dream.
How often do we experience R.E.M. sleep versus N.R.E.M. (non-R.E.M.) sleep?
In an ideal night, R.E.M. sleep occurs 20 to 25 percent of the time.
Assuming you haven't done a no-no like smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol or caffeine too late in the evening, you should experience about 20 to 25 percent R.E.M. sleep a night, split up into three to five sessions.
In an ideal night, R.E.M. sleep occurs 5 to 10 percent of the time.
In an ideal night, R.E.M. sleep occurs 45 to 50 percent of the time.
Reptiles, mammals and birds are all examples of animals that sleep -- but do they all dream?
Sure do -- every species that zonks out automatically has dreams.
Nope -- you've got to be a mammal to dream.
Some do, some don't -- but it's not just us enjoying cinema in our slumbers.
All mammals dream, and some birds even dream a little. Sadly, reptiles like your snoozing snakes and curled-up chameleons probably aren't visiting dreamland.
Are dreams completely random, or is there deeper meaning there?
Nah, dreams don't mean a thing.
Sort of; dreams are randomly created, but they possibly can provide insight into the nooks and crannies of your noggin.
Turns out dream analysis could be on to something but probably not as much as some people would have you believe. Dreams happen when the brainstem shoots random electrical charges into the brain. Many believe that as these signals are zipping around, the forebrain is attempting to make sense of them. So at times, the forebrain's analysis of dreams might be telling us a bit about ourselves -- sort of like a Rorschach test.
Yup, dreams are a window straight into the soul.
How much time does the average person spend dreaming during their lifetime?
about four years
about six years
An average person with regular sleeping habits will spend around a third of their lifetime sleeping -- but they'll also be dreaming for about six whole years.
about eight years
Is there such a thing as too much sleep?
That's crazy talk -- you can never have too much sleep!
It's true -- don't forget the concept that you can have too much of a good thing.
It's true -- but if it helps you rest easier, getting too much sleep still isn't as bad as getting too little sleep.
In a study conducted over six years with more than a million participants, it was found that adults who slept six to seven hours a night had the best chance to beat the odds. Those who slept more than eight hours a night were more likely to kick the bucket.
Ever tried counting sheep when you can't sleep, only to quickly end up contemplating why you're doing something that seems so silly? You're not alone -- let's see if you've know the reason for this crazy-sounding recommendation and whether or not it works.
Counting sheep usually helps because the monotony of it lets the mind drift off into sleep.
Counting sheep generally helps because sheep are so fluffy and warm the thought of them makes people drowsy.
Counting sheep typically doesn't help, because it's too boring for most people to focus on long enough to relax and fall asleep.
Research by a team at Oxford University found that counting sheep might not be such a hot idea after all. The task of ticking off endless sheep can be so dull that you quickly lose focus and start thinking of other things.
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