The Quick 10: 10 Sleep Snippets


I'm struggling today, you guys. I can barely keep my eyes open. All I can think about is getting home and closing my eyes for a few minutes. Which actually isn't going to happen, but hey, a girl can dream.

Anyway, since I can't think of anything else, I thought we would go for a sleep-related Quick 10 today - just some random facts about sleep. Hopefully I make it through all 10 before my head hits the keyboard.

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1. Thai Ngoc is a Vietnamese man who has supposedly not slept a wink since 1973. The story is that he came down with some sort of a fever and, for whatever reason, hasn't been physically able to get any shut-eye since. Tests are out of the question; Thai hasn't left his village in 60 years and doesn't intend to. Amazingly, he appears to be pretty healthy otherwise, except he did say a couple of years ago that he is starting to feel like "a plant without water".

2. No doubt we have all experienced the microsleep. It's a brief episode of sleep that only from a portion of a second all of the way up a few seconds. It's probably most familiar to people who have been driving and feel like they spaced out for a minute, or perhaps during a particularly boring class when you do the sudden head-jerk move and wake yourself up almost immediately.

3. Exploding head syndrome sounds like it involves spontaneous combustion, but it doesn't. It's when you've been asleep for a couple of hours (usually, anyway), and then experience a really loud noise within your own head. It can sound like an explosion, a roar, loud voices "“ anything of that nature, really. There's no pain, but people who have experienced exploding head syndrome can be fearful and anxious after the attack. Doctors don't really know why this happens, but some think it might have something to do with stress and fatigue. Women are more likely to experience it than men. Any _flossers experience this? I'd be interested to hear about your episode(s).

4. Ever wonder what a good thread count for your sheets is?

Standard is 150, good-quality starts at 180 and 200 or higher is considered percale. Anything over 500 thread count may not be as wonderful as you think "“ the Federal Trade Commission warns that these types of cloths are often made of plied yarns. This means one yarn is made by twisting together multiple finer threads. It warns that consumers could be "deceived or misled" by these thread counts. Lots of insiders say anything over 500 thread count is pretty much a waste of money.

5. The official medical term for getting up in the middle of the night to pee is "Nocturia".

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7. During the Industrial Revolution, people used to put their babies to sleep using opium. Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup and Godfrey's Cordial were two popular remedies. I found out this fascinating fact in the upcoming mental_floss book, History of the World: An Irreverent Romp through Civilization's Best Bits, coming soon to a bookstore near you!

8. In 2004, Jonathan Husni inventeed PowerNap, an audio recording that says it can induce a three-hour sleep cycle in just 20 minutes.

9. People who suffer from night-eating syndrome are likely to be people who skip breakfast, consume at least half of their calories post-dinner, suffer from depression or anxiety, and have trouble sleeping in general.

10. Finally, one more definition for you. You know when you're falling asleep and you're ALMOST there and all of a sudden your leg jerks all by itself? Or sometimes you're dreaming you're falling and your body jerks when you hit the ground? That's a Hypnic or Hypnagogic jerk. No one knows for sure why this happens. It happens to me a lot.

I made it! Yay! Time for a nap. OK, at the VERY LEAST, I'm sleeping in tomorrow.