Your body paralyzes itself when you sleep to keep you from acting out your dreams. However, it is possible to wake up while still paralyzed; many people who have experienced this claim they felt a malevolent presence nearby.
In darkness most people eventually adjust to a 48-hour cycle: 36 hour of activity followed by 12 hours of sleep. The reasons are still unclear.
A rare chronic sleep disorder called Fatal Familial Insomnia, renders the victim unable to sleep. One man diagnosed with the illness, Michael Corke, died a month after his 42nd birthday, by which time he had been completely sleep-deprived for six months. It has no known cure.
People without light stimulation from the sun (i.e. in a cave) tend to have a 25 hour sleep-wake cycle.
Arthur “Turkey” Gehrke of Watertown, Wis., had an odd habit. Every November he would go to bed and stay there until the following April. He told the press, “I hibernate and don’t get into trouble; while I may miss some fun, I also miss a lot of disagreeable things.” He also said, “If more folks went to bed all winter, there wouldn’t be so much trouble and confusion in the world.”
Strangely, his business didn’t suffer because of his sleep habits. He owned a bar, the Turkey’s Roost. He hired a temporary bartender to replace him during his hibernation, and the publicity because of his hibernating actually attracted extra business.
Gehrke began his habit of hibernating in 1913 and continued it until his death in 1942.
There is a rare sleeping disorder called Kleine–Levin syndrome that causes people to sleep for weeks at a time waking only to eat or go to the bathroom.
Some forward-thinking companies such as Nike and Google offer places for their employees to nap. Research has shown that naps refresh our bodies, make us more attentive and improve our moods. It’s in the best interest of employers and employees for everyone to be functioning at their best. Fatigue contributes to $18 billion a year in lost productivity. And when tired employees go home, they’re at an increased risk of being in a car crash.
The higher someone’s I.Q. the more likely they are to be sleep deprived.
For those who have trouble sleeping researchers say that 1 week of camping, without electronics, resets our biological body clock and synchronizes our melatonin hormones with sunrise and sunset.
A Hungarian man was shot in the frontal lobe during World War 1, making it impossible for him to fall asleep. He continued to live a full, sleepless life.