1. Why do our bodies twitch before we fall asleep?
According to failedsuccess.com, nearly 70% of people have a â€œhypnagogic myoclonic twitchâ€ as they fall asleep. This â€œhypnic jerkâ€ is most likely the result of your brain misinterpreting the relaxation of your muscles as they prepare for sleep. Your brain, thinking your body is falling down, instructs your muscles to jerk yourself up.
2. If you can’t sleep, what’s better: counting sheep or getting out of bed and being productive?
Both SelfhelpMagazine and apollolight.com recommend getting out of bed if you canâ€™t sleep. If you stay in bed and do non-sleeping activities (e.g. watch TV, read a book), you can subconsciously train yourself to not be able to sleep in your bedroom. SelfhelpMagazine even advises not to count sheep, as counting stimulates your brain.
3. Why do we yawn?
There is no definitive explanation for why we yawn. The closest we can get to an answer is what med students are taught, which is that we yawn due to low levels of oxygen in our lungs. When the air sacs in our lungs donâ€™t get fresh air, they stiffen the lungs by collapsing a bit, which signals the brain to instruct the body to sigh or yawn in order to receive more air in the lungs. (source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3076713/)
4. Why do animals walk in a circle before they lie down?
Certain animals (dogs, for example) walk in circles (or create â€œdog crop circles,â€ as coined by the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) before lying down because this behavior was hard-wired into them. Itâ€™s a natural behavior their ancestors did in order to flatten down grass to make for a comfy bed.
5. Is there any effect of eating before you go to bed?
MSN Health studied what happens if you eat right before bedtime. The couple who ate a few hours before they went to bed slept fine, whereas the couple who ate before they went to sleep reported â€œtossing and turning all night.â€ The poor sleep was attributed to your body digesting food when it should be winding down in preparation for sleeping, which results in reflux. Conversely, going to bed on an empty stomach will also result in disruptive sleep (specifically, missing the â€œdeep sleepâ€ stage that allows your body to rest and repair). The best thing to do is to have a light snack before going to bed, which will provide fuel for your body as it rests for the night.
6. How many dust mites are there in beds? Are they harmful?
Environment, Health, and Safety Online has the inside scoop about dust mites. 100,000 to upwards of 10 million mites can live in your mattress. They sustain off dead skin cells, making beds a veritable smorgasbord for these microscopic critters. Some people are allergic to a protein found in dust mitesâ€™ droppings (meaning they get itchy eyes, their asthma flares up, etc), but otherwise dust mites pose no harm or health risk.
7. Why do we have dreams about falling?
According to dreamdoctor.com, falling dreams are typically the result of our sense of balance shifting from lying down in the real world to being mobile in our dreams. Falling dreams can be especially common when youâ€™re drifting off to sleep, since at this time your body is adjusting to the new sense of balance.
8. Can blind people see in their dreams?
Both ScienceIQ.com and About.com agree that the simple answer is no. If you werenâ€™t born blind, then you can have visual dreams, as these images can derive from memory; however, people who are born blind will have auditory dreams that are coupled with the feeling of emotion and movement, whereas people who are legally blind will be able to see whatever they can distinguish when theyâ€™re awake.
9. Do deaf people hear in their dreams?
Discovery Online posts that deaf people can establish an auditory inner voice because of the brainâ€™s ability to develop phonological representations, though these â€œsoundsâ€ may be different than what noises actually sound like. When asked about their dreams, deaf undergrad students at Gallaudet University responded that sometimes they sign and sometimes they speak, although their speech seems to be transmitted mentally rather than through actual speech.
10. Why do kids wet the bed?
Children wet the bed not because of emotional problems or faulty kidneys, but simply because their bladders are still too small to hold the amount of urine their bodies make overnight. Furthermore, the U of M Health System adds that a lot of children are heavy sleepers, so they may not yet be able to wake up when itâ€™s time to go to the bathroom.