One of the most prevalent issues people in our country face each night when the sun goes down is insomnia. This month’s Fact or Fiction presents some unusual and interesting statements about insomnia. Can you tell which are true and which are false?
1.Scientists once created insomniac flies.
Yes, it’s true! Scientists did actually create an insomniac fruit fly as part of an experiment to try and understand insomnia in humans better.1
2. A small group of insomniacs met in an online forum and gathered together to write a play. It was originally called, “Shut Eye,” and was later turned into a movie of different title.
False, although people struggling with insomnia often find comfort, solace, advice, and support in online forums.
3.Shakespeare often used insomnia or some kind of sleep disturbances in his characters to indicate a troubled conscience.
True! Hamlet didn’t sleep well. Neither did Macbeth (not to mention his poor, hand-washing wife). Romeo didn’t sleep, and both “Richard III and II had quite a few restless nights, or were at least given to endlessly talking about their bad dreams.”2
4.Counting sheep has been scientifically tested as a method for inducing sleep.
5.80% of pregnant women suffer insomnia.
Truth![ efn_note]http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/insomnia-during-pregnancy/[/efn_note] Well, almost. The actual number is 78% – but that’s still a lot of sleepless mommas!
6. People sleep more deeply during a full moon.
Yuh-NO! The full moon tends to not only keep us awake, but can make us act out like “lunatics” when we are!5
7.Humans are not the only mammals that willingly delay sleep.
False. Humans are the only mammals who willingly delay sleep,6 though I’m not sure I believe that. What about bears, who may decide to forage longer into the Fall before hibernating because the fruit is so good? What about birds, who fly long distances all at once? I have not found any scientific information that animals willingly put off sleep the way humans can and do, but there is evidence that animals’ sleep shifts and adjusts according to seasons and environmental conditions.
7 Not exactly the same as willingly putting it off to watch the new season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Netflix though…
8.In Medieval times, it was normal to be awake in the middle of the night.
Truth! It is beginning to come clear in recent scientific studies that people in earlier times had two distinct sleep schedules. They’d fall asleep for a few hours – then get up in the middle of the night to pray or work or make babies – and then after a few hours, they’d go back to sleep for a few more hours before rising with the sun.8
9.Lack of sleep can make you hungry.
Truth! Yes, it can, as our hormone levels are affected by lack of sleep.9
10. The Trivedi Effect® Life Force Energy Transmissions have been known to help those who suffer from insomnia to sleep deeply again.
Truth! Life Force Energy Transmissions realign us at the deepest levels, and reconnect us with our inner original blueprint. The result? We begin to sleep like a child again, and awake refreshed and satisfied.
11.Dolphins sleep in short spurts of about three to five minutes so they can come up for air.
This one has to be the most interesting of all… The answer is: False. “Dolphins sleep by resting one half of their brain at a time – known as unihemispheric sleeping. So most of the time they sleep while still swimming. Dolphins can’t breathe underwater, but can hold their breath for around 30 minutes, after which time they need to come to the surface to fill their lungs with oxygen so they do not drown. While they are sleeping, one eye will remain open while the other is closed (the open eye will be on the same side as the resting part of the brain). This means they can keep themselves and their young safe from predators. Dolphins generally sleep at night, and alternate which side of the brain is resting approximately every two hours for around eight hours. Some will stay close to the water’s surface; others choose to rest on the ocean floor in shallow water. Ideally, they will sleep in groups.”10 11
Well, that’s it for my first ever Fact or Fiction quiz. Was it fun? Let me know how you did in the comments section below, and stay tuned. Another Fact or Fiction will be up on the blog soon!