What do you really know about sleep?


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Sleeping is something that is made to be enjoyed by everyone. It seems so simple to understand, but how much do you really know about sleep?

Grayson McClendon, Sports Editor

Sleep as a kid was the one thing you hated, sleep as a teenager and adult is the one thing you lack, and sleep as an elder is the one thing you get too much of. As humans, we spend one third of our lives asleep. Sleep is something so simple, yet not many people know much about it; specifically the position in which we fall asleep and the many disorders that come along with it. Most people know that you are supposed to get at least seven to nine hours of sleep every night, but what else do you really know about sleep?

According to Professor Chris Idzikowski, one of Britain’s top sleep experts, there are six main ways to sleep, and the way you sleep can be linked to your personality. For example, almost half of the population sleeps in the “fetal” position, or curled up in a ball. This position, the professor claims, means that you may appear tough but can be sensitive and are usually shy. Those who sleep in a starfish position, or “spread eagle,” tend to be good friends, while steering away from attention. If you sleep on your stomach, you have a wild side and tend to have a confident exterior. The soldier position, which entails laying on your back, is proven to correlate with quiet or reserved individuals. The side sleepers were found to be very relaxed and social, and if you sleep with your arms raised, you are very suspicious.

What many people also do not know of is the many sleep disorders that people are faced with everyday. Five main sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, sleep terrors, sleepwalking, and narcolepsy. The number one sleep disorder is insomnia, which is the inability to sleep. This is caused by anxiety, depression, or high stress. About one third of all Americans are affected by insomnia. Sleep apnea is when a person’s breathing is interrupted, and they stop breathing many times during their slumber. The most common treatment for apnea is performed using a CPAP, which is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine which opens up the throat to get air through the body. Sleep terrors usually occur in children and can include yelling or moving. The scariest part is that you are not fully awake; therefore, it is hard to calm someone down who is having a sleep terror. Sleepwalking is just like it sounds; it is when someone who is asleep gets up and walks around while remaining asleep. Having a quieter sleep environment and consuming fewer liquids before bed can reduce sleepwalking. The last sleep disorder is narcolepsy, which is the tendency to fall asleep whenever you are in a relaxed setting. People with narcolepsy tend to have cataplexy, which is a condition that can lead to fainting often.

Sleeping is something so beautiful yet so mysterious. As it is dreaded as a kid, wanted as a teenager and as an adult, and excessive as an elder, freshman Chris Mclaurin got what he wanted. He said, “I sleep like 14 hours a day; I really like it.” The positions that we take in our sleep and the disorders that occur in some people is something so insignificant that no one usually pays attention to it. If only we could know exactly how we think and act during the night, but we can not, because we are ASLEEP!