Sleep facts

While our guides to sleep provide useful help and information on healthy sleep, this page gives some interesting facts and trivia on the topic of sleep.

Interesting sleep facts

  • The average adult needs between 7 - 9.5 hours sleep a night
  • Insomnia is the leading cause of lost productivity and costs the average US worker 11.3 days a year worth of work
  • 23.2% of employees report insomnia
  • 27.1% of working women report insomnia
  • 19.7% of working men report insomnia
  • We spend approximately one third of our lives asleep, which on average equates to around 26 years
  • There are two types of sleep: REM and non-REM
  • Dreams occur in the REM stage of sleep
  • Dolphins have the ability to send half the brain to sleep and thus keep the other half awake
  • The amount of sleep a person needs will vary during their lifetime
  • Teenagers need, on average, an hour more sleep than adults
  • In 2009, BBC News reported that the amount of sleep needed by ants varied depending on social position. The queen ant sleeps, on average, 90 times a day for an average of six minutes a time, compared to worker ants who sleep around 240 times for a minute each time – this works out at less than half the sleep the queen ant gets in a day. The worker ant’s life expectancy is months, whereas the queen ant can live for years… 
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