In the month where we celebrated World Sleep Day, it is not very surprising that we have a huge number of interesting, unusual and downright weird stories about sleep hitting the news. In the first of our monthly round-ups, we are taking a look at some of the weirder (or just interesting) stories from March, that we just didn’t have the time to cover.
Parents lose huge amounts of sleep in their baby’s first year
In shock discovery, a study carried out by Owlet Baby Care, found that parents are losing around one month of sleep in the first year of caring for their baby. This equates to an average of 2 hours and 15 minutes every single night. 70% of those questioned said their sleep is affected by their newborn and 22% of Dads admitted they had fallen asleep at work due to the lack of rest and 50% said it affected their work. Half of women found it affected their friendships. This comes on the heels of another study that showed how a child will affect your sleep for six years. Great…
Man claims his insomnia is actually a “blessing”
Reported by Yahoo News this month, Neil Epstein says that despite sometimes only getting 20 minutes of sleep per night, he has made it work to his advantage. Rather than wasting the time worrying about the lack of sleep, he has used the time to learn how to play the piano, how to speak French, to write poetry and short stories and to practise his art. He points out that every ten years he gains an extra two awake years compared to other people and he refuses to see that as a negative. Despite having suffered from insomnia for almost all of his life and trying to cure it through a variety of means, he has always seen it as a blessing. Perhaps he just needs to try the Sleep Infuser?
Twitter goes mad over “side of the bed” row
Journalist Steve O’Rourke admitted to something this month that he thought was perfectly normal and was soon to discover was considered deeply weird. He pointed out that he and his wife often switch the side of the bed they sleep on. He pointed out that sometimes he fancies the window and sometime the side nearest the door. First one into bed gets to choose and books are moved to accommodate the new position. The general consensus was that yes, it is weird and that having a “side of the bed” is just how it is. However one or two other misfits did enter the debate to shyly put their heads above the parapet. Apparently a study has shown that those who sleep on the left side have more friends and enjoy their job more…. just sayin’.
Wearing a bra to bed… the debate rages on
Daytime talk show host Lorraine Kelly admitted this month that she always wears her bra to bed and claimed it was maintain her “perky” chest. This sparked a huge debate about the rights and wrongs of doing so. Despite the fact that plastic surgeons believe it is a good idea and lingerie manufacturers offer a range of night time bras – many consider it to be a very uncomfortable thought. Those in the “no” camp cited letting their breasts “breathe” and the comfort factor. Some women also feared being seen without a bra by their partner. There is no scientific reason to wear a bra to bed – so whatever helps you sleep best is the ideal approach. Probably.
Coffee and TV actually could improve sleep?
And in news that will be music to the ears of those of us with a little caffeine habit, a sleep expert has indicated that reducing coffee and screen time before bed may not have an effect on your sleep after all. Kathryn Pinkham from The Insomnia Clinic stated that most of the things that we do to try and improve our sleep are ineffective and may actually lead to changes in our behaviour that make the problem worse. She believes that worrying and stress are the main factors in sleep disturbances and that worrying about how much TV you watch or how much coffee you have had could be counter-productive. However, four cups of espresso at 8pm might not help you to switch off when the time comes…
Daylight saving reminder
A little Americanism has always helped me to remember how to change my clocks twice a year. “Spring forwards, Fall back”. Although it does work the same in reverse… really. But I am reliably informed (by Google) that the clocks do indeed Spring forwards this Sunday morning. The invention of the digital clock has made it almost impossible to get it wrong (just check on your phone). But don’t get caught out by the darker morning and lighter evenings.