It’s a question that has puzzled scientists and philosophers for centuries. And while there’s no definitive answer, there are some theories that offer potential explanations.
Why does sleeping feel so fast?
One theory is that time seems to move more quickly when we’re asleep because we’re not as aware of it passing. When we’re awake, we’re constantly bombarded with sensory input – sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures – which our brains have to process. This takes up a lot of mental energy and time, making the hours seem to drag by. But when we’re asleep, we’re not taking in any new information so our brains can relax. As a result, time seems to move more quickly.
Does time move faster when you sleep?
Another theory is that our perception of time is relative. This means that it’s not an objective measure like distance or weight, but something that varies from person to person. So, what seems like a long time to one person may seem like a short time to another. This theory could explain why time seems to fly when we’re sleeping – because we’re not really aware of it passing, it feels shorter than it actually is.
Why does sleep feel short?
Considering what we know about the science of sleep, your brain waves slow down as you enter deeper sleep. Deep sleep is in fact also known as slow wave sleep.
Slow wave sleep is often considered by researchers to be akin to a state of unconsiousness, where time passes but we are completely unaware of it. This is similar to being medically unconscious but the main difference is that you can be roused from sleep by external stimuli (such as an alarm going off or someone shaking you).
REM (‘rapid eye movement’) sleep, on the other hand, is a form of light sleep where dreams occur. In this form of sleep we may be aware of how actual time passes and indeed our dreams may feel ‘long’ or ‘short’. For most people, REM sleep occurs every 90 minutes or so and can last anywhere from around 5-30 minutes.
Unless you are woken during a period of dreaming, you often don’t remember your dreams at all. Yet, if you are awoken during one you tend to know you were dreaming and roughly how long for.
The scientific answer to why sleep seems so short may therefore simply be about a lack of time perception. In other words, your brain is unaware of time passing when it is in it’s ‘unconscious’ slow wave sleep.
Conclusion: Why does time go by so fast when you sleep?
There is no definitive answer to this question, but there are some theories that offer potential explanations. One theory is that we’re not as aware of time passing when we’re asleep, and another is that our perception of time is relative. It’s also possible that our brain waves slow down so much during sleep that we’re not really aware of time passing at all. Ultimately, the answer to this question is still a mystery, but it’s an intriguing one nonetheless.
Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure – time definitely seems to move more quickly when we’re asleep! So if you want to make the most of your time, make sure you get a good night’s sleep!