Good quality sleep is just like bad quality sleeping; it affects every mental and physical aspect of life. Everything you do, you will do better with quality rest.
Your thoughts are clearer and your memory functions at a greater capacity. You will be physically faster and you will be more emotionally stable.
The implications that poor sleep has on our health
When we don’t get enough rest, our bodies reduce the release of leptin. This hormone helps to suppress appetite and encourages the body to use energy, which has implications for our weight.
Researchers believe that poor rest throws the body’s hormonal balance off and leads to less control over appetite and metabolism.
Hand-in-hand with this is the relationship between poor sleep and diabetes. Type Two diabetes is more common in those suffering from sleep deprivation.
Older adults who don’t get enough rest are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Type Two diabetes. Sleep helps regulate glucose (blood sugar). A lack of sleep can lead to a spike in cortisol (our primary stress hormone), making cells more resistant to insulin, which controls our blood sugar levels.
Like the rest of the body, the heart needs sleep to function at its best. Several studies have shown that poor sleep contributes to several factors leading to heart disease.
Just last year, a study of 4,000 healthy participants showed that those who slept the least had the most harmful build-up of plaque in their arteries, which is an early sign of cardiovascular disease and increases the risk of a heart attack. Interestingly, this was true of participants of any age, weight or fitness level.
Immune functions and sleep are very much linked. Poor sleep reduces the production of cytokine – a protein that helps the immune system respond to threats. Sleep deprivation means the body isn’t able to act as quickly to deal with problems it may run encounter.
What sleeping means for our ability to function
Memory is directly connected to sleep habits. When we receive new information, our brains need time for it to ‘stick’. This process is called ‘memory consolidation’, where what we have learned shifts from short to long-term memory.
Research has shown that sleep aids this process. Brain scans show the cerebellum, which controls short-term memory, is more active when sleeping.
This means that getting a full night’s sleep offers more time to reinforce new learnings. Research suggests we retain 40% less information when sleep deprived.
Not only does sleep support memory, but it also improves focus. Billions of neural cells are at work in our heads, helping us make decisions, process information and focus. Sleep deprivation hampers the brain cells’ ability to work together.
REM sleep – or the ‘rapid eye movement’ stage – is also known to be essential for creativity. This is the period in which we start to think abstractly, when acetylcholine – a chemical that acts as a messenger between cells – floods the brain.
The importance of a good bed
Sleeping is a performance activity, which requires the right skill set. It’s no different to a runner performing better with the best trainers, outfits and equipment. Sleep is just the same.
If you have the right tools, your body will perform better. But at the core is the mattress – this is a fundamental priority for the best sleep.
Comfort and support are the two key factors but don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re the same thing. The goal is to provide your body with sufficient support to align the spine and allow your muscles to relax during sleep without sacrificing comfort.
Waking up with pain and stiffness is a clear sign that you’re not getting the right amount of support, regardless if you felt comfortable or not.
A great mattress is a foundation on which great sleeping is built. With some up-front effort and a willingness to invest, you can help ensure many restful nights.
Whether a super firm or soft mattress is the best for you, support comes from a well-constructed mattress made with high-quality materials.
\A lower-costing mattress most likely won’t deliver sufficient support for as long as a higher-priced piece, meaning you’ll have to replace it sooner.
There is no piece of furniture that you will spend more time in than your bed.
We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping.
You can visit the new Hastens Beds store in Eiffel Building 1 on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai
and their website at WWW.HASTENS.COM