Getting restful sleep every night is essential for maintaining your overall health and well-being. It does more than give you that boost of energy at the start of the day. The quality of sleep you get impacts various factors, from your ability to retain memory to your cardiovascular functions. Unfortunately, while the benefits of getting enough sleep are numerous, many continue to take it for granted and miss out on this much-needed commodity.
The first step to addressing this issue is advocating a better understanding of sleep and why it’s so important to get adequate amounts of it.
What Happens to Your Body When You Sleep?
To get a better idea of the importance of sleep, you have to take a closer look at what your body does while you’re unconscious.
- Muscles become paralyzed - While asleep, you go through periods of non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) and rapid eye movement (REM) cycles. Dreaming occurs during the REM cycle. This stage also causes the temporary paralysis of certain muscles, keeping your body from moving in response to your dreams. During non-REM sleep, your body’s energy expenditure decreases.
- Sleep triggers the production of certain hormones - Sleep stimulates the release of various hormones into the body. Among these are melatonin (which controls sleep patterns), growth hormones (which repair damaged cells), and hunger hormones (which regulate appetite).
- Sleep reduces stress hormones - The stress hormone, cortisol, is responsible for stimulating wakefulness in the mornings and promoting alertness. It drops during the first few hours of sleep, giving way to relaxation and reducing stress.
- The brain processes the day’s information - During REM sleep, brain activity accelerates as it sorts and consolidates the information it has collected during the day. This process allows your brain to create long-term memories and is believed to promote critical cognitive abilities.
- The immune system produces cytokines - Cytokines are types of small proteins that help the body fight off inflammation, infection, and trauma. The lack of sleep prevents your immune system from functioning at its best.
Why Is It Important to Get a Good Night’s Sleep?
Modernization may have given way to multiple advances, but it came with a price. One of the many consequences of a tech-centric society is sleep deprivation. While the recommended number of sleeping hours for adults is 7 to 9, the current global average is 6.8. This reflects a troubling lack of sleep all over the world.
In addition, approximately 30% of the population in developed countries suffer chronic insomnia. In Canada, as many as 50% of adults report having trouble falling or staying asleep.
Sleep deprivation results in serious health repercussions, leaving you vulnerable to various diseases and medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, poor mental health, and even premature death.
However, when you have just the right amount of sleep, you reap the following benefits:
- Sharper Brain - Because restful sleep gives your brain enough time to process data, it enhances your cognitive abilities, including concentration, learning, and memory retention.
- Healthier Heart - Sleeping gives your heart and blood vessels the opportunity to relax, which regulates your blood pressure and prevents various cardiovascular diseases. Fewer hours of sleep keep your heart working overtime. This leads to high blood pressure and increases your risk of developing serious heart conditions, like a stroke.
- Better Mood - The lack of sleep and mood disorders are closely linked. When you don’t get enough sleep, the amygdala, the emotional centre of the brain, develops a heightened response to negative stimuli, resulting in emotional instability. Additionally, chronic sleep deprivation alters the brain’s activity to perceive information, causing mood swings. Adequate amounts of sleep allow you to stay in control of your emotions so you can calmly take on the day's challenges.
- Control Blood Sugar - Your blood glucose levels drop during the deep, slow-wave sleep cycle. Sleep deprivation can keep your body from reaching this cycle. This lowers insulin sensitivity which, in turn, impairs your body’s ability to control glucose levels. In the long run, having sufficient rest can prevent or manage conditions like type-2 diabetes.
- Weight Control - The mere act of sleeping won’t trim those extra pounds while you’re lying on your bed unconscious. However, getting a full, restful night of sleep regulates metabolism, which lowers your appetite and reduces your cravings for calorie-packed foodstuff. The lack of sleep not only heightens those cravings but also promotes daytime sleepiness, leading to inactivity. Together, inactivity and stress-eating can result in unwanted weight gain.
Does a Good Mattress Help You Sleep Better?
How do you sleep better? Is there a way to guarantee a good night's sleep?
Fortunately, there is. Getting enough sleep and preserving your overall health is as simple as making a few lifestyle changes and getting a new mattress. Just as you can’t run a marathon without the right footwear, you can’t sleep well without the right mattress.
Since you spend one-third of your time sleeping, investing in a quality mattress will allow you to meet all your sleeping needs. Factors like back pain and having someone else in the same bed with you can disrupt sleep. However, getting a mattress with adequate support or one that inhibits motion transfer can make a world of difference.
A good mattress supports your spine and prevents joint and muscle pain. Certain types can also regulate body temperature for those who prefer to stay either cool or warm at night. The secret is to understand your body and what it needs.
Numerous studies show that the health benefits of sleep range from improving blood sugar levels to enhancing athletic performance. Because investing in the right mattress goes a long way in improving sleep quality, it’s the next logical step you should take.
Maximize the benefits of a good night’s sleep with a Direct Bed mattress. As a trusted online mattress store serving the Hamilton, Burlington, and Oakville area, we provide premium quality Canadian-made mattresses, from twin (single) mattresses to the king size variety. Experience luxurious good night’s sleep every night and the convenience of online shopping with us. Call us at 1-844-475-3378 or browse through our collections to learn more about our products.