There’s more to sleeping poorly than just bags under our eyes; we’re constantly being told in the media and elsewhere that getting eight hours is crucial for our wellbeing. Thijs Veyfeyken, from matrress experts Okooko by European Bedding, gives us some facts about this important pastime, and suggests some solutions to doing it well. We’re all aware of the effects of poor sleep, and for most of us it happens all too often. And while a lot is still unknown about exactly what goes on during sleep, the fact remains that it’s vital for a fit and healthy lifestyle.
So what really happens during sleep?
As you sleep, your conscious mind shuts off, but your body stays awake, actively working on your wellbeing. Sleep is not downtime, but rather an active and complex part of daily life. There are at least five stages of sleep, and each stage is essential for rest and hormonal release that help build muscle and strengthen the immune system. Sleep is an active process whereby even healthy sleepers can change their physical posture up to 70 times per night. It’s therefore essential that your bed supports healthy posture and does not restrict movement.
Recharge, rehydrate and regulate
While you sleep, extraordinary things go on to help you renew your body. During dream sleep, the biological processes that maintain your body temperature temporarily shut down, giving nature a chance to re-stoke your furnaces. And during well-supported sleep, your spinal muscles will relax completely. Your body then rehydrates and decompresses the spinal discs, leaving them revitalised. Significant surges in hormones take place to regulate our metabolism and other bodily functions, including growth and enzyme production. Levels of serotonin, which modulates mood, emotion and appetite, are also affected. A fall in blood pressure and heart rate during quiet sleep and dramatic swings in these rates during dream sleep are thought to be important in keeping daytime blood pressure normal.
Many beds and bedding materials available today are produced using toxic chemical processes. Mattresses at Okooko by European Bedding utilise natural materials such as organic latex, cotton and bamboo that allow your body to breathe and maintain an even temperature throughout the night, and they’re free of toxins and allergens. The sleep specialists at Okooko by European Bedding will recommend the right sleep system to suit your individual needs, combining scientific knowledge with your personal preferences to ensure a healthy and comfortable night’s sleep. By the time we retire, we will have spent around 20 years asleep. It’s a huge part of our lives, so we need to make sure we give it the attention it deserves.
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