It’s easy to minimize the importance of sleep. We go to bed and wake up, and all of the important stuff happens during the day. Just get a bed that helps you make it through the night so you can worry about what really matters. Right? Well, that’s not necessarily the case. You’ve probably heard this, but really think about it: you spend ⅓ of your entire life asleep. There is not one single activity we spend more time on than sleep. Even though ⅔ of our life are while we’re awake, that time is divided between things like eating and working and travelling and playing and so many other things. We’ve got to start giving sleep the attention it deserves.
Sleep is by far our most common activity, so why does it suck so much of the time? The problem is that our sleep isn’t restorative. The majority of Americans report trouble sleeping. That can mean so many different problems, such as not being able to fall asleep, tossing and turning through the night, not waking up refreshed, etc. We spend so much time on this one thing yet the majority of us can’t even figure it out! We’d rather stay up late bingeing on a new series or cut down our sleep to be “more productive,” or we do want to get proper, restorative sleep but we just can’t find the right mattress or sleep environment. Something’s got to change.
The science of sleep is fascinating, and we’re just going to scrape the surface and talk about sleep cycles. This article from sleep.org is where we’re drawing this info from, so check it out for a more in-depth look at we’re talking about. Essentially, there are four stages of sleep and then a REM (rapid eye movement) cycle. Through the night we move in and out of each of these stages in a cycle. Stages One and Two are lighter, transition stages into deeper sleep. Stages Three and Four are where restorative sleep occurs. In these stages your body repairs itself and preps for the coming day. Your muscles and tissues heal, you store up energy, your immune system is boosted and growth and development hormones are released. Deep, restorative sleep is essential to your body being at it’s best, so help your kids get a good night’s sleep to grow big and strong instead of only encouraging veggies. REM sleep occurs after you’ve been asleep for about 90 minutes. During a REM cycle your brain is more active, and this is when your brain processes and stores information gathered during the day. So it’s only when you’ve been asleep without interruption for about an hour that restorative sleep happens.
What about those of you who get your full eight hours but still wake up feeling like garbage? The problem may be that even though you’re asleep, you’re not spending enough time in the restorative sleep cycles. If you’re bed is uncomfortable and puts more pressure on your hips and shoulders, your body keeps you in a lighter sleep stage so you can move and relieve that pressure. That’s why tossing and turning is such an issue, because you aren’t giving your body enough time to start to recover and repair. You need a bed that relieves the pressure enough for you to enter a deeper sleep.
If you’re not getting the sleep you need, and if you’re not waking up feeling rested, you ought to consider getting a mattress that gives you the restorative sleep you need. In a pressure map comparison (the red marks areas of high stress), IntelliBED relieved the most pressure compared to other leading brands, which means that on one you’d be able to achieve deeper—and therefore more restorative—sleep.
Don’t wait any longer to get the sleep you need. We don’t do anything more than sleep, so we really ought to invest in our future comfort and health. The better sleep we get, the better we feel during the day, and the more productive and happy we’ll be. So do your research and make the necessary changes. You won’t regret it!