What is Sleep?
Sleep is not an evolutionary defect, but rather a crucial physiological process that plays a vital role in maintaining overall health and well-being. The complex series of physical processes that occur during sleep are responsible for delivering a range of benefits, including the healing and rejuvenation of cells, the consolidation of memories, and the regulation of various physiological systems
However, when sleep is impaired in terms of quality or quantity, the consequences can be severe.
Studies have shown that chronic sleep deprivation can increase the risk of a wide range of health problems, including increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke (1).
A study by Cappuccio et al (2010) found that individuals who slept less than six hours per night had a 48% increased risk of developing or dying from coronary heart disease (2). In addition to these physical health consequences, impaired sleep can also have a significant impact on cognitive function and mental well-being. A study by Yaffe et al (2011) found that older adults with sleep disturbances had a greater decline in cognitive function over a six-year period compared to those without sleep disturbances (3).
One of the key factors that can impact sleep quality is the type of bed or mattress that you use. As Baker et al (2019) discovered in their study, the use of different types of mattresses can significantly alter long-term health outcomes, to include endothelial function, resting blood flow, blood pressure, thermoregulation and even body fat. (4)
It is therefore essential to give tremendous thought when purchasing a bed or a mattress. Does the bed or mattress that you’re purchasing have any scientific evidence to show that it’s going to improve or enhance your health? Could its use negatively impact health? You should bear in mind that humans sleep for approximately one third of their lives which means that we sleep 4 months of every year!
In conclusion, it is clear that sleep plays a crucial role in overall health and well-being.
It is important to prioritize sleep by ensuring that the bed or mattress we choose is appropriate for our needs and that we are getting the recommended amount of quality sleep each night.
Pub Med References
(1) Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. PMID: 20669438.
(2) Cappuccio FP, Taggart FM, Kandala NB, Currie A, Peile E, Stranges S, Miller MA. Meta-analysis of short sleep duration and obesity in children and adults. Sleep. 2008 May;31(5):619-26. doi: 10.1093/sleep/31.5.619. PMID: 18517032; PMCID: PMC2398753.
(3) Yaffe K, Laffan AM, Harrison SL, Redline S, Spira AP, Ensrud KE, Ancoli-Israel S, Stone KL. Sleep-disordered breathing, hypoxia, and risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia in older women. JAMA. 2011 Aug 10;306(6):613-9. doi: 10.1001/jama.2011.1115. PMID: 21828324; PMCID: PMC3600944.
(4) Baker G, Bloxham S, Laden J, Gush R. Vascular endothelial function is improved after active mattress use. J Wound Care. 2019 Oct 2;28(10):676-682. doi: 10.12968/jowc.2019.28.10.676. PMID: 31600104.