When did sleeping become a ‘thing’ you ask. It was just the other day we were walking around bragging about how late we had to stay up to get all our work done and how well we functioned with only a few hours of sleep. Busy and sleep deprived were badges of honour and we wore proudly along with the bags under our eyes and our fifth cup of coffee before 10am. However, as we make a shift towards a more conscious lifestyle, a bigger emphasis is placed on the importance of sleep. Today sleep is a fundamental requirement for anyone – whether you need to be at the top of your game in the boardroom, ballroom or helping the kids with their homework. Quality and quantity sleep can no longer be compromised.
Scientists have only recently (in the last 50 years or so) started to gather more information on our sleeping patterns, what happens when we sleep, why do we need to sleep and what happens if we don’t get enough of it, that has made it a ‘thing’.
Entrepreneur and media mogul Ariana Huffington wrote a whole book on sleep and is quoted writing: “We are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis and this has profound consequences – on our health, our job performance, our relationships and our happiness. What is needed, is nothing short of a sleep revolution. Only by renewing our relationship with sleep can we take back control of our lives.”
One study completed at the University of Pittsburg’s Medical Centre suggests that that poor sleep increases inflammation in the body, which we now know can have harmful effect and cause diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. The study tracked the sleeping patterns of older adults. Those who reported regularly getting less than six hours or more than eight hours of sleep per night had more inflammatory markers in their blood. The increased inflammation was associated with a greater mortality risk, particularly in those who were short on sleep.
Studies like these are fueling the sleep-revolution and motivating employers to instigate mandated nap-times for employees. Sleeping pods are also no longer a futuristic concept and sleeping apps are becoming more commonplace. Sleep is the ultimate medicine, luxury beauty cream and green juice all mixed into seven hours of quality shut eye. And considering how time is money, it’s easy to see why sleep is considered a luxury ‘purchase’.
Ensuring a good night’s rest can be as simple as starting with the right mattress. “There are no one-bed fits all scenarios,” says xxx of The Bed Shop and Dynamic Bedding. “We’ve been designing and manufacturing beds for over 20 years and we know that every person is unique and their sleeping requirements varying. Choosing a bed is a personal thing and the best way to choose the right bed is to ‘test-drive’ it.” XXX advises bed-shoppers to firstly consider the firmness, then think about the materials used, the size of your room and whether you’ll be sharing the bed with someone. It’s not an easy task, but considering the importance of your sleep, it’s one that should be embarked upon with the same effort that is put into buying a house or a car.