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The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Health: Sleep Well

sleep science

health

A consistent seven to nine-hour sleep each night is the most effective thing we can do to reset our mental and physical health.

Alice Tozzi

Do you have the feeling that you haven't gotten enough sleep this past week? Can you even remember the last time you woke up without an alarm, feeling refreshed, not needing caffeine? Well, if the answer is not, you're not alone: Two thirds of people throughout all developed nations fail to get an eight-hour good night's sleep.

Good Sleep is Good Health

Surveys from the Sleep Council and YouGov show that at least one out of three people you pass by in the street has trouble sleeping. This is hardly surprising, but what you might find surprising may be the consequences.

We have all heard the phrases about sleep being optional, "sleep is for the weak" or "I'll sleep when I'm dead", but we know now that these are seriously oudated adages! Bragging about how little sleep you get is more of an admission of how you're note taking care of your health, it's no coincidence that both Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, who were very vocal about sleeping only four to five hours, both went on to develop Alzheimer's.

By buying into the culture of overwork at the expense of personal wellbeing we don't do ourselves any favours. It's essential for us all to take time for ourselves and look after our physical and mental health. Sleep is the cornerstone of this self care.

Insomnia and Alzheimers

Insufficient sleep is now known to be one of the most significant factors that predict whether or not one will develop Alzheimer's disease. During sleep, an important rubbish removal system in the brain, called the glymphatic system, kicks into high gear.

When you enter deep sleep, this sanitisation system cleanses the brain of a sticky, toxic protein linked to Alzheimer's, known as beta amyloid. Without enough sleep, you fail to get that power cleanse. As each sleepless night passes, the risk of Alzheimer's increases.

it's important to get through an entire sleep cycle when you sleep, if you're not sure what that is then you can learn more about what happens when you sleep here. Getting a deeper sleep is easier when you've had time to unwind and relax, a weighted blanket can make this much easier, our knitted weighted blanket is the best weighted blanket for the sofa.

Poor Sleep and Weight Gain

Too little sleep swells the concentrations of a hormone that makes you feel hungry while suppressing a comapnion hormone that otherwise signals food satisfaction. So despite being full, you still want to eat more: the perfect recipe for weight gain in both children and adults who are sleep deprived.

Inadequate sleep can also disrupt blood sugar levels and you could end up being cassified as pre-diabetic. Moreover, being a short sleeper, your coronary arteries are more likely to become blocked and fragile, increasing the risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke and congestive heart failure.

We've written a seperate article on how sleep can affect your weight, if you're struggling with poor sleep and overeating it may be worth checking out! If you're looking for a something that can help you to tackle overeating it's worth trying a weighted blanket; by providing proprioceptive input they can help you to ground yourself and fight intrusive prompts from your body to over eat.

Insomnia and Physical Ability

Sleep is also tied to physical performance. Getting less than eight or less than six hours of sleep per night and the following happens:

  • Time of physical exhaustion drops by 10 to 30%, as does aerobic output
  • Limb extension force and vertical jump height are reduced
  • Peak abd sustained muscle strength decrease.

In addition, poor sleep also has an effect on you caridac, metabolic and respiratory system:

  • Higher rates of lactic acid buildup
  • Reduction in blood oxyen saturation with converse increase in carbon dioxide, due in part to a reduction in the amount of air that the lungs can expire in a sleep deficient state.

There is also injury risk: by not getting enought sleep your chances of injury will increase by 200%.

Sleeping less than six hours a night can also compromise your immune system, increasing your risk of cancer. All of this can happen simply by losing one hour of sleep: when in spring we lose one hour sleep, the rate of heart attacks increases by 24% the next day. On the other hand, when in autumn we gain an hour of sleep, the rate of heart attacks decreases of 21%.

Getting a deeper sleep easier is something a weighted blanket can help with, the soothing pressure helps to make you feel safe and secure, and prompts your body out of it's alert state; my increasing melatonin whilst reducing cortisol a weighted blanket can help reduce stress and anxiety.

It's time for you to sleep properly!

Psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety and suicide have also been linked to sleep deprivation. Adding both physical and mental conditions together, the conclusion is pretty clear: the less you sleep, the shorter you live.

Recent findings have shown that people who sleep five hours a night are 65% more likely to die at any moment in time, when compared to those who get seven to nine hours a night. With this in mind, it's not surprising that those countries where sleep time has decreased dramatically, such as the US, the UK, Japan and South Korea, and several countries in Europe, are suffering from the physical and mental conditions mentioned above.

Therefrore, it's time for use individuals to claim our right of night full of sleep, without the risk of being labelled as lazy. In order to do so, thought, there is the need of a change in how we look at sleep. We need from seven to nine hours each night - is the single best way to reset our brain and body health each day.

We pride ourselves on helping people in the UK and around the world get a good night's sleep. We're always around to help, if you're looking for a weighted blanket for insomnia, anxiety or general wellbeing, we're happy to give you the information you need to make an educated choice.

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