Bed sets are a hidden cause of most sleep disorders. If this is the case, it can be treatable or manageable, and sufferers can seek medical attention. Of course, another way of avoiding interrupted sleep patterns is choosing a quality bed.
This means selecting a bed that is going to provide optimal support that your body needs. If it’s too soft, chances are it will result in bad posture, which will lead to aches and pains. If it’s too firm it will aggravate the pressure points that will have you waking up with pain in your shoulders and hips. The happy medium is a mattress that conforms to your body shape while relieving the pressure points.
So what are quality materials that make a better bed? A mattress constructed of natural latex means a plethora of benefits. First, far more support for your body; especially for your spinal column as natural latex has shape-sustaining properties.
As much as you will love natural latex, bugs and mites will hate it. What’s more, it also moulds to your body shape and is mildew resistant, so you can expect it to last a good deal longer than its synthetic counterpart.
Look, also, for mattresses that are made with what is referred to as individually pocketed springs. As each spring is sewn into a single fabric pocket, it provides more support and comfort than the traditional wire-framed coil mattress.
A quality mattress also tends to be multi-zoned, which means they support the varying weights of the different parts of your body, thus offering a higher level of support and comfort throughout the night.
To avoid waking up hot and bothered, look for mattresses that are studded with ventilation holes that allow the heat build-up from your body to be dissipated.
For support and comfort lasting many years, look for a mattress with a framed border around its perimeter that’s coupled with high-density foam casing. This makes it doubly sure that your bed will be sag-free for many years to come.
THE RIGHT WAY TO AVOID THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BED
To the vast majority of us, being tucked up warmly in the best bed available, in a quiet, darkened room, free of distractions such as electronic devices, pretty much guarantees a decent night’s shut-eye.
To around 10% of the population, sleep is an elusive luxury that’s hampered by chronic disorders. The three most common ailments are sleep apnoea, which hinders breathing when sleeping; insomnia, which causes persistent problems in falling and maintaining sleep; and restless leg syndrome, which interrupts sleep due to unpleasant sensation in the legs.
But there’s also another, a less understood category that supposedly affects around 1% of the population. The so-called ultra-successful class – who get by on barely any sleep at all.
One such ‘short sleeper’ was Margret Thatcher. She claimed that she could put the “Great” in Britain in as little as four hours of sleep a night. Evidently, there were no rusty patches on this Iron lady!
The prodigious Serbian inventor, Nikola Tesla, is reputed to have only slept two hours a night. Mind you, he was also reputed to have suffered a severe obsessive-compulsive disorder and was the victim of a devastating nervous breakdown.
And Leonardo da Vinci’s genius was sustained with 20-minute catnaps every four hours, which totalled a mere two hours per day.
However, for the rest of us mere mortals, sleep for between seven and nine hours is not only recommended but is physiologically essential.
HOW MUCH SLEEP? AN AGE-OLD QUESTION
Put simply, we humans have evolved to sleep when its dark and be awake when its light. So what does that mean regarding hours that need to be spent in slumber?
Theories vary, but none can be as inaccurate as Napoleon Bonaparte’s opinion on the matter. When asked how much sleep people needed, he purportedly replied: “Six for a man, seven for a woman and eight for a fool.” Of course, Napoleon was far more proficient in invading countries that he was in matters physiological.
A genuine authority on the subject, the National Sleep Foundation, based in Washington DC, recommends the following duration of sleep that’s appropriate for the stipulated age groups:
- New-borns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
- Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
- Pre-schoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours
- School-age children (6-13): 9-11 hours
- Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours
- Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours
- Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours
Being deprived of sleep disrupts our circadian rhythm – otherwise known as the body clock. It’s our circadian rhythm that regulates much of our physiological processes: when to sleep, when to get up, when to eat. It’s also the circadian rhythm that is responsible for the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps to induce slumber.
When the body clock is out of kilter, so is our health and emotional well-being. And it’s far more severe than feeling a little grumpy in the morning, as it can lead to severe mood disorders.
In the findings of a scientific study conducted by Glasgow University in 2017, people with body-clock disruption were found to be more susceptible to depression, bipolar disorder, mood instability and worse reaction times were found in people with body-clock disruption.
Adding to that is an abundance of research to show that sleep deprivation or poor-quality sleep also increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
And in closing…
The bottom line is that a quality bed will go a long way in assuring quality sleep. And considering its importance of sleep on your health and well-being, comfort, should never be seen as a luxury but an absolute necessity.
To find out more about quality sleep, download our free Genie Bed guide, ‘How to Choose a Better Bed’, or visit geniebeds.co.za