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HOW SLEEP CAN HELP YOUR MENTAL WELLBEING
We will all spend around a third of our lives sleeping. As we sleep, we are more able to recuperate from the days mental and physical efforts which can often take their toll on us. Sleep should be making you feel rested and restored. Adequate amounts of sleep play a central role in helping you to maintain a healthy lifestyle, benefiting you in both heart, body and mind.
The importance of sleep
Sleep and wellbeing are powerfully related – a lack of quality sleep will increase your chances of experiencing poorer health and wellbeing. Poor health in turn creates a cycle of making it more difficult to sleep. Sleep troubles are often the first signs that you need to take deeper consideration of your general wellbeing. You undoubtedly know that you need at least seven hours of sleep a night. This is not simply because it will give you more energy, but there are many other mental health benefits that happen when you make sleep a priority. Your body continues to work at healing itself and enhancing your cell regeneration as you sleep. The more sleep you get the more your mental health will improve when you are awake. Good quality sleep decreases your levels of stress, allows you to be more alert and responsive to your surroundings, elevates your mood, improve awareness and keeps illnesses away.
Main benefits of a good night’s sleep
It will provide you with maximum brainpower. Sleep is the vital down time that your mind requires to process emotions and recharge for the following day. As you sleep your body temperature falls, your heart rate slows down, your muscles relax, and your breathing slows down. These initial stages of sleep generate physiological changes which go a long way in helping to boost your immune system and regenerate you. It goes towards regulating neurotransmitters in your brain along with your stress hormone levels and so supports emotional regulation. You will have more emotional resilience to recover from all of life’s setbacks. Sleep allows you to build up your ability to bounce-back and deal better with situations. When well-rested, you are more able to manage hard feelings such as anger, stress and sadness. You will have better relationships which will improve your overall wellbeing. Compassion and patience are more difficult to find if you are running on empty from a lack of sleep. You will simply feel happier when you have had a better night’s sleep. You will be more productive at work which will make your overall day-to-day so much easier. Tasks become easier and you will make fewer mistakes. You will not get sick as much because good quality sleep boosts your immune system. Long-term, sleep helps reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, infections and other diseases. Most scientific research shows that sleep is a significant part of living a thriving life. Sleep deprivation will have harmful costs to overall wellbeing. Understanding that you need to prioritise sleep and produce good sleeping patterns will have an influential effect on your general wellbeing.
The best temperature for sleep
We spoke to luxury bedding brand Beddable for advice on the optimum room temperature for sleep. They explained: “To nod off, your core body temperature needs to drop by at least 1°C (2-3°F). Scientists consider the optimum room temperature for most people to sleep to be around 16-18°C. That’s several degrees below the ambient temperature most of us maintain at home during the day. Our hands, feet and head are best at radiating heat out. That’s why your limbs take on a life of their own and sneak from under the duvet if your bedroom is too hot. It’s also why a bath before bed helps you sleep: not because it warms you up, but because it draws blood to the surface of your skin and helps you shed heat. Splashing water on your hands and face before bed has the same effect.” Beddable’s 100% Cotton bedding is also designed to help regulate your body temperature, a vital part of the formula for a regenerative night’s sleep.
The importance of a good mattress
We also spoke to Mattress brand Emma to find out how much a mattress can make a difference. “Comfortable next generation Airgocell foam in our mattresses adapts to any body shape thanks to its point elasticity. The advanced 3-layer zone profile improves pressure distribution of the body and supports adjustment, so you can sleep well in any position. This breathable foam also allows proper ventilation thanks to its open pores. Combining different materials and structures means optimal pressure distribution can be achieved. This creates ideal conditions for the restful sleep your body needs to re-energise.”
The sleep test
Our Editor-in-Chief decided to put both the advice from Beddable and Emma to the test by recording his sleep stats for 2 weeks using a Fitbit with his current set up of pocket spring mattress and cheap Ikea duvet cover, followed by 2 weeks of tracking using the Emma Original Mattress and a Beddable Luxury Bedding Set. His total average night sleep did in fact improve, and so did his deep sleep. On average total sleep improved from 7hr 2min to 7hr 30min, and deep sleep from 1hr 1min to 1hr 50min. It might not sound like a drastic improvement, but it certainly does if you look at that improvement over a week, month and year.