Health Talk

The NUS Health Blog for Undergraduate Articles

Month: March 2019

A Good Night’s Sleep All Starts with the Mattress

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When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, it can be difficult to get into a healthy pattern. In fact, quite often it takes a lot of readjustment before the perfect balance is struck and ultimately maintained. We all know the difference between a good night’s sleep and a fractured night’s sleep, just by the difference in our energy levels and overall feeling the following day. It is difficult to know where to begin trying to adopt the right sleeping patterns, but a good place to start is always the mattress. If you find that your mattress is too hard or too soft for your liking, you are likely experiencing the beginning, the root cause, of your problem. Sleep is crucial to sound whole health (and especially to one’s physical health), so sourcing the perfect mattress is vital to finding a sure-fire solution. And while sleep deprivation is obviously an unhealthy practice that should be stopped, oversleeping is just as bad for us and could cause excessive daytime sleepiness or even heavier health issues.

Of course, the mattress is not always the problem (or the solution, for that matter). But what is found consistently, time and again, is that having the right mattress can alleviate, or even eliminate, the sleeping issues that were causing a disjointed sleeping pattern in the first place. When we find that what we sleep on is not as comfortable as it could be, it is more difficult for the body to relax and allow itself to drift to sleep. So, research is necessary to pinpoint the right mattress for you specifically. Everyone is different, and research is the key to ensuring you get the right mattress for you, not for the salesperson you spoke to in the store or your loved one who just got an amazing new mattress.

Referring to Sleepjunkie and word-of-mouth recommendations, finding the perfect mattress to help you get the best night’s sleep possible is easier than ever. All you have to do, is start looking. Every mattress company is going to tell you that they have the best deal, the best warranty, the best returns and exchanges policy, the best quality. The only way that you will ever truly know if you got the best deal for you, is to do the research yourself. Sometimes it takes a while. We spent roughly a third of our lives sleeping, so a mattress is literally an investment that deserves the same consideration as a new car or a new home does.

Sleep deprivation is a subject that has gotten continuous attention over the years – especially lately. And while sleep deprivation is obviously an unhealthy practice that should be stopped, oversleeping is just as bad for us. Each of these sleeping habits can be fundamentally linked to the mattress you sleep on. Of course, there are other contributing factors, but the mattress can truly make all the difference. As this information becomes more widely realized, this is likely part of the reason behind the mattress industry’s boom in recent years. People are placing more importance on how and where they sleep, and the mattress is the very thing that we lay on to get our shut eye at the end of every day.

Quality of Sleep Impacts Whole Health

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The quality of our sleep can sometimes be solved by something as relatively easy as investing in a new mattress, but even this takes a lot of consideration. Finding the best mattresses in Australia (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter) can be a time-consuming, even expensive process. Sometimes people spend days, and even weeks, trying out different mattresses at different stores. And because everyone sleeps differently and has different sleeping preferences, it can be a lot of testing and even compromise (this is especially true when a couple is looking for a new mattress, and they have different preferences).

However, sometimes the problem of unhealthy sleeping patterns is not so easily solved. When it comes to key impactors of our health, one that most (if not all) of us continuously underestimate is the quality of our sleep. While we know that our sleeping pattern influences how rested we feel, many of us do not bother to learn about the other, deeper effects that lack of sleep (or, similarly, oversleeping) have on the human body. There are many, but there are three core ways that sleep impacts our whole health the most frequently and the most seriously.

Sleep and some diseases

Fractured or otherwise unhealthy sleeping patterns have a genuine (and potentially serious) impact on our physical health, in particular with our risk for certain diseases. While this has been the exact topic of multiple studies in years past, it was not until a study conducted in 2015 that our sleeping pattern impacts the health of our arteries in multiple ways. When we do not get enough sleep, the body experiences heightened levels of stress because it has not gotten the rest that it genuinely needs. This very issue has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity (among other physical health risks).

Sleep and metabolism

When we sleep well, our bodies can naturally go through the processes of working certain things through our systems. On the other hand, when we experience disjointed sleeping patterns, our bodies go into survival mode, trying to protect us from expelling too much energy without in turn getting the adequate nutrients to keep our bodies functioning properly. The metabolism slows down, boosting the body’s ability to store fat. Over time, an unhealthy sleeping pattern can be (and unfortunately sometimes is) directly linked to issues that correlate with fractured metabolism, including (again) diabetes and obesity.

Sleep and mentality

The brain is the hungriest organ in the human body. At night, when we sleep our brains have a chance to solidify our memories of the day that has just been. Throughout the average day, our brains develop a build-up of “gunk” through cerebrospinal fluid. This toxin is directly associated with mental disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as well as basic cognitive function. The brain clears out this “gunk” every night, and if we do not allow this to happen, then the build-up of the fluid manifests in diseases of the mind.

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