Good Night. Sleep Tight. The Doctor Was Right.
Looking for ways to feel strong and invincible? Want to slow down the aging process and look more beautiful? Thinking about shedding a few pounds? Searching for ways to strengthen your immunity against colds and viruses?
According to a survey taken by the National Sleep Foundation, the typical American sleeps under seven hours per night on weeknights and more than one-fifth of the population reports sleepiness interferes with activities several days a week. Alarmingly, most said they were resigned to this situation. About half of the population reports difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, waking up early and feeling unrefreshed. Many adults unsuccessfully attempt to “catch up” on their sleep during the weekend or on their days off from work.
Recent studies now indicate conclusive links between quality sleep and how it affects stress, work performance, athletic abilities, obesity and aging.
The evidence of a correlation between stress and sleep or lack there of is overwhelming. According to the Better Sleep Council (BSC) and the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), “Stress is a leading culprit that is robbing Americans of sleep.” In essence, the organizations found that stress can create a lack of sleep, while a lack of sleep will compound stress. Additional research for the Oklahoma State University (OSU) confirms that poor sleep can elevate stress. The findings from the OSU research study can be found in the March 2009 Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, which also suggests that improved sleep quality reduces stress and helps us deal with and manage everyday stressors.
Diet and lifestyle play an important part in getting a good night’s sleep, but according to the OSU study, there is a significant decrease in stress after a good night’s sleep on a new mattress compared to one that is more than five years old. The BSC advises consumers to evaluate their conventional coil mattress for optimum comfort and consider replacing it every five to seven years. When replacing a worn mattress, great consideration should be given to a natural, organic latex mattress which will provide orthopedic and therapeutic support without need for replacement for twenty years and beyond. The CozyPure® brand organic mattress is favored highly amongst owners for quality, durability and reliability.
“The components we use in CozyPure® mattresses are rated superior for safe emissions, as well as longevity and resiliency.” says Cheryl Hahn, owner of Organic Comfort Zone. “We take these healthy quality components and build healthy sleep systems designed for outrageous organic comfort to provide deep and nutritious rest.”
The CRN says “Now, more than ever, it’s important to think about taking an integrative approach to preventative healthcare.” Getting a good night’s sleep on a supportive, quality natural organic mattress is an investment in one’s own healthy lifestyle.
Lack of quality sleep can affect more than your mood and personal life; according to the BSC, employees are paying a high price for too little sleep when it comes to productivity. "Some believe you can accomplish more if you spend less time sleeping, but limited sleep can affect every aspect of your life, including job performance," said Dr. Bert Jacobson, Better Sleep Month spokesperson and author of the new study Subjective Rating of Perceived Back Pain, Stiffness and Sleep Quality Following Introduction of Medium-Firm Bedding Systems. "In fact, sleep deprivation impacts your level of alertness, your productivity and your ability to socially interact with colleagues."
The results from a survey conducted in 2007 by the BSC showed that employees are attempting to compensate for a lack of quality sleep by:
Startlingly, only 13 percent of Americans said that they are willing to commit to more sleep to feel more awake and productive at work, which stresses the fact that every minute of sleep needs to be at optimum quality. Our sleep deprived society cannot afford to loose precious sleep wasted on an antiquated mattress and sleep system. A healthy sleep environment and a new organic mattress, pillows and wool comforter will provide a deeper, more peaceful and relaxing slumber, allowing Americans to wake with fewer joint, muscle and body aches, while feeling much more refreshed and productive.
Over-extended Americans have become far too reliant on the “quick fixes” of stimulant drinks, including tea, coffee, energy drinks and so-called performance enhancement supplements which claim to improve all aspects of our daily lives from sports to our sex lives while ignoring what many experts say; “all we really need is a good night’s sleep”.
As further evidence to the impact that healthy sleep has on our bodies and coordination, a recent research study, authored by Cheri Mah of Stanford University, was conducted on a half dozen healthy students on the Stanford men's basketball team, who maintained their typical sleep-wake patterns for two-weeks, followed by an extended sleep period in which they were allowed as much extra sleep as possible. To evaluate improvements in athletic performance, the students were judged based on their sprint time and basketball shooting percentages. The results of the study showed significant improvements in athletic performance, including faster sprint time and increased free-throws. The athletes also reported increased energy and improved mood during practices and games, as well as a decreased level of fatigue.
The same research study was conducted on a group of swimmers. Athletic performance was assessed after each regularly scheduled swim practice. After obtaining extra sleep, athletes swam a 15-meter sprint 0.51 seconds faster, reacted 0.15 seconds quicker off the blocks, improved turn time by 0.10 seconds and increased kick strokes by 5.0 kicks.
“These results begin to elucidate the importance of sleep on athletic performance and, more specifically, how sleep is a significant factor in achieving peak athletic performance,” said lead author Cheri Mah of the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory. “While this study focuses specifically on collegiate swimmers, it agrees with data from my other studies of different sports and suggests that athletes across all sports can greatly benefit from extra sleep and gain the additional competitive edge to perform at their highest level.”
The amount of quality, healthy sleep a person gets affects his or her physical health, emotional well-being, mental abilities, productivity and performance. Studies associate lack of sleep with serious health problems such as an increased risk of depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, while subjects that received adequate healthy sleep experienced improved mental health, cognitive skills, improved metabolism and stronger immune systems.
Furthermore, insufficient sleep causes neurocognitive changes such as excessive daytime sleepiness, altered mood, and increased risk for work-related injury and automotive accidents. With declining sleep times there has also been an increase in the number of both obese and severely obese people in the United States.
Robert D. Vorona, M.D., from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA and colleagues examined patients' total sleep time per 24 hours in relation to their body mass index. One-thousand-one patients completed a questionnaire involving demographics, medical problems, sleep habits, and sleep disorders. The patients were classified as being of normal weight, overweight, obese, or severely obese.
The researchers found that total sleep time decreased as body fat increased, except in the severely obese group. Men slept an average of 27 minutes less than women, and overweight and obese patients slept less than patients with normal body fat. The difference in total sleep time between patients with a normal body fat and the other patients was 16 minutes per day, reaching 112 minutes, or 1.86 hours, over a week. In addition, night-shift work was associated with 42 minutes less total sleep time.
Finally, when all variables are considered, it can easily be concluded that lack of quality sleep contributes dramatically to the aging process; superficially, we look worn and tired and internally, it’s much the same.
In a study done at the University of Chicago, Dr. Eve Van Cauter found that, "after four hours of sleep for six consecutive nights, healthy young men had blood test results that nearly matched those of diabetics. Their ability to process blood sugar was reduced by 30 percent, they had a huge drop in their insulin response, and they had elevated levels of a stress hormone called cortisol, which can lead to hypertension and memory impairment".
Lack of sleep or improper sleep has a tremendous negative impact on daily life, including social, professional and physical well-being. Something as simple and base as slumber is far too often overlooked as a cause of failings or lack of advancement in our careers, marriages, weight loss and even recovery from illness.
It is time for a wake-up call for Americans to become more invested in their own sleep and the best place to make that commitment is in the bedroom. Survey your sleep situation by evaluating the health of your current mattress and bedding. Consider that you spend about a third of your life sleeping, therefore, your mattress and bedding should be the safest and most comfortable sleep system available; it’s an investment in your health and wellness.
Begin your journey today by replacing your worn chemically-treated traditional mattress and bedding with pure, natural, organic bedding and an organic mattress from a quality, trusted brand such as CozyPure®, available at Organic Comfort Zone in Norfolk, Virginia. To learn more about their healthy sleep systems, you can call them toll-free number at 800-229-7571.
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