9 Reasons to Sleep More

The ultimate pro-sleeper cheat sheet

You’ve heard the frightening list of things that can happen when you don’t get the sleep you need. From short-term avoidable accidents to long-term disease risk and early death, it’s enough to send us racing to our bedrooms. But what about the amazing benefits that are yours for the taking when you do get the sleep you need?

After all, wouldn’t you rather hear about the rewards for a change?

In the interest of brevity, we cut our list off at 9 but we challenge you to share more. Leave a note in the comments below and let the world in on your sleep secrets.

Live longer

When it comes to how long you’re going to live, there’s a lot of truth in the saying that genetics is a loaded gun – but your environment is the trigger. You may carry genes for a multitude of diseases, but whether you get them or not is largely dependent on how you live your life. If you want to live longer, sleep can be your best defense against a slew of diseases.

Maintain a healthy weight

Mattress manufacturers should consider giving away a free bathing suit with every purchase. Think we’re crazy? As wild as the idea sounds, substantial medical evidence suggests fascinating links between sleep and weight. According to WebMD.com, “Researchers say that how much you sleep and quite possibility the quality of your sleep may silently orchestrate a symphony of hormonal activity tied to your appetite.”

Manage stressful situations better

Some stress is good for us – like date night with your partner or accepting an award for a job well done. But some stress has the power to turn us into impatient toddlers, especially if we didn’t get a good night’s sleep. If you’re averaging four to five hours sleep a night, your brain reacts to stress as if you’ve gone for three consecutive nights without any sleep. Imagine the power you’ll have the next time your boss wigs out and you’ve had a good night’s sleep…

Reduce inflammation and pain

Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and premature aging all have strong ties to inflammation. If you sleep less than six hours a night, your blood levels of inflammatory proteins may be higher than people who sleep more. Show your heart some love – put it to bed.

Enjoy physical activity

When’s the last night you had a terrible night’s sleep and bounced out of bed in the morning, energized and ready for a 10K run? We thought so. Sleep is the mop-up crew for your brain and body, cleaning up spills, reorganizing memories and repairing muscle tissue. Skip that important recovery time and you look more like the energizer bunny who didn’t make the cut.

Avoid accidents

In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that sleepy drivers are responsible for the most single car crashes – even more than alcohol. What’s downright sobering though is that even one sleep deprived night can impair your driving, mimicking the effects of an alcoholic drink.

Embrace lifelong learning

Just as sleep repairs muscle tissue, it also cleans out the synapses in your brain. Sleep facilitates the processing of memories, moving the important ones to storage and discarding the ones you won’t need tomorrow. Without sleep, your memories all stay in the short term retrieval area and learning complex skills becomes nearly impossible. So in essence, that 8-hour void of doing nothing other than sleep actually makes you smarter.

Fight depression

The relationship between sleep and depressive illness is complex – depression may cause sleep problems and sleep problems may cause or contribute to depressive disorders. But the evidence is clear: people with insomnia have a ten-fold risk of developing depression compared with those who sleep well, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Enjoy more creativity

Ever notice how creativity ebbs and flows during the day? Depending on whether you’re a night hawk or early bird, you’ll enjoy spurts of creativity throughout the day – when your brain is most awake and energized. Without sleep, your brain lacks the fuel it needs to get into that creative zone. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy – without sleep, he’s really a drag.

Now you know the amazing benefits of a good night’s sleep. Who’s tucking in early tonight?


Eager for more sleep info you can really use? Join our communities on Facebook and Twitter and let’s continue the conversation. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

This blog was originally published on Restonic.com and does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on Restonic.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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The History of the Mattress

Where it all began

Believe it or not, the mattress has been around for almost 10,000 years. Maybe not the luxurious mattresses we know today, but a form of mattress was first invented in during the caveman period. These mattresses were mostly made of natural items – straw, leafs, grass covered with animal skin. Comfy, right?

The Persians were the ones to really innovate and improve upon the mattress and sleeping conditions. Persian royalty slept on the first water beds – goatskin filled with water. Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs raised the mattress off the ground by using pallets. King Tut had a bed base made from ebony and gold; while prettier, it was not any more comfortable than sleeping on the ground.

Fast forward to the late 18th century, mattresses more closely related to the modern mattresses we know today begin to emerge. Cast iron beds with cotton mattresses were found to be less attractive to bugs and make sleeping much more enjoyable. Bug free is the only way to sleep. In 1865, the first innerspring mattresses are introduced – the birth of the modern mattress. From there the inventions of the box spring, modern waterbeds, memory foam and latex mattresses all follow. All adding up to the mattress and sleep options we know and appreciate today. Read more at BetterSleep.org

Museums exhibits

Want to learn more about how people have slept through the ages? Many museums have32_-_lincoln some examples of bedroom furniture (though some of it more closely resembles torture devices) throughout history. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has a collection of bedroom furniture, as well as design drawings of bed designs from all over the world and throughout history. The Frick Collection, also in New York City, has examples French, Italian, and English furniture of the Renaissance to the nineteenth century.

Perhaps the best places to see examples of beds is to visit historical home museums. The Palace of Versailles is an amazing example of ornate – and let’s be honest, over-the-top opulent – 17th century bedding. Some of the beds are literally made of gold!

The White House is an excellent example of Victorian era bedding. The Lincoln Bedroom is most likely the best known room in the House, aside from the Oval Office. Although, Lincoln never actually slept there, the bedroom is said to be haunted by none other than President Lincoln himself and used as a guest bedroom for distinguished guests of the President and First Lady.

Now that we’ve given you the history of the mattress and bed, we’d love to help you shop for a new mattress. Here are a few articles to help you get started with your search:


 

Eager for more sleep info you can really use? Join our communities on Facebook and Twitter and let’s continue the conversation. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

 This blog was originally published on Restonic.com and does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on Restonic.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.