Every March, the Sleep Council remind everyone the importance of sleep for National Bed Month. Being its longest running campaign, they like to bring awareness to how to get a better night’s sleep. Here are some tips that are shared with the public throughout the month.
Both mental and physical health can be affected by the amount of sleep we get. During sleep, your body is working to maintain healthy brain action and good physical health. In young children and teenagers, better sleep means better growth.
Sleep deficiency can cause a number of mental health problems, such as depression. It can also affect hormone levels and stress. Sleep is beneficial for overall well-being and performance during the daytime, so it’s highly important to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern. It also affects safety, particularly when driving. The words ‘tiredness can kill’ are often displayed on road signs, encouraging drowsy drivers to pull over and sleep.
Physical health is also affected by sleep. While we sleep, our bodies go through many repair processes, such as healing the heart and blood vessels, thus making sleep deficiency a potential cause of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Lack of sleep can also lead to obesity. This is because of how it affects the hormones that decide when you are hungry and when you are full. When you lose sleep, the hormone levels fluctuate and can cause you to feel hungrier than when you are well rested.
The Sleep Council particularly emphasises on the importance of a good bed during National Bed Month. They recommend that you also change it every 7 years to prevent discomfort when you sleep. A mattress of course needs replacing before then and if you’re looking for a decent but affordable one for your favourite bedstead, keep an eye out for seasonal clearances online. Tell tale signs of an old or bad quality bed is when slats begin to sag, become uneven or even break, leading to aches and pains the next day. They provide a test for you to answer yes or no questions to, in order to see if you are getting an optimised nights sleep.
Some of these questions include:
- Does it make suspicious noises in the night?
- Did you have your best recent night’s sleep in a bed other than yours?
- Are you waking up more frequently un-refreshed and aching?
- Do you and your partner roll towards each unintentionally in the middle of the night?
- Do you have enough space to sleep comfortably?
- Is it sagging?
- Does it feel lumpy in the night?
- Is the bed too small to give an undisturbed night’s sleep?
- Is the divan or base uneven or sagging?
- Are the legs and castors worn out?
If you answer ‘yes’ to five or more questions, it’s time to go shopping. Remember, a good night’s sleep is incredibly beneficial to your health and could end up solving a lot of physical or mental illnesses in your daily routine. So enjoy National Bed Month, as it may be time to say out with the old, in with the new.