Does a Quality Mattress Really Impact Your Physical Well-Being?
In our fast-paced, 24/7 world, where productivity often takes precedence over well-being, we often underestimate the incredible importance of good sleep. We've all heard the saying, "I'll sleep when I'm dead," but its high-quality sleep that keeps us alive, vibrant, and thriving. Sleep is not just a luxury; it's an essential pillar of our overall health and well-being.
Every night, while we slumber, our bodies undergo a remarkable series of processes that recharge and rejuvenate us, both mentally and physically. The significance of these processes cannot be overstated. However, a multitude of factors can disrupt this delicate balance, leading to poor sleep and its detrimental effects.
Factors that can contribute to poor sleep:
- Stress and anxiety can often make it difficult to unwind and fall asleep.
- Technology and blue light can interfere with our natural sleep-wake cycle.
- Medical conditions can make it challenging to get restful sleep.
- Excessive alcohol, caffeine or nicotine consumption can impact sleep quality.
- Irregular working hours can make it difficult to establish a consistent sleep pattern.
- Noise, temperature and uncomfortable mattresses can all contribute to poor sleep.
In this blog, we will discuss how sleep deprivation can impact your physical health and, in our next blog, we will cover how it affects your mental health, so that collectively we take the steps we need to nurture ourselves.
The impact of poor sleep on our physical well-being:
The link between sleep and hormones is crucial in regulating your appetite and metabolism. Two hormones, ghrelin and leptin, can either make you feel hungry or full. Ghrelin, known as the hunger hormone, increases when you don’t get enough sleep. So, by not having enough sleep and allowing this hormone to get stronger, this will cause you to feel hungrier. When sleep-deprived, your body will seek energy to stop you feeling tired, often leading you to crave high-calorie, carbohydrate-rich foods. These foods provide quick energy but also contribute to weight gain if you eat them too much.
From the unbalance between these hormones, your brain's reward centres can be affected which makes the thought of eating something unhealthy more appealing, as lack of sleep weakens your self-control and makes it harder to resist being tempted by unhealthy food.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body becomes less responsive to insulin which can lead to an insulin resistance. This can impair your body's ability to use glucose properly, which is a sign of type 2 diabetes.
Sleep deprivation can contribute to chronic inflammation, which can also lead to insulin resistance and diabetes as it disrupts your body's insulin signalling and can play a part in developing diabetes.
Also, sleep deprivation can negatively affect your body's stress response, which can raise your cortisol levels. Elevated cortisol levels can also affect your insulin and glucose levels, increasing the likelihood of developing diabetes.
- Cardiovascular Diseases
While you sleep, your body undergoes vital restorative processes that help regulate different bodily functions, including cardiovascular function. Sleep deprivation can cause changes in your blood pressure, heart rate and can cause hypertension which is a major risk factor for developing a cardiovascular disease. Hypertension is when your arterial blood pressure constantly stays at a high level over time.
Sleep deprivation also disrupts your body’s autonomic nervous system, which controls your heart rate and blood pressure. If your lack of sleep causes an imbalance, this could lead to inflammation, arterial stiffness and oxidative stress, all of which could lead to cardiovascular issues.
- Weakened Immune System
Your immune system relies on sleep to function at its best, as numerous immune responses and processes happen whilst you sleep. Whilst you sleep, your body releases a small protein, called Cytokines, which is crucial for your immune responses. Sleep deprivation disrupts the cytokine production, weakening your immune system's ability to perform effectively. Moreover, sleep loss affects the production and activity of immune cells, such as T cells, which play a vital role in tackling an illness.
Whilst you sleep, your breathing muscles go slower which means more energy can be used by your immune system. The hormone that your body produces during sleep, Melatonin, combats stress that stems from any inflammation. Our bodies have adapted in being able to tackle inflammation during the night, as that it could affect our physical performance if it happened throughout our day.
Sleep deprivation can impair your body's adaptive immune response, leading to decreased vaccine effectiveness and an increased risk of infection. This means you could have less of a response to the flu vaccination and have a higher chance of developing a cold.
- Impaired Reaction and Concentration
Sleep deprivation can significantly impair your reaction and concentration in hazardous environments, such as driving or working on oil and gas installations. In both settings, hazard perception, making safety critical decisions and acting quickly are crucial. When you’re sleep deprived, your reaction times will be slower, your alertness will be reduced, and your cognitive abilities will be impaired. When you’re driving a vehicle, this can lead to accidents and a higher risk of injury or fatality.
If you work offshore, sleep deprivation can lead to damaging equipment and workplace accidents. To ensure safety and prevent accidents from happening, it’s important for you and your employer to recognise how proper sleep helps you maintain peak performance and alertness in these high-risk situations.
The physical benefits of improved sleep
As there are many factors that impact on your sleep, so there are many steps that you may need to take to deal with these factors. For example, if you identify that irregular hours are negatively impacting your health, you should discuss this with your employer, as they have a duty of care towards you.
In this article. we want to focus on how investing in a quality mattress, can be an investment in your health, by identifying how a quality mattress can contribute towards reducing the impacts on your physical well-being, which we’ve highlighted above.
When you sleep soundly on a supportive surface, your body undergoes vital rejuvenation processes, regulating hormones responsible for appetite and metabolism. Quality sleep allows you to have better self-control over food choices, reduces cravings for sugary or fatty snacks and enhances your overall energy levels which encourages physical activity. By consistently enjoying deep, restorative sleep, you create an environment that supports weight management and helps reduce the risk of obesity.
A good night’s sleep helps to regulate hormones, like insulin, that play a crucial role in blood sugar control. Consistent good sleep improves insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, reducing the likelihood of type 2 diabetes. By investing in a mattress that promotes restorative sleep, you're not just enhancing your nightly comfort; you're taking a proactive step towards decreasing the risk of diabetes.
- Cardiovascular disease
During good sleep, your stress hormones and blood pressure lowers. This promotes heart health by reducing the strain on your cardiovascular system. Quality sleep also regulates inflammation and improves overall cardiovascular function. Over time, consistent, restorative sleep can significantly lower the risk of heart disease, strokes and other cardiovascular issues. By prioritising your sleep environment and investing in a good mattress, you're taking proactive steps to safeguard your heart health for years to come.
- Immune system
Quality sleep enhances the production of immune cells and antibodies, strengthening your body's natural defence against illnesses. It also regulates inflammation and stress hormones, reducing the risk of chronic conditions that can weaken the immune system. By investing in a mattress, you're improving your body's ability to ward off infections and maintain good physical health.
- Impairs Reaction and Concentration
A quality mattress is key for a good night's sleep, which can significantly enhance reactions and concentration in hazardous settings. A comfortable and supportive mattress promotes better sleep quality by providing comfort and support for your body. Quality sleep, in turn, improves cognitive functions, sharpens reaction times and increases alertness. When driving or working offshore, where quick responses and attention are essential, you’re better equipped to navigate these high-risk situations safely when you’re well-rested. Thus, investing in a top-tier mattress can be a wise choice, not just for your comfort but also for your performance and safety in potentially fatal situations.
A luxury mattress is not just about comfort and indulgence; they help aid in boosting your physical health. Proper spinal alignment, pressure point relief, muscle relaxation and joint support all contribute to a revitalised body each morning. With the potential to reduce the risk of chronic conditions, reinforce the immune system and help reduce weight, investing in your mattress is an investment in your long-term health.
For many of us, particularly in the current cost of living crisis, we may not see a quality mattress as an investment in our own long-term health. We might be tempted to skip a bit and find a cheaper solution. In general, we would suggest that not only may this be detrimental to your health but may also not be a wise financial decision. A quality mattress, built to last, using sustainable materials, will give you many years of comfort to enhance your well-being, will minimise the impact on our environment through use of sustainable materials, and will be designed for easy disposal at the end of its life. A cheaper alternative will likely need to be replaced much sooner, creating greater waste and limiting the health benefits.
At Glencraft we have 180 years of experience in creating sleep solutions, with a range of mattresses that cover the expanse of comfort for your home, for your hospitality environment, and for use in high hazard. Come visit our showroom to try out our range of luxury mattresses, for all budgets, and speak to our sleep experts to help find the right mattress for you.
Our follow up blog will look at the impact of sleep deprivation on our mental health, which is also critical to our overall well-being.
- Glencraft Aberdeen