Sleep is an integral part of our lives and it plays an important role in promoting our physical and mental well-being. However, despite its importance, there may be a lot about sleep that you don’t know. Here are five surprising slumber-related facts that could give you pause for thought.
1) Sleep can help you to stay in shape
We all know that a lack of shuteye can make us grumpy, tired and unable to concentrate. However, did you realise that insufficient sleep can take its toll on your physique? According to a Nurses’ Health Study, which followed over 68,000 American women for up to 16 years, those who got five hours of shuteye or less per night were 15 per cent more likely to become obese than women who slept for seven hours. Experts believe that when people don’t get enough shuteye, they have reduced levels of a chemical called leptin, which gives us the feeling of being full. They also have raised levels of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates the hunger response.
2) A lack of shuteye makes you more vulnerable to infections
If you regularly get colds, flu or other infections, you might not be getting enough rest. One relatively little known fact about sleep is that it can boost immunity levels. In contrast, a prolonged lack of slumber can have a negative impact on your immune system, meaning you’re less able to keep bugs at bay.
3) High altitudes can stop you sleeping soundly
Lots of things can impact on our ability to nod off, but did you know that your height above sea level can play a role in how well you’re able to rest? According to figures cited by the National Sleep Foundation, sleep disturbances are at their most pronounced at altitudes of 13,200 feet or more. The disruption is thought to be a result of lower oxygen levels and the changes this can cause in respiration.
4) Sleep can reduce your risk of depression and anxiety
You might feel irritable after a poor night’s rest, but over the long term, a lack of sleep can increase your risk of developing serious mood disorders like anxiety and depression. One major study of 10,000 adults conducted by D. Neckelmann et al in 2007 found that people with insomnia were five times more likely to develop depression.
5) Too little slumber can reduce your fertility
Sleep patterns can even have an impact on your ability to start a family. Experts believe that sleep deprivation can cause both men and women to experience fertility problems. For example, a study conducted by a team from the University of Southern Denmark found that young men who suffered disturbed sleep had sperm counts that were 29 per cent lower than those who benefited from more slumber.
Given the importance of sleep, you no doubt want to make sure you get enough rest on a regular basis. To help you nod off at night, it’s important to have a comfortable bed, and that’s where our products come into their own. If you think you could benefit from our adjustable beds, take a look around our website or get in touch with our expert team.