We might as well admit it: there are days we think participating in a sleep study sounds like the best thing ever. Think about it. All you have to do is show up and sleep, and that's more restful than anything most of us have listed on our schedules today.
Then again, people engaging in sleep studies are only doing so for one reason: there's a problem. Either they personally are not getting enough sleep, or they're helping researchers study sleep so that they can more effectively treat a problem or a disorder.
Perhaps what we really want is a Sleep Club, where everyone just gets together and naps.
Here at Nest Bedding, we take a keen interest in all things sleep-related, from nap clubs to full-blown, professional scientific sleep studies.
Because of our interest in sleep and sleep-related phenomena, we read up on sleep studies and occasionally analyze what we find in the research.
Here are four of the most fascinating facts from sleep studies we found recently.
Fact 1: Beauty Sleep Is Real
It turns out that "I need to get my beauty sleep" isn't just an excuse. It's a verifiable fact.
According to the Alaska Sleep Clinic, both the length and quality of your sleep actually can affect your overall appearance.
When we sleep our bodies recharge. Not only do our bodies recharge, our skin does as well. During sleep, we heal, restore and eliminate toxins from the skin. If sleep is compromised, so is the body's ability to carry out these essential skin functions.
During certain phases of sleep, your body produces melatonin and human growth hormone, both of which help protect and revitalize the skin. Sleep also helps regulate hydration and keep you from developing unsightly discolored bags under your eyes.
So cancel your evening plans, slip on your fuzzy socks, and snuggle down early. The face in the mirror will thank you tomorrow!
Fact 2: Sleep Boosts Memory
Depending on how much you sleep, this could be good news or bad news.
First authoritatively outlined in a 2005 sleep study, the dramatic connections between good sleep and good memory have long fascinated neuroscientists.
These findings explain interesting natural phenomena, such as why children (from infants to teenagers) sleep so much. It only makes sense: they are so constantly learning that their brains need more sleep in order to help them process all of the new information.
These findings also give other medical researchers helpful tools to improve their own treatment plans. For instance, armed with the results of this study, patients in rehabilitative care (such as stroke victims) can be forewarned to adjust their sleep schedules to accommodate for an increased need to rest.
Understanding this dynamic can also help you plan to recover from a conference weekend or an intense research project. If you're going through a period of heavier learning, plan some extra time to sleep!
Your brain and body will thank you later.
Fact 3: Sleeplessness Fuels Junk-Food Cravings
We're less surprised by this one since it's been backed up countless times in our own personal experience. It is still interesting to read the science behind it, however.
According to a study published by Nature Research, craving high-calorie snacks after a bad night of sleep is more than a mere emotional "comfort food" instinct. There are actual, scientific reasons why we tend to crave junk food when we're tired.
With the study complete, scientists can now show us, in quantifiable amounts, the extent to which our sleep habits can affect our diets.
Relative to the sleep-rested state, sleep deprivation resulted in a significant increase in the proportion of 'wanted' food items of high-caloric content...In contrast, no corresponding differences between the sleep-rested and sleep-deprived states were observed for low-calorie items. Indeed, the total calorie content of all wanted items (summed together) in the sleep-deprived condition was significantly greater compared with the sleep-rested state, representing an additional 600 (±289 s.d.) calorie-average increase.
With numbers like those, the solution seems clear.
We need to invest in a good night's sleep or keep far, far away from the vending machines at work the next day.
Fact 4: Certain Cities Are More Restful than Others
Or, put another way, people in certain cities tend to get more sleep than others.
By giving people digitized watchbands and entering their sleep into a database, those running the study were able to determine that citizens of Melbourne, Australia sleep the most; that citizens of Tokyo, Japan sleep the least; and that even though there were other cities that ranked high and low on the scale, no one city in the world showed a majority of people getting enough sleep.
Of course, you might be an exception to the rule. You might actually be meeting the standard set by the CDC for your age group.
But we doubt it.
The sad fact is that most of us don't get enough sleep.
Whether it's because we're busy, work too hard, can't put down our phones, or just really like reading, we're less rested than we should be.
If that's the case, sleep studies like the ones listed above indicate that we are in bad shape. If we're not getting enough sleep, we're on our way to being needlessly unattractive, forgetful, and hooked on junk food.
Fortunately, there's hope.
We Can Help
Here at Nest Bedding, we believe that everyone deserves a good night's sleep. That's why we honor and respect the men and women seeking to promote restful sleep for everyone. While we're not out practicing medical science and conducting sleep studies ourselves, we still do what we can to contribute.
One way in which we help is by providing high-quality mattresses at affordable rates. A comfortable bed goes a long way toward promoting restful sleep, and we're happy in doing our part.
To hear more about our premium mattresses, or to chat about other fascinating facts from sleep studies, feel free either to contact us or stop by one of our local stores. We'd love to see you, get to know you, and help you find the perfect mattress to suit your needs.
Our staff is friendly, professional, and helpful.
We look forward to serving you!