The slogan for World Sleep Day 2018 is “Join the Sleep World, Preserve Your Rhythms to Enjoy Life”. This emphasises how achieving healthy sleep requires us to respect the circadian rhythms that prompt humans’ age-old cycle of sleep and waking. This is so important, that three US researchers shared the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, for their recent research projects on how human circadian rhythms contribute to our health, productivity and creativity.
One of their key findings was that a wide range of human health issues result either from genetic defects in the human circadian clock or from humans trying to override it. This does not mean that everybody must become early birds or night owls against their will. In fact, these tendencies are embedded into each of us as part of our individual natural rhythm. It does underline, though, how light affects the synchronising of our body clocks and how serious the impact can be of disrupting these rhythms with shift work, jet lag or habitual late-night use of tablets and cell phones that emit circadian-disrupting blue light.
Misaligning the human circadian timing system means eating or sleeping at the wrong time of day, says Professor Debra J. Skene of the UK’s University of Surrey. Having researched this for more than a quarter of a century, she is sure that this disruption has short-term and long-term consequences. The short-term consequences include daytime sleepiness, reduced performance and a greater risk of accidents. The long-term consequences include an increased risk of metabolic diseases, including diabetes, and of cancer.
“The findings also remind us why we feel so grumpy and worn out when our sleep is disturbed,” says Ras Erasmus, Sales and Marketing Executive at Bravo Group Sleep Products. “We all know that discomfort or pain can make it more difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, leaving our internal rhythms disrupted and impairing our enjoyment of life.”
It is vital for anyone who suffers from regular musculoskeletal problems, to invest in the best bed possible to enhance their sleep quality and improve their pain management, says Erasmus. Even people fortunate enough not to suffer from these problems find that an uncomfortable bed or the wrong bedding can mean that we are tossing and turning instead of allowing ourselves to be re-energised by the sleep-wake cycle that our body clocks dictate. This is why Bravo Group Sleep Products has a range of international bedding brands, such as Sealy, Slumberland and King Koil.
“All these brands take a strong scientific approach to testing and improving their products,” says Erasmus. “Sealy Posturepedic is an international brand leader because it spends more on research and development than any other mattress brand in the world. Fortunately, we are able to benefit from these advanced designs devised by Sealy.”
To reduce your risk of depression and other mental health disorders, as well as chronic health issues, respect your body’s need for sleep and its internal sleep-waking clock, he advises. Remember also to improve your chances of a sound and revitalising night’s sleep, by replacing your mattress at least every 7 to 10 years and take time to choose the one that is best suited to your budget and your body’s comfort. Giving yourself the best bed you can, is a head start to a better night’s sleep, better health and a more productive life – think of it as better rhythm and fewer blues, says Erasmus.
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