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Sleep Systems Feature Article

By: Dr. Curt P. Summers

The Benefits of Sleep and Memory Foam Mattresses

The Benefits of a Good Night's Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important things we do in a day. Sleep gives both our minds and our body’s time to recharge and repair themselves, and is absolutely essential to life. Science is still struggling to understand some of the most basic questions about sleep, but what is certain, is that sleep is as important to life as eating and breathing, and should be regarded as crucial part of every person's day.

The benefit of a good night's sleep is, quite simply, health. Sleep allows our bodies to repair damage done during the day, and allows our brains to function at normal levels of alertness. There is also a strong connection between growth and sleep, especially for younger people, as the secretion of growth hormones increases when the body is at rest. Sleep is also essential to normal immune functions. Clinical trials have shown a reduction in white blood cells in test subjects who were denied adequate sleep. Studies have also shown that lab rats who were denied sleep actually died within about ten days, mainly as a result of immune deficiencies. Having a comfortable bed such as a memory foam mattress can really improve the quality and duration of your sleep.

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

How much sleep we need at night is determined by a number of factors, including age and particular personal requirements. Infants typically require about 14-16 hours of sleep per day. As we progress into adolescence, the body will require anywhere from eight to eleven hours a day, and by the time we reach adulthood, the average individual needs only seven or eight hours of sleep per night for normal function.

It is important to understand though, that these numbers are highly variable, depending on the individual and on daily activity levels. Some adults can function properly on as few as five hours of sleep per day, and some may need as many as ten hours to be properly rested. Ultimately your body will let you know when you need to sleep, and it is highly recommended for health reasons to listen.

What Makes Us Want to Sleep?

The amount of time that we spend awake is not necessarily what determines how sleepy we are. Our pattern of sleeping and waking is largely determined by forces called circadian rhythms, which are controlled by our internal clock. Take the example of a night shift worker; he/she may have a fairly regular, eight hour sleeping pattern, say 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. but because this schedule reverses natural sleep patterns, his/her body clock may demand sleep at one a.m., right in the middle of their shift. It is only with time, and great difficulty, that a shift worker may be able to later these circadian rhythms enough to function on an artificial schedule. Human beings are capable of altering our sleep patterns to a certain extent, through sheer willpower and the use of drugs like caffeine, but ultimately, it is our internal clock that tells us when it is appropriate to get some rest.

An Easy Step towards More Rewarding Sleep

Purchasing a memory foam mattress may be the easiest step towards better sleep. The comfort of memory foam can help make the time you spend in bed more productive. In other words, sleeping on a memory foam mattresses will help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

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