The Covid-19 pandemic has been a period of so much revelation for humanity. As operations slowed down globally and countries were put into lockdowns, people had to spend more time indoors. This was a big change, but it also meant that there was enough time to think about your needs and lifestyle.
With the focus gradually shifting to important components of life, most people realized they had serious sleep problems. Almost as if on cue, there was a sudden global rise in the number of search engine searches for 'why can't I sleep.' Philips took the chance to research this and released a report titled Seeking Solutions: How COVID-19 Changed Sleep Around the World.
An overview of this report shows that:
- 45% of the respondents were not satisfied with their sleep
- Most adults sleep for less than 7 hours on most weeknights
- Over 70% of the respondents had experienced trouble sleeping during their stay-at-home period
- 60% of the respondents said the pandemic had direct impacts on their sleep
As such, while the world was fighting to contain the coronavirus, there were also too many silent battles being fought in most bedrooms. This is because getting a good night’s sleep has become a difficult struggle for so many people.
Sleep cycles and how understanding them can boost sleep quality and satisfaction
Most people think that sleep is all about shutting the eyes and hoping to get to dreamland. But sleep is a very dynamic process. It requires proper coordination between the brain and body for it to happen.
A slight disruption in this fundamental biological process will leave you wide-eyed all night, even more so with a sleep disorder. This is why understanding sleep cycles is critical when looking for a solution for your sleep troubles.
What are sleep cycles?
Sleep cycles refer to the different rounds of sleep that humans go through each night. Typically, the average individual experiences between four and six sleep cycles, with each cycle having four different sleep stages. These sleep stages are:
This is the period of transitioning to sleep. Generally, it should not take you more than 20 minutes to fall asleep. It is important to note that you are still very responsive to your environment, and need the right conditions for your body and brain to slow. It is a very important stage of sleep, and if you have trouble falling asleep, this is where your problem lies.
Since this is the sleep foundation, you need to set the mood right for your body and brain to relax hours before bedtime. This means having to:
- Invest in a quality mattress that will get you comfortable
- Avoid using phones or watching TV just before or during your bedtime
- Ensure you are well hydrated and keep off caffeine and alcohol
- Ensure your bedroom is quiet and appealing
Slow-wave sleep (SWS)
Commonly known as deep sleep, slow-wave sleep begins when your body is relaxed. It is a period of healthy sleep as it is the time when your body self-repairs and grows.
Rapid Eye Movement
REM sleep is a phase when your brain activities are restored while you are still asleep. This stage of sleep is largely characterized by vivid dreams and rapid eye movements behind closed lids
This stage is a period when you are awake in the night. It happens for very brief periods, but any disturbances at this stage of sleep will make you have trouble falling asleep again.
Why you need to prioritize sleep in 2021
Sleep plays a fundamental role in your health, just as much as food and water. This is why experts recommend that you should have at least seven or eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
As the world gradually gets back to its feet in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, sleep needs to be a top priority. Continued research on the impacts of a good night's sleep shows that:
Your sleep health affects your response to vaccines
Taking the Covid-19 vaccine has become necessary since it is crucial in containing the spread and impacts of coronavirus. However, according to the National Sleep Foundation, how you respond to vaccines is directly impacted by your sleep health. Lack of sufficient sleep increases the risk of poor immune functioning and the ability to fight off infections.
Your sleep patterns impact your mental health
Your mental health and sleep are bi-directionally linked as each influences the other. Regular sleep problems affect the proper functioning of your brain by increasing your stress levels and making you prone to extreme mood swings. With your brain overworking during the day and night, you will start to experience mental health issues such as memory loss.
Sleep helps you stay focused.
Are you constantly feeling tired throughout the day? The problem is likely to be your lack of a good night's sleep. Your body needs to rejuvenate, and it is during sleep hours that you regain the energy and mental ability to wake up focused and productive.
Sleep helps in stress management.
The more you fail to have deep and regular sleep, the more elevated your stress hormone levels will be. This is not good for you since the trickledown impacts of stress will make each day extra challenging. As such, you need to reconsider your sleep schedule because it is a crucial pillar to de-stressing and to have a happier life.
Better sleep for a healthy future
The fast-paced, modern-day lifestyle has over the years affected how people sleep. Shorter sleep hours or a night full of so many interruptions has become the norm. Unfortunately, this is causing so much harm as sleep is a basic need that greatly impacts your physical and mental health.
However, all is not lost as you can still take charge of your sleep health by making the right choices and adjustments to your life. Bedding Mart is keen on making your strive for better sleep easier by providing you with high-quality mattresses, beds, and bedding that will make your bedroom extra comfortable.