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sleep and health

Sleep and Mental Health: A connection deeper than you think!

Mr. Anand Nichani, MD, Magniflex India (Italian Mattress Brand)

What’s the longest you’ve stayed without sleep? The busy culture of today’s world has sadly dignified, even popularised sleep deprivation for work. But what people fail to realize is that sleep has a deep connection to mental health. Quality sleep helps the brain stay consistent in terms of thinking activity and other cognitive functions.

Quality sleep is critical for the brain to shut down and get rest. When that doesn’t happen, you risk insomnia, depression, and anxiety, among other problems. Lack of quality sleep can cause mild issues such as irritability and constant drowsiness and if continued, it can also lead to major issues such as hypersomnia and narcolepsy.

There are two types of sleep, namely, REM and non-REM. The non-REM sleep is the first of the sleep cycle and has three stages with the last one being the deepest. REM sleep is the second kind and it includes heightened brain activity with intense dreams.

Each stage plays a significant role in brain health, allowing activity in different parts of the brain to ramp up or down and enabling better brain activities. Research has also identified that emotional and mental health severely depends on the brain activity that takes place during sleep.

How to ensure quality sleep? 

Here are a few most commonly talked about ways to ensure deep, restful sleep. Planning a sleep schedule and sticking to it is the first step to ensuring quality sleep. Monitoring your diet and healthy eating and drinking habits also have a crucial impact. Managing your stress and anxiety levels is key to restful and worry-free sleep and it is essential to have a good sleep environment. 

Now, what about quality mattresses & pillows? This indeed plays a crucial role but is unfortunately ignored by the majority.

Mattress: The ignored factor

Mattresses are the most overlooked factor when it comes to reasons affecting quality sleep. A quality mattress ensures a comfortable posture for deep sleep that contributes to positive mental health.

You should certainly avoid the mattress that causes these issues:

  • Body pains – Most don’t even realize it is due to a poor-quality mattress. Consider mattresses that use weight-induced memory foam, which responds to the body weight and not the body heat.
  • Excess sweating – Do you know that mattresses can trap heat causing severe sweating? To avoid this, opt for an open-cell foam structure that helps the mattress to remain dry and cool.
  • Sagging/deformed mattress – This is quite common among the majority. The main reason for such an issue is the use of low-quality materials. This leads to muscular pain, and misalignment of the spine, among other problems. Hence, prefer a genuine quality mattress that uses natural core materials with weight-induced memory foam.
  • Allergies & hygiene issues – Mattresses tend to gather dust and you tend to breathe in the same dust which leads to allergies of the lungs and skin. The solution to this problem is mattresses with certified non-toxic foam, inner materials and fabrics that offer real health benefits as these are breathable and hypoallergenic. Also, Due to the climatic conditions in India, mattresses turn unhygienic pretty soon leading to the growth of dust mites, bed bugs, and other unwanted pests. To avoid such problems, certain quality mattresses come with removable and dry-cleanable fabric and this fabric can be easily removed and dry-cleaned regularly

In conclusion

Sleep is crucial, not only for physical health but for mental health as well. We all have our experiences of irritation and discomfort due to lack of sleep. These are not just examples, but a reminder of this key fact and its priority as well.