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Have you ever really sat down and thought about what sleep actually is?
Most people haven't. They certainly know when they haven't had enough sleep, and most people have a decent idea of how much sleep they need to function. Beyond that, it's simply a fact of life. You turn the lights down, snuggle under the covers, close your eyes, and off you go.
But although sleep might seem simple, it's a complex biological process that is absolutely necessary for life. To help you learn more, we've put together this quick primer on what sleep is and why you need it so much.
What Sleep Is
You might think that sleep is a passive, dormant state – when your brain shuts down (or goes into sleep mode!) and only those bodily functions that are necessary for life continue to happen. This actually isn't the case. When you sleep, your brain, eyes, and some muscles can be very active.
Sleep happens when certain neurotransmitters in the brain signal that it's time to fall asleep. Once you lie down and turn off the light, your body goes through several sleep stages. Stage 1 is the lightest sleep, characterized by drifting in and out of sleep, slow eye movement, and some muscle activity. Stage 2 sleep is deeper. Eye movement stops, and brain wave activity slows. Once you move into stage 3 sleep, your brain starts to give off delta waves (extremely slow brain waves), and in stage 4, your brain gives off delta waves exclusively. Stages 3 and 4 together are known as deep sleep. After you've moved through stage 4, you might slip into rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. This is when dreaming occurs.
A full sleep cycle will last anywhere from 90 to 110 minutes, which is obviously less than a full night's sleep. You go through a few sleep cycles each night, with the length of each stage varying depending on the time of night. Most deep sleep occurs earlier in the night. By morning, you should be spending all your time in stage 1, stage 2, and REM sleep – which is what leads to those strange dreams we all have when we wake up!
Why Sleep Is Important
Put simply, sleep is necessary for life. All animals with complex brains do it, and missing sleep can be deadly. In fact, scientists studying rats have found that complete sleep deprivation can kill rats in as little as 3 weeks (as opposed to their normal lifespan of 2-3 years). Even just depriving rats of REM sleep can lead to death in 5 weeks.
In humans, missing sleep can result in all kinds of negative consequences. We've already talked about the signs of sleep deprivation in a previous post, but here's a quick review: Losing sleep can lead to weight gain, depression, increased risk-taking behavior, skin breakouts, and a depressed immune system.
With all of that in mind, you can see why it's best to put the coffee down, turn off the TV, and grab some shut-eye when you can!
How We Can Help
Since sleep is so important, it's extra important to make sure you have a mattress that allows you to get the most restful sleep possible. If your current mattress isn't doing the job, come to Mattress One to find a new one! We'll make sure you go home with the best mattress for your needs, at a price that fits your budget. Visit us today to start shopping.
Posted in Mattress by Mattress One : October 16, 2017| Comments Off
One of the first things you need to determine when you're shopping for a new mattress is what type of mattress you want to buy. There are a number of different types of mattresses on the market, but two of the most popular are memory foam mattresses and innerspring mattresses. Many consumers find that they'll choose between these two for their ultimate comfort.
What are the differences between these mattresses, and which is right for you? Only you can answer the latter question, but we can help with the former! Keep reading to learn more about memory foam mattresses, innerspring mattresses, and the pros and cons of each type.
What Are Memory Foam Mattresses?
Foam mattresses are constructed using certain types of memory foam to provide a supportive yet comfortable surface. There are a number of different types of foam mattresses, including memory foam (viscoelastic), polyurethane, and gel. These types of mattresses vary widely in terms of how they are constructed and the type of support, feel, and heat properties they offer.
Foam Mattress Pros
First, let's talk comfort. Many people find that since memory foam mattresses conform to the body, they produce the most comfortable night's sleep. They reduce pressure points, keep the spine in proper alignment, and can even reduce lower back pain over time. Foam mattresses can also be constructed with hypoallergenic materials, and they don't collect as many dust mites, so people with allergies or respiratory problems might find they're able to breathe more easily. Finally, memory foam mattresses are very quiet and don't transfer motion between partners.
Foam Mattress Cons
Of course, no mattress is perfect, and foam mattresses have their downsides. Foam mattresses can be unusually sensitive to climate, becoming softer in warm climates and harder in cold ones. They can also retain heat more than a traditional mattress would. The mattresses can be very heavy, though on the plus side, you don't need to flip them. Lastly, foam mattresses can often be one of the more expensive options on the market, which turns many consumers off.
What Are Innerspring Mattresses?
An innerspring mattress is often known as a traditional mattress. These mattresses use a number of steel springs to provide support for sleepers. There are many different types of innerspring mattresses, and their construction varies widely. Some have individually wrapped pocket-coil springs, while others have all the springs connected in a single unit. Innerspring mattresses also vary in the type of upholstery, padding, and other materials they use to provide comfort to the sleeper.
Innerspring Mattress Pros
Let's start with the obvious: innerspring mattresses are what most people think of when they think of a mattress, so innerspring mattresses are available just about everywhere. There are tons of options on the market, and the product is well-established. Consumers can choose the firmness that fits them best. Innerspring mattresses also tend to be less expensive than other types, although there are certainly pricier options out there if you want the highest-quality mattress money can buy.
Innerspring Mattress Cons
Even the tried-and-true innerspring mattresses have their cons. First of all, innerspring mattresses often transfer motion. If you or your partner is a restless sleeper, the other person will feel every toss and turn. The steel coils can become squeaky as time goes on, and the material supported by the coils can start to sag. Because of this, innerspring mattresses tend not to last as long – and flipping the mattress to improve longevity doesn't work with more recent models, since many modern innerspring models are built in specific layers in order to combat sagging.
Which Is Right for You?
There's only one way to know which type of mattress will work best for your needs: stop into Mattress One and try a few out! You will know the second you lie down on the perfect mattress for your needs. Visit us today to find it
Ultimate Sleep. Unbeatable Price.
Mattress 1 One is a quality mattress retailer that understands our customers and what they need for a good nights sleep. We carry all the major brands including Tempurpedic, Sealy, Serta, Stearns & Foster, and Simmons visit us online or in one of more than 300 locations in Florida, Texas and Georgia.