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Importance of Sleep

Almost everyday at work at Skelian Chiropractic Clinic in Bristol and Cheltenham I will have somebody tell me that they are tired. We seem to live in a strange society now where sleeping less and working more is praised, and people literally boast that they only require 4 to 6 hours of sleep a night. If you dare admit that you have to sleep in past 8 to feel rested, you are often branded lazy. I’m not sure at what point this shift came, as by nature we do have natural sleep patterns. The reason this interests me so much as a chiropractor, is lack of sleep directly affects your health. In this blog, I’m going to summarise some of the studies conducted and written about in Matthew Walker’s Book “Why We Sleep” – A book I urge you to buy if you want to improve your health, well-being and mental health. Hopefully, at the end you may think twice about why you shouldn’t “sleep shame” your partner who enjoys a lie in. 

A little bit of History about Sleep Cycles 

We all live by an internal 24 hour body clock called your Circadian rhythm. This clock is responsible for everything we do. It released hormones in the morning to wake up, to feel hungry at lunch time and to feel sleepy again at night.  We can split people into morning people and night owls. These two types of people actually run on slightly different circadian times. This originates from when we used to live in tribes and caves, and for the protection of the tribe, it wouldn’t make sense for the entire tribe to go to bed at once. Therefore, half the group would go to bed earlier, whilst the other half stayed up to keep watch. Then, later in the night the other half would go to bed. This means that you would only be exposed to dangers for say 2-3 hours through the night, rather than for the full 8 hours. This has been passed down genetically through centuries. It therefore explains why if your parents are early risers, chances are you are too because you have that genetic code which means your internal body clock will wake you up earlier. 

Unfortunately, for the night owls of our society, they have been shunned and our modern day life is very much in favour of the morning risers. Take a look at any motivational books that are published and they will be promoting early rises to ‘increase productivity’’. But what you’ll actually be doing, is depriving yourself of some much needed important sleep. 

So what I’m ultimately trying to say, especially if you are a manager or a boss, if possible think about flexible work hours. You will definitely see an increase in productivity if you allow your morning people to come in early, and your late risers to come in a few hours later. 

Sleep Cycles 

Our sleep cycle is divided into stages. It takes around 90 minutes to complete each cycle, and as an adult, to get adequate sleep we need to have 5 sleep cycles a night. 

This is only achieved by sleeping 7-9 hours. 

No single person on Earth can function adequatically on less than 5 sleep cycles – no matter what you may think. The idea that you’re fine on only 4-6 hours is complete misinformation, and you are actually chronically sleep deprived. 

  1. Stage 1 : 

Considered the light sleep stage. You’re easily awakened in this stage. You may experience some muscle contractions and eye-lid flickering, but muscle movement starts to slow down. 

2. Stage 2

You start to drift into deeper sleep. Brain and muscle activity starts to slow down with occasional bursts of rapid brain activity 

3. Stage 3

Deep Sleep. Your brain is only producing delta waves at this stage. You are difficult to wake in the stage, and if woken, you will feel very groggy, disoriented and tired.  

In children, this is where nightmares, sleepwalking and bed-wetting occurs. 

4. REM sleep (Rapid – Eye Movement) 

The MOST important stage of sleep! 

Until recently, REM sleep was hugely misunderstood. 

In this stage, you have more brain activity than when you are awake but your muscles are completely paralyised. This is the stage we will dream in, and so it’s important that our muscles are paralysed so that you don’t get up and start acting out your dreams. 

Whis is REM sleep SO important? 

All recent sleep studies have shown that this is the most important stage in brain and body recovery and functioning. The REM stage is where we develop our creative brain, process what we have learnt the day before and organise all our thoughts. 

Multiple studies have been done comparing the effectiveness of learning and sleep. Both study groups had to memorise information. One group was allowed to sleep as much as they wanted after studying, while the second group was only allowed 4-6 hours (therefore depriving them of their REM sleep). The first sleep group not only hugely out performed the sleep deprived group, but when asked a week and a month later, around 50% had retained the information in their long term memory.  So if you’re studying for an exam, make sure you are getting your sleep in! 

We also know that REM sleep happens after around 70 minutes of each sleep cycle, and with each cycle it lengthens. This means, that the sleep cycles you get in the last 7-9 hours of sleep ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT! So if you are sleeping less, you are depriving yourself of the most crucial part of your sleep. 

Lack of REM sleep is linked to serious Health issues. 

REM sleep goes further than just helping you memorise stuff. There are now also ample studies showing how sleep deprivation, and specifically of REM sleep is linked to heart disease, stroke, weight gain, and type 2 diabetes. 

A collection of studies conducted, took one group of individuals who were allowed as much sleep as they wanted, and another group only allowed 4-6 hours of interrupted sleep compared how they responded to food and exercises the next day. Both groups were presented with sugary foods the next morning. The majority of sleep rich group didn’t reach for the calorie heavy foods, whilst majority of the sleep deprived group did. 

Not only this, but when comparing efficiency of a work out, those that had ample sleep, physiologically had a better work out, burned more calories and had a faster recovery rate. 

So this means, if you’re looking to increase your work out potential, by depriving yourself of sleep you will not be working out to your maximum potential, and your recovery will be longer. From a chiropractor’s perspective – a tired body means you’re more likely to injure yourself, so this is really important to consider! 

Going back to the sugary food test. This is a very real, very serious health issue that we cannot deny is linked to some of the obesity levels we are experiencing in the UK.  As we are becoming more overworked, working long hours and sleeping less we are a nation of tired people. 

Countless studies show, and I’m sure even you can agree, on the days that you are tired, you are more likely to reach for calorie high foods and coffee. The problem with this, is it gives us a quick burst of energy, however we then crash hard a few hours later. Which in turn leads us to reaching for a coffee and a biscuit once again. I would say most people I meet are in this cycle (especially those reaching for a coffee).  Not only are you then taking in so many more extra calories, but because you’re also sleep deprived (as the study above shows), you’re then physiologically not able to burn it off as effectively and you can see how this leads to cycle of steady weight gain. Weight gain and obesity are directly linked to Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and stroke. 

This short blog barely touches on the hundreds of other reasons why we should be getting our needed 7-9 hours sleep every night. However, I do hope that this has helped you understand a little bit more about sleep and why it is important. In my next blog I will give you suggestions based on sleep research data to help improve your quality of sleep. 

How to buy a down comforter

Down comforter is becoming a product that many people want to have. Because it offer comfort and warmth in the cold winter days. Down comforter is warm and really hard to wear out. But it come with a quite expensive price and restricted preservation. Many people questions are “which one should I buy?” and “how much cost is it?” Today we will give you all the information about buying a comforter. And now, it is time to find the most recommended down comforter.

How many types of down is it?

There are so many types of down in the market but we can separate them into 2 section. The natural down and synthetic down.

Natural down

Natural down usually made from goose down or duck down. They are 100% natural material and offer great warmth and comfort. Goose down often come from higher end product while duck down is often use in lower end product. They has great quality but may require hand cleaning and air dry.

Synthetic down

They are man-made down from synthetic material. They have all the features of natural down and come with a cheaper price. If you are looking for a less expensive product but still come with great quality then this is perfect for you. There also are allergy-free downs for people with allergy. These product usually are machine-washable so you don’t have to worry about the cleaning.

How much will it cost?

It depend on what kind of down you want. Natural down like goose down not only bring comfort and warmth but also give your bed room a luxurious and elegant look. But of course their price is more expensive than those synthetic one. It should cost you about 100$ for a regular goose down comforter and 200$ or more for high quality natural goose down.

The synthetic down has a much better price. They has all great features like natural down but come with a less expensive price. This make a perfect choice for those who are looking for good quality comforters but don’t want to spend too much money on it. There are a lot of synthetic down comforter on the market. They usually price from 50$ to 100$, there are also Chinese down comforter that just cost about 20$. But just because it is cheaper doesn’t mean that you should buy it, be careful when choosing your comforter.

So which one should you buy?

If you aim to have a long lasting, great quality product and your budget is high then we recommend you to choose the natural down comforter. These are really hard to wear out and can last about 30 to 40 years. They also bring a brighter, luxurious look for your bedroom.

And if yours main priority is the warmth and the price then your choice definitely are synthetic down comforter. They are easier to preserve and still offer great feature like those natural down comforter.

Thank you for reading and hope you have found your perfect comforter.

Pinzon Pyrenees White Goose Down Comforter

The Pinzon Pyrenees White Goose Down Comforter is meant for all round year use. It has a 40 ounce goose down, and a fill power of 600.
Cotton is used to make the comforter and it has a thread count of 400. The comforter is available in various sizes, which include, twin, king size, oversized king size. The queen sized comforter measures 90 by 96 inches.
To find the best prices on the Pinzon Pyrenees White Goose Down Comforter you need to visit Amazon.com.
The design of this comforter is a 14 inch baffle box type that ensures maximum cover and medium level warmth. The comforter is equipped with patented Pyrenees PermaBaffle shiftless construction that will prevent filling to shift even after washing.

Specifications of Pinzon Pyrenees White Goose Down Comforter

Fill power of 600. Excellent by industry standards
Thread count of 400. Made from pure cotton
Available in different sizes. The queen size measures 90 by 96 inches
14 inch baffle box design with 40 ounce goose down
PermaBaffle shiftless construction

Pinzon Pyrenees White Goose Down Comforter Reviews

The reviews that Pinzon Pyrenees White Goose Down Comforter are one of fluffy comforter
. Amazon has 58 of them and you will find that all of them are brimming with satisfaction. Different sizes of the comforter were ordered, and all the purchases were satisfactory.
The warmth and comfort were the most appreciated of all the features. The queen sized comforter can be used in all weathers and is very comfortable. The reviews were both from the warm and cold regions of the country. While this comforter is light warm and is good enough for warm weathers also, without causing any sweating, one reviewer mentioned that it was also good enough for Chicago winters! The comforter can keep the temperature even and will not allow you to get cold or warm. It feels light and you would need to kick it off in the night, sweating.
Buy from Amazon
The shiftless PermaBaffle feature also found a mention in many reviews. Reviewers were pleased with the fact that even on washing, there was change in the constituency of the Pinzon Pyrenees comforter. Few other comforters have the same quality and built. The reviews posted were after a couple of washes and they testified that this comforter does not undergo any change.
The Pyrenees comforter comes with a high fill power of 600, which is the best in its class. A higher fill power means higher density of downs per cubic centimeter, which translates to better insulation, improved air flow for better breathing and durability.
The Pyrenees comforter has positive reviews, comes with varied stripe pattern and sells for a reasonable price. It is good for all weathers and comes in all sizes.