Sleep and physical health — Ava Innes
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Sleep and physical health

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Sleep and physical health

According to the Sleep Council 40% of people in the UK suffer from lack of sleep. Over 100 sleep disorders have now been professionally diagnosed, of which insomnia is the most common. The importance and benefits of sleep have long been underestimated by many.

Dr Mathew Walker, British scientist and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, focuses his research on the impact of sleep on human health and disease. Walker is also the author of the international bestseller – ‘Why We Sleep’. “No aspect of our biology is left unscathed by sleep deprivation,” he tells the Guardian. Sleep has a powerful influence on our health with lack of sleep linked to a number of health conditions such as Alzheimer’s, heart attacks and even cancer.

Speaking on the ‘Deliciously Ella’ podcast, Walker discusses how lack of sleep has such a significant negative impact. “If you take a group of individuals and you limit them to just 4 hours of sleep for one night, you see a 70% drop in natural killer cell activity.” These cells attack cancer cells that are present in our bodies every day. This shows the significant impact one night alone of negative sleep can have on our health. 

These staggering results are echoed in research that has shown adults aged 45 years or older who sleep less than six hours a night are 200% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke in their lifetime, compared with those achieving seven or eight hours of sleep a night.

Sleep also has an impact on our immunity. Research by The National Sleep Foundation has shown that without sufficient sleep, our bodies make fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation, effectively creating an immune response. Cytokines are both produced and released during sleep, highlighting the positive impact of a good night’s sleep.

The many advantages of a great night’s sleep go beyond feeling refreshed and energised the following morning. Research has shown that our health is significantly benefited by high-quality sleep. A study conducted at the University of Chicago found that well-rested dieters lost more fat as opposed to those who were sleep-deprived who lost more muscle mass, in comparison. Furthermore, sleep has a positive impact on our minds. Attention, concentration, productivity, creativity and even problem solving are all shown to improve after a good night’s sleep.

Prioritising sleep in our lives is something that Dr Rebecca Robins, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School and Boston’ Brigham and Women’s Hospital and co-author of the book ‘Sleep for Success!’’ says is an attitude change. She explains how we need to start viewing sleep as a critical part of our waking success, health, and wellbeing. Furthermore, she explains how sleep is something we need to make time for by implementing small behaviour changes that all of us can make. Such adjustments include switching off technology, thinking about loved ones, journaling and meditating.

It is now clearer than ever the impact sleep has on our lives is more than just how we feel the next morning. As well as making time for sleep, we need to create an environment in which we can fall asleep.

Here at Ava Innes, we are passionate about sleep. We have created a unique blend of cashmere guard hair and wool which enables us to produce dreamy, naturally weighted sustainable temperature regulating duvets that comfort and cocoon you, helping you to achieve a better night’s sleep.

Varying temperature needs and comfort factor of couples are addressed as our customers explain,

“Mr Mac loves his duvet and after the first two nights was sleeping 7 hours straight” Mrs Mackenzie. Dec.19

“I am a lady of a certain age and I can be very hot in bed, but my duvet seems to regulate my temperature-don’t know how, but it just does!” Mrs Rice. June 2020

“I like a warm duvet, but my husband detests being hot at night, so I expected him to hate it. To our surprise we both found that the duvet suited us – I was very warm and toasty and my husband was just right.” Mr and Mrs Dempster. Nov.19

Let us help you slip into a better night’s sleep, night after night.