Sleep: we all love it, but here's what you're missing out on
Let’s talk about the elusive “S” word – are you getting enough? For most of us, we could always use more. Or a better quality. Heck, even both. And let me tell you – we need it. Like, a lot of it.
Sleep is one of things we really enjoy when it's happening, but don't necessarily make a priority. Along with skipping breakfast, it’s something your mum use to tell you to not overlook (but you did, ‘cause mum is always right and we won’t admit that, will we?).
Sleep is sexy
According to a recent study by The Sleep Foundation, teens are clocking in an average of 6.5-7.5hours of sleep per night, a rate well below the recommended 8-10 hours. This in part due to excessive screen time at night (thanks Netflix) and things like caffeine and stress.
To be honest, I get it: Along with a busy social life and climbing that tall, endless ladder that is your career, getting the essential Z’s is just not up there on the list. It’s an ongoing topic, one that’s enabled by our constant use of technology and our bustling social calendars. We have emails to tend to, coffees to drink, friends to catch up with...
When we finally get home -- there's no better feeling than kicking our feet up and melting into bed, soft sheets and pillows in tow. And yet, there it is:
“Just five more minutes" we tell ourselves, staring into the blue light of our Instagram feed after reading through tomorrow's to-do list and finishing up on a work email.
I bet you look really good in the morning, too.
Lack of sleep has an effect on everything from your mood, stress levels and cravings. According to The Sleep Foundation, it can lead to depression, anxiety and low self esteem. Quality Z's regulate a hormorne called cortisol, – that’s the hormone that thinks it’s okay to raid the candy isle at the supermarket on your way home from work. It’s also the hormone that holds onto extra weight even though you’ve been doing overtime at the gym lately. And nobody likes that.
Sleeping with the enemy is not sexy
As a freelance writer and yoga teacher, I split my time between meeting deadlines on my computer and practicing 3-4 hours while teaching, on top of producing content for No Shoes No Worries. That’s a lot of physical and mental power – power that needs to be restored with quality sleep & fuel. I know I need to have a clear mind set and long-lasting energy to get me through the next day.
Up until last week, I had been sleeping on the same old lumpy mattress for the past 5 years, constantly waking up with shoulder and neck issues – which I plainly chose to ignore, being the 25 year-old broke post-grad student that I was. After a stiff neck and too many pricey trips to the acupuncturist, I decided to give old lumpy the boot.
Voulez-Vous Quality Sleep, Ce soir?
Quality sleep depends on many factors, but for the sake of simplicity, I’ll zone in on 3 of them, and they're quite crucial, really:
1. Adequate, recommended 8-10 hours (so that means early to bed, guys)
2. Make yourself a cup of tea (un-caffeinated) grab a book and shut off all technology at least 1 hour before bed.
3. Get a Quality bed + sleep enabling accessories (as in mattress, sheets, pillows, even pajamas, if you are so inclined to go to bed clothed)
Having recently met the team at Koala for a job and experienced first-hand the general amazingness of their products, I realised that while I may have been happy with the number of hours I was sleeping, the reason I wasn't feeling rested in the morning was because of the quality of my mattress (aforementioned old lumpy) .
You see, a good night's rest equates to a combination of quality + quantity. While you may not always have control over one aspect (quantity) -- you most definitely have control over the other (quality). Simple math, really.
So I decided to make the switch to Koala and I have to say it was a very seamless process (no doubt due to their 4-hour delivery policy – impressive to say the least).
A couple nights later, my dreams – and back/shoulders/neck – have been sending me thank you notes.
From the perfect level of firmness (not too soft, not to wooden plank-esque) to their impressive zero-disturbance technology (I tried really hard to make that wine glass topple over in the video – in case you didn’t notice) Koala have this all-encompassing, all natural way of making you want to spend the night with your mattress.
Sounds weird, I know, but I really appreciate the love story that goes on between me and my bed. Mainly because it saves me from inhaling that box of Cadbury’s at the end of the day, or mixing up my eagle pose with my pigeon pose in a yoga class. I even get to fully understand the correct grammatical use of their, they’re and there – something our generation, much like sleep, is still trying to grasp.
P.S If you felt inspired by this post and think that sleep is the new black, snag yourself $150 off your Koala Mattress with the code "MATESWITHNOSHOES".
Visit https://au.koala.com/ for all the goods.