As it relates to public perception, sleep has, in many ways, become a bit like the weather in that it seems to be discussed fairly flippantly. The question of, “How did you sleep?” is much more of a pleasantry or small talk item than anything of meaning. Seeing as sleep is one of the absolutely vital activities for human function, it stands to reason that the way we discuss sleep should reflect that. The problem with discussing sleep flippantly is that it has far more influence over our daily lives than the weather. For example, a 10-20 degree change will not have much influence over how things go at work or in personal relationships. However, losing two hours of sleep could set anyone up for failure the next morning. Scientist and professor Matthew Walker offered further perspective on sleep, “Human beings are the only species that deliberately deprive themselves of sleep for no apparent gain. Many people walk through their lives in an underslept state, not realizing it.”
Sometimes, the ability to sleep soundly is out of our control and results in lost resting hours. Many refer to this as restless sleep. To get the ball rolling on discussing sleep, we connected with a few people who know some of the causes of restless sleep and what to do about them.
Dawn Kendall is the co-founder of 8 Sheep Organics, a brand offering products for pregnant women. She suggests the types of food each person consumes has a direct relationship with their sleep.
“A lot of times, we’ll eat whatever meal is in front of us and move on with our day without giving it a second thought. There’s nothing wrong with this approach but you should know that your body has not forgotten about the food you ate. Overeating, low quality food, eating before bed, and even not eating, all carry some responsibility for the quality of your sleep. Since you’re the one deciding what goes in your body, you’re also the one that decides how well you’r going to sleep.”
The events of the day
Life has a way of simply being stressful or throwing a curveball. Orgain is a business providing organic protein products. Their senior director of performance marketing and e-commerce, Jeff Goodwin, advises others to take these things into account in regards to sleep.
“Very few people realize how much their day to day life can influence their sleep. The reality is, it’s one of the larger contributors. Meetings at work, parenting, physical exercise, and more all contribute to how well each person sleeps. If your day is filled with tension and stress, you’re going to carry that with you to bed and that’s where the restlessness begins. Solutions to these things vary person to person and situation to situation but working to resolve any negative energy generated from your day should be a priority.”
Poor sleep routine
Lifeforce Digital specializes in management of a person’s physical body. Their founder, Joel Jackson, considers it necessary to implement habits which are conducive for good sleep.
“Any knowledgeable athlete knows they have to prepare their body for the upcoming competitive event. In fact, they know their body so well they have a routine which is used to warm up physically and get them in the right headspace for competing. If they don’t do this, their performance will suffer immensely. The same applies to sleep. Our bodies adjust to what we do with them. For instance, if you set an alarm and get out of bed at the same time every day, your body would eventually know intuitively that it is time to wake up. So, if you’re trying to get better sleep, consider creating a routine to get your body ready for bed. After a while, your body will adjust to the time and your quality of sleep will take a giant road forward. “
Ubaldo Perez is the CEO of Hush, a brand offering all-encompassing tattoo care products. He cautions others to give special consideration to the items they use for sleeping.
“The old adage of ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” sadly does not apply to things such as our pillows or mattresses and sleeping. Just because your mattress is in one piece does not mean it isn’t broken. Over the course of time, these things wear out because of the extended use. When this happens, the quality begins to diminish resulting in less physically comfortable sleep. Be sure you replace your mattress when you can and use a pillow which is supportive of your neck and head.”
Unfortunately, there are people out there who have medical conditions which affect their sleep. SONU is a business providing a mattress with more features than can be described. Their CEO, Bradley Hall, proposes seeking personal understanding in this area.
“Snoring, feeling out of breath when waking, the inability to fall asleep, trouble staying asleep as so many more symptoms that I could name could possibly indicate that someone has a medical condition related to or involving their sleep. I’m talking about sleep apnea, insomnia and more here. These types of conditions can detract from your day consistently. No matter how you slice, finding out if you have a sleep condition is no walk in the park. But, if you do have one, treating it could literally change your life.”
Azuna specializes in air purification products made from plants. Their director of marketing, Phillip Montalvo, believes the area people choose to sleep in holds power over their ability to rest.
“In my opinion, one of the more unpleasant experiences is being woken suddenly. I would think many people, at the very least, dislike this experience. And yet, many of us sleep in places or even create environments which can cause this experience. Having a TV or your smartphone on while you’re sleeping or trying to sleep is one of the bigger mistakes made. Or, it could be a matter of sleeping in an extremely warm or bright room. Whatever the case may be, remember your sleeping environment plays a critical role in a good night’s rest.”
As seen above, there’s no shortage of reasons why you are not sleeping well. At the end of the day, the responsibility falls to you to find solutions for any problems you’re having sleeping so don’t let them fester. Physician Mikhail Varshavski spoke to why this should be the case, “Sleep is a regenerative process where we heal and where our neurons build strong connections. It’s like a fountain of youth that we dive into every night.