We spend a third of our lives asleep, and for good reason. Sleep is required for both physical and mental health. It is a time when the body repairs, restores, and soothes itself.
Everyone needs sleep. Sports professionals take sleep very seriously, because good sleep is key for a strong body and a sharp mind. Here’s why it matters, and what innovators are doing to help.
A Scientific Synergy
The relationship between sleep and athletic performance is well documented. As endurance coach Matt Dixon notes, great athleticism is about heightened efficiency. Athletes need optimal strength, endurance and energy.
These, Dixon argues, begin with optimised sleep.
He is not alone in this assertion - neuroscientists have spent years studying the relationship between sleep and athletic performance. So why do many elite sportsmen and women have some of the poorest sleep?
The stress of constant mental and physical exertion makes it hard for professional athletes to sleep, and this phenomenon is not just limited to sports stars – anyone with a hectic lifestyle could find it difficult to switch off.
This is something that bed and mattress innovators, such as Milbrook, are taking very seriously.
When It All Goes Wrong
Clinicians have established three core areas of sleep disturbance that can have a negative impact on performance.
The first, which is interruption of the circadian rhythm – also known as jet lag – is something that many are familiar with. The groggy, nauseous state that results from jumping between time-zones throws anyone off balance.
The second two are closely related to circadian interruption. Disturbed sleep and poor sleep also prevent the natural restorative functions of the body from operating properly.
In disturbed sleep, you might find yourself waking up a lot, maybe from a squeaking bedframe, or an uncomfortable mattress.
And in poor sleep, although you don’t wake up, being uncomfortable makes it harder to get a fully restorative sleep – which you feel the impact of when you wake up.
If your sleep is poor, disturbed or off-track, this affects your body’s circadian rhythm.
In other words, studies show that without a sound night’s sleep, we put our bodies into a state of permanent jet lag.
Lowered endurance, slowed reflexes and a lower metabolism means that we lose the natural competitive edge that our bodies provide. For anyone involved in sports, the results of poor sleep are immediately noticeable.
The Answer Is In The Quality
According to Milbrook’s research, the design of the bed frame and mattress can have a powerful impact on sleep.
A recent study into the science of sleep and its relationship to athletes notes that: “sleep hygiene practices are advantageous to performance”. In the term “sleep-hygiene”, the authors of the research are referring to something very basic: the quality of the bed and mattress.
When it comes to athletes, who are in the difficult situation of being prone to restless sleep whilst also needing high-calibre physical and mental restoration, this is particularly important.
Through their sponsoring of a number of professional sports teams, including British hockey and the Commonwealth Games, Milbrook have had a direct audience for which to hone their art.
At Bedknobs, we’ve been privileged to be able to witness those results in the form of customer feedback.
As a team that is equally interested in the delicate science of sleep, we’re delighted to be one of the few UK suppliers who work with Milbrook. This means that we can bring the latest research and development straight to you, meaning that more people than ever can benefit from the latest sleep technology at an affordable price.
We all know that sleep is important. We all feel better after a perfect night’s rest and recovery.
This is vital for elite athletes, whose bodies are put under extreme stress. But it is also crucial for all of us. With the demands of hectic lives, being able to switch off is important for everyone. If you’re interested in how a technologically advanced bed or mattress might be able to improve your quality of sleep, our dedicated and friendly team is always here to help.
Visit our showroom or give us a call to talk about Milbrook’s latest discoveries in the art of sleep ergonomics, or to hear about some of the other sleep trailblazers that we work with.