At Sit ‘n Sleep, we’re serious about the science of sleep. We regularly consult with experts, from sleep doctors to mattress designers, about the conditions that lead to good or bad sleep. We want to understand exactly what goes into creating a quality night of rest so that we can deliver exactly that experience for everyone we serve. In the end, our goal is to help you sleep soundly night after night.
We recently contacted sleep experts from across the country to ask some of the most common sleep-related questions and concerns we hear. Many people have the same sleep troubles, and who better to ask about the solution than people who’ve spent their lives studying sleep?
Why is sleep so important?
Dr. Jason Piken has been in clinical practice since 1996 and specializes in stress-related sleep disorders. He emphasizes that good sleep is a fundamental part of good health. “The reason why sleep is essential to your health is the fact that the only time you are really healing your body from the day’s activities or traumas is while you sleep. To put it simply, if you are not sleeping, you are not healing.” In order to encourage the onset of sleep, Dr. Piken suggests sticking to a careful before-bed routine. “Make sure your room is as dark as possible during sleeping hours. Also, try to avoid watching TV, or looking at your cellphone for at least 30 minutes before bedtime. A good book, magazine or even an audiobook are great alternatives that will allow your brain to wind down properly before bed.”
Is there a secret to better sleep?
Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, ND has spent more than 30 years studying sleep. When asked about sleep secrets, Dr. Dean recommends taking an over-the-counter supplement. “It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep without enough of the mineral Magnesium because Magnesium facilitates sleep-regulating melatonin (sleep hormone) production. Studies have shown that magnesium helps you get a deep and restful sleep.” She also stresses that what you don’t eat is just as important. “Avoid sugar and alcohol especially close to bedtime. When people eat sugar close to bedtime it can be too stimulating and interfere with sleep.”
How do sleep problems start?
Dr. Fran Walfish is a family and relationship psychotherapist based out of Beverly Hills. She notes that psychological issues cause sleep problems just as often as physical issues. “Sleep disruption is rooted in separation anxiety. When we are stressed, going through major changes or life transitions the first place we see symptoms is in sleep disruption. Trauma of any sort puts a person in a highly accelerated state of anxiety. Trauma may include the death of a beloved family member or pet, divorce, victim of a crime, change of job or residence, etc.” To overcome these issues, Dr. Walfish recommends following a nightly routine and eating foods like fish, whole grains, and almonds that are high in natural serotonin (a hormone important for sleep).
How important is a quality mattress?
Anne Griffith is a lifestyle expert who writes extensively about family life and building a happy home. In her experience, everyone needs a quality mattress to support their health and happiness. “Many people attribute morning aches and pains to aging when it is actually the lack of support in their old mattress that makes them wake up stiff and sore. If the mattress is too old to properly support the body, your muscles cannot relax while you sleep, which leads to morning aches and pains.” Griffith also points out that allergens like dust mites will build up in old mattresses and irritate sensitive sleepers.
What makes for good sleep hygiene?
Dr. Sashini Seeni is a General Practitioner working with DoctorsonCall. Like many of our interview subjects, Dr. Seeni emphasized the importance of practicing good sleep hygiene – the things you do every day to improve how you sleep. In addition to avoiding caffeine and limiting screen time, he advises getting active. “Exercise regularly, preferably in the morning or before sunset. Exercise can help release body and mental stress which are the most common cause of the inability to sleep efficiently.” Creating a peaceful sleep environment should also be a priority according to Dr. Seeni. “A loud noise or bright room or simply uncomfortable sleeping environment can lead to loss of sleeping hours or frequent waking up during sleeping which will be translated into daytime sleepiness, drowsiness, and fatigue.”
Always Sleep Your Best
Sleep problems are common, complicated, and very disruptive if they leave you feeling fatigued all the time. Luckily, all of the experts we spoke to emphasized that most people can get consistently great sleep as long as they have the right routine and resources. If your mattress is part of the problem, Sit ‘n Sleep can help. Visit one of our 38 superstores located throughout Southern California. One of our own sleep experts can help you select a mattress that complements your natural sleep style. Take some time to explore our website to learn about the therapeutic options we have available, and please contact us if you have questions.