Disclosure: I received the Brentwood Home Sleep Wellness Bundle to facilitate this post, but this has not influenced my opinion at all. All opinions are 100% my own.
Most of the time when people think of good health, they think about fitness and nutrition. While those things are extremely important, and I spend much of my time focusing on them, there is another aspect of life that is arguably just as important: sleep. And most people won’t deny, a good night’s sleep makes you feel good when you’re awake, but the benefits go much deeper than that. According to the National Institutes of Health, “getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.”
Why is Sleep so Important Anyway?
Your brain needs sleep. Like, it craves it. And, when it doesn’t get enough, it doesn’t work as well as it could. There are several different events that happen while we rest, according to Scientific American “Sleep serves to reenergize the body’s cells, clear waste from the brain, and support learning and memory. It even plays vital roles in regulating mood, appetite and libido.” One of the first aspects of the brain to be affected by sleep deprivation is memory. A study by Harvard University examined the effects of lack of sleep on mice and found that those who lacked regular, quality sleep had more deposits of a protein called beta amyloid. In humans, more of these deposits lead to a decrease in memory and thinking skills, as well as an increase in the risk of developing dementia.
Memory isn’t the only aspect of the brain where lack of sleep can be seen. Those who lack quality sleep also struggle with decision making, coping with chance, and controlling emotional outbursts. This is no surprise to the parents in the room, because we all know what happens to our little toddler terrors when bedtime has passed: meltdown madness.
It was also discovered that sleep does not only affect the brain, those who have consistent poor sleep are also at a higher risk of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and depression. Those who struggle sleeping at night, especially teenagers, are at a much higher risk of becoming obese. This could be because the hormones that stimulate appetite (ghrelin) or the feeling of being full (leptin) are regulated and balanced during sleep. During deep sleep, the hormone that promotes growth in children, and helps repair cells and tissues, is released in large amounts. In fact, chronic lack of sleep during childhood could lead to stunted growth.
Am I Getting Enough?
This truly is a loaded question, because it’s not just about the hours spent sleeping, but quality of said sleep.
The amount of sleep needed can vary widely by age, with newborns needing upwards of 20 hours of sleep everyday, and some elderly people happily functioning with only 5. But, like I said, it’s not that easy. As a cosleeping, nursing mom who is now growing baby #2, my sleep is interrupted pretty frequently during the night. Because of this, I normally require more sleep than I would if I was sleeping straight through.
As explained by WebMD, our nights are separated into several different stages of sleep. In order for you to wake feeling rested, you must spend a certain percentage of your night in NREM, and REM sleep. These are the periods where your body is healing itself, and your brain is growing and active. Infants can spend up to 50% of their nights in this level of sleep, with most adults spending only 20%.
So, are you getting enough? A simple test can easily tell if you’re spending enough time sleeping.
How to Improve Sleep
As a mom, my sleep is so important. I spend so much of my day chasing after a crazy little boy that the nights are the only chance I get to just…rest. So, during the limited time that I am able to close my eyes, I like to get the most out of it. There are several ways to ensure quality sleep, but one that has really helped improve the way I feel in the morning is comfort. The one thing that would constantly rouse me thorough the night was the need to readjust, switch sides, or just do something to get comfortable again.
That was, until Elena from Brentwood contacted me for a chance to try and get a better night’s sleep.
I really had no idea how important pillows were in the sleep process. Honestly, I was one of the people who would grab any old pillow from a linen store and call it a day. And don’t ask me to go expensive, I just didn’t see the point. That was, until I saw the point. Pillows literally are there to support your neck and head. I mean, seriously, you don’t want just any old thing doing that, do you? I continuously woke with cricks in my neck, sore shoulders, and even dead arms, which is pretty much where you’ve slept on your arm for so long, cutting of the circulation, where you can’t even move it upon waking.
Brentwood Home Sleep Wellness Bundle
So, a few weeks ago my husband and I were so excited when our brand new pillows showed up at the front door. Brentwood is a company that is dedicated to delivering products that are not only hand-crafted at their own facility in Los Angeles, Ca., but also are the most healthy and environmentally friendly as they can possibly be. For my pillows, Kapok (sourced from Southeast Asia), and natural latex (sourced from Vietnam) are used.
The first pillow I received, the Caramel Pillow, is made 100% of natural latex, sourced from rubber trees in Vietnam. The cover is made of 100% organic cotton, and the pillow is completely free of any synthetic materials or contaminants. This pillow truly offers the support I so desperately need in the night. I, naturally, am not a side sleeper (but have been for the last 21 months I’ve been nursing), so it has been a tough adjustment on my body. This pillow offers such a great “bounce back” feeling that keeps your head from “sinking” into the mattress.
The next pillow I received was the Helena Pillow, made with natural latex ribbons and all natural Kapok, naturally sourced from southeast Asia. Kapok is like cotton, and found in seed pods, and is very similar to silk in its texture. This pillow is also free of any synthetic materials, and because it eliminates the need for synthetic polyesters it is much more environmentally friendly, as it is 100% biodegradable. I, personally, use this pillow on top of the Caramel because it is just so comfortable. With the caramel offering the much needed support, I can rest easy as my head sinks into this soft, comfy pillow.
Win Your Own Wellness Bundle
Brentwood has graciously offered a FREE wellness bundle to only one of my readers. Now guys, this pillow set is a $276 value, so it’d be silly to not just try.
This bundle include 4 pillows (2 caramel, 2 helena), and is completely free. Simply enter the giveaway below, and you’re on your way to a better night’s sleep. The giveaway ends January 15, 2016 at 11:59PM EST. Good luck, and sleep well!
To learn more about Brentwood, be sure to follow them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
This company is also so generous to be offering a coupon code to ALL my readers, for anyone who may be interested in checking their website out. At checkout, simply enter your coupon code OURHOME to apply your 10% Brentwood Home coupon.
Until next time,