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A Neurobiologist on Sleep: “Sleeping fewer than five hours makes you three times likely to catch the common cold”

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Without enough sleep, your efforts to stay fit and eat right aren’t enough to be healthy.

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is a common quote throughout culture—Bon Jovi released a song with the same name in 1992. Sixteen years prior, their fellow rock musician Warren Zevon came out with an album with the same name. 

In 2016, DJ Steve Aoki’s Grammy-nominated documentary film about his career was also titled I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead. 

READ ALSO: Where To Buy: 5 Luxury Products To Help You Get A More Restful Sleep

The rock song, album, and film message inspired people to live their lives to the fullest, doing as much as possible to milk every opportunity.

But according to science, living with low-quality sleep will give you life the opposite of a full one. 

Studies show

Sleep company Emma carried out a study across the UK, Germany, and France to better understand the importance of good sleep hygiene. The survey results showed that less than half of the respondents (47 percent) say they get “good or great” sleep. 

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 “When you get plenty of good quality sleep each night, you wake up being the best version of yourself, giving your mind and body the time it needs to recharge and wake up feeling refreshed.”

Meanwhile, 37 percent of participants said they struggle to fall asleep, while 51 percent admit that anxiety affects their ability to rest. 

Even if you don’t subscribe to the famous saying, getting enough shut-eye is sometimes out of our hands. Nowadays, a fast-paced lifestyle is a norm, and hustling may be what you’re already used to—but it doesn’t have to be that way.

After all, how can you get more done when you’re not in tip-top shape? “Sleep plays a vital role in keeping us fit and healthy,” Dr. Verena Senn, neurobiologist and head of sleep research at Emma, shares. 

 “When you get plenty of good quality sleep each night, you wake up being the best version of yourself, giving your mind and body the time it needs to recharge and wake up feeling refreshed.”

Top tips

Dr. Senn tells Lifestyle Asia her top three tips for reaching the optimal length of 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. 

First, sleep should be prioritized as much as nutrition and exercise. Second, being exposed to light throughout the day and avoiding it by night. And lastly, keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and invest in “sleeping gear” like a good mattress, duvets, and pajamas. 

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These investments are worth it when you think about your health. According to the expert, less sleep means a low immune system, “People who sleep 5 hours or less have three times more risk to fall sick with the common cold, compared to people who sleep 7 hours and more, as a study from the US shows.” 

Sleep is health

To help people get the proper rest they need, Emma has designed their Original Mattress with a 7-zone design. 

The different zones sink differently, which is meant to contour your body and support the spine—whether you sleep on your side, back, or front. 

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Emma’s king-sized Original Mattress.

In addition, Emma says the product is also couple-friendly. If your partner’s a messy sleeper, their movements shouldn’t bother you due to its isolating foam, designed to minimize movement disturbance. It’s also made with a breathable “eco-friendly” foam layer that regulates body heat.

With the scientific facts, you can rethink how vital sleep quality is. Put in the effort to get nightly quality sleep, and you can live a rich life—plus some sweet dreams. 

Images from Emma Sleep Company.

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