Good Sleep: From High-Tech Sleep Gadgets to Low-Tech Pillows

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Questions about and finding the right pillow sizes and pillow firmness perfect for sleeping can be a tough task to do. In fact, in most people, it will take many months of sleeping badly on a pillow that was too soft before realizing that they hated the pillow or it was the reason why they were having bad nights of sleep.  Adding to the dilemma of not having the right pillow is the accessibility to buy one. So many quality pillows sold today are either in stores far away or available readily online which you can only test once an order has arrived. So the quest in finding the right pillow is on for almost everyone. However, before finding a good quality pillow, one must ask what does medium or firm really mean.

 

The Plight of Bad Sleep

The struggle in finding the perfect pillow has brought people in the current high-tech gadgetry culture. People download and engage in sleeping apps, bedtime story apps, sleep tracking apps, sleep meditation headbands, and many others which for many is still insufficient. People are in constant search for high-tech solutions to sleep issues. gel-filled pillows, weighted blankets, or specialty mattresses will not really solve the basic problem of sleep. The solutions will come in a much more concrete approach. This points out to the forces that affect our sleeping patterns like working hours, stress levels, and even a firmer mattress or pillow which is considered a low-tech solution.

Arianna Huffington, the co-founder, and editor of The Huffington Post wrote a book entitled The Sleep Revolution in 2017. In the book, she talked and investigated the sleep industry, the science of sleep and sleeping disorders. She further states that she did not become successful until she learned to sleep properly. This boils down to the issue if the lack of sleep which is typically affected by stresses from work, online culture, and others could be stress specific to certain cultures over others.

 

The Numbers of Sleepless

An annual online sleep survey was conducted by Philips in conjunction with Harris Poll examining over 15,000 adults across 13 countries towards attitude to sleep and cultural sleep practices. The survey last year showed that 77% of adults are working on improving their sleep while 35% of the respondents resorted to soothing music to help them sleep. It was discovered during the 2017 survey that 82% of adults across the planet have experienced negative impacts after having bad sleep. France (87%) and Japan (86%) were the top 2 countries greatly affected by a night’s sleep. Some of the most noticeable effects of bad sleep is being less productive and feeling unmotivated.

The most striking result of the 2017 study is how many of the respondents across countries would choose the family time for a good night’s sleep. Approximately 53% of adults in France and 46% of adults in the U.S. said that family time is more important than getting a good night’s sleep. From this result, issues of having a bad sleep have absolutely nothing to do with the soft pillow or lumpy mattress. Further, studies are seeing significant correlations between negative health impacts and highly modernized societies to the lack of sleep.

 

Risk of Inadequate Sleep

Science has shown how sleep deprivation can increase anxiety. It also proved how integral sleep is to one’s health. Inadequate or lack of sleep is associated with numerous health problems. Some of the common health issues due to inadequate sleep are increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. In addition to health risk, there is also a higher risk of car accidents or accidents at work where heavy machinery is involved because of the lack of sleep. All these facts presented by researchers and science yet the situation of work stress and increase overworking is still not reduced.

 

What has been and needs to be done

Ironically, social perks are being given to those who go on about being so stressed and busy at work that they have no time to take lunch. However, some companies are getting it right. Companies went as far as sending employees on courses just to show employees how to get a good night’s sleep.

So the challenge for the years to come is how to have a good night sleep. Now a lot of countries are starting to discuss a shorter work week as sleep deprivation adversely affects health and wellbeing. Instead of creating costly losses which amount to local economic losses, the priority should be on addressing the low-tech solutions for sleep deprivation than the high-tech solutions which largely are only addressing the symptoms and not the causes.