Work Hard, Sleep Harder

Poet and novelist, Sylvia Plath, once said, “I wonder why I don’t go to bed and go to sleep. But then it would be tomorrow, so I decide that no matter how tired, no matter how incoherent I am, I can skip an hour more of sleep and live.”

You would be surprised to know that Plath was not the only one who thought sleeping would be living less or working less. Some of the most famous scientists, inventors, and entrepreneurs have been known to skip sleeping altogether to be more productive. Did you know that Nikola Tesla had once worked for 84 hours straight without sleep? Apparently, Tesla barely slept for 2 hours every day. Moreover, his contemporary, Thomas Edison, was known to take only catnaps of 20 minutes every 3 hours.

This practice of compromising on sleep to clock in more work hours has trickled down through the ages, spurring on people with the assumption that it is better to work than sleep. From CEOs to politicians, from scientists to artists – they consider being busy 24/7 or having an 80- to 100-hour work week as a badge of honor. Though sleeping less may logically give you more time to work and thus help in getting more work done, does it really lead to quality? And more importantly, is sleep deprivation really the key to a productive life?

Seems not.

Ariana Huffington, the co-founder and former editor-in-chief of Huffington Post, was known to work round-the-clock during the initial years of the news website. This was until 2007 when she collapsed at her desk out of sheer exhaustion and burnout. Huffington was in the middle of making calls, and the result of her collapse was a broken cheekbone. It was then that Huffington started talking about the need for a restful sleep to be more productive in a healthy way. According to her, sleep deprivation may help you to work more, but it also makes you more reactive, less creative, and less empathetic. She is not the only one to emphasize the benefits of a good night’s sleep.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, puts a high priority on getting minimum 8 hours of restful sleep. Even Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, believes that 7 hours of sleep helps him be more sharp, upbeat, and creative. It’s far better to be calm, healthy, and productive than be productive but carry the baggage of being unhealthy and cranky.

So how can you ensure you have a restful and good sleep? It begins by creating a comfortable sleeping space – the correct room temperature, good ventilation, comfortable sheets, and the right mattress. While the first three are fairly easy to achieve, finding the perfect mattress is one that poses a challenge. Something suits your sleeping position, maintains your body temperature, alleviates pressure points, and does not interfere with your sleep is the right one for you. Too soft and you’ll sink right in with not enough lumbar support, too hard and you could injure your back! It is said that the best indicator of the most compatible mattress is your comfort level and here are a few pointers to help you find the right mattress.

How do you sleep?
Everyone has a favorite sleeping position –  The Fetus, The Log, The Soldier, The Star, The Freefall and The Yearner – each with its set of health benefits and even drawbacks. For example, the Soldier, where one sleeps on one’s back with the arms straight at the side is great for alleviating back pain but can increase your chances of snoring. The Fetal position is great for reducing snoring but won’t help in case you suffer from back pain. Your preferred position and the one you should sleep in will decide the firmness and type of mattress you need. Back sleepers (The Soldier) require medium-soft to medium-firm mattresses that provide firm support and adequate contouring to the spine. Side sleepers (The Log, The Fetus) would need very soft to medium-soft mattresses that would distribute pressure equally. Stomach sleepers (The Freefall) should opt for medium-soft to medium-firm mattresses that would help give sufficient contouring to the spine and distribute the body weight evenly. If you are confused or tend to change your position frequently, you can check out hybrid mattresses that companies like DreamCloudSleep retail. These are especially useful if you and your partner have different sleeping positions.

The material
You will find four basic types of mattresses in the market — innerspring, latex, hybrid, and memory foam. Made from coils, innerspring mattresses is one of the most traditional mattresses. These are recommended for people who need strong support, durability, and proper bounce. Moreover, these mattresses provide cooler sleep due to proper air circulation. Latex mattresses offer similar features but add environment-friendliness to the mix. Additionally, these mattresses cost less if you directly buy them from manufacturing brands such as Latex For Less. The best benefit is that these brands make mattresses from natural latex that is not only good for your health but also for the environment.
Another popular choice is the memory foam mattress. Known for its versatility to conform to any body shape, these mattresses have motion isolation features. This helps to have uninterrupted restful sleep for those with partners who toss and turn a lot during the night.

What’s your budget?
While thinking about the budget, you should note that a higher price does not necessarily mean higher quality. Also, it is important to understand that the cheapest will not always be worth it. A cheap mattress may be good for your wallet but that wouldn’t translate to your health as it could have more toxins and low durability packed in it, not to mention it could lose its comfort element within no time. Most high-quality mattresses will cost anywhere between $500 and $1000, depending on the size, material, brand, and whether you are buying online or offline. We checked out Latex For Less  and for the benefits it offers, the price is reasonable and affordable.

Your body type and weight
Your weight and body type will affect the support, sinkage, and the feel of the mattress. For example, a soft mattress will be highly uncomfortable for a person who weighs more than 200 pounds. Although there is no ideal firmness of mattresses, you can always try them out and find out which mattress provides the best comfort and support for you. Several mattresses manufacturers such as DreamCloudSleep and Latex For Less offer 120 or more nights trial periods to customers before they decide which mattress is perfect for them.

So, go ahead and pick the right mattress to have yourself a restful sleep!

 

Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are via companies from which we may receive compensation. As an affiliate, we earn commissions for qualifying purchases.

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