Sleep is kind of a big deal these days – in case you missed it because you were taking a nap. Highly successful people from business to sports recognize the importance of sleep for top performance and effectiveness. Gone are the days that lack of sleep is worn as a badge of honor or an indicator of greater productivity.
Our attitudes and understanding about sleep have evolved and with that we see the following top 5 sleep trends for the coming year.
Sleep to Heal
Have you seen those memes that say Stay Calm and Take a Nap? It’s actually sage advice because science says sleep has healing power. More people understand and accept that sleep is restorative, and they aim to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours each night, which experts say the body needs time to repair itself. Sleep can boost the body’s immune system, prevent disease and reduce symptoms of depression. According to a neuroscientist from the University of Washington, sleep can heal the brain. During sleep your body releases a variety of hormones vital to major systems and their function.
Even though we want and need more sleep, we don’t always get it every night. There are some people who are consistently short on sleep during the week and try to make up for it by binge sleeping. Yes, it’s a thing, like binge-watching multiple seasons of your favorite show. Binge sleepers will take up an entire weekend or some days off work or school to catch up on shut-eye. Though not recommended,there is some evidence that sleeping in can be beneficial.
One of the reasons why people love recliners and can easily fall sleep in them is because they can position the body and spine into a neutral position that makes it very comfortable and conducive to relaxation and sleep. And that is one of the reasons why adjustable beds have grown in popularity. Though not recommended, lots of people read, watch TV and even work in bed before they sleep, and an adjustable bed makes it easier and more comfortable for those activities, too.
However, for some, there is still the stigma that adjustable beds are medical equipment or for the elderly, and those who hold that perception will stick with a standard bed and use pillows for better support and spinal alignment.
So many people are doing yoga these days for different reasons. But have you heard of Yoga Nidra, which is translated as yogic sleep? It’s a practice of yoga that takes you through a five-step process for total body and mind relaxation. It is said to be as restorative as sleep, except that you have full awareness throughout the process. In fact, every step is about focused awareness that allows you to connect to, or access, different aspects of your physical and emotional responses. There are retreats popping up all over for yogic sleep, and we think it’s an emerging sleep trend.
All this talk about sleep doesn’t mean it’s easy to get to sleep or stay asleep for many people who have temporary or chronic sleep issues such as menopause, depression or sleep apnea. Natural sleep remedies are becoming more widely sought after and used because of the increasing awareness of health and wellness. The use of herbs and essential oils to promote sleep are on the rise as they are believed to be safe for adults and children.