Benefits of Sleep-

Sleep and it’s impact on us-

At WeKnowMattresses, we understand that the ultimate goal of a comfortable mattress is to get a restful night of sleep.  Sleep is an important part of your life and its impact is felt in nearly every area of your daily routine.  While we all have an intuitive feeling that the proper amount of sleep is important, most people don’t realize how much they need or why exactly it is in fact so important.

Extensive research has been done on the effects of sleeping, and getting enough sleep. These studies consistently show that sleeping patterns play a vital role in our physical health, longevity and emotional well-being.

Hours and Ages Sleep chart

Are you getting enough sleep

Sleeping needs for the  average person range from 12 to 18 hours for newborns  to 7 to 9 hours for adults, with a wide range of recommended sleep needs in between.

Lets take a look at some of the benefits in getting a good nights sleep-

Benefits of sleep:

1)     Keeps your Heart Healthy- Lack of sleep has been linked to worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol, risk factors for heart disease and stroke.  Your heart will be healthier with 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.  Heart attacks and strokes are more common during the early morning hours.

2)     Sleep may reduce cancer risk- People working the late shift have a higher risk for breast and colon cancer.  Researchers believe the link is caused by differing levels of melatonin in people exposed to light at night.  Light exposure reduces the level of melatonin, a hormone that makes us both sleepy and is thought to protect against cancer.  Melatonin appears to suppress the growth of tumors.  A dark room helps ensure the body produces the melatonin it needs.

3)     Reduces stress- When your body does not get sufficient sleep, it goes in to a state of stress.  The body’s functions are put in an alert status, which causes an increase in blood pressure and a production of stress hormones.  Higher blood pressure is a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.  Stress hormones also make it harder to sleep- which begins a catch 22 situation.

4)     Reduces inflammation- Increased stress hormones raise the level of inflammation in your body, which also causes more risk for heart-related conditions, as well as cancer and diabetes.  Inflammation is also thought to be one of the causes of the deterioration of the body as we age.

5)     Makes you More Alert- A good nights’ sleep helps you feel energized and alert all day.  Being engaged and active feels good and it increases your chance of getting another good night of sleep.  When you wake up feeling good, you get out in the natural light, do active things, and are mentally and physically engaged in your world.  These factors lead to the likelihood of another good nights’ sleep.

6)     Sleep Bolsters your Memory- A process called ‘Memory Consolidation’ occurs while we are asleep.  While the body rests, the brain processes your day, making connections between events, sensory input, feelings and memories.  Dreams and deep sleep are an important time for the brain to make memories and links, getting more quality sleep helps you process and remember things better.

7)     Sleep May Help You Lose Weight- Research has found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese.  It is thought that lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite.  These hormones, ghrelin and leptin, are important for the regulation of appetite and have been found to disrupted by lack of sleep.

8)     Naps Make You Smarter- Taking a nap is not only a nice alternative to caffeine, it can also protect your health and increase productivity.  A Greek study of 24,000 adults showed that people who napped several times a week had a lower risk of dying from heart disease.  People who nap at work show lower levels of stress.  Napping improves memory, cognitive function and mood.

9)     Sleep May Reduce Your Risk of Depression- The amount of sleep you get impacts the levels of many chemicals in your body, including serotonin.  A serotonin deficiency can lead to a greater likelihood of suffering from depression.  Getting the right amount of sleep, 7 to 9 hours a day for adults, can help prevent depression.

10)  Helps the Body Make Repairs- While asleep, your body repairs damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays, and other harmful things.  Cells produce more protein while you are sleeping and these protein molecules are the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair damage.

In the future, we will take a look at more of the benefits of a full nights rest as well as some of the effects of not getting enough sleep.  It’s important to know why we want you to find the best mattress for you and meet our goal of helping you get the best rest possible.


Sleep Stages

The Sleep Stages:

Since the 1950’s there has been research into sleep and brainwaves.  Studies have shown that human sleep patterns progress through a series of sleep stages in which different brain wave patterns are displayed.

There are two main types of sleep:

1)     Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) Sleep (aka ‘quiet sleep’)

2)     Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep (aka ‘active sleep’ or ‘paradoxical sleep’)

Beginning phases:

In the earliest phases of sleeping, you are relatively ‘awake and alert’.  The brain produces ‘Beta Waves’, which are small and fast and associated with day to day wakefulness.  Beta waves are not very consistent in their patterns, which makes sense when you consider all the different inputs our brain receives while we are awake.  As the brain begins to relax and slow down, slower waves, known as ‘Alpha waves’, are produced.  During this time you are not quite fully asleep and you may experience vivid and strange sensations known as hypnagogic hallucinations.  Examples of this would be the sensation you are falling or hear someone call your name.  Another common event during this period is the ‘myoclonic jerk’, where you suddenly are startled or jerk for what seems like no apparent reason.

The 5 Sleep Stages:

sleep stages and cycles

The 5 Stages of Sleep

1)     Stage 1: is the beginning of the sleeping cycle, a relatively light sleep stage.  Stage 1 is often considered the transition period between wakefulness and falling asleep.  In Stage 1, the brain produces high amplitude theta waves, which are slow brain waves.  This is a relatively brief period that generally lasts only 5 to 10 minutes.

2)     Stage 2: is the second of the sleep stages and lasts generally about 20 minutes.  The brain begins producing sleep spindles, bursts of rapid, rhythmic brain wave activity.  Your heart rate begins to slow and body temperature starts to decrease.

3)     Stage 3: is when deep, slow brain waves, known as delta waves, start to emerge.  Stage 3 is a transitional period between light and very deep sleep.

4)     Stage 4: Sometimes referred to as Delta Sleep because of the slow ‘delta’ waves occurring in the brain at this time.  Stage 4 is a very deep sleep lasting approximately 30 minutes.   Delta Sleep is the deepest of the sleep stages and the most difficult in which to wake a sleeper.  Sleep walking, Talking in your sleep, and bed wetting are most likely to occur near the end of Stage 4.

5)     Stage 5: Known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, Stage 5 is when most dreaming occurs.  REM sleeping is characterized by eye movement, increased respiration rate, and increased brain activity.  REM sleep is also referred to as ‘paradoxical sleep’ because while the brain and other body systems become more active, muscles become more relaxed.  Dreaming is a result of the increased brain activity, voluntary muscles become paralyzed.  On average, we enter the first REM Sleep stage about 90 minutes after falling asleep.  The first REM cycle may last only a short time, but each cycle becomes longer and can last up to an hour as sleep progresses.

The Sequence of Sleep Stages:

It is interesting and important to note that a sleeper does not progress through these sleep stages in sequence.  Sleep does begin in Stage 1 and progresses into and through stages 2, 3, and 4.  After reaching Stage 4, Stage 3 and then Stage 2 are repeated before entering Stage 5 (REM).  Upon completion of Stage 5 REM sleep, the body usually returns to Stage 2.  A person will cycle through these sleep stages approximately 4 or 5 times throughout the night.

To get the most effective sleeping experience, we need to be able to pass through these cycles undisturbed- thus one of the reasons it is important to have a comfortable mattress:  So you can get the undisturbed stretches of rest and sleep to re-energize your body.  A good night’s sleep is important for your physical and mental health.



Four Most Popular Mattresses

Top Four Most Popular Mattresses:

Innerspring Mattresses are most popular mattresses-

The most popular mattresses by far are Innerspring mattresses.  These popular mattresses and bed systems offer numerous styles, features and options.  There’s a model and style of innerspring mattress for almost every taste, and budgets range from basic to extravagant.  Approximately 60% of innerspring mattress owners are satisfied with their beds.  This is interesting in that while 60% is a significant amount, it is still lower than for any other types of popular mattresses.

The range of prices for innerspring mattresses varies greatly, from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand or more.  Price and quality are dependant upon such things as size and number of coils in the mattress, the amount and type of padding in the mattress, comfort type (pillow top, euro top, etc) stitching quality, fine details, fabric types, the list goes on.  Experts tend to agree that innerspring mattresses at every price point, except the very cheapest, tend to be sturdy.  When shopping, try to see a cross cut section of the mattress you are interested to get a feel for the inside construction and make up.

When compared to other types of popular mattresses, the innerspring mattress varieties tend to retain less body heat and come in a wider range of firmnesses.  However innerspring mattresses transfer more motion, which is an important consideration if you sleep with someone else in the bed.

Finally, an innerspring mattress tends to be less durable and more subject to sagging than other mattress types.  Experts say an innerspring mattress should be replaced about every 10 years.

popular mattresses- innerspring

Most Popular Mattresses are Innerspring


  • Least expensive type of mattress
  • Numerous brands and models available: Choices!
  • Pocket coil models are well suited for couples (low motion transfer)
  • Some models can be flipped to increase life


  • Difficult to comparison shop
  • Cheaper models use lower quality materials
  • May require purchase of a box spring
  • Less durable than other mattress types

Memory Foam are Popular Mattresses with less motion transfer-

Memory foam mattresses are generally made from visco-elastic, a polyurethane based foam that molds itself to the shape of the sleepers body, a feeling that many people like.  Tempur-pedic is the most well known memory foam mattress manufacturer, however several other companies are offering less expensive versions that are receiving good reviews from owners.

Memory foam mattress owners are the most likely of all the popular mattresses to report that they are satisfied with their beds according to the web site

A good number of people who try a memory foam mattress though, dislike it because they say it feels too firm, too hard or too hard to move about on comfortably.  Memory foam mattresses absorb body heat, so they may be too warm for some sleepers, especially in warm weather.

Generally, memory foam mattresses have greater durability than innerspring mattresses while they offer less motion transfer, and are subsequently a good choice for couples.

When they are new, memory foam mattresses may have an odor that some sleepers find unpleasant.

popular mattresses- memory foam

Popular mattresses also include Memory Foam


  • Conforms to body shape
  • Isolates motion between partners
  • Can offer relief from joint pain
  • More durable than innerspring mattresses


  • More expensive than innerspring mattresses
  • Doesn’t breathe, retains body heat
  • Impedes movement
  • Feels hard in cold weather
  • New mattresses release odor

Latex Foam are Popular Mattresses for eco-friendly consumers-

Latex foam mattresses are constructed from natural or synthetic rubber and are nearly as well liked by their owners as memory foam mattresses.  Reviews state that latex foam is springier than memory foam, provide good joint support, and do not retain as much body heat, so they tend to be more comfortable, especially in warmer weather.

Latex mattress are more durable than innerspring mattresses and are naturally resistant to mold and dust mites.  Latex is eco-friendly as it is a renewable resource and can be biodegradable.  Latex are popular mattresses with consumers who are Ec0-conscious.

Latex foam mattresses are not appropriate for people allergic to latex.

Some latex foam mattresses are very expensive, while others are more reasonably priced.

Latex foam mattresses are perform best and are most comfortable on a slatted bed base as opposed to a box spring.

most popular mattresses include latex

Latex is another of the popular mattresses


  • Resists mold and dust mites
  • Breathable
  • More durable than innerspring mattresses
  • Have a springier feel than memory foam


  • New mattresses can have an odor
  • Tend to be more expensive than innerspring
  • Not for people with latex allergies

Air Mattresses are Popular Mattresses that bring custom comfort-

Air mattresses, the fourth of the most popular  mattresses, use adjustable air cushions to provider tailored support instead of springs or foam.  Some air mattresses, such as the Select Comfort Sleep Number bed, allow each side to be adjusted independently to allow for different levels of firmness.

Air mattresses receive a large number of reviews from owners who are quite happy with their bed system, but, they also get a large number of negative reviews also, especially those owners who use two different firmness settings.  It is also sometimes noted that the beds foam sides are just not firm enough to sit on.  However, short of sleeping apart, dual chamber beds are one of the few options available to for partners who prefer widely different mattress firmness.

Air mattresses are generally more expensive than other types pf mattresses, but can last longer since the individual part of the mattress can be replaced as it wears out.

most popular includes air mattresses

New styles of Air Mattresses are among the Most popular mattresses


  • Infinite number of adjustable settings
  • Some models are Dual Chambered
  • Parts can be replaced separately to prolong life


  • More Expensive than other mattress options
  • Not comfortable for some sleepers
  • Some are subject to mold
  • Sides not firm enough to sit on

There you have a quick primer on the four most popular types of mattresses, Good Shopping!