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3 Interesting Things We've Learned About Sleep in 2019

June 04, 2019

3 New things you may not know about the science of sleep

Just when you think you’ve got a handle on the many intricacies of sleep, the clever researchers out there go and find out something completely new and astonishing. As one of the foremost retailers of beds and bedding in South Africa, the Bed King team takes a keen interest in everything to do with the science of sleep. As such, we are normally the first to learn if anything interesting has come to light in our field. And boy, has there been a few thought-provoking facts that came to light in 2019!

Here are a few of the most interesting things we’ve learned about the science of sleep so far this year:

Morning People Have Complicated Genetics

If you're a morning person, chances are people have seen you as slightly odd for a large part of your life. To be honest, there is something a little weird about someone who bounds out of bed in the morning, rather than snoozing their alarm the obligatory three to five times and then stumbling bleary-eyed to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Fortunately, we now understand that early risers aren't freaks of nature - they simply have different genetics. Researchers recently learned that there are 351 distinct genetic loci associated with circadian rhythms that naturally tend towards early-to-bed-early-to-rise sleeping, so it's not really something you can learn even if you wanted to.

Recuperative Rest Is A Biological Imperative

So, it turns out that sleeping more when we're ill is not just something our mothers tell us to do to keep us out of their hair when we're home sick from school - it's actually coded into our genetics as a biological imperative. Well, we assume so, since the hypothesis has proven correct in fruit flies so far. The nemuri gene (Japanese term for sleep) has been found to keep fruit flies from over-exerting themselves when fighting disease, which results in a greater likelihood of survival. This is one of the first tangible links we have between sleep and the immune system.

Stress Changes Your REM Patterns

We’ve known for a while that stress-related sleep loss is not healthy. This year, however, we’ve learned that the more stressed you are, the longer your brain tends to stay in the REM cycle. Since REM sleep is closely tied to depression and other mood disorders, it is now believed that stress could be affecting our mood through the way we sleep as well.

There you have it - three of the interesting things we’ve learned about the science so far in 2019. Keep your eye on the blog in coming weeks and months as we share more insider info on all the interesting things sleep experts uncover around the globe. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to a Bed King representative if you would like to learn more about our range of comfort-graded mattresses and sleep solutions. Better yet - visit us in store so you can try out the revolutionary Comfort Solutions Lab®. This groundbreaking tech solution uses pressure-point data to determine the ideal comfort level of each individual, as well as each customer's required support.

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