Sleep around the world

In a survey released just this week, from Phillips we learned that most of the world could use a bit more rest. The good news is that 67% of adults globally recognize the significant impact sleep has on their overall health and well-being, even surpassing exercise (59%), financial security (56%) and diet (49%).

Of the 13 countries surveyed nine countries recognized sleep as having the highest impact on their overall health (Germany 84%, Poland 79%, UK 74%, Australia 71%, Brazil 68%, US 67%, China 64%, Argentina 54%, and France 52%).

Interestingly, people globally do not seem to feel much guilt when they do not maintain proper sleep habits regularly (29% feel guilty about sleep, while 49% feel guilty about not exercising, and 42% feel guilty about not eating healthy). But most people do recognize that poor sleep habits have an impact in multiple areas including appearance (looking tired 46%), (moody and irritable 41%), (motivation 39%) and concentration (39%).

While many people don’t stick to good sleep habits, 77% try several different things to try and help with their sleep. Most common is soothing music which has been used by 36%, setting a bedtime/wake-up schedule 32%, meditation 19%, OTC sleep aids 16%, and 13% prescription medications.

It looks like we have at least started to identify our sleep difficulties, now we just need to start actively working on them.

Sleep and Sugar:

A fascinating new randomized controlled trial published in the American Journal of Nutrition reviewed the feasibility of extending sleep in healthy adults who were sleep deprived.  As a side aspect, they looked at nutrient intake with sleep extension. 42 people were placed into two groups. One group was given strategies to increase sleep length, the other with more generic suggestions. At the end of the four-week trial people who were given the sleep strategies were certainly sleeping longer (52-88 min longer), but here is where it got fascinating:

The sleep extension intervention resulted in an approximately 10gm reduction in intake of free sugars compared with baseline sugar intake levels of the participants. The study results also showed trends indicating a reduced intake of carbohydrate and fat in the intervention group compared to the control group. The researchers found no significant difference in body weight, body composition, waist circumference, total energy intake, cardio-metabolic risk, and physical activity between the sleep extension and control group.

Why is this so important?

First of all, you have heard me talk time and again about how sleep loss leads to weight gain (this is more direct evidence of why that might be). Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that these exact types of sugars are what is contributing to system-wide inflammation, which leads to so many different problems I can hardly count them all. So, if you are one of those people who is skimping on sleep, to “get more done” be prepared to gain weight and suffer the consequences.

Don’t know how much sleep you should get?

Want To Sleep Better Tonight? Get my free seven day sleep course in your facebook inbox, just go to my Facebook page, like the page, then click the send a message button and type the words Free Sleep Course (just those) and you’ll get the first installment immediately. Enjoy!

Are Online Mattress Reviews A Ripoff?

I know you have seen them, the bed-in-a-box offers on TV, internet, radio, etc. But is this a buyer beware situation?

Let’s face it, buying a mattress is about as much fun as buying a used car. Dealing with salespeople, who work on commission and who you need to rely on for information, is just not a great situation.

Next are the HUNDREDS of possible choices (which all look like fuzzy rectangles to me), so when I started seeing this new trend, I was curious. Casper seemed to have started it all, but in fact, this idea has been around for over 15 years.

What has recently cropped up are the online mattress review sites, this is where things seem to get a little weird. I have been to probably a dozen sites and what I found was somewhat disturbing:

1) Literally, no one in these videos has any level of credibility, no background in mattress manufacturing, background in sleep science, not even engineering, nothing!

2) In mattress sales, not all commissions are equal, so you may be “nudged” toward a product that is not really great for you but gives the website 3x the commission on a sale of another bed that could be less costly, or even better for your sleep.

After even more digging, I found out that one of the mattress review sites is actually owned by Casper (its called Sleepopolisis (and MattressAdvisor.com is owned by Leesa)! According to data from SimilarWeb Sleepopolis sends more people to a Casper bed now than anyone (not a big surprise).

To be fair, these sites are now starting to disclose the commission part of their business to consumers on the front of their websites. I actually do not have a problem with them making money. These groups are providing an “advice service” for which they should be compensated, but the compensation should be equal across all brands and not influence which ones are presented to the consumer if they are presented as impartial reviews. According to the FTC, reviewers do not have to disclose when a company wants to pay them higher commissions!

If you are in the market for a mattress, and you want to try an online purchase (which I recommend) and you want to use a Mattress Review Website, just remember they are getting some type of commission. Those commission decisions by the reviewers might influence your purchase (go to the bottom of their site and see if you can get some clarity on what is really going on).

I recently conducted a survey of readers just like you more of you asked me to create a guide on “how to buy a mattress,” than any other topic. So, I’m currently in the process of creating that guide, and it will be available soon. I’ll may also create a quiz that will help you determine which type of mattress is best for you. Stay tuned!

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That’s all for this week, wishing everybody Sweet Dreams!

Dr. Breus