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What is sleep and why do we need it?

What is sleep? Sleep consists of two stages – non-REM and REM. Non-REM sleep can be divided into four sub-stages; 1; light sleep, where you are between waking and sleeping, muscle activity slows down. 2; ‘true’ sleep, where your breathing and heart rate begin to slow down for a period of around 20 minutes. 3; ‘deep’ sleep, your breathing and heart rate slow to their lowest levels and the brain produces ‘delta’ waves. 4; the last part of non-REM sleep involves rhythmic breathing and limited muscle activity, before turning into full REM sleep. At this stage, sleep occurs in a recurring cycle between 90 and 110 minutes long. Disturbances during any of these stages can disrupt the process and limit the benefits of sleep.

Most of us in the UK sleep between 5 and 11 hours a night, with an average of 7 hours and 45 minutes*. The effects that can happen when we don’t get our usual amount of regular sleep range from the emotional to the physical, and the mild to the extremely serious. The lesser effects of having a disturbed night’s sleep are likely to be irritability, forgetfulness and lack of concentration to varying degrees. While not usually too bad, any of these can certainly be enough to ruin your morning! Continually disturbed sleep patterns over a sustained period of time can have more serious effects. The ability to rationalise is severely limited and sense of time is affected – both contributing to increased difficulty in responding to changing situations and making sound judgments. Stress levels are likely to rise in these situations, which can lead to anxiety and even high blood pressure. Depending on what you do during the day, your body and mind will most likely struggle to cope effectively, and many regular tasks – driving for instance – could become dangerous.


Itís National Bed Month

March is National Bed Month – what better time to think about how you sleep?

The Sleep Council’s research shows that over 50% of people replace their beds only when they’re broken, while around 33% opt to swap when their beds become uncomfortable – both statistics underline how little we regard our sleeping conditions. At Ergoflex, we believe that mattresses and beds are the most important pieces of furniture that you can buy – when you consider how much time you spend on them, it’s hard to disagree. A poor mattress can have dreadful effects on your day-to-day life and health, whereas a high performance mattress will deliver incredible benefits.

When you sleep better, you feel better and you can’t underestimate the importance of that!

Bedbugs prefer unmade beds! - research

New research has found that the effects of making your bed can help attract bedbugs by optimising the conditions in which they live and breed – so can being untidy in the morning really have health benefits? Bedbugs live on dead skin cells and sweat that comes off your body when asleep, and their adverse health effects are well-known in the medical world. Flattened sheets and duvets, as well as open pocket-sprung bed structures, provide the perfect habitation for bedbugs – so much so that an average bed could house up to 1.5m of them.

The crux of this research is the fact that bedbugs can’t thrive in a well-aired environment, as the temperature and settling of skin cells is not to their liking. As some £700m a year is spent treating bedbugs-related illnesses alone, we’re sure that this is something worth some attention.

If not making your bed doesn’t sound like something you’d like to start doing regularly, why not make your bed as inhospitable as possible to bedbugs with an Ergoflex™ memory foam mattress? Every Ergoflex mattress comes with the ‘Cool-Sleep’® Airflow System and of course a layered memory foam composition – providing one of the most hygienic sleeping environments available.

The best way to prevent bedbugs

Bedbugs – the nocturnal insect scourge often thought to be exclusive to run-down motels the world over, are actually more common than you’d perhaps like to believe. Mattresses, as expected, are the habitat preferred by bedbugs, whether in the seams, springs or elsewhere within the structure. The darkness and temperature offered by mattresses provide the perfect breeding – and feeding – environments for bedbugs.


Reactions to sleeping on a mattress that has bedbugs vary from person to person, but common occurrences include bite spots and allergic reactions, with particular problems suffered by asthmatics. In short, bedbugs are not good news for your health or hygiene.


The layered composition of the Ergo Flex™ memory foam mattress helps to prevent bedbugs ever occurring, as there are no hollow areas as in pocket sprung mattresses for them to inhabit.