Sleep Well, Walk Well!

A new study published in the Scientific Reports journal suggests that not getting the right amount of sleep can impact negatively your gait and the way you walk.

You are probably already aware that a lack of sleep can affect the functioning ability of the brain. Research published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) showed that a chronic lack of sleep doubled reaction times and increased concentration lapses by a staggering five times.

It is also well-known that a lack of sleep can impact physical health. NIH (the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute) have linked an inadequate amount of proper sleep to long-term health consequences including strokes, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.

Carried out at the University of São Paulo, a new study has found that a lack of sleep has negative impacts on walking gait. 30 participants were given a watch that tracked their sleeping and waking activity over two weeks; the results of this initial test found that the participants slept on average just six hours a day.&

On the fourteenth day, half of the group were intentionally deprived of sleep and kept awake all night. All of the participants then took part in a treadmill test wherein they were instructed to strike their heel exactly in time with the regular beat of a metronome.

The results showed that errors in heel-strike synchronisation were much larger and more frequent in those who were sleep-deprived. Arturo Forner-Cordero PhD, an Associate Professor at the University of São Paulo and the lead author of the study, said that the sleep-deprived participants "were off the rhythm, they missed beeps, and were performing in general worse." Hermano Igo Krebs PhD (a co-author of the study) said: "The results show that gait is not an automatic process, and that it can be affected by sleep deprivation."

The problem of inadequate sleep is widespread. According to research carried out by the Sleep Council, nearly half of people feel sleepy during the daytime three or more days each week. The research also showed that one in three adults sleep for less than seven hours a night.

Many things can affect how much and how well we sleep but one of the crucial factors is the quality of your bed and mattress. Here at Odd Size Beds, we offer a comprehensive collection of beds, mattresses and accessories to help you enjoy the best possible night's sleep, every night. Discover our collection on the Odd Size Beds website. Sweet dreams!

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