How to Sleep Healthy?
Create your healthy sleeping place based on the principles of healthy sleep.
- The natural position of your spine.
- Low pressure on your skin and muscle tissue.
- Movement during your sleep (and during the day).
- Optimal sleeping climate.
Sleep is essential for emotional, physical, and cognitive well-being (Hirshkowitz et al., 2015) and occupies around one-third of a person's life (Lee, 1997). Sleep enables the human body to recover after activity, ensuring optimal subsequent functioning (Vyazovskiy and Delogu, 2014). Sleep deprivation and loss are closely associated with cognitive impairment, mood changes, and hormonal abnormalities (Dinges et al., 1997; Ferrara and De Gennaro, 2001; Carskadon and Dement, 2005).
At Quiesco, we care about how you sleep and work. That is why we want to show you how to sleep and work healthy.
On this page, we share our expertise on healthy sleep.
The principles of healthy sleep
The natural position of your spine
A neutral spine position provides even pressure on the intervertebral discs. Your head and pelvis should be on the same axis.
A neutral spine position.
The basis of a healthy night's rest is that your spine is supported in its natural position [1-4]. Your spine runs from your tailbone to the top of your neck. Supporting your spine in a good position reduces physical complaints.
This is an example of a good spine position:
The combination of the right mattress, mattress base, and pillow supports your spine in its natural position . Learn more about the right support for your spine.
Does your bed provide the right support?
Low pressure on skin and muscle tissue
Your mattress, pillow, and bedding exert pressure on your body. Too much pressure can lead to morning stiffness or numb arms. Therefore, choose a mattress and pillow with good pressure distribution.
Low pressure on skin and muscle tissue.
It is important to keep the pressure on skin, muscle, and nerve tissue as low as possible during your sleep. This ensures good blood circulation in your body. A hard mattress or pillow puts too much pressure on you, disrupting your blood supply and overstimulating your nerve tissue, leading to restless sleep. Optimal pressure distribution spreads the pressure over a large area.
Latex and viscoelastic foam are known for their pressure-distributing properties. A good mattress or pillow provides minimal pressure on your skin and muscle tissue. This allows your body to relax and recover optimally. To avoid limiting the pressure-distributing properties of your mattress or pillow, it is important to use elastic bedding.
Movement during your sleep and during the day.
Moving in your sleep has 3 important functions:
- Improved muscle circulation
- Avoiding prolonged pressure points
- Promoting hydration of the intervertebral discs
Your sleep system should allow you to change position easily during your sleep. This is more difficult on a waterbed, memory foam mattress, or a too soft mattress. Excessive movement, on the other hand, leads to restless sleep, especially on very firm systems.
Daytime movement is also important. Research shows that physical activity has a positive impact on the quality of your sleep .
Optimal sleeping climate
Your sleeping climate has an impact on the quality of your sleep. Skin temperature, rapid temperature changes, and sweating during sleep significantly reduce sleep quality. The microsleep climate created by your mattress, pillow, and bedding strongly affects skin temperature and, therefore, sleep quality .
The thermal properties of your mattress, pillow, and bedding are essential for a good night's sleep. Choose natural materials such as latex, wool, wild silk, or camel hair for your duvet and mattress cover for optimal ventilation. Avoid synthetic materials!
- Lee, K.A., 1997. An overview of sleep and common sleep problems. Nephrol. Nurs. J. 24, 614.
- Tonetti LL, Martoni MM, Natale VV. Effects of different mattresses on sleep quality in healthy subjects: an actigraphic study. Biol Rhythm Res. 2011;42(2):89–97.
- Vyazovskiy, V.V., Delogu, A., 2014. NREM and REM sleep: complementary roles in recovery after wakefulness. Neuroscientist 20, 203–219.
- Haex B. A study on the optimal support of the human spine during bed rest. PhD Thesis; Leuven: Acco, 2002.
- Oliver J, Middleditch A. Functional anatomy of the spine, 1st ed., Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1991.
- Pheasant S. Posture. Ergonomics, work and health, 1st ed., London: Macmillan, 1991.
- Gracovetsky SA, Farfan H. The optimum spine. Spine 1986;11: 543–73.
- Dolan P, Adams MA, Hutton WC. Commonly adopted postures and their effect on the lumbar spine. Spine 1988;13:197–201.
- Sullivan Bisson AN, Robinson SA, Lachman ME. Walk to a better night of sleep: testing the relationship between physical activity and sleep. Sleep Health. 2019 Oct;5(5):487-494. doi: 10.1016/j.sleh.2019.06.003. Epub 2019 Jul 26. PMID: 31358470; PMCID: PMC6801055.
- Troynikov O, Watson CG, Nawaz N. Sleep environments and sleep physiology: A review. J Therm Biol. 2018 Dec;78:192-203. doi: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2018.09.012. Epub 2018 Oct 5. PMID: 30509635.