Most of us associate a good night’s sleep with being comfortable. And while comfort is indeed important, it’s a little known fact that breathing is the most important factor for quality sleep. Most of us pay little attention to our nighttime breathing. After all, you’re asleep, right? But if you sleep well and wake up feeling good, you have deep, steady breathing to thank.
Adequate oxygen intake during sleep restores the body, helps us sleep more deeply and soundly, and enables us to awaken refreshed. Reduce oxygen intake and you’ll see all kinds of negative repercussions. Even a slightly reduced oxygen intake can cause daytime sleepiness, fatigue, headaches, lack of focus, increased appetite, and other health risks. Dramatically reduced breathing due to snoring or sleep apnea can result in serious health issues, including an increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular problems.
Understanding the impact respiration has on sleep quality and health, European Sleep Works designs sleep systems that promote deeper breathing. To do this, we’ve identified two influential performance characteristics: Alignment and breathability.
Alignment and Breathing
There is a clear relationship between body position and breathing, and as we sleep, we naturally position ourselves in ways that allow us to breathe and swallow. For optimal oxygen intake, the body must lie in a supported position that keeps the airway open. Our chest, neck and head are ideally in alignment, minimizing constriction or collapse of airways. Torsional misalignment through shoulder or hip rotation—twisting of the spine—can restrict the airway and reduce full lung capacity. Over elevating or under elevating the head and neck with an improperly sized pillow will also diminish oxygen intake. Combined, these posture problems can dramatically reduce your quality of sleep and increase the incidence of breathing disorders, such as snoring or sleep apnea.
The Drier the Better
A somewhat less obvious factor is the breathability of the mattress. When a mattress does a good job of circulating air and evaporating moisture caused by perspiration, the body is better able to regulate its temperature. When we “sleep hot” our body is working harder. Our heart rate and blood pressure rise and our breathing is shallower. A well-ventilated, drier mattress also means fewer allergens like molds, mildew and dust mites—another advantage for better breathing.
The European Sleep Works Solution
Our mattress system is designed to promote both alignment and breathability. First, our mattress and slat system accommodate the curves of hips and shoulders to encourage optimal spinal alignment. Our patented Oxygen Pillow helps achieve proper elevation of the head and neck. By allowing a neutral posture free from strain, deeper breathing can be attained.
Second, the materials we use in our mattresses are breathable and help transport moisture, so you sleep warm and dry rather than hot and sweaty. Our covers are made from organic cotton and Merino wool. Both our coil system and flexible slat system circulate air in and around your mattress to keep the sleep environment dry—you breathe deeper and sleep better.