better-sleep-mainWe all care about sleep.

Most of us care simply because we know how good it feels to be well-rested, recharged and mentally alert after a good night’s rest…

…but did you know that not getting enough sleep can hurt both your long-term physical and mental health?

According to WebMD, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to:

  • Weight gain,
  • High blood pressure,
  • Depression,
  • Stroke, and even
  • Heart attack and heart failure.

…And here’s the scary part:

73% of Americans, 18 and over, aren’t sleeping well enough (comfortably through the night) or getting enough sleep (the recommended 7-8 hours) to be considered healthy. source

So… let me ask you:

Are you consistently getting enough good sleep?

If you’re like almost three-fourths of American adults, and you answered no, then it’s time to take control of your sleep, and time to make changes to improve it.

So… to help you out, I put together this in-depth article on sleep. It shows you, exactly, what sleep is, why it’s so important, and even gives you a powerful, research-backed way to get a better night’s rest… every night.

How to Consistently Get Better Sleep

This article is broken down into three sections: 1) What sleep is, 2) Why it’s so important, and 3) A research-backed way to a better night’s rest.

I highly recommended you read the first two sections (to solve a problem, you have to understand it), but if you want to jump to the research-backed way to getting a better night’s sleep, click here or use the table of contents below:

What, Exactly, is Sleep?

what-is-sleep

Given you’ll spend roughly a third of your life asleep, it’s incredible how much about sleep is still unknown.

In fact, scientists still aren’t sure exactly why we even sleep! To this day, they only have educated guesses and theories.

…But to give you a good working definition of sleep, here’s how Harvard defines it:

A state of low physical activity and response to stimuli, along with increased activity in some brain functions and eye movement.

So… what does that mean in practical terms?

It means your body is the most ‘switched off’ it can be, while specific parts of your mind (particularly those associated with memory) are more ‘switched on’ (even more so than while you’re awake). source

But check this out:

Your body doesn’t stay in the same ‘switched off’ state all night… it actually goes through 5 different stages of sleep, collectively known as a sleep cycle:

  1. Stage 1 – Very light sleep, you can be awakened easily.
  2. Stage 2 – Muscles stop moving, brain waves slow down.
  3. Stage 3 – Deep sleep, brain waves slow significantly.
  4. Stage 4 – Deep sleep, brain waves slow significantly.
  5. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Breathing and eye movement become rapid, your brain produces more “awake” brain waves than “sleep” brain waves. source

Scientists have found that, each night, our bodies go through sleep cycles in a relatively consistent pattern:
sleep cycle 2.1

What is the above chart showing?

It shows your body’s progression through the five stages of sleep, on an average night. You can see that, with 8 hours of sleep, your body typically goes through five full sleep cycles, the amount of time spent in REM getting progressively longer.

The Dramatic Importance of Sleep

Getting enough high-quality sleep has a huge positive impact on your body and mind…

…but to fully understand its benefit, you need to understand what happens if you don’t get enough of it:

The Surprisingly Horrible Effects of Bad, Low-Quality Sleep

bad sleep
Bad sleep broadly affects you in two ways: the short term and the long term.

Look:

You know what bad sleep in the short term feels like… you’re groggy, tired, and often short tempered…

…but here’s what else bad sleep does to your body and mind in the short-term:

  1. Kills your sex drive (you’ll have a lower libido and less interest in sex) source 1, 2
  2. Dumbs you down (it impairs your cognitive thinking, concentration, problem solving, concentration, and more) source 1, 2
  3. Weakens your immune system source 1, 2, 3

…And if that wasn’t bad enough, over the long-term, bad sleep:

  1. Leads to weight gain (due to increased hunger and cravings) source 1, 2, 3
  2. Causes depression source 1, 2, 3
  3. Can lead to serious health issues (including diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and even heart attack) source 1, 2, 3

Terrifying, right?

So… you know the surprisingly horrible effects of bad sleep… let’s look at the opposite side of things:

The Incredibly Powerful Effects of Good, High-Quality Sleep

good sleep

You know how good it feels to be well-rested… but here’s what getting enough natural, deep sleep does for your body and brain:

  1. Keeps you healthy (both in the short and long term) source 1, 2
  2. Improves mood and emotional well-being source 1, 2
  3. Improves brain function and helps keep you alert and focused source 1, 2, 3

Now… remember:

Consistently getting a good night’s rest is important not only because you get these powerful benefits, but also because you avoid the horrible determinants from above.

Here’s the bottom line:

Getting enough good sleep goes beyond just making you feel well-rested… it strongly affects your health, your well-being, and your mental and physical performance.

A Research-Backed Way to a Better Night’s Rest

leesaFrom drinking less caffeine, to purchasing black-out blinds, there are a handful of ways to improve your quality of sleep…

…but in researching all of these different ways, I found that one was backed by the most research source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and was, by far, the easiest:

Get a better mattress.

Check this out:

Of the adults that actually do get enough sleep, 47% report that they have a comfortable, high-quality mattress. source

…And here’s why:

Low-quality, uncomfortable mattresses have been found to cause sleep discomfort and pain… source 1, 2

…while good, high-quality mattresses have been found to reduce sleep discomfort and pain source 1, 2, 3 and improve overall sleep quality. source 1, 2, 3, 4

And this makes sense, right?

If your feet hurt while you’re running, you get better running shoes… if you’re having trouble sleeping or getting quality sleep, you get a better mattress.

The Mattress to Get (+Mantelligence Exclusive Discount)

leesa+mntl

At Mantelligence, our goal is to give you easy-to-understand, actionable advice.

For example: If I show you how a better mattress will dramatically improve your sleep… I want to both help you find the right, high-quality mattress, and help you get it affordably.

So… I looked into the different luxury mattresses available on the market, and decided to partner with Leesa for three reasons:

Reason #1: Their mattress is super comfortable. They shipped me one a few months back and I’ve slept like the dead every night since. It’s an unbelievably comfortable, medium-firm mattress, that allows you to sink in, while still being incredibly supportive.

Reason #2: They have crazy-good reviews. Before I buy something, I like to see that others have used, and have loved it. And so I was pleased when I saw that the Leesa mattress had a 4.5-star rating, with over 2,500 reviews.

Reason #3: They have a 100-night, risk-free guarantee. You get to try their mattress, in your own home, for 100 days. Chances are, like me, you’ll love it, but if for some reason you don’t, they’ll fully refund your money and come pick the mattress up. In other words: if you’re considering getting a new mattress, you have absolutely nothing to lose.

And check this out:

Leesa has agreed to give Mantelligence readers an exclusive (limited-time) $75 discount. That means you can grab their twin mattress for just $450 or their queen mattress for just $815.

In Conclusion

6 out of 10 Americans crave sleep more than they do sex! source

…But now that you understand what sleep is, why it’s so important, and you know one of the easiest ways to improve it, you’ll get the sleep that you deserve and that your mind and body need.

Pro Tip: Leesa has made very clear that they can’t offer this discount forever. They didn’t give a date when it’d be gone… but if you’re considering getting a new mattress, I highly suggest you take advantage of this offer while it’s still available:

>Click here to check out Leesa