JYSK Sleep Dr, academic Dr John Shaw, this week begins his personal sleep challenge.
Dr John, a self-confessed disrupted sleeper, thanks to most of his work being undertaken at night – watching others sleep – has determined to follow a sleep fitness plan, and share the results.
As a warm up to working with the global Scandinavian Sleeping & Living brand which champions ‘Good Night’ in the UK, the group furnished its new science-of-sleep partner with the perfect sleeping environment.
JYSK’s Sleep Dr now has the right elements for sleeping success, from the from ‘partner-proof’* mattress and temperature-regulating bedding to cool-touch pillows. Under advice from JYSK’s bedding experts, Dr John and his partner also chose pillows to suit their individual preferences.
If you live to 90, that equates to roughly 30 years of slumber. 30 years. If we assume the 10,000h rule to master a skill is right, we should become experts in just under 3.5 years.
As he prepared himself for a step-change in his sleeping habits Dr John said: “If you ever really sit down and actively think about sleep, you begin to realise how weird it is. I had this moment 10 years ago and even now, after 10 years of studying it, it still fascinates me. We are meant to be sleeping, on average 7-8h per night. If you live to 90, that equates to roughly 30 years of slumber. 30 years. If we assume the 10,000h rule to master a skill is right, we should become experts in just under 3.5 years.
“Even when you think of the mechanics, it is fascinating. We lie down and pretend to sleep in order to sleep. While we are sleeping, a whole host of processes are in action we aren't even consciously aware of. We start by cooling our internal temperature by a couple of degrees. The brain begins to 'fall asleep' back to front, so our vision goes first, with our higher reasoning the last to go. It’s why you have those moments where you feel like you’re asleep but can still hear every sound, every car that goes past on the road.
“During sleep our body begins to repair the wear and tear of the day. At times neurons fire at such frequency that when we watch the brain’s electrical activity, we can be fooled for thinking the subject is awake. Our memories from the day begin to form connections with our existing knowledge, consolidating what we've learned and experienced so that over time, we can recall it. We can visit other worlds and lifetimes through dreams that can be so realistic, some can tap into this and act out fantasies as if it was real life. Even during dreaming our body is active, paralysing our muscles so we don't act out those dreams.
“Yet despite all this activity, despite all this biology that unites all creatures great and small, in the UK we don't take enough care of our sleep. Margaret Thatcher infamously said: 'sleep is for wimps'. We've built this culture where some of us believe sleep isn't vital for us to function and is something of a hindrance. Scandinavian nations view things very differently and actively invest in quality sleep.
Sleep deprivation costs the UK 200,000 working days and the UK economy £40bn a year
“For us in the UK, as a result, sleep deprivation in society is rampant and it adds up. Estimations have sleep deprivation as costing the UK 200,000 working days, and the UK economy £40bn a year. For individuals, those who sleep fewer than 6h per night are at a 35% increased chance of dying than those who get 7-9h.
“And what's scary about this is how it can happen so discreetly. If you lose 1h per night, over the space of a week that's the equivalent of 1 night of sleep lost. Over time, we, not just as a nation but as a species are building up a sleep debt that cannot be paid back.”
Over the next few months, in partnership with JYSK, Scandinavian Sleeping & Living, Dr John is sharing his journey towards better sleep hygiene and better sleep and offering tips and advice on how to be an expert sleeper.
He is starting with:
● No caffeine after 4pm, only water
● No electronics 1h before bed
● Have a set defined routine for waking up at the same time every day
● Recording sleep, time of going to bed, time woken up, any waking up during the night,
● And I have a new bed, JYSK GOLD S120 DREAMZONE mattress and bedding from JYSK – so I’ve improved my sleep environment too.
The science behind sleeping better and how easy it is to make positive changes should be at the front of all our minds as we prepare to put the clocks back and enjoy an extra hour’s lie in.
Sleep is one of the most vital processes for us, vital for both biological and cognitive function, it's about time we started embracing it. The JYSK Sleep Dr wants us as a nation to have a greater awareness as to the importance of sleep, a public sleep awakening. JYSK wants us to sleep like Scandinavians – who are the happiest nations in the world.
By JYSK Sleep Doctor: Dr John Shaw.
The JYSK Sleep Doctor is de Montfort University academic Dr John Shaw. He specialises in the study of sleep. He’s interested in what we’re all doing behind the zzzz-s and why we’re doing it, and, with JYSK’s help, he’s on a quest to find the perfect night’s sleep.
*Partner-proof – this refers to the JYSK mattress GOLD S120 DREAMZONE that absorbs movement super-effectively to ensure that sleeping partners aren’t woken by a wriggling bedfellow.
JYSK is an international chain of stores with Scandinavian roots that sells everything for the home. The first store opened in Denmark in 1979, and today JYSK has over 2,800 stores and 23,000 employees in 52 countries. In Germany and Austria the stores are called Dänisches Bettenlager – in the rest of the world JYSK. JYSK is owned by the family behind Lars Larsen Group, who owns a number of companies with a total annual turnover of 4.25 billion EUR. JYSK’s turnover is 3.58 billion EUR.