Sleep is vital to a long and healthy life, according to one of Norway's leading neuroscientist Ole Petter Hjelle. He recommends weighted duvets to calm down, relax and get better and longer-lasting sleep.
Several studies show that weight duvets have a calming and sleeping effect.
"When you sleep with a weighted duvet, the levels of the hormones oxytocin and serotonin increase, which have a positive effect on our sleep. At the same time, the stress hormone cortisol, which inhibits sleep, is reduced", says Ole Petter Hjelle.
Ole Petter Hjelle is an associate professor at Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge. But in addition to a doctorate in neurology, he has an impressive background as a professional athlete with NM gold medals in marathon and more than 7.5OO skydive jumps. For many years he has also done public speaking and lectures to inform the public about the value of training and physical exercise for our brains.
In addition to this impressive resume, Ole Petter Hjelle has written several books in popular medicine. The most resent published title goes by the name Lev til du blir 1OO – 7 nøkler til et langt og godt liv. A title that translates to "Live until you are 1OO – 7 keys to a long and good life"
And to be able to do just that – sleep plays a significant role.
"Sleep improves the immune system and helps protect us against cancer and infections, lowers blood pressure and leads to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Appetite is regulated when we sleep and helps to counteract obesity by eating less and healthier. The whole body is positively affected by sleep", says Ole Petter Hjelle.
Our immune system, which protects us against infections and cancer, among other things, is completely dependent on enough sleep to function optimally.
"It is well documented that when we sleep too little, activity is inhibited in several important parts of our immune system. An example is our so-called natural killer cells, or NK cells. These are the elite soldiers of the immune system who work tirelessly to track down dangerous alien elements and kill them. Over time, lack of sleep reduces the immune system's ability to protect us from cancer – a disease that affects one in three Norwegians during life", says the Norwegian neuroscientist.
But despite the knowledge, sleep can often end up in the shadows and easily get down-prioritised, according to Ole Petter Hjelle. And this happens although many people today are aware of the positive effects of a well-slept body and brain.
"Still, we take sleep for granted and make other choices. Because that's what we do. Humans are the only species that by our own knowledge and will rob ourselves of sleep", says Ole Petter Hjelle.
The fact that sleep is taken for granted and actively opted out is perhaps the most crucial reason why we sleep too little, but it is not the only one.
"Many people try to get the much-needed eight hours of sleep every night but do not succeed. They suffer from insomnia, or difficulty sleeping. This is a common condition: We believe that about 10-15 per cent of Norwegians suffer from long-term and severe sleep problems", says Ole Petter Hjelle.
Ole Petter Hjelle is now a part of CURA of Sweden's expert panel. You can find out more about our expert panel and its members right here.
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