Sleep was a major wellness trend in 2018 and it looks as though it will remain a popular topic through 2019. We scoured the web’s many predictions to determine which sleep supportive wellness habits and research areas would be top-of-mind for consumers and health professionals in the year to come.
With studies showing that people are not getting enough sleep, and more sleep focused research being conducted in general, people around the world and especially in the U.S. are much more interested in understanding sleep. From learning how much they need, to understanding sleep disorders to purchasing tools to help them get more of it, the general public is really starting to pay attention to their sleep health. And, there are no signs of this trend slowing down any time soon. Not only is the bedding and mattress industry on board and developing more and more technologies to support consumers in their quests to get better rest, but many newcomers to the sleep business are taking advantage of the growing prestige and popularity of quality slumber.
As part of the growing interest in understanding sleep, tracking has become a huge area of sleep technology. Consumers want to know their own individual sleep patterns and are eager to improve them. With support from programs like Reverie’s Sleep Coach, sleep tracking devices from a whole swath of companies, including Eight Sleep and even Apple, people are getting a chance to diagnose some of their own minor sleep inhibitors and potentially change habits that are keeping them from a restorative night’s rest. And, for those consumers who already understand their sleep needs thoroughly, through a tracker or the support of diagnostic systems like Kingsdown’s BedMATCH or even a sleep study, there are smart beds and sleeker than ever adjustable bases on the market that provide incredibly customizable support. The hyper-customizable bed (via mattress or powerbase or both) is an area of sleep technology that continues to thrive and will continue to expand into 2019.
Not Simply Prioritizing Fitness, Prioritizing Recovery
According to this story from Greatist, “Training and recovering like a pro athlete willbecome a lot easier in 2019 as gyms and health centers continue adding features like cryotherapy, float tanks and infrared saunas.” Additionally, this story noted that recovery studios—establishments solely dedicated to helping fitness junkies recover—are opening around the country. And this trend is not limited to the gym circuit. In the sleep industry, we’ve seen manufacturers like BEDGEAR, REM-Fit, ReST and many others seek to create products specifically designed to deliver recovery and performance benefits to end users.
Sleep Supportive Trends
It’s no surprise that with the widespread legalization of cannabis across the country and the FDA’s approval of the first drug with origins in marijuana, a purified form of CBD, its usage is also on the rise. Although the breadth of benefits proclaimed to be delivered by the myriad CBD products on the market—everything from food items to creams to reduce chronic pain and serums to limit inflammation—are still being explored, we expect consumers will continue to see an influx of CBD-infused products entering the marketplace in 2019. We covered the uncertain value of cannabis for improving sleep earlier in 2018 here.
Ayurveda & Other Holistic Self Care Practices
Self-care in the form of yoga, meditation practices, crafting, baths, facials and more are all part of a growing interest in improved mental wellbeing, which also aids in relaxation and ultimately, sleep. Self-care is defined by PsychCentral as, “any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” A classic approach to holistic wellness and self-care from the East, called Ayurveda, has been popularized this year by celebrities like Oprah and Gwyneth Paltrow. In Vogue’s wellness trends list, it describes Ayurveda as, “a sister science to yoga created to heal and balance the body with the belief that every human has a different balance of three biological energies known as Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.” These energies dictate your prescription for better living, with advice addressing all areas of overall health including diet, best self care practices, herbal treatments and more to balance your specific energy from season to season. While we are not sure whether or not Ayurveda will truly take off, we are certain that self care is sure to evolve as new approaches emerge in 2019.
Gut health was apparently top of mind in 2018 and is predicted to stick around in the consumer consciousness come 2019. Interestingly, a study recently confirmed links between gut bacteria and skin allergies. Plus with the rise of numerous types of food sensitivities, it’s no wonder more people are seeking to gain control of their digestive health. Ensuring that gut bacteria is balanced properly is one viable solution. To address the growing desire to improve tummy troubles and possibly skin allergies with probiotics, opportunistic food manufacturers now inject probiotics into snack categories ranging from chips to granola bars. We remain a little wary of this trend for now, but at the same time, a settled, well balanced stomach does make it easier to fall asleep.
Clean (And Sober) Living
While natural or ‘clean’ beauty supplies and foods have been topics of conversation for a while now, this conscientiousness is also trickling into alcoholic beverage consumption. Although drinking less is not exactly a new trend, it’s been steadily increasing since 2016, it’s a highly positive one. Not only does drinking less alcohol save money while preventing disease and weight gain, it also promotes better sleep.
Not only are individuals much more focused on health and wellness these days, but workplaces are too. There’s even a term for it: corporate wellness. Employers are starting to understand that if they can nurture the whole employee, they’ll ultimately get better output on the job. Beyond preventing illness, wellness of mind, body and spirit involves proper nutrition, appropriate amounts of rest (not too much or too little) and time to recover from both physical and mental labor through pleasurable and fitness oriented activities. This year saw numerous findings confirming the inefficiency of sleeplessness—and worker bees are starting to wake-up to the idea that the number of hours a person worked doesn’t always correlate with their level of productivity. Losing sleep to achieve more at work is ultimately counterproductive.
While things like “superfoods” and other of-the-moment perceived cure-alls will come and go, many of the more practical trends from 2018 that we predict will gain even more traction in 2019 reflect a deeper awareness of how interconnected all aspects of our lives are. To improve our sleep, nutrition, fitness and mental health, we can’t just focus on one category. All of these pieces fit together and to maintain optimal health and success in both our work and personal lives, we’ve got to remain consistently dedicated to these essential areas.
This article originally appeared in Sleep Retailer eNews on December 13, 2018
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