Josephine Home: Get over your fears (by sleeping on it)

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New study reveals new coping technique.

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The science behind sleeping is both fascinating and vital, and in fact helps those within the bedding industry recognise where our weaknesses and strengths lie in providing the very best sleeping solutions for our consumers.

If counting sheep or drinking hot cocoa doesn’t help with hitting the hay, then not to worry – as researchers have uncovered a solution to help sleep away any fears or anxieties, as published in Time.

A study featured in the journal Nature Neuroscience found for the first time that the sheer strength of emotional memories (especially those associated with fear) can be combatted with helpful sleep-based methods; in the hope that simple actions such as a good night’s sleep can minimise phobias as well as symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Leading the study at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, Katherina Hauner, she noted the sleeping patterns of 15 participants – using images and smells.

“Individual memories related to fearful events can be specifically targeted and changed during sleep,” explained Hauner.

“To my knowledge, this is the first [experiment] to show that emotional memories can be manipulated during sleep in humans.”

The reason behind why enjoying a decent slumber could reduce fearful emotions is due to one of sleep’s fundamental purposes; to consolidate memories to be stored so as to create space for new memories, therefore making more room for increased brain capacity.

With one of memory’s aspects including emotion, some reminders are automatically kept or even removed – but upon each recurring memory that is brought up and stored again, can be altered ever so slightly. This is why an unconscious experience such as smelling a particular scent whilst sleeping can alter the memory, so its emotional relevance – in this instance, fear – is weakened so upon the next time it is activated, is not as emotionally powerful.

A spokesperson for Josephine Home commented: “The science behind sleeping is both fascinating and vital, and in fact helps those within the bedding industry recognise where our weaknesses and strengths lie in providing the very best sleeping solutions for our consumers.

“By taking into account this essential piece of information, we can inform and advise our customers accordingly – and hopefully help improve the sleeping habits of those suffering from restless nights.”

From offering soft Egyptian cotton bed linen to sumptuous angora throws, Josephine Home is at the forefront of quality bedding and homeware. ‘Tired’ of not getting a great night’s sleep? Then enjoy luxurious fabrics from the UK’s linen experts, only at http://www.josephinehome.co.uk.

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Mariel Norton