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Improve sleep for cognitive development

You may think there’s a tenuous link between the installation of carpets and improved cognitive function, but in short, research states that carpets can improve sleep, which in turn improves cognitive development and here’s why.

Sleep is essential for cognitive functioning; we all know that after a sleepless night we find it hard to concentrate and think straight. As adults, we can cope with the odd disturbed night, but for adolescents and children, persistent quality sleep patterns can improve a wide variety of cognitive processes such as attention, language, reasoning, decision making, creativity, learning and memory.

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Therefore, within boarding facilities and student accommodation obtaining an acoustically sound environment can improve the learning and development of the children and young adults living and learning in those settings.

How does sleep affect the brain?

Typically, during a night’s sleep, you will experience several sleep cycles and during these periods the brain and body experience changes.

During the NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) stage, also known as slow-wave sleep or deep sleep, brain activity slows, although pulses of specific types of brain waves remain. In comparison, during REM sleep you will experience substantially more brain activity, which is why we often remember our dreams from this stage.

During each of the stages, different chemicals in the brain become activated or deactivated to coordinate rest and recovery. Such sleep cycles are believed to support mental recovery, which has many cognitive benefits related to attention, thinking and memory.

If sleep patterns become disturbed or you consistently suffer from a lack of sleep the brain struggles to function properly. It doesn’t have time to recuperate and is less capable of optimal performance in numerous cognitive ways, including the working memory, which is necessary to remember things for immediate use.

In particular, NREM sleep or deep sleep has been linked with the formation of declarative memory, which includes things like basic facts or statistics, whilst REM sleep is believed to boost procedural memory such as remembering a sequence of steps.

According to the Sleep Foundation “The existing research strongly supports the notion that poor sleep detracts from effective thinking. Without quality sleep, people are more likely to make errors, fail to take in new information, suffer deficits in memory, or have impaired decision-making. As a result, poor sleep can harm intellectual performance, academic achievement, creative pursuits, and productivity at work”

So how does carpet improve sleep?

Noise at night can come from several different sources. It may be the next-door neighbour who is having a mid-week rave, it could be your snoring partner or those noisy water pipes. All such noise can disturb you during one of the essential sleep stages and keep you awake for a prolonged period.

Did you know that carpet, with its soft fibres combined with integral backing or underlay, has outstanding sound absorption qualities and also reduces sound waves from bouncing around a room? Carpets, therefore, help to make a room acoustically sound and a peaceful place to rest and recuperate.

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Carpet is naturally an outstanding sound absorptive material. In terms of sound impact, many carpets exceed a 28 dB reduction in sound impact levels which far exceeds UK Building Regulations for multi-residential dwellings. No other acoustical material performs the dual role of a floor covering and a versatile acoustical aid. A carpet that is manufactured for environments such as student accommodation can absorb airborne noise as efficiently as many specialized acoustical materials.

Carpet can dampen noise coming from other rooms and reduce echoes within a room, which all contribute to a more serene and relaxing environment.

So, in conclusion, considering carpets as part of a design scheme within boarding schools and university accommodation can aid rest and quality sleep patterns, allowing the brain to work at its optimal level for cognitive development.

Discover our range of carpets that create the perfect foundation for Education settings.

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