A balanced diet and sufficient exercise are naturally part of a healthy lifestyle. However, one of the most important building blocks for permanent physical and psychological well-being is constantly neglected: restful sleep. At the upcoming Heimtextil (8-11 January 2019), it will therefore be a particular focus for the first time. And there’s more: the international trade fair for home and contract textiles in Frankfurt am Main will thus guarantee a comprehensive insight into the “Future of Sleep”.
According to a Forsa study carried out last year for the Techniker Krankenkasse, one in three adults in Germany experiences mediocre, bad or even very bad sleep. ‘That doesn’t surprise me’, says Dr Alfred Wiater, former president of the German Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine (DGSM). ‘Numerous studies have since shown that we are sleeping worse and worse’. According to Wiater, the reasons for this are as multifaceted as some dreams: too much light or irritating noises, a permanently increased excitation level as a result of digitisation or general inability to relax and switch off.
The problem: those who don’t sleep well can become ill even if they take sufficient exercise and have a good diet. In addition to physical and psychological ailments such as cardiovascular diseases,
metabolic disturbances or anxiety, insufficient nocturnal rest also impacts the ability to concentrate, stamina and performance; this can lead to negative effects in both professional and private spheres. ‘When it comes to sleep, many people still think too little about it’, says Dr Alfred Wiater.
The sleep researcher – along with other international experts – will present on the current state of research in sleep medicine as part of the new “Sleep! The Future Forum”. In four thematic areas (Science & Digital, Sports, Hotels and Sustainability), the experts will provide information about the latest scientific and research findings and provide an outlook on the future of sleep. Heimtextil is cooperating with sleep expert Markus Kamps on the conception and planning of the programme. He and his team will also be on hand to advise trade fair visitors during a “First Aid Sleep Consultation Hour”. The new forum in the foyer of hall 11.0 is thus an attractive meeting point for representatives of the bed industry for knowledge transfer, exchange of experiences and networking.
The new lifestyle trend
‘Today we know more about restful sleep and its positive influence on the brain, health and immune system than ever before – and yet we still neglect it’, summarises Markus Kamps. The sleep advisor and specialist lecturer for bedding, who according to his own statement always travels with his own pillow in his luggage, wants to ‘to broaden the perspective on healthy sleep’ in Frankfurt at the beginning of January. According to Kamps, the optimal choice of bed linen, blankets, pillows and mattresses that suit the body and individual characteristics is just as important as optimal room design. After all, ‘textiles play a very important role’.
Heimtextil has recognised the latest lifestyle trend after nutrition and fitness and has transformed it into a top theme as part of the new trade fair concept “Sleep”. New products in this segment will be combined on a separate hall level (11.0) for the first time. Under the title “Smart Bedding”, 134 exhibitors will present their latest sleeping systems, mattresses and bedding. This includes functional materials as well as innovative technology solutions for a better night’s sleep.
Better night’s sleep thanks to intelligent assistants
A further novelty is the sleep tracker “Sleep” by the French Company Withings from Issy-les-Moulineaux. Their special sleep sensor mat is filled with air and placed under the mattress where it can synchronise with a smartphone via WLAN. If the user lies down to go to sleep, the clever digital monitors analyse the quality of sleep. On the corresponding app, parameters such as sleep duration, sleep depth and sleep regularity can be viewed; the mat even precisely records snoring that disturbs sleep.
‘We want to help anchor healthy sleeping habits’, says Ariane Koch, Brand Marketing Specialist at Withings. She says that this will happen via tips displayed by the app such as reminders to finally go to bed or put the smartphone aside. And restless nights due to bad eating or drinking behaviour could also be instructive. ‘Only when you see how well or badly you’ve slept can you improve your sleep’, says Ariane Koch.
Learning from top athletes
Nick Littlehales will once again be coming to Heimtextil. The well-known sleep coach of top athletes such as the five-time world champion footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and four-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton will be talking in the “Sleep! The Future Forum” about how even top sporting superstars whose sleep has already been optimised several times can still be improved. In interviews, Littlehales, who was involved in the development of a smart pillow to monitor sleep, emphasises that the tips offered to professionals can also be employed by non-sportspeople.
Elisabeth Brandau agrees. The multiple German mountain bike champion has set herself the goal of passing on her experiences relating to optimal sleep. ‘Stress is a permanent condition for many people today’, explains the 30-year-old Schönaich resident, who trains for two to three hours a day, raises two children, works as a non-medical practitioner and business coach and also runs the EBE-Racing team. ‘A high-performance day begins with a restful night’, says Brandau, who will explain to Heimtextil visitors how a good night’s sleep affects the performance of athletes – and how everyone can benefit from this knowledge.
World première: staying overnight in the most unusual places
At Heimtextil, the start-up Sleeperoo will be presenting an extraordinary world première for the hotel industry: the sleep capsule “Sleep Cube” is aimed at offering overnight experiences in the most exotic places possible. The modern version of a tent can be can be installed indoors or outdoors in almost any location. The user sleeps in the Sleep Cube on a comfortable 1.60 metre wide and 2 metre long mattress that can also accommodate two adults. The overall furnishings comprise sustainably produced materials. Three large panoramic windows ensure a view of the surroundings and the open sky. Sleeperoo founder and managing director Karen Löhnert will present her new type of overnight stay idea at the “Sleep! The Future Forum”.
Sustainability in the bedroom
More and more people are also relying on the use of natural materials and sustainably produced textiles in the bedroom. This is why the thematic block Sustainability in the lecture forum is dedicated to the material quality of textiles and the quality of their processing, in particular the verifiability of high environmental production standards. Sustainability experts from GoodWeave, Control Union, Transfair, Texool and Cotton made in Africa will be showing how retailers and consumers can find their way around the eco-label jungle with confidence.