By Joseph Maina
Sleep is an important part of our lives, and the quality of sleep has a direct effect on a person’s ability to learn and retain new things in the mind, these were the sentiments of Mr Mike Fischer, the CEO of Supafoam Matresses, a leading manufacturer of mattresses in the country, on the celebration of the 2019 International World Sleep Day.
“The degree to which your children will assimilate or hold the learning that they are experiencing everyday of their lives is achieved while they sleep at night,” Fischer told young mothers at Provide International Hospital, Kayole on Friday. “If you do not sleep well, generally you do not retain what you have learnt during the day.”
Terming sleep as a basic human right, Fischer said sleep has both a health dynamic and a learning dynamic. “You recover and you rebuild your health as human beings while you sleep.” “When we think about health, we think about food and good exercise,” Ms Sanskrati Shetty, Marketing Manager at Superfoam Mattresses told Health Business.
“I don’t think we really think about sleep as a related factor, yet one-third of human life is spent sleeping. For example, a child’s full growth is achieved when it has slept well. What you sleep on is therefore very important, and the mattress is where it comes to,” she said.
The Kenyan market has in the past been contaminated with low quality products, Sanskrati noted, but players in the sleep industry have joined hands over the past years to improve on the quality of mattresses in the market. During the event, Superfoam Mattresses donated 20 special hospital mattresses for wards, examination and theatre beds to the facility. The mattresses were worth Ksh135000.
“They are high-density foam mattresses, which will have a long lifespan,” Fischer said. “They are covered with a rexin fabric, which is very resistant and will not stain. They are very durable, can be washed and can be sanitized.”
The hospital, run by an NGO, provides nutrition and reproductive healthcare services to vulnerable people living in Nairobi slum areas. Provide International Hospital director Jonah Kitheka lauded the mattress donations terming the mattresses covers as “easy to clean and disinfect.”
Kitheka decried insufficient funds to equip the hospital despite the facility serving high numbers of patients. “We receive patients from different places in Nairobi County and beyond. However, we do not have the recommended hospital mattresses. Most of our mattresses are not covered in rexin as recommended for hospital beds,” Kitheka said as he received the donation.
He thanked Superfoam for a “timely and adequate act” and further called for more support for the hospital, which had appealed for support in December last year. “We made a public appeal for medical equipment last year. Today, as we commemorate World Sleep Day, Superfoam has greatly contributed to the recovery process of patients in our facility,” Kitheka noted.
Citing high numbers of patients at the hospital, Kitheka said the hospital “lacked sufficient sleeping pads” and revealed that not all patients secure beds at the hospital. “These mattresses will improve our services in the hospital as we strive to provide affordable but quality health services.” World Sleep Day is an annual event organized by World Sleep Day Committee of World Sleep Society.
According to the Society, the day aims to be a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues related to sleep, including medicine, education, and social aspects and driving. The day also aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders.