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How does sleep affect chess and performance

A chess game during the lunch break at Piumini Danesi

A chess game during the lunch break at Piumini Danesi

Article by Piumini Danesi

So why do we sleep? This is a question that has baffled scientists for centuries and the answer is, no one is really sure. Some believe that sleep gives the body a chance to recuperate from the day’s activities but in reality, the amount of energy saved by sleeping for even eight hours is miniscule – about 50 kCal, the same amount of energy in a piece of toast.

We have to sleep because it is essential to maintaining normal levels of cognitive skills such as speech, memory, innovative and flexible thinking. In other words, sleep plays a significant role in chess and we cannot deny it. From the Botvinnik studies we know how chess form is a reflection of one’s mind and body state, and there comes the basis of proper night sleep wellness.

Healthy sleep is essential for optimal learning and memory function

Sleep, learning, and memory are complex phenomena that are not entirely understood. However, animal and human studies suggest that the quantity and quality of sleep have a profound impact on learning and memory. Research suggests that sleep helps learning and memory in two distinct ways. First, a sleep-deprived person cannot focus attention optimally and therefore cannot learn efficiently. Second, sleep itself has a role in the consolidation of memory, which is essential for learning new information.

Although the exact mechanisms are not known, learning and memory are often described in terms of three functions. Acquisition refers to the introduction of new information into the brain. Consolidation represents the processes by which a memory becomes stable. Recall refers to the ability to access the information (whether consciously or unconsciously) after it has been stored.

Each of these steps is necessary for proper memory function. Acquisition and recall occur only during wakefulness, but research suggests that memory consolidation takes place during sleep through the strengthening of the neural connections that form our memories. Although there is no consensus about how sleep makes this process possible, many researchers think that specific characteristics of brainwaves during different stages of sleep are associated with the formation of particular types of memory.

Research has also focused on sleep and its role in procedural memory—the remembering “how” to do something (for example, riding a bicycle or playing the piano). REM sleep seems to plays a critical role in the consolidation of procedural memory. Other aspects of sleep also play a role: motor learning seems to depend on the amount of lighter stages of sleep, while certain types of visual learning seem to depend on the amount and timing of both deep, slow-wave sleep (SWS) and REM sleep.

Another area that researchers study is the impact that a lack of adequate sleep has on learning and memory. When we are sleep deprived, our focus, attention, and vigilance drift, making it more difficult to receive information. Without adequate sleep and rest, over-worked neurons can no longer function to coordinate information properly, and we lose our ability to access previously learned information.

In addition, our interpretation of events may be affected. We lose our ability to make sound decisions because we can no longer accurately assess the situation, plan accordingly, and choose the correct behavior. Judgment becomes impaired.

In that sense, getting a good night sleep is essential for chess. And in Piumini Danesi we understand the importance of decision making, learning, over-worked neurons, memory, ability to concentrate and explore the deepest segments of the mind during an exhaustive chess game.

The moto of Piumini Danesi - efficient sleep for an efficient mind

The moto of Piumini Danesi – efficient sleep for an efficient mind

The Piumini Danesi long lasting philosophy

From the beginning, nearly forty years ago, we have been against the “throwaway culture”. So we have designed, developed and manufactured our products to such a high standard, that we know they will last for years. We like the idea that our clients can sleep and enjoy our duvets and pillows for many, many years and that the same duvets and pillows will go on improving the quality of their lives and their sleep. Our duvets are sold with a guaranty of 10 years, and when used properly, can last for 25 years and more.

Originally, we only had 2 types of duvets: the Classic – and the Nordic duvet, their weights were suited to the climate and habitat in the seventies. But as the climate of our planet has changed over the intervening years, so has the variety of our duvets. From the original 2 types of duvets we have gradually reached 9 different types of weight – always made with the best quality goose down clusters from mature geese. We aim to cater for a wide range of personal requirements: softness, lightness, temperature, insulation of the house, the climate of the region in which our clients live. Also, in recent years, we introduced the Bi Comfort duvet, so that couples can sleep under one duvet but with a different weight for each person.

We have never made any compromises with quality. We always use the best goose down filling – as our first customers can testimony, when they return to us after 30 years with an old duvet, which they want to have plumped up a bit.

1) We have a direct and 37 year long and solid relationship with our supplier in Denmark and the same factory sends us regularly the documentation that they only use selected goose down from authorized European slaughterhouses.

Furthermore on each batch of downs reserved for Piumini Danesi, mandatory the factory’s laboratory performs tests on filling power, oxygen, grease and pH value.

2) Quality of our raw materials:

The highest selection of down clusters (the most voluminous) from the undercoating of mature geese, reared in cold climate. No other natural fibre offers as many good qualities as goose down: Lightness – Volume – Elasticity – Softness – Insulation – Breath ability and Durability.

3) – For the filling of our pillows: we have chosen to use duck down and duck feathers, which has a smaller structure, but which is rigid and more suited to give support for the head. The choice of duck down and feather is also considering that goose down and feather are rarer and the price of a pillow using goose feathers will surge to an unproportional high price in respect to the durability of a pillow which normally has to be renewed after 8 years

4) The shells of our duvets and pillows: is 100% cotton Cambric and 100 % cotton Twill which wicks away perspiration and for which we can guarantee for years that the filling will not come out.

5) The fabrics for our duvet covers, sheets and pillow cases: is the highest quality of Italian and European cotton fabric, woven with 100% natural thread from combed long cotton fibre, flax, linen and silk. The confection of our duvets covers is made (tailored) here in Italy item after item with old fashioned respect for the tailoring handicraft. For example the fabric of each duvet cover is torn by hand – never cut. Every duvet cover and pillow case is accurately controlled by the seamstress and you will find in every confection a warranty card signed by the Italian maker.

6) Product guarantee: All our duvets are accompanied by the Certificate of Guarantee of 10 years: We guarantee that there will be no down out slip, that the stitching will not break and that the duvet will not loose it volume.

7) Maintenance Service: from April 1st. to July 1st. every year, we offer our customers the service and maintenance support for our Danish Duvets, i.e. if you have changed your house and you either need more or less goose down in you duvet – we will send the duvet to the factory in Denmark with your instructions and adapt the duvets to your new habitat. Or simply your duvet is getting “tired” after 25 years of use and we will plump it up.

8) We have maintained the possibility of making: Bespoke duvets that are designed for you!
“Made-to-measure” duvets for clients. People come in all sizes and so do bedrooms.

9) We do not use “call centres” When you contact Piumini Danesi you will talk with a duvet or pillow expert, who will ask you relevant questions concerning your sleeping habits and who will advise you about your purchase.

10) We are fast. We do reply to your questions immediately – and we do ship within 24 hours.

Nothing is more environmentally friendly than Piumini Danesi pooq dene, because our duvets are made with goose down and 100% cotton! The duvet is 100% natural, so that when it eventually deteriorates (it is not everlasting) it will dissolve into nature without harming the environment.

In contrast to the big Megastores – we have based the design of all our shops on a small Danish farm house, with a thatched roof, as it is still used in Denmark. We combine the charming old house facade with the most modern Scandinavian designs. In our shops at Christmas time, colours explode, red and white handmade Christmas decorations hang on huge Danish Christmas trees. We welcome our customers with a glass of Gloegg, a Danish ginger biscuit and with the traditional greeting “Glædelig Jul”. People travel from far away to visit Piumini Danesi in December – maybe to ask for “plaited” a red and white paper heart or a paper angel.

People, not customers! Everyone should feel at home, when they visit the Piumini Danesi pooq dene shops.

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