Students and Sleep: Improving Learning One Night at a Time

Lucélia Ribeiro

Photo Courtesy of Lucélia Ribeiro

With school starting up again, we as parents and grandparents always try to give our children the tools that they need to succeed.  This usually means books, pencils, a back pack, and other supplies to help them learn.  But did you know what is also important for learning and memory retention?  Sleep.

Harvard University has linked lack of sleep with lack of focus, which makes sense.  What many people don’t realize is that lack of sleep not only means quantity of sleep (as in hours rested), but also quality of sleep (as in how many hours you spend in deep REM sleep). A person that goes to bed at 10pm tosses and turns until 12am, then wakes up intermittently throughout the night until waking up at 6am isn’t getting 8 hours of good, restorative sleep.  In fact, someone who goes to bed at 12am, but falls directly asleep, and stays in long REM sleep cycles will wake up feeling more rested, and more able to focus on tasks with energy.

There are three functions that need to occur during learning, according to The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School: Acquisition, Consolidation, and Recall.  Acquisition is the process of actually learning the material, such as in class or by reading.  Consolidation is the process that makes those memories of learning stable, and permanent.  Recall is the process that allows for the mind to remember this learning, thus making it useful. Consolidation occurs while we are sleeping.  Although scientists aren’t sure how, the brain processes the information received throughout the day, and stores it in the correct place.  A student that is not getting proper sleep will not remember key learning points the next day, therefore making the original Acquisition process useless.

Photo Courtesy of CollegeDegrees360

Photo Courtesy of CollegeDegrees360

So when you’re getting your child ready to go to school or college, take a look at their sleeping situation.  Is their twin sized bed too small for their bigger frames?  Has it developed a dip or sag, therefore not giving the best support?  If they’re on the way to college, check out the dorm mattress, and replace if necessary.

Another great idea is to get your children in a good sleep routine.  Turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before bed time.  Keep the bed clean, and not full of toys.  Make sure that the temperature of the room is comfortable.  Maintain the same sleep and wake times as much as possible.

We all want our children to get the most out of their education.  In preparing them for the new school year, also prepare their brains to absorb and retain all that learning!

How to Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Getting Sleep on A Mattress

Almost every day, we hear more research confirming the importance of a good night’s sleep. Aside from the intuitive benefits of sleeping well — more energy and increased

alertness during the day — we are learning that individuals who get a better night’s sleep live longer, are less susceptible to disease and depression, and look and feel younger at any age.

There’s clear value to making sleep a priority. Here are some tips for better sleep that have you out like a light in no time.

  • Establish a routine: Your body will sleep better if it is used to going to bed and getting up at the same time. Erratic, unpredictable bedtime schedules — and trying to make up for late nights by staying in bed longer — all have a negative impact on the quality of your sleep.
  • Make your bedroom a haven: Your bed should be a place you sleep in and nothing more. Watching TV in bed or spending hours on your laptop make it very difficult for your body to transition into sleep. These activities stimulate the mind and inhibit production of melatonin, an important sleep-inducing chemical.
  • Get lots of sunlight during the day: Exposure to sunlight is another way the body regulates your sleep cycle through the production of melatonin. Spending all day in a dark room makes it harder to get to sleep at night. If your home or office doesn’t get enough sun during the day, consider investing in a light therapy lamp for combatting seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
  • Get comfortable: Set up your bedroom in the quietest, darkest part of the home. Investing in blackout curtains, noise-cancelling headphones and — of course — a good mattress and pillow will all contribute to the quality of your sleep.
  • Cut back on alcohol: It may seem counter-intuitive, but the sleep you’re getting after a few drinks is less restful than it would be if you were completely sober. Cutting out booze, especially right before bed, can help you sleep better.
  • Regulate your diet: Likewise, avoid caffeine and stay away from big meals at night. If you’re hungry for a midnight snack, avoid fatty meals that can cause indigestion. Instead, try a bowl of yogurt, a turkey sandwich or a piece of fruit.
  • Exercise regularly: A healthy body is more receptive to sleep. Making time for even a small amount of daily exercise will leave you more rested when you wake up in the morning. As an added bonus, exercise can help you lose weight, which in turn may be useful in combatting indigestion, sleep apnea and other issues keeping you up at night.

Taking steps to increase both the amount and quality of your sleep is worth it. If you’ve tried the above tips for better sleep but are still struggling, talk to your doctor about your options.

 

Sleep and Mattress Recommendations

Call me a sleep geek, but I not only write my own sleep blogs, but I read everyone else’s too.  I think that blogs and articles about sleep and mattresses are really interesting, as long as they are done right.  That being said, here’s my gripe:

It’s ridiculous to write in to a blog and ask the writer to recommend a specific mattress that will solve all your sleep problems.  It’s even more ridiculous for the “sleep expert” blogger to actually recommend such a bed.

Why?  Because everyone has a different body with different support needs, different weight distributions, etc.  Telling me that you’re 5’9 and 180 lbs. in a letter doesn’t tell me if you carry your weight in your belly, or if you have really broad shoulders, or if you have chicken legs.  Telling me that you sleep on your side doesn’t tell me if your legs are stretched out or pulled up to your chest, or if your arm is under your pillow.  Telling me that you have occasional lower back pain doesn’t tell me if it hurts after you go golfing, if you have a physical job, if you medicate daily with aspirin, etc.  Telling me that you have a herniated disc in your back doesn’t tell me what position is the most comfortable for you to sleep in, or if your doctor has recommended a specific type of mattress or way of sleeping.  You get the drift?

And really, you’re going to trust this guy?

So, as self-centric as I am, I tell you what brands I like, and which brands have the broadest appeal.  I also tell you which comfort levels are usually better for which types of sleeper, to be used as a loose guideline.  You will never find a post in my blog which has a specific mattress recommendation for a specific problem. 

If you’re set on having someone else choose your bed, feel free to write to those other sleep bloggers, and ask for their advice.  However, if you don’t like their recommendation, be prepared to foot the bill for exchanging your mattress, with no assistance from the blogger.  Just sayin’.

What’s a customer to do?  Talk to someone who knows what they’re talking about, and who asks you a million questions about your body and sleep habits.  It might be calling Customer Service at 855-377-6669, or going into a local store to find an expert that can help you.  Lie on some mattresses; see what general feel is the most comfortable to you.  Try out a few different brands, and see which ones feel better than others.  THEN, go online and find the best prices that you can (preferably on DrSnooze.com – you know that was coming). 

So good luck with your search, and take your mattress buying experience into your own hands.

Sleep Aids: Awesome or Addictive?

Why are Sleep Aids Such a Huge Industry?

Think about it: Is there anything more terrible than being exhausted, knowing that you have to wake up in a few hours, and are still unable to fall asleep?  What kind of twisted trick is nature pulling on us when this happens?  It would be so much easier if our brains could just tell our bodies what to do.  Enter sleep aids, our pharmaceutical answer to insomnia.

Alas, at least for me, my mind control doesn’t extend to ordering my body (and brain) to shut down and fall asleep.  However, since we live in the age of quick fixes, many people choose to rely on sleep aids to get them that elusive rest.  Do I use them?  No.  My personality is EXTREMELY addictive.  Some examples of what I’ve been addicted to?  Cigarettes, watermelon, crunchy tacos, baby oil lotion, the list goes on and on.  The only reason why I’m not in rehab is because I know that once I start something (like sleeping pills) that may be slightly addictive, I won’t stop.  But, don’t let my shortcomings preclude you from benefiting from the miracles of modern science, and from getting a complete night’s sleep.

The fact is that modern over the counter (OTC) sleep aids are very safe, and don’t foster addiction in normal people.  They are mostly antihistamines (like traditional allergy medicines), and are harmless to use for a short amount of time.  Of course, everything has side effects, but if you weigh some dry mouth with not sleeping for two days, dry mouth doesn’t seem that bad.  There are also natural supplement type aids, such as melatonin and valerian.

Info About Sleep Aids

  • Everyone recommends that you speak with your doctor before starting any new pill, even the OTC ones.  Do this especially if you are taking other medications, or have a chronic illness.
  • Follow directions.  Follow the dosage information, and only use it for the time period specified.  They aren’t long term solutions.  If you are still having problems sleeping after two weeks, you may have a more serious medical problem, and should see your doctor.
  • Your body builds up resistance to antihistamines when used continuously.  This means that the sleeping pill will not be effective after a while.  See your doctor.  Seriously.
  • Some sleep aids can make you wake up groggy or still tired.  Not all pills have the same active ingredients.
  • Melatonin and valerian are also available OTC, and are considered supplements.  These also have side effects, and can interfere with other medications, so check with your doctor.
  • Don’t take any of these pills with alcohol, or use before driving, or taking a bath or shower.  Alcohol can react with the chemicals in the pill, and can have deadly results.  Furthermore, alcohol actually impedes good sleep.  As for driving or bathing, the whole point of sleeping pills is to make you drowsy.  Falling asleep at the wheel usually ends up in an accident, and falling asleep while bathing usually ends up in drowning or falling down.  Just take the pill, and lay down in your nice, safe bed.

If you need something stronger, don’t be afraid to go to your doctor for a prescription medication.  Just make sure that you’re following dosage instructions, and that you only use them for as long as you need them.

My final point is that sometimes insomnia is a symptom of something else.  Not necessarily disease (although that is a possibility), but maybe something else that’s easily fixed.  Try changing things around: decrease caffeine, increase physical activity (but not before bed), try some meditation before bed time.  If your mind is racing, try to write all of your thoughts down, or find out the source of the stress in your life.  Stop taking naps in the daytime, get yourself on a regular sleep-wake schedule.  And finally…wait for it…maybe your insomnia is because your mattress is uncomfortable.  You can get better, undisturbed sleep on a new mattress such as a Comforpedic.

Sleep aids can help you sleep better, wake up refreshed, and get over the hump of insomnia.  Just be aware of your usage, and if your problem is deeper than just not being able to sleep for a night or two.

Why a Mattress Set Isn’t As Expensive As You Think: Part 2

I know, the last blog was a little dry, not everyone gets as excited about mattress components as I do.  However, this blog will knock your socks off.  For all of you that think that mattresses are overpriced, read on.

What I did was to compare a few different products that almost all of us have: a car (I Car or Mattress Set?evaluated both new and used), a cell phone, and a TV.  I didn’t go for the most expensive, I tried to find the average costs online (or I estimated), and then broke down the cost of the actual item over the expected life.  Please note that I did NOT include extras like gas, car insurance or registration, cell phone plans, or cable.  I also did not include any finance charges (which we all know can really get ya on the back end, especially for the cars).  Check it out:

New Car

Average Price: $30,748 (according to TrueCar.com for 2012)

Average Time Kept: 6 years (according to latimes.com)

Average Trade-In Value after 6 years: $10,000 (according to me, estimating, with my not so vast knowledge about cars)

Average Time Spent in the Car Per Day: 2.5 hours (according to  WikiAnswers.com)

Cost PER HOUR for that car, according to the figures above: $3.79

Used Car (up to 8 years old)

Average Price: $14,375 (according to National Automobile Dealers Association for 2013)

Average Time Kept: 6 years (according to latimes.com)

Average Trade-In Value after 6 years: $0 (I’m assuming that you’re driving it to death)

Average Time Spent in the Car Per Day: 2.5 hours (according to WikiAnswers.com)

Cost PER HOUR for that car, according to the figures above: $2.63

Cell Phone

Average Price: $200 (I’m assuming that you’re going for the new agreement discount price)

Average Time Kept: 2 years

Average Time Spent on Phone Per Day: 1.5 hours (according to cnet.com, including gaming, texting, etc.)

Cost PER HOUR for that phone: $0.19

TV

Average Price: $749 (for a 42”, at Best Buy)

Average Time Kept: 7 years (both LCD and LED last from 4-10 years, depending on quality.  Since I’m factoring in a middle of the road model, I figure it will last in the middle of the road for lifespan.)

Average Time Spent Watching TV per Day: 4 hours (that is ridiculous)

Average Price Per Hour: $0.07

 Mattress Set

Average Price: $899 (this depends on where you are, and what sales you find.  I’d say that you can get a decent bed pretty much anywhere for $899-$1000)

Average Time Kept: 10 years (this is according to me, and how long the mattress is really supposed to last)

Average Time Spent in Bed per Day: 8 hours (perfect world, and all)

Average Price Per Hour: $0.03

 three cents for a mattress set

What?  Three cents an hour?  What else can you get for three cents an hour?  Even if you DOUBLED the price of the bed to $1799 (which is a pretty snazzy bed), you’d still be at $0.06 per hour, which is less than your TV, cell phone, and car.

I’ll give you my ideas on why we’re so cheap when it comes to our mattress set, and not with other items in our life:

  • Who sees your mattress set?  Um, no one.  Who sees your car, your TV, or your cell phone?  Everyone that matters.  It’s a status thing, and that’s ok.  I’ll admit that my car is less than 8 years old, I have a smartphone, and we have a pretty nice TV.  However, I also have a great bed to sleep on.  No one wants to be ridiculed for driving a ’72 Datsun, or for using a flip phone from 6 years ago.
  • We only go out to buy these things a few times in our lifetimes.  You’re used to the price that you paid for your mattress set ten years ago, and haven’t monitored prices since then.  You go into a store, and see that the price has DOUBLED.  Wow.  But think, what did you pay for a gallon of gas ten years ago?  I paid $1.25, and now it’s almost $4.00, which is more than triple.  We don’t notice because it’s only a few pennies per time we go to the pump, not all at one time.
  • In our society, sleep is an afterthought.  It’s not exciting.  It’s something to put off when there’s something better going on.  We’ll spend a ton of money for memory-making experiences, or for luxurious rest and rejuvenation, but we ignore what our body needs most: restful sleep.  It’s become kind of a badge of honor to tell how little sleep we got last night, or how much work we got done in a small amount of time because we didn’t sleep.  Aren’t energy drinks a billion dollar industry now?

old mattress setThat all being said, this is why you need to rethink your ideas about the price of a new mattress set:

  • Of all the stuff that I analyzed, a mattress is the ONLY THING THAT AFFECTS YOUR HEALTH.  It affects how you feel each day, your energy level, your body repairing itself, your immune system, even your weight.
  • If you buy something better now, you will get paid back with two benefits: you won’t have to worry about replacing it for quite a few years, and you’ll be more comfortable and supported on a daily basis.
  • You can live longer without food and water than you can without sleep.  Think about that.

So, before you buy the latest technology or upgrade that car that’s still running great, but has a few dings, think about your mattress set.  Your money might be spent more wisely in your bedroom.

Disagree?  Feel free to rant at me in the comments, I welcome the challenge!!

 

A Middle-Aged Sleep Problem: 9 Ways to Fix Your Night Life

I write about sleep a lot.  I think about sleep a lot.  I don’t get enough sleep, a lot.  I usually base my research and posts about either children, or retirement aged people, and tend to ignore my own sleep problem demographic, the thirty to fifty crowd, but no more!  Here’s how it started:

Toddler Sleep ProblemsToday, I was waiting for my 3-year old to wake up from his nap.  It was about time for him to get up, so I let myself do some noisy chores, like the dishes, in hopes that he would wake up.  Every few minutes, I’d check on him, and he’d still be sleeping soundly.  I even went into his room to clean, and he slept right through it.  As I sat on the edge of his bed, dreading the impending crankiness at being awoken, I realized that this kid is getting great quality sleep, and I’m getting next to nothing.  I’ll admit it, I’m jealous of my toddler.

I have always assumed, like many of you, that as we get older, our sleep quality decreases.  I think I’ve even written posts and articles on the topic.  However, there was an article in the LA Times last year that states that if you weed out illness, the sleep you get in your middle age and older is the same as what you got as a kid.  Impossible, I say!

So I did some more research, and found evidence for both sides of the argument.  As we get into our thirties, our sleep is disrupted by work (yes), social events (yes), and children (triple yes).  If we can manage those areas of our lives, then we can get that sound sleep that we enjoyed in our youth, and can stop feeling like zombies all day.  It really is possible.

Some doctors and other experts still believe that our quality and quantity of sleep deteriorate as we get older, due to less melatonin production.  Combine this with the higher instances of illness and stress, and it’s a natural assertion that sleep will suffer.

What can you do?  I’ve given this list a million times, but here it is again with some additions:

  1. If you have kids that disrupt your sleep, figure out how to make them sleep better.  I’m a horrible example, because even at 3, my son is still not sleeping through the night, but I know that it is possible, I’ve heard stories.  It will make everyone more pleasant in the morning, apparently…
  2. Go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every Frazzled Sleep Problemsmorning.  This may mean changing your Girl’s Night Out to a Women’s Luncheon, but maybe you won’t have to drink twelve cups of coffee to make it through the next day.
  3. Sleep in the dark.  It’s a novel idea, and it really works.  Use shades on your windows, turn the clock the other way, and don’t leave the bathroom light on.
  4. Keep your room cool – it’s easier to sleep snuggled in a warm blanket, than sweating on top of the sheets.  Try using a fan if you don’t want to keep your A/C on as high.
  5. Reduce the amount of noise in your bedroom.  This may be street noise, the TV, or an offending partner’s snoring; regardless, eliminate it.  Sleep in separate bedrooms, use a white noise machine, make everyone else in the home watch TV in the basement, anything to keep it quiet.
  6. Find a bed that limits motion disturbance.  We all know that I’m a fan of Comforpedic memory foam, but other memory foam products also do a great job, as do Beautyrest mattresses.
  7. Pretend like your workplace is Las Vegas: whatever happens there, stays there.  Don’t let your job stress compromise your sleep, because it will become a vicious cycle (when you are tired, you’re going to underperform, and lose your mental quickness and memory capabilities).
  8. Limit alcohol and food intake right before bed.  A full belly can make comfortable sleeping difficult.  Also, alcohol creates disruptive sleep, as hard as it might be to believe.
  9. Make sleep a priority.  We have all been guilty of putting off sleep to get other things done, please a loved one (why are so many major sporting events on in the evening, until midnight!!!), or to just get some time alone without people wanting you to get them things that they can easily get themselves.  For a week, put all that aside, and focus on sleeping.  See how much better you can feel, and how much more pleasant you can be.

All of this is great, but I am the eternal pot, and you, of course, are the kettle.  I will make an effort to be more conscious of my own sleeping habits, and will report back to you.  Feel free to report back to me in the comments, and tell me what works best for you.  We will get through this middle-aged sleep crisis together.  And if not, eventually the kids will grow up, we will retire (hopefully), and my friends will be more “let’s have mimosas at a Sunday brunch” instead of “let’s ride the mechanical bull at the country bar until 3am” kind of people.  We can all hope.

The Best Mattress for You AND Your Partner, Together

I have told my customers hundreds of times “finding the best mattress for you is the most difficult thing that you can shop for”.  There are so many different choices, you’re never sure if you’re getting a good deal, and how are you supposed to know if you’ve got the best mattress until you’ve been sleeping on it for a few weeks?  As difficult as each of those problems are, to me, there is an even more difficult facet of buying a mattress.

Compromise.

Many, if not most, of our customers are couples that both sleep on the same bed.  And while the dynamics of every relationship are different, there is usually a “decider” and a “go-along”.  This “go-along” often says that they can sleep on anything, that the “decider” has worse back problems, or that their comfort isn’t as important as the “decider’s”.

Is Your Mattress the Best Mattress for You?Alright, “go-alongs”:  I am as much of a fan of choosing your battles as the next person, but this is a battle worth choosing.  Why?

  1. You are going to spend a THIRD of your life on this mattress, for the next ten years.  Don’t you deserve to be comfortable, as much as your partner?  If there is a possibility, even if it’s slight, that you won’t sleep well for TEN years, isn’t it worth looking into?  That’s 29,200 hours of tossing and turning.  You deserve the best mattress for your body type and support needs.
  2. Your partner’s back might be worse now, but who’s to say that yours won’t catch up?  Or that your hip and shoulder pain is less important?  Or that you won’t DEVELOP back pain from sleeping on a mattress that isn’t the best for you?
  3. One word: RESENTMENT.  If you’re not sleeping well, you will resent your partner for not only choosing the bed, but for sleeping well on it while you’re up at night.

Not to worry, if there cannot be a happy medium, there are other solutions that don’t involve separate bedrooms.  Here are some ideas so that everyone can be happy, rested, and pain free:

  • Beautyrest makes beds that have a softer side and a firmer side, but not for long.  It was last year’s feature, and isn’t available for this year’s models.  Call us for details and to see if they’re still available.
  • Memory foam is great for people who need different levels of support, or are of Your Best Mattress May Be Two Instead of One!different body types.  The memory foam responds to your body’s unique curves, and gives everyone unique support, complete pressure relief, and a motion free sleep.  One mattress may be the best mattress for everyone!
  • If you’re buying a king, you may want to consider two twin extra-long beds placed next to each other on a frame.  This set up is exactly the same dimensions as a king size, so your sheets and covers won’t be different.  We even have a device that will strap them together, and fill in the center crevice, called a Create-a-King.  We can help you select mattresses that will be the same height, and that way each person has their own unique feel and support.  This idea is also used all the time with adjustable bases…

So for all you “go-along” partners, remember that you deserve to be comfortable too.  Sure, there are times that giving in is easier than fighting for what you really want, and I’m a big proponent of letting everyone win every once in a while.  But don’t forget that this new purchase is a mattress, and can make your life great, or really exhausting and uncomfortable.  Your choice.

5 Helpful Benefits of Adjustable Beds for Seniors

Adjustable Beds for SeniorsAdjustable beds are traditionally thought of as for people who are in hospitals, chronically ill, or in debilitating pain.  However, many otherwise healthy seniors can benefit from using an adjustable bed.  There are specific changes that occur within the body as it ages, and these changes may turn into inconveniences or ailments once the body reaches sixty to seventy five.  Here are some common problems that seniors face, and how an adjustable bed can assist:

  1. Edema is a common problem among older people; it is a buildup of fluid, usually occurring in the ankles, feet, and legs.  While it is not always painful, it can make walking difficult, and can make the legs and feet feel very heavy.  WebMD states that leg edema can lead to skin ulcers, and can interfere in blood flow.  For more serious cases, medication can be prescribed, but other options are available.  By raising the legs above the heart, fluid can disperse and make walking more comfortable.  Utilizing an adjustable bed is the easiest way to raise the feet and legs comfortably, for an extended amount of time, with minimal effort.8" Anacapa Mattress with V100 Adjustable Base
  2. As we age, the cartilage and ligaments that hold together our vertebrae in our spines becomes thin and less cushioning.  This can lead to back aches, and chronic pain.  An adjustable bed can be moved to any position that takes the stress off of the affected vertebrae, and can be changed to react to the pain location of the moment.arthritis
  3. Arthritis is a common problem for seniors.  There are many different types, but the end result is the same: stiff, painful joints.  Adjustable beds can be positioned in any way that is comfortable for the sleeper, a position that will take away the ache and allow the person to sleep comfortably.  Additionally, the morning is often the time where arthritis sufferers feel the stiffest, and it may be difficult to get out of bed.  By raising the head of the bed and lowering the foot, adjustable beds effectively help “push” the sleeper out of the bed easily.
  4. Older people get less sleep than younger people do, and often find it hard to stay asleep once they get to bed.  While as we age we need less rest, the rest that we do get needs to be restorative and rejuvenating.  Seniors are more affected by the side effects of not sleeping well: memory loss, confusion, and cognitive difficulties, to name a few.  By ensuring that the few hours of sleep they get is completely comfortable and restful, it will keep their minds sharp during the day.
  5. Finally, for those that are bedridden, it’s more than just avoiding bedsores and maintaining comfort.  For those who are restricted to their beds, the hardest change to accept is sometimes the lack of freedom and autonomy.  By resting in an adjustable bed, the patient can adjust themselves, make themselves more comfortable, and even take over some tasks that can be done sitting up.  They are also able to put up the head of the bed to watch TV, read, write letters, work on a laptop, or a hundred other tasks that wouldn’t be able to be done on a flat bed.

Adjustable beds are not just for the infirm, they can be for anyone that wants a more comfortable lifestyle.  Whether its edema, arthritis, back pain, lack of quality sleep, or being confined to bed, an adjustable bed can make sleep time and awake time more enjoyable.

Some Interesting Links for Seniors to Read!

What Causes Sleep Problems in Older People?

Dr. Vitiello, studied older people who reported no sleep problems – NYTimes.

For Older Adults – What can I do to sleep better?

What’s the Science Behind BeautySleep?

1_1Science Behind BeautySleep. Simmons is known for their groundbreaking innovations, for being an industry leader in technology.  Just this year, the Beautyrest brand and the Comforpedic brand both got makeovers, with new features, benefits, and a great story.  But the brand that usually gets left out is BeautySleep, the less expensive cousin to the Beautyrest.

While in the past, BeautySleep was more of a traditional mattress, with an inner-locking spring system, border wire edge support, and so-so padding layers, this year is different.  BeautySleep may not be lighting the city on fire with new technology, but they have a new look and a new philosophy.  They have received the best hand-me-downs from Beautyrest, and they are making it work for them.

  • 700 Series Coil Technology – This is the new BeautySleep coil system.  Now, most of the line-up has individually wrapped coils, long the standard for Beautyrest.  Why is this good science?  Because pocketed coils offer superior back support, conform to curves better to offer better pressure relief, and provide individual support for each person sleeping on them.  They also localize motion, to keep partners sleeping undisturbed.  This is the first year that BeautySleep has received this huge upgrade, and it just adds more value to their line-up.
  • Foam Encased Edge Support System – Years ago, foam encased edge support was only for top of the line beds, and you paid for it dearly.  Now, every single bed in the BeautySleep line-up has this type of edge support.  Mattresses that are foam encased feel larger than others with more traditional edge support systems, because there is more usable space in the mattress.  The sleeper can lie right on the edge of the bed without being tipped off.  Also, this type of edge support makes sitting on the bed both comfortable, and less likely to dip the side of the bed.  Finally, foam encased beds have a more expensive look; they are less likely to be misshapen due to coils popping through the side wall.  Again, an expensive bed feature, in a value line-up.

  • Gel Touch Foam – The new material in the bedding industry is gel, and while with most brands it is exclusive to their top of the line beds, BeautySleep has put it in a few of their models.  What is the science behind this feature?  GelTouch foam is soft and conforming, and reduces pressure points.  It is also a cooling fiber, and it provides more air circulation for a more comfortable sleep.
  • Stretch Knit Fabric – Select models of BeautySleep mattresses have a knit fabric cover.  This is great for two reasons: (1) since this cover stretches, it further localizes motion and conforms to the body well, and (2) it is a natural material, and promotes airflow and comfortable sleeping temperature.  Like with the other features, in the past, stretch knit fabrics were reserved for more expensive mattresses, but BeautySleep puts this cover on beds starting at $499.

The Simmons BeautySleep mattresses have benefited from research and innovation performed by Beautyrest.  They have upgraded features such as individually pocketed coils, foam encased edge support, Gel Touch foam, and stretch knit fabrics to put them head and shoulders above the closest competition in their price range.

Suffer from Allergies or Asthma? Get Sneeze Free Sleeping with Comforpedic

T_Do_Allergies_Cause_Asthma_1When it comes to allergies, there are many situations and exposures that are out of your control.  Thankfully, your mattress doesn’t need to be one of them.

whosinyour
Any traditional innerspring mattress is a haven for thousands of tiny dust mites.  According to Environment, Health, and Safety Online, while these dust mites themselves are not dangerous, toxic, or parasitic, their excrement is.  There is a protein in dust mite poop that is highly allergenic, and is what people are allergic to when they are allergic to “dust”.  Additionally, materials in traditional mattresses can trap and hold allergens, such as pollen and pet dander.  For those of us who suffer from allergies and asthma, just going to bed can become a dreaded experience of medication, tissues, and sneezing.

Memory foam mattresses, also known as “visco-elastic” mattresses, are a great alternative to the traditional innerspring beds.  According to an article by Kurt Hardesty on Amazines.com, due to the way that memory foam is composed, it is not penetrable by dust mites.  Basically, dust mites cannot live in memory foam.  Additionally, many memory foam beds have removable covers, which trap pollen, dander, and those dust mites directly on the cover, to be washed out in your washing machine.  If you have a high quality memory foam bed, such as Comforpedic, you may want to put a mattress protector over the existing cover, to further protect the mattress, as well as your health.

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In addition to dust mites, pollen, and pet dander allergies, Comforpedic mattresses have no natural allergens in them, such as down or latex, to irritate the sleeper.  They are also resistant to mold, mildew, and bacteria.  Comforpedic mattresses are the most hypoallergenic mattress available.

Another option to consider when trying eliminating allergens in bedding is your pillow.  Using a down or fiber pillow may be exacerbating your condition.  These materials are attractive to dust mites, since they are next to your skin, and provide the warm, humid environment that they prefer.  Think about changing out your regular pillows for memory foam pillows.  In addition to being dust mite resistant, Kurt Hardesty comments that they don’t get lumpy or ball up, they maintain their shape, loft, and support.

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If you suffer from allergies or asthma, changing your bedding to Comforpedic memory foam may be a solution to better, sneeze free sleeping.

Some Interesting Reads

U.S.-born kids have more allergies, asthma | Reuters

Allergies & Asthma are Related – Care for your Kids !

Good Night’s Sleep With Asthma and Allergies