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Blog posts of '2017' 'July'

Stages of Sleep


The science of sleep continues to evolve. In the past, scientists believed that sleep was a time when the body and brain shut down to rest and recover. In contrast recent research shows that our minds are highly active while we sleep.

Hormones levels increase during sleep which are shown to aid in cell repair, growth, and digestion. Processes that increase memory and learning also take place in the brain throughout sleep.

During sleep your brain repeatedly cycles through 4 different stages of sleep in a specific sequence. REM stages of sleep involve Rapid Eye Movements and the Non- REM stages do not. You will move back and forth between various stages of REM and Non-REM sleep

Non-REM sleep stages
N1- The transitional stage between awake and sleep. This stage is very light sleep and generally lasts less than 15 minutes. Breathing, heart rate, muscles and eye movement all slow. Your temperature wants to drop in this early stage of sleep.

TIP: Phase Change Material like Tempurpedic Breeze, Sealy Chill, or Bedgear Ver-tex Mattress Protectors can help drop your temperature during early N1 stages of sleep to help you get to sleep faster.

N2- is the next period of sleep. This period generally lasts less than 30 minutes. Your heart rate slows further, brain activity slows, and muscles further relax. Over half of your sleep every night is spent in stage N2.

N3- sleep allows the body to feel rested. This sleep is also called Delta sleep because Delta waves are a type of slow brain wave activity that can be seen on EEG readings during deep N3 sleep. Waking up from this stage is more difficult. Delta wave sleep occurs for longer durations in younger children. As we age our time in N3 sleep decreases.


REM sleep

After you sleep through the first 3 stages of Non-REM sleep you will cycle into and back out of the 4th and final deep sleep stage. REM sleep. During REM sleep your eyes twitch and most intense dreams occur. Your limbs become immobile, possibly to prevent movement while dreaming. Brain activity increases to levels that may be greater than when fully awake.

Every stage of sleep is important. The key to feeling rested when you wake up is the quality of your sleep in each of these stages. When your mattress keeps you awake tossing and turning or has you  feeling sore in the morning you aren’t getting the deep restoring N3 and REM sleep you need, because your body is interrupted during earlier stages of sleep to subconsciously address your discomfort with your mattress. 

If you are constantly tossing and turning and waking up (even after 8 hours of sleep) feeling tired. It could be that you are not getting the quality REM sleep that you need. Come see one our of sleep specialists to be properly fitted for a mattress. 


Mattress Direct is a factory direct showroom for Tempur-pedic, Sealy, Stearns and Foster, iDirect, King Koil, and Campbell Mattress of Missouri. We proudly carry mattresses made in USA such as the Sealy Posturepedic, King Koil, Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid, Sealy Conform, Tempurpedic Cloud, Tempurpedic Conform and Tempurpedic Flex, Stearns & Foster Estate, Stearns & Foster Lux Estate, Stearns & Foster Reserve and Stearns & Foster Hybrid. We are locally owned and operated serving the greater St. Louis area and growing. Please visit our factory direct mattress showrooms so you get the lowest price and the very best mattress for your particular needs.

Let's Talk about sheets!

Let’s talk about sheets.

Your bed sheets might not seem like a very important choice but you spend 1/3 of your life in bed. Shouldn’t you try to make the most of that time and maximize your comfort? Keep reading and you will know everything you need to make an informed bed sheet selection.

100% Cotton: This is generally American grown and harvested upland cotton. The fibers of this fantastic cotton are generally shorter and less luxurious. This cotton is often blended with other materials like rayon or polyester to improve the feel.

Pima or Supima cotton: This cotton is very high quality and has longer fibers than regular American cotton. If you are looking for a luxurious cotton sheet this is a fantastic choice.

Egyptian cotton:  This cotton is known for its long, luxurious fibers. Egyptian cotton is extremely high quality and is often harvest by hand. The highest quality all cotton bed sheets are generally 100% Egyptian cotton.

Performance bedding: Materials that surpass cotton’s ability to cool the body. Often utilizing the same advanced materials found in high-end sportswear. These advanced materials may feel even better to you than high quality cotton.

What to know about weaves.

It’s not just what you use but how you use it. The weave for a bedding set has a lot of impact on how the fabrics feel and how well they keep the body cool.

Percale weave: This weave leaves more gaps between threads which cause sheets made in this style to have a crisp feel. The space between weaves allows for better air flow so hot sleepers may enjoy percale weave more.

Sateen weave: A weave with less space between threads gives this design a smoother, luxurious feel. Sateen weave sheets glide across the body but that smooth feel may limit some air flow. Hot sleepers may find cotton sheets made in this way are more insulating.

Thread counts you can count on.

Thread count is the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch. High quality sheets typically range from 200-800 thread count but may go into the 1000 count and up.  Be careful not to use thread count as the sole sign of quality when selecting sheets. Often, low quality sheet sets with high counts are marketed. These sheets use very thin threads to inflate this thread count number without increasing the quality. However if high quality threads are used, generally, increasing the number of threads per square inch will mean better durability and more luxurious feeling sheets.

As with anything, your personal preference is most important. Just be sure to remember that every aspect of your sleep is important. Find sheets that feel comfortable and make you look forward to lying in bed every night.

As an alternative to traditional cotton sheets with thread counts an innovative company Bed Gear has made an ultra-breathable sheet using their Dri-Tec Technology. They feel light weight and smooth and offer the latest in cooling technology. They provide not only the quality you are looking for but a smooth luxurious feel.  Come into Mattress Direct to be fit for a pillow or a new sheet of gorgeous, smooth, breathable sheets. 

Kids need quality sleep too...

          Kids need a lot of sleep. Depending on their age, children need to sleep anywhere from 9 to 14 hours a night to provide optimal time for their bodies to rest and recharge for the next day. Without the proper amount of sleep kids can be less attentive in school, have delayed response time, loss of short-term memory, and develop behavioral issues such as anxiety and anger management. Not only does it affect cognitive development but not having the proper amount of sleep can also lead to obesity. Setting a proper schedule for sleep in children can help kid’s growth and prevent them from having sleep problems in the future. The average adult who doesn’t get the proper amount of sleep can develop heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, strokes, depression, anxiety, forgetfulness, and impaired judgement. Setting the right schedule when people are younger allows people to continue this into adulthood and prevent future problems.


            Not only can lack of sleep affect behavior in children and have future consequences it also affects growth.  The pituitary gland excretes growth hormone during the day, but most of the gland’s release is right after a child falls asleep and continues throughout the night. If a child is not receiving a full night’s rest of quality sleep the child might grow more slowly or have a lack of regulating hormones in their body. These hormones do more than just regulate growth; they regulate how the body reacts to food and again how children react to certain stresses or situations. When the body doesn’t get enough sleep and hormones children begin craving higher calorie carb food which can lead to insulin resistance and possibly diabetes.


Recommended quality sleep for Children per Day

1-3 Years Old: 12 - 14 hours

3-6 Years Old: 10 - 12 hours

7-12 Years Old: 10 - 11 hours

12-18 Years Old: 8 - 9 hours


                Children need more than just the hours of sleep their sleep quality is just as important, if not more so, as it is in adults. These are the years that people grow the most physically and mentally. Sleep is crucial to maintaining health for child’s whole life. They need pressure relief and support on their young bodies so that they do not develop chronic pain and get the full rest they deserve. When looking at support systems for your child the number one thing is get something new. Hand me down clothing is one thing, but a hand me down mattress produces a myriad of problems. The mattress is older and has been slept on by, more than likely, two people and if the mattress is not providing enough support for the original user(s) then why would it provide enough support for a child? Second a hand me down mattresses have dust mites, sweat, dead skin cells, etc. inside of the mattress and it could create issues for children, especially for those who have allergies.

                When looking at the different types of support for the child let them have a say in picking out a new mattress. It is remarkable to watch children picking out a new sleep system—they really know what they want and how it feels to them. Just like adults the type of support they need is determined by how they sleep. Ask your child what position they like to sleep in. More than likely they will know the answer.  If your child tends to sleep on their side a mattress with more pressure relieving material or foams would be a better choice; while back and stomach sleepers tend to need a little bit less. Finding the right amount of pressure relief is unique to every child. Just because a child can sleep on anything or anywhere does not mean they should. Also children need room to grow and stretch. Get the biggest mattress the space allows for.  

                Starting kids out right allows for them to be healthier for the rest of their lives.


Help kids get a better night's sleep with Mattress Direct's new King Koil Kids line! These mattresses are designed to help a child's growing body get the sleep they need and reach their full potential!