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Blog posts tagged with 'sleep health'

Tips for sleep and travel

 

Summer is fantastic, the kids are out of school, the weather is amazing, and you are ready to go and travel the country! One of the biggest mistakes people make when traveling is forgetting to prioritize sleep especially on road trips. Drowsy driving causes approximately 72,000 car accidents each year. Driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving while drunk. Each hour of sleep you don’t get only increases your and your family’s chance of a crash.

Here are some helpful hints to making sleep a priority while on vacation

  1. Try to drive during the parts of the day when you are most alert. Typically mid-morning, early afternoon, and evening people tend to be at their most alert (luckily this also corresponds to the time where the roads tend to be less crowded)
  2. Bring your blanket or pillow! This might sound strange but when traveling to multiple destinations or staying in unfamiliar areas and mattresses having a part of home helps you sleep better.
  3. Be careful of what medicines you are taking. You don’t want to become drowsy because of a side effect of an allergy medicine.
  4. Take advantage of any time you get to relax. Use those rest areas to get out and stretch and even take a nap.
  5. Don’t rush your trip Take that extra day to stop and stay the night rather than booking it straight from one destination to the next. You can always find somewhere to stay that has something interesting for the family along your journey.
Why Daylight Savings Time feels like Jet Lag

 

The start of Daylight Saving Time is a clear indication of the warmer weather and evening sunshine headed our way.  Although most of us are excited for this change, we often forget about the effects of losing an hour of our sleep has on our body and regular routine.   

 

Getting great, restorative sleep allows you to be more efficient during the day and acts as the moving force behind all your daily abilities.  With Daylight Saving Time, usually the loss of an hour in our day takes time out of our sleep.  Most people tend stay up later and have trouble falling asleep earlier, causing them to feel like they have jet lag on Monday.  We know that most Mondays may feel like you are suffering from a change in time zones, but this Monday, you will actually have a reason.  Our internal clocks struggle to adjust not only to the routine but to the fact that the mornings are now darker, and the evenings are lighter. 

 

An hour difference in your day may not seem like a lot, but studies show that car accidents increase by 17% the Monday after Daylight Saving Time occurs.  Scientists think this occurs because most of the time the loss of the hour affects the amount of time we have to sleep, making people less alert and slowing reaction times.  It also makes sense that National Napping Day falls on March 12th, a day after the time switch, which is when you are definitely feeling the effects of the loss of sleep and you are wishing you could lay down and take a little nap. 

 

Although there is still debate over whether changing the clocks holds significant benefit or if it should still even happen, doesn't will still happen and you should be ready for it on Sunday.  Within a few days, your internal clock will readjust, and you'll start feeling back to normal.  If you're still suffering with not getting enough sleep, consider heading into the nearest Mattress Direct location and learning which sleep products can help you get the best night sleep so you're never dealing with that jet lag feeling again. 

Exercise and Sleep

 

New Year’s Resolution time is in full swing and everyone is trying to get their routine down. You have to make a schedule that works best for you. Some people think that morning workouts are the only way to go and that working out at night actually hurts your sleep, but that is just not true. Working out is best whenever you can do it. If you are a morning person and find it easiest to wake up and go---then do it. If you have to work out after work that’s fine too whatever is best for your schedule that you can make a part of your weekly routine.

There’s always been this myth that you cannot work out four hours before you want to go to sleep, but that isn’t true for all. Very few people are affected by this. Most people can even find it easier to fall asleep after working out. Exercise overall improves sleep and allows people to rest more efficiently.

Typically, if you have trouble falling asleep after exercising it is because of temperature. Your core body temperature tends to rise after a vigorous workout and it also rises due to our natural circadian rhythm around the time you are trying to go to sleep. Lowering the temperature to 68 degrees and making sure you have the proper sleep environment is the key to success.

The proper sleep environment includes a dark quiet room, a mattress that is breathable (preferably in this case with cooling features such as cooling gel and/or breeze technology), cooling pillows, breathable sheets and a breathable mattress protector. Keeping you cool will allow you to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer. When you are cool it also allows you to reach deeper stages of sleep faster as well.

So don’t worry if the only time in your schedule to work out is late at night. You can still get the proper sleep you need for your rest and recovery. Just make sure to stay cool. 

Eat Healthy, Exercise, SLEEP! Keep your New Year's Resolution!

Keeping your New Year’s Resolutions!

Every year around this time we all sit down and think about how we can make this year “our year”. What can we do to improve ourselves? Some years it is a big change, while some years it is small. Overwhelmingly every year the biggest New Year’s Resolution is to Get Fit or Lose Weight. This is the gym’s biggest time of the year. Everyone wants to get in shape!

There are three very important keys to losing weight, but typically we only think of two.

  1.        Eat Healthy
  2.        Exercise
  3.        REST-Get the proper amount of sleep.

You can eat properly and start an exercise routine, but if you aren’t getting enough sleep you will not lose weight or get in shape to your full potential.

Henry Cavill (I think we can say is a rather fit human being) before starting training to be the…… muscular….. Super Man had to promise his trainer to get 9-10 hours of sleep every night, otherwise all of his time in the gym would be for not.

Most people aren’t training to be Super Man, but if you are eating healthy and exercising you want to get your maximum results and for that you need to make sure to sleep and recover. During deep sleep our bodies are repairing the muscles you have worked during the day. This process is incredibly important. You want to build muscles which in turns burns fat. Your body is doing more in those 8-10 hours to make you lose weight and add muscle than you did in your hour at the gym! It is kind of nice to think about the fact that while you are sleeping you are actually getting healthier! This can only happen if you put in the time to your new exercise routine!

If you are one of the millions of Americans wanting to start this year off right with a new exercise routine/healthier lifestyle do not for get to GET ENOUGH SLEEP.

A very important part of getting enough sleep is your mattress. If you are unable to get a good 8 hour sleep because you are tossing and turning all night consider replacing your mattress. All Mattress Direct factory direct show rooms have mattress specialists trained to fit you for the best mattress for your sleep needs.  Plus, Mattress Direct makes shopping for the right mattress easy with our nationwide guaranteed lowest price factory direct savings. You get the lowest prices on everything in our showroom up-front so we can focus on finding the best mattress to help you. 

How does Sleep affect your Mood?

 

You probably have personal experience with just how much sleep affects mood. If you miss a full night of sleep the day after just feels more stressful. Irritability increases when we need more sleep.

Research studies that limited subjects to only 4 ½ hours of sleep each night found that after just one week, subjects reported increases in feelings of anger, stress, sadness and more difficulty thinking clearly.

Fortunately, after returning to normal sleep the participants in the study noted major improvements in their ability to concentrate and general mood.

Mood and Sleep are closely related.

Have you noticed that when you are anxious about a test, review or even an exciting event like a vacation you have trouble falling asleep? Anxiety makes you feel more alert. If you are feeling stressed constantly or reacting to stress you may be experiencing sleep problems.

Perhaps you are having trouble falling asleep.

There is a very strong chance that your mattress is inadequate. Ensure that your mattress is providing firm support with pressure point relief that allows you to feel comfortable. Seeing a sleep specialist with expertise to fit you properly for your mattress can ensure this is not an issue.

If you have difficulty sleeping, experts say it may be an early sign of depression. Up to 20% of people diagnosed with insomnia will develop major depression. Research is still being done on this subject but depression and abnormal sleep patterns may be related according to some studies.

Make yourself happier with a better sleep environment. If you are not sleeping it can cause you to feel off your game. Stop in to your nearest Mattress Direct showroom and consult with our factory trained sleep specialists. Sleep and your mood are related so don’t put off getting rest any longer.

All Mattress Direct factory direct show rooms have mattress specialists trained to fit you for the best mattress for your sleep needs.  Plus, Mattress Direct makes shopping for the right mattress easy with our nationwide guaranteed lowest price factory direct savings. You get the lowest prices on everything in our showroom up-front so we can focus on finding the best mattress to help you.

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.

Why do we Yawn?

 

Why do we yawn? We are not the only species who yawns monkeys, dogs, cats, and even fish and babies inside the womb yawn but why? It is one of those truly unsolved mysteries, but there are some really interesting theories.

The one that seems to be the most pervasive is that it expands your lungs and brings in a ton of oxygen all at once. That oxygen goes to your brain allowing you to wake up. But is this true? It makes sense but scientists have shown that oxygen levels don’t actually rise when we yawn. So if it isn’t taking oxygen to the brain what is it doing?

It seems that there is a decent connection between yawning and temperature regulation. The hotter you are the more likely you are to yawn if you see someone else yawning. Yawns are contagious. I bet at least half of you have yawned just from seeing the picture above and I’ve yawned twice while writing this. It is that weird suggestible thing when someone even says yawn we all respond in kind, but we are less likely to yawn if you are cold.

As you lay in bed every night sleeping heat builds up throughout the night, which is why many of us immediately wake up and yawn. Your brain functions at its best when it is in a cooler environment. So we wake up and immediately cool down our brains. The circadian rhythm determines the heat of our body throughout the day. Typically the highest points are right before we fall asleep and first thing when we wake up. The average person yawns 8 times a day which seems to be a way to regulate our brains temperature.

Typically when one person yawns multiple people in a room yawn. This is more than likely an evolutionary process where one person sees another and knows that maybe they should regulate their brain too. It could also be because of empathy or mimicry. Sleeping cool could help eliminate the early morning yawns. When you keep your cool and regulate your body temperature you get deeper sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. Experiment.  See if you yawn when you wake up after a nice night’s sleep in a cool bed. 

Don’t Let Acid Reflux Ruin Your Night

 

Maybe you have suffered from a sour stomach in the middle of the night. Maybe you deal with digestion issues frequently. If you are waking up in the middle of the night with an upset stomach there are steps you can take to help yourself sleep better. Keep reading to learn more.

Your stomach is designed to hold the highly acidic stomach juices that help us digest food. Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD happens when the stomach acid in the body escapes up into the esophagus. The esophagus can be chemically burned by the strong acidic juices from the stomach. Escaped stomach juices can cause a pain in the center of the chest caused by stomach acid burning the esophagus that is often called heart burn.

Many sleepers suffer from heart burn. Nearly 60% of adults report suffering at some point in the year from acid reflux symptoms with around 20-30% reporting they have weekly symptoms. With a little bit of planning and some improved ergonomic positioning at night you can help minimize the effects of acid reflux while you sleep.

Check out an adjustable base mattress set so you can elevate your head. An adjustable mattress set allows your head to tilt up at the hips which can provide your esophagus a little extra assistance in keeping your stomach acid down in the stomach where it belongs. If you wake up with a sour taste in your mouth elevate your head while you sleep. You may also notice that elevating your head with an ergonomic adjustable bases help open your air passages and makes it easier to breathe while you sleep.

Check your meal choices in the evening to minimize acid reflux symptoms at night. Try to not eat very acidic foods or too much of anything before you go to bed. If you need a snack in the evening be sure to keep the portions small. You do not want to tax your digestion system heavily while you are trying to sleep. Whole grain oatmeal, non-citrus fruits, healthy fats like nuts or a cheese stick are generally good snacks to enjoy before bed time.

Don’t let acid reflux disrupt your night.

If you suffer from heart burn you should consult your doctor because some conditions can be serious. Damage to the esophagus can occur and stomach pains or heart pains are best left diagnosed by a train professional. 

Maybe you have suffered from a sour stomach in the middle of the night. Maybe you deal with digestion issues frequently. If you are waking up in the middle of the night with an upset stomach there are steps you can take to help yourself sleep better. Keep reading to learn more.

Your stomach is designed to hold the highly acidic stomach juices that help us digest food. Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD happens when the stomach acid in the body escapes up into the esophagus. The esophagus can be chemically burned by the strong acidic juices from the stomach. Escaped stomach juices can cause a pain in the center of the chest caused by stomach acid burning the esophagus that is often called heart burn.

Many sleepers suffer from heart burn. Nearly 60% of adults report suffering at some point in the year from acid reflux symptoms with around 20-30% reporting they have weekly symptoms. With a little bit of planning and some improved ergonomic positioning at night you can help minimize the effects of acid reflux while you sleep.

Check out an adjustable base mattress set so you can elevate your head. An adjustable mattress set allows your head to tilt up at the hips which can provide your esophagus a little extra assistance in keeping your stomach acid down in the stomach where it belongs. If you wake up with a sour taste in your mouth elevate your head while you sleep. You may also notice that elevating your head with an ergonomic adjustable bases help open your air passages and makes it easier to breathe while you sleep.

Check your meal choices in the evening to minimize acid reflux symptoms at night. Try to not eat very acidic foods or too much of anything before you go to bed. If you need a snack in the evening be sure to keep the portions small. You do not want to tax your digestion system heavily while you are trying to sleep. Whole grain oatmeal, non-citrus fruits, healthy fats like nuts or a cheese stick are generally good snacks to enjoy before bed time.

Don’t let acid reflux disrupt your night.

If you suffer from heart burn you should consult your doctor because some conditions can be serious. Damage to the esophagus can occur and stomach pains or heart pains are best left diagnosed by a train professional. 

Make your Bedroom a better Sleep Zone

Simple tips that make your bedroom a better sleep zone.

Get the light right.

Stick with lower output light bulbs with warmer orange shades of white light instead of bright white light bulbs so your bedroom light is more similar to shades of light you’d experience at sunset. Bright white light sends you the signal to be awake. Check your light bulb’s packaging and look for the light appearance rating around 2200K to 2700K.

White light with a cooler appearance rating makes you feel like it is day time.
Our natural circadian rhythm is the normal rhythm that our body and mind adheres to which is based on the light from the sun. Luckily, we live in a time where light is enjoyed at the flip of a switch but this artificial light interferes with our natural circadian rhythm which can make getting to sleep more difficult.

Using a bedside lamp for ambient light is better than using overhead lighting that shines down on you. You can improve your bedroom’s lighting with an end table equipped with a lower watt bulb. Remember, a warmer light color appearance rating is going to limit the wave lengths of light that make you feel like it’s time to be awake.

Make it smell swell.

Maybe your bedroom doesn’t stink but if you are struggling to fall asleep, a calming scent like lavender, jasmine, vanilla or rosemary could help you relax. Have you ever smelled something and recalled a memory? Our sense of smell is linked to our memory. Calming scents can be used as a signal to your body that it is time for sleep. A potpourri bowl next to your bedside with calming herbs could do just the trick but be wary of candles if you are unable to put them out before bed.

It’s time to mention your television.

If you are struggling to sleep you may want to limit TV time at night. Exposure to the light emitted by TVs, tablets, computers and pocket game systems has been shown to make sleep more difficult. Reading a book, magazine, newspaper or e ink tablet before bed could help limit your exposure to the types of light that tell your brain to stay awake. You may also be able to change settings on some devices to limit these types of light.

Make sure your mattress is supporting your back, not holding you back.

If you want better sleep visit one of the 18 Mattress Direct showrooms around St. Louis Missouri and Illinois.

All Mattress Direct factory direct show rooms have mattress specialists trained to fit you for the best mattress for your sleep needs.  Plus, Mattress Direct makes shopping for the right mattress easy with our nationwide guaranteed lowest price factory direct savings. You get the lowest prices on everything in our showroom up-front so we can focus on finding the best mattress to help you.

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.

Could 1 extra hour of sleep really lower your child’s risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

 

Could 1 extra hour of sleep really lower your child’s risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

You may already know that children need more sleep than adults but you recent evidence suggests that a major health issue is present. Children are not getting adequate sleep which could cause serious health problems in the future.

A study published by the Journal of Pediatrics concluded that sleep deprivation could be linked to major health issues after researchers studied the sleeping patterns of nearly 5,000 9-10 year old children. The children in this study slept an average of 10.5 hours per night.

Health experts recommend children between the ages of six and twelve years old get around 9 to 12 hours of sleep every night. Younger children should sleep even more.

The amount of sleep children get a night appears to be connected to risk factors for their overall health.


Researchers found, when children increase the amount of sleep they got per night, risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes, such as body mass index, body fat, insulin resistance and glucose levels dropped. This does not prove a direct correlation but there does appear to be a connection based on the findings.

Type 2 Diabetes occurrences have increased in the last 15 years in young people. Perhaps an improvement in the amount of sleep children get is a step in the right direction.

What can parents do to help their children sleep better?


- Limit screen time before bed. You may be able to set parental restrictions on some devices.

- Keep a bed time routine.  Setting a bed time routine in childhood can help your children sleep better in the future.


- Avoid caffeine and chocolate before bed. Caffeine inhibits good sleep even when you don’t realize it.

- Assess the mattress your child sleeps on. Is it still a good fit?

Ensure your child, and yourself, get enough good quality sleep so you wake up feeling refreshed. If you have any questions about sleep visit a sleep specialist at Mattress Direct. #sleeprules

Get the restful restoring sleep you need every night.
If you wake up sore, feel tired in the morning or throughout the day then visit a Mattress Direct showroom and let our sleep specialists get you sleeping your very best. Sleep is so important. We have always known this but research is finally explaining why we feel so much better when we get good sleep.

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.

Sleep.... Perchance to Dream: 4 Common Creepy Dreams

 

Is Freddy Krueger living in your nightmares? Are you afraid to fall asleep because that Wendigo will chase you around the forest again? Is Pennywise the clown luring you into the sewers at 2 am? Here are 4 of the scariest dreams, their meanings, and some possible solutions!

  1.        Falling

One of the most common dreams this tends to be about inability to control your own life. Unforeseen circumstances might have changed and put you into a situation out of your control leaving you feeling helpless and alone. Falling from a tall building or mountain illustrates your inability to catch or hold onto something leaving your mind feeling like it is in a free fall.

  1.        Being Chased

Confrontation is the key here. We tend to avoid confrontation at all costs not wanting to bother or antagonize whatever problem we have so we run from it. Having a dream where it is manifested as running from a 60 foot snake or Freddy Krueger is understandable. Avoiding the confrontation builds it up in our minds and we need to escape it hence the dream.

  1.        Teeth Falling Out

There are two prevalent theories on teeth falling out. One is concerned with our own vanity. No one likes being seen as less than and a lot of us have inner turmoil about our outward appearance. The second is about growing older. It is something we cannot stop everyone will age. Teeth falling out represent the decay of one’s body over time especially the fear of aging.

  1.        Being Naked in front of a crowd

This one ties in a little with the teeth falling out; again it is stress about personal appearance and self-image. It is the fear of being judged demonstrating itself in a dream. The person experiencing it is not only feeling embarrassed but they are being judged by everyone there. This is a very anxiety heavy dream.

 

 

The science of how to stop nightmares from happening is still rather unknown. This isn’t as easy as popping a pill and making it go away. We have to sleep and with sleep comes dreams, but there are a few ways we can hopefully prevent nightmares.

Relax

Clear your mind before sleep. We all have ridiculously stressful lives and if you take those anxieties to bed with you they end up manifesting in your dreams. Try yoga, deep breathing, or chamomile tea and give yourself 20 minutes to wind down from your day so that you can have a restful night. Deal with your daytime stressors and don’t just put it off for tomorrow because it will come after you at night.

Dream journal

If you write out your dreams more than likely you can see where they are coming from. If you wake up every Friday terrified after falling it could be a result of the Thursday staff meeting or class. Typically a pattern will appear and then you can use relaxation techniques to calm yourself while unpacking the meaning of your situation. Also most times when someone wakes up with a particular nasty dream we forget the details very quickly. The faster you can write it down the more information you will have to be able to work through the stress that is causing it.

Optimal sleep environment

Dreams happen in REM sleep. Typically the dreams we remember happen closer to our time of waking. You need to have an all-night optimal sleep environment. What that means is it needs to be dark (as dark as you can make it even red alarm clocks can keep you up, blue light only) and set at the proper temperature. The optimal sleep temperature is 67-69 degrees. Also, the more restless you are the more likely you are the lighter the sleep you are getting and the more likely you will remember your dreams. People tend to be more restless if they are sleeping on a mattress that is not giving the proper support and pressure relief.

Hopefully these tips can help you become a dream warrior at night.