Keeping Your Mattress Clean


When going through your spring cleaning this year, there is one thing you might be forgetting despite how prominent and important it is: your mattress. Perhaps because it is always covered in sheets and pillows, or simply because it’s such a constant part of your room, many people never consider the importance of keeping it clean. In fact, given how much time you spend sleeping and relaxing on it, keeping your mattress clean is essential to staying comfortable and in good health. But what are some of the best ways to keep your mattress free of stains, odors, and allergens?

Suck It Up

What will be the easiest method, and in many ways the most effective, is to vacuum your mattress. Whether you realize it or not, over time, your bed can collect nasty and irritating stuff like dust and allergens, even beneath the sheets and comforters. Most vacuums come with an upholstery attachment which should do the trick collecting all that bad stuff. For even more freshness, try sprinkling baking soda over the mattress before vacuuming.

Get Some Air

Think of your mattress like a sponge. The porous nature of the materials means it tends to absorb all the moisture from the air, body oils and sweat from while you sleep, and perhaps the occasional spill that might occur. It is important to get these out of the mattress not only to prevent odor, but also to fight off mold and mildew that could develop. Take your mattress outside to get air circulating through, and let the sun dry up all the moisture. If you can’t manage to get the mattress outside, prop the mattress on its side in the room, and open all windows so that it gets plenty of circulating air and direct sunlight.

Passing The Nose Test

While you’re imagining your mattress like a sponge, keep in mind that it can absorb everything, and that includes odor. Luckily, there are many odor absorbing air fresheners on the market that can take care of even the most stubborn smells. To completely rid yourself of the offending scents, use one can of air freshener per side of the mattress. Just be sure to air it out before sleeping on it again! For a natural approach, you can use a mixture of lavender oil and baking soda to sprinkle over the mattress, to avoid irritation caused by harsh chemicals.

A Foolproof Solution

Unfortunately, some mattresses may be beyond saving. Wouldn’t it be nice to put this new knowledge to use, maintaining and prolonging the life of a brand new mattress? Mattresses For Less is your one stop shop for the perfect new sleep system for you. They are the leader in providing whatever mattress you need, with such top brands as SertaSimmonsiComfort, and Comforpedic. Visit them today, and start a new life of clean, healthy sleep!

9 Tips For Buying The Best Mattress For You


There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to mattresses. Every person has a different idea of what is comfortable, so it makes sense why different mattresses work better for some rather than others. Many people suffer from different back diseases and experience pain in various places. Luckily, several different types of mattresses have been created to cater to different medical ailments. It is extremely important to find the best mattress for you in order to ensure a good night’s rest each and every night! The last thing you want is to become sleep deprived, because that brings on a whole new range of issues.

That being said, there are several tips to help you avoid purchasing the wrong mattress. Here are 9 tips to help you on your mattress shopping journey!

  • Do your research. Learn about all the different types of mattresses and what types of people they are best suited for. This way you can narrow down the possible options. This will help you to avoid being talked into buying the wrong one.
  • Talk to the doctor. Your doctor will have helpful advice when it comes to selecting the best mattress for you. If you have a back related health condition, it is even more beneficial to speak with your doctor because they will have a vast knowledge on what type of mattress will help ease the pain.
  • Pillow top mattresses aren’t for everyone. Not everyone needs a thick pillow top mattress. In fact, some would do much better on a firmer mattress to better support their spine. This doesn’t mean rule out pillow tops because some people (especially heavier people) will benefit greatly from choosing this option.
  • Firm isn’t always better. A common thought is that firmer mattresses are more supportive and better for the spine. While this may be the case for some, it is not a straight forward fact and is not true for everyone. So don’t decide on a firm mattress without considering all your options.
  • Try an adjustable mattress! Certain back problems require slight elevation to ease the pain and some people are simply more comfortable at a slight incline. This is why adjustable beds are so great, they give you the option to adjust the shape of the mattress. You are no longer stuck with a flat mattress if that is not what works best for you!
  • Comfort guarantee. Most of us search for the best price in order to save a little cash when making large purchases. It is important to ask about “comfort guarantees’ and “money-back guarantees” BEFORE you purchase. Good mattresses will have guarantees and warranties. (Mattresses For Less offers a Comfort Guarantee and they sell mattresses with warranties!)
  • Protect your investment. Take good care of your mattress! Purchasing some sort of water proof protector is imperative because stains will void the warranty.
  • Try all the options. With so many options it is important that you give them a try. Go into the shopping experience with an open mind because the best mattress for you may be one you would have never thought about! Make sure to spend the time necessary to make the right decision. Lay on each mattress for about 10 minutes so that you can actually get a feel for it. No need to rush, this is an important purchase!
  • Shop at a real mattress store! Avoid shopping at furniture stores for a mattress. At real mattress stores the sales staff will have more training in the specifics of mattresses and sleep. Shop at a store with several different brands so that you can get a chance to try a large variety.
Shopping for a mattress can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. These 9 tips will help you find the best mattress for you and have you waking up rested every morning!

Stages of Sleep


Sleeping is a lot more than just lying on the bed and drifting out of consciousness. Fairly recently, people have discovered that sleeping can be broken into stages and that there are various types of sleeping patterns that people can go through and experience. Doctors and scientist have done countless studies on peoples habits on sleeping to identify disorders or problems and can even help people get a good nights sleep on a daily basis. There are two types of broad sleeping patterns; Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) and they cycle between each other.

Rapid Eye Movement

Characterize by the random and rapid movement of the eyes, this type of sleep occurs towards the morning and can be sporadic during the sleep process. They last 90-120 minuetes in total. Studies conducted on volunteers have noted that REM sleep helps the creative process and may explain why dreams are more vivid and fantastical in this sense. People that take anti-depressants effect the REM sleep because they inhibit REM, therefore causing even worse depression in some cases. REM sleep is important as it stimulates the Central Nervous System.

Non-Rapid Eye Movement

Unlike REM, the NREM sleep has no movement of the eyes and rarely include dreams. This type of sleep, however, does not paralyze the muscles and should a sleeper not go through the proper stages of the sleeping cycle (skipping through REM sleep), they could end up sleepwalking or talking in their sleep. This can be a pretty alarming and even disturbing occurrence to others.

Stages of NREM

  • Stage 1 – Occurring at the beginning of the sleep cycle, this type of sleep involves slow eye movement. People that are in this stage will drift in and out of consciousness. Some people with an irregular sleep cycle may experience Hypnic Jerk which is a sudden movement or “jump” that is usually accompanied by falling sensation.
  • Stage 2 – No eye movement and the sleeper is easily awakened.
  • Stage 3 – Deep Sleep occurs and the person can feel groggy if awakened from this stage. It’s more difficult to wake up from this type of sleep.

Sleep stages are important as they help determine what type of rest to get and what every single stage and types of sleep is valuable. Deprivation of certain types of sleep can lead to an array of problems, ranging from moodiness to depression. Consider this the next time you think that sleeping less than the recommended amount its okay.

Selecting the perfect mattress for you


It comes as a shock to most people that more often than not, they are sleeping on the wrong mattress. They might have trouble falling asleep. They might feel pain in their backs, shoulders, or sides. Perhaps they cant stay awake during the day. This can be due to the fact that your mattresses comfort level might be different from your own.

To get a restful nights sleep, try a small test. Lie on the bed and try and see if the bed is either too soft or too firm. The human body have pressure points along the head, shoulder, back, buttocks, and heel. Should the mattress feel too firm, this can push back onto the pressure point and create unwanted tension with your body leading to a uncomfortable and uneasy night sleeping. This is likely the reason why most people dont just sleep on the floor. The mattress can’t be too soft either. What happen is that the body that is not supported by the mattress will lead the body to flop onto itself and become just as uncomfortable. There has to be a happy balance between these two and the level of your comfort plays a huge role into it as well.

A great indication for someone considering a new mattress is that if they wake up feeling sore and achy then it’s time to buy a new mattress. Researchers suggest that a person in a mattress store should lie on the mattress in the position they usually sleep in for 10-15 minuetes and decided on whether this is the suitable mattress for them. Dont forget to bring your own pillow. Its important that you replicate the exact same way you sleep at home.

Types of Mattresses

  • Innerspring Mattresses – The innerspring Mattresses are the most popular type of mattresses. How they work is simple; Your body is supported by individual coil springs in the mattress. The more the springs, the more comfort and support your body will feel. These type of mattresses are excellent for people that are a little on the heavy side or with chronic back issues. Its very hard to find a mattress that isn’t suitable for everyone.
  • Memory foam Mattresses – These type of mattresses are growing in popularity at an incredible rate and its easy to see why. Memory foam works by using a series of different types of composites and foams to contour and shape around your body and react to your weight and temperature. Memory Foam mattresses are great for people that have muscle fatigues and injuries.
  • Latex Mattresses – Latex mattresses are made from either synthetic rubber or are made of natural rubber. They are similar to memory foam but are a bit more firmer as the added benefit. Researchers and experts have all strongly recommended the Latex mattresses for everyone because just like the Innerspring Mattress, its hard to go wrong with one.
  • Air Mattresses – The most common misconception is that these type of mattresses are cheap. Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, modern Air Mattresses are a lot more sophisticated as each air pocket is separated in their own tubes and spaced apart from each other. One of the great advantages of the air mattresses is that it can fulfill the need of couples who disagree on different comfort level. One side can be filled to be more firmer than the other.
  • Adjustable Mattresses – The appeal of the adjustable mattress is not what tis made of but what it can do. The beauty of it is that it can be elevated or adjusted to a certain degree making it easier for people to get out of bed or watching tv. Hospitals often have a variant of these as they help patients with back or hip injuries leave their beds more easily. People that suffer from Sleep Apena benefits greatly from these beds as people who lie down can have trouble breathing at night.

When selecting the best mattress for you, dont overlook these facts and select the mattress you can see yourself sleeping in for the next 10-20 years. A lot of modern mattresses being produced today could last a lifetime so this might be something to be considered. Always remember that a good nights rest is the stepping stone to a productive day and that the mattress is the building blocks.

Do you have Insomnia?

With Insomnia days feel longer, you shift in and out of consciousness during the day, and the volume of everything in your life is dialed down. For everybody that has ever suffered from this condition, it not only deprives you a good nights rest but it also puts a strained on relationships, work productivity plummets, and overall morale turns sour.

What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a condition in which a person does not have the ability to fall asleep or can not sleep for an extended period of time. Insomnia can either be a primary disorder or it can also be a secondary symptom that is accompanied by a more larger problem. Insomnia can be either short term or long term. Short term can last from 1 to 3 weeks but long term can last from 4 to 9 weeks and in some cases, it can last for several months.

Types of Insomnia

  • Transient Insomnia – Transient Insomnia are usually the most common type of insomnia. Typically, they last for less than a week. Transient are typically caused by changes in sleeping habits (i.e, New work schedule,ect.,), stress, or depression. People that suffer through Transient Insomnia typically have symptoms of daytime sleepiness, clumsiness, and some memory loss.
  • Acute Insomnia – Acute Insomnia can last just under a month and just like Transient Insomnia, can be caused from a wide arrange of factors. Usually people that suffer under this condition have trouble with their daytime routine more so than whatever it is they do at night. Stress is a very common factor.
  • Chronic Insomnia – Chronic Insomnia is a far more serious problem for some people as it can last well over a month. Chronic Insomnia is usually accompany by another disorder or can be the primary disorder. Chronic Insomnia can lead to sleep deprivation which can in turn effect the cognitive function, delaying healing time from an injured person, and studies done on lab animals have determined that sleep deprivation can also lead to eventual death.

Causes of Insomnia
There can a wide range of factors contributing to insomnia but here some of the most common causes of Insomnia.

  • Life Event – This includes trauma or fear. People that may have reason for concern can keep them up at night. A birth of a new child, Financial concerns, emotional or mental tension can all be the cause of insomnia.
  • Use of Stimulant/Psychoactive Drugs – The use of caffeine or hard drugs such as Cocaine or Methamphetamine can keep one up for days. Ironically, the sudden withdraw from some drugs can also cause insomnia.
  • Mental Disorder – Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder are one of the many disorders that can lead to insomnia if not treated.
  • Physical Exercise Athletes or people that regularly go to the gym can suffer from Insomnia if they work out to close to the hours they usually sleep.
  • Hormone Shift – Menstruation or Menopause might be something to consider if a person is going through insomnia.

Treatment

  • Behavioral Treatment – Behavioral Treatment is vastly preferable over Medication as medication or drugs can be lead to being dependent on sleep and can actually worsen the condition. This includes modifying sleeping habits such as sleeping at a certain time, abstaining from caffeine or other stimulants, and even try to find ways to lead a stress free day.
  • Over-The-Counter Drugs – Melatonin and Benadryl can help in individual cases and can actually solve transient insomnia problems.
  • Medication – Medication such as Benzodiazepines are incredibly powerful sleeping aids but can lead to tolerance or physical dependence so these types of drugs are used with extreme caution.
  • Meditation – Meditation is highly recommended as the effects usually calms the mind and help ease a person into sleep.

Sleep is important as it provides the body with much needed rest and helps a person function through out the day. People that suffer from insomnia should consult a doctor should they feel that insomnia is greatly affecting their lives as it can become a larger, more serious problem.

What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

What is it?
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a nervous system disorder that gives you the urge to move your legs. This urge comes from uncomfortable sensations that many have described as tingling, creeping, crawling and tightening. These sensations can range anywhere from irritating to extremely painful. RLS is commonly under diagnosed or misdiagnosed, most likely due to the fact that there is no real RLS “test”. Physicians must rely on a patients history and symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms tend to happen the most at the end of the day aka when you want to go to sleep, however, that is not the ONLY time they can happen.  Don’t go undiagnosed because your symptoms don’t occur at night. Symptoms can appear at any time during prolonged sitting or laying down. This means if you get these sensations while sitting in a desk at work, school, in the car or airplane, you are most likely experience RLS. Restless Leg Syndrome comes in all shapes and sizes, some describe it as a slightly irritating sensation while others describe it as intense and painful. The fact is, it’s real and causes sleep deprivation and stress.
Who is affected?
Restless Leg Syndrome can affect anyone at any age, it does not discriminate. However, there are a few statistics that might help you get a better idea of how many people are affected.
  • 5-10% of the entire population suffers from RLS
  • Women are twice as likely as men to develop RLS
  • As many as 25% of pregnant women develop RLS during pregnancy. Symptoms usually disappear within a few months after pregnancy.
What kind of treatment is there?
Physicians will prescribe certain medications that have been known to decrease symptoms but unfortunately no one medication has been proven to cure RLS in all individuals.  Some lifestyle changes have also been shown to decrease symptoms, which include:
  • Decreased consumption of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco
  • Iron, folate and magnesium supplementation
  • Exercise
Losing sleep because your partner won’t stop fidgeting? Restless Leg Syndrome not only effects the person suffering from the disorder, but it also affects their partners.  In order to ensure that you both avoid sleep deprivation, sleep on a memory foam mattress! This will allow your partner to fidget and move around without disrupting your sleep. Another benefit of a memory foam mattress is that it conforms to your body and allows the muscles to relax in their most natural position.  This has been shown to decrease symptoms. If you want to help reduce your partners symptoms massaging their legs is highly recommended. This helps take the mind of the uncomfortable sensations and relax the muscles, allowing you to get a good nights rest!

 

What is Sleep Paralysis?

Don't let sleep paralysis disrupt your normal sleep cycles. Knowing about its associated symptoms can help you get back to getting a good night's sleep. This is the first part of a two-part series.

Have you ever awakened from sleep, but were unable to move? You felt awake, but no matter how hard you tried moving your arms or legs, they just wouldn’t respond to your commands? You might have even been afraid enough to call out for help but couldn’t even muster the sound? Sleep paralysis may happen to you once, or it could be a frequent occurrence. The helplessness you feel may be frightening, but it is not considered a dangerous health problem. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a scary or preventable condition. Continue reading to find out more about this strange condition, possible causes and how to treat it when it happens.

Before we continue, let’s get this out of the way right now! Despite the picture above, this article is NOT meant to scare anyone about this very real issue. It is important to bring it to everyone’s mind so that if you do experience it, you can take control away from the fear it may cause. Knowledge is power! Be strong and know that you’re going to be ok!

Sleep researchers have concluded that for the most part, sleep paralysis is a sign that your body is not moving smoothly through the transitions or stages of sleep, especially the four to five cycles of REM sleep that most people experience throughout their time in bed each night.

What Is Sleep Paralysis?

The condition manifests itself as a feeling of being conscious but not being able to move. It normally occurs when a person passes from the stage between wakefulness and sleep. As your body makes the transition, you may not be able to move or speak. This can last for several seconds or a few minutes.

What’s going on in your body?

Behind the scenes of your normal sleep patterns, your brain is regulating your body in several ways. Neurons in your brain stem known as REM sleep-on cells activate during REM sleep. The manufacture of neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, serotonin and histamine are shut down during REM and your body is put into a paralysis state by the brain. Motor neuron function is diminished or inhibited as well.

The mind itself protects the body while in a sleep state from, basically hurting itself as a reaction to a vivid dream state. If we acted out our unconscious dreams without these physical barriers to our bodies, Humans would hurt themselves every single night they went to bed. What some have called “Defensive Immobilization,” the bodies reflex functions is the last line of defense against an attacking predator. Just as some animals can appear dead when faced with danger, the neurophysiology of the reaction in the human brain shows very striking similarities.

When does Sleep Paralysis Occur

Sleep paralysis can usually occur during specific times during your sleep cycle.

Hypnagogic or Predormital Sleep Paralysis As you fall asleep, your body slowly moves from an alert, waking state to a more relaxed state. As you become less aware of your conscious self, you may not even realize that you are transitioning into a sleep state. However, if you remain or become aware while falling asleep, you may notice that you can not move or speak. Hypnopompic or Postdormital Sleep Paralysis This can happen when you are waking up from REM sleep. During your sleep cycle, your body alternates between REM or rapid eye movement and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep. Each cycle of REM and NREM sleep can last about an hour and a half.

NREM and REM Sleep Cycle Activity

Non Rapid Eye Movement Sleep takes up around 75% of your overall sleep time. During this sleep cycle, your body relaxes and restores itself. At the end of the 90 minutes, your sleep will shift to REM sleep where dreams occur, however your body will still remain very relaxed from the NREM sleep cycle. Your muscles are actually “turned-off” during REM Sleep. If you become aware before the REM cycle has finished, you may notice that you can’t move or speak.

Factors That Can Be Linked to Sleep Paralysis

This is a common condition that can affect as many as 4 in 10 people, including teenagers. In fact, it is common to notice the condition first after the onset of puberty. However, men and women of any age can have it. There is some evidence to suggest that it can run in families. Common factors that can cause it are:

  • Lack of Sleep
  • Your Sleeping Schedule Changes
  • Mental Conditions including stress can be a factor
  • Sleeping on your back
  • Additional Sleep problems such as narcolepsy or nighttime leg cramps
  • Using certain medications
  • Substance Abuse

Sleep paralysis can be a scary condition, but it doesn’t have to be one that makes you anxious or afraid to go to bed. Don’t let this very common condition affect you more than it should. And definitely don’t let it stop you from getting a good night’s sleep. There is hope!

In our next article, we are going to look at how sleep paralysis is diagnosed,  and how to treat the underlying condition that causes symptoms. We’ll also take a jaunt into the past and see how this common issue has been around for many centuries.