The Many Uses of Memory Foam

Whenever it is mentioned that memory foam was designed by NASA, the image that seems to come to mind is an astronaut sleeping comfortably on a memory foam mattress while orbiting earth in a space station. But, upon some quick research, one will realize that the astronauts never slept on memory foam in space, but instead it was used in the cushions of their seats to absorb the impact of the extreme gravity during takeoff and landing. The creators of memory foam merely realized the potential for the springy foam material and included NASA in their marketing efforts in order to appear high-tech and futuristic. Knowing this, one can’t help but wonder what else we don’t know about this springy substance. What other uses are there for this innovative material?

Medical Uses

When patients in hospitals are forced to be immobile in bed for extended periods of time, regular hospital beds would often cause complications. The rigidness of an average mattress, when laid upon for a lengthy frame of time, would cause bedsores and even gangrene in patients. The introduction of memory foam mattresses into hospitals significantly reduced these symptoms in bedridden patients. Memory foam is also utilized in wheelchair cushions, stabilizers for broken or fractured bones, and, due to its heat retention properties, therapy for patients with neck or back injuries. Memory foam can be molded into any shape so its uses in the medical field are vast.

Active Uses 

Once the price of memory foam dropped enough for it to be widely commercially distributed, more and more activities have been finding uses for the substance. For instance, if you are a professional race car driver who is sitting in a driver’s seat for hours on end, you’re going to want to sit on a shock absorbant substance to reduce debilitating back pain. Memory foam can be used in an array of sports, both traditional and extreme, as a high-tech padding for safety equipment. Football helmets have begun to use composite pads that utilize memory foam technology to remain rigid enough to keep tight to the body but still absorb a great deal of shock. The use of memory foam in helmets can also be extended to bicycle and skateboard helmets since the same need is met. For marathon bicyclists, a memory foam seat will keep them much more comfortable and therefore willing to go farther distances. The military also utilizes memory foam padding for heavy vests and backpacks to cause less strain on the troops carrying them.

Traditional Uses

Although memory foam is such a versatile substance, the arena in which it is used most affectively is still in the bedroom. Since the temper material retains heat, it is a perfect therapy for erasing the basic aches and pains that arise from strenuous day-to-day life. It assists with proper alignment of your spine resulting in ideal conditions for a perfect nights sleep. The use of memory foam pillows can actually aide sleep apnea by elevating the head to the correct position. If there was ever a time to switch from a regular mattress to a memory foam, the sooner the better. Do your body a favor and invest in one of these mattresses, especially if you are a victim of any chronic pains. A great place to start shopping is MattressesforLess.net since they have  a huge selection of memory foam mattresses all at great prices. Your mattress is the piece of furniture you spend the most time on, wouldn’t it make sense for it to be as comfortable as possible?

War on Dust Mites

Now that the seasons are once again changing, people waking up with stuffy sinuses and allergic symptoms are simply attributing them to the start of summer.  Although this could be part of the reason for these reactions, there could be a more sinister explanation. Dust mites are a major cause of allergic reactions in the home and their favorite place of residence is in mattresses and pillows, where you spend a large chunk of your day. Most people are aware that dust mites are disgusting and are a hinderance on your health, but many may not know what exactly they do or how to keep them away from where you sleep. Note: This is not meant to scare anyone but to inform you of how to deal with this very common problem.

Dust mites are tiny bugs that thrive in humid, moist areas. They survive on dander from human skin and excrete a substance called Der p1, a very potent allergen. People sensitive to this allergen experience sinus headaches, itchy eyes, sneezing, fatigue, and even depression. The dust that accumulates in your mattress and pillows are contaminated with dust mite feces and are often the cause of these early morning allergic reactions.

The favorite hangout for dust mites, as mentioned before, is your bed. More specifically though, dust mites tend to thrive in coil or spring mattresses. The reason for this is the inner section of a spring mattress acts as a perfect space for dust mites to survive and multiply. The body heat that you provide acts as an incubator where mite feces and dead skin cells accumulate. This warm environment also often causes mildew and mold to grow which is often the reason your mattress will gain weight from the time that you first purchased it. Dust mites also reproduce at an extreme rate, making the problem exponentially worse the longer it is ignored.

Luckily there are several things you can do to prevent, or at least limit, dust mites in your sleeping area. The first and most obvious solution is simple cleanliness. Be sure to wash your pillow cases and bed sheets every week and your comforter at lease once every 2 months. Use warm water when washing your bedding since cold water will not get rid of dust mites. Also, clean your mattress at least once a year, preferably between winter and spring. This will ensure to kill all of the surviving mites from winter which will cripple their numbers going into the hot summer months. The best defense against dust mites, however, is to buy a mattress without an inner cavity within which mites thrive. If you have a latex or memory foam mattress you dont give dust mites an incubated area to multiply and accumulate harmful allergens. Luckily Mattresses for Less has a huge selection of such mattresses, all at very reasonable prices. So don’t make any more excuses for your beat up coil mattress, and instead spring for a new, dust mite-free mattress from Mattresses for Less!

No Games. No Gimmicks. Just Savings.

As you have probably heard throughout your life, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. At Mattresses for Less, we prefer to be straightforward with our customers and avoid putting you, or your wallet, through the wringer. Adding a 32″ TV onto the cost of your mattress doesn’t make it a bargain, regardless of how “free” they claim it to be.

Someone has to make up for the cost for the television’s cost, and in this case that someone is you. We at Mattresses for less believe in making our prices transparent so you can shop worry-free.

Memorial Day Sale at Mattresses for Less

Why spend another summer settling with an uncomfortable mattress? It is time to rid yourself of the aches and pains that stem from spending 8 hours a night on a lumpy, uneven mattress. Come to Mattresses for Less and upgrade to a new mattress that fits all of your particular comfort needs. As well as being Houston’s Adjustable bed headquarters, we also have a huge inventory of name-brand mattresses such as Serta, Simmons, Beauty Rest, iComfort, Comforpedic and Restonic. Join us for our Memorial Day Sale at Mattresses for less for unbelievable deals on the state-of-the-art products you want!

  • Instant Credit Approval
  • No Interest Until 2018
  • Queen Sized Certa or Beauty Rest Mattresses Starting at $298
  • Adjustable Beds Starting at $999
  • 5 Locations With Huge Savings and the Best Sale of the Year

The Importance of Sleep

We discussed last week how you can develop and sustain various sleep cycles that require less total time sleeping in order to maximize efficiency during the day. Although it is possible and theoretically practical to develop such polyphonic sleep cycles, is it really healthy to deprive your body of the amount of sleep provided by a typical sleep schedule? There are several theories as to why we actually need to sleep, but science has not been able to come to an agreement on which is absolute or if it is a combination of reasons.

The first widely acknowledged theory is the Restorative theory. This implies that the body needs sleep in order to restore and repair parts of the body that may have been worn down or damaged during waking hours. There is clear evidence backing this theory that shows how activities like muscle growth, tissue repair, growth hormone release, and protein synthesis mainly take place during sleep. This is also supported by the fact that if animals resist sleep for a certain amount of time their immune systems will completely stop performing, eventually killing them. Beyond the repair of the physical structures of the body, there are also theories regarding how the brain’s “sense of self” or “I-function” regenerates during the first stage of sleep. The prefrontal cortex of your brain’s frontal lobe is the area in charge of judgement, impulse control, visual association as well as other related activities. This area is always active in a waking person, regardless of how little sleep they have had. This area then shuts down during the first stage of sleep but boots back up again when you are dreaming in REM sleep. Since the brain is aware of itself when you are both awake and dreaming, when the prefrontal cortex is active, and unaware of itself during stage one of the sleep cycle, when the prefrontal cortex is inactive, it is logical to think that the I-function of the brain is repairing itself during this time of inactivity.

The other widely accepted theory on the necessity of sleep is the Brain Plasticity theory which posits that sleep is associated with changes and alterations in the brain’s organization. This theory is backed by research done on infants showing that a large part of their development takes place during the 13 or so hours of REM sleep they get a day. This theory also gains credence from studies on the cognitive ability of people who have been deprived of sleep. The frontal lobe, associated with speech and creative thinking, of a sleep deprived person is severely hindered. They struggle to come up with imaginative or original ideas and instead tend to repeat words and simple sayings. They also slur their speech, stutter, and struggle to cope with rapid changes or multiple tasks at once. It is possible that the reason for the importance of sleep in terms of cognitive ability is that sleep increases the production of proteins that generate neurons while decreasing the rate at which they’re broken down.

Regardless of the true reason we have to sleep, it is clear that sleep is vital to our overall wellness and health. Sleep has similar symptoms to hunger and thirst implying that it is an equally important part of our lives. Since different areas of the brain are restored during different stages of sleep, a full nights sleep is an important part of staying at 100% of mental capacity. By this thinking, in an indirect way, the more comfortable your mattress is the sharper you will be mentally since the vital parts of your sleep wont be interrupted by tossing and turning on an old lumpy mattress.

Getting the Most Out of Sleep

For most, sleep is a standard block of time, usually beginning in late evening and ending at some point in the morning, typically consisting of 6-10 continuous hours. This is indeed the norm but for certain people this is far from reality. There is something called Polyphasic sleep, a term coined by psychologist J.S. Szymanski, which is defined as a pattern of sleep that consists of sleeping multiple times in a 24 hour period.

Many working people adopt biphasic sleep schedule without even thinking about it by simply taking a nap after work. This would be an example of the more common polyphasic sleep scheduling but cases get much more extreme from there.

The purpose of adopting such extreme sleep cycles is to maximize your efficiency by cutting down on the amount of time you spend asleep. The theory is that once you get into a polyphasic sleep cycle you will be able to sleep less and feel just as alert and energized as if you had a typical nights sleep. Adopting such an intense sleep schedule is no easy task though. For the first week and a half to two weeks you will go through a period of extreme mental and physical fatigue as your body starts to adjust to your new cycle. You must decide on which particular cycle you wish to adopt beforehand in order to plan your naps at specific points in the day so you can begin to train your body to be tired at those exact times.

For the Everyman Cycle you will need to take a three to three and a half hour nap accompanied by three twenty minute power naps at various times throughout the day. Using this cycle you will be sleeping around 17% of your time, as compared to the 33% you would be sleeping in the standard monophasic sleep pattern. For the Dymaxion Cycle, a cycle created by popular inventor, architect and theorist Buckminster Fuller, you would need to take four thirty minute naps every six hours leaving you with only two hours of total sleep per six hour increment. The most extreme cycle is the Uberman Cycle, from the German “Übermensch” meaning “Superman”. This cycle consists of six twenty minute naps every four hours. Those who have successfully adopted the more extreme cycles claim to fall immediately into REM sleep, the type of sleep vital to your health, when they take their naps.

There are several reasons people adopt polyphasic sleep cycles, both voluntary and involuntary. The U.S., Canadian, and Italian Air Forces as well as NASA have all done studies on polyphasic sleep in an effort to counter fatigue in extreme situations. In 1989 a long distance solo boat racer, Dr. Claudio Stampi, published his studies on polyphasic sleep claiming that it “…improve[d] prolonged sustained performance” in situations that require severe effort. People with irregular sleep-wake syndrome have no choice but to nap at various point throughout the day with no main sleep episode. This rare disorder can usually be traced to dementia or head trauma.

Regardless of what type of sleep schedule you choose to adopt, having a comfortable to place to sleep is a constant. Whether it be 36 naps a day or just one, you will need a mattress that will lull you to sleep quick so you can continue on with your busy schedule as soon as possible. Make sure you consider your options and be sure to choose the right one to achieve maximum efficiency when it comes to your napping.

The Skill of Lucid Dreaming

Every night when we lay down on our mattresses and close our eyes, we often wonder what kind of story our brain will come up with when we finally drift off to sleep. Will you be falling endlessly into an bottomless pit? Will you be alone on a private island with your favorite hollywood starlet? Will you accidently push that starlet into a bottomless pit?

“I would have let you do anythiiiiiiiiii”

.

The point is you don’t know what wacky things your brain will throw together in the mysterious abyss of the dream-world. Unless of course, you are able to somehow become conscious of the fact that you are dreaming in the midst of doing so. This well-established phenomenon is referred to as lucid dreaming and has been studied and debated upon for decades in pseudo-scientific circles across the globe.

Lucid dreams, and dreams in general, occur during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of the sleep cycle. Studies have been done showing that the direction in which your eyes move during this stage corresponds with the direction you may be looking in the so-called dreamscape. While this eye movement is occurring  the first stage to dreaming lucidly is becoming aware that you are, in fact, dreaming. The recognition has been theorized to occur in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is where working memory occurs and is one of the few areas of the brain that is typically shut off during REM sleep. After the initial recognition stage, the dreamer must walk a mental tightrope in between being careful enough to let the dream continue and being conscious enough to be aware that he or she is dreaming.

There are several tried and true methods for achieving lucidity in dreaming, the most popular of which include Dream Induced Lucid Dreams (DILD), Mnemonic Induced Lucid Dreams (MILD), and Wake Induced Lucid Dreams (WILD). In the DILD method the dreamer must simply have a high level of awareness when going to sleep in order to actively identify clues in the dream that give away the fact that they are dreaming. The MILD method can be utilized in four easy steps:

  1. Work on your dream recall by writing down at least one of your dreams each morning as soon as you wake up. The more you remember your dreams, the more vivid they were which increases your chances of attaining lucidity.
  2. Commit constant reality checks to your memory by actively thinking to yourself, “Am I dreaming”, at various times throughout the day.
  3. When you lay down to go to sleep, program commands to your memory by repeating in your mind, “I am dreaming”, which will affirm your lucidity when you actually are dreaming.
  4. When you are deeply relaxed and feel you could fall off to sleep at any moment begin to visualize a recent dream, but change the ending slightly. This will put you in the mindset you were in when you were dreaming last but now you have prepared yourself to achieve lucidity.

In order to use the WILD method you have to achieve sleep paralysis which can be done by lying completely still. If you do this until you fall asleep you will most likely be able to dream lucidly.

Above all, the most important step to lucid dreaming is achieving the appropriate amount of REM sleep. The best way to do this is sleeping on a mattress that is comfortable enough to keep you properly suspended between the dream and waking worlds without the tossing and turning that comes with an uncomfortable mattress. In all reality, the difference between sleeping on, say, a memory foam mattress as compared to an old spring mattress, could be the difference between lucid dreaming in a wonderful cloud world and a lumpy WWI battlefield.

Good choice.

The Best Mattress Size For You

Before selecting a type or certain make of mattress, it’s important to know which size of mattress is best for you. This can be easy to ignore; a lot of people are just accustomed to a certain mattress size because it’s what they’ve always slept on. Moving a size up or a size down could make all the difference in how your room looks and even how well you sleep.

Twin Size

The smallest size of mattress is the twin, at 75 inches long by 38 inches wide. The twin is an excellent choice for older children and young adults, who don’t need a lot of space. It is also ideal for single people with small living spaces such as apartments. While the twin may be too  short for older children and adults, an XL twin with an extra 5 inches of length are available, though the width is the same.

Full Size

A step up from the twin is full size. The full size is the same length as the twin, but adds an extra 15 inches to the width. This is becoming a very popular choice for children of all ages, just to give that extra bit of comfort. This is also an option for couples who live in small living quarters, but would still not have much space for two sleepers.

Bed Sizes Chart

Queen Size

Queen is the most popular size of bed, coming in at 80 inches by 60 inches. While it is still not the most space couples can get, it is an excellent choice for smaller-built people or those who don’t require a lot of space when they sleep. For single sleepers who like to stretch out during sleep, the Queen offers plenty of bed without taking up too much space in the room

King Size

At 80 inches by 60 inches, the King is the closest couples can come to sleeping on the equivalent of their own twin bed. While this gives you the maximum amount of space, this also means you have to have enough room for it. Make sure you’ll have enough room not only for the mattress to fit in your room, but also to get it in and out.

Once you’ve determined the best size mattress for you, head over to Mattresses For Less. They have mattresses of all sizes from all the top brands, and will help you find your best fit for the best price. So put all this new information to use, and begin a new life of comfortable and satisfying sleep!

Get Back to Sleep: Adjustable Beds and Back Health


Back pain is an all-too-prevalent concern for a lot of people. The pain in this one area of the body has a way of affecting all of the others. Further complicating things is the fact that sleep, while certainly very important and needed, can cause even more problems for whatever back pain you’re experiencing.

One option for lessening or eliminating this problem is sleeping on an adjustable bed. By shifting the point where the majority of weight is distributed, you can help your back get through a number of difficulties.

  • Osteoarthritis: If you experience arthritis in you spine, compression on those joints from sleeping on a flat mattress can make mornings quite unpleasant. With an adjustable bed, you can take that pressure off your back and minimize the irritation.
  • Spinal Stenosis: With spinal stenosis, you’re often more comfortable at an incline rather than straight up and down. Therefore, sleeping at a slight angle could also be more comfortable than on a flat mattress, helping you fall asleep faster.
  • Degenerative Spondylolisthesis: An adjustable bed will allow you to place more weight on your knees rather than your back. This should result in improved comfort, and better sleep overall.
  • Recent Surgery: While it’s not true for everyone, many people who have recently had surgery on their back prefer an adjustable bed over a flat mattress.

If you think an adjustable bed is the best option for you, then without a doubt your ideal destination is Mattresses For Less. Not only are they Houston’s Adjustable Bed Headquarters, their massive inventory is the largest in the entire nation. With over 70 different combinations of mattresses and adjustable frames available, you’re sure to find the perfect sleep system to meet your needs. So visit one of their five Houston area locations today, and get on the road to a better night’s sleep!

Pet-Proofing Your Bed

We love our pets, and there’s nothing better than snuggling up with Fifi or Fido at the end of the day. But they tend to bring with them more than just fluffiness and love; they can introduce bugs, dirt, allergens, and stray furs into your peaceful sleep sanctuary. You also risk damage to your bed from scratching, clawing and chewing. Luckily, there are a few ways you can protect your mattresses while still having your four-legged friends around for a long time.

SET UP DETERRENTS

There is a problem, with cats especially, of pets clawing and scratching the edges of your mattress. If declawing your cat is not an option, there are several methods of protecting your furniture for not much money. Here are a few simple and inexpensive materials you can use to protect the sides of your bed:

  • Tin Foil – Pets can’t stand the rustling sound and will avoid the area it covers
  • Double-Sided Tape – Makes for an uncomfortable place for your pets to hang around
  • Press and Seal Saran Wrap – Is inexpensive, and applies easily.
  • Orange Peels – Cats can’t stand the smell, but may not be the answer for the bed your regularly sleep in. Perhaps guest beds or other furniture in your house?

Not only do these protect the surface, but they may also have the added benefit of keeping your pets away from the bed altogether.

START TRAINING

The biggest obstacle to overcome is your pet’s learned behavior. Once you let them on the bed, they recognize it as acceptable behavior, and have no reason to stop. This behavior has to be broken if you want to be at all successful at keeping them away.

To your pet, sleeping on the bed is a matter of where they stand in the household. It’s not just one thing they’re allowed to do, but rather is symbolic of their place in the hierarchy, and can’t so easily be broken. Make it plain to them that you are the master of the house, and that the bed is your domain. Don’t scold them too harshly, however, but quietly and firmly discourage them from getting on the bed when you don’t want them there.

Don't let this happen to you!

GIVE AN ALTERNATIVE

If your pet isn’t allowed to sleep in your bed, then they’re going to need a bed of their own. Everyone needs their own special place after all, even animals. You can find all sorts of pet beds for sale at pet stores, or make a bed out of old or unused bedding of your own. Cats enjoy being high up (another reason they may prefer your bed), so find something elevated that they can rest on. It helps to make one designated area for your pet, so try placing some of their toys around their new bed. For cats, provide a scratching post to serve as a replacement for your bed.

By the time you realize the need to keep your pets away, it may already be too late for your current mattress. If that’s the case, then Mattresses For Less has your back. They are the leading provider of all the top brands, and are Houston’s adjustable bed headquarters, boasting the largest selection in the nation. Check out all they have to offer today, and begin a new life of quiet and peaceful rest!