Monthly Archives: November 2015

  • (Gross) Facts About Bed Bugs and Mites

    Bed Bugs:

    The Feeding Process – The way that a bed bug feeds is enough to make anyone’s skin crawl. These tiny bugs bite into your skin while you are sleeping and insert two tubes. One tube sucks your blood, while the other inserts anticoagulants and anesthetics so that you hopefully will not notice what is happening. The bugs can feed for up to ten minutes, growing seven times in body weight. After all is said and done, you are left with an itchy swollen welt that can irritate you for hours or days.

    Breeding – One of the reasons that you hear bug bed infestations described as epidemics is because of their ability to breed quickly and at a high volume. Throughout her lifetime, a single female can produce over 1,000 eggs. This allows infestations to become a major problem in no time at all.

    World Travelers – Another reason the word “epidemic” is often used is because bed bugs are so great at spreading from one place to another. With an increase in travel, this has become even easier. Bed bugs can stow away in your suitcases without a problem because they can survive for up to 18 days without feeding. Bed bugs are a major problem for hotel beds for this reason.

    Dust Mites:

    High Volume – Dust mites are extremely small, but their numbers typically are not. In one standard double bed, there could live as many as 10 million dust mites.

    Survival – Dust mites thrive in the cavities next to the coils and springs in the core of your mattress. The humidity caused by your body heat creates a great habitat for them as they feed from your dead skin cells.

    Allergies – Many people think that they are allergic to dust mites, when really they are allergic to dust mite excrement, which can be microscopic in size. Your mattress, and even pillow, could be full of dust and dust mite feces if you have not replaced these items in many years.

    What You Can Do

    You obviously want to reduce your risk of sleeping with bed bugs and dust mites as much as possible. You can greatly discourage infestation by eliminating their favorite habitat, the core of your mattress. Replace your mattress with a high quality memory foam or latex mattress that does not have any center cavities where these pests can typically hide.

  • Sleeping Next to a Sleep Talker? How to Cope

    If you are or sleep next to a sleep talker, you know that this particular sleep disorder can be both amusing, but problematic as well for more than just the person talking in his or her sleep. While it can be funny to hear someone talking while sleeping, it can also make it really difficult for you to get the sleep that you need, especially if that person has a tendency to speak loudly or even shout while they are sleeping.

    There are a few ways that you can improve on this situation. First, it is important to understand why the person is experiencing sleep talking. While in rare cases it can be a side effect of an underlying medical or psychiatric problem, sleep talking can be a sign that a person is not getting a restful sleep. Problems such as sleep deprivation, stress, depression, can lead to talking in your sleep, or it is sometimes a side effect of certain medications.

    If your partner tends to talk in his or her sleep, one way that you can help is by helping this person address any of these possible causes. Using relaxation techniques in order to reduce stress and encourage a more restful sleep can reduce the risk of sleep talking. It can help to develop a calming routine every evening where you use deep breathing exercises, a warm bath, and a glass of milk. Investing in a high quality and supportive mattress can also improve the ability to achieve a better quality of sleep.

    Along with trying to relax before bedtime, your partner could also try to avoid activities that inhibit the ability to reach a deeper state of sleep. Exercising right before bed, eating a large meal close to bedtime, or drinking caffeinated drinks or alcohol can increase the probability of sleep talking occurring. It can also help to not watch television in bed and keep the room nice and quiet when it is time to go to sleep.

    Unfortunately, it is hard to control how much sleep will exactly affect any one particular person. If the sleep talking problems persist, your partner may need to see a sleep specialist in order to identify any possible underlying causes. In the meantime, in order to get a better sleep yourself, you may need to resort to a comfortable pair of earplugs or using a small fan to create white noise. It is important to be sure to keep exploring your options until you both can get a great night’s sleep.

  • Tips for Becoming a Morning Person

    Depending on your natural circadian rhythm, you are likely to be either a night owl or a morning person. While it is very hard to fight your urge to stay up late and sleep in, the world is generally a more difficult place for night owls. Unless you take night classes or work the graveyard shift, school and work generally require you to become a morning person. Because depriving yourself of sleep is a very unhealthy option, your next choice is to follow these tips to transform yourself into a morning person.

    Power Down – Avoid the urge to listen to music, watch TV, or surf the web right before you go to bed or while you are in bed. Learn to associate your bed with quiet and sleep.

    Use the Sun – Sleep in a room where the sun will shine in on you in the morning. Having this exposure to the sun first thing in the morning naturally helps reset your body’s natural rhythm for waking.

    Set a Routine – As hard as it may be, it will really help if you can force yourself into a daily routine, going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time. The longer you stick to this routine, the easier it will be for you to naturally get up at the same early time every day. Missing your routine for even one day can throw off this rhythm.

    Eat Wisely – Avoid large meals and alcohol close to bedtime. These habits cannot only make it difficult to fall to sleep, but it can also make it harder to get quality sleep. If you must have a snack, stick to small portions. Have a glass of milk, or a small serving of turkey, which contains tryptophan.

    No Caffeine – Tying into the eating habits, you should also avoid caffeine as much as possible. If you must have your coffee, stick to one or two cups only in the morning hours. Even caffeine you ingest in the afternoon can keep you from sleeping that night.

    Morning Exercise – Work an exercise regiment into your morning routine. This will not only wake you up, but it can also help you get a more restful sleep that night. Avoid exercising close to bedtime.

    Get Help – If you continue to struggle with being able to fall asleep at night, you may need further assistance. A sleep specialist may be able to identify an underlying condition that is keeping you from sleeping, and they may be able to recommend treatments and/or medications to help.

  • Top 5 Things to Stop Doing Before Bed

    It can be frustrating to know that you need to go to sleep, or even be extremely tired, but not quite be able to fall asleep. Sometimes you can feel restless, fidgety, or have immense trouble trying to find a comfortable position. While a supportive mattress can make a big difference, you may be guilty partaking in some of the top five bad habits that you need to stop doing right before bed, including:

    Drink a Lot of Fluids

    Most people know that you should not drink anything with caffeine in the evening, or alcohol, but it can be smart to avoid liquids all together in the last two hours before bedtime. While you should not go to bed thirsty, the extra large glass of water or milk that you enjoy before bed could cause you to wake several time in the night for bathroom breaks.

    Exercise

    Exercising is extremely important to your health, and it can actually improve your quality of sleep, but not if you are exercising right before you try to go to bed. Exercise causes your body temperature to rise and gives you a natural boost in energy, making it difficult to fall asleep the first couple of hours after your workout. If you prefer to workout at night, try to schedule your exercise session for at least a few hours before bedtime.

    Work or Study

    Your bed should only be used as a bed, and not as a table or a desk. It is essential that you train your mind and body to only associate your bed with sleep, instead of work and stress. Especially if you work or study right before bed, you stimulate your brain and can cause stress, which can make it hard for you to relax and sleep.

    Watch TV

    Many people claim that they need to have a television or radio on in order to go to sleep, but this can actually make it much harder for you to achieve quality sleep cycles. Studies have shown that watching television or using a computer soon before bed can actually decrease melatonin production in your body, which is a hormone that promotes sleep.

    Eat a Large Meal

    The reason we eat is to intake calories, which provide energy to our bodies. It stands to reason that the last thing your body needs right before going to bed is a huge energy boost. While you might feel tired right after consuming a large meal, your overall quality of sleep will likely suffer.

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