• How Old Are Your Pillows?

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    Your pillows are an important part of your bedroom. They are just as important as your mattress because they provide support for your head, neck and spine while you sleep. Your pillows will go a long way towards determining whether or not you get a good sleep. Pillows can hold onto a lot of different kinds of particles, including things like dust mites, so it is important for you to make sure they are as clean as possible. However, depending on the kind of pillow you have, you may not want to wash it very often in your washing machine, as this could cause it to deteriorate or break down. So if you can’t wash your pillows often, how often should you replace them completely? And exactly how old are your current pillows?

    Particles That Can Be Trapped in Your Pillows

    Your face will come into contact with your pillows every night. It is important to know what types of particles your pillow could contain, especially if you are susceptible to things like allergies. Frequent washings of all of your pillowcases, bed sheets and blankets in hot water will help reduce the amount of allergens you come into contact with on a daily basis. But things like dirt, dust, mold, pollen, dust mites and other allergens could still be found on your pillows, even if you wash them frequently. The same could be true of your mattress. It may be a good idea to replace both your pillows and your mattress if you are experiencing serious allergy symptoms. Pillows can also collect things like skin flakes and body oils over time, which can attract dust mites, mildew, mold and bacteria. Other things like human drool and perspiration can make your pillows dirty, even if they are covered with pillowcases. Over time your pillows can become rather unhealthy. If you are an allergy sufferer then it is recommended that you change or replace your pillows once every 1 to 3 years. You can also help to prevent the effects of pillow allergens by using an allergy-specific pillowcase.

    Your Pillow Also Needs to Be Supportive

    Unless you have the above allergies, you may not notice too many problems with your pillows on a day to day basis. However, what you may notice will be whether or not your pillow and your mattress are providing you with the proper amount of support. Over time even support-specific pillows can become lumpy, flat or misshapen. Support for your head, neck and spine during sleep is important for preventing many types of neck and back problems, including pain and discomfort. If your pillow isn’t providing you with the right support then you need to get rid of it and purchase a pillow that is supportive right away. Old pillows can sometimes cause improper neck alignment, which can throw off your entire posture. Now is the ideal time to look into new pillows if you are experiencing any problems with your posture or back.

    Is It Time to Replace Your Pillow?

    Here are some things you can do to determine if now is the best time to replace your older pillows. If your pillow is made from polyester, fold it in half and place something like a shoe on top of it. If it is strong enough to unfold itself and knock the shoe off then it is still good enough to sleep on. If your pillow is made from feathers give it a good squeeze and see if it unfolds on its own. If it stays squeezed together it is time for a new one. Also, think about how much sleep you get and if this sleep is high quality. If you are not getting enough quality sleep think about replacing your pillows and possibly your mattress.

  • The Science Behind an Orthopedic Mattress

    mattressSelecting the furniture for your home can be a complicated and difficult process. Many consumers spend hours and hours evaluating which desk to put in the office and which couch to put in the living room. While these choices are important, none of these furnishings has the ability to affect your overall health and well-being like the mattress on your bed. It is surprising, then, that so many consumers invest so little effort in researching different types of mattresses. When they purchase a bed from a furniture store, they often select the cheapest mattress possible. This common consumer practice may be the reason for increased cases of insomnia throughout the nation and for the nation-wide decline in quality sleep amongst consumers.

    Without a doubt, the mattress you choose for your bed directly influences the quality of sleep you can expect to experience. One of the very best mattress types that you can invest in is an orthopedic mattress. Orthopedic mattresses are specifically designed to provide optimum support and comfort to any person lying on the bed. The combination of firmness and plushness featured in an orthopedic mattress means that consumers with different body types can all be comfortable on an orthopedic mattress. This isn’t simply a lucky break for the manufacturers of orthopedic mattresses. These mattress types have been rigorously researched and designed according to the latest scientific discoveries. There is a wealth of scientific evidence that supports the use of an orthopedic mattress.

    The Key Ingredient for Orthopedic Mattresses

    First and foremost, an orthopedic mattress is nothing without the key filler ingredient in the mattress: coconut fibers. This may sound like a strange material to feature in a mattress, but it actually makes a great deal of scientific sense. Coconut fibers are one of nature’s strongest defenses. The coconut is the seed of a palm tree. This tree has evolved to produce seeds that naturally resist deterioration over time; effects from the weather and natural elements; infiltration by insects, bacteria, and parasites; and consumption by tropical animals like birds and monkeys.

    Because coconut fibers are quite strong and are naturally tough, they are a perfect choice for improving the firmness and core strength of a mattress. These fibers are incredible because they won’t deteriorate over time; they are unattractive to insects, dust mites, and even bacteria; and they help to absorb both dirt and odor. The fibers within the core of an orthopedic mattress are actually odorless. In fact, you won’t even know that they are there.

    Longer Lasting Mattress Investment

    Most manufacturers recommend that a basic mattress be replaced every two years. On the other hand, orthopedic mattresses have been scientifically proven to provide just as much comfort and support even after five years of continual use. The scientific power of the coconut fibers provides this continued structure and effectiveness.

    The Paleolithic Approach to Sleeping

    Orthopedic mattresses are preferable, from a health standpoint, to luxuriously soft mattresses because they more closely resemble the sleeping arrangements of our ancestors. Consider an orthopedic mattress like a tribute to the Paleolithic man. The human body has evolved to relax perfectly on a firm and straight surface. Since we don’t sleep on cave floors any longer, an orthopedic mattress offers the closest substitute. These mattresses provide healthy firmness while still feeling soft and comfortable.

    The Ugly Truth: Higher Cost

    If orthopedic mattresses are universally acclaimed and backed by scientific research, why doesn’t every consumer have one? The answer may be the higher cost of these products. However, since orthopedic mattresses only have to be replaced every five years, these mattresses actually represent a very valuable investment.

  • Pillowtop Mattresses vs. The Alternative Gel

    Choosing the right mattress is exceptionally important for overall health. The average consumer spends over forty hours every single week lying on a mattress. If that mattress is too firm, too soft, too lumpy, or unsupportive, serious health issues can result. Problems with the back, neck, shoulders, and hips can be caused by a cheap mattress or a mattress that has not been replaced in several years. Studies have linked insomnia and inadequate sleep levels to low quality mattresses. It’s clear that choosing a top-of-the- line mattress can have a dramatic impact on your health and your sleep patterns. What, though, makes a mattress top- of-the- line or high quality? There are so many different mattress styles to choose from. Many consumers get overwhelmed when they start asking questions about mattresses, and begin the shopping process. Two popular mattress types include pillow top mattresses and alternative gel mattresses. These two mattress styles have undergone recent improvements that make both of them incredibly valuable options for improving your overall health. Which option, however, is the best?

    Pillowtop Mattresses Offer Luxurious Softness

    A pillowtop mattress is a regular spring mattress that is topped with a luxurious layer of soft down or artificial fillers. Higher quality pillowtop mattresses, of course, are filled with real down. Down is the soft feathers that can be found as insulation below the flight feathers on bird breeds like ducks and geese. Down is notoriously soft, and many people like to sleep on down pillows because this soft filler material conforms to the shape of their neck, head, and shoulders. The comfort of a down pillow has been expanded into the world of mattresses. Pillowtop mattresses feature a layer of soft down or artificial down across the entire surface of the mattress. This makes them as soft as a pillow.

    Pillowtop Mattresses Are Easier to Maintain

    Pillowtop mattresses may be easier to maintain than alternative gel mattresses because they aren’t filled with a semi-liquid material, and they don’t have all the risks associated with alternative gel mattresses. A pillowtop mattress can be cleaned with a regular vacuum hose attachment. The hose is directed slowly across the surface of the mattress, and dust particles, mites, and other contaminants can be easily removed. That said, it is thought that alternative gel mattresses may be more hypoallergenic than pillowtop mattresses, especially if a pillowtop is filled with real bird down.

    Alternative Gel Mattresses Claim to Help with Mattress Cooling

    Alternative gel mattresses claim to help with mattress cooling. A mattress topper that absorbs body heat may cause overheating for the consumer, and overheating has been linked to insomnia in numerous studies. The gel material that fills the top of an alternative gel mattress is supposedly designed to absorb body heat, and wick it away from the consumer. Alternative gel mattresses certainly do feel cool to the touch when you initially lay on top of them, but there is no evidence that these mattresses are capable of maintaining that cool temperature after prolonged exposure to a body.

    Alternative Gel Mattresses May Deteriorate Over Time

    One final risk of alternative gel mattresses is the potential for gel deterioration over time. There have been some suggestions that inexpensive gel fillers may break down after several years. This, of course, will eliminate a great deal of the cushioning effect achieved with these mattresses. Pillowtop mattresses, too, become unevenly distributed over time, which is why consumers should replace mattresses on a regular basis according to manufacturer recommendations.

  • How Can I Tell When I Need a New Mattress?

    “How can you tell when you need a new mattress?  Find out some telling signs that suggest when it's time to replace the old box and spring.”

    With most bedroom products, you pretty much know when you need a replacement.  When sheets become stained or worn, when dressers become scratched and ugly, there's no question.  However, a mattress will probably look much the same—at least for several years.  So there is some question as to how you know when a mattress is no longer serving its purpose.

    In fact, your mattress may very well feel comfy, even if it is doing a number on your back.  You must remember that a mattress is designed to provide your body not only with support, but also comfort.  So you can't just assume that because it still does the job, it's perfectly capable of lasting another 10 years.  Your back probably can't take it for much longer, not if the mattress has become warped.

    There are a number of sure signs to look for if you suspect your mattress has been significantly “worn” and is no longer good for bed rest.  They include:

    • Stiffness when you wake up
    • Numbness or various bodily aches
    • Visible signs of tear or wear
    • Lumps or uneven parts of it
    • You seem to sleep better on the couch

    How Old is Your Mattress?

    And of course there's the fail proof “time test.”  Chances are, if your mattress is older than seven years, then it's been far too long!  Most mattresses, and especially “affordable” mattresses only have a lifespan of about seven years to begin with, and if it is frequently used (which mattresses are known to be, since we have that nasty habit of going to sleep daily) then it can wear out even sooner than the maximum time span.

    A mattress would ideally last a long time, but we have to ask ourselves, do we ourselves change in seven to ten years?  Of course!  Our bodies go through significant changes year to year, and the mattress you keep absorbs everything, from weight gain, to uneven pressures to all sorts of miscellaneous issues.  (Like your kids jumping on the bed!)

    The wise thing to do is to replace your mattress on a regular basis, so that your family has access to quality sleep and optimal health.  And remember, recycle your mattress by giving it to a store that accepts old mattresses, as this will go a long way in green efforts and space-saving.

    If you need new bedding materials then consider a trusted name like Mattress 1 who specializes in quality brand name products like Sealy and Tempurpedic.

  • Sleepwalker? How to Keep Yourself Safe!

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    Are you a sleepwalker? Have you recently been getting up from your bed at night and wandering around your home? Have you been walking and talking while you are asleep, but don’t remember doing so? If so you are probably experiencing the effects of sleepwalking. Sleepwalking has a number of potential causes and can be experienced by just about anyone. Some effects of sleepwalking are short in duration while others can last longer. If you are a sleepwalker you could unknowingly be putting your safety at risk. It is a good idea to discuss your sleepwalking problem with your doctor, as there may be certain medications that could be prescribed to help. There are also a few things you could do at home to help protect yourself when you sleepwalk.

    Preventing Sleepwalking

    There are few things that you can do to actually prevent sleepwalking occurrences. Doctors and scientists aren’t even sure what directly causes sleepwalking. However there are steps you can take to minimize if not prevent these occurrences. For starters, get as much sleep as you can on a regular basis. Get a nice comfortable mattress that helps you to fall asleep fast and stay asleep for longer. Limit the amount of stress you have to deal with on a daily basis. This could involve adding yoga, meditation or relaxation exercises to your daily routine. It is also a good idea to limit the amount of stimulation you get just before you fall asleep. This could include watching movies or listening to music.

    Protecting Yourself During Sleepwalking Episodes

    Walking around while you are asleep will put you at risk of harming yourself. You could trip and fall down the stairs or bump into an object. You can take certain precautions to help prevent injuries while you are sleepwalking. Try to make your environment as safe as possible. Remove all potentially harmful objects or anything that is sharp from your living environment. Place these sharp or potentially harmful objects in a locked closet or draw. Try to sleep on the ground floor if you can, as this will minimize the likelihood that you will travel up and down stairs while you are sleepwalking. Make sure that you lock all of your doors and windows, preferably in a way that they cannot be easily opened while you are sleepwalking. You certainly don’t want to end up walking down the street! Use heavy drapes to protect your windows. You may also want to alert someone else in the house that you are sleepwalking so they can take some preventive measures to help you prevent injury. You could place bells or other types of alarms on your bedroom door so other people in the house will know when you get up in the middle of the night.

    Sleepwalking Treatment Options

    There are several ways that sleepwalking can be treated. For example, certain medications can be prescribed, including things like ProSom, Trazodone and Klonopin. Sometimes these drugs can cure the problem within a few weeks. Other possible treatment options may be available if your sleepwalking is the result of an underlying medical condition. Often the sleepwalking will stop if the underlying condition is properly treated. You may also be able to teach your body not to sleepwalk through relaxation techniques and anticipatory awakenings. Again, it is important to make sure your sleeping environment is quiet, relaxing and comfortable. If your mattress or pillows are not providing comfort and support they may need to be replaced. Relaxation techniques, either performed at home or with the help of a behavioral therapist, can help you relax your mind and allow it to sleep throughout the night.

    The good news is that few people experience serious symptoms associated with sleepwalking and the problem will usually go away after some time.

  • What Materials are Used in my Mattress?

    “What materials are used in the making of your mattress?  Our technology has come a long way to match our comfort needs.”

    Ever wonder what materials are used to create that bouncy bedroom "must have" - the mattress?  It's interesting to look back on history and see how far we've come in “mattress technology.”  Consider, for instance, that in ancient times, the beds of old were made of leaves, straw, animal skin and other seemingly uncomfortable materials.  Of course, all of these items were still luxurious to ancient human civilization, which previously lied on stone, hard ground and other not-so-soft alternatives.

    Bedding Frames in History

    Bed frames actually became more luxurious as civilizations grew in their excess.  Before the 20th century, man was still in his experimental stage and made mattresses out of crude items like hair from horses, cotton, rags and fabric filled with straw and other plant refuse.  Worst yet, some people used ticks as filler!  Go figure.

    By the 20th century, however, we were making mattresses through manufactured process, and introduced bedroom couples to the concept of interior springs, which boosted comfort.  Then came the layers of upholstery, as well as very firm and resilient textures.  While these were at one time very luxurious items, eventually they became mass produced.  One of the pioneers of bedding marketing, and all marketing in general, was Zalmon Simmons Jr., who led the public to the thought that a good night's sleep was healthy, comfy and a necessity for the modern man.  Science and health studies followed that sentiment, and to this day, the bedding mattress is still the most important piece of furniture in your house, as far as comfort goes.

    Mattress Technology Today

    What are most mattresses made from today?  There are actually many more mattress materials today than in any other time period, and we have both natural and synthetic materials to choose from.  For example, some companies use fiber, polyurethane foam, and polyester for the cushion layer, though the innerspring, helical and box spring parts are typically made from wire material.  The insulator, on the other hand, is typically made from a semi-rigid netting or wire mesh.  Meanwhile, the flanges are made from fabric, and metal is sometimes used to create the hogs rings.  Lastly, we have the decorative cover, which is made using a quilting machine, adding a great deal of color and artwork design to the unit.

    For more information on luxury and brand name mattresses, visit Mattress 1 who has created a bedding FAQ page of interest to bed shoppers.

  • What’s a Typical Bedding Warranty?

    “A typical bed warranty may seem confusing, since it's not always clear what parts are covered.  Find out how to understand mattress warranty contracts.”

    The very idea of a warranty on a mattress might seem confusing, since it's highly unlikely that your mattress is going to burst into flames.  However, practically every company does offer a warranty.  So there must be something to this, right?

    The first step to understanding a mattress warranty, is realizing that it's based on manufacturer's guidelines, not the local bedroom store.  The warranties cover certain items on the mattress, and usually not the entire mattress in general.  For example, a typical warranty might cover:

    • Torn handles on the mattress
    • Broken coil or wires, or protruding  coil or wires
    • Body indentations beyond a certain measurement
    • Splits in the wood frame inside the box spring section
    • Defective beams or rails
    • Broken module wire
    • Annoying sounds related to the internal destruction of parts

    Of course, no warranty covers absolutely everything, and even with a bedding warranty, you really have to check the fine print.  For example, some common items within the mattress that are not covered by traditional warranty include:

    • Mattress Fabric
    • Order Wires
    • Structural Damage
    • Certain Body Indentations
    • Damage resulting from added parts, like box springs
    • Using the wrong bed frames, not intended for this type of mattress

    It is also highly unlikely that a modern warranty will cover surface staining, since this is nearly impossible to be a manufacturer's defect.

    Be aware that in some warranty contracts, you may be expected to pay delivery fees and other related costs.  Again, mattresses are backed by manufacturer warranties, unless the retail store specifically states that they will cover all miscellaneous expenses.  Naturally, warranties do differ according to the different manufacturing companies.  Some manufacturers only replace major parts, whereas others may replace everything, including broken handles and so on.  The most noticeable defect is in “sagging”, and warranties will only cover damages that exceed beyond a certain measuring standard—the reason being that all mattresses will eventually conform to an individual or couple's bodies.  Some sagging can actually be traced to a defect, while other situations would not merit a warranty.

    Last but not least, consider the warranty price.  Low cost warranties usually don't cover much in the way of minor repairs, while high end warranties are your best bet for full or nearly full coverage on the unit.  Of course, you don't want to rely on a salesperson to explain the warranty—get it in writing and make sure that the meaning is clear and spelled out on paper if necessary.  For more information on warranty and bedding specifics, visit a trusted name in mattress service.

  • Does a Mattress Have to be Firm to be Supportive?

    It makes sense, right? Shouldn't a mattress have to be firm in order to ideally support you? Isn't the problem with old mattresses that they sag and contort your body? In theory, yes, but then again just because a mattress is firm doesn't necessarily mean it's the best buy. It's really all about your individual comfort level.

    How Mattresses Work

    First, understand how mattresses are put together in the manufacturing stage. The innerspring is what supports the mattress and what actually adds comfort are the extra layers, which help in determining the feel of the bed. The best beds today, such as Sealy, Optimum, or Kingsdown, feature the latest mattress technology, such as durable innerspring systems, which are able to provide spinal support.

    Bedding That is Too Firm?

    Some “sleep shopping” consumers may even avoid certain mattresses because they are too firm. For example, certain individuals who suffer from conditions like fibromyalgia, may claim that mattresses renowned by others for their firmness are simply too uncomfortable to actually sleep on. If you continue to sleep on a mattress that is overly firm then you could actually make the pain even worse—and end up not wanting the bed.

    It's also important to be wise to the fact that your comfort level may change. For example, the first time you lie on a firm mattress, it feels great and you might be inclined to buy it. However, your comfort level and preferences can change quickly. Many families have discovered that the beds that once felt so firm and flat, are now causing lower back pain.

    Bedding That is Too Soft?

    Then again, there are also shoppers who complain about mattresses feeling too soft, and too “enveloping” to be enjoyed. In the end, the best thing to do is choose a mattress that feels good to you at first, and then to try to lie on it more than once, just to be sure the feeling is still there. Get an agreement from the retail store on a return or exchange, within a reasonable time, if you don't like it. A warranty contract may also be a good idea, as this can provide replacements and repairs of a mattress that declines in shape beyond a certain amount.

    If you are looking for new mattresses or bedding then check out Mattress1 who carries a variety of brand names such as Serta, Simmons and BeautyRest—beds at just the right firmness and softness for your individual tastes.

  • How Stress Affects Your Sleep

    If you have ever been so tired that you simply cannot fall asleep, you are not alone. Many individuals wake up in the morning feeling much more tired than they did when they went to bed the night before. Oftentimes, we come home from a long hard day completely wired, with the inability to quickly fall asleep or stay asleep. Many individuals suffer from adrenal fatigue as a result of their increased stress levels from their hectic life that are simply impossible to reduce even after they come home for rest at night.

    Hormone Induced Restlessness

    The stress of daily living often causes the adrenal glands to produce high levels of cortisol and adrenaline. These stress hormones have been proven to increase inflammation and deregulate blood sugar levels. The results often produce hormonal chaos that can cause immune suppression. Individuals that suffer from high levels of stress often have digestive issues that are caused by adrenal dysfunction.

    The condition, over time, can put on those few extra pounds that are impossible to lose. Anytime we experience panic mode as a result of daily stress, our bodies tend to store everything, making it nearly impossible to reduce excessive fat.

    Sleep Deprivation

    Once we understand that stress is nothing more than a response to our daily life, it is easy to recognize that it will affect us physically, emotionally, and in our behaviors. While the right amount of stress works as a positive force in our daily life, too much of it makes us anxious, tense and causes significant sleep problems. While assessing our daily stress levels and performing exercise routines can help offset our anxiousness, a good mattress can provide the much-deserved rest our body requires.

    Diminishing Stress Levels

    While the news is not good about changing our lifestyles anytime soon, there are ways to improve our health by decreasing our reaction to stress. Sleeping on a quality mattress diminishes tossing and turning at night. By avoiding the intermittent, small wake ups in our sleeping pattern, we can eliminate the constant waking up and inability to fall back to sleep all throughout the night.

    Part of living a restful existence requires not eating before bed time. By cutting back on refined carbohydrates, sugar, and gluten, our adrenal glands will begin to function normally. Additionally, meditating or doing yoga just a few minutes each day, tends to straighten out the rhythms of our bodies, making us feel more peaceful at night.

  • How Much Support Do I Need in My Mattress?

    Most individuals do not have much experience in shopping around for the best mattress. Shopping for a bed is usually an experience that only happens once every decade, so it is not difficult to imagine why many people do not know what size, shape, or style of mattress would be a good purchase.

    To understand exactly what type of mattress you need and the amount of support required is dependent on a few things, including the size your bed and what will offer you maximum support, for the type of unit you desire.

    The Size

    If you are looking to simply replace the worn-out mattress you have, then the size of the new unit needs to fit the bed frame you have. It most likely will be a full, queen, or king size (or a California King). Small, single size beds are usually a twin. However, if you are looking for something new, there is a rule of thumb to follow to ensure you are getting a bed that will fit you. If you are taller than 5’5”, then a queen or larger size bed is ideal for you. Full size beds work well for individuals short or than 5’5”. Before running off to purchase a large mattress, consider if there is enough space in your bedroom to accommodate the bed so that you can still walk around it.

    The Material

    With new advancements in technology, there are many types of materials available to sleep on that include foam, innerspring, latex, and even hybrid mattresses. The support is typically indicated by the wideness of the coils. The wider they are, the more support they provide. However, the rating can be confusing. A 13-gauge coil offers much more support and significantly less motion transfer that a coil system of 15-gauge.

    Firm or Soft

    There is also a rule of thumb in determining whether a softer unit is best for you. If you are larger individual, you probably require more support for your larger build, and need a firmer mattress. Smaller, or shorter, individuals find softer units more comfortable as they have much less weight to displace. Additionally, if you suffer from a bad back then a firm mattress might offer more relief by reducing the pressure on your lower back and hips.

    Whenever you are buying a new mattress, and you are wondering about how much support you need, it is essential to ask lots of questions before making a purchase.

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