• Short Sleep Reduces the Effectiveness of Vaccines

    Recent studies have indicated that the length of sleep a person experiences will often affect exactly how their body responds to vaccinations, thereby increasing the potential for illness. Research shows that insufficient sleep allows people to be significantly more unprotected by a vaccination.

    Sleeplessness Causes Negative Anti-Body Responses

    The study that generated the results used a sampling of 125 healthy individuals ranging in the ages of 40 to 60 years old. Over the six-month trial period, every participant was given a three dose hepatitis B vaccination. As a way to perform an evaluation, the researchers that conducted the event measured each individual’s antibody response level prior to the second and third vaccinations. A measurement was then performed one half year after the last injection.

    Over that time span, every subject maintained a diary containing sleep information. They also wore an electronic sleeping monitor during their sleeping cycles the entire time. The results indicated that the subjects that were only able to sleep less than six hours every night were significantly more likely to be unprotected (up to 11.5 times more) against the hepatitis B vaccination. This was compared to the individuals that were able to sleep on an average of seven hours or more.

    The Importance of Quality Sleep

    In all, the researchers that conducted the study found that the results were more likely due to the quality of sleep and not the length of sleep that served to generate a dramatic negative response to the vaccination. Overall, the study tends to indicate that the quality of sleep has a tremendous impact on the health of the human body immune system. Additionally, follow-up researchers in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands found that their study group of healthy young men that were severely sleep-deprived indicated a compromised lower blood cell count than the group that was not sleep-deprived.

    The Disadvantage of Insufficient Sleep

    It has also been shown that insufficient sleep tends to be directly correlated to diabetes, obesity, and reduced productivity in the workplace. As a result, The American Academy of Sleep Medicine highly recommends that adults of every age get a minimum of 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep each night.

    One way to accomplish a more restful night is to sleep on a supportive, comfortable mattress. Doing so will reduce the potential of tossing and turning during the night, which often leads to sleep restlessness and the inability to quickly fall back into slumber.

  • (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.

  • Top 6 Activities That Are Negatively Affecting Your Sleep

    Most people claim not to get enough sleep at night. They will shrug it off and solider on throughout the day without addressing the problem. In reality, it is very important to make the changes necessary to get a good night’s sleep that will allow your body to function healthily. In order to improve your ability to get a healthy amount of sleep, there are some common activities that should be avoided in the evening hours:

    Exercising

    Exercise is a double-edged sword when it comes to sleep deprivation. Exercising earlier in the day can improve your ability to get a great night’s sleep, but exercising at night can make it harder to go to sleep. Try to exercise at least a few hours before you plan to head to bed or your body will be too energized to rest.

    Caffeine

    Caffeine affects your body for a very long time. Physicians have suggested that caffeine intake later than 2 p.m. can negatively affect your ability to fall asleep and achieve deeper sleep. Keep your caffeine consumption limited to the morning hours.

    Watching Television

    It is very easy to zone out in front of the TV without realizing that it is suddenly well past your bed time. Your internal clock can become confused when you spend too much time watching television. Help your mind unwind by turning off the TV at least half an hour before you want to go to sleep.

    Alcohol

    Many people reach for a glass of alcohol to enable them to fall to sleep faster, but this can actually do more harm than good. Alcohol may help you slip to sleep quicker, but it can cause you to get poorer quality of sleep.

    Stress and Anxiety

    One of the hardest activities to avoid before bed is worrying about work or any other stresses. If you have a big project, assignment, or problem weighing on your mind, you can become too emotionally wound up to get to sleep. If you have this problem frequently, you could greatly benefit from learning relaxation or meditation techniques to use before bed.

    Food Before Bedtime

    Late meals or late night snacks can greatly affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep. While a big meal may make your feel tired, going to sleep with a full stomach can negatively affect your sleep cycles, resulting in lower-quality sleep.

  • Sleep and Weight Gain – The Facts

    If you peruse the diet and weight loss books, articles, and infomercials, you might here about the sleep diet. This is a dieting technique that declares you can shed pounds just by sleeping longer at night. This idea obviously sounds too good to be true. Could your body possibly be burning calories and fat while you are sleeping? The truth is that getting quality sleep at night can help your weight loss efforts, but not in the ways you might think.

    It is not that your body burns excess fat while you are dreaming. It is the effect that quality sleep has on your body the following day that makes the largest difference. When you sleep well, and get at least seven hours of sleep, your metabolism will be able to function more efficiently the following day, increasing your body’s natural ability to burn calories.

    More important than what sleep does for weight loss is what sleep deprivation does for weight gain. When your body is sleep deprived, you feel the effects of this all day long. In the morning, you are much more likely to reach for a sugary drink, a donut, or other fattening breakfast snacks. You feel too tired to get any exercise. Then, in the evening, you are too worn out to cook a nutritious meal and you will be tempted to pick up unhealthy fast food instead. All of these factors contribute to your weight gain. Because your body needs more energy, it will release more hormones throughout the day causing you to crave more and more calories.

    The problem with sleep deprivation and weight gain is that poor sleep is a hard cycle to break. When you are sleep deprived, you tend to ingest more caffeine and unhealthy foods throughout the day, which cause you to sleep poorly for yet another night. You wake up feeling tired again, and start the process over.

    In order to break the cycle, you must make adjustments to enable your body to get the rest it needs. When altering your diet, it is important to stop all caffeine consumption before 2 pm, and avoid large or unhealthy meals close to bedtime. Another reason you could be sleeping poorly is because of an underlying sleep issue that could be corrected using a higher quality mattress. In order to enable your body to be able to lose the weight, you have to get enough sleep and high quality sleep as well.

  • How Sleep Can Affect Your Food Choices

    Sleep deprivation can affect you in many more ways than you might first assume. Getting too little sleep each night can do much more than simply leave you feeling sluggish and grumpy the following day. Lack of sleep can actually contribute to your weight gain. The reality is, resting a bit more and getting few extra hours of sleep, may actually help you shed away a few pounds and increase your overall health.

    When you pull an all-nighter, and know that you are going to have to power through with very little sleep, you know that you are going to need provisions. For many people, this means junk food, unhealthy sugary snacks, and caffeine-heavy drinks. These are the food choices people often reach for when they know they are going to be working through the night or driving a long distance and need to stay alert.

    While these food choices can be negative for your health and your weight, there are ways in which your sleep affects your eating patterns without you even noticing. Studies have shown that when you lose three hours of sleep, the next day you are likely to add at least two hundred calories to your diet to compensate. Your brain knows that your body is low in energy, and energy is obtained through calories. Therefore, if you have not allowed your body to properly recoup and rejuvenate through sleep, your brain may begin to crave a higher amount of calories to correct the problem.

    A recent study at Columbia University in New York showed results would suggest that sleep deprivation not only caused the brain to crave more calories, but to seek out unhealthy foods like sugary and grease-laden foods. Some participants slept for four hours, while others slept normally. Each group was shown pictures of healthy and unhealthy foods. The pleasure-centers in the sleep-deprived subjects responded more to the unhealthy foods, while the other group responded equally to each type of food.

    Because lack of sleep also affects your ability to focus and think clearly, it can be argued that making smart food choices using critical thinking skills also become much more difficult. It is for these reasons that it is crucially important to the health of your brain and body to get a great night’s sleep. If you are tossing and turning in the night, stop suffering and correct the problem as soon as possible.

  • How to Shop with Your Partner for a Mattress

    He Wants This and You Want That: How to (Peacefully) Shop for a New Mattress

    Mattress shopping can be difficult enough, but what happens when you and your sleeping partner can’t agree on softness or support? When the two of you want two different things, it’s important to find a middle ground to ensure you make the right investment – we want to help.

    If you and your partner aren’t sleeping well, it’s more than likely starting to affect your relationship. Our Jacksonville, FL, sleeping experts see it all of the time. A lack of sleep can lead to being grouchier, more irritable, and even more depressed. Don’t let your mattress put a strain on your relationship, find the right one that suits both of your needs.

    Here are some important things to consider as a couple when purchasing a mattress in Jacksonville, FL:

    • Space & Size
    • Support
    • Comfort
    • Price

    Space & Size: No matter how in love you are with your significant other, you need space and room to sleep right. For instance, full-size mattresses are too narrow for too people thus reducing the duration and frequency of deep sleep.

    Support vs. Comfort Although you may not agree on the support you need vs. the comfort you want, it’s important to compromise. Our stores are very open so you and your partner can each lay on one side and see for yourself if it’s something you will enjoy and will improve your sleeping. Can’t compromise on this one? We have a solution for that as well. Try a memory foam mattress – the memory foam moves with you so if your partner turns and shifts a lot through the night, it won’t effect your sleep.

    Price Money is a number one reason why couples split up. Don’t let it happen to you and your partner over a mattress purchase. Choose a mattress that’s within your discussed budget and that you can agree on. Also, when choosing a mattress from Mattress 1, be sure to ask about our specials and discounts that we always have available.

    Our sleep experts enjoy working with couples to find the right mattress to meet both of your needs and budget. We will sit down with you to review both sets of needs then choose the right mattress to match it. Visit one of our locations across Northeast Florida today.

  • Comfort vs. Support

    Comfort vs. Support – Can You Get Both

    Our Jacksonville, FL, Sleep Experts Say YES!

    It’s a battle as old as time – can your mattress be both comfortable and supportive? Thanks to innovations and creative designs, there are new models from name brands that allow you to have it all and a good night sleep – who could want more?

    When you’re shopping for a mattress, you know there are two things to consider: comfort and support. And anyone who has slept on a lumpy mattress can tell you, these two terms are not interchangeable in terms of mattresses.

    What is the difference between support and comfort? Support refers to the ability of your mattress’s inner restructure to resist the downward pressure applied to it by the weight of your body. Material layers on the top of the innerspring offer comfort. It’s acquired through the use of firming pads and high-density foam.

    There are a lot of misconceptions about comfort and support. For instance, a firm mattress isn’t always ideal – even if you’re suffering from back or neck pain. In fact, most manufactures use the same exact innerspring in their firm, plush, and pillow-top mattresses.

    Different levels of comfort There are three different levels of comfort: firm, medium and soft.

    Firm mattresses offer a great level of support for the body by design. The mattress has an almost flat surface with very little padding.

    Medium mattresses have the same level of support as a firm mattress but are designed with a few extra layers of cushioning material sewn into the surface of the mat.

    Finally, soft mattresses offer the most in comfort. The soft mattresses include the same level of support as the firm and medium mattresses, but also include layers of soft fibers and foam sewn inside the surface.

    The level of comfort and support that you need to make the most of your eight hours of sleep is dependent on your physical needs. The best way to get started in choosing the right mattress that has comfort and support you need is to speak to a Jacksonville, FL, sleep expert at Mattress 1 One.

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