Sleep News and Tips
Dealing with Sleepwalking
Sleepwalking happens more commonly than you might expect. About 15% of children aged 4 to 12 will sleepwalk during their childhood. A small number, around 4%, continue this behavior into adulthood. Sleepwalking is often shrouded in mystery and can be unsettling to witness, especially because a sleepwalkers’ actions are so hard to predict. Let’s take some time to peel back the curtain on sleepwalking, and see what exactly happens and what can be done to stop it.
Why Does it happen?
Scientifically speaking, sleepwalk occurs when normal physiological processes occur at irregular times. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why the brain issues certain commands during stages of sleep, but we do know that sleepwalking only occurs during deep sleep before REM sleep starts. This seems to indicate why children are more likely to sleepwalk, as a greater percentage of their sleep is deep stage 2 or 3 sleep. There is also research to support the claim that sleepwalk is genetic. Identical twins, for example, tend to both sleepwalk or not sleepwalk at all. Other environmental factors which can lead to sleepwalking include being sleep deprived, fever, taking sedative drugs and alcohol intoxication.
How do you stop it?
When putting an end to sleepwalking, the first thing to realize is that it is NOT dangerous to wake a sleepwalker. It is much more dangerous to let a sleepwalker continue to put him or herself into dangerous situations. While sleepwalking, people have been known to move furniture, jump through windows, or even drive cars! Luckily, there are many strategies to minimize the risks associated with sleepwalking and to decrease the chance of sleepwalking in the first place. First, monitor your environment before bed. For example, if you have a child who sleepwalks, make sure to remove all toys and potential tripping hazards from the floor before bedtime. Avoid bunked beds, as this can be especially dangerous for sleepwalking children. Second, prepare your mind before bedtime by refraining from audio or visual stimulation. The stimulation right before bedtime will increase the chance of sleepwalking, while meditation or relaxation exercises help to prevent sleepwalking.
Sleepwalking fun facts
- Boys are more likely to sleepwalk than girls.
- Sleepwalking most commonly starts about an hour and a half into sleep.
- The sleepwalker cannot remember anything that happened while they were sleepwalking.
- Lee Hadwin, a nurse by day, has a rare talent! only when he is sleepwalking; He has drawn and sketched hundreds of world-class pieces of art. He is so talented in his sleep major galleries have asked for samples of his art.
- In 2005, a sleepwalking 44-year-old woman sent out an email to her friends inviting them to a party she would not remember at all the next day! “Dinner and drinks 4 pm” it read, “Bring wine and caviar only”
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Make the Perfect, Healthy Bedtime Snack
It’s midnight, and you’re starving. We’ve all been there before, torn because your stomach is hungry for a fatty snack while your brain is saying that you don’t need it. Look at this list of healthy options to eat before bed, guaranteed to make your brain and stomach agree.
Health Benefits: ½ Cup is only in the range of 80-90 Calories, and it contains Casein Proteins and Amino Acids
How It Helps You Sleep: Cottage Cheese is one of the best foods for your body before bed. The Casein Protein releases over time, and leaves you feeling full. The Amino Acids work to build and repair muscle overnight.
Health Benefits: 1 tablespoon is only about 95-100 Calories. While not the most filling, this can help satisfy a craving for something fatty while still being healthy and low calorie
How It Helps You Sleep: Peanut Butter helps slow digestions, and similarly to cottage cheese will reduce future hunger throughout the night
Health Benefits: 8 Oz is about 130 calories, and you get a serving of fruit while you’re at it!
How It Helps You Sleep: Cherry Juice contains Melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel tired and can help ease you into sleep
Health Benefits: 1 Banana is about 80 calories, and is a good source of carbohydrates
How it Helps You Sleep: The potassium in Bananas helps activate melatonin boosters in your body, and like Cherry Juice, can help ease you to sleep
Nuts – Almonds, Walnuts and Pistachios
Health Benefits: Almonds are highest in calcium of all nuts and can help to lower cholesterol. Walnuts are high in omega 3 fats and antioxidants which is good for your heart. Pistachios contain vitamin K and potassium than other nuts, they are lower in calories. Be sure to eat a handful before bed only, as too high of a calorie count can have a reverse effect.
How it Helps You Sleep: Almonds contain both magnesium and tryptophan, both which help relax your muscle and nervous systems; Walnuts are packed with melatonin; Pistachios are filled with protein, B6 and magnesium.
Health Benefits: A great overall snack, sweet potatoes have it all. The calories are low, and it’s versatile nature makes it tasty however it’s cooked, all while being better for you than regular potatoes in many ways.
How it Helps You Sleep: Sweet Potatoes contain both complex carbohydrates and potassium, both of which help induce sleep
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Daylight Saving Time is Ending!
At 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 5, 2017, Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends. What will this mean for your sleep and health? Most people want to enjoy the “extra” hour of sleep, but, is it truly a good idea?
Instead of trying to grab that extra hour of sleep, enjoy waking an hour earlier. Starting to wake a bit earlier one or two days before the time change will help greatly with waking up more refreshed on that first Monday morning. If you have been thinking about altering your normal schedule, this is a perfect time to be the boss of your body clock.
If you normally have deprived sleep, then go ahead and enjoy that extra hour of sleep in the morning. Be sure to go to sleep an hour earlier than normal to ensure you do not become even more sleep deprived. Lack of sleep can lead to a weakened immune system making it easier to catch that first seasonal cold/flu. In addition to weakening your immune system, even the slightest disruption of normal sleep can trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or winter depression.
One way of avoiding a rough transition is to use the REM-Fit® Sleep Monitor to be sure your sleep patterns are healthy. Being aware of your body’s rhythms and sleep patterns can lead to a more restful sleep over time.
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Napping in the Workplace
Once a faux pas in the office, many companies have started to encourage workplace naps. The trend seems to be driven by large influencers in tech industry, many of whom create cultures focused around better quality of life for employees. With the support of companies like Google, it begs the question: is this a quick moving fad, or is naptime at work here to stay?
Why do it?
Well, most adults aren’t getting adequate sleep as it is. Of 1500 Adults surveyed, only 42% said they got a “good” night’s sleep each night. What many people forget is that we, as people, have a need for rest just as much as we have a need for food, or water. Even with just a 30-minute nap, employees will not only be more rested, they also will be more creative and make better decisions. Psychological studies have also shown that when you give more control over work hours to employees, the become more committed to the company’s cause and more productive.
Who Does it?
PwC-The Big Four accounting company has recently adopted the nap philosophy, littering their 50,000 square foot office in Switzerland with nap rooms and other relaxation tools.
Ben and Jerry’s-The Vermont Based Ice Cream Conglomerate has had its nap room for over a decade, and highly encourages its employees to use it. Its philosophy is centered around the thought that a happy employee is a productive employee, which is why Ben and Jerry’s offers other benefits like yoga classes and gym memberships to its employees’.
Google-Probably the most famous users of the nap pod, Google’s company culture revolves around being well rested and satisfied at work. While designs vary, you will see something like this nap pod at every google office.
Mattress Warehouse has a large collection of mattresses, guaranteed to improve your night’s sleep!
Check out our collection Here
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The Evolution of Sleep
How our beds have changed over the history of time.
Humans have come a long way in terms of sleep. Today’s Visco memory foam and Cooling gel mattresses are a far cry from the piles of leaves and rocks ancient people would use for sleep. Let’s examine more closely the innovations and changes that have given us the beds we know and love today.
The word “mattress” derives from the Arabic term matrah, meaning “something thrown down” or “place where something is thrown down”. It’s not very difficult to see how this connection was made, as for much of B.C.E era, people would just sleep on the ground, while laying on something soft. The first innovation in sleep came from the ancient Egyptians, around 3400 B.C.E. The royals were the first to raise their beds off the ground, suspending them with platforms and ropes. Their beds were filled with materials such as palm leaves, grass, reeds, hay, or wool. Some would even used a goatskin covers. Common Egyptians, however, still slept on the ground, usually in a corner of their house.
Fast forward to the 1600’s and a more recognizable form of mattress is common. In this time heavy timber frames were connected to leather or rope supports. That frame was filled with straw, covered and held usually by a type of cheap fabric. Nowhere near the comfort we know today, but still an improvement!
Like with many other products, the industrial revolution was instrumental in the growth of the modern mattress. The backbone of the new design centered around the use of the spring and coil, originally used in the construction of chairs. In 1871, German Heinrich Westphal invented the innerspring mattress, the concept of which is still in use today. Unfortunately, Westphal died young and never was able to profit from his invention. Shortly after, the box spring was invented and became common in use with mattresses to make them less lumpy. This combination of innerspring mattresses and box spring are still primarily used today
Alternatives through the ages
Today, there are many modern alternatives to the traditional box spring and mattress pairing, but this wasn’t always the case. The basic concept and structure for a “Bed”, as in a hard frame stuffed with cushioning materials covered with a fabric or something similar, first started to change around the 1400’s with the invention of the Bunk Bed. There is speculation these beds started from a “truckle bed”, where the master would sleep lofted and a servant would sleep underneath on a mat. This origin would eventually form the bunk beds we know today. The next alternative bed style was popularized in Japan in the early 20th century- The Futon. The telling feature of a futon is its ability to be folded and stored away. While traditional Japanese futons are often laid on the floor, western adaptations switch between a raised platform and a couch by a fold down the middle.
The 1970’s brought an iconic edition to the mattress family- the waterbed. Invented in 1971, the waterbed is a staple of 70’s culture, a sloshy sleep pad that combined perfectly with mirror headboards and wood paneling. Waterbeds reached peak popularity in 1987 with 22% of all mattress sales, but today they account for less than 5% of new mattress sales. Finally, traveling and guest hosting was made easier with the 1980 invention of the air mattress. The original inflatable mattresses were made of polyvinyl chloride, and the main draw is the ability to deflate the mattress, roll it up, and effortlessly move it to a new location. What it lacks in comfort it makes up for in convenience.
Modern day innovations
Next time you fall asleep on your Memory Foam mattress, remember to thank NASA. Charles Yost, an aeronautical engineer in the 1960’s, was the head of a project tasked with developing safer airline seats that would protect people more reliably in plane crashes. During this project, he accidentally developed the product we call “memory foam”
Use science to find your perfect bed! bedMatch™ details.
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Are Your Kids Getting Enough Sleep?
If you have older children, the answer is most likely no. Only 31% of high schoolers reported getting at least 8 hours of sleep before school, when ideally teens need 9 or so hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation on a growing child's body can have even more serious effects than on adults, including weight gain, behavior problems and worse retention of new information. Sleep times vary depending on the age of the child, but as a general rule, the younger the child, the more sleep they need. Toddlers need 11-14 hours a day to function effectively, while elementary and middle school children need anywhere from 9-11 hours a day, and teens need 8-10 hours.
One solution is to add a nap into your daily routine. Younger children are often expected to nap to get all the sleep they need, but this practice can be forgotten or ignored by teens. The body clock of teens resets at puberty, making them more alert later into the day and often making it difficult to fall asleep until 10 PM or later. Luckily, kids, teens, and adults can all benefit from a quick 30-45-minute power nap during the day. These naps, when taken early enough in the day, give that extra boost to get through the rest of the day until bedtime.
With children, not getting enough sleep is detrimental to growth in more ways than one; children who sleep less than 10 and a half hours a day by age 3 are almost 50% more likely to be obese than children who do. Also, lack of sleep does a number on a child's immune system, making them more at risk for colds, flus, and other nasty bugs. In order to keep your child healthy and rested, here are some tips to make bedtime easier:
A good strategy to make bedtime a breeze, especially with younger ones, is to get set in a routine. Routine makes it easy on children to get used to going to bed at a certain time, or after they do certain things. For example, a popular strategy is to use the 4 B's; Bath, Brush, Books and Bed. This strategy helps ease the toddler into a bedtime lull, giving better and longer sleep for the toddler, and easier good-nights for the parents.
While snacking before bed is not a good idea for most adults, Children (and parents) may find bedtime easier when the kids have some food in their belly. Try some healthy options like a bowl of cereal, graham crackers, or a piece of fruit. In moderation, these snacks work well to help put a restless child to sleep.
Especially for younger children, bedtime means separation, and that can be easier for kids with a personal object, like a doll, teddy bear, or blanket. It can provide a sense of security and control that comforts and reassures your child before she falls asleep.
For more info on exactly what you are putting yourself through when you skimp on sleep, check out our post 5 effects of sleep deprivation you may not know about. Hopefully it will help convince you that sleep isn't for the weak, it's for your best week.
At Mattress Warehouse, we know just how important family is. In fact, we've had the same family in charge since we opened in 1989. Mattress Warehouse wide selection of mattresses offer the perfect choice for anyone searching for the mattress right for yourself or for your family.
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