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Posts tagged ‘Better Sleep’

BedInABox.com Earns Skin Friendly Certification for CoolRest Gel® Memory Foam Mattresses

BedInABox.com earns Hohenstein Institute Skin Friendly Certification

BedInABox.com earns Hohenstein Institute Skin Friendly Certification

BedInABox.com Earns Skin Friendly Certification for CoolRest Gel® Memory Foam Mattresses

Burlington, NC, June 4, 2015— Hohenstein Institute announces that BedInABox.com, the US manufacturer and Internet retailer of high quality, technologically advanced memory foam mattresses, has been awarded Hohenstein’s Skin Friendly quality label. BedInABox.com’s CoolRest Gel® memory foam mattresses have been extensively tested to confirm that they do not harm skin cells in ways that could lead to discomfort and interrupted sleep.

“People spend about 1/3 of their lives in bed,” says Matt Burgess, Sr. Vice President, BedinaBox.com. “We want our products to help make that time relaxing and restorative. We invest extensively in our CoolRest Gel® memory foam mattresses to guarantee that they are comfortable and provide peaceful rest for the entire family.”

Hohenstein’s Skin Friendly quality label calls for products to be tested for interactions with live human skin cells. Samples undergo a series of evaluations to determine whether contact with skin cells damages them in ways that could result in skin irritation and discomfort. BedInABox.com’s CoolRest Gel® memory foam mattresses were analyzed and found to meet Hohenstein’s stringent criteria for being biocompatible with and non-irritating to skin cells.

In addition to being skin friendly, BedInABox.com’s CoolRest Gel® memory foam mattresses are designed to relieve pressure points, dissipate body heat, and recover their shape quickly. BedInABox.com is also committed to improving the environmental impact of its memory foam by further decreasing the percentage of petroleum based raw materials used in the manufacturing process. CoolRest Gel® memory foam is manufactured in the USA.

“BedInABox.com clearly takes the health and well-being of every customer very seriously,” says Dr. Sam Moore, managing director of Hohenstein Institute America. “They establish comprehensive quality standards for their CoolRest Gel® memory foam mattresses then test them thoroughly to confirm that every requirement is met.”

More information about Hohenstein’s skin sensory testing and certification services is available on Hohenstein’s website or by emailing Dr. Moore at Hohenstein Institute America. S.Moore@Hohenstein.com.

Speaking and Snoozing Don’t Mix

Have you ever been awoken by your sleep partner muttering in their sleep? If so, they likely suffer from sleep talking.

Sleep talking, also known as somniloquy, is a sleep disorder characterized by frequent attempts at talking during sleep. This disorder can feature anything from slight mumbles to elaborate conversations. If you or a loved one suffer from this unique sleep disorder, it is important to understand how it may affect others and what you can do to combat its side-effects.

Just as there are variances in volume and complexity, there are also variances in frequency of sleep talking episodes and severity of sleep disruption. While sleep talking is oftentimes hereditary, episodes are often brought on from sleep disrupting behaviors such as alcohol consumption, fever, stress, depression and sleep deprivation. Most people will never realize that they suffer from episodes of sleep talking, but many others may be affected.

There is typically not a serious need to have sleep talking treated, however, it can be an indication of other serious sleep disorders that can be harmful down the road. The best way to lower the likelihood of a sleep talking episode is by avoiding activities that harm the sleep cycle such as alcohol consumption and sleep deprivation.

If you can’t seem to keep your thoughts to yourself while sleeping, be sure to ask your doctor if there may be more serious issues at hand.

“Sleep Talking.” – National Sleep Foundation. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/sleep-talking&gt;.

Problems with Pets and Sleep

Who doesn’t love snuggling up to a fluffy dog or cat? While it is a well-known fact that owning pets can be beneficial to their owners’ health, sleeping with these furry friends can actually be quite harmful and make it difficult to get your best night’s sleep.

A recent APPA study found that more than half of dogs and cats sleep with their adult owners. That is a lot a pet hair getting caught in between the sheets.

Those with allergies to pet dander will find themselves much happier whenever they find an alternative spot for their furry friends to rest for the night. Most people will benefit from giving their sinuses a break from the strain of hair saturated air, but hypoallergenic pets can make this process less stressful.

Obviously, sleeping with pets increases the opportunity to have your sleep disturbed by an animal’s movement and natural disruptions in their own sleep cycles – after all, we can’t assume our sleep cycle is the same as our pet’s sleep cycle. Many animals experience a more active REM stage of sleep, which often times results in restless leg movements, growling or barking, and sudden waking. Some pets, especially dogs with a history of more aggressive behavior, may become more protective at night, especially when sleeping with their owner. Therefore, understanding your pets behaviors is an important factor when choosing whether or not you should be snuggling up with your pet pals.

Getting pets out of the bedroom once they have become accustomed to sleeping with you is a much more difficult problem than washing out pet hair. Most vets believe that pets should be kept out of the bedroom altogether if you don’t intend on them sleeping with you. Training dogs to stay off the bed is typically easier than with cats, but either animal can pose a challenge, especially when you are trying to get them to stay in the same room, but not on the actual bed.

Overall, it is important to understand both you and your pet’s sleep preferences and behaviors before making long-term decisions that can influence behavior and become habit.

http://pets.webmd.com/features/pets-in-your-bed

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/russell-rosenberg-phd/sleeping-with-pets_b_2008808.html

Smart Sleeping: How Sleep Powers Your Brain

Feeling less sharp after missing sleep is not all in your head… well, actually it is.

Studies have shown that lack of sleep is a huge contributor to lessened brain power and even declining brain size. During REM sleep, the brain becomes energized to the point that dreams occur. This stage of sleep is vital to rejuvenating the brain and repairing brain cells. Although it is recommended that individuals get a solid eight hours of sleep, naps are also beneficial to strengthening the brain and remaining alert during waking hours.

Failing to get enough sleep can be detrimental to your health and brain processes. It is even thought that sleep disorders contributing to lack of adequate sleep can result in Alzheimer’s and dementia, and, in the short term, makes it much more difficult to learn and retain new information. Although many people are aware of the damage to the body and mind that results from lack of sleep, sleep deprivation continues to be an issue, especially among students and young professionals.

Lack of sleep is horrible for your entire body so it is vital to give your mind and body the rest it needs. Sleep is also an important contributor to parts of the brain that influence growth, social interaction and emotional reactions. While you may only view sleep as a time to rest your brain, you are actually exercising it by allowing it to act in a way and produce chemicals it doesn’t have the ability to while the body is awake. Not only does lack of sleep hurt your brain, your brain cannot produce sleep inducing chemicals if you don’t go through the entire sleep cycle that occurs upon a full night’s sleep.

Give your brain a break and make sure to get adequate sleep to ensure a happy, healthy noggin.

 

“Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep.” : National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). 25 July 2014. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. <http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brain_basics/understanding_sleep.htm&gt;.

Haiken, Melanie. “Lack Of Sleep Kills Brain Cells, New Study Shows.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 20 Mar. 2014. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2014/03/20/lack-of-sleep-kills-brain-cells-new-study-suggests/&gt;.

Willingham, Val. “Lack of Sleep May Shrink Your Brain.” CNN. Cable News Network, 1 Jan. 1970. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. <http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/04/health/no-sleep-brain-size/&gt;.

Natural Sleep Remedies

Natural Sleep Remedies

Natural remedies to help induce sleep have been used for thousands of years all over the world. Natural sleep remedies tend to be used in teas, supplements,  as well as forms of aromatherapy, and have been proven to help relax the mind and body.

Melatonin

Melatonin is the best know natural sleep remedy. Store bought supplements work by mimicking the natural melatonin that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain that helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin lowers core temperature and causes individuals to feel drowsy. 1 Melatonin is popular amongst older individuals because, as we age, we produce less melatonin naturally. Taking a higher dosage of melatonin will not necessarily help you to sleep better because the smallest dosage sold is at least three times higher than that which exists naturally in the human body. 1

Valerian

In the form of a root, valerian is widely used in both Europe and the United States. 2 Valerian also helps with anxiety and most individuals who use it have reported falling asleep quicker and feeling more refreshed upon awakening. Some users report feeling stimulated when using valerian while others experience headache. There is evidence that using valerian consistently over a short period of time may be more effective than using sporadically.

Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps to increase serotonin, which helps to regulate relaxation and sleep. Tryptophan is not sold as a supplement but can be easily incorporated into the diet. Certain foods contain tryptophan naturally and are said to be good bedtime snacks. Dairy foods like cheese and milk are often teamed with carbohydrates like crackers or grain cereal to help induce sleep.

Hops

Hops is the dried flower used in brewing beer that has been shown to aid in anxiety, excitability, insomnia and various other disorders. Hops can be used as tea alone or teamed with valerian to help induce sleep. Avoid using hops as a sleep remedy when pregnant or suffering from depression as they tend to make symptoms worse.

Catnip

The flower of the plant catnip is often used as a tea to help with anxiety and insomnia. The same remedy that keeps your cat preoccupied for hours can help you get to sleep sooner. Catnip is said to work similarly to valerian and is often teamed with other natural sleep aids. Drinking catnip tea in excess can cause sickness and headache and should be avoided. 3

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils extracted from roots, bark, leaves and seeds of plants. These oils are used through massaging into the skin, inhaling steam, or in bath water. 3 Lavender and chamomile are popular plants used in both aromatherapy, but can also be used in teas.

Caution: Many natural sleep aids come in teas that will sometimes contain caffeine. Teas can also be extremely sugary, so it is recommended to use honey as a sweetener because it contains tryptophan. Read the label on any tea you are considering buying as a sleep aid before you purchase as to not counteract any sleep aids with stimulants.

Natural sleep aids, while helpful, can prove harmful when used long term. Individuals should only turn to natural sleep aids once all other sleep methods such as making the room conducive to sleep and changing bedding, mattress and pillows have been attempted.

Bibliography:

1. Maas, Dr. James B., Megan L. Wherry, David J Axelrod, Barbara R. Hogan, and Jennifer A. Blumin. Power Sleep: The Revolutionary Program That Prepares Your Mind for Peak Performance. New York : Villard, 1998.

2. Carskadon, Mary A. Encyclopedia of Sleep and Dreaming. New York: Macmillan Pub., 1993. 248

3. WebMD—Natural Sleep Aids and Remedies; http://women.webmd.com/pharmacist-11/natural-sleep-remedies

Eating to Sleep Better

Many of us blame our difficulty sleeping on outside factors, when it is usually the result of our own poor food intake decisions. Because many individuals who are overweight or obese report having problems sleeping or sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, it is evident that these factors are somehow correlated. 1 An individual’s diet can have a great effect on his or her sleep pattern which can, in turn, affect your ability to exercise because of lack of energy. The viscous cycle can be avoided by getting more sleep and eating properly in order to do so.

Ever heard of drinking warm milk before bed? Certain foods help you sleep much easier, such as foods with Tryptophan like milk and other dairy products. Additionally, honey, seeds and nuts are Tryptophan-rich and assist in inducing sleep. 2 Carbohydrates also complement the Tryptophan in dairy products, so an ideal bedtime snack would be cheese and crackers and a small glass of warm milk or a small bowl of cereal with milk.

Avoid eating a large meal or spicy foods within four or five hours of when you plan to go to sleep. Doing this can cause those with acid reflux to experience nighttime heartburn and discomfort as the digestion process will be continued into sleep, which may result in the need for a trip to the bathroom. This discomfort can also be avoided with the use of certain pillows to elevate the upper body or with an adjustable bed. This reveals another reason to avoid having your last meal of the day as the largest. This is also because eating too large, too late in the day does not give the body adequate time to burn calories.

Avoid too much protein too close to bedtime. Heavy meats can help avoid hunger pangs at night, but will be harder to digest. They also inhibit transfer of Tryptophan to the brain, resulting in more alertness. 3

Alcohol should never be consumed to help you sleep. Although it may cause you to feel more tired as a big meal would, its negative effects don’t truly occur until the sleep cycle commences and it causes you to wake up more, have a headache and can increase the likelihood you will develop sleep apnea. 3

Avoid all caffeine within four to six hours of when you plan to go to sleep. This, quite obviously, has the ability to keep you up at night and disrupt the sleep cycle. Be aware of foods and drinks with hidden caffeine in them such as some over the counter medications. Many pain relievers, cough medicines, diuretics and weight loss pills tend to contain small amounts of caffeine that can have a large impact on your sleep. 2 Additionally, look out for foods and drinks that you wouldn’t associate with caffeine such as chocolate and tea that can still contain high amounts of sugar that will prevent you from sleeping.

Bibliography:

1. National Sleep Foundation—Diet, Exercise and Sleep, http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-topics/diet-exercise-and-sleep

2. WebMD—Foods That Help or Harm Your Sleep, http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/ss/slideshow-sleep-foods

3. Maas, Dr. James B., Megan L. Wherry, David J Axelrod, Barbara R. Hogan, and Jennifer A. Blumin. Power Sleep: The Revolutionary Program That Prepares Your Mind for Peak Performance. New York : Villard, 1998.