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Common Mistakes To Avoid when Choosing the Right Memory Foam Mattress

It’s important to do your homework on memory foam mattresses before you buy. Many companies offer memory foam mattresses, all claiming to be the best, or better than a Tempurpedic. Carefully compare the advantages and disadvantages of each before making your decision. After all, you’ll be spending a third of each day on the mattress you choose.

Here are some important facts to consider before you make your choice:

Never settle for a low-grade imported  memory foam product. While the price may be lower, the materials in these mattresses do not hold up over time, and they have likely  been stacked in a warehouse somewhere overseas for perhaps months, gathering dust, dirt and bacteria. The best manufacturers in the United States custom-make and deliver memory foam mattresses on a customer-by-customer basis.

Search for a mattress that has a top comfort layer of quality memory foam and also a base layer of sturdy high density foam.} Higher-end models have three layers. The high-density foam gives your mattress a combination of softness, support and durability, and the comfort layer provides the “cuddle-every-curve” feeling that provides the ultimate in relaxation.

Remember, not all memory foam is the same. Some retailers will try to sell you 2-4lb memory foam, telling you that higher density foam may overheat. The truth is just the opposite. Higher density memory foam has billions and billions of open ended cells, allowing air to flow freely which keeps you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Lower density memory foam is not as supportive and will break down over time. When shopping, never buy a memory foam mattress that has less than a 5lb density.

Choose a hypoallergenic mattress that is resistant to dust mites. Many people who think they have no allergies are actually very sensitive to the detritus that their mattresses accumulate over time. These sensitivities can seriously interfere with sleep even though the sleepers themselves don’t realize it. What they don’t realize is that once the potential allergens are gone, they sleep much more soundly.

Choose a mattress that is bacteria-resistant and comes with a washable zip-off cover to assure that your sleeping surface is refreshing and hygienic. A buildup of bacteria can result in odors that do not make for a pleasant sleeping surface.

While testing a new mattress at a local store may sound conveinent, it’s difficult to lay there, fully dressed staring at the ceiling while some salesman is watching your every move looking for a buying signal. If you’re like most people, you buy a new mattress every 4-7 years. The correct way to test a new mattress is in the comfort and privacy of your own bedroom. Most reputable retailers will allow you a comfort guarantee where you can return the mattress if you don’t like it.}

It takes most people several weeks to adjust to a new mattress, and the company you choose to make your mattress should understand that and offer you a “comfort guarantee” that allows you to sleep on the mattress for up to 90  days, and to return it if you are not satisfied.

There is no doubt that memory foam mattresses are hugely popular, and with good reason. Many purchasers report sleeping well for the first time in their lives. Follow the guidelines here, and you too will choose the correct memory foam mattress for you and begin to enjoy all of the advantages that this sleep system delivers.

Are You Sleep-Deprived?

“I do fine on five hours a night,” insists Maureen S., a high school English teacher who stays up until the wee hours grading papers and planning the next day’s lessons. “Yeah, I do work long hours, but I make up for it on the weekends,” says Josh G., who works a full-time and a part-time job to make ends meet. To make matters worse, both Maureen and Josh have trouble winding down and finally going to sleep after their marathon workdays. While neither would describe themselves as “sleep-deprived,” Maureen has blurred vision that her eye doctor can’t explain, and Josh has the feeling that his formerly sharp mind isn’t as quick as it used to be.

We all know what it feels like to be dog-tired—so tired you could fall asleep almost anywhere. But did you know that the following are also symptoms that you’re not getting enough sleep?

• A feeling of irritability and being “on edge,” as if you’re about to blow your top at the next small thing that gets on your nerves, is a sign that you may not be getting the sleep you need. Being irritated by those around you will also cause social problems. Maybe your performance report at work says that you need to learn to get along better with coworkers, when the truth is that you simply need to get more good-quality sleep.

• If something truly stressful happens—a big sale falls through or your credit card is stolen—you might feel as if you “just can’t take it” and spend more time on a rant about the situation than you do trying to find a solution

• You are having problems with concentration and memory. You have to repeat tasks because you are afraid you’ve done them incorrectly, or you can’t remember doing them at all. Along with this symptom goes difficulty learning new things.

• You are frequently ill. It seems that you have little resistance to colds and flu. Your sleep-deprived body just hasn’t had time to build the reserves that could protect you. This may even be your body’s way of making you slow down and rest.

• When friends suggest a game of racquetball or even a walk around the block, you find excuses because as far as you’re concerned they might as well have suggested climbing Mount Everest. You just don’t have the energy.

• You feel a frequent need to prop yourself up with food and drinks that contain caffeine and sugar, especially in mid-afternoon.

If you identify with even a few of these symptoms of sleep deprivation, you may want to consider taking a serious look at your sleep habits. For most people, simple changes in their sleep routines and environments can greatly improve the quantity and quality of restful, restorative sleep. And reversing the ill effects of sleep deprivation can literally give you a new lease on life and improve everything from your work performance to your relationships with others. Make good sleep a priority and see the difference for yourself.

Gain Sleep, Lose Weight

In the past few years, Americans have been made aware that over half (65%) of the country’s population is obese. The “obesity epidemic” has been blamed on everything from fast food and trans fats to sedentary jobs and remote controls. Recent research at Stanford University and other facilities indicate that there may be a strong connection between sleep deprivation and the inability to lose weight.

When researchers at Columbia University studied the sleep habits and weight patterns of 6,115 people, they discovered that those who slept two to four hours a night were 73% more likely to be obese than those who slept seven to nine hours. People who slept five or more hours a night were 50% more likely to be obese, and those who slept six hours were 23% more likely to be obese. The researchers also found that those who got 10 or more hours of sleep a night were 11% less likely to be obese.

Getting less than eight hours of sleep a night appears to increase levels of the hormone that makes you feel hungry (ghrelin) and decreases levels of the one that makes you feel full (leptin). You won’t necessarily crave a huge breakfast. You’ll just have a nagging feeling all day that you need to eat, and regardless of what you eat, you’ll never feel satisfied–a perfect recipe for weight gain.

The idea that poor sleep habits are to blame for weight gain goes a long way in explaining why new mothers can’t lose their “baby weight,” why college freshmen are famous for gaining the “freshman ten,” and why shift workers have higher obesity rates. Many people suffer from chronic worry and stress that interferes with sleep, and as we get older most of us develop aches and pains that can cause wakefulness and interrupt sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation estimates that 65% of Americans get less than the ideal eight hours of sleep per night. In fact, the average during the week is just 6.9 hours a night. Most people are able to get a few more hours on the weekends, but ghrelin and leptin don’t seem to believe in playing catch-up. In a sleep-appetite study at the University of Chicago, those who slept four hours not only showed increased amounts of hunger-stimulating ghrelin (think “gremlin”), they also said that they craved high-carb foods like cake, ice cream, pasta, bread and candy.

Obviously, getting more sleep is easier for most people than eating a low-calorie diet or following a strict exercise program. Going to bed a little earlier—instead of snacking your way through another TV show—could be the easiest component of successful weight loss. If nothing else, you’ll feel more energetic in the morning, which in itself can put that extra spring in your step than can burn a few more calories.

According to Eve Van Cauter, lead investigator for a University of Chicago sleep study, “Our body is not wired for sleep deprivation. The human animal is the only one that does this.”

These new findings about sleep and weight loss give new meaning to the saying, “You snooze, you lose.”

5 Benefits of Memory Foam

There are many reasons a person may not experience quality sleep even though they are sleeping for the right amount of time each night. It could be the individual’s lifestyle, caffeine and alcohol, medication, television before bedtime; these are all factors that play into getting a quality night’s sleep. There is something even more paramount to obtaining a quality sleep that many people look over: the mattress. A poor quality mattress can have a huge affect on the quality of your sleep, therefore it is important to understand how a memory foam mattress can give you the quality sleep you’ve been looking for. Below are 5 health benefits to owning a memory foam mattress:

1. Shock Absorbtion—The specific qualities of a memory foam mattress isolate movements and shock unlike spring mattress that spread the shock throughout the entire mattress. This allows a couple to sleep peacefully, even if one person tosses in his or her sleep at night. This makes memory foam mattress an excellent choice for couples looking to obtain a better quality of sleep.
2. Temperature Control—The unique properties of a memory foam mattress make it self-regulating when it comes to temperature. Instead of isolating body heat in ‘hot spots’ like a typical spring mattress does, a memory foam mattress spreads it out evenly staying an average of ten degrees cooler than typical spring mattresses. Studies have shown that a lower overall mattress temperature correlates to a better nights sleep.
3. Obviously one of the main reasons people pick memory foam mattresses over conventional spring mattresses is because of the superior support. With a spring mattress your body is supported at different points, creating pressure spots on the person sleeping. Memory foam mattresses avoid this by spreading the weight out evenly and contouring to the shape of your body. This gives the individual a feeling of weightlessness as the mattress cradles them in their sleep.
4. Allergies—Memory foam, unlike typical mattresses, is comprised of polyurethane foam that is hypoallergenic. This keeps dust mites—which feed off the organic cotton fibers—out of a memory foam mattress. Along with its smooth surface and ease of use to maintain and clean, memory foam mattresses provide a better alternative to those sensitive to allergens and dust.
5. Lifespan and Cost effectiveness—Typical spring mattresses have a short lifespan due to the logistics of how they work and the wear and tear on the springs. This leads to ‘holes’ or ‘dips’ in the mattress that can dramatically affect the effectiveness of the mattress. Foam mattresses operate on visco elasticity, which is able to withstand the wear and tear much more effectively than a spring mattress, saving you money in the long run.

Sleep Well For Better Health

Do you get enough sleep? Is it restless or restful? Continuous or interrupted? Do you have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or wake up feeling tired? The latest research shows that there is a stronger connection than previously thought between quality and amount of sleep and a person’s health. However, many adults report having trouble sleeping at least once a week, and 10% of the US population suffers from insomnia most every night.

Sleeping well—that is, getting eight hours of deep, continuous sleep most nights—has been shown to protect people from developing a number of chronic diseases and conditions, such as high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems, arthritis, obesity, heartburn, depression, anxiety, and diabetes. Statistics also show that inadequate sleep can be blamed for many motor vehicle and machinery-related accidents. Driving while “under the influence” of too little sleep can be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Conditions unique to sleep itself form another list of complaints that include circadian rhythm disorders, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea.

Even if you consider yourself the picture of health, a short supply of sleep can subtly affect how you feel all day. It can mean you aren’t performing your best at work or in other daily activities, due to irritability, lack of motivation or difficulty concentrating. And when your obligations for the day are over, insufficient sleep can even affect how you enjoy your leisure hours. Our brains simply can’t function optimally without an adequate amount of sleep.

People who turn in early, saying they need to “recharge their batteries,” are not far off the mark.
In fact, our brains need time to process our day’s events. If you don’t find ways for your stressed brain to do this during your waking hours, it will do it while you’re trying to fall asleep or while you are actually sleeping, which will interfere with sleep quality, allowing more stress to affect you the following day and continuing the vicious cycle.

Finding ways to deal with worries and anxieties several hours before you head for bed will help your body and your brain sleep more soundly. Some coping strategies include exercise, reviewing the day with an understanding friend or spouse, or yoga and meditation. If you have children, realize that they have their own daily stresses, however small they may seem to adults. Don’t rely on video games or movies to help them fall asleep. Instead, discuss their day with them and try reading a low-conflict bedtime story together. Children who sleep well and long perform better academically and get sick less often than those who don’t.

Deep, restful sleep is as necessary for good health as proper diet and exercise. If you make improved sleep a priority, you are bound to feel your best right away, and you’ll be building your immune system so you can enjoy a long and healthy life.