Mattress health – why investing in a mattress is so important
On average, we spend a huge 227,468 hours of our lives sleeping. No wonder there’s so much fuss around purchasing the perfect mattress! To help you understand why it’s so important to snooze in style we’ve put together a list of why investing in a quality mattress should be at the top of your priority list.
Enjoying hygienic sleep
When mattresses are manufactured from cheap, low quality materials it leaves them vulnerable to penetration from bugs, dust mites and other nasties. By investing in a premium quality mattress you’ll be protecting your body from unwanted organisms that may set up shop in your bed alongside you.
While it may seem like a smart money saving move to purchase a cheap mattress, in the long run you’ll only be costing yourself more cash. The reality is that low quality mattresses simply don’t last as long as their well-made counterparts meaning you’ll need to replace your mattress sooner. Not good for the environment, or your bank account.
When it comes to mattress health, not all products are created equal. In fact, some can be downright dangerous. With a huge 25% of the world’s pesticides used on cotton crops choosing organic or low pesticide materials is always a good bet. Many fibers also contain harmful VOCs which can be extremely dangerous when inhaled on a nightly basis. As well as being healthier for your body, choosing organic, natural mattresses is also better for the environment.
Steer away from coils
While coil mattresses may be cheaper they’re not always the healthiest option. The truth is that they act as an incubator for dust mites, mould, skin particles and mildew which can result in coil mattresses doubling their weight in just 10 years. Instead, solid foam mattresses are a much healthier choice.
Every mattress sold in the UK must adhere to national fire regulations. This includes containing enough fire retardant to withstand an open flame from a two foot wide blowtorch for 70 seconds. Ensuring that your mattress comes with the right level of fire safety certification is something that should never be overlooked.
Optimise blood flow
Optimised blood flow is crucial to a good night’s sleep. This means that you should take the time to track down a mattress that offers proper support and pressure relief in order to facilitate unrestricted blood flow through the body as you snooze. Memory foam is of course the best option as it moulds to your body to create the perfect level of support. If you are looking for a bed on a budget, there are lots of other good quality mattress options out there that won’t cost you the earth.
Ready to enjoy night after night of fantastic sleep that’s comfortable, supportive and healthy? Remember to call on over to us to find great quality bed sheets for your mattress right here
Top tips to getting a better night’s sleep
So you don’t sleep, can’t focus during the day and you could be doing yourself some long term damage. Here are some Bro Sheets top tips to help get some decent night long R&R.
Put away the electronics
It’s tempting to check emails, catch up on Facebook, watch videos on YouTube, surf the net or even read a book on your kindle or iPad. At night time, the body is wired naturally to wind down but exposing yourself to the bright light and electrical energy of your various electrical devices will only stimulate the brain into wake mode and reading work emails will keep thoughts ticking round and round in your head.
Bed time Prep
Get your mind and body ready for some decent shut eye. Dimming the lights, lighting candles, having a warm relaxing bath or a warm drink are all part and parcel of getting ready for bed time. These calming habits allow your body and mind time to slow down, close the door on work and shut out the world. If you find it particularly hard to switch off from daily stresses, try the following:
Listen to an audio book – audio can be particularly relaxing but find a voice you enjoy. If the voice of the reader grates you, you’ve lost the point.
Simple stretching – stretching out those muscles will help release pent-up tension and relieve stiffness, soreness or even pain.
Relax to soft music – bedtime is definitely not the time for those old time Rolling Stones classics. Leave them for your commute to work and turn bedtime over to something quieter.
Write your to-do list – Ok, so you are a worrier. Instead of losing sleep over tomorrow’s agenda, write down your to-dos before you go to bed. If you’re also the kind who celebrates a 3 am epiphany – keep a notepad and pen by the bed so if you do wake up – write it down. You can head back to snooze land without worrying you’ll forget your idea by the time morning arrives.
Have your bedroom at a comfortable temperature – being too hot or too cold can easily interrupt that enjoyable bed room prep routine and disturb your sleep during the night. Body temperature naturally dips between 4 and 5 am so ensure it’s not your room that is waking you up. A bath before bed will also help raise body temperature and help you get into sleep mode.
Noise – Try to get your sleep environment as noise free as possible. If you can hear the dishwasher from your room, then don’t put it on at night. Ear plugs or sound machines will help drown out that annoying noise from the road, your next door neighbour or even your house mate. Investing in double glazing and heavier curtains may also keep some outside noise where it belongs – out.
If you have trouble sleeping, why not try exercising in the evening. Not only does this allow you some time in the evening to wind down from work but exercise followed by a hot shower, might make you feel surprisingly tired.
Try to get into a pattern when it comes to getting quality slumber. Chopping and changing the times you head to bed will not help conditioning your brain into not working overtime. Watching TV might be a form of relaxation but instead of jumping straight from the sofa to the bedroom, try to put some distance between you and all those flashing images and try reading a book. Going to bed and waking up around the same time every day will help synch your lifestyle with your natural sleep-wake pattern. Just try to avoid napping or nodding off during the after-dinner lull.
Neon lights, TV screens and other artificial light can actually reduce your production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep. We suggest doing some mild outdoor activity once home from work such as a taking a walk or heading to the park with the dog. Try to get out during the day too. Many people go to work in the dark and come home in the dark literally without seeing the light of day. This plays havoc on your body’s production of day time hormones when in natural light and that all important sleep-wake cycle.
When time for bed, turn off all lights, even light coming from an electronic device…trust us, you will sleep much better for it. If you insist on some form of lighting in a hallway or bathroom, go for a very low glow such as warm scent plug–in that glows or some other form of night light rather than a normal wall or mirror light.
We are not necessarily talking memory foam but a comfy mattress, a decent pillow along and some rich cotton sheets will make an astonishing difference. It is surprising the affect your bedroom linen can have on your sleeping patterns.
Avoid alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and sugar
It really should go without saying but sugar, nicotine and caffeine are not likely to get you yawning your way up to the bedroom. These are all stimulants. Alcohol is most likely to make you drowsy but can reduce your quality of sleep and interfere with the lighter REM (rapid eye movement) and deeper stages of sleep. Hitting a deep sleep early on the night can cause you to wake up later on. Alcohol can also make you dehydrated.
Eating too close to bed time is also not advisable as your body’s digestive systems will still be in action and will leave you feeling restless. If you do get snackish at night – find out what are the best foods for you to eat at this time.
For even more tips on how to get a great night’s sleep see here https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-tools-tips/healthy-sleep-tips
How your sleep pattern can affect your health
Just like food and water, sleep is essential fuel for mind, body and soul. If you don’t want to look like Count Dracula with great big black panda eyes, hope to stay awake during the day and string enough sentences together to sound fully compos mentis, you need your sleep.
Not getting enough shut eye effects all of us on the odd occasion but if sleepless nights are a frequent occurrence, you will get more than just a groggy head and bags under your eyes. Did you know that as per the , the average adult should be getting 7 – 9 hours of good quality sleep per night!
Lack of concentration and attention
You might not have ADHD but not having enough sleep to rest your mind, you will find it increasingly hard to make important decisions. Even making the smallest choices could end up seeming difficult and perhaps overwhelming. You won’t be able to see the wood for the trees and long term sleep shortage can lead to long term cognitive issues with memory. Poor performance at work is also not conducive to keeping your job.
Sleep deprivation is one of biggest cause of accidents at work, home and even more scarily, on the road. You might think you are functioning ok, albeit more in autopilot style than anything else. This however, only means you are not fully paying attention and results in clumsiness and slower reactions.
Not getting enough sleep can alarmingly lead to a whole bagful of not just limited to weight gain and obesity. have even shown that lack of sleep can lead to increased risk of heart problems even in those not overweight. Depression is another risk factor from not getting sufficient quality snooze time. It is also believed that lack of sleep can lead to body structural issues such as osteoporosis and increased risk of such as breast cancer and yes, men can get this too!
Further studies have even shown, particularly in men, that those gents who get little sleep on a regular basis, do not tend to live as long as those who average between 6.5 and 7.5 a night.
Poor Eating Habits
The need to stay awake will have you reaching for caffeinated drinks, sugary and high carb foods for that energy high. This high low cycle can also kick the will to get active, go to the gym or walk the dog – this guys, is just a downhill slide.
Being grumpy, irritable and frustrated are common symptoms of excessive tiredness. Your mood will affect that of others and could upset relationships with friends, family and colleagues. Bringing grumpy to the bed room also doesn’t do much good for your love life either.
Top Tips to stop snoring
Are you peacefully pushing up the zeds in deep slumber but are keeping your partner awake to find them sleep deprived and irritable in the morning? Do actually succeed in waking yourself up?
First top is your local pharmacy. Speak to your pharmacist or local GP to find out what is on the market that could help. Snoring is often caused due to nasal congestion so alleviate the passageway to help you breath easier will be a good start. There are a range of non-instrusive style sleeping aids out there, that for the price of good nights sleep, are worth it.
Choose from nasal strips, chin straps, anti-snoring mouthpieces, congestion clearing vapours and sprays…you get our drift. It might be worth a bit of trail and error before you find the right one for you.
Weight and Diet
Even carrying extra weight such as a few pounds can cause you to snore..and loudly. Maintaining a good weight involved both a healthy diet and exercise even if it is just power walking around the nearest park or taking the dog for an extra leg stretch. The big question is, did you snore before you gained the extra weight? If not, it might be worth consulting a fitness trainer and/or nutritionalist and in the mean time, sleep on your side…it will help by ensuring nothing is squashing your airways.
Snoring could be just another indication it is time to quit. Nicotine irritates the lining of the throat and the nose that could be causing some inflammation, swelling and catarrh.
Ever noticed that you may snore more over a weekend? This could be due to that increased alcohol intake on a Friday and/or Saturday night. Alcholo makes the muscles at the back of the throat relax more and can cause you to snore. If you are drinking during the week too, you may want to reconsider and see if the snoring lessons or continues.
The alcohol is a big way for some of us at brosheets. Coming home from the pub after consuming too many pints results in us being directed immediately to the spare room…..which secretly we are delighted with:-). Then the freight train comes in the middle of the night…we end up sounding like this little guy
Stress and over tiredness
Late nights and less sleep from working late, young children up in the night, early morning starts and stress can cause you to become over tired. Overtiredness will simply end at some point with you hitting the sack exhausted. The tiredness will make you sleep deeper and harder. At this state of rest the muscles once again become floppier and make you snore.
Investing in some fresh plump pillows and maybe more of them could do the trick. Sleeping slightly higher helps to stop the muscles relaxing so much onto your airways. The side effect: a slightly sore neck and dull back ache from a bad sleeping position. If your pillows are of the limp kind, it doesn’t do any harm however, to splash out on some new ones and improve your comfort levels.
Visit your GP
If you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to make a difference, it’s time for the GP. It could be that you have sinus or structural problems that need additional help. This could involve some minor surgery but don’t panic. Get all the answers and definitive solution scenarios you need first before you come to any kind of conclusion. It’s important to make informed decisions not rash ones.
Bedroom Feng Shui
Does your bedroom need some love and some Bedroom Feng Shui? Give it new lease of life Feng Shui style.
So it’s time to give your bedroom a tidy up is it? Actually don’t answer that. If you have read more than just the title, you have already admitted as much, but that’s half the battle.
A bachelor bedroom is the heart of a guy’s home; his cave, his den and his hideout. This of course just a metaphor so if your bedroom looks just like this makes it sound, than yep, you need to clean up and erm, dare we say it de-clutter.
Feng Shui is a well-established Chinese practice that dates back about 3000 years. Feng meaning water and shui meaning water, the idea is to bring balance, harmony and tranquillity into your life.
Your life is already full with enough electrical stress. Even though you might not be using something leaving it on is not healthy. A bedroom should be a place of rest and peacefulness. If you really can’t bare to remove the TV, then why not consider a TV cabinet – there are plenty of manly bachelor pad style ones to suit your décor. When you walk into your bedroom, you should be able to suit the rest of the world out. Out of sight and out of mind. It also makes the bedroom a more of a quiet, romantic and intimate space for when the time calls.
Move this to the lounge, hallway, spare room or anywhere other than the bedroom. Unless you own a mansion, this will ultimately give you more room to move and keep the stress and pressure of needing to workout, out.
Ensure that the air in your room is moving. Open the windows regularly to let in some fresh air and invest in some relaxing scents. If candles don’t cut it for you, then how about a reed diffuser, air purifier or an automatic plug in.
Try where possible not to have your bed in line with the door as it is kind of an inauspicious position having your feet facing the exit and doesn’t do anything for privacy levels if someone happens to come in. Depending on the design of the room, try also not to place the bed right below the window. Energy is said to leave from doors and windows so will flow right over you and leave you feeling restless. The ideal position is having the bed diagonal to the door and approachable from both sides. If you your mattress is on the floor, you are disturbing the natural flow of energy, so its about time to invest in a proper bed.
Beds with drawers under better but the more you can free up space for energy to flow, the better. A headboard not only looks nice but it supports your pillow, head and personal energy helping you to feel energised when you wake.
Some nice looking linens along with a good mattress for a well-balanced will help you feel recharged. If you need a new set of drawers or a wardrobe door that isn’t hanging on its hinges, now is the time. Broken items are not positive for mind or body.
Declutter! Do not to use your bedroom for storage and limit the amount of furniture to ensure energy is free flowing. Feng Shui theory and practice also has it that mirrors in bedroom should not be placed in front of the bed, not only is it slightly disturbing if wake at night, mirrors direct energy and can reflect negative energy from stress.
The colours associated with Feng Shui span from white to a chocolate brown. If your walls are bright red you could be inhibiting yourself from establishing that natural tranquillity you are aiming for. Adding a pop of a colour associated with happiness and energy however, is not a bad thing. Be sure to make the colourful ‘adition’ a warm and welcome and not let it dominant the space. It is surprising how much colour can affect how we feel.
With regards to the walls, it is always makes it homely to add a little something. The best art work for a bedroom are zen ones that promote love, stability, health and healing. We are all for positivity and inspiration but your prized framed photo of your dream car would definitely be better in the hallway or living room. Be careful however, going too zen like – images of water in the bedroom are said to cause restfulness and even sorrow.
We also advise keeping work objects such as laptops, spreadsheets, marketing books or any reports strictly out. These belong in a study, kitchen table or dining room. If you wonder why you don’t sleep well or don’t feel revitalised in the morning, well it could be various things but if you keep your work within sight, it is not helping. It’s hard to not go to sleep with tomorrow’s agenda whirring around in your head.
Bright lights are not calming. Invest in some low level corner up lighting, chic bed side lamps or a dimmer switch to create a smoothing atmosphere that will aid in reducing those stress levels and induce sleep.
The idea is to create an environment which will strengthen and enhance your own energy levels to help you feel calm, refreshed and rejuvenated by encouraging the flow of positive energy. It doesn’t take much effort and is worth it in the end.
Do you practice Feng Shui? Do you have any good bedroom tips to share?
Is there anything more frustrating than watching the hours tick by when everyone else is snoring the night away?
While a lot of people will title one night of disturbed sleep as insomnia like they use ‘flu’ to describe the common cold, insomnia is actually a recurring scenario, so much so, you will truly know when you have it.
Symptoms include trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep, the inability to find a comfortable sleeping position, failure to experience deep refreshing sleep and the tendency to wake early and not be able to get back to sleep. At best, it feels as if you have been hitting the snooze button the whole time accompanied with feeling lethargic and unrefreshed when up in the morning. As a general rule, insomniacs also find it hard to catch a sneaky mid-afternoon cat nap and often seem irritable and tired throughout the day while lacking concentration and motivation.
Generally, insomnia sufferers will experience bouts of poor quality sleep but with help or treatment it will go away and stay away or will come back for a visit alongside a change in their status quo such as increased stress or poor diet. It will also range from transient to the chronic kind depending on what may be causing it.
Insomnia is unfortunately a common problem exacerbated these days from stress and technological stress due to bedrooms filled with electrical energy from iPads, mobile phones, TVs and other modern day gadgets. This is not necessarily the cause but it doesn’t help lessen the problems. With so many people who do suffer from one level or another of Insomnia, it is not surprising that Facebook is one of the first choices of entertainment to brush off the boredom and frustration.
Insomnia however does not need to be a lifelong partnership. It is not an illness. As opposed to other sleep conditions where it is the body’s natural cycles that don’t coincide with social structures of living, insomnia is often triggered by something external such as stress and poor sleeping environments. Lifestyle is also a high contributor along with mental conditions such as depression, anxiety, grief and schizophrenia and/or physical problems like heart complaints, pain and even some medications.
Treatments for insomnia vary from natural herbal night-time remedies to ear plugs and darkened rooms. Insomniacs however, do tend to be light sleepers so the more they can do to avoid eternal influences that could shake them from slumber such as noise and light, the better.
Relaxation techniques before bed such as taking a warm bath, having a warm smoothing but decaffeinated low sugar drink or listening to some mellow bedtime music are all worth a shot. Some insomniacs find that reading (and not from an electronic device) will also help them go quickly into sleep mode. The more you can do to establish a clear bedtime ritual to train your brain into recognising that it is time to close up shop for the day, the more improved sleep quality you are likely to experience – routine is key. It is advisable to check with a GP before taking any kind of medication and in some long term cases it might
be worth considering alternatives such as hypnotherapy, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) or some form of stress management therapy.
Other top tips to obtaining better quality sleep include relaxation exercises or deep breathing exercises and avoiding getting up to drink or eat (unless you woke up because of this) when you wake during the night as this can trick your body to thinking it is time to actually get up. Sometimes just simply discussing the day’s issues, any looming nerve racking situations or those niggling concerns that are playing like a broken record before getting into bed, will also help decrease those stress and anxiety levels.
Some caffeinated or high sugar drinks consumed before bed could also be the cause of your sleepless nights and while alcohol can make some sleep, it could be keeping you wide awake. Why not try swapping out the glass of red wine or after dinner coffee for a herbal tea or a warm milky drink.
It is also always top priority to check sleeping conditions and arrangements. Sleeping in a room with another person who works a night shift or snores or that overlooks a road might need to re-evaluated. Ticking clocks and lights from alarms or charging electrical devices could do with being removed along with electrical stress from the myriad of devices we have embraced into our fast paced, on-the-go lifestyles.
Quality of mattress, pillows, sheets and other sleepwear also need to be assessed. You can’t ask your body to go into a state of rest, if the result is being cold in the night or pain from poor mattress determined sleeping positions. Your pillow could be doing you more harm than good.
Do you suffer from insomnia? Let us know what you do to help combat the nightly struggle?
For a range of good quality cotton sheets please visit: http://brosheets.com
Do you have trouble getting to sleep?
The difference between Insomnia and Delayed Sleep Disorder can be confusing. With Insomnia so readily the label for anyone who has any interrupted sleep, whether this spans just one night every so often or is a recurring issue, you would think it’s easy to self-diagnose. Insomnia is typically the diagnosis for those who can’t stay asleep. For others, staying asleep is not a problem, it is actually drifting off in the first place that poses the challenge..
It’s bedtime, the lights are off and you’ve just snuggled into your warm winter duvet. Comfortable – yes. Cosy – yes. Sleepy – yes. Can you get to sleep – NO, not a chance! Do you constantly toss and turn while trying to get your brain to switch from overdrive to snooze time? Do you ever wonder why you seem to be up much later that everyone else? Do you study, read, watch TV late into the evening making 11:00 pm, when most are heading to bed, seem early to you? Do you feel alert or awake at night despite a long day? Do you have trouble waking up in the morning because you never seem to get enough sleep but once asleep you sleep pretty well? Does a grave yard shift often sound more appealing than your day job? If you can relate to the above a lot more than you would like to, you could have Delayed Sleep-Phase Syndrome (DSPS) or Delayed Sleep-Phase Type (DSPT) rather than Insomnia.
These typically deemed ‘night owls’ are often mistaken for traditional insomniacs. You don’t however, quite seem to fit the mould. The casual observer might think your late nights are the cause of your poor sleep habits rather than a symptom. Just being told that you need to manage your time better, be sensible and get an early night or need to learn to be more responsible, is not particularly helpful or sleep inducing. The good news? It really isn’t your fault.
DSPS sufferers do not fall into the natural sleep-wake patterns most people have. The best way to describe it is like living with permanent jet-lag, which for most people would be inconceivable.
No-one has really got to the bottom of DSPS but studies often show a shift in the internal cycle of melatonin production, otherwise known as the night hormone. This means a person with DSPS will normally experience a significant delay in falling asleep, irregular sleep patterns and difficulty in getting up in the morning. Symptoms also include but are not limited to: day time drowsiness, dependency on caffeine, irritability, tiredness, and inattention accompanied by lengthy sleep-ins on the weekend. No it’s not about being lazy and it is definitely not a bad habit that you can kick with a bit of effort.
Apart from difficulties in getting to sleep, most people with DSPS who do not suffer with any other conditions such as sleep apnea, can sleep peacefully once actually in a state of sleep. If left to their own devices without the 9-5 constraints of work, school and society, those living with DSPS would naturally go to bed several hours later than the rest of the world and wake accordingly, several hours later in the morning feeling refreshed and full of energy.
It is not just DSPS in itself that is the issue. Sleep deprivation has been linked to behavioural problems, mood swings, depression, ADHD, tardiness and dependency on sedatives or other drugs and even alcohol, all of which lead to a whole other barrel of problems…
DSPS generally occurs following hormone shifts during adolescence but can be seen in some children early on. It generally is a lifelong battle. It can also only really be officially diagnosed via sleep logs and tests conducted at a professional sleep clinic by a trained consultant.
There is no cure but sufferers can try to lessen the condition by establishing as much of a regular bedtime routine as possible, especially with children and teenagers. This includes keeping a steady routine without allowing sleep and waking times to be exaggerated over weekends or holidays – easier said than done though! Other good practices for a good night’s sleep involve reducing intake of caffeinated products, nicotine and alcohol, especially just before heading to bed. It is also worth trying to bring bed time forward a little in 15 or 20 minutes blocks until a desired sleep time is reached.
Some specialists have also suggested light therapy as a way of helping to reset a person’s biological clock. Professional advice does need to be sought before going down this route.
There is much to be said, however, for reducing exposure to light before you go to sleep i.e. putting away those iPads and Kindles and avoiding brain stimulating activities such as Facebook, checking emails, skyping, texting and watching movies while in bed. Leave all of this for a more sociable time of day.
As for taking any sleep inducing products; this could be an option but it is always best to consult a GP or sleep specialist first. Should you wish to improve your sleeping aids, then first things first – invest in a really comfy mattress and good quality sleepwear that will ensure that bed is a place you feel suitably comfortable and cosy, somewhere you want to be rather than a place of constant anxiety and frustration. Helping to re-establish a positive connection between the bedroom and the brain is as good a start as any to combatting asleep disorder.