Extra Long Twin Mattress

5 Way to Get Your Family to Sleep on Christmas Eve

by kayla @ Mattress Depot USA

It can be hard to get your kids to fall asleep on a normal night, but Christmas Eve? Forget about it. Anticipation over a visit from Santa Claus, excitement about the soon-to-be-opened presents, lots of sweet treats, and a complete shift from their normal schedule can make even the easiest kid impossible to put to […]

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Twin XL Mattress Size Guide - Bed Info & Measurement Chart | Nothing Really Mattress

Twin XL Mattress Size Guide - Bed Info & Measurement Chart | Nothing Really Mattress

Nothing Really Mattress

Twin XL mattress measurements, dimensions, information, and bed size guide! The very best!

Our Voila Hybrid Mattress Review for 2018

by Sarah Cummings @ The Sleep Advisor

The post Our Voila Hybrid Mattress Review for 2018 appeared first on The Sleep Advisor.

Eight Things to Know About Summertime Sleep

Eight Things to Know About Summertime Sleep

by Jessica Pei @ Van Winkle's

When school's out, temperatures are high and ice cream truck anthems are playing on an endless loop, a new set of seasonally specific sleep considerations come into play. From escaping the heat to making time for time-off, here are eight commandments to guide your summer of sleep. 

1. Don't let hot nights become sleepy days 

Hot weather not only makes it hard to sleep it at night, it also leaves some people fatigued during the day. In one study, researchers surveyed participants about their fatigue levels in July, August and September. They found that hotter days corresponded to more fatigue — but only for participants with existing sleep problems. Good sleepers, on the other hand, maintained the same level of fatigue, regardless of the temperature. 

And, across the board, research suggests that temperature and sleep quality have an inverse relationship — as temperatures rise, sleep quality dips. Experts recommend keeping your bedroom between 65 and 70 degrees. Obviously, cool sleep environments are harder to come by in the summer. But, even if you don’t have AC, there are plenty of ways to keep the sweats at bay. For instance, consider placing a bowl of ice in front of a fan for a DIY cooling system. Or try one of these 11 other tips.

2. Stay cool and keep your cool 

In his 1942 novel the The Stranger, Albert Camus shed light on the impact of heat on a person's psychological state. And it seems like the French existentialist was onto something; there's scientific evidence that temperature can influence how we feel and behave. Higher temperatures, in particular, have been associated with increased aggression. In a study involving NFL football players, warmer weather led to more violence, as measured by penalties committed during games. 

And, while sleep, aggression and temperature haven’t explicitly been linked, researchers have found a significant association between high levels of hostility and subjective sleep quality. 

One study, for instance, found that the more hostile the individual, the worse they slept at night. In this case, poor sleep was characterized by difficulty falling asleep, poor sleep quality and high levels of tension. So, as you head into the dog days of summer, remember that age-old saying: Love thy neighbor and you’ll both sleep better. 

3. Stick to the status quo

Summer tends to be a time of year when responsible bedtimes fall by the wayside, especially for kids. Unlike adults, most of whom fall somewhere in the middle of the lark-to-owl scale, kids are generally morning-oriented. Nonetheless, their bedtimes drift later during the summer. This probably has something to do with the disproportionate number of evening activities that crop up during the warm months, from sunset Little League games to moonlit movie nights. But, despite the shift in bedtime preference, it’s best to keep kids' sleep schedules as close to normal as possible. 

4. Seize the solstice  

The Summer Solstice (aka the official start of summer) takes place on June 21. And, even though nighttime fun can make it hard to hit the sack on time during the summer, the sweaty season is actually a good time to get your sleep back on track. 

Light has an enormous impact on sleep. In one study, for example, office employees who were exposed to high levels of light in the morning fell asleep faster at night, as well as had more synchronized circadian rhythms and better sleep quality, than participants exposed to low levels of light. (The morning-light group also experienced reduced depression.)

Love thy neighbor and you’ll both sleep better.

Our body clocks are supposed to sync up with daily patterns of light and darkness. But many of us are slightly out of sync. Fixing this misalignment typically requires manipulating our exposure to light. And this is easier to do in the summer than the winter because it's easier to block out light (hey, blackout shades) than it is to create fake bright light that mimics the natural stuff.  

So take advantage of the summer solstice to reset your sleep-wake clock. Or use the extra hours of sunlight to squeeze in an outdoor workout. (Because nothing goes together like exercise and sleep). 

5. Mind the mood-altering impact of light 

Could mania, a mental illness marked by euphoria, overactivity and delusions, be seasonal? Well, according to a review paper, many studies have reported that bipolar patients experience more mania during the summer months and more depression during the winter months. The underlying mechanism is thought to be hypersensitivity to light. This ramps up suppression of the drowsiness-causing hormone melatonin, which, in turn, leads to increased alertness and hyperactivity. Two bipolar treatments, lithium and valproate, can work to mitigate these seasonal swings by increasing melatonin production and stabilizing circadian rhythms.

6. FNE happens. Move on  

Your hotel room seems primed for a great night’s rest: It’s quiet, dark, cool and equipped with the type of plush, expensive bedding you’d never buy yourself. But, for some reason, you have trouble falling, and staying, asleep when turn-down service is on the menu. At least you're not the only one. In the sleep world, this strange phenomenon is called the “First Night Effect” (FNE).

You feel uneasy on night number-one because your body is trying to stay vigilant in an unfamiliar environment. Your brain is divided into two hemispheres: left and right. On the first night, the two hemispheres take turns staying “awake." And this half-awake state is thought to be a protective mechanism that lets you detect any deviant noise and become alert at a moment’s notice. Although there’s not much we can do to avoid FNE, it can be comforting to know that researchers consider it a “typical sleep disturbance.”

7. Switch your status to OOO

Think of FNE as a hump to power through. Because, once you get over that initial night of rocky rest, being on vacation will most likely help you rest easy. Studies have shown that vacationing for more than two weeks comes with positive health outcomes, including reduced fatigue, better moods and higher-quality sleep. Researchers aren’t sure, however, if taking time off improves your mood, which leads to better sleep, or if being on vacation lets you get the sleep you need to exude positivity. 

Does it matter what kind of vacation you take? For the sake of your sleep, it wouldn’t hurt to spend some time in the great outdoors. There’s evidence that real nature sounds are more relaxing than fake white noise. This is the case, researchers believe, because it takes less brain power to process natural environments than man-made ones. 

So set your Slack status to “Out Of Office,” tell your boss you’ll be back in a fortnight and go find a babbling brook to fall asleep next to.

8. Stretch it out

Nocturnal leg cramps, also called rest cramps, are painful, involuntary muscle contractions in your legs or feet. And, during the summer months, according to one study, quinine prescriptions (to treat the pain) and internet searches for leg cramps are almost double what they are in winter months. To researchers, these findings suggest a summertime uptick in cramps. At this point, it's not clear why summer is the season for cramping. But stretching your muscles before bed, taking a warm shower and drinking plenty of fluids can help ease the pain

Our In-Depth DreamCloud Bed Review for 2018

by Sarah Cummings @ The Sleep Advisor

The post Our In-Depth DreamCloud Bed Review for 2018 appeared first on The Sleep Advisor.

Snore Remedies: Tips to Help You Sleep Quietly

by Ivanna Tucker @ BedMart Mattress Superstores

Do you hate getting woken up in the middle of the night by someone’s loud snore reverberating throughout the room? Or, maybe you are the culprit keeping everyone awake? First, let’s discuss what snoring actually is. Snoring is when the tissues within the airways of your nose and throat vibrate, which results in sound being […]

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The Downsides of Too Much and Too Little Sleep, and Other News in Rest

The Downsides of Too Much and Too Little Sleep, and Other News in Rest

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

Sharks nap in squads

Sharks don't sleep in the way we understand the vital neurobiological activity, but they do fit in restful periods throughout the day. Some larger, oceanic shark breeds practice "yo-yo diving," in which they swim to the water's surface for rest, descend back into the sea and then repeat this back-and-forth behavior for a few minutes at a time. But there are other shark breeds that huddle together on the ocean floor to get their pseudo-shuteye. And this type of shark sleep was caught on camera by scuba divers off the coast of Mexico. Check out this video of 20 or so whitetip reef sharks dozing in a pile. (Insofar as sharks can be cute, it's cute.) [National Geographic]

The United States of sleep inequality, vol. XII

In an effort to make sense of racial disparities in cardiovascular health, a team of researchers used actigraphy (e.g., fitbit) to monitor the sleep of 426 white and black men and women. Based on seven nights of data, researchers found that black participants got about 40 minutes less sleep per night than white participants. Black participants also exhibited less efficient sleep, meaning they woke up more during the night and took longer to fall asleep. The results jibe with other analyses of sleep and race. The study didn't go so far as to say what's causing racial differences in sleep duration and quality. But one of the study co-authors speculated that neighborhood crime or economic stress may be keeping people up.

Researchers also measured physiological markers of cardiovascular disease, such as blood pressure and waist circumference, and found a connection between poor health outcomes and sleep quality — but mainly for black women. Again, researchers don't know exactly why the findings turned out the way they did, but here's one researcher's guess: "Being a black female in the United States is inherently more stressful than being just a female or being just black." [The Atlantic]

Oversleepers, beware of 'mares  

More often than not, an "unhealthy amount of sleep" means "too little sleep." But it works the other way around, too. Getting more than 9 or 10 hours of sleep a night (for adults) has been linked to a number of health snafus, including increased diabetes risk and obesity. And, courtesy of a new study, here's one more: frequent nightmares. The study, which involved 846 people, was one of the largest-ever explorations of nightmares in the general population. [New Scientist]

Undersleepers, watch your waistlines

People who reported logging less than seven hours of sleep a night, in one UK study, had higher BMIs and larger waistlines than those who got their eight hours. What accounts for the extra pounds? Well, one study co-author implicated weight gain from overeating. “Some of it is that when people are sleep-deprived, they tend to go for high calorie, fatty, good tasting foods." The findings were based on sleep records and food diaries from more than 1,600 participants, as well as blood samples from roughly half of participants. [Reuters

Good sleepers watch their stories one episode at a time 

The ultimate modern-day indulgence is, without a doubt, ordering Seamless + bingeing five (or 10) episodes of a buzzy new show. But, sadly, binge-watching may be a recipe for poor sleep. A new study from American and Belgian researchers links sleep problems and frequent binge-sessions. No such link emerged for watching TV in a non-bingeing manner. Why would binge-watching, specifically, set someone up for rocky rest? Well, we don't know for sure, but here's what researchers think: Because binge-watching is such an immersive, mentally stimulating experience, it puts us in a state of heightened arousal that interferes with our ability to fall (and stay) asleep. In other words? Diversify your TV shows to avoid getting too invested in any one fictional universe. [Van Winkle's]

Today in sad and confusing phenomena: the nightmare-suicide link

A doctor recalls treating a suicidal teen and failing to inquire about one potentially relevant topic: the patient's dreams. Because, even for people who don't have PTSD, nightmares have emerged as a factor for suicide. The relationship between the two phenomena, however, isn't well-understood and hasn't born out in every study. In one case, insomnia, but not nightmares, predicted suicide risk. Part of the difficulty in figuring out what's going on lies in the fact that we don't have a firm grasp on nightmares in the first place. Some researchers believe they function like dress rehearsals for IRL threatening encounters, but that's really just a theory. [Science of Us]

Apathetic Toronto Mattress

by Nothing Really Mattress @ Nothing Really Mattress

Here we see a poor lonely mattress in Toronto, left out with a broken dresser, an old bike, a patio chair, and some sort of screen. Found on Bain and Logan in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, there’s apparently a co-op right near by. No wonder this sad blue bedding is so despondent. And there it goes-...

Down Town Company Downtown Company Comfort Twin Extra Long Mattress Pad Cream from Bed Bath & Beyond | Shop

Down Town Company Downtown Company Comfort Twin Extra Long Mattress Pad Cream from Bed Bath & Beyond | Shop Shop

Start each day refreshed by getting a better night's sleep with this high-quality Comfort mattress pad. This Comfort mattress pad features a 280-thread count for maximum comfort.

What is Sleep Talking and Should I be Concerned?

by kayla @ Mattress Depot USA

Say what? Find out why some people talk in their sleep. Are you quite the gabber during the night, or is your sleeping partner? Learn more, below, about why people chatter during slumber. Sleep talking is a sleep disorder defined as talking during sleep without being aware of it. Technically called “somniloquy,” talking while you […]

The post What is Sleep Talking and Should I be Concerned? appeared first on Mattress Depot USA.

Secrets About Twin Xl Mattress Topper Revealed

by Mogran.B @ Top XL Twin Mattress

Twin Xl Mattress Topper Explained Ideally, toppers arrive in varying thickness sizes. The topper contours nicely with your body and…

Back to School Sleep Tips

by Ivanna Tucker @ BedMart Mattress Superstores

  With the school year right around corner, getting your child adjusted to a new sleep schedule becomes crucial. Sleep is an essential aspect to a child’s development. Studies show that children with a proper amount of sleep are less likely to have behavior issues and mood swings. Here are some sleep tips to make […]

The post Back to School Sleep Tips appeared first on BedMart Mattress Superstores.

Seven Things to Know About the Link Between Sleep and Academic Performance

Seven Things to Know About the Link Between Sleep and Academic Performance

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

Good sleep habits correspond to academic success. The link between hitting the sack and scoring A's bears out in grade school, graduate school and everywhere in between. This general trend shouldn’t be surprising, given that the well-rested display a host of skills and behavioral tendencies relevant to classroom domination. Compared to sleep-starved people, they exhibit faster reaction times, sharper recollection, heightened focusing abilities and a higher threshold for working under stress. Here are seven interesting takeaways from research on students young and old(er).

1. For little kids, a little more sleep helps

A new McGill University study showed that kids (ages 7-11) who increased their nightly rest by 18 minutes (on average) for five nights showed considerable improvements on their report cards. Why would 7 year olds be underslept (given that they have externally imposed bedtimes and few or no responsibilities)? Well, even fun-sized humans undergo lifestyle changes. One 2014 study identified kindergarten as a sleep-health turning point. Kindergarten, and the loss of napping that comes with it, corresponded to less overall weekday sleep and earlier weekday bedtimes, particularly for kids who hadn’t gone to preschool. (Hey, universal preschool.)

2. Snoring sets students back

A lot of research on younger students’ sleep concerns sleep apnea. The condition, marked by shallow breathing and snoring, results in less, more-fragmented sleep. Children who have obesity and live in low-income households are at a considerably heightened risk for sleep-breathing disorders. And they tend to fare poorly in school, both during primary school and afterwards. Going back to 2001, a study found that 13 and 14 year olds who struggled in school were more likely to have snored when they were younger. By extension, kids from lower-income families fall behind in school. Seems pretty fair.

3. Early(ish) bedtimes yield higher GPAs

A large population survey in Norway showed that teens ages 15 to 19 who went to bed between 10p.m. and 1a.m. had the highest GPAs. Getting too little sleep increased students’ odds of having GPAs in the lowest quartile. It’s easy to use these sorts of findings to admonish teens for staying up too late. But teens are naturally night owls, at least according to the leading research. Their circadian clocks are shifted, making it especially hard for adolescents to keep early hours.

4. Experts really, really support later school start times

The campaign for later school start times is heavily rooted in the misalignment between teens' biological clocks and their externally imposed schedules. The big idea? Let kids learn when they're best-equipped to soak up and retain knowledge. Not to mention, forcing teenage night owls to rise at dawn robs them of Zzzs that set them up for academic success, support their cognitive and emotional development and protect their mental and physical health. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that schools start no earlier than 8:30a.m. And, in general, experts are all in on pushing back start times. 

The benefits of later start times aren't confined to teens: According to a recent report from the RAND Corporation, delaying the morning bell would save the US about $9 billion a year. These projected economic gains are primarily due, according to the report, to the impact of improved academic performance on future earnings and the reduction in car accidents caused by tired teens.

Researchers speculated that device use only further threw off teens’ circadian rhythms. Weird bodies, bad habits, can’t win.

But, despite the strong case for later start times, only about 15 percent of public schools across the country actually kick off the school day at or after 8:30, based on a 2016 survey of US principals. Why? Schools claim that postponing start times is too logistically difficult and expensive. And, in a study from The University of Michigan, only about half of parents supported later start times. But there are plenty of impassioned people involved in the campaign, so don't expect the conversation around school start times to die down anytime soon.  

5. Body clocks and bad habits are a dangerous pair  

A number of studies have linked Delayed Sleep Phase (a preference for keeping especially late hours) to lower academic performance. But, in several instances, researchers found another factor underlying the link. In one case, that factor was school attendance — students with DSP did worse in school, perhaps because they missed a lot of it. Would they show up if first period started later? Advocates for bumping back first period would probably say yes.

But, in other cases, research says low grades have more to do with teens' habits than their wonky bodies. The big culprits: caffeine consumption and late-night electronic use. All other factors aside, coffee drinkers and bedtime Snapchatters got less sleep and lower grades in one 2015 study. Even students who said they used TV and music for the express purpose of falling asleep carried out the trend. Researchers speculated that device use only further threw off teens’ circadian rhythms. Weird bodies, bad habits, can’t win.

6. Sleeping efficiently helps students score well

We can assess sleep using a number of measures. One such measure is sleep efficiency, the proportion of time in bed that people actually spend sleeping. (To calculate sleep efficiency, divide hours in bed by hours slept.) In one 2015 Italian study, sleep efficiency emerged as a key predictor of exam grades for students in their final year of high school. Researchers did not find a significant relationship between exam grades and other sleep measures, including total duration of sleep (amount of sleep logged, efficiency notwithstanding) and sleep midpoint (also called mid-sleep time). Here’s the formula for calculating sleep midpoint:

  • Take the average number of hours you sleep each night and divide that number in half. Add that number to your average bedtime on free days (meaning days on which work or school do not define your schedule). That’s your midpoint. So, if I sleep seven hours, and I go to bed at midnight, my midpoint is: 3:30 a.m. (that's 3.5 + 12).

7. Med school students are hard to predict

But MDs-in-training still perform better when they have healthy sleep habits. One study from Munich found a link between sleep duration and final-exam performance. But, so long as students got enough sleep, they fared okay. Neither chronotype (e.g., morning lark or evening owl) nor self-reported sleep quality appeared to affect students’ scores.

Another study on Sudanese med students found a significant difference in duration and quality of sleep between excellent and merely satisfactory students. On average, snoring afflicted 9 percent of the gunners, who averaged seven hours of sleep each night. By comparison, 28 percent of the hangers-on snored, and they only logged 6.3 hours of rest each night.

And a third study (med student sleep is well-documented) found, somewhat counter-intuitively, that “it is not the generally poor sleepers who perform worse in the medical board exams.” Students who slept poorly immediately before taking exams (during study periods) were most likely to choke, but those who struggled with sleep over the course of the semester still managed to crush it. 

This story was originally published in 2016. It has been updated since then.

 The Summer My Sleep Fell Apart

The Summer My Sleep Fell Apart

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

Perhaps I'm at that age, but I've noticed more of them cropping up on social media: photos of toddlers sleeping in weird places, with their Garanimals-clad bodies in anatomically confusing arrangements. On my facebook feed, there's a little boy folded in half like a dollar bill, a costume-bin princess casually napping on a bookshelf and all sorts of children planking in piles of toys and books. It’s a cute meme. But more than anything, it reminds me that I once knew sleep as a purely physical act. When little kids need to recharge, they flop down wherever they are and drift off, drool-side up. I did it too, and even through college, I passed between the waking and sleeping worlds with only occasional interference from my mind.

Then, I graduated and settled into a groove somewhere between endless summer and unemployment. I looked for jobs, went to the gym, got reacquainted with my good friend network television and fiddled with LSAT prep. But, in the process of keeping myself busy, I discovered the difference between having purpose and doing stuff for the sake of demarcating daytime hours. For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t waiting out the start of a new semester — I wasn’t waiting out the start of anything in particular. The inertia got to me. And, over that summer, I went from an optimistic post-grad to anxiety in neon leisure shorts.

The trials of adulthood — luckily for me — weren't life threatening. But, in my lonely, uncertain state, I'd gotten cozy with insomnia and anxiety, the couple nobody wants to hang out with.

The panic and why-me woes left me alone during the day. But then, I’d trade in my neon shorts for floral boxers, climb into bed and feel invigorated by worry. Falling asleep became something else I couldn't do. So I'd lie there, and indulge my paranoia in an adult-ified version of my childhood bedroom, where a queen bed with swiss-dot linens and wrought iron posts had replaced a twin bed outfitted in powder-blue everything.   

Upon hearing any nighttime sound — in an old house, rich in nighttime sounds — I’d assume the worst. In my mind, my parents' house was a magnet for old-timey crimes. Burglars and kidnappers and arsonists were coming for me. It didn’t help that the front door was usually open, or that I asked my dad to install an alarm system and instead received a Home Depot emergency ladder kit for all my window-escape needs. 

I didn't see my jittery, drained state for what it was until early autumn, when I realized that the link between feeling tired and falling asleep had fallen apart. Rest had become a psychological challenge rather than a source of comfort, a day-ending ritual or a natural response to exhaustion. The trials of adulthood — luckily for me — weren't life-threatening. But, in my lonely, uncertain state, I'd gotten cozy with insomnia and anxiety, the couple nobody wants to hang out with.

From what I recall, I felt anxious before I stopped sleeping. But, looking back, I'd guess the two issues reinforced each other. My swift, unwelcome lifestyle change — which a therapist compared to a human loss — disrupted my daily schedule and sense of self. The situation was ripe for both rest and mood problems to emerge. And the research suggests both anxiety and insomnia can be the chicken and the egg, simultaneously. Or, a third factor can underlie their onset. Parsing the relationship between mental health and sleep health is akin to untangling charm necklaces in the dark, with shearing gloves on. But, scientists are working on it. 

In navigating these fun new waters, I gained some perspective on sleep and the human way. I learned that my physical and mental states are linked: I felt less anxious when I exercised and feeling less anxious helped me sleep better. Eight years later, no piece of knowledge has proved as consistently true, and valuable, as this one. 

I learned that the same habit can hurt and help sleep in different ways. Watching medical sleuthing on "House, MD" helped me fall asleep by providing distraction and comfort. It also kept me up by sparking thoughts and suppressing the release of melatonin (well, I learned the latter truth more recently). Psychology and physiology often butt heads when it comes to sleep, and health in general. It's not always clear which one wins; sometimes I needed the company of Dr. Gregory House to tune out the upset. Sometimes I needed a break from the blue light more.

Feeling less anxious helped me sleep better. Eight years later, no piece of knowledge has proved as consistently true, and valuable, as this one.

And I learned that the world looks different through sleep-deprived eyes. I couldn't see the recession-era job search for the temporary rut it was until I got a week-or-so of normal rest. My experience seemed unique, but of course it wasn't. Young women are loyal members of the anxiety-and-insomnia club. 

This information, thankfully, is more available and discussed today. But in 2008, I didn't own any stimulating smart devices. And I'd primarily known sleep as a reliable daily visitor, a physical act that my body did without consulting my brain. Today, I intellectually understand that sleep isn't any one thing — it's a force of biology and behavior that's simple to identify but a chore to define. But I didn't intellectualize sleep until I couldn't do it. Re-learning how to fall asleep, amidst the mental racket, was my first adult victory. Then, I got a job.

This story was originally published in 2016

Comfort Tech Performance Sleep Gear Mattress Pad Extra Long Twin Bedding

Comfort Tech Performance Sleep Gear Mattress Pad Extra Long Twin Bedding

Shop at DormCo for our Comfort Tech Performance Sleep Gear Mattress Pad! Our Comfort Tech Mattress Pad is ideal for college athletes! This dorm mattress pad increases oxygen levels for rapid muscle recovery and reduces pain and soreness!

3 Best Extra-long Twin Mattress Pads Available On Amazon

3 Best Extra-long Twin Mattress Pads Available On Amazon

My Mattress Pads

We have reviewed 3 extra long twin mattress pads in this post. It will help you to choose the best xlong twin mattress protectors.

6 Best Gift Ideas for Those Who Love to Sleep

by kayla @ Mattress Depot USA

Is there anything better than the gift of great sleep? (The answer: Nope. Absolutely not.) If you still haven’t figured out what to buy for friends and family members this year, consider giving them something that will help them score better zzz’s. Useful, thoughtful, and even fun, these presents will be adored by all—yes, even […]

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Health Care 8" Premier Twin Extra Long Mattress

Health Care 8" Premier Twin Extra Long Mattress

American Furniture Warehouse

Sleep like a dream with the Health Care 8” Premier Twin Extra Long Mattress by Health Care. This 8” memory foam mattress features 2.5” of contouring memory foam to relive pressure points and gently cradle you as you sleep, providing cloud-like comfort while also isolating motion. The 5.5” of high density support foam creates additional comfort, makes the mattress more supportive, and ensures greater longevity compared to the life of a traditional mattress.

Get Your Home Holiday Ready

by Ivanna Tucker @ BedMart Mattress Superstores

The holiday season is upon us! Are you in a time crunch to get your home ready for guests? Here are some quick tips to get you prepared for the hectic holidays with loved ones.   Make sure you have a place for coats Guests will probably be wearing coats when they arrive to your […]

The post Get Your Home Holiday Ready appeared first on BedMart Mattress Superstores.

Mattress Sizes

Mattress Sizes

Bed Pros Mattress

Let us help you understand which is the correct mattress for your specific space, budget, and lifestyle.

BedMart Brings Better Sleep to Scholls Ferry!

by Katie Hamlin @ BedMart Mattress Superstores

  BedMart Says Hello to Scholls Ferry Road!    Today we are excited to announce that our 25-year-old BedMart family is getting even bigger and better with the grand opening of our new store in Beaverton, Oregon! This means The largest family owned and locally operated mattress retailer in the Northwest is bringing better sleep near Washington […]

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Intermission – B – Twin Extra Long

by Weston Huth @ Twin XL – HassleLess Mattress

Mattress Thickness: 13"

Full size air mattress – top 3 picks – 2017 update

by James @ 3 Beds

Our top 3 picks among full size air mattresses have not changed since the last update. Let’s first take a look at the top pick in the size and them compare it’s ratings to the top-rated model Overall. If you want to see our top picks Overall (regardless of size) follow this link – best ...

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Best Nighttime Exercise Routines

by kayla @ Mattress Depot USA

Learn which workouts will boost your sleep. Until recently, nighttime workouts and sleep were considered a bad match. The consensus was that late-evening exercise would rev the body too much before bedtime, promoting sleeplessness. The truth is, you can do any type of exercise at night, as long as the workout doesn’t interfere with your slumber. (People […]

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Luxury air mattresses and adjustable beds – Top 3 – December ’17 update

by James @ 3 Beds

We started gathering data for this guide on the best luxury air mattress and adjustable bed foundations in February 2016 and it took us about 8 months to get it published for the first time simply because the data sample we had wasn’t big enough to rate the beds and the bases. The main reason ...

The post Luxury air mattresses and adjustable beds – Top 3 – December ’17 update appeared first on 3 Beds.

Binge-Watching TV Leaves Us Too Excited to Sleep

Binge-Watching TV Leaves Us Too Excited to Sleep

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

Back in a simpler era, we watched TV shows one episode at a time. Sometimes, sure, we'd luck into a double dose of something during sweeps week. But, for the most part, we got to know the precocious teens of primetime soaps and the neurotic yuppies of must-see-TV in single servings. Then Netflix and its ilk came along and gave us the option to watch entire series of old shows, and full seasons of new ones, however we wanted. And we did what (I have to assume) our predecessors did when the first all-you-can-eat buffet cropped up: We binged. 

The limited body of research on binge-watching, vaguely defined as watching multiple episodes of the same show in one sitting, suggests that more than 60 percent of American households use a streaming service and that somewhere around 70 percent of people who watch TV indulge in the occasional binge. In a 2015 study conducted by Tivo, almost one-third of viewers admitted to sacrificing sleep to continue binge-watching a show.

And, according to a new study, binge-watching may clash with sleep even for people who cut themselves off at a reasonable hour: Two researchers from The University of Michigan and KU Leuven in Belgium, Jan Van den Bulck and Liese Exelmans, found that binge-watching is associated with poor sleep in a way that traditional non-binge watching isn't. The sleep link, they believe, has more to do with the immersive nature of the binge-viewing experience than the amount of TV that binge-viewers consume. 

"Overall," explained Exelmans via email, "sleep research has concluded that TV is not that harmful for sleep, but we have to take into account that TV-viewing has changed dramatically over the past years."

Binge-viewers become strongly immersed in the story, identify with the characters and experience increased difficulty to stop viewing.

This study is the first to investigate the possibility that binge-viewers are especially vulnerable to sleep problems. Why, exactly, would it matter if someone watched three episodes of "The Affair" in a row vs. three hours of different shows over the course of a day? Because, researchers wrote, binge-viewers "become strongly immersed in the story, identify with the characters and experience increased difficulty to stop viewing." Sleep issues subsequently arise, they hypothesize, because binge-watching leaves people in a heightened state of arousal before bed.

To test their hypothesis, Van den Bulck and Exelmans asked 423 young adults, recruited via Facebook, to fill out questionnaires on binge-viewing habits, sleep quality, insomnia symptoms, fatigue and pre-sleep arousal. The arousal questionnaire covered both symptoms of somatic arousal, such as a racing heart, and cognitive arousal, such as mental alertness. And, without a fixed definition of binge-watching, researchers settled on "watching multiple consecutive episodes of the same TV show in one sitting on a screen, be it a television, laptop computer or tablet computer screen." 

Here are some of their binge-viewing findings: 

  • About 80 percent of participants identified as binge-viewers. Of that group, about 20 percent admitted to binge-watching at least a few times in the previous month. Forty percent said they'd binge-watched once during the same period; 7 percent said they'd binged nearly every day of that month. 
  • The average TV binge lasted just over three hours. 
  • Men binge-watched less frequently, but for longer periods of time, than women. And, across the board, the more often participants binge-watched, the less time they spent on each binge. 

And here's what they learned about sleep: 

  • More frequent binges corresponded to lower sleep quality, higher levels of fatigue and more insomnia. The duration of binges wasn't significant. So the twice-weekly, three-episode-at-a-time binger would be more likely to struggle with sleep than someone who goes on a 10-episode TV bender twice a year.
  • Cognitive — but not somatic — arousal explained the binge-watching-sleep link.
  • Regular pre-bedtime TV-watching was not associated with negative sleep outcomes or increased arousal.

The narrative complexity of "bingeable" shows, researchers reasoned, leaves viewers thinking about the episodes they've watched, as well as what's coming next. So it takes more time to cool down after a binge session than a stand-alone episode, leaving people unable to fall asleep as quickly, or get the same quality of sleep, as they otherwise would. 

While the study proposes cognitive arousal as the mechanism linking binge-watching and sleep issues, it doesn't prove that binge-viewing actually causes poor sleep. "How technology affects sleep is still a black box," said Exelmans. "The study results just highlight that, if you have trouble sleeping, you might want to consider that binge-watching contributes to that issue." 

There are plenty of questions about TV-viewing habits and sleep that remain unanswered, such as the degree to which the young adults in this study represent binge-watchers in other age groups. Exelmans, who says he's fascinated by the phenomenon of bedtime procrastination, plans to keep exploring our pre-bed technology use in future research.

Using media as a sleep aid is a documented practice.

"We've documented that sleep deprivation is partly our own fault," Exelmans said. "We fail to go to bed in time because of the lure of TV ... if we know that part of the problem is self-control (which we tend to have little of when the day comes to an end, which is exactly when we need to decide to go to bed), then we could develop intervention strategies aimed at improving self-control."

As a binge-viewer himself, Exelmans isn't above the lure of TV. "For me," he said, "it offers an escape from daily worries."

And many people likely incorporate Netflix into their bedtime routines for a similar reason. "Using media as a sleep aid is a documented practice," he said, "and it's also well-known that we tend to seek out media to alleviate negative mood. Even though research to date has not indicated positive effects of technology on sleep, it could be that people think they will sleep better after watching TV." 

To be fair, I'm pretty sure science has proven the solemnifying effects of Frasier and Niles' transatlantic-inflected repartee. But many people who don't use TV as a sleep aid still spend their nights consuming shows in bulk — reports suggest that most binge-watching sessions happen unintentionally.

So what should you do if, somehow, you're eight episodes deep into a new show when the clock strikes bedtime? Well, based on the notion that cognitive arousal mediates the binge-watching-sleep relationship, Van den Bulck and Exelmans suggest not turning in if you feel wound-up. And, to help yourself calm down, consider practicing mindfulness or relaxation techniques. Then go ahead and put your Netflix-addled brain to bed. After all, what's the point of bingeing a show tonight if you won't be well-rested enough to debate fan theories tomorrow?


This story has been updated. 

Signing Off: Van Winkle's is Saying Goodbye and Good Luck

Signing Off: Van Winkle's is Saying Goodbye and Good Luck

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

After almost two and a half years, Van Winkle's is calling it a night. We launched on June 9, 2015 to make sleep journalism a thing. And I think we succeeded, if I do say so myself.

We immersed ourselves in the world of sleep — and dreams and wakefulness and biological rhythms and relaxation and anything else related to the little neurobiological process that keeps us, and every other living species, chugging along — and discovered a wealth of stories to tell. 

We explored the history and culture of the waterbed, the murphy bedthe twin-XL bedthe pull-out bedbed clothesbedtime beauty routinesthe droopy nightcapthe nightlight, nightmaresuppersdownersunder-the-radar cults and, of course, the Ambien walrus

We dug in to parasomniasPost Traumatic Sleep Disorders, sleep deprivationsleep paralysis, sleeping beauty syndrome and all sorts of maladies and struggles related to insufficient and shoddy sleep. 

We provided accounts of, and insight into, sleeping in a triadsleeping in lovesleeping while adorablesleeping with siblings, babies and petssleeping in segmentssleeping in sockssleeping near fanssleeping on Ambiensleeping amid noise, sleeping with anxiety and depression, sleeping on the subwaysleeping upside downsleeping in the futuresleeping in the past, sleeping before a wedding, sleeping latesleeping in spandexsleeping on the job, and not being able to sleep, ever

We showcased the work of sleep experts and enthusiasts who are hacking sleep and dreams to boost creativity and performanceuproot biaseserase traumatic memories and generally get acquainted with trippy states of consciousness.  

We broke down data on sleep health and habits according to gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, incomeimmigration status, nationalitygeographic location, decade and chronotype, among other differences, both socially constructed and biologically essential.

We highlighted how sleep changes in the face of natural disasters, economic crisis, shifting social norms, growing technology dependence and evolving cognitive capabilities

We gave dreams their due, too, with stories on sociologically informativemeaningfulmemorableconfusinginfluential, scary, therapeuticdaytime and lucid dreams.  

I think you get the idea: We covered sleep exhaustively. And now it's time for VW's to hit the sack. But I'm not leaving sleep behind entirely. Starting today, I'll be working at Woolly, a brand-new website, also published by Casper, focused on comfort and wellness. It (almost) goes without saying that sleep is an integral part of getting comfy and being well. So, rest assured, Woolly will feature regular sleep coverage. (Please come visit me at my new editorial home!) 

Seeing Van Winkle's through each stage of its evolution has been a rewarding and exciting experience, due in large part to the many people who worked hard to keep the sleep-journalism machine running. I want to thank the sources who lent us their knowledge, time and perspective, the Van Winkle's staff members and freelancers who filled the site with thoughtfully written and thought-provoking #content, and Casper. 

And, most of all, I'd like to thank our readers. I hope Van Winkle's has helped you understand, appreciate and explore the science and culture of sleep. 

Keep on sleepin' on* 

- Theresa

*I've never been able to use this egregiously cheesy sign-off. This may be my last chance, so I'm taking it.   

Possession – B – Twin Extra Long Sealy Posturepedic

by Weston Huth @ Twin XL – HassleLess Mattress

Mattress Thickness: 14" This mattress is taller than average. Consider purchasing with 5″ boxspring.

Our Leesa Bed Review For 2018 – Should You Buy It?

by Jill Thompson @ The Sleep Advisor

The post Our Leesa Bed Review For 2018 – Should You Buy It? appeared first on The Sleep Advisor.

Gov't Says 'Nah' to Regulating Sleep Apnea Testing, and Other News in Sleep

Gov't Says 'Nah' to Regulating Sleep Apnea Testing, and Other News in Sleep

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

Wireless sleep tests are almost a thing 

Clinical-grade sleep testing, called polysomnography, requires people to spend a night sleeping (or trying to) in a lab, hooked up to all sorts of sensors and monitors. But a team of researchers from MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital have invented a way to track sleep remotely using AI and radio signals. A touch-free device — similar to a wi-fi router — bounces radio waves off a dozing body to detect subtle movements. Then, using machine-learning algorithms, the device analyzes those subtle movements to collect data about the sleeper's breathing rate and sleep stages, among other brain-and-body processes. To test their wireless system, researchers monitored more than 100 nights of sleep in study volunteers. The system tracked sleep patterns with an 80-ish percent accuracy rate — more or less the same as non-wireless sleep tests. [Science

Sleep to learn and unlearn 

In a new study, French psychologists asked study participants to listen to various clips of white noise interspersed with other sounds and identify distinct patterns. Afterwards, participants went to bed and researchers replayed the sound clips during different stages of their slumber. The next morning, participants had to repeat the pattern-identification task. And, compared to the first time, they did a better job picking out patterns in sound clips to which they'd (unknowingly) been exposed during REM sleep. But they forgot previously identified patterns in clips that had been replayed during non-REM sleep. The results aren't fully understood. But they speak to the stage-dependent way sleep influences memory. Just like the patrons of Hotel California, some (sleep neurons) dance to remember; some dance to forget. [Quartz

Moms-to-be with insomnia are more likely to have preemies  

UCSF researchers analyzed medical records from nearly three million births that took place in California between 2007 and 2012. They found that mothers-to-be with insomnia or sleep apnea were twice as likely as women without sleep disorders to deliver more than six weeks before their due dates. The data revealed that insomnia and sleep apnea increased a woman's risk of having a preterm birth by 30 percent and 40 percent, respectively. It's unlikely, according to the lead study author, that lack of sleep would directly cause a woman to deliver early. But it could indirectly contribute to prematurity through various processes. The study was part of a larger initiative UCSF initiative to study prematurity. [Nature]

A house fit for an insomniac 

A renovated house in Melbourne, Australia won an architectural award for sustainability — not because of its solar panels or Green-certified septic system, but because it was "intrinsically shaped" by the chronic, lifelong insomnia of one of its owners. The architect hired to renovate the house describes the challenge of having to balance aesthetic considerations with the insomniac-owner's need for soundproof, dark spaces. [Life Matters

All aboard: Gov't takes a hard pass on making sure train conductors don't have sleep apnea 

Last week, two federal transportation agencies said they were halting efforts to require train engineers and truck drivers to undergo sleep apnea testing. The pursuit of federally mandated screenings for the sleep-breathing disorder had come in the wake of several deadly rail-and-road accidents in which undiagnosed sleep apnea was thought to play a role. 

The agencies now say it should be up to individual transportation companies to decide whether or not to test employees. The agencies' policy reversal has been condemned by the National Transportation Safety Board and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who said he will push the agencies to reconsider their choice to let businesses regulate their policies on this matter. [Associated Press]

Red-eye on the road

So many industry-disrupting startups, so little time: A new service called Cabin is trying to make overnight bus rides (aka 8-hour nausea) a trendy "travel experience." The basic idea is: Why spend two hours sitting on a plane when you can spend all night dozing in a private sleep pod on a double-decker bus? Here's what one reporter, intrigued by the prospect of sleeper buses marketed towards the Angeleno influencer crowd, thought of her Cabin ride from LA to SF. [NPR]

Review of Fox Plush (twin XL, King and Queen)

by James @ extra long air mattress – 3 Beds

If you’re tall guy or gal in need of an extra long twin air mattress, your choices are limited, and the Fox Plush High Rise is probably at the very top. It’s one of the few airbed that comes as an extra long. Luckily it’s also one of the top choices according to its current ...

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Twin Extra Long Dritek Mattress Pad

Twin Extra Long Dritek Mattress Pad

Default Store View

· Advanced fiber material wicks away moisture and enhances evaporation, soyou sleep cooler! · Cooler sleep prevents tossing and turning so you experience deeper rest · Ideal for Tempur, Memory Foam and Latex bedding; enhances heat exchange betweenyou and your mattress for maximum conforming ability · Dri-Tec® Mattress Protector will not change the feel of your mattress! · Sleeps Quiet – Virtually invisible beneath your sheets · Soft and breathable 100% waterproof barrier back protects your mattress againstliquids, spills and stains · Non-allergenic, odorless · Prevents the accumulation of bacteria, dust, dust mites and other allergensin your bed · Certified Class 1 Medical Device · Stretchwall side construction fits mattresses up to 22” deep · 10 Year Full Replacement Warranty on both the mattress and the mattress protectorwhen purchased together · Care Instructions: Machine wash in cold water on gentle cycle. Use non-chlorinebleach only. Tumble dry on low heat. Reposition several times during dryingcycle for even drying.

2 extra long twin beds = 1 king bed

2 extra long twin beds = 1 king bed


We spent approximately $2500 two years ago to purchase what we thought was a quality mattress set. Unfortunately, the body indentations have become extremely uncomfortable. We followed the manufacturers recommendations regarding flipping / turning.After reading various posts on mattresses, I am now...

Wondrous Twin Extra Long – Sealy Posturepedic

by Weston Huth @ Twin XL – HassleLess Mattress

Mattress Thickness: 13"

Is Insomnia Really an Epidemic?

Is Insomnia Really an Epidemic?

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

Just like obesity, suicideZika, loneliness, road rage, opioid addictionmanspreading, peanut allergies, fake news and autism, insomnia is routinely described as an epidemic. Technically, an epidemic "is the rapid spread of infectious disease to a large number of people in a given population within a short period of time, usually two weeks or less." But, per the CDC, "non-infectious diseases such as diabetes and obesity exist in epidemic proportion in the U.S."

We're not too faithful to that definition in casual conversation. At some point, an epidemic became anything from a fatal, quickly spreading disease to whatever undesirable phenomenon ruffles someone's feathers. Is manspreading an epidemic? No, it's rude behavior that's probably been around as long as public transit has, but which recently got a catchy name and, as a result, more acknowledgement. Is autism an epidemic? No. Contrary to the claims of conspiracy-spewing ninnies like our president (and some perfectly nice, misinformed people, I'm sure), there is no evidence of a "tremendous amount of increase" in autism. Diagnostic-guideline changes in the '90s, coupled with increased awareness of the condition, sparked an uptick in the rate of autism diagnoses. But the actual prevalence has either stayed the same increased slightly. 

What about insomnia —Is clinical-grade sleeplessness a 21st-century scourge comparable to, say, obesity? Well, in 2014, the CDC declared insufficient sleep an epidemic, but that's not the same thing as an insomnia epidemic. Insomnia is a sleep disorder marked by frequent difficulty staying or falling asleep, or getting unrefreshing sleep, for at least a month — despite having the opportunity to get enough good sleep. If you're under-slept because of a screaming baby, an addictive Reddit-hole or a night-shift job, then you might be in the same sleep-deprived state as an insomniac, but for different reasons. 

It would be hard to say, with certainty, whether or not the prevalence of insomnia is much higher today than it was in past decades. But the data doesn't suggest that's the case, according to Michael Grandner, the director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona: "There is a general idea that we're all more over-scheduled and stressed than we used to be and we're sleeping a lot less and a lot more poorly, but there really isn't evidence for that." It's worth noting that much of Grandner's research focuses on sleep disparities as a public health problem, so he's surely not in the "quit whining about your sleep deficiency" camp.

We probably are sleeping a little bit less than our parents did, but not by much. "As far as sleep duration is concerned," said Grandner, "there may be a slight decrease in sleep time over the past generation, but honestly, it's probably in the range of 15 minutes or so."

Changes in population-wide sleep quality are harder to measure because of how much our assessments of sleep have changed, said Grandner. "But," he added, "it doesn't seem to be that different when you compare reports from as far back as the 1970s, which is about as far back as good studies on the topic were done, at least as far as I could tell. So we are probably not sleeping much worse."

But something has changed drastically since the early '90s: how we react to bouts of bad rest. In a 2011 paper, published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill analyzed the medicalization of sleeplessness from 1993 to 2007, meaning the "process by which formerly normal biological processes or behaviors come to be described, accepted or treated as medical problems." 

Until 2006, sleep-challenged patients were most likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness.

To do this, researchers used data from a national survey of medical office visits and compared three different measures each year: the number of visits scheduled due to complaints of sleeplessness, the number of visits at which patients received insomnia diagnoses, and the number of visits at which patients got prescriptions for sleep meds. The goal of the study was to see if the number of complaints, diagnoses and Rxs grew proportionally over the 14-year period. In looking at the use of Rxs for rest, researchers included two classes of drugs: fast-acting anti-anxiety benzos like Xanax and Valium and z-drugs like Ambien and Sonata. Ambien, the first z-drug to hit the US market, wasn't available until 1994. So the study covered one year in a pre-Ambien America and 13 years with z-drugs on pharmacy shelves. 

Researchers found that visits for sleep complaints more than doubled between 1993 and 2007, from 2.7 million to 5.7 million. Insomnia diagnoses, by comparison, saw a seven-fold uptick — 840,000 to 6.1 million. But the rise of sleep-aid prescriptions blew them both out of the water, less due to benzos than to the heavily marketed z-drugs, which became the go-to choice for medicating sleep: The number of appointments yielding z-drug prescriptions jumped from 540,000 in 1994 to 16.2 million in 2007, an average of more than one million new prescriptions a year. This staggering growth, said Grandner, has likely leveled off in the years since, although it's hard to measure. 

And while 65-and-over patients are far more vulnerable to aging-related sleep changes, they weren't the ones gobbling up sleep drugs. The young-to-middle-aged adults were. Their complaints, researchers surmised, were probably due to "non-biological issues, including stress, multiple social roles, increased use of technology, or targeted marketing of sleep-inducing drugs." 

So, at a glance: In 1993, sleep complaints far outnumbered both insomnia diagnoses and sleep-med prescriptions. But, by 2007, sleep complaints and insomnia diagnoses were relatively equal. And both were far less common than prescriptions for sleep meds — millions of people who weren't insomniacs started taking drugs for insomnia. If insomnia diagnoses alone had increased, or if diagnoses and prescriptions had increased proportionally, then, researchers wrote, the data might suggest a true increase in the prevalence of insomnia as a stand-alone disease. But, that wasn't what happened.

I think people see sleep disturbances as a nuisance that they would like to medicate away.

A number of overlapping factors explain the data. For instance, awareness of sleep health (which is a good thing) probably factored in to some extent: Doctors increasingly diagnosed insomnia in patients who made appointments about health issues unrelated to their sleep issues. This suggests that sleep became something doctors asked about in relation to other maladies. Also, doctors started to view sleeplessness as a disease in its own right rather than as a symptom of another problem: Until 2006, sleep-challenged patients were most likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness. Then, the scales tipped, and poor sleep became the affliction of insomniacs. Same issue, new name. 

The introduction of z-drugs contributed to the medicalization of sleeplessness. There's nothing wrong with using effective treatments to, well, treat diseases. But, as sleep experts almost uniformly argue, z-drugs are not as effective on a long-term basis as behavioral (non-drug) insomnia therapy. And, Americans' love affair with sleep drugs doesn't necessarily translate to any deeper investment in sleep health. Grandner said he hasn't seen data to support the idea that we've grown more likely to pathologize sleep problems, meaning view them as abnormal enough to qualify as a disease.

"Anecdotally," he said, "I think people see sleep disturbances as a nuisance that they would like to medicate away, like a headache. Not a result of a set of lifestyle choices. So maybe we are more willing to recognize it. I don't know for sure whether we are more likely to take it seriously, though."

This story was originally published in February 2017

The Art of Napping

by Ivanna Tucker @ BedMart Mattress Superstores

Naps. Sometimes you just need one. As a child, afternoon nap time was your least favorite activity. Now as adult, that nap is something you wish could be brought back on a daily basis. It’s okay, you can still nap. Actually, they can help you with everyday productivity. On average, 35.3% of adults report getting […]

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Fondness Twin Extra Long – Sealy Posturepedic

by Weston Huth @ Twin XL – HassleLess Mattress

Mattress Thickness: 11"

What is a warranty?

by justin @ Bed Pros Mattress

Your comfort continues to be important to us. We are happy to facilitate a warranty claim with the manufacturer of your mattress, on your behalf.

Best Soft Mattress for Your Needs

by Candace Osmond @ The Sleep Judge

Gratifying Twin Extra Long – Sealy Posturepedic

by Weston Huth @ Twin XL – HassleLess Mattress

Mattress Thickness: 12"

Is a Sense of Purpose the Way to Solid Sleep?

Is a Sense of Purpose the Way to Solid Sleep?

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

In my experience, it's easier to get up in the morning when you feel like your life has purpose. And, according to a new study, a purpose-filled life also makes it easier to fall (and stay) asleep at night. Neurologists at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine explored the relationship between purpose in life and sleep issues in older adults. More meaningful, goal-oriented lives, researchers found, were associated with better sleep quality and lower risk for two sleep-related disorders, sleep apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS).

Psychologists make careers out of defining and measuring unwieldy feelings and concepts. The squishy notion of "purpose in life," for instance, is defined as "a sense of meaning and directedness in their life, essentially having aspirations and goals for the future and feeling that experiences in life are meaningful." And, in past research, purpose in life has emerged as a protective factor against various diseases and health snafus, including cardiac disease, depression, early death and, of course, shuteye troubles. 

The association between living a non-hollow existence and logging top-notch Zzzs has been the focus of a few different studies. And, in general, fulfilling lives and restful nights appear to go together. In one 2004 study, for instance, older women whose lives were brimming with purpose exhibited less body movement at night, suggesting high sleep quality. And another study, in which researchers tackled the purpose-sleep issue from the other direction, reported a link between lower levels of purpose and unhealthy sleep duration (meaning either too much or too little sleep). Those were both cross-sectional studies, meaning they examined the relationship between two factors at a single moment in time. But in a 2010 longitudinal study — meaning a study based on data collected on the same people repeatedly over time — those who reported higher levels of purpose at the outset of the study were least likely to experience disrupted sleep later on. So, the purpose-sleep link has held up across different types of research.

Authors of the current study sought to build on the sleep-and-purpose literature by examining both overall sleep quality and sleep disorders that are especially common in older people. The study involved 800 participants, 60-99 years old, who were recruited from Chicago-area senior living facilities. Because studies have found a higher incidence of disturbed sleep, as well as greater susceptibility to sleep-disordered breathing, in black Americans (compared to white ones), researchers intentionally recruited both (and only) black and white participants. But the results didn't show any race-based differences. 

Participants filled out questionnaires on sleep, sleep disorder symptoms and life purpose at the outset of the study. For the life-purpose questionnaire, participants had to determine the extent to which they agreed with statements such as "I feel good when I think of what I’ve done in the past and what I hope to do in the future” and “some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them.” 

Researchers also followed up with patients one, two and three years after the study began to track any changes in sleep. Overall, higher levels of purpose predicted better sleep quality, both at the outset and one year later. High-purpose participants were also less likely to develop sleep apnea, as well as report RLS and sleep apnea symptoms, one and two years later.  

The findings could be interpreted in two ways, researchers wrote. First, it's possible that people with purpose-filled lives reported better, less disordered sleep because people who lead purpose-filled lives also lead happier, less disease-ridden ones. Less disease --> fewer sleep complaints. Alternatively, people who live for something meaningful might be more likely to make healthy lifestyle choices and engage in good-for-you behaviors, such as exercise, regular medical visits and relaxing recreational activities. In turn, these healthy behaviors might lead to a lower risk of developing sleep apnea and RLS. 

I Sleep Best When I Run at Night

I Sleep Best When I Run at Night

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

Growing up, Sundays were for soccer. I wasn't a phenomenal player. I barely cared if my team won or lost. But I loved the game and looked forward to the 60 minutes I spent on the field each week — unless the schedule called for a morning game.

Like many people, I became a night owl when I became a teenager. And, once my circadian rhythms shifted, I began each day in an impenetrable fog. Soccer was a particularly punishing morning activity because it was my body, rather than my mind, that really succumbed to the AM sluggishness. I felt woozy and weak when I tried to exercise and even stepped off the soccer field to dry heave during a few early-morning games. (A charming sight for spectators, I'm sure.) Afternoon athletic endeavors were a different story: Around 1pm or so, my body woke up. 

Today, more than a decade later, I'm still a night owl. And morning exercise is still torture. So I've come to embrace nighttime workouts. Some people argue that it's best to avoid exercising late in the day because it interferes with sleep. But, while I don't doubt that there are benefits to breaking a sweat before breakfast, I've decided that exercising at night — running, specifically — is the right choice for me. What are my other options?

For the sake of calming down my mind and tiring out my body, I need to hit the pavement a few times a week.

I could force myself to endure tedious morning jogs. But I'd run twice as slowly, and for half as long, as I do at night. And running would become an activity I dread, rather than something I relish. I could also slack off and not exercise at all. But, putting aside the many other reasons to stay active, I've found that, when I sit around all day, every day, I don't sleep at night. So, for the sake of calming down my mind and tiring out my body, I need to hit the pavement a few times a week. 

That's not to say that after-work workouts never leave me feeling more stimulated than I'd like. Sometimes I do, admittedly, find it hard to wind down after I work out in the evening. But I do wind down eventually. When I skip exercise altogether, on the other hand, I feel sleepy during the day but anxious and restless come bedtime. Overall, not exercising screws up my sleep more than exercising near bedtime does.

The research on sleep and exercise is somewhat murky. My "ain't nothing wrong with a moonlit jog" philosophy may not bear out in every study on lying down and moving around, but it's as scientifically sound as most other positions on the best and worst times of day to work out. Consider a 2013 poll of 1000 people, conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, which found that people who exercised, at any any hour of the day, were between 56 and 67 percent more likely than non-exercisers to say they usually slept well. Poll participants were split into four groups based on how frequently they exercised, as Women's Health reported. And the highest-frequency group (vigorous exercisers) were least likely to report sleep issues; 72 percent of them reported never having symptoms of insomnia. 

And a recent meta-analysis (i.e., a study of studies) of the sleep-exercise relationship suggested that both sunrise and sunset exercise improve sleep, but in slightly different ways. As I reported in May

In one study, researchers looked at various sleep and physiological measures (e.g., melatonin levels, rectal temperature and EEG activity) and determined that exercising early in the day improves the quality of nighttime sleep. But, in another study, exercising 90 minutes before bedtime was associated with increased deep sleep. And a third study found that, regardless of the time of day, resistance training improved sleep quality: Morning training reduced the amount of time it took for participants to fall asleep (a good thing), whereas nighttime training reduced the number of times participants woke up after they fell asleep (also a good thing). In summary? Don't be afraid of working out after work.

I don't need studies to endorse evening jogs in order for me to feel okay about lacing up my sneakers after work. Because, while I absolutely trust science, I also know that there's no fixed formula for getting shuteye. Morning exercise has made me miserable since I was in middle school. And I've been enjoying, and falling asleep after, nighttime runs for the better part of a decade.

But I'm not swearing off morning exercise for the rest of my life. Chronotype (i.e., night owl or morning lark) can change several times over the course of a lifetime. I haven't shed my night owl rhythms yet. But, as I get older, my sleep-and-wake times will most likely shift earlier. It's possible that, at some point, I will naturally wake up with energy to burn. And that would be a welcome change. I'd love to squeeze in a run before work and have free time at night to do whatever I want. If anything, I envy people who start their days with 6am sweat sessions. But, for as long as my circadian clock runs late, I'll keep hitting the pavement in the PM. 

Cold Foam Mattress Reviews

by Mogran.B @ Top XL Twin Mattress

The market for foam mattresses is huge, but there are many things on which one should look for when buying.…

7 Things to Know About the Sleep-Exercise Connection

7 Things to Know About the Sleep-Exercise Connection

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

Exercise and sleep are two vital parts of a healthy lifestyle. In general, we know that working up a sweat and getting rest go hand-in-hand: Healthy sleep patterns often predict higher levels of activity. And, more and more, athletes and other people whose lives revolve around being in shape are making rest a priority. But, as a new review paper makes clear, the relationship between these two good-for-you behaviors isn't that straightforward. 

Researchers from UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine and the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System poured over sleep-and-exercise studies published between 2013 and 2017. Based on their analysis of 34 studies — including public health surveys and experimental research — they found that the degree to which exercise predicted better sleep depended on factors including the type of exercise in question, the reason for exercising and the age of participants. In other words, sleep and exercise do influence each other, but not always in a predictable or consistent way. Here are seven takeaways from the paper to help you understand how moving your body today could help you sleep like a champ tonight. 

Sleep comes to those who exercise for pleasure

It's important to examine not only how much you exercise but also why you do it. In one study, participants who got the best sleep reported getting (a lot of) exercise from leisure activities. People who were active for other reasons, e.g., due to occupational demands, reported worse sleep, as did people who didn't exercise at all. So, even if your job already keeps you on your feet, it's still worth your while to carve out time for exercise you enjoy. 

Timing is secondary

No sleep-and-exercise discussion is complete without dipping back into the time-of-day debate. The big question is: Does working out at night leave you too overstimulated to get solid rest? And if it does, is it better to exercise at night or skip it all together? We don't have any definitive answers yet, but the review paper suggests that sunrise and sunset exercise both improve sleep — just in slightly different ways.

In one study, researchers looked at various sleep and physiological measures (e.g., melatonin levels, rectal temperature and EEG activity) and determined that exercising early in the day improves the quality of nighttime sleep. But, in another study, exercising 90 minutes before bedtime was associated with increased deep sleep. And a third study found that, regardless of the time of day, resistance training improved sleep quality: Morning training reduced the amount of time it took for participants to fall asleep (a good thing), whereas nighttime training reduced the number of times participants woke up after they fell asleep (also a good thing). In summary? Don't be afraid of working out after work. 

Lie yourself to sleep

Maybe you're not running six-minute miles or toning your core like an instagram fitness model. But, regardless of what you're actually doing in the gym, believing that you're pushing your body to its limits could help you fall into a deeper sleep than usual. In the same study that said it's cool to get sweaty 90 minutes before bed, participants who perceived their workouts as being really hard exhibited increased deep sleep. Participants who reported lower levels of self-perceived exertion did not get the same deep-sleep upgrade. Sleeping is believing. 

Get fit, get sleep 

Exercise probably improves sleep for a number of reasons — the biological mechanisms underlying the relationship aren't fully understood yet. But the literature suggests that working out is beneficial to sleep in large part because it enhances fitness and protects against metabolic disease. For one thing, the link between exercise and sleep bears out more consistently for regular exercise than one-time workouts. This suggests that the longer-term health effects of exercise are the driving factor behind resulting sleep changes. Exercise also appears to affect sleep the most for people who aren't in great shape. In one study, participants had to complete a 15-week exercise regimen. The only participants who exhibited markedly changed sleep patterns were those who'd been classified as overweight or obese at the outset of the study and shed weight during it. 

If you're already in great shape, more exercise probably won't help you sleep

(Take a closer look at your diet instead.) Athletes aren't immune to sleep problems. But they're less likely than other people to reap the rest-enhancing benefits of exercise. This is probably because they're already working out at maximum capacity. If the uber-fit can't sleep because, let's say, they're dealing with performance anxiety or jet lag from non-stop travel, ramping up their training schedule probably isn't the answer. Instead, poorly slept athletes could try changing their diets by increasing their protein intake, avoiding high-fat foods and eating tryptophan-rich foods like pumpkin seeds. 

Exercise might make the biggest difference for older people 

Exercise doesn't have the same impact on sleep for young and middle-aged adults as it does for mature adults. Studies on older adults have linked both routine exercise regimens and single, intense workout sessions to improved sleep. Age and sex, researchers surmise, changes the way exercise and sleep interact. 

The mind matters, too

Yes, physical fitness is a big factor in the exercise-sleep link. But the mental effects of exercise also seem to play a role. In one study on older adults, both intense aerobic exercise and mind-body exercise (yoga, Tai Chi) lead to improved objective sleep, as measured by actigraphy trackers (e.g., fitbit). But participants in the mind-body group reported significant improvements in sleep, mood and mental health. The aerobic exercisers didn't. The emphasis on relaxation and emotional regulation in mind-body exercise might make it especially useful for people whose sleep issues are rooted in anxiety. And combining mind-body, aerobic and strength training might make exercise a particularly effective weapon against poor sleep. 

How to Choose Your Ideal Sheets

by kayla @ Mattress Depot USA

The surprising way your bedding can boost your sleep Your bedding doesn’t just help pull your room together aesthetically; it can also impact your sleep. And here’s the good news: You don’t need to spend a fortune to get quality sheets. Not sure what to shop for? These four rules will help you find and […]

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How to Go to Bed Earlier

by kayla @ Mattress Depot USA

Sleep, sweet sleep. We all say it “oh I am going to bed early tonight,” but do we actually make that commitment? It can often feel like no matter what you do, you just can’t get enough of it to wake up feeling refreshed. What can you do about it? Many times, the answer is […]

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TOP 3 most durable, heavy duty air mattresses – 2018 update

by James @ 3 Beds

It’s been two months since the last update to the guide of the most durable air mattresses and not much has changed in the ratings and consequently, the ranking of the TOP 3 of the category – the SimplySleeper SS – 58RF is still “king of the hill” among the heavy duty air mattresses (has been for ...

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Scientists Discovered Sleep in Jellyfish

Scientists Discovered Sleep in Jellyfish

by Sophie Yeo @ Van Winkle's

To some, Cassiopea jellyfish may appear constantly sleepy. They rarely swim, instead opting to lie on their backs on the seabed and gently pulse. But it hasn't been clear whether or not these "upside-down" jellyfish actually sleep — until now. A group of scientists from California recently made the surprising discovery that the listless creatures really do sleep at night. And, if they don't get enough sleep, they become groggy and sluggish the next day.

The findings are significant. They prove, for the first time, that animals without brains need sleep. The study, published in the journal Current Biology, reveals new possibilities about sleep’s evolutionary origins.

“We went for the simplest animal that we thought might sleep," said study co-author Ravi Nath, a graduate student at Caltech. "Going to jellyfish, we pushed this back to the root of sleep. It shows sleep must be rooted in an ancient and important function.” 

Academics have long been intrigued about which animals need to sleep. In some creatures, like humans and cats, the signs of sleep are unmistakeable. But as animals become more primitive, the necessity of sleep becomes more of a puzzle.

Scientists often study sleep in invertebrate fruit flies, and have found evidence that roundworms sleep, too. But these simple animals are still an evolutionary level above jellyfish, which have a "nerve net" of neurons spread around the body rather than a centralized nervous system.

“Humans and jellyfish are almost as distant evolutionarily as you can go," said co-author Claire Bedbrook, a graduate student at Caltech. "This really emphasizes how important the sleep state is, and gets you thinking about why something as simple as a jellyfish would even require sleep."   

Scientists from Australia had previously shown that deadly box jellyfish exhibit certain signs of sleep. But no one had demonstrated that jellyfish could fall into a full slumber. 

Biologically, sleep is a carefully defined term. To prove that the jellyfish were actually asleep — rather than simply tired or comatose — the scientists had to carry out a number of experiments.

First, they measured how frequently the jellyfish pulsed at night, compared to during the daytime. After analyzing their tank of 23 jellyfish for six days, they discovered that the pulse rate declined by around 32% at night.

Then, researchers had to find out if the jellyfish could be woken up easily — to prove they were experiencing sleep rather than paralysis or coma — which the researchers achieved by sprinkling a little food into their tanks.

Another element of the sleep test was finding out if the jellyfish became less responsive at night. 

They did this by measuring how long it took the sleepy jellyfish to move to the bottom of the tank, their favorite spot, at night compared to during the day. And, just like humans, the jellies were sluggish after being woken up. But they recovered quickly when scientists made them do the same task a second time.

The final task was to figure out whether the spineless study specimens displayed evidence of sleep deprivation. In what was surely a brutal night for the jellyfish, the researchers squirted them with water for ten seconds every 20 minutes. And, the next day, the sleep-deprived jellies were lethargic and inactive.

So what can we understand from a tank of sleepy jellyfish? Their behavior suggests that, at its essence, sleep might be a more basic process than scientists had previously realized. It's possible that the complex functions achieved by our eight hours in bed are merely the window dressing on a simple biological requirement.

“If sleep is found in such a basic and simple animal, it's likely the original function of sleep is also basic and simple," said Nath. "That means that the complicated sleep [features], like memory [consolidation] and sleep stages, were added on as decoration later on, as sleeping evolved." 

“It is pretty surprising that something as seemingly simple as a jellyfish has a sleep-like state,” said Dion Dickman, an assistant professor at the University of Southern California, who wasn’t involved in the study, but who researches sleep in flies.

The study, Dickman explained, supports the idea that sleep may have originally emerged as something distinct from the vital process for memory and learning that it's become in higher-order organisms. 

Introducing Twin Xl Comforter

by Mogran.B @ Top XL Twin Mattress

Twin Xl Comforters What are They ? Twin Xl Comforter Features The bedding sets sold today can be found in…

Most comfortable air mattress – Jan ’18 update

by James @ 3 Beds

Most comfortable air mattress – SoundAsleep Dream Series We first published the guide on the most comfortable air mattress in April 2016 which means this is the 18th update and this one brings a shift after a 6 months “silence”. It’s the first time we are seeing the Lazery Sleep brand among the top-rated inflatable ...

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Best Yoga Poses for Sleep

by kayla @ Mattress Depot USA

Learn to counter stress and other sleep disruptors with these moves. You know that glorious restfulness and peace that you experience at the end of a yoga class, when you relax while lying on your back? Ahhhhhh. Now that’s bliss. While you probably can’t attend a formal yoga class every evening, you can do a few moves […]

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Did Owls and Larks Evolve Because Sleeping in Shifts Promoted Survival?

Did Owls and Larks Evolve Because Sleeping in Shifts Promoted Survival?

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

In a recent study, anthropologists at the University of Toronto and the University of Nevada monitored sleep in a modern-day hunter-gatherer tribe and found that, no matter the time of night, some portion of the tribe was always awake.

The study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, marks the first time that researchers have tested out the sentinel hypothesis in humans. The gist of the hypothesis is that, in dangerous situations, a group of people (or animals) only goes to sleep if sentinels (watchdogs) take turns staying vigilant. The hypothesis explains variations in chronotype (larks and owls) as a mechanism that evolved to allow early humans, who slept in groups, to fall into a deep, defenseless sleep without making themselves too vulnerable to environmental threats. 

The psychologist Frederick Snyder floated the sentinel hypothesis back in 1966 to explain group-sleeping behavior in humans and other species. There are plenty of situations in which people are required to stay up for part of the night so that the rest of their group can safely grab shuteye. In the military, for instance, troops take turns with nighttime guard duty. But the sentinel hypothesis doesn't suggest that a group of sleepers actively appoints sentinels. Rather, the idea is that natural variations in sleep-wake timing, as well as the occurrence of nighttime awakenings and periods of light sleep, function as adaptations to "increase group-level vigilance and survivability as a way to counter outside threats." Someone is always alert enough to detect danger. And "alert enough" could either mean being fully awake or being in a light, easily disturbed state of sleep.

In the current study, researchers wanted to investigate the sentinel hypothesis in humans. Since pills, screens and alarm clocks have changed how and when the Western world dozes, researchers sought out people whose sleep behavior remains untouched by technology and other modern-day conventions, such as the 9-5 workday. They zeroed in on the Hadza hunter-gatherers of Northern Tanzania, whose non-industrialized lifestyle is as close to that of ancestral humans as it gets in 2017: no artificial light, storebought food or EOD deadlines.

For nearly the whole time it was dark outside, at least some people were always awake.

Researchers predicted that "only rarely will all individuals in a group be identified as asleep during night-time periods." To conduct the study, researchers outfitted 33 Hadza participants with actigraphy watches (e.g., fitbits). Actigraphy isn't the most reliable method of collecting sleep data because it assesses sleep and wakefulness based on movement. As a result, someone who is lying awake, but motionless, might register as asleep, while a fitful dreamer might be deemed awake. Even so, misinterpreted wakefulness would most likely reflect a light sleep stage marked by partial responsiveness to sounds, sights and smells in the environment. 

At any given minute-long interval during the night, researchers found, about 60 percent of the Hadza were asleep while 40 percent were either awake or close enough. Researchers also identified a 12-hour-long "group sleep time," which is the amount of time between the first person falling asleep at night and the last person waking up in the morning. The group slept for about twice as long as individual members did. This means that, for nearly the whole time it was dark outside, some people were always awake.

Chronotype varied across the Hadza, but only one variable predicted sleep timing: age, specifically old age. Based on this finding, researchers came up with the "poorly sleeping grandparent hypothesis" as an alternative explanation for the sleep changes that people undergo later in life. It's possible, they argue, that we've jumped to the conclusion that older people who find themselves sleeping less, and on an earlier schedule, have sleep disorders requiring treatment. Maybe they're just "wakeful grandparents" carrying out their evolutionary mandate to work the sentinel shift. 

Maybe "wakeful grandparents" are just carrying out their evolutionary mandate to work the night shift.

Overall, researchers found that variations in chronotype and periodic awakenings spared the Hadza from needing to implement any formal sentinel system. Animal behavior studies have widely reported an inverse relationship between group size and vigilance. And research has shown that smaller groups of hunger-gatherers actively rotate sentinels. These insights, taken together, suggested to researchers that natural sentinel-like behavior may only occur in groups of a certain size.  

Based on the findings, researchers wrote, it would be worth exploring the possibility of an optimal group size and age-mix for naturally occurring sentinel behavior: If a group is too homogenous in age, or too small, then chronotype might not vary enough to support sentinels all night long. And, in small groups, people might be too anxious about surviving through the night to let themselves fall into a non-vigilant sleep state. This is consistent with the "First Night Effect," a protective mechanism wherein only half of your brain fully powers down on the first night of vacation. Once your brain accepts that your Ramada Inn suite is a safe space, then you're able to enjoy whole-brain shuteye.

It's easy to build on this study because it's relatively original. In the future, researchers could use more sophisticated tools and methods, such as a combination of EEG analysis and artificially controlled levels of threat, to take a more in-depth look at the relationship between threat detection and sentinel-like behavior. But, it's worth noting, evolutionary theories can be controversial. So, expect this study to generate a lively debate (in the sleep world, at least). 

The 6 Best Rated Hybrid Beds – 2018 Reviews & Comparisons

by Mark Reddick @ The Sleep Advisor

The post The 6 Best Rated Hybrid Beds – 2018 Reviews & Comparisons appeared first on The Sleep Advisor.

Why You're Most Likely to Take Risks When You're Only a Little Bit Tired

Why You're Most Likely to Take Risks When You're Only a Little Bit Tired

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

If you're trying to curb a gambling habit, then you should stay away from casinos when you're moderately tired. It will be easier to pass by the blackjack tables, emerging research suggests, when you're either wide awake or exhausted. Why? Well, when you're just a little bit tired, you're low enough on self-control, but still have the oomph you need, to follow through on risky urges. 

Severe sleep loss has been associated with risky behavior, such as drug use, unsafe sex and doing the cinnamon challenge. This phenomenon is thought to be rooted, at least partially, in two brain changes: 1) increased activity in the amygdala, a tiny almond-shaped structure that fires up in response to emotionally arousing cues in the environment, and 2) reduced connectivity between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex, the brain's center for rational thought. Typically, the prefrontal cortex regulates amygdala activity, thereby tempering emotional reactions. But, in the sleep-deprived brain, the amygdala is hyperactive and unrestrained. As a result, people are more sensitive to siren calls and less able to control their impulses.  

But engaging in risky behavior may take more than being in an emotionally volatile and impulsive state. In some cases, taking risks takes effort. And, in an upcoming study from Iowa State University, effort emerged as a key factor in the sleep-risk equation.

Researchers, who presented their work at the 2017 SLEEP conference in June, chose to look at the relationship between risk-taking and sleepiness, which is a measure of your current propensity to fall asleep. Your level of sleepiness, at any given time of day, reflects sleep-wake factors other than how long you've been awake. Circadian rhythms also come into play. "For most people there is an increase in sleepiness in the afternoon, often colloquially referred to as the "post-lunch dip," study co-author Garrett Hisler told Van Winkle's

The study involved 130 college students who assessed their levels of sleepiness immediately before performing a computerized task, called the BART. It's one of a few tools psychologists use to study impulsivity and risk-taking. And, in previous research, BART performance has accurately predicted real-life behavior related to gambling, drug and cigarette use, car crashes, unprotected sex and stealing.

The BART works like this: Participants earn real money by pumping (virtual) balloons. Each round, participants can choose to pump one balloon between 1 and 64 times, earning more money with each pump. But, the balloons will burst at some point before the 64th pump, and participants don't know when. If balloons burst while participants are still pumping, they lose all their money from that round. If they move on to the next round before their balloons burst, they keep their earnings.

In other risk-taking situations, such as staying put when the fire alarm sounds or saying yes to unprotected sex, you can flirt with danger with relatively little effort.

BART has predicted all sorts of risky behavior. But the task of pumping a balloon to obtain money most closely resembles real-life risky activities that are effortful, such as playing blackjack or using slot machines. Both of these, Hisler said, involve "taking a risk to acquire a (usually small) reward and repeatedly putting effort into continuing to gamble to obtain more reward."

In other risk-taking situations, such as staying put when the fire alarm sounds or saying yes to unprotected sex, you can flirt with danger without expending much effort.

Hisler and his team proposed two hypotheses for how sleepiness would affect risk-taking on the BART. Based on a slim and inconsistent body of previous research, they first predicted that sleepier participants would take more risks. Alternatively, they floated the possibility of a curvilnear pattern, meaning that moderately sleepy participants would take more risks than participants who were either peppy or exhausted. The idea here is that, when people start to feel tired enough to fall asleep, they "disengage from pursuing rewards in the environment." 

And that's what happened. Moderately sleepy participants spent more time on the BART, pumping and exploding more balloons. And, in this case, more time amounted to higher earnings. (Gambling doesn't always work out like that in real life, of course.) Researchers took into account other factors that might influence the risk-sleep relationship, including chronotype, time of day and propensity towards sensation-seeking. But, moderate sleepiness predicted risk-taking regardless.

While the study results make sense theoretically, this is actually the first study, to the authors' knowledge, to report a curvilinear relationship between sleepiness and risk-taking. But the idea that very sleepy people shy away from effortful risks is supported by other ongoing research: Researchers at Wayne University and Henry Ford Hospital are in the process of writing up a study on night-shift workers, who, on account of their wonky schedules, may keep hours that don't match their body clocks. This is called circadian misalignment, and it's likely to be correlated with sleepiness. 

In this study, researchers found that, the sleepier participants were before beginning a risk-taking task (not the BART), the less likely they were to take risks. And, when very sleepy participants did take risks, they were less likely to succeed than their alert counterparts. The findings, according to study co-author Philip Cheng, "add to the literature that sleepiness does not always increase risk taking, but does impact how effective individuals are achieving success through their risk behaviors."

Both studies challenge the notion that sleepiness and risk-taking are associated in a uniform way. Cheng says his team will keep studying cognitive processes affected by shift-work-related circadian misalignment. "One avenue of continued research," Cheng said, "would be to see if manipulating circadian phase (e.g., improving circadian misalignment) would also show improvements in the success rate of risk-taking."

Hisler's team doesn't have any immediate plans to expand their risk-taking study, due to commitments to other projects. But, if they did explore the issue further, Hisler said, they'd try to replicate the findings to make sure they weren't a statistical fluke. Additionally, Hisler said he'd want to see if the same trend would emerge for less effortful risky behavior.

But, as it stands, the study already has real-world applications. Based on the findings, it would make sense to consider sleepiness as a factor in efforts to curb risky behavior, such as addiction therapy or initiatives to promote safe sex among teens. "Times or situations in which individuals are likely to be moderately sleepy (e.g., when the time-of-day does not match chronotype)," study authors wrote, "may be indicators of when individuals are the most likely to engage in pursuit of risky rewards or cave to appetitive impulses." 

In other words? You may be more likely to take risks, and succeed at them, during your afternoon slump than after pulling an all-nighter. 

"I'm not sure what kind of risky behaviors are most likely to occur during the middle of the day," said Hisler. "Perhaps more social risks such as lying or stealing office supplies may be more relevant in the afternoon." 

Guard those Post-it notes.

Top 5 Serta Adjustable Mattresses

by Star Newcomb @ The Sleep Judge

Keep it Cool: Sleep Tips for Summertime

by Katie Hamlin @ BedMart Mattress Superstores

With the summertime sunshine, comes the hot and often sleepless nights. At BedMart, you can enjoy summer and sleep cool. Keep it cool this summer and enjoy a restful night’s sleep always with BedMart’s sleep tips and tricks for summertime    1. Hydrate 8 glasses of water a day is not only beneficial for your […]

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Nothing Else Mattress in Vancouver

by Nothing Really Mattress @ Nothing Really Mattress

It was moving day in Strathcona Regional District, near Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. But someone couldn’t move everything they owned. Nor, apparently, could they bother to take it to a proper disposal site. Instead, they decided to leave it (as well as it’s twin, in the background, as well as other unwanted belongings) in...

Nope, Sleep Restriction Isn't New

Nope, Sleep Restriction Isn't New

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

This week, my sleep-news feed has tipped me off to a “new type of sleep therapy” that says, per CBS Philly, “if you want to sleep more, try sleeping less." The counterintuitive therapy in question, called sleep restriction therapy, is indeed an effective way to combat insomnia — but it’s not new.

The renowned sleep researcher Arthur Spielman formally introduced sleep restriction therapy in 1987. It's performed well in many clinical trials and become a core component — as well as one of the most controversial components — of CBTi, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia. CBTi is a goal-oriented, drug-free approach to treating insomnia that surfaced in the ‘60s and has been recommended by very important medical authorities as a first-line defense against against clinical-grade sleeplessness.

Sleep restriction therapy is intended for people with middle-of-the-night insomnia who spend a lot more time in bed than they spend sleeping. The therapy, which tends to be grueling at first, requires you to, as the name implies, restrict the amount of time you spend in bed. So, let’s say you typically turn in at 11pm and get up at 8:00am, but only get six hours of sleep. Per sleep restriction therapy, you’d either wake up earlier or go to bed earlier so that you're only spending six hours in bed, total. 

Within a week or so, you should start to experience fewer, shorter late-night awakenings. And once the awakenings are under control, you can start to extend the amount of time you spend in bed by weekly increments of 15-30 minutes, so long as the awakenings remain at bay. The goal is to get your sleep efficiency (time spent in bed divided by time spent sleeping) to 85 percent. You should expect to practice sleep restriction for a few weeks, until you’ve worked your way back up to spending a full eight-ish hours in bed and being asleep (almost) the whole time. 

5 Ways to Keep Cool This Summer

by Katie Hamlin @ BedMart Mattress Superstores

Sleep great and keep cool with BedMart’s Bed Smart tips to keep cool all summer long!

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The Longer Immigrants Live in America, the More Their Sleep Suffers

The Longer Immigrants Live in America, the More Their Sleep Suffers

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

Foreign-born US residents, with the exception of those born in Africa, are more likely to get a healthy amount of sleep than residents born in the States, according to a new public-health analysis. Researchers from the New York University School of Medicine and the University of Illinois looked at 10 years of nationwide data and found a relationship between birthplace and sleep duration. The study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  

Previous research has revealed sleep disparities across racial and ethnic groups. But there's a lot to learn about the way race/ethnicity and immigrant status interact. How does being born inside or outside the US statistically affect sleep (statistically) for people who are, for instance, European, Korean or Mexican? The current study authors sought to dive deeper into the impact of birthplace on sleep duration. To do this, they used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), a yearly CDC survey conducted through face-to-face interviews. The NHIS covers a wide range of health issues, including sleep duration, which is assessed through the question: "On average, how many hours of sleep do you get in a 24-h period?”

Participants who reported the healthiest sleep duration are part of immigrant groups that tend to live in "homogenous ethnic enclaves" after moving to the US.

The study took into account survey responses from 415,678 adults who participated in the NHIS between 2003 and 2013. About 16 percent of all participants were born outside the US, hailing from SE Asia, Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, Europe, South America and, collectively, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Islands. And, compared to those born in the US, they were more likely to be younger, be less educated and earn poverty-level incomes. They were also 19 percent more likely to get a healthy amount of sleep, defined as 7-8 hours a night — but the specific country of birth made a difference.

Participants born in Asia and on the Indian Subcontinent were most likely to report healthy sleep duration. Mexican-born participants were also slightly more likely (than US-born participants) to hit the sleep-duration sweetspot. Those born in Africa, however, did not report the same healthy sleep habits, and were significantly more likely to get too much or too little shuteye. Additionally, researchers found that living in the US for longer periods of time corresponded to less-healthy sleep across all foreign-born participants. 

The results of this study are somewhat consistent with trends reported in previous work. Michael Grandner, a psychologist at the University of Arizona who studies the relationship between sleep patterns and health, has found in his own large-scale analyses that, while low-income minorities overall tend to sleep poorly, low-income immigrants sleep pretty well. He calls it the "immigrant effect." And, across public health research generally, becoming an American tends to mean becoming less healthy. As Grandner told me last year:

We know that the more Americanized you get, the more unhealthy you become. It's something we see over and over. We start exporting culture around the world and all of the sudden, people start getting fat and having more diabetes and heart disease. There are benefits to the typical American culture, but one downside is that our culture is not very healthy.

The negative health impact of Americanization may help explain the results of this study: Participants who reported the healthiest sleep duration (those born in Mexico, India and Southeast Asia) are part of immigrant groups that tend to live in "homogenous ethnic enclaves" after moving to the US. This behavior may protect them against the poor health outcomes associated with American acculturation. Researchers, however, noted that they didn't specifically explore how the stress of acculturation affects sleep in foreign-born participants. But it's a worthwhile issue to take up in the future.

There's evidence that genetic ancestry influences circadian rhythms.

Study authors also considered how circadian differences, rooted in both biology and environment, might explain the results. There's evidence, they explained, that genetic ancestry influences circadian rhythms. In a few studies, for instance, people of African ancestry have exhibited shortened circadian cycles. This would manifest in earlier bed and wake times, as well as a decreased ability to adjust to seasonal periods of low light exposure and nighttime shift-work. "We argue that since Blacks on average tend to work longer days and are more likely to be nighttime shift-workers/forced night owls, they are therefore more likely to suffer from circadian misalignment which in turn affects their total sleep time," study authors wrote. 

Environmental circadian factors may also play a role in the healthy sleep duration reported by foreign-born participants from regions near the equator. As a result of exposure to high levels of sunlight, researchers explained, their circadian rhythms would be closely synched to daily dark-and-light cycles. This might make them resilient to the sleep-related effects of moving to the US.

But it's also worth mentioning the possibility of flawed data affecting the findings. A lot of sleep-health studies are based on self-report, meaning that participants rate how much and how well they sleep. In a formal research environments, Grandner suggested, foreign-born residents may feel pressure not to complain, and thus be less likely to rate their sleep as poor. The current study authors brought up the same issue, writing that "...foreign-born respondents may think it is more socially desirable to report more or less sleep duration and we were not able to adjust for these effects.

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Kids/toddler air mattress and travel beds |Top 3 (Shrunks, Aerobed, Intex) | Jan 2018 update

by James @ 3 Beds

Since we first started the category of toddler air mattresses (14 months ago) three beds have been dominating: Shrunks toddler inflatable travel bed The Aerobed air mattress The Intex toddler airbed with side bumpers and a hand pump. There are very few categories on the website that have been as rigid as this one. Seven ...

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Why Aren't Pets Part of the Co-Sleeping Conversation?

Why Aren't Pets Part of the Co-Sleeping Conversation?

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

Co-sleeping is an extensively studied practice and a hot-button topic in the sleep world. But the term isn't always clearly defined. Co-sleeping can refer to bed-sharing between two adult partners or, as is most often the case, between parents and young children. In fact, co-sleeping may even be broader than bed-sharing: Some researchers have stipulated that parent-child co-sleeping occurs whenever a parent and child are "in close enough proximity to exchange at least two sensory stimuli, such as touch, smell, movement, sight and/or sound."

Different definitions of co-sleeping, however, are consistent in at least one way: They imply that co-sleeping is a humans-only activity. And that's a problem, according to psychologists at Central Queensland University, who made their case in a new review paper published in the journal Human Nature.

Humans have shared their sleeping quarters with animals for a few centuries, at least. And, today, roughly half of people who own pets let them in their beds. So it's time, the Central Queensland team says, to recognize that falling asleep with a puppy in your arms counts as co-sleeping — and to buckle down on studying the topic. "Given that sleep accounts for a large portion of human and animal life, and that interspecies co-sleeping impacts humans, animals, interpersonal relations, and interspecies relations," researchers wrote, "there is an urgent need for researchers to truly contemplate “who’s been sleeping in your bed?”'

To emphasize how naturally human-and-animal co-sleeping fits into the larger co-sleeping conversation, researchers used the same overarching factors that drive parent-child co-sleeping decisions to evaluate the debate over curling up with pets. It's not a perfect fit — SIDS and fur-covered-pillows are hardly comparable risks. But, there are similarities between the motivations for, and potential concerns about, co-sleeping with children and animals.

Social sleep and three-dog nights

In Western, industrialized nations, the prevailing view on parent-child co-sleeping is: Don't do it. But, in many non-Western societies, co-sleeping is the norm. And it was the norm in Europe leading up to the Industrial Revolution. Before Victorian austerity, urban over-crowding, artificial light and disposable wealth entered the picture, children learned to sleep alongside their parents, siblings, extended family members and even house guests. The rise of Industrialization subsequently coincided with the fall of "social sleep."And, with time, co-sleeping went from the presumed nocturnal arrangement to something derided as outdated, unhealthy and kind of weird. 

Unlike our extensive knowledge of parent-child co-sleeping, the historical record of human-animal co-sleeping is meager. There's some evidence that pet co-sleeping has been a thing for a few centuries. The phrase "Three-dog night," a common Australian idiom for a night so cold you need to sleep near three dogs to stay warm, is thought to have origins in either the Chukchi people, who lived in Siberia between the 17th and 19th centuries, or the Australian outback. The latter explanation jibes with limited accounts of Aboriginal Australians using dogs and/or dingoes to stay warm at night and ward off evil spirits. And, in preindustrial England, dogs and cats respectively hung out in and around sleeping quarters at night to keep people secure and keep rodents out.

The same psychological needs motivate people to give up pillow space for both furry heads and tiny bald ones.

Today, human-animal co-sleeping appears to be most prevalent in Western cultures. One 2011 study on 60 non-Western societies showed that pets (primarily dogs and cats) were equally as likely to sleep outside, inside away from people and inside alongside or near people. Most societies reported keeping dogs as pets. But only seven of them allowed dogs indoors; and only six let dogs sleep inside at night. By contrast, remember that half of pet owners have four-legged bed partners, based on the most recent estimates from media and consumer surveys. 

So, parent-child co-sleeping fell out of favor in the same societies where pet co-sleeping has become a widespread practice. We might know more about person-pet dozing duos if the topic received a fraction of the academic attention given to parent-child co-sleeping. But the limited human-animal literature that does exist, study authors argue, suggests that the two varieties of co-sleeping are analogous in several ways: Allowing babies and dogs into bed comes with overlapping (though not identical) considerations related to health, sleep quality, behavior and sex. And, in the end, the same psychological needs motivate people to give up pillow space for both furry heads and tiny bald ones.  


Parent-child co-sleeping has become anathema in the US mainly because it's linked to infant injury and death caused by SIDS and accidental suffocation. Some experts argue that other factors, including the use of improper bedding and parental drinking and smoking, have thrown off the co-sleeping data.

Health risks associated with pet co-sleeping include transmission of zoonotic diseases, allergies, asthma and the general notion that having a dog in bed is unhygienic. These are principally human-centric concerns. But, given that two-thirds of human diseases are zoonotic and can infect animals, it's possible that bed-sharing dogs could catch their owners' bugs, too. Although, study authors explain, fear over disease transmission may be overblown. The risk of humans contracting zoonotic diseases from sleeping with animals is low, particularly when animals are clean and receive regular veterinary care. Fretting over brindle fur on pima cotton, on the other hand? Totally valid. 

Sleep impairment

Studies suggest that adults get worse, more disturbed sleep when they share their beds (with anyone). Daytime functioning may be affected as a result, depending on the extent and frequency of the disturbances. And babies appear to wake up more frequently during the night when they sleep with their parents. It's not clear that it's wholly negative, however, for parents to be privy to babies' nighttime awakenings, as they could signal health issues that would otherwise go undetected. 

Adults might experience comparable sleep disturbances from sharing beds with dogs and babies. For one thing, humans' sleep cycles are mismatched with those of their canine companions. Dogs, who are polyphasic sleepers, fall asleep and wake up more frequently than their monophasic owners. And, compared to humans, dogs remain more responsive to environmental sounds when they're asleep, making them potentially active bed-partners.

In one 2014 survey of Australian pet-owners, co-sleeping was associated with difficulty falling asleep and increased awakenings caused by animal noises. An American study from the same year had similar results: Nearly one-third of co-sleeping pet-owners said they were woken up by their pets at least once per night. Unfortunately, we don't have a great sense of how or how much sleep disturbances from human-animal co-sleeping actually impairs pet-owners' daytime functioning. The limited existing research doesn't go into that level of detail. 


There are concerns that co-sleeping both leads to and reinforces poor behavior in children. Some studies do essentially say that co-sleeping kids become anxious, overly dependent poor sleepers. But, in other studies, co-sleeping has been associated with positive qualities like self-reliance. 

Co-sleeping could also contribute to problematic behavior in pets. Dogs who sleep in their owners' beds, according to some research, may have more accidents and display more aggression towards other pets in the household. Co-sleeping may also cause or exacerbate separation anxiety in dogs. But, again, we don't have enough research on co-sleeping dogs to know if observed behavioral problems start before or after bed-sharing does.


Co-sleeping a) restricts parental opportunities for sex and intimacy, potentially affecting relationship quality, and b) exposes children to adult sleepovers, leaving them vulnerable to incest and psychological scarring. There is some literature to validate both of these concerns. In one 2008 study, parents who co-slept with older children reported more marital distress than parents who kept their doors locked at night. And psychologists have suggested that, by exposing kids to sexual activity without any understanding of the context, co-sleeping leaves could encourage children to imitate adult behavior. 

But there's also research to the opposite effect. In a 2007 study, there was no difference in relationship satisfaction between parents who made their beds adult-only territory and co-sleeping ones. And a study that tracked children from infancy through adolescence showed no connection between infant co-sleeping and subsequent sleep problems, sexual dysfunction or other residual psychological trauma. 

As for pets? Researchers have suggested that bed-sharing animals interrupt couples' sex lives, particularly when only one partner wants the pet in the bed. But there's not much in the way of evidence to support this belief. And, while co-sleeping with animals could potentially open the door for beastiality, researchers feel there's "little reason to link zoophilia among pet owners as a prevalent and normative motivation for co-sleeping." 


Across the board, it's common for people who choose to co-sleep, with their children or partners, to say the practice provides comfort, emotional support and companionship. And, when it comes to children, researchers have identified two types of co-sleeping parent: early and reactive. Early co-sleepers embrace the practice from the get-go, often for philosophical or cultural reasons. But practical concerns (like lack of space) come up, too. 

Early co-sleepers are likely to report satisfaction with their sleep arrangement and see the practice as a form of bonding. Based on one 2002 study, researchers proposed that co-sleeping can help fathers, in particular, overcome feelings of distance with children. And working mothers have said that co-sleeping "can account for lost time with their infants during the day, validate their maternal role, and ensure that their infants know that their mothers love them and want to be with them."

We only have a limited understanding of what motivates human-animal co-sleeping. But, "as in parent-infant co-sleeping," researchers wrote, "the decisions made by a pet owner about where their pet sleeps during the night are dependent upon philosophical, psychological, and cultural orientations, as well as emotional and practical factors."

Pet owners can be divided into the same early and reactive categories: Early co-sleepers want to be woken up by puppy kisses; reactive ones let their pets into bed to alleviate bad behavior, such as whining. For pet-owners who enjoy it, "co-sleeping may provide or enhance psychological benefits," explained study authors. "Yet the opposite may hold true for some owners. For example, those who are lonely may be more likely to sleep with their pets, and whilst this may be comforting, an unhealthy pathological level of pathological attachment may ensue." 

It's reasonable to assume that co-sleeping pet owners could be motivated by an unconscious desire to feel closer to their pets. One 2016 study on Dutch-speaking pet owners offered preliminary evidence that dog-owners who let pets sleep in their bedrooms show higher levels of global attachment than non-co-sleepers. Pet-owners who only see their pets after work, researchers posited, may feel a similar need as working parents to maximize quality time through shared sleep. What do we know about the emotional lives of pet-owners who let their animals, but not their human children, share their beds? Very little. It's one of many unexplored issues.

Is co-sleeping the same practice with children and pets? Of course not. Unlike kids, dogs don't age out of sharing their (pet) parents' beds. And, it's probably worth repeating, experts primarily advise against co-sleeping with infants to keep them alive and safe. With dogs, opposition is more about tracking dirt and hogging bed real estate. Regardless, it's worth learning more about a practice that millions of people do every night, and which likely affects humans' lives and well-being. Plus, sleeping dogs make for adorable study subjects. 

The 6 Best Mattress Picks For Under $1000 – 2018 Edition

by Sarah Cummings @ The Sleep Advisor

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Study: Let Your Dog Into Your Bedroom (If You Want)

Study: Let Your Dog Into Your Bedroom (If You Want)

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

Dogs live in about 36 percent of American households. And, of the dog-owning population, almost 65 percent of people consider their canine companions to be part of the family. While experts in the human and animal medical communities tend to discourage sharing beds with furry family members, limited evidence suggests that many pet-owners — perhaps about half — do it anyway. And the truth is, we don't really know much about the way pets-in-bed affects human sleep. But a new study, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic, offers some insight into the way four-legged bedfellows affect their owners' sleep, and vice versa. 

The study involved 40 female, middle-aged pet owners and their dogs. Participating humans all slept with one dog (and no more) in the bedroom, but not necessarily in the bed. Participating dogs, who had to be at least six months old, represented a wide variety of breeds. Researchers collected seven nights of sleep data from both canines and humans by strapping activity-tracking bracelets on their wrists. Human participants also kept sleep diaries in which they recorded information about their bedtimes, use of sleep meds, sleep quality and bed partners, as well as where their dogs dozed. 

Humans got the highest-quality and longest nights of sleep when their dogs slept in their bedrooms, as opposed to in their beds or somewhere else in the house. Dogs slept like babes pups in their owners' beds, no matter where they curled up or how many human bed-partners they had. The data, per the study, "suggest that a single adult dog in the bedroom may not markedly disrupt sleep."  

This is the first study, to the best of researchers' knowledge, to provide objective data about the sleep impact of sharing a bedroom with a dog. In the future, expanded research should include pets other than dogs and owners who drift off alongside multiple pets. But the findings still provide a much-needed glimpse into a very common and poorly understood practice.

As a different group of researchers wrote earlier this year, in a paper lamenting the exclusion of animals from the co-sleeping conversation: "Given that sleep accounts for a large portion of human and animal life, and that interspecies co-sleeping impacts humans, animals, interpersonal relations, and interspecies relations," researchers wrote, "there is an urgent need for researchers to truly contemplate “who’s been sleeping in your bed?”'

Adults Sleeping with Stuffed Animals is Totally Normal (or at Least Common), and Other News in Sleep

Adults Sleeping with Stuffed Animals is Totally Normal (or at Least Common), and Other News in Sleep

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

Sleep more, fight fair   

In an Ohio State University study on marital interactions and health, the most hostile married couples were also most likely to be under-slept. While all 43 couples in the study fought with each other, they didn't all fight in the same way. Some couples aired grievances constructively. Others resorted to nastiness. And the factor that differentiated the fair fighters from their negative counterparts was sleep: Hostility became likely when both partners were averaging less than seven hours of sleep per night. [New York Times]

Who's that doggy in the bedroom? 

... a doggy belonging to someone who read this study that says it's A-OK to share a sleep environment with your furry best friend. In fact, researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that participants (middle-aged women who slept with or in the same room as one, and only one, dog) got the best shuteye when their dogs dozed in their bedrooms, compared to somewhere else in the house or, and this is kind of a let-down, in their beds. [Van Winkle's]

Growing up doesn't mean outgrowing stuffed animals 

Nearly half of American adults still sleep with, or right next to, stuffed animals. This factoid comes courtesy of the highly reputable research institution Build-a-Bear, which commissioned a survey of 2,000 people in order to gain more insight into the public opinion on plush toys. [CBS News]

Here's another op-ed calling for later school start times

Teens — who are wired to be night owls — shouldn't have to start school before 8:30am. Giving them more time to sleep in the morning, as well as sparing them the misery of finding the limit before 8am, is good for their health, cognitive and emotional development and academic performance. And it's good for our collective safety and economic interests. 

The increased cost of pushing back start times would be about $150 per kid per year, plus $110,000 per school, according to the Brookings Institution. But the economic benefits of later start times would more than offset these expenses. Because, according to the Rand corporation, later start times would amount to an $83 billion economic boost, on account of tired teen drivers causing fewer deaths and alert, engaged students going on to have more lucrative careers. [New York Times]

Money on the mind 

About half of Americans — 56 percent of men and 48 percent of women — wake up thinking about either work or money, according to a survey by the mattress company Amerisleep. These career-and/or-cash-minded risers were less likely than other survey participants to hit snooze and most likely to hold jobs in government or public administration. And the trend bore out across all generations; slightly more than half of millennials and Gen-Xers, and slightly less than half of boomers and Gen-Zers, reported starting their mornings with job-or-money-related thoughts. [NBC News]

It's all relative in REM 

A dream about a dog has no universal meaning. All sorts of people report dreaming about the same scenarios and topics. And, as the founder of the dream interpretation app UDreamed has found, dreams about the same things can hold wildly different meanings, depending on who the dreamer is and what associations they have with whatever's occupying their subconscious thoughts. Harvard Medical School psychologist Deirdre Barrett backs up this notion. But dreams don't need to have universal meanings to be meaningful. By analyzing both common and rare dreams, researchers are learning about how dreams are shaped by the world around us. [New York magazine]

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People Fell In Love On Me.

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This is a bummer. It makes me think about all the love and human connection that’s been facilitated by my bed, knowing that if we hadn’t been laying on my mattress, maybe it would’ve never happened. Relationships have been formed and fractured on mattresses. Love has blossomed. There have been warm, beautiful nights filled with...

Mattress Sizes - Mattress Depot USA

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Sleep Loss Makes the Brain Cannibalistic, and Other News in Sleep

Sleep Loss Makes the Brain Cannibalistic, and Other News in Sleep

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

Looking to catch up on the latest discussions and research in the world of shuteye? I've got you covered. Here's this week's Nightcap:

Is ADHD actually a sleep disorder?  

After finding that a new narcolepsy drug, called Mazindol, managed ADHD symptoms better than stimulant meds, French researchers are wondering if we've misclassified the common disorder. Like the smart drug Modafinil, Mazindol works by mimicking the effects of the wakefulness-promoting brain chemical orexin. So a drug intended to keep people awake also helped them focus. How does this make ADHD a sleep disorder? Well, it's possible, researchers suggested, that circadian rhythms are misaligned in those with ADHD, leaving them sleepy during the day and wired at night. [New Scientist

Would you hire a sleep coach?

A mom of three talks about hiring a sleep coach to help sleep-train her infant daughter after round-the-clock parenting turned her into a forgetful zombie. [Washington Post] And, over at Refinery29, a fed-up insomniac looks back on the three months she spent working with a sleep coach. With her coach's help, the author worked to improve her sleep hygiene and escape the "anxiety-insomnia feedback loop" fueling her long, sleepless nights. [Refinery29

The sleep-starved brain is a cannibal 

In a study on mice, researchers from Italy found that sleep deprivation triggered a type of brain cell, called astrocytes, to go hard on pruning unnecessary brain connections. In the short term, cleaning shop might do the brain a solid by protecting its healthy connections against wear and tear. But, in the long term, Konmari-ing the brain might pave the way for neurodegenerative disease. This finding might help explain why chronic sleep loss appears to increase one's vulnerability to developing dementia. In sum: Too little of a good thing (sleep) —> too much of a good thing (brain waste management). [New Scientist]

Let's call it the "Larry David Sleep Syndrome"

Neuroticism, a personality trait marked by fun things like negativity, over-thinking and anxiety, has consistently been linked to poor sleep quality. Now, researchers are examining the particulars of the relationship between being a nervous nitpicker and struggling with shuteye. [Van Winkle's

Put the phones down, kids (vol. XXX)

Teens who Snap the night away get worse sleep than good kids who relinquish their smart devices at bedtime, according to a recent study. Researchers from Griffith and Murdoch Universities in Australia spent three years tracking late-night phone use and mental health in Aussie teens. They found a direct link between nighttime phone use and poor sleep quality. And, in turn, researchers found that crappy sleep lead to crappy outcomes, including reduced self esteem and increased moodiness. [Hindustan Times]

This is what insomnia looks like

Rather than stare at the ceiling all night long, Michael Massaia, a photographer and chronic insomniac, fled to Central Park in the wee hours of the night. There, he snapped photos of the empty urban sanctuary in order to capture the loneliness of insomnia. He compiled the images for a photo series intended to call attention to the can't-sleep disease. [Huffington Post]

You know you want to read this list

Of the most interesting people in sleep — 15 researchers, writers and cultural figures who are shaping our resting lives. [Van Winkle's]

Napercise is a Thing, and Other News in Rest

Napercise is a Thing, and Other News in Rest

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

Looking to catch up on the latest discussions and research in the world of shuteye? I've got you covered. Here's this week's Nightcap:

The "young, thin, beautiful women's sleep disorder"

One exhausted writer discovers the source of her sleep struggles: UARS, a notoriously hard-to-diagnose form of obstructive sleep apnea. While OSA sufferers tend to be old(er), heavy and male, UARS largely afflicts young, lean ladies. Why? Slender frames have smaller, easily obstructed airways. [Elle]

Get off —> drift off 

Having aerobic, marathon-style sex before bed might not put you in a state of relaxation conducive to hitting the sack. But lazier, less sweat-producing sex is a wonderful addition to any couple's wind-down routine. Here's a list of six sex positions ideal for bedtime. [Bustle]

This is 30 

In your 30s, two-day hangovers become a thing and friends start moving back to the suburbs. And, according to a recent review paper from researchers at UC Berkeley, age-related sleep changes begin, especially for men, who may experience as much as a 50-percent decline in delta (deep) sleep. For women, that delta-decline seems to max out around 25 percent. At the same time, "neurochemicals that switch us from sleep to wakefulness are drying up," which causes daytime grogginess and "maddening alertness at night." Cheers. [Discover]

Do clock genes support weight loss?

Yes! Well, most likely. In male mice at least. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine found that (male) mice who'd been genetically engineered to lack a liver gene involved in circadian rhythm function lost less weight after a period of restricted food intake than mice who'd dieted with their clock genes intact. If you don't care about the microbiomes of male mice, that's totally fair. But the findings could have implications for humans: "We speculate that our findings may lead to solutions for people who are resistant to losing weight with restricted feeding as well as the opposite situation," said one study author in a press release. [Baylor College of Medicine]

Napercise? No.

Sleeping and working out are both important, separate parts of a healthy lifestyle. And now, in the tradition of peanut butter and eggs, they're being forced into an ill-conceived union: A UK fitness chain has begun offering an hour-long napping class targeted at exhausted parents. Some people are jazzed. Others are rolling their eyes. I'm saving my money and napping at home, without a room full of strangers surrounding me. [Van Winkle's]

Naper-diet? Eh, why not. 

There's a strong connection between sleep, diet and cardiovascular health. If you need a refresher, here's a list of five reasons why a good night's rest should be part of your weight-loss plan. This post hails from Time's special "Science of Sleep" issue. [Time]

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Our Aviya Bed Review: Is This America’s Favorite for 2018?

by Sarah Cummings @ The Sleep Advisor

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Introducing BedMart +

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Welcome to BedMart +! It’s the same great family-owned brand that you have known and loved just with even more great savings and products. In 1992, Steven Stone founded BedMart, a family-owned and operated mattress store. Over the last 25 years the Stone family has opened over 35 stores in the Northwest and Hawaii. Now, […]

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Help! I Haven't Been Able to Sleep Since My Cat Died

Help! I Haven't Been Able to Sleep Since My Cat Died

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

We asked three experts to weigh in on one reader's sleep problem. Here's what a neuroscientist and two psychologists had to say about losing sleep after losing a pet. 

The Problem

Sarah, a 31-year-old attorney in Brooklyn, asks:  

My cat Reggie died a few months ago. He was 20 years old, so it wasn't unexpected. But, even though I was somewhat prepared for his loss, I've had a really hard time dealing with it, and haven't been able to sleep well since he passed away. Reggie was a fixture in my life starting at age 11. And, especially towards the end of his life, he became intertwined in my bedtime and sleep routines. Every night, I got ready for bed, gave Reggie his meds, and fell asleep with him curled up next to me (and my now-husband). In Reggie's absence, I've tried to create new bedtime routines, such as diffusing an aromatherapy spray, to replace the routines that centered around him. But nothing's worked. Falling asleep remains a nightly challenge. Any suggestions?

The Advice

1. Rebecca Spencer, a neuroscientist who studies sleep and memory, says: 

I’m sorry for your loss of Reggie. You are possibly correct that his role in your bedtime routine is causing your insomnia after his loss. Creating new sleep routines, as habitual as you may be making them, nonetheless takes time to establish. So keep it up. I advise that aromatherapy doesn’t work for everyone, so perhaps replace odor cues with sound cues, such as low volume white noise, instead.

However, also consider that it isn’t the loss of a critical player in your routine that has left you sleepless. Perhaps you are still paying an emotional toll for losing what has been with you for 20 of your 31 years on this planet! It is understandable if you are depressed. You might feel fine during the day when you’re busy and distracted, but his absence becomes notable at bedtime, which brings out symptoms of depression leading to this insomnia. Seek help from a therapist or physician. Insomnia for a few months should be addressed. A brief clinical intervention may be necessary to get you back on track. 

2. Cori Bussolari, a psychologist whose research and clinical work focus on bereavement, chronic illness, the human-animal bond and positive coping, says: 

First of all, I am so sorry for your loss. Even when we expect and prepare for our pet's death because of their advanced age, it quite often can still feel incredibly difficult and disrupting.  

You stated that Reggie became "intertwined" with your bedtime rituals and, as he got older, how your sleep has been impacted by this loss. This is absolutely normal. He was part of your life, for what seems to be, for over half your life. We also have such a physical relationship with our pets. That is, we pick them up, hold them, and like Reggie, they curl up next to us. Our bodies sense their loss, even when we are not consciously thinking about it. Here are some suggestions to help with sleep:
  • Our bodies can experience trauma from a profound loss, which can definitely affect sleep. It might be helpful to try to get some exercise in during the day, whenever possible, even if it is just a walk around the block a few times.
  • Try to do some type of relaxation before bed, such as stretching, having a quiet cup of hot herbal tea, or even yoga. There are many good phone apps, such as Digipill, that specifically help with relaxation.
  • Stop engaging with electronic devices, including television, at least one hour before you go to sleep. Also, if you are reading, do that somewhere other than your bed. When you get tired enough, then you can move into your room. Sometimes people say that reading keeps them up, especially if it is work related. If this is the case, adult coloring books can work really well.  
  • Keep a Grief Journal, if that works for you, next to your bed. If you find yourself not sleeping because you are having feelings and thinking about Reggie, see if sitting up and writing in the journal for a bit helps. Sometimes, putting our thoughts on paper gives them less power and control.  
  • If a routine isn't working, do something different. It is okay to try many different things until you find one that works. So, if aroma therapy isn't helping, use a different scent or stop it completely. 
Most importantly, be kind and gentle with yourself. Sleep is the number one thing affected by grief. Know that you are grieving, this is normal, and that you will get through this. 

3. Doug Symons, a clinical psychologist who's studied pet bereavement, says:  

There are two literatures on pet bereavement rooted in attachment theory. [Ed. note: Attachment theory explains how people handle interpersonal relationships when they feel hurt, become separated from their loved ones, perceive threats to their relationships or manage distress in general.]

The first comes from research on pet attachment security, which essentially says the relationships we have with our pets can be structured in the same way as those with other human attachment figures, such as mother, father, intimate partner and best friend. The researchers who have done much of this work argue that pets can meet many of the same needs as other attachment figures.

The second has to do with pet loss. Attachment theory proposes that depression and complicated grief can arise in response to the loss of attachment figures, and the same thing can happen in response to the loss of a pet. [Ed. note: Complicated grief is that which impairs normal functioning beyond a six-month bereavement period.] Our own research found that attachment anxiety towards a pet relationship in fact was related to symptoms of complicated grief towards the loss. There are additional factors to this relationship, [such as] how important the pet relationship is to the person and whether the person has experienced other losses. In our study, we did not find differences between cat owners and dog owners, or between different circumstances of death (e.g., sudden, tragic, predictable from old age).

So how does all this relate to sleep? Complicated grief can be related to a form of depression, and one of the symptoms of depression is sleep disruption. This could be through ruminative thinking about the loss in the night. If you google symptoms of complicated grief, there are some examples of ruminative thinking such as guilt, bitterness, and non-acceptance. Finally, whereas we have attachment relationships with pets, we also have another one — that of a caregiver, as we meet the needs of pets. Your vignette reflects this very well.


Want experts to shed light on your sleep problem? Email your question to with the subject "my sleep problem."
Please note that the information provided in this article is not intended to replace professional help. If sleep issues are causing you mental or physical distress, or inhibiting your ability to function in any way, reach out to a doctor, therapist or other licensed health provider.

Twin vs. Twin XL Beds: What's The Difference?

Twin vs. Twin XL Beds: What's The Difference?

Mattress Clarity

Twin and Twin XL beds may not have the biggest differences between the two – they’re really just separated by 5″ in length. However, there are factors to take into consideration that can help you decide if one is a good fit for your room over the other. Read on for our full comparison between …

Berlin Domino Mattress Graffiti

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It’s rectangular. It’s white or beige. It’s longer and wider than it is thick. And you can use it alone or with friends. What am I talking about? If you can think of something other than a mattress or a domino, please leave it in the comments below. Perhaps a tablet of some sort? In...

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Mattress Thickness: 13"

Difference Between Confidence and Overconfidence

by gene balinggan @ Difference Between

Like confidence, its more excessive counterpart, overconfidence, entails expressing oneself quite comfortably. Obviously, both deal with being certain about oneself. Another similarity concerns the state of being motivated. Both confident and overconfident people are typically pushed by the force of their positive beliefs in themselves. Still, alongside these comparisons are their notable differences. The following […]

Why Do Some People Talk in Their Sleep?

by kayla @ Mattress Depot USA

Though it’s somewhat mysterious, sleep talking (a.k.a. somniloquy) is a common phenomenon. About half of kids talk in their sleep at least once a year (and less than 10% do it every day). And roughly 67% of adults talk in their sleep at least once every three months. It often runs in families and tends to be […]

The post Why Do Some People Talk in Their Sleep? appeared first on Mattress Depot USA.

Intermission – A – Twin Extra Long

by Weston Huth @ Twin XL – HassleLess Mattress

Mattress Thickness: 11"

The New Guide on Dorm Mattresses and Sets: Know What You Need!

The New Guide on Dorm Mattresses and Sets: Know What You Need!

Ted & Stacey's Mattress Guides & Reviews

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by Ivanna Tucker @ BedMart Mattress Superstores

Looking for a gift for that special someone? Don’t worry we have some ideas that will make your holiday shopping a breeze. Why not give them a special piece for their home? Spoil your loved one with some of our favorite pieces from around our store. Pillows $49.95 It’s the perfect touch to finish a […]

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The 5 Highest Rated Firm (Hard) Mattresses in 2018

by Sarah Cummings @ The Sleep Advisor

The post The 5 Highest Rated Firm (Hard) Mattresses in 2018 appeared first on The Sleep Advisor.

Do We Need to Update Sleep Lingo to Reflect Our Nighttime Tech Use?

Do We Need to Update Sleep Lingo to Reflect Our Nighttime Tech Use?

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

"Going to work" at 9am could mean "going to do work" at 9am. But it could also mean "going to an office at 9am to drink coffee and watch clips of late-night hosts skewering Trump for half the morning, before easing into job tasks at 10:45am." 

In a similar manner, "going to bed" and "going to sleep" are two related but non-synonymous concepts that, thanks to our modern-day technology habits, are only becoming more distant. "Going to bed," in our screen-addled era, may very well mean getting under the covers to stream "Tiny House Hunters." (I'm not finger-wagging; I've logged plenty of hours in bed squinting at my cracked iPhone screen.)

And two researchers from The University of Michigan and KU Leuven in Belgium, Jan Van den Bulck and Liese Exelmans, argue that the existing concepts in sleep science don't account for the way electronic media has become woven into our bedtime-and-sleep regimens. It's not that sleep studies don't acknowledge the lag time between crawling into bed and drifting off to sleep. They do, which is why there's so much data on sleep latency, meaning the amount of time between going to bed and falling asleep. But Van den Bulck and Exelmans don't think sleep latency tells the whole story of our pre-and-post bedtime routines. 

"Until recently, sleep latency mainly implied the time it takes to fall asleep after having gone to bed," they wrote, in a 2015 editorial published in Behavioral Sleep Medicine. '"In the electronic media age, people may go to bed with or without the intention to go to sleep. Different definitions are therefore needed for “the time between going to bed and falling asleep” and “the time between ceasing all activities in bed and falling asleep.”'

Basically, there's now an extra chunk of in-bed leisure time that studies are glossing over. So, to reflect the fact that our bedtime timelines are a-changing, Van den Bulck and Exelmens propose both re-defining sleep latency and adding a new term, shuteye latency, into the mix. Here's a rundown of the terms:  

Bedtime: when you decide to go to bed
Shuteye time: when you decide to fall asleep
Actual sleep: when you actually fall asleep
Old definition of sleep latency: the gap between bedtime and acutal sleep
New definition of sleep latency: the gap between shuteye time and actual sleep
Shuteye latency: the gap between bedtime and shuteye time 

Equipped with their revised lingo, the duo studied bedtime electronic media use and published their findings last month in the Journal of Sleep Research. For the study, 338 Belgian young adults, recruited through Facebook, assessed their bedtime and sleep habits, sleep quality and electronic media use (meaning all device-dependent activities). In addition to using well-established sleep questionnaires, researchers designed a new scale to gain a more nuanced understanding of bedtimes, shuteye times and the activities surrounding them. 

On average, researchers found, participants went to bed around midnight and reported a shuteye latency (the gap between deciding to go to bed and deciding to go to sleep) of 39 minutes. What were participants doing before and after hitting the sack?

Before bed, they were most likely on their phones or laptops. Pre-bed electronic media use took up an average of nearly 18 hours a week. As for pre-shuteye activities (what you do after climbing into bed but before you decide to go to sleep), participants spent the most time on non-media activities, meaning personal hobbies, sex and social activities (like talking IRL or on the phone). That's not to say they steered clear of electronic media entirely — pre-shuteye, they averaged 3 hours and 41 minutes of weekly e-media use, predominantly spent on phones and laptops.

It might make sense for a study to include a shuteye-latency question, such as: "After going to bed, how long are you awake (doing things other than sleeping) before trying to sleep?"

But, regardless of how participants filled their pre-shuteye time, researchers found a connection between more pre-bedtime e-media use and longer shuteye latency. In other words, participants who spent more time with e-media before bedtime subsequently stayed up longer (doing whatever) before deciding to go to sleep. 

And, as researchers predicted, longer shuteye latency was associated with poorer sleep quality; those whose shuteye latency exceeded an hour were over nine times more likely than other participants to have sleep issues. In general, men came across as more cavalier about going to bed, going to sleep and indulging in late-night screentime. 

Why, exactly, does this all matter? Well, according to Van den Bulck and Exelmans, studies need to delineate between bedtime and shuteye time clearly so they don't produce flawed data. In the current study, for instance, sleep latency exceeded 30 minutes for almost half of study participants. Using standard sleep measures, these participants would be classified as having sleep-onset insomnia. The problem here is that insomnia would only be an appropriate diagnosis if participants spent that half hour actually trying to fall asleep. But, as the current study showed, they were using that time in bed to do things besides sleep. To prevent an error like that, it might make sense for a study to include a shuteye-latency question, such as: "After going to bed, how long are you awake (doing things other than sleeping) before trying to sleep?"

Researchers also point out that sleep hygiene guidelines mainly focus on what people do before going to bed. It's time, they suggest, to include best practices for post-bedtime behavior. A new rule might be something like: "'In order to avoid electronic media use after lights out, users should create a bedtime for their electronic media: Lights out should become synonymous for “media out,” a simple enough message."'

How Sleep Affects Memory and Learning

by kayla @ Mattress Depot USA

A good night’s sleep is essential for learning new info and remembering it later. When you’re trying to learn new information or study for a test, you might be tempted to stay up late and review the material again and again. Hello, cramming! It’s a popular tactic, but not a smart one. By burning the […]

The post How Sleep Affects Memory and Learning appeared first on Mattress Depot USA.

Twin vs Twin XL: Knowing The Differences And Sizes

Twin vs Twin XL: Knowing The Differences And Sizes

The Sleep Judge

Whether you're looking for a bed for your child's room or for your guest room, it's always a good idea to be aware of which ones offer the better benefits. Just because one is more affordable, it doesn't mean that it's the better option. In this article, we discuss a twin vs twin xl. So, what exactly is the difference between a twin and twin xl? Is one bigger, longer, or more expensive? In this handy guide, I'll fill you in on which one is the best option for you. Twin vs Twin XL Comparisons Twin The Pros and Cons Size and Foot Space Price Ease Of Movement Twin XL The Pros and Cons Size and Foot Space Price Recommended Room Sizes The Verdict More on mattress sizes here. Twin vs Twin XL Comparisons Twin Twin mattresses are very commonly found in dorms, children's rooms, guest rooms, and even doubled up in master bedrooms as two separate beds or put together for one big bed. What are the measurements of a twin bed? Their measurements are 39" x 74", making them small enough to

January Mattress Sales

by justin @ Bed Pros Mattress

This week only, save hundreds on your new mattress set, plus enjoy free express delivery on orders $599+

BedMart is Oregon’s #1 Tempur-Pedic Retailer!

by Katie Hamlin @ BedMart Mattress Superstores

BedMart is Oregon’s #1 Tempur-Pedic Retailer! Shop Tempur-Pedic mattresses at BedMart for a large selection, fast and free delivery, low prices and more!

The post BedMart is Oregon’s #1 Tempur-Pedic Retailer! appeared first on BedMart Mattress Superstores.

Brentwood Home Oceano Mattress Review

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Nothing Really Mattress from 130 Baxter Street

by Nothing Really Mattress @ Nothing Really Mattress

Check out this nice typography. I have to say, I like how this artist made their mark- lingering at every joint in the letter so it looks more bubbly and whimsical. It’s a solid and vibrant green that really stands out over the plain white surface. Makes you stop and think. It seems that there’s...

Twin vs. Twin XL Mattress - What's Size The Difference Between Them?

Twin vs. Twin XL Mattress - What's Size The Difference Between Them?

The Sleep Advisor

If you're choosing between Twin XL and Twin sized mattress then look no further. Our comparison will help you choose the perfect one for your needs.

iDirect Aspire Twin Extra Long

iDirect Aspire Twin Extra Long

Mattress Direct

Cool Gel Twin Extra Long Mattress is perfect for a college dorm or as half of a dual king adjustable bed. The high grade cool comfort of the idirect aspire creates a comfortable and supportive sleep surface.

Mattress Sizes and Mattress Dimensions - BedMart Mattress Superstores

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BedMart Mattress Superstores

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Attendance Twin Extra Long – Sealy Posturepedic

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Mattress Thickness: 14" This mattress is taller than average. Consider purchasing with 5″ boxspring.

One Personality Trait is Linked to Poor Sleep Around the World

One Personality Trait is Linked to Poor Sleep Around the World

by Theresa Fisher @ Van Winkle's

The Larry Davids, Monica Gellers, Niles Cranes, Ally McBeals and Mitchell Pritchetts of the world might be at a disadvantage when it comes to getting rest. If it's not obvious from this list of (mostly) fictional over-thinkers and nitpickers, neuroticism is the personality trait most directly and consistently linked to insomnia and other sleep problems. 

It might not be surprising that being neurotic and sleeping poorly go together like a fever and chills. Neurotic people are, after all, prone to anxiety, depression, loneliness and other issues that interfere with easy rest. But the strength of the neuroticism-sleep link, across diverse groups of people, is noteworthy. Now, researchers are trying to figure out which aspects of neuroticism are responsible for poor sleep and what, precisely, goes wrong at night for those of us who have no chill.

In the world of behavior science, personality traits are thought of as "the relatively enduring patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that make people uniquely themselves." And, dating back to the early 20th century, psychologists have proposed methods for summarizing someone's personality. In the 1930s, Gordon Allport, the "father of personality psychology," identified 4,500 traits that play a role in making us who we are. But, today, most researchers rely on the much simpler "Big Five" framework, which breaks down personality into five essential traits: conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness to experience, extraversion and, of course, neuroticism. 

This means that your personality is linked to your own beliefs about how you sleep rather than results from an objective sleep test.

Using the Big Five, researchers have found that personality traits are predictive of self-reported sleep quality. This means that your personality is linked to your own beliefs about how you sleep rather than the results of an objective sleep test. And, across a number of studies — involving both college kids and less-young adults, from different countries — researchers have identified high neuroticism as the strongest predictor of poor sleep. 

In one recent study, for example, sleep-and-cognition researchers from The Netherlands examined personality traits and insomnia. There’s more to the can’t-sleep disease than not being able to nod off; other features include difficulty staying asleep, unrefreshing sleep and poor daytime functioning. Here, researchers examined how specific insomnia symptoms were related to the Big Five traits. 

To do this, they analyzed surveys completed by 2,089 volunteers, aged 18-84, between 2012 and 2016. Their survey data came from the Netherlands Sleep Registry, a database that "assesses traits across the general population to facilitate research on traits that distinguish insomniacs and normal sleepers.” 

Of the Big Five traits, neuroticism had the strongest link to insomnia — especially to two symptoms: difficulty falling asleep and poor daytime functioning. Conscientiousness also predicted insomnia, but to a lesser degree and in a different way. Conscientious people said it was tough to stay asleep, but they weren't likely to say they had trouble getting through the day as a result. 

In another study, published earlier this year, a team of American and Italian researchers tried to figure out which aspects of neuroticism are responsible for its connection to poor sleep. For the study, 498 Italian adults filled out surveys on sleep quality and personality traits, as well as on three other individual differences: 1) positive and negtive affect, which (respectively) describe a person's tendency to experience positive moods and negative moods; 2) dysfunctional emotional regulation strategies, which are unhealthy styles of dealing with stress; and 3) hyper-arousal.

Personality traits will also shape how people cope with stress and likely relate to hyperarousal.

These individual differences have been associated with poor sleep in earlier work. And, like the Big Five, they appear to remain relatively stable across time, explained Nicola Cellini, a psychologist at UC Riverside who co-authored the study. "In a sense, they are components of personality traits," said Cellini. "And personality traits will also shape how people cope with stress and likely relate to hyperarousal."

As predicted, neuroticism was the best predictor of sleep quality. But, unlike in the study from The Netherlands, Cellini and colleagues found a link between poor sleep and low (rather than high) conscientiousness. And, when researchers added the other, non-Big Five individual differences into the mix, they found that low positive affect, high negative affect and hyperarousal predicted poor sleep quality, both on their own and when combined with personality traits. Based on these findings, researchers surmised that neurotic people suck at sleeping because pre-bed ruminating leaves them aroused and extra-sensitive to minor sleep disturbances, rather than because of the way they manage stress. 

The results overall suggested to researchers that individual differences help explain why neurotic people have consistently been the biggest sleep-kvetchers in studies on The US, Turkey, South Korea and Finland. "The distribution of the personality traits changes across countries. Similarly, sleep quality is affected by the country and culture you live in," said Cellini. "Despite this, individual differences predict sleep quality in similar ways."

You might be genetically predisposed to be hyperactive, and this biologically-driven hyperactivity can also be the cause your personality and sleep quality.

In fact, this study supports the idea that sleep quality and personality traits are shaped by the same genes for individual differences. "For example," Cellini said, "you might be genetically predisposed to be hyperactive, and this biologically-driven hyperactivity can also be the cause your personality (e.g., highly neuroticism) and sleep quality (e.g., you have difficulties relaxing, falling asleep and maintaining a continuous unfragmented sleep during the night."

It might also be the case, said Cellini, that people with certain Big Five traits or sleep habits "end up in the same kinds of situations repeatedly (e.g., staying out late at a bar), which might reinforce their personality traits and sleep quality across time, leading them to become more strongly correlated."

At this point, the dynamic between neuroticism (or personality traits in general), poor sleep and these ever-illusive individual differences offers a lot of questions to mull over. And who's better at mulling over unresolved situations than neurotic people?

Treat Twin Extra Long – Sealy Posturepedic

by Weston Huth @ Twin XL – HassleLess Mattress

Mattress Thickness: 10"

How Sleep Can Help Save Your Memory

by kayla @ Mattress Depot USA

Feeling foggy and forgetful these days? One key to sharpening your memory may be reworking your sleep schedule so that you get more shuteye, since your brain works overtime while you’re in bed to help boost your ability to remember. A healthy dose of sleep can help you… Learn new skills. Whether you’ve just been taught how to play […]

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