The Comfort(er) Zone

It’s been a hot and humid summer here in New Hampshire!

Sometimes that can mean sound sleep is harder to come by. Maybe you wake up because you’re too hot in the middle of the night, or have trouble falling asleep in the heat. I have a problem at my house where I can’t stand the sound of the fan and my husband can’t sleep without it! Summer can making sleeping a challenge… but it’s almost over and soon we’ll be back to our super snoozing selves. To prep you for the upcoming seasons, when you’re going to start digging out those blankets and comforters again, I want to tell you about THREE fabulous Sleep and Beyond products we have that can help keep you cool, dry, and temperature-regulated.All of these are great as down alternatives and those who may be allergic or sensitive to polyester and seeking a healthier option!

If you can believe it, wool bedding is even a great way to beat this heat!

MyMerino. This is the original organic comforter. It’s a rather thick, cozy weight and for most people it’s three seasons: Fall, Winter, and Spring. I am a person that likes the extra weight on me when I am sleeping, even in the heat and I could (and have) comfortably slept with this through the summer months as well. It is organic, and is not machine-washable. Keep in mind that with it not being machine-washable, you will likely have a duvet cover over it to keep it protected even more. It can be hung in the sunshine to refresh and refurbish the wool. Sunshine naturally re-sanitizes wool. I have had this comforter for over five years and have never once washed it. We do not let pets in the bedroom and do not have small children. In the cooler months, I keep it protected with a duvet cover which I can then wash as regularly as I please.

MyComforter.  This is very similar to the myMerino but it’s a non-organic, natural washable version. The cotton sateen on it is slightly less thread count (300TC vs. the above 400TC) so it is what I would consider a bit “noisier”. It’s less weight than the myMerino and would make a great three to four season comforter. You could easily add a blanket or use a thicker duvet cover in the colder months to increase it’s warmth and “snuggle-factor”. This is a great option for children’s beds, adults that sleep with children or pets, or someone that is looking for the convenience of washability.

MyComforter Light. This one is a customer favorite for those who sleep hot or are sleeping in hot, humid environments. It is machine-washable and significantly lighter than the other two. I think it could be easily used all summer and into the early fall. I would toss a blanket on during the winter and it could be your go-to comforter year round with options to add and take away layers as you see fit! It’s just the right amount of cozy without cramping your style, and will help keep you cool and dry despite the heat!

There is a comfort zone for everyone! Let us help you find yours! SHOP our Comforters HERE or CALL for more info! 

Craving Junk Food? Add more Vitamin Zzzz!

A good night’s sleep has us looking better, feeling better, and functioning better. But did you know that a good night’s sleep can also help you eat better? When you make healthier food choices, and are fueling yourself optimally, you will also function even better!

A good night’s sleep is an upward spiral for your health. 

However, skipping out on sleep can negatively effect your ability to make healthy choices in your diet, which can have unfortunate consequences on our health overall.

Studies have show a link between sleep loss, nighttime snacking, junk food cravings, and obesity.

A lack of sleep can cause you to crave more unhealthy foods, high sugar, unhealthy fats, and artificial flavors that help to make up the food group “JUNK FOOD”. Missing out on sleep the for just one night can cause you to consume more the next day, and make poorer food choices.

When we make poor food choices, we not only are depriving our body of the fuel we need to function at it’s best, but we also can feel less energy overall due to lack of nutrients. In addition, poor diet can lead to complications such as diabetes, obesity, and other health problems. And get this, those diseases, in addition to the foods themselves can lead to even worse sleep!

Sleep helps to regulate the metabolism and help you make more healthy decisions with your diet and other aspects of your health. So if you are trying to cut out the junk, don’t skimp out on sleep!

The Purpose of Sleep

Why do we need rest anyway? These scientific insights reveal why it’s necessary and what happens in our bodies while we’re snoozing.

By LISSA Coffey

We’re busy people. Our schedules are jam-packed with work, school, activities, sports, social events, volunteering, parenting, playing –you name it. And there’s always more to do. Whether it’s another project or opportunity we can’t pass up, we need to make time in our day to fit it all in. Unfortunately, we tend to sacrifice sleep first. We stay up later –sometimes much later –to get things done. Or we wake up earlier to get a jump on everything we need to do before the workday begins. But there’s always a price to pay. Is it worth it? Why do we really need sleep anyway?

The body tells us sleep is not an option; it’s a necessity. It regulates sleep just like it regulates eating, drinking, and breathing. We can’t hold our breath for very long, and we can’t go without sleep for too long either. If we don’t eat, we can die. The longest anyone has gone without sleep is 11 days. But don’t try to break that record, because it’s [actually] dangerous [to try]! Instead we should follow the signals our bodies give us. When we are hungry, we need to eat. When we are tired, we need to sleep. Sleep is a natural state for us. One way we know we are sleepy is by yawning. When we are very tired or sleep-deprived, the temperature of the brain increases so it can function optimally. Yawning helps cool the temperature of the brain. The mouth opens widely and draws large amounts of air into the lungs. You may feel your chest expand and your eyes close. Movements like these increase your heart rate and blood flow, which allows the body to cool the brain. We need to pay attention to these cues. An important function of sleep is thermoregulation, or the distribution of heat in the body so we can maintain a healthy core temperature.

Just like good meal satisfies our hunger and can be enjoyable, a good night’s sleep can also alleviate our sleepiness and be a wonderful experience. It’s great to wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.

When we have good sleeping habits, we look forward to going to bed at night and wake up easily in the morning.

While you’re sleeping…

  • The body conserves energy for times when we need it
  • The body repairs and rejuvenates
  • Growth hormones are released and muscle growth occurs
  • Your brain function is improved during sleep, helping with memory and recall
  • Your body better equips you to deal with stressors by processing trauma and unpleasant experiences
  • Sleep boosts immune function and helps heal from illness

Too much sleep can be detrimental just as much as too little. Everyone’s sleep needs are different and ideally, we want to find that Goldilocks formula when the amount of sleep we get is “just right”.

A mattress is the foundation for a good night’s sleep, so when you are choosing a mattress, be Goldilocks and be sure to find the one that is just right for you. Check out our free Mattress Buying Guide before you come in to get you started! 

Don’t be “Bamboozled”!

I often have customers ask me for cool, silky feeling sheets and while I do have several recommendations for them, I recommend they look before they leap in between the sheets if they are considering bamboo sheets. Why? Simply put, they are not the most eco-friendly nor healthy option. I believe in trying to do the best for our own health as human beings, we should also be seeking for environmentally-friendly options as well. So here is a little more in-depth information on why Bamboo is not better, we always encourage our customers to make the decision that is best for themselves and their family.

This information was taken from Savvy Rest’s blog as well as THIS from the Federal Trade Commission.

Most items that are labeled bamboo, are actually a bamboo-derived material called “Rayon”.

Rayon is a regenerated cellulose fiber, which means that a natural, raw material is converted through a chemical process into a fiber that falls into a category somewhere between natural and synthetic. In this case, the raw material is bamboo. The most common process used to make rayon from bamboo requires spinning bamboo fiber into carbon disulfide, a toxic chemical linked to cancer and developmental defects.

  1. The processes necessary to produce rayon are not environmentally friendly. In most factories the recovery of carbon disulfide is 50%. That means the other 50% is going elsewhere.
  2. Rayon fibers rest in large quantities at the bottom of our oceans. Plymouth University completed a study on microplastics in deep-sea sediment and found that rayon—a non-plastic polymer—contributed to 57% of the fibers found. How many fibers are in the ocean? In the Indian Ocean, certain areas contain about 4 billion per kilometer. They do not break down and are a source of pollution.
  3. “Hypoallergenic” is just a label. According to WebMD, “There aren’t any standards for manufacturers on the use of ‘hypoallergenic’ to describe their products.” This means that a company can label a product hypoallergenic without any testing for allergic reactions.

Better choices?

Pillows: Kapok, Wool, Natural Rubber

Sheets: Organic Cotton

My Three Favorite Facts from “Why We Sleep”

I recently read the fascinating and highly recommended book Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep by Matthew Walker Ph.D. . Like me, the author is a sleep junkie and loves learning about, engaging in, and sharing information on sleep! He talks about lifestyle factors that play a role in sleep, the science of it, as well as blows misconceptions out of the water (for example, did you know that you actually are genetically-inclined to either be a napper or not a napper?!). If you have interest in learning more about sleep, or improving yours, I encourage you to read his book for yourself! While you’re waiting for it at the library (there was quite a hold at my library!), you can read these three facts which were some of my favorite things gleamed from his vast book of knowledge. Bon Nap-atite!

There are Two Main Factors that Determine When You Sleep and When You’re Awake

By now, we’ve all heard of circadian rhythms –this is the internal twenty four hour clock located deep within your brain that creates a day-night rhythm and makes you feel tired or alert depending on the time of day. The second factor that contributes to the desire to sleep is actually a chemical substance that builds up in your brain and creates a “sleep pressure”. The longer you’re awake, the more the pressure accumulates and consequentially, the sleepier you feel. The sleep chemical begins building up the moment you awaken and continues as time elapses. During sleep, the built up adenosine is evacuated and removed so you can literally, “Take a load off”.

Night Owls and Larks Work Together in Harmony

Not only do they both have their own beautiful and unique sounds in the natural world, but those humans who are classified as “night owls” and those classified as “larks” also have their own individual contributions to make as well! Evolutionarily, they have relied on each other as the best source of protection for a tribe or group of humans. For example, when the night owls were wide awake keeping guard of the camp, the larks could be resting and getting a quality sound sleep without fear of a threat to keep them tossing and turning. Vice versa is also the case, so everyone gets their beauty rest. In today’s culture, we also take turns burning the candle on one end or the other to keep society functioning and running in tip top condition. Moral of the story: work with your genetic leaning (be it night owl or lark) rather than against it and you’re helping out the human race in your own way!

  1. You do not Know how Sleep-Deprived you are when you are Sleep-Deprived
  2. A study was conducted that tested four groups of paritcipants giving them either nine hours, seven hours, five hours, or three hours of sleep across seven days. Amongst many findings in the study, participants were subjectively unable to sense how impaired their function was after being chronically sleep-deprived. They significantly underestimated their degree of malperformance. This is extremely dangerous when you think of drivers taking to the roads, doctors and surgeons taking to procedures, and even workers that are operating heavy machinery! Maybe someday they will create a breathalyzer test for sleep so you can check yourself before something terrible occurs.