Jonathan Stevens Blog

The Jonathan Stevens blog is where you can come for quick tips, videos, and articles to make your mattress buying experience a dream.

A Messy Room Can Affect Your Sleep

  sleep tips sleep trouble Sleep Health
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Did you know that you spend around ⅓ of your life in the bedroom? Your bedroom should make you feel relaxed, at home, and should be the most comfortable room in your house. A messy bedroom however, can actually keep you up at night according to recent studies.  

Your brain naturally wants to clean up clutter, which means that a messy room will subconsciously work against your natural instincts and cause anxiety. A study by St. Lawrence University proved that those with more clutter in the bedroom had more sleep disturbances throughout the night as opposed to those with less clutter.

The study goes on to explain that the more clutter in your space, the less functional and comfortable your bedroom is. A messy bedroom is considered “unusable” in the study, which therefore can increase cognitive dysfunction, depression, and stress as your sleep health also worsens.

Not only does clutter make it harder to fall asleep at night, but it can make you feel restless the next day. Cleaning a messy bedroom will not only relieve the tension in your mind, but it will allow you to take advantage of your bedroom’s intended benefits.  

Keeping your room tidy is important in order to get a good night’s sleep, but some other tips to keep your sleep environment healthy are:

  • Stay off your phone or other technology before bed.
  • Keep the room dark and cool.
  • Use a fan or other device to help with sound elimination.
  • Eat and/or drink lightly before bed.

Above all, the environment you sleep in can either positively or negatively affect your sleep. A mattress that is too old or not working properly can also lead to restless nights, so be sure to check out the Jonathan Stevens Mattress Co mattress selector here!

 

Yoga Can Improve Your Sleep Quality

  sleep tips Sleep Health
Thursday, September 28, 2017

September is National Yoga Awareness Month, and Jonathan Stevens Mattress Co. is taking a deeper look at the benefits of yoga and how it can help you sleep. Whether you are 15 or 50, yoga is an activity that is made for all ages and all experience levels.

Before we get into how yoga can improve your sleep, you may be asking yourself, What exactly counts as yoga? Yoga is defined as an ancient spiritual science that includes breath control, simple meditation and the practice of specific body postures. A common misconception of yoga is that you have to bend your body in all sorts of positions in order for it to be yoga, when in reality, yoga could be a simple meditation routine before bed.

The main goal of yoga is to boost your relaxation and bring the mind and body together as one cohesive unit. In fact, a recent study at Harvard proved that yoga before bed can actually help beat insomnia because it puts your mind and body in a relaxed state. The study also found improvements in other aspects of sleep, such as sleep efficiency and wake-up time.

There are several yoga poses that are great for beginners and perfectly designed to soothe your mind and body. Here are a few of our favorite poses to try before bed:

  • Head-to-knee pose (“Janu Sirsasana”)
  • Bound angle pose (“Baddha Konasana”)
  • Wide-angle seated forward bend (“Upavistha Konasana”)
  • Thread-the-needle pose
  • Reclined twist post
  • Legs-up-the-wall post (“Viparita Karani”)

Check out the article linked to see visual depictions of each pose, as well as step-by-step instructions.  While performing yoga always make sure to keep your mind clear, dim the lights for optimum relaxation, and don’t forget to watch your breathing!

Tried yoga and still feel like your sleep isn’t as good as you want it? It may be time to find a mattress made custom for you and your sleep needs! Check out Jonathan Stevens’ online mattress selector here.

Rise and Shine—Here Is How You Can Become a Morning Person

  sleep tips summer sleeping sleep science
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

There are many benefits associated with waking up early in the morning. Whether it is having more time to ease into your day, or enjoying a relaxing breakfast before a hectic day at work, the morning is full of possibilities. According to The Body Clock Guide to Better Health, only 1 in 10 people are naturally early risers. However, there are plenty of proven tips and tricks designed to help you become a morning person.

While an alarm clock may seem like the most conventional way to wake up early in the morning, many people find that they have trouble resisting the urge to hit that snooze button and get out of bed. Instead, try sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, and using your alarm as more of a guide until your body naturally adjusts. After a few weeks of going to bed at the same time each night, and waking up at the same time each morning, your circadian rhythm will begin to adjust naturally, and it’ll be easier to wake up.

However, if you are a night owl who is used to waking up at noon every day, waking up at 8 am every day may not be the easiest thing to do cold turkey. Try to ease into an early morning routine by waking up 20 minutes earlier each day until you reach your desired wake up time.

Another way to help make you a morning person is to avoid the urge to nap. While napping may feel good in the moment after a long day, it actually throws off your body’s natural rhythm and makes it harder to fall asleep later on. If you are in the pattern of taking frequent naps throughout the week, try to take one less nap a week until you are in the routine not to nap at all.

If these tips still aren’t doing the trick, here are a few other methods designed to help you become a morning person:

  • Eat healthy throughout the day, making sure you are not going to bed too hungry or too full.
  • Exercise in the morning.
  • Leave your shades open to allow more brightness into your room.
  • Come up with a morning goal to motivate you to get up. This could be different breakfast recipes to try, or even a new workout.
  • Make sure your room is cool (around 65 degrees) as cooler rooms are proven to promote better sleep.
  • Try to eliminate all noise from your room.

If you find that you are still having trouble waking up early after implementing several of these tips, it may be a sign that it is time for a new mattress! Check out Jonathan Steven’s online mattress selector here.

 

Summer Vacations and Improved Sleep

  sleep tips summer sleeping health
Monday, July 31, 2017

Have you ever wondered why you feel extra refreshed after a vacation, and find yourself sleeping so much better the days following? Studies prove that a change in environment can actually promote a better night’s sleep. Whether you take a day off and relax for an extended weekend, or spend a week on vacation, a temporary change in environment is linked to an increased quality of sleep.

The summer months are known to be the peak vacation season. Several families choose the summer months because the kids are out of school, but even millennials without children tend to take vacations in the summer to take advantage of outdoor activities and the warm weather. Some vacations can be more relaxing than others, like going on a tropical vacation versus going camping, but the main takeaway from any type of vacation is your refreshed return from a change in your routine.  

Not only does a vacation promote a change in environment which helps for better sleep, but it is a much needed break from all of your daily responsibilities. You are able to leave those stressful activities behind for a few days, and give your mind and body that much needed break.  

Another reason that summer vacations are linked to better sleep is because of increased outdoor activity. Although it is possible to spend time outside when you are not on vacation, many people’s jobs, school work, or other priorities tend to get in the way of that. Studies show that being exposed to sunlight in the early hours of the day improves your daily night’s sleep. Sunlight helps to regulate your body’s biological clock and keep it on track. Of course, make sure when you are in the sun to take the proper precautions and protect yourself with SPF.

Outdoor activity not only promotes more sunlight, but it causes people on vacation to typically get more exercise. Daily exercise is also linked to an improved sleep quality. Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean going to a gym, but it could mean a run on the beach or even a walk through town. Vacations work well for our bodies because they tend to get us moving around more, and in different ways than our normal routines.

Summer still has another month remaining, so it is not too late to squeeze in that last minute vacation. Upon return, not only will your body and mind feel refreshed, but you will come back sleeping better. If you found that you slept noticeably better on vacation than you do normally, it may be time for a new mattress.

The only thing we can think of that is better than a vacation is a great night’s sleep, so why not kill 2 birds with stone!

 

Pleasant Smells and Sleep: What’s the Connection?

  sleep tips health sleep trouble Sleep Health
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Have you ever been exhausted all day, practically counting down the minutes until you can go to bed, and then the second your head hits the pillow you find yourself having trouble falling asleep? Sleep is something that is often easier said than done, with your stresses of the day lingering when trying to fall asleep. However, a great relaxation technique to help combat sleep problems is a pleasant smell.

A scent you like is extremely effective at promoting relaxation and helping to aid sleep. In fact, not only is aromatherapy becoming increasingly more popular, but it has been recognized by the Alliance of International Aromatherapists as having both psychological and physical benefits.

The great part about aromatherapy is that there are endless combinations of scents, meaning that there is a scent for everyone. A scent that one person may absolutely love, another person may hate, but it is easy to test out what scent works for you. Some of the most popular scents that have been linked to relaxation and better sleep are: lavender, vanilla, jasmine, chamomile, sandalwood, clary, clary sage, rose, and valerian.

Essential oils in a diffuser is an easy way to incorporate a pleasant smell into your nighttime routine, but there are also a lot of other methods you can try. Some of our favorite picks are:

  • Creams and lotions
  • Soaps
  • Scent sticks
  • Pillow sprays
  • Bath oils
  • Body washes
  • Candles
  • Aromatic spritzers
  • Scented pillows
  • Scented mattress and pillow protectors
  • Scented laundry detergents

Not only can a pleasant smell help with relaxation and sleep, but a bedtime scent can actually make your bedroom more inviting. Pleasant scents are linked to better moods, which will translate into a better sleep for you that night. There is nothing better than a good night’s sleep so, on your next sleep, try incorporating aromatherapy or another one of our picks!

 

The Sleep Texting Phenomenon

  sleep trouble sleep science
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you hear the words sleep disorder, the first few conditions that come to your mind may be sleepwalking, insomnia, or even sleep apnea. However, most people do not think of texting while asleep as a sleep disorder at all, let alone a common sleep disorder. Sleep texting is growing to be more common among teenagers, and the phenomenon has been quickly finding itself more and more popular in the news.

Sleep texting means that a person is reading and responding to messages in their sleep with no recollection of this behavior come morning time. Experts say that this type of behavior stems from an unconscious phenomenon that young people cannot be apart from their phones. Texting while asleep is abnormal, unpredictable behavior, just like sleepwalking, that can take place during any time of the night.

People tend to think of sleep in two ways: either fully asleep or fully awake. However, there are several in-between stages of your sleep. In the case of sleep texting, the area of the brain that controls motor skills wakes up, while the area of the brain that controls memory does not. This explains how other sleep disorders work as well, and why we are able to walk, talk, or even text when we are still asleep.

An expert from the pediatric sleep disorders program at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota says that sleep texting is an automatic response, and even goes as far as to compare it to how a mother responds to her crying baby in the middle of the night. He says that a baby crying is a trigger that wakes mothers out of the deepest of sleeps, and that cell phone dings do that same thing to teenagers.

A doctor from Fairview Sleep Center estimates that over half of his young patients who have reported sleep problems have sleep texted. Studies show that one in three teenagers send more than 100 text messages a day, and four out of five teenagers admit to sleeping next to their phones.

The reliance on cell phones, especially among teenagers, has created this new sleep behavior that has been growing in numbers for several years. Because this disorder occurs in an unconscious state, it can be a difficult behavior to break. One of the only ways to reduce the likelihood of this disorder is to sleep with your phone far from your bed or bedside table, or better yet put your phone in another room.

Texting is a fun pastime, but more fun when you can actually remember the conversation.

 

Food and Drink For A Good Night’s Sleep

 
Monday, May 15, 2017

The type of food or drink consumed before bed can make a big difference on the quality of your sleep. There are several sources called sleep promoters that can help you fall asleep quicker and more soundly. However, there are also food and drinks called sleep stealers that make it harder for you to fall asleep.

Caffeine and sugary foods are well-known things to avoid before bed, but there are a lot of other factors that people don’t realize go into sleep quality. Levels of melatonin and tryptophan also affect sleep. Here is a list of some of the top food and drinks to support a good night’s sleep.

Nuts

Nuts are a great before bed snack because they are a good source of healthy fat. Specifically, almonds and walnuts are the best nuts to eat because they contain melatonin, a hormone designed to help regulate your sleep cycle.

Fruit

There are also fruits that contain melatonin, to help you sleep more soundly and fall asleep much quicker.  Cherries, bananas, pineapples, and oranges are some of the top sources of melatonin.  

Fruit can also help combat sleep disorders because they are such a high source of antioxidants, which can balance out the body from some sleep disorders.  For example, those with insomnia have found that eating 2 kiwis before bed every night increases their amount of sleep by an hour over the course of a month. Berries, plums, prunes, and raisins are the highest antioxidant fruits.

Milk

Milk contains a combination of melatonin and tryptophan, the combination of which creates serotonin in the body and induces sleep. Low levels of serotonin are linked to insomnia and poor sleeping conditions. Tryptophan is the same amino acid that makes us tired after eating turkey on Thanksgiving. Drink a tall glass of milk before bed to ensure you fall asleep right when your head hits the mattress.

Tea

Decaffeinated tea is another great drink before bed, as it is known for causing the body to relax.  The most calming tea choices are chamomile, ginger, and peppermint.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is high in lean protein. This means that it is packed with tryptophan, and a perfect bedtime snack.  Pairing cottage cheese with berries can sweeten up the snack, and add some melatonin into the mix.

You have a lot of choices every day when it comes to what you eat or drink, but what you consume before bed can completely make or break your sleep quality that night. Next time you are at the store, pick up a few of these items and conquer that good night’s sleep you have been dreaming of.

 

 

New Seasons Brings New Sleep: How Weather Influences Sleep

Have you ever noticed that your sleep changes based on the weather?

Spring is finally here, which means warmer weather and a change in your sleep habits. The outside environment plays a huge role in our sleep routine. There are many factors that affect sleep that we can control, like a comfortable mattress for example, but weather is not one of them. Here are a few things that may change the way you sleep this spring.

Sunlight

Sunlight is one of the most noticeable changes in spring. The days get shorter in the fall and winter months, which means we often go to work before the sun even rises. Less exposure to the sunlight means less Vitamin D, which can negatively affect our sleep-wake cycles. Vitamin D produces serotonin, and when our body does not get enough seratonin, we experience greater daytime drowsiness. This then can make your body feel tired earlier than your usual bedtime. Luckily, spring brings more sunlight, and more sunlight means a better night’s sleep.

Temperature

Another factor that changes in the spring season is temperature. After long winter months, a warmer spring temperature is much anticipated. However, studies prove that we actually sleep better in colder temperatures. Our body temperature naturally cools down as we prepare to sleep, and so cold air supports the body’s sleep environment.

Not only do we feel physically uncomfortable when the weather is hot and humid, but it is harder for our bodies to be comfortable during sleep as well. Warm air temperatures can prevent our bodies from settling into a deep sleep.

Storms

Whether you are a heavy or light sleeper, thunderstorms can interrupt your sleep. Although winter months typically bring a lot of snow, snow fall doesn’t tend to wake us up from our sleep like a thunderstorm does. It is common for people to enjoy falling asleep to a relaxing rainfall, but most people would agree a loud clap of thunder or a bright flash of lightning is not what they had in mind.

Allergies

Springtime means that everything begins to bloom again after the cold winter months, but the new season also brings new allergies. Tree and grass pollen are common allergies in the spring, and often cause stuffy noses, itchy eyes, and sinus irritation. These symptoms may seem minor, but they can affect the quality of your sleep more than you would think.

While spring is a great break from the cold, the change in weather can cause some sleep issues. Some ways to help combat these issues and save our sleep routines are:

  • Try and go to bed at the same time every night
  • Keep the temperature in your house as cool as possible
  • Invest in a fan next to your bed
  • Stock up on allergy medicine to clear your sinuses
  • Use white noise to try and drown out storms

With these tips and the added sunlight during spring, you are on your way to a better night’s sleep!

 

5 Things You Didn’t Know The Brain Does During Sleep

  sleep science Sleep Health sleep benefits
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

We all have one thing in common: we all have to sleep. In fact, we spend a third of our lives sleeping. During sleep, we may feel at rest, but in reality our brain is anything but inactive. Here are five incredible things that your brain does while you are in bed every night.

1. Forms and Consolidates Memories

The brain is busy forming new memories, consolidating memories, and linking the old with the new all while we are fast asleep. This is why professionals say sleep is so important in order to retain information. Without sleep, the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain that  forms and stores memories, cannot properly do its job. Sleep is where the brain takes the time to process everything into memories, and even cements any new info into the brain for better recall later on.

 2. Removes Toxins

 Let’s just say that sleep gives your brain a chance to do a little housekeeping. During this time, the brain clears out any damaging molecules that are associated with neurodegeneration. If sleep does not occur, these toxins have the ability to build up and accelerate      neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Sleep enables harmful toxins that are built up during active hours to be flushed so that the brain is able to refresh and restore.

3. Makes Decisions

The brain can actually make effective decisions while unconscious. A recent study found that the brain processes complex stimuli while asleep, which the brain then uses to make decisions when we are awake. An example that all of us can relate to is waking up due to an alarm clock. The brain processes this information as a relevant sound and then tells our body to act accordingly and wakeup. However, we don’t wake up as easily to sounds that aren’t familiar to our brain, even if they are just as loud, because the brain doesn’t associate that sound with a decision.

4. Burns Calories

Many people don’t realize that means you actually burn calories while you are asleep. Sleep is where your body is able to undergo the bulk of digestion for the day because your parasympathetic nervous system is dominant at rest. The exact amount of calories you burn in your sleep depends on a person’s weight and the number of hours spent sleeping. However, the average amount of calories burned is 0.42 calories for every pound per one hour of sleep.

 5. Boosts Creativity

 A deep sleep can actually be a creativity booster. At an unconscious state, your brain is able to make new connections that it wouldn’t normally make when awake. In fact, it has been proven that sleep can foster unusual connections in the brain, which can then lead to  “aha” moments upon waking up. A recent study at The University of California at Berkeley found that after waking up, people are 33% more likely to make connections between seemingly unrelated ideas. Several creative directors attest to keeping a notepad next to  their beds because they have their best ideas when they wake up from a deep slumber.

 These five things can only happen in your unconscious state, so make sure to jump into bed tonight and get a good night’s rest. If you don’t feel yourself seeing these five benefits of sleep, it may be time for a new mattress to ensure you are getting the best sleep  possible. Check out our mattress finder or stop in a store today to see what’s right for you.

 

Guest Post: 3 Reasons Why I Love My New Mattress

 
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

I hadn’t planned on purchasing a new mattress this year for my husband and myself, but life happens and so did a new mattress.

We decided to get a mattress for ourselves and put our old mattress in our renovated guest room. We had been sleeping on a spring mattress with a memory foam topper. We thought we were comfortable enough, but wanted more room, so upsized from queen to king.

No More Achy Body

That comfort thing I mentioned above? Well NOW I am comfortable! My quality of sleep has improved and, while I wake up more refreshed, I really enjoy mornings when I don’t need to get out of bed early.

Comfort is a pretty big deal to me. I love leggings and big sweaters, cozy blankets, and soft things. So, when we got our new mattress, it was very important that it meet my expectations. The Harmony Gel mattress we chose has exceeded all of my requirements. I really didn’t know how much my old mattress was affecting my body. I would wake up with achy shoulders or hips. It was probably all due to lack of support or something—I don’t know for sure, but for the month I’ve been sleeping on my new mattress, I no longer ache.

The Benefits of Upsizing

What can I say? Upsizing from a queen bed to king has been amazing. Okay, so I’ll admit, it’s not just my husband and me sleeping in the bed. At any given time of night, we could have up to 2 cats and a dog on the bed with us. Did I mention that one of the cats is a 20 pounder and the dog is medium sized? I don’t even notice them anymore. It is true that if I’m cold and need a little extra warmth from my husband, I need to make a tiny effort to snuggle up to him, but that’s a small sacrifice to make, right?

Less Movement

Restless Leg Syndrome. Need I say more? If you sleep with someone who has it, is just generally fidgety at night, or has a different schedule than you, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

When I walked into the Jonathan Stevens store in Grandville, one of the first questions I was asked was “Does your partner move a lot, keeping you awake at night?” Holy mother of all that is good and evil in this world, YES! That was why I was directed to the SensuRest Gel line of mattresses. I had no idea how many times I was awakened until it wasn’t happening anymore. Now I hardly notice that I am sharing the bed. I think he would have to be jumping on the bed for me to even feel it. That might be a slight exaggeration, but not much. I’m sure that if I mentioned that to him, he’d be happy to oblige. Now to figure out a way to get him to stop stealing covers. Suggestions welcome.

The Truth About Your Post-Thanksgiving Nap

 
Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Last Thursday, we gathered around the table with friends and family to give thanks. But when the bird had been devoured, the potatoes eaten, and everyone’s bellies were about to burst, it was time for another American tradition—the post-feast nap. So, what is it that makes us so sleepy after the Thanksgiving meal?

Turkey Blame Game

We’ve all heard it before. Turkey is full of tryptophan, which makes you sleepy. However, this isn’t totally true. The turkey and tryptophan myth first popped up in a 1975 study at Tufts University when researchers studied the effects of tryptophan in tablet form. When taken as a tablet, insomniacs reportedly fell asleep faster and slept more deeply. Sometime around Thanksgiving of 1978, people started making the connection between the natural tryptophan found in turkey and that post-meal groggy feeling. However, tryptophan can also be found in tons of proteins like pork, eggs, lobster, and soy. In fact, chicken has significantly more tryptophan than turkey, but most of us don’t zonk out after a barbeque.

How Does Tryptophan Work Anyway?

When your body starts digesting your Thanksgiving feast, it breaks down amino acids that try to make their way to your bloodstream. One of those amino acids is tryptophan from the turkey. What starts to happen in your body isn’t too different from Black Friday shopping the next day. Basically, all the amino acids get in line to enter your bloodstream and make their way to your brain. Since the line is so long, very little of the tryptophan makes it, meaning there probably isn’t enough to put you to sleep.

So Why Am I So Tired?

The real culprits are probably the carb-rich foods like rolls and potatoes—not to mention the booze you might have washed it down with. Since you’re eating so much food, your body can actually get exhausted trying to digest it all, making you feel fatigued. Additionally, all the stress that likely built up between making the Thanksgiving meal, dealing with family, and preparing for the upcoming holiday season may contribute. With all of those factors combined, it’s the perfect recipe for a nap.

 

Sleeping with Fall Allergies

  health sleep trouble
Thursday, October 27, 2016

Fall is officially in full force. Most us can tell it’s fall by the leaves changing colors, but for some of us, stuffy noses and congestion might be a better indication of the autumn air. From October to mid-November, fall allergies can peak with everything from mold to ragweed being at the highest levels of the year. If fall allergies are keeping you up at night, try a few of these tips for a better night’s rest.

Keep It Clean

Since nighttime temperatures are dropping, it might be time to take out your flannel sheets, but don’t forget to wash them first. Since dust can be a major trigger for fall allergy sufferers, it’s best to keep your bedding fresh and clean. Make sure to wash pillowcases, sheets and pajamas in warm water to remove any allergens. It may seem obvious, but once your laundry is washed, be sure to keep it in the dryer until it is completely dry. Damp bedding or pajamas can lead to mold or mildew, which can make allergies worse.

Once you’ve made sure your bedroom is clean, you have to make sure you are too! Even if you usually take showers in the morning, it might be a good idea to rinse off before bed. This can help remove allergens from your hair and skin, allowing you to rest easy. If you have congestion, a steamy shower can help with your stuffy nose too.

Sneaky Allergens

If you’re used to sleeping with pets in the bed, now might be the time to reconsider. Even though you might not be allergic to Fido himself, you could potentially be allergic to the pollen and ragweed from the yard that he collects on his fur. When pets bring allergens inside, it can make symptoms worse.  

Another place allergens can hide is in your furnace. Since you might be turning on the heat for the first time in months, it’s common for dust and other allergens to have settled in vents, which will blow into your living space. Be sure to change your furnace filter frequently and try to purchase allergy-friendly filters.

Managing Symptoms

Despite your best efforts, you still might have allergy symptoms before bed. If you’re taking allergy medication, try to avoid taking decongestants close to bedtime. Often, decongestants can have a stimulant effect that makes it hard to sleep. Other allergy medications like antihistamines can help with sleep, but can make you feel groggy in the morning. It’s best to work closely with your doctor to determine what medication will work best all day and night.

 

Back to School Sleep Routine

  sleep tips children's sleep
Thursday, September 22, 2016

Back to school can be a stressful time for families. With kids needing an average of 9-10 hours of sleep a night, not getting enough sleep can only add to any already stressful situation. That’s why it’s important to start establishing a sleep routine early and stick with it!

Setting a Sleep Schedule

When establishing a sleep schedule, it’s more effective to make small changes gradually rather than big changes all at once. A good starting point is to get to bed 15 minutes earlier and wake up 15 minutes earlier the next morning. For example, if lights out is at 8:00 in the summer, try making sure everyone is ready for bed by 7:45 a month before school starts, then 7:30 the next week, and so on. By the end of the month, you’ll have naturally set your kids’ bedtime back an hour.

It can be easy to slip into the old summer schedule on weekends—especially when it’s still light earlier in the evening. However, it’s important to maintain the routine even on the weekends and not use Saturdays as a day to sleep in or catch up.

Creating a Sleep Environment

Once the kids are ready for bed, it’s important to create a calm sleeping environment to unwind for the day. One way to make sure kids are unwinding is to enforce an electronics curfew an hour before bed. Electronics can create light exposure, which increases mental activity instead of settling kids down. Instead, replace time on a phone or tablet with reading a book to your child or telling them a story.

After they’ve wound down, create a cozy sleeping environment by making sure lights are dim and the room is between 68-72 degrees for an ideal sleeping temperature. Try to limit outside noise by adding soft music or white noise to the room.

Morning and Daytime Matter Too!

It can be easy to hit the snooze button and let kids sleep in a little extra in the beginning, but it’s important to stick with the plan. To help kids shake grogginess, consider a natural sunrise alarm clock, or open the blinds. These tactics are also proven to benefit their overall mood in the morning!

Your sleep routine is important, but it can be a lot easier to adjust to if you establish a daytime routine too. Ideally, kids should be cut off from caffeine after lunch, or at the very least, three hours before bed.

What other tips do you have for bedtime routine? Share them below!

 

Sleep Tips for Those Hot Summer Nights (Without AC)

  sleep tips summer sleeping
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

If you’re one of the lucky ones without air conditioning at home, or you’re hesitant to rack up a hefty electric bill, you might be looking for some ways to keep cool at night. Sure, fans are always an option, but what else can you do?

Here are some of the best tips that we found:

 
  1. Frozen Peas - pull a bag of peas out of the freezer on your way to bed. Lay down and place them on your forehead or under your pillow, depending on just how warm you are.
  2. Bamboo Sheets - bamboo sheets retain significantly less heat than polyester, silk, or even cotton. Beyond material, color can make a difference too—stick to the lighter ones and avoid deep blues and browns. Browse our collection of bamboo sheets today!  
  3. Give Yourself the Chills - gently run your fingers along your arm and you’ll feel chills in an instant!
  4. Cold Showers - cooling off with a cold shower before jumping into bed will lower your body temperature. It won’t last all night, but it should help until you fall asleep!
  5. Repurpose the Towel - take the towel you used after your shower, and soak it in cold water for 10 minutes. Then, wring it out and hang it in front of your open window. Any breeze coming in through the window will run into the cold towel, delivering cool air to your room.
  6. Shut the Blinds - prepare for warm nights by thinking ahead throughout the day. Close your blinds during the day to prevent warm sunlight from filling the room with heat.
  7. Unplug Electronics - electronics give off heat, even when turned off. Unplug them to stop the electricity from flowing and causing heat. Plus, you’ll save on your electric bill!
  8. Rethink Meals - filling up with a hearty dinner of steak and potatoes before bed is sure to leave you feeling warmer than normal. Stick to cold or room-temperature meals like salads or sandwiches. Plus, avoiding the stove and oven will prevent additional heat in the house.
  9. Mattress Protectors - some mattress covers use new performance material that will also help you sleep cooler. Our OmniGuard® Advance mattress protector is quiet and cool, while providing premium protection for your mattress. You can purchase them online or in any Jonathan Stevens store.

What other tricks have worked for you?

Thinking About Handing Down Your Child’s Mattress or Purchasing Used? Think Again.

  children's sleep kid's mattress
Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Children spent a lot of time in bed. According to the experts at the National Sleep Foundation, toddlers should get about 11-14 hours of sleep per day, and preschoolers need roughly the same. With approximately 50% of the early years spent in bed, are you putting enough thought and investment into the mattress they’re sleeping on?

Often, parents will elect to hand down mattresses to the younger siblings when the older ones outgrow them, or purchase a used mattress at a garage or thrift sale. However, there are various concerns that parents should be aware of. To be safe, it is best to purchase a brand new mattress for each child.

Dangers of Hand-Me-Down Mattresses

Used mattresses have led to illness and injuries, and should not be considered safe. In some states, secondhand mattresses are not allowed to be sold without proper inspection and safety approvals.

According to the University of Utah, handing down mattresses from one child to another can be especially dangerous for many reasons:

  • Dust mites and other organisms that have made their way into the mattress will only continue to grow in population. Unlike a favorite stuffed animal, mattresses can’t simply be tossed in a dryer to rid of these dangers.
  • The state of the mattress can often cause allergies, stuffiness, and trouble with breathing. Food stains, body perspiration, saliva, and other unwanted elements that have been acquired by the mattress over the years can be irritants to your child’s body.
  • After years of use, a mattress often begins to sag. A sagging mattress is an indication of a lack of support, and could result in discomfort and pain for your child both at night and during the day.
  • Finally, there are certain safety standards and protocols in mattress production processes that may not have been implemented at the time that your existing mattress was made. Mattresses made before these were put in place can put your child at risk of injury, especially in the case of a fire.

Invest in your children’s good night sleep with a new, supportive mattress.

At Jonathan Stevens, we know the importance of a good, healthy night’s sleep for people of all ages, but especially for children who are at a critical point in their lives in terms of brain and immune system development.

We provide a variety of safe, healthy mattresses for beds of all sizes. Our mattresses are built at the time of order, meaning they’re made just for you and your child. We’ll even build you one to fit those homemade bunkbeds or racecar beds! You name it, and we’ll make it. You can rest easy knowing that your child is getting a safe and healthy night’s sleep on their brand new mattress.

Additional Sleep Tips

In addition to a new mattress, try these tips for creating a proper sleeping environment for your child:  

  • Restrict all lighting. Ideally, the bedroom should be as dark as possible. A nightlight is okay for those children who are afraid of the dark, but try to locate it far away from the bed, and in the hallway if possible.
  • Restrict sounds. If you’re a parent of a young one, you’re aware of how distracted they can get. By keeping all sounds to a minimum or providing constant white noise with a fan, you’ll help their mind relax to fall asleep easily.
  • No screen time 2 hours before bed. This one is true for all ages. By cutting out televisions, tablets, and computers from within 2 hours of bedtime, your child should be able to unwind and fall asleep peacefully.  
  • Plenty of exercise. Another one for all ages - exercising wears us out! This is especially important for children whose bodies are growing rapidly and have very high energy levels. By wearing them out during the day, they’ll have less strength to fight sleeping at night.