With the cold winter months in full swing, this brings the cold and flu season everyone is dreading. Did you know that sleep is actually one of the best medications for fighting off a cold?
A good night’s sleep boosts your immune system, making it easier for your body to fight off a virus. If do manage to get sick, sleep can also help your body bounce back quicker. A full night of rest maximizes your body’s infection fighting antibodies that you naturally produce.
A stuffy nose, fever, or sore throat can sometimes make it harder for you to fall asleep, but sleep is vital in a quick recovery! Here are some simple strategies to manage your cold symptoms so you can get better faster.
One of our favorite remedies is tea with honey. Not only can the steam from the hot beverage clear up your stuffy nose, the honey can also soothe your sore throat. Honey is also a great way to quickly suppress a cough! Having some tea with honey is one of our favorite ways to knock out multiple symptoms at once.
If that doesn’t do the trick, a steam shower or humidifier may help by for clearing your airways. Steam showers will provide relaxation, while a humidifier acts as a double threat that adds moisture to the air while also soothing your dry sinuses.
If all of these tricks are still not helping you fall asleep, try giving yourself a break. Read a few pages of your favorite book, listen to some soothing music, or sip another cup of tea. Give yourself some time to de-stress, and try falling asleep again in another few minutes.
So gear up for the cold and flu season, and make sure to get some shut-eye!
Are you still having trouble being able to sleep off your cold? It may be time to look into a new mattress to help aide in a better night’s sleep!
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!
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.
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
- Scent sticks
- Pillow sprays
- Bath oils
- Body washes
- 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!
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.
Getting a Good Night’s Sleep Starts with Knowing the Difference
Chances are you’ve had trouble sleeping at some point in your life. In fact, for some of us, poor sleep is just … normal. But what if what you believed to be “normal” about lack of sleep was actually abnormal? Breaking down the walls between fact and fiction might just be the ticket you need to get a better night’s sleep. So, what are these sleeping myths?
Myth #1 - Snoring on a nightly basis is normal and nothing to worry about.
Myth #2 - Your physical health does not affect how well you sleep.
Myth #3 - Daytime fatigue just means you need more than 8 hours of sleep at night.
Myth #4 - You can train your body to function on less sleep.
#1: The Schnoz Dilemma
Snoring loudly every night can very well be not normal at all. In fact, in general, it’s a sign that you’re not receiving the correct airflow through your nose and throat, which disturbs your sleep and causes daytime fatigue. A quick fix? Try switching your sleeping position from your back to your side, skip the after-dinner alcohol, and keep the pillows clean. If these remedies aren’t working, it may be a sign that you suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which can be very harmful to your heart and potentially life threatening. Consult your doctor if someone has noted you stop breathing for short periods of time while sleeping.
#2: Weighing In
The amount of restful sleep you are receiving can be traced back to the condition of your physical health. Poor health—such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes—coupled with lack of exercise, factor into a poor night’s sleep. Recent studies show that lack of sleep negatively affects weight, and those who slept less tended to weigh more. Start with a walk around the block before you head in for the night and see if that helps.
#3 Counting Sleep
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “catching up” on sleep. So, when you find yourself fatigued during the day, tacking on an extra 1-2 hours of shuteye that night isn’t going to do you any good. Sleep works with quality over quantity, and 10 hours of fitful sleep will do less good than 6 hours of restful sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get about 8 hours of quality sleep per night, so it’s best to set up a sleep routine and stick to it. A solid routine will help ensure you’re getting those quality hours that count.
#4 To Cheat … Or Not to Cheat
Is it possible to train yourself to get by on less sleep? Not really. If we are consistently getting little sleep each night, our sleep “debt,” as it’s referred to, cannot be adequately repaid. The more sleep that is lost, the less chance to get it back, and the more likely we are prone to obesity, diabetes, and depression. You can make yourself get up earlier, but your body’s natural reaction to lack of sleep will show during the day, specifically through extreme fatigue and lack of mental and physical functioning.
Sometimes your lack of sleep may be due to an outdated mattress or pillow. At Jonathan Stevens, we know the importance of not only getting the correct quantity of sleep, but also the correct quality of sleep. If you are ready to change how you sleep at night, get a head start by taking the Mattress Finder Quiz, and then stop by any of our 8 convenient locations to talk with one of our experts.
Is Napping Healthy?
Following such interesting news stories as the Spanish mayor issuing a proclamation for his entire city to nap, and college campuses and workplaces in the spotlight for encouraging naps with quiet rooms and special sleeping chairs, we are often asked our thoughts on napping.
Napping may be a hot topic on parenting blogs, but what about the effects of napping for adults? Is it good to get a nap in during the day, or will your nighttime sleep suffer? Does it affect your metabolism or focus? According to experts, it depends. Here are some things to think about, and tips on how a nap can be helpful without sabotaging your night.
The Cause of Your Sleepiness
If you are thinking about whether or not you should take a nap during the day, the first thing to consider is why you might need to take a nap. Do you have bad nighttime habits that are causing you to go to bed too late and not get enough sleep? Are you experiencing bad sleep? Do you have a medical problem causing fatigue? If there is another problem that is can be addressed to eliminate the need for daytime sleep, try to take care of that first. If, however, your sleep disturbance can’t be fixed (like with an unconventional work schedule or a newborn baby), then napping might be a good solution.
Is There a Risk to Napping?
TIME magazine pointed out that a 2014 study that showed a correlation between napping and ill health is nothing that should cause alarm. The connection between the two is most likely due to the fact that people in poor health will nap during the day—not that napping causes poor health. So don’t worry about that!
Should I Try a Nap Alternative?
Instead of taking time to rest, some people would rather reach for caffeine to stay awake. There’s at least one good reason why an afternoon cup of coffee is not your best bet. Some evidence shows that caffeine, though it can perk you up, can be detrimental to your memory. Not to mention that a late cup of coffee can interfere with sleep later just like a late or lengthy nap can.
Napping Might Be Natural
The National Sleep Foundation points out that 85% of mammal species sleep in more than one period. Humans are strange in this aspect because we’re convinced that the best schedule is one in two distinct parts: day for being awake, and night for being asleep. Some of the greatest thinkers of our time have been nappers, and many people claim that it helps them feel refreshed and refocused instead of experiencing an afternoon lull.
Many benefits have been found for napping, and most experts agree that ten to thirty minutes is the ideal length for health benefits and focus. Benefits include relaxation, reduced fatigue, increased alertness, improved mood, and higher productivity with the addition of things like a quicker reaction time, improved memory, and an overall clearer mind. Shake the blahs, cure a headache, or relieve stress with a quick snooze.
A nap can have many benefits, but the downside is that some people find they have a groggy period after waking from the nap, and may take a long time to feel alert again. If you sleep too long, you may not feel tired at night when you need to get a full night’s rest. That’s why it best to plan your nap, use time wisely, and not let yourself sleep too long.
If you want to take an occasional nap or make napping a part of your daily routine, keep a few things in mind.
- Keep your nap short. A 15–30 minute nap is unlikely to affect your night, but a three hour nap could certainly leave you lying wide awake at bedtime. Set an alarm, or have someone wake you after you’ve caught a few Z’s.
- Make sure you have enough time before bed. If bedtime is quickly approaching, it likely won’t make sense to take a nap. If you had a physically or mentally active morning and want to take a short nap during the midday slump, that’s probably perfect timing to get the most out of a nap.
- Set the scene for sweet sleep. Go somewhere dark with a good temperature and comfortable bed or chair. Draw the curtains in your bedroom and put on something comfortable to sleep in. It may be tempting to doze on the couch with your jeans on and sun blaring, but you’re unlikely to get nearly as much benefit from that as you would from a more sleep-friendly setting. If you’re out of the house, find a quiet place or safe spot in comfortable conditions.
- If you are more tired than usual and can’t figure out why, make sure you talk to your doctor about what could be causing fatigue. Of course, if you’re turning to naps during the day because you’re not sleeping well at night, make it a point to investigate. Is a bad mattress causing you to miss out on restful, restorative sleep? If that’s the case, come talk to us at Jonathan Stevens or try our mattress finder quiz to get matched with your ideal sleep solution.
Whether you need a new mattress, earlier bedtime, or more consistent schedule, nighttime sleep should be priority. Otherwise, feel free to enjoy a nap!