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.

Sleep Helps You Lose Weight

Most tips for weight loss analyze your diet and activity, while sleep is overlooked. Sleep plays an important role in reaching your weight loss goals. In fact, less than seven hours of sleep per night can reduce the benefits of dieting properly. Even when you routinely work out and eat healthy food, lack of sleep will rob you from your well-earned weight loss results.

Two hormones that control hunger—leptin and ghrelin—are the link between sleep and weight loss. Understanding how leptin and ghrelin affect our body helps us understand the importance of sleep as part of a dieting regime. Leptin is a protein produced by fatty tissue. This means that the less leptin you produce, the more empty your stomach feels. Ghrelin, a peptide hormone produced in the stomach, reduces the amount of calories you burn and increases the amount of fat you store. Sleeping less than the recommended number of hours each night will depress leptin and stimulate ghrelin, making weight loss nearly impossible. To successfully shed unwanted pounds, you must control these two hormones by getting the sleep your body needs.

Fight unnecessary hunger by remembering to prioritize sleep. Aside from feeling less satisfied after meals, lack of sleep can mean less energy to exercise. Don’t set yourself up for success and then deny your body the rest it needs to refuel. Next time you hit the gym or start a new diet, remember that sleep should be a top priority too.

Are you getting a good night’s sleep? If not, it may be time to consider a new mattress. Check out our mattress finder to start shopping for the right one for you today!

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.


The Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep

  sleep tips health sleep science sleep benefits
Thursday, May 7, 2015

Everyone knows the obvious benefits of sleep: you feel well-rested and energized, you’re happier, and you can focus. Did you know that a lack of sleep can have some alarming side effects, like increasing everything from headaches to your risk of stroke? Even a week of sleep deprivation (six hours or less) can cause big problems that are hard to recover from. Plus, your risk for some major health problems can raise—even double or quadruple that of a good sleeper. Here are some interesting benefits of getting a good night’s rest, and surprising effects of not enough sleep!

Good Sleep May Decrease Diabetes Risk

Studies suggest that insufficient sleep can alter the way the body processes glucose. This inappropriate processing of sugar is one of the factors that can lead to type 2 diabetes. Pair that with the fact that good sleep helps people have energy to exercise, maintain a healthy weight by resisting junk food cravings, and burn body fat, and it’s easy to see the link between poor sleep and diabetes.

Heart Health

Cardiologists can tell you that not getting enough sleep can lead to heart problems. Symptoms like high blood pressure and even heart attack have been associated with lack of sleep. When you’re not sleeping enough, your body is stressed and releases cortisol, the so-called “stress hormone.” This hormone makes your heart work harder, and takes a toll on your cardiovascular system, increasing the risk of heart disease.

Sleep Reduces Stroke Risk

Here’s another alarming effect of lack of sleep: even without other risk factors including family history or being overweight, regularly sleeping fewer than six hours a night can increase your risk of stroke by four times that of someone who gets the recommended amount of sleep. This may be because a lack of sleep causes the symptoms that raise the risk of stroke, but are usually associated with better-known conditions like smoking, diabetes, blood disorders, and high cholesterol. Insufficient sleep can lead to increased blood pressure, higher weight, inflammation, and stress hormones, which may be setting up the correct circumstances for a stroke in older adults.

Immune Health

Sick and tired of being sick and tired? One of those may be causing the other. Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep are more prone to catching colds, and have trouble kicking colds, flu, and other infections. Not only do you need sleep to recover from illness, but you need sleep to prevent getting sick.

Sleep More for a Trimmer Waist

Taking a nap isn’t going to burn many calories or give you washboard abs, but adequate sleep has been linked to having a healthier weight. The flipside of this is that not getting enough sleep is linked with gaining weight, and being overweight. When you don’t sleep enough, ghrelin (a hormone) production is increased. Ghrelin increases your appetite. The hormone that tells you when you’re full, leptin, decreases with decreased sleep as well. You’ll have lower energy, be hungrier and stressed, making it harder to prepare healthy meals and resist the urge to eat easily available junk food. According to Prevention, sleep deprivation can even affect the way that your body keeps weight on. You might be able to lose weight, but you won’t lose as much fat as someone who is well-rested.

Drive Safely

Part of the problem with a lack of focus caused by insufficient sleep is that most people operate heavy machinery every day. Driving without good focus, and with a slower reaction time, increases your chance of a car crash. Many sources find that driving tired is as risky as driving under the influence. People who sleep six hours per night are twice as likely to get in an accident as the full night (eight hour) sleepers. According to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, less than five hours of sleep a night quadruples your odds of getting into a car accident!

Sleep Improves Physical Performance

A lack of sleep won’t leave you with much energy to hit the gym, but the good news is that getting enough sleep can improve physical performance in many ways. You’ll be faster, with better coordination, quicker reaction time, and your muscles will recover more easily after a hard workout. A 2013 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that, after a night of bad sleep, muscles had reduced strength and power during the following day’s workout. Plus, later in the day and in the afternoon, the effects were the worst as your body is already tired from lack of sleep and being up all day.

Sleep is Nature’s Mood-Booster

Sure, you may not wake up with perfect hair and makeup like on TV, but the feeling of waking up well-rested (something most people don’t usually get, or only sneak in on the weekend) is great! You can’t help but be in a better mood when you have slept enough. Sleepiness, however, leads to more emotional reactions to negative situations, higher stress with less ability to focus on problem solving, and even a poor memory surely to leave you in a fog. Tired and cranky? It’s no wonder! Sleep can help relieve your crankiness.

The Effects of Pain

Did you know that not getting enough sleep even makes you react differently to pain? A study in the journal Sleep found that people were not as able to handle a pain stimulus when they lacked sleep. They’re not sure why this is true, but people who slept nine hours were able to tolerate the discomfort 25% longer. Sleep, in turn, is a natural pain reliever that helps people experiencing pain to recover and cope better.

Have Better Relationships

This one is a bit more anecdotal as there aren’t studies to back it up (yet!), but some sources note that better sleep will also lead to improved relationships. It makes sense that, if you’re tired and cranky, you’re going to have more disagreements and be prone to dissatisfaction with life in general. Rest and a clear head will help you be optimistic instead of finding fault with your circumstances and the people around you.

There are so many more benefits to sleep. Even minor things like nicer skin and a sharper memory can have a profound impact on your quality of life. Make sure that you’re going to bed with enough time to fall asleep, and can sleep at least seven to eight hours before waking.

Health Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep—Spur Your Creativity

  sleep benefits
Friday, April 12, 2013

Everyone has experienced times when their brain was in overdrive—thinking up various creative ideas, methods, and revelations—and then times when their mind seemed to be against them, time when is was difficult to think of out-of-the-box ideas.

What is the secret behind those moments of pure creativity? Diet? Yoga? Meditation? Actually, there is a simpler explanation—sleep. Quite simply put, the healthier one sleeps, the more creative he or she can become—provided they possess a little bit of innate creativity!

So get a good night’s sleep before pulling out your pen and paper or your paintbrush. But is a good night’s sleep all that’s needed to spur your creativity? And what is the definition of good night’s sleep?

Sleeping for at least eight hours a night, waking up refreshed and without any body pain, having no ambient noise, and sleeping on a comfortable but supportive mattress all form a part of a good night’s sleep. Furthermore, your pre-sleep state of mind and what you eat or drink before hitting the cot matter. A proper sleep has you wake up fresh and feeling rejuvenated.

A good night’s sleep improves creativity by consolidating memories, or rather, making them stronger. During sleep, the brain reorganizes memories and restructures them, settling them into long-term memory segments, which leaves the short-term memory and processing center of the brain free for boosting creativity.

When you sleep less at night, your mind is unable to refresh itself, unable to store away memories created the previous day. The consequence of this is an overworked brain that has little space left to process creativity and improvise quicker.

According to Harvard University researchers, people undergo a strengthening of their emotional components during sleep that helps boost creativity. Boston College found that, after a good sleep, people feel happier and are able to get their creative juices flowing. Even the average Joe can experience the on-the-spur creativity required by artists, writers, and photographers after getting a good night’s sleep.

So if you want to work on your bestselling novel or create the next artistic masterpiece, start by getting a good night’s sleep.

For a better nights sleep stop by your local Jonathan Stevens Mattress Co. factory store.

Talk of the Town Radio Interview

  sleep science sleep benefits health
Wednesday, March 20, 2013

RADIO_INTERVIEW: Talk of the Town, Grand Rapids, MI on News Radio 1300 and 106.9FM with Steve Kelley and Ron Zagel of Jonathan Stevens Mattress Co.

STEVE: This is news radio with 1300 and 106.9 FM. You are listening to talk of the town, and I am Steve Kelley. This morning when you got up were you happy with your bed? is the website. There are eight convenient locations right here in West Michigan and from Jonathan Stevens, Ron Zagel joins us right now. Welcome to Talk of the Town.

RON: Thanks very much for having me Steve.

STEVE: Wouldn’t miss it for the world. You know, it’s important to have the right bed. It’s good for your health amongst other things.

RON: Absolutely, a lot of people don’t realize it, but there is really a health triumvirate. Not only do you have to exercise. Not only do you have to eat right, but if you don’t get your good night’s sleep, you just aren’t going to be very productive in the day.

STEVE: And we’ve certainly all been on bad mattresses, and you can get a backache from that as well, so now productivity is in play too.

RON: Absolutely, do you realize that there are more accidents with cars from people who didn’t get a good night’s sleep than from drinking and driving?

STEVE: No kidding?

RON: Absolutely.

STEVE: And that’s Jonathan Stevens is so successful. First of all tell us who Jonathan Stevens Mattress is.

RON: Well, Steve we started out back in 1945 with the idea that if we could just build a good mattress and sell it direct to the public, that we can give them a good value and save them money, and here we are 68 years later. We still have a 20,000 square foot manufacturing facility. We build all of our own mattresses and sell them direct to the public.

STEVE: And you mentioned convenient location, eight of them here in West Michigan. It’s a local product.

RON: Absolutely. We are 100% local. Everything we do stays local. Everything that we buy and for our products is either local or made in the United States, and we have five stores circling Grand Rapids, one in Kalamazoo, one Muskegon, and one in Holland.

STEVE: You know, if you’ve been in business since 1945, you’re doing something right. Let’s get to the basic. What really makes a good mattress?

RON: Well, Steve, I am glad you asked that question because it’s more than a pretty cover that people will go in and see on the mattress, and it’s more than just that initial feel. There’s really two parts to a mattress. One is the fact that you’ve got to have good support so that your body is supported properly and you have good posture when you wake up, and the second part is the cushiony materials that give you that comfortable night’s sleep. It’s very easy to make a mattress look good but not last a long time, and Jonathan Stevens is known for putting good quality components inside, so you are going to get that good night’s sleep just year after year.

STEVE: We’re talking to Ron Zagel of Jonathan Stevens and the website is, eight convenient locations here in West Michigan. Now, how do I know that I am getting a good value in a mattress?

RON: Well, one of the things you really have to look for is how much am I spending on that mattress. There are so many gimmicks out there today. You can go in and buy a mattress and get a free TV.

STEVE: Umm hmmm

RON: Well, you know, I called John Borgman over at Borgman Ford, and I said, “Hey, John, I want to give a free vehicle away,” and he says, “Ron I’ll set you up with a vehicle here, a real nice one, for $22,000,” and I said, “Well, great! I am going to sell my mattress for $27,999, and I am going to give a free Ford away,” and you know, that carries to a little bit of an extreme, but you see out there today people are giving a free TV away with a mattress. Well, basically you’re paying for your mattress, and you’re paying for the TV.

STEVE: [laughs] That’s right.

RON: And you’re not getting the type of mattress you thought you would get.

STEVE: People just don’t realize that they do those things for a living, and they do it on purpose.

RON: That’s for sure, so basically how much money are you going to take out of your pocket to invest in a good night’s sleep. We actually worked it out at one time, and if you bought a good quality mattress from Jonathan Stevens, and you went and bought your own TV, you’d actually be spending less money than the people who are throwing a free TV in. You’ve got to lie down on that mattress, find out what’s in it, make sure you’ve got good quality components, and what are you going to take out of your pocket to pay for that mattress. That’s how you determine the value.

STEVE: You know, they always say you get what you pay for. Well, we’re on with Ron Zagel on Talk of the Town from Jonathan Stevens, again, How long on average does a Jonathan Stevens mattress last?

RON: I am actually glad you asked question because the last time we did a survey the national statistics say a mattress will last about 10.2 years. Well, we surveyed our customer almost 15.4.


RON: Now that’s not to say that every mattress is going to last that long because they do wear out, and you will even start noticing some wear in that five to seven year range, so we basically ask you to ask yourself a couple of questions. When you wake up in the morning are you more sore and stiff than when you went to bed. If so, you probably need to start looking for a new mattress.

STEVE: And if you buy a cheap mattress and you have to buy another cheap mattress in five years, what have you really helped out? You’re not comfortable and you’re spending more money in the long run.

RON: You’ve got it. What we usually do is people come in and say, “I want a cheap mattress.” Basically what we like to ask is, “You want that mattress cheap to buy or cheap to own?”

STEVE: Right.

RON: You know, if you buy a chap mattress, you’re going to buy it again in the near future. If you buy a good quality mattress, it’s going to last you two or three times longer, and you’re going to wind up spending less money over all.

STEVE: Tell me Ron the importance of you being a factory-direct store?

RON: One of the big advantages we have that will give people a better value is the fact that first we control everything we put in the mattress. We use only the highest quality components because we have our name on it, and we’re right here in the neighborhood, so we’ve got to make sure it lasts or we won’t stay in business, so basically you’re buying right from the factory. You don’t have all those extra national distribution costs, national advertising costs, so I can actually put more money into the mattress and sell if for less.

STEVE: And that makes a whole lot of sense. Visit to find their array of mattresses and sleep accessories, but I would imagine it would behoove you to stop by one of the eight convenient locations in West Michigan, and like you said, “You better lay down on that thing before you buy it, right?”

RON: Absolutely. You know, you go into a store, and the mat may be up against the wall, and you push against it, and it looks pretty, and you say, “Oh, that’s a good deal.” Well, that’s not the way to buy a mattress. What you need to do is come into our stores. Wear comfortable clothing. I know in the winter you probably got a heavy jacket on.Take that jacket off. Lie on that mattress and relax for a few minutes. Make sure you got a proper pillow because that adds to the comfort and just relax on that mattress, so if a salesman is trying to get you off that mattress too quick, you may want to try a different store.

STEVE: There you go, factory-direct, eight convenient locations in West Michigan. in West Michigan since 1945. Ron Zagel. Thank you for coming on Talk of the Town.

RON: Hey, it’s my pleasure Steve. Thanks very much for inviting me.

The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep

  sleep tips health sleep science sleep benefits
Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A good night’s sleep ensures well-being and good health. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), millions of people suffer from poor sleep patterns. Being able to crawl into bed, go to sleep, and wake up well rested is what defines a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, according to NSF’s survey, nearly 40 percent of adults have a sleep disorder, and 60 percent of adults have sleeping problems every week for two or more days. These problems rarely get treated, or even diagnosed, since people are generally unaware of the importance of a good night’s sleep.

The environment in which you sleep plays a crucial role in determining how well you sleep. A critical environmental factor is the mattress you sleep on. Old mattresses, improper cushioning, and poor construction force one in every four persons to suffer through a turbulent night of tossing around in bed. Sleeping on a good mattress, like those made in Grand Rapids, MI by Jonathan Stevens Mattress Company, that allows a full night’s rest can overcome many important sleep disorders that directly impact the metabolic, immune, cardiovascular, and nervous system.

Unhealthy conditions associated with lack of sleep include hypertension, emotional imbalance, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, insomnia, reduced attention span, lack of multitasking, cardiovascular risks, and obesity. Dr. Timothy Roehrs at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit is the director of research at the Sleep Disorders and Research Center. According to Roehrs, sleeplessness takes a huge toll on one’s decision-making abilities. Risks become underrated and sound decisions are lost in the turmoil of the mind. A good night’s sleep, on the other hand, leaves the mind fresh and able to ponder consequences of decisions and manage risks.

A hostile environment at night will also disrupt the sleep cycle. Researchers have divided the sleep cycle into five stages, each necessary for rejuvenating the body in specific manners. Missing out on any of these stages will produce sleep-deprivation symptoms in the morning.

Everyone sleeps differently. While sixteen hours of wakefulness requires at least eight hours of sleep each night, some people may be able to achieve the same efficiency through the day with just six hours of sleep. Others may require more than ten hours of sleep. But whether you need eight hours of sleep or six, it’s important to ensure you receive the appropriate amount that allows you to be your healthiest.

To find out how a great mattress can help you sleep better visit your local Jonathan Stevens Mattress store, call us at 1-888-BEDS-234 or visit us online at