Have you ever wondered if there is a connection to the way animals and humans sleep? Well, you’d be surprised to find out there is a strong correlation between the two.The way animals sleep is essential to understanding how humans sleep. In fact, Jerome Siegel, professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA Center for Sleep Research, explains that the only way we are able to understand human sleep is by studying animals.
The common thread between animal and human sleep boils down to the existence of rapid eye movement, or REM sleep, which is the sleep state associated with dreams. Both humans and animals display the same increased heart rate and level of brain activity during REM sleep. You may have seen dogs bark or twitch their paws during their sleep, which is comparable to the way humans talk or move around in their sleep.
This led scientists to conclude that all mammals have the same fundamental sleep cycle. During both animal and human sleep, scientists recorded the same kind of twitching, eye movement, and paralysis. There is a lot still unknown about the way sleep works, but what we do know is that brain wave pattern during REM sleep is the same between animals and humans.
The study of animal sleep has actually helped scientists identify and treat sleep disorders. Dogs have especially helped advance the treatment of narcolepsy. Scientists found that dogs displayed similar symptoms as humans, such as sudden collapsing and muscle weakness.
It turns out, man’s best friend is not only a great play mate, but also a great aide in helping scientists study human sleep!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A recent article in Newsweek chronicled the ways in which Americans are suffering—often due to our own choices and habits—with sleep problems. One of the biggest problems is the lack of total sleep hours that we get on an average night. Earlier in the 1900s, sleep averages were about eight hours per night. Americans averaged 7.1 hours per night in the 1970s. We now get an average of 6.1 hours per night. This abysmal look at sleep length begs the question, how much sleep do you actually need? And how much sleep do you need to be sharp, and not just getting the bare minimum to function?
The answer is easy to determine as an average, but sleep researchers point out that everyone is different. Often what works for one person is not enough (or too much) for someone else. Generally, you can estimate how much sleep a person needs based on their age. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the recommendations are:
- Older Adults 65+: 7–8 hours
- Adults 24–64: 7–9
- Young Adults 18–25: 7–9
- Teenages 14–17: 8–10
- Older Children 6–13: 9–11
- Children 3–5: 10–13 hours
- and more for younger children
With these recommendations in mind, one this in clear: six hours, the national average, is simply not enough sleep for most people. In fact, sleeping only six hours per night can add up to big losses.
How Much Sleep We Actually Get (and the Consequences)
A study published by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers tested people running on four, six, or eight hours of sleep per night for fourteen nights. Researchers discovered that performance on cognitive tests “continuously declined for the four- and six-hour groups, depending on the amount of sleep” and “even for the six-hour group, the cognitive deficits were equivalent to two nights of complete sleep deprivation.” Surprised? While sleep deprived, most people actually underrate their sleepiness and are unaware of how poorly they are functioning. Because of this, it’s easy to see how many people could be experiencing sleep deprivation and not realize it.
There are some people who claim that six hours (or less) is enough sleep for them to be productive, but research shows that this is rare, and isn’t due to conditioning or getting your body used to sleeping less. It appears to be a genetic mutation and exists in less than 3% of the population. For that 3%, they can sleep six hours a night and perform cognitive tests as well as most people who sleep eight hours per night. They recover faster from further sleep deprivation and just plain don’t need as much sleep. But, chances are, if you’re sleeping less than seven hours a night, you’re not as sharp as you could be.
What is the Right Amount of Sleep for You?
So how do you calculate the amount of sleep that is right for you? You can narrow down how much you should be getting, but really trial and error will be key, along with the option of using a tool that may give you insight into your own habits. Try keeping a sleep journal and note what you were doing in the evening, when you went to bed, when you woke up, how many times or how much you awoke during the night, and how you felt the following day. WebMD has a good example of how to keep a sleep diary to determine your patterns and ideal amount of sleep.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Was I able to be productive today?
- Did I have to drink caffeine to feel awake?
- Did I have to drink caffeine in the afternoon to feel sharp again?
- How was my focus while driving?
- Did I lose my train of thought frequently?
- Was I able to handle everyday stressors?
- Was I able to eat normally and control my food cravings?
- Did I have to re-read material at work or ask people to repeat what they’d said because I didn’t follow?
- Was there a time I felt “zoned out?”
You may find that it’s easy to determine what amount of sleep is right for you. For instance, if you sleep on the weekend and awake feeling refreshed after sleeping in, maybe around eight or nine hours of sleep, but you otherwise sleep seven hours during the week and hit the snooze alarm several times, then you know that you should leave nine hours per night for quality sleep.
Other ways to determine how much sleep you need involve a bit of technology that’s relatively new. Many smart phones come with sensors that allow apps to record levels of motion and disturbances. Sleep Cycle is an app that not only tracks your sleep patterns, but keeps the data for analyzation, and allows you to set an alarm that will wake you when you’re naturally having a lighter period of sleep. Unlike a traditional alarm clock which wakes you at a certain hour, this app gives you the option of an easier transition to wakefulness with no need to repeatedly hit the snooze button. Just be ready to sleep with your phone in your bed and not on the bedside table.
It really is crucial to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Other than the obvious reasons like staying sharp at work and being able to handle stress, other health factors show the serious damage that can be done when you’re not getting enough sleep. According to Phyllis C. Zee, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago: “data shows that with sleep loss, there are changes in the way the body handles glucose, which could lead to a state of insulin resistance (pre-diabetes).” Dr. Zee adds “there is also evidence that lack of sleep alters appetite regulation, which may lead to overeating or food choices that can also contribute to overweight and obesity.”
Of course, if your bed is keeping you from getting enough sleep—or from getting deep, restful sleep—an easy solution is to replace your mattress. Even if you think your sleep is alright, if your mattress is old or low-quality, chances are you could be sleeping a lot better. A new mattress will give you the support that you need for your back and joints, and the comfortable softness that allows you to drift to sleep easily and stay asleep all night. Try the Jonathan Stevens mattress finder to find your perfect mattress.
Sleeping is an integral part of healthy living and as a result one is advised to have enough sleep every night as an essential for good thinking. For many, Jonathan Stevens Mattress is the best mattress brand for sleeping solutions. Well, while many would take sleep as a normal daily routine, scientifically there are many twists and bounds that have been proven to have been derived from sleep. The scientific community has already given sufficient proof that sleep helps the body repair itself. During sleep, it is said the body metabolism is well balanced as the person is at rest without the disturbance from usual daily routines. This means, the body gets reorganized and will work better after waking up. Another scientific stand on sleep is that, it helps improve weight loss, memory and in some instances prevent common cold.
While sleeping is a normal routine that we involuntarily find ourselves in, there is the aspect of scientifically sleeping. This point towards certain stages in sleeping and in this case, we shall look at five stages in sleeping from a scientific angle. Science recommends eight hours for a good sleep but the question is what actually transpires during these eight hours?
Sleeping stage one: Nodding off (Non REM)
Sleep starts slowly at a stage usually referred to as nodding off. During this stage, the brain produces slow theta waves and this stage usually last for about ten minutes. Many people in this stage of sleeping naturally deny they are asleep when they are awoken.
Sleeping stage two: Starting Up the ‘Z’ factory
In this stage, the brain is tuned to sleep and ostensibly takes over. The brain starts to produce sleeping spindles or signals and the waves of sleep become rapid and rhythmic. The heart beat slows down and a significant decrease in body temperature is witnessed. At this stage, one can begin to snore and when awoken will jerk off with a surprise.
Sleeping Stage Three: Going in.
This would be compared to puberty in teenagers. At this stage, one is deep asleep and is hard to wake up.
Sleeping stage Four: The fun stage.
The delta waves of sleep in this stage are deep and funny things can happen ranging from sleep walking, dreaming aloud to wetting your bed. Basically, everything at this stage is involuntary.
Sleeping Stage Five: Sweet dreams (REM)
This is the final stage scientifically suggested in sleep. In this part of sleep, many actually end up waking up even before it is complete as daybreak happens. It is the sweet dreams stage.
How much is enough when it comes to sleep? And does quality trump quantity of sleep? Well, there could be a thin line between quantity of sleep and quality but using basic scientific sleeping principles, the two can be gauged on many ends. Someone exhausted after having done a physically strenuous job will need a quality sleep to recover lost strength. There is the necessity of going through all the sleeping stages to call it a complete sleeping cycle.
The next question which would come to the fore is, what is the difference between quality and quantity sleep? While quality sleep would denote going through all the sleeping stages and wake up feeling replenished and stronger, quantity sleep is a scenario where one slumbers for many hours without the feeling of relaxation or satisfaction.
For a good sleep quality, Jonathan Stevens mattress would draw closer to thought. Medical prescriptions of quality sleeping are inclusive of lying on a good mattress that does not strain your back. Scientifically, sleeping should be undertaken in a certain posture in order to reap maximum benefits from it.
The benefits of quality sleep.
Quality sleep is closely associated with a healthy living and as a consequence yields forth many benefits to the body with regard to its normal functioning. Quality sleep is beneficial in terms of providing sufficient strength during the day necessary for undertaking physical duties at work. Sleeping in itself is a process of recuperating during which memory and general strength gets replenished. Further, quality sleep is not about the number of hour one has slumbered or taken a nap but the effectiveness of all the sleeping stages and in particular the Rapid Eye Movement sleeping stage (REM). The Rapid Eye Movement sleeping stage is an integral part of quality sleeping, which aids in brain development especially in young people. It is also a stage instrumental towards memory consolidation and in this case procedural and spatial memory. Basically, quality sleep involves the REM cycle by default and without this stage one simply cannot experience the benefits of a quality sleep.
Disadvantages of quantity sleep.
Quantity is the opposite of quality. Scientifically sleeping, quantity is disapproved given its limited or no benefits to human health. Sleeping for long hours say form 8p.m to midday the following day is closely linked to laziness as it often results in fatigue rather that strength. Actually there are no scientifically documented benefits of high quantity sleep. And hence by far, quality subdues quantity when it comes to sleeping.
Certainly a proper mattress that gives good support and that is comfortable is critical to getting a good night’s sleep. Certainly you need the proper pillow and don’t forget comfortable sheets and not too heavy of a blanket. Some people can get too hot or cold and it’s strictly a matter of kicking the blanket off, just keeping a sheet on you and making sure your room temperature is around 65 degrees.
You lie down on that bed and then your mind starts going like crazy. Well you know what? Get back out of bed, take a few minutes, jot down all your thoughts on a piece of paper, empty your mind, and you’re going to get a much better night’s sleep when you lie back down because you don’t have to worry about all the things that you jotted down earlier.
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? JonathanStevens.com 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?
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 JonathanStevens.com, 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, JonathanStevens.com. 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?”
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 JonathanStevens.com 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. JonathanStevens.com 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.
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 http://www.jonathanstevens.com.