How To Store A Mattress After Moving

how to store a mattress after moving

Last article, we discussed how to move your mattress. But do you know what to do if you don’t plan on using your mattress after moving? In this article, we’ll talk about how to store a mattress. While it may seem as simple as putting it in your garage or storage unit, there are other things to consider. So before you stash your old mattress, check out these helpful tips.

What to Do if You Don’t Plan on Using Your Mattress After Moving

Clean Your Mattress

First, you’ll want to make sure your mattress is clean and dry. A dirty mattress can accumulate mold, fungus, and dirt if you store it incorrectly. Start by vacuuming the mattress on both sides. You may also want to consider sprinkling baking soda or upholstery cleaner as well. However, you should check to make sure this is safe for your mattress first. If you decide to use baking soda, you’ll need to vacuum again to remove it afterward. In addition, a steam cleaner is an effective way to apply upholstery cleaner due to its ability to kill allergens. After you’ve thoroughly cleaned your mattress, let it air out outside to dry for a few hours. When you do finally use your mattress again, be sure to add a mattress protector to keep it clean.

Wrap In A Mattress Storage Bag

Once your mattress is completely dry, it’s time to seal it in a mattress storage bag. You can find a mattress storage bag at most hardware stores, and they’re usually less than $20. Mattress storage bags are great for keeping out dirt, dust and moisture. When it comes to these mattress covers for storage, it’s a good idea to get a high quality one with no holes are tears. If you don’t want to get a mattress cover for storage, you can also wrap your mattress in plastic. Make sure you seal your mattress tightly using packing tape. Furthermore, avoid using thick plastic as this is more likely to trap in moisture. If possible, it’s also a good idea to open the plastic wrapping every few months to let it air out.

Lay Your Mattress Flat

The best position to store your mattress is flat on the ground. By laying your mattress flat, you’ll keep the integrity of the mattress intact. Storing your mattress on its side can cause the coils and springs to shift and the mattress to sag. However, you should never place items on top of your mattress. Certain objects can tear the cushioning or damage the springs. We know this can be super inconvenient, as your mattress takes up a lot of space. If you’re also storing large boxes or flat furniture, you can try laying your mattress on top of them. Just make sure it’s steady.

Find The Right Storage Unit

Where you store your mattress is just as important as how you store it. It’s best to store it in a climate-controlled environment if possible. Climate-controlled storage units usually cost more than traditional units but can be worth the additional cost. Storing your mattress in a climate-controlled unit will help make sure your space stays cool during summer and has heat in the winter. Protecting your mattress from severe temperature changes can elongate the life of your mattress and make sure it doesn’t get ruined. In addition, you should avoid damp basements, storage sheds, or storing your mattress outside. Dampness or humidity can lead to mold and bacteria growing inside your mattress. Gross. If you must store your mattress in a non-climate-controlled space, it may be worth investing in a portable dehumidifier. This will help pump some of the moisture out of the room.

Consider The Age

Storing your mattress in a storage unit usually costs a monthly fee. Consider the age of your mattress and the amount of time you’ll be storing it. If your mattress is eight years old or older, it may not be worth keeping. Visit your local Sit ‘n Sleep and speak with one of our Sleep Consultants to explore your options. With our wide variety of mattresses, you may just want to buy a new one when the time is right.

Tips For Moving Your Mattress

tips for moving your mattress

How To Move Your Mattress

Let’s face it, moving is a pain! All the prepping, packing and lugging around boxes and furniture is exhausting. Mattresses can be especially tricky given their size, weight and flexibility (or lack thereof). It may seem simple but many people don’t know how to move a mattress. If you plan on moving soon without the help of professional movers, check out these tips for moving your mattress.

Inspect Your Mattress

Before you go through the trouble of moving your mattress, you should make sure it’s even worth it. If your mattress is eight years old, sagging, or uncomfortable, it’s probably time to replace. Furthermore, if you’re moving in with your partner, you should make sure your mattress can fit both of you. A queen size mattress may be great for cuddling but not for personal space. After all, your upcoming move may be the perfect time to upgrade your mattress to a king.

Measure Your Mattress

You may know what size your mattress is, but do you know the actual dimensions? Measuring your mattress will help you avoid any surprises the day of your move. When it comes to maneuvering your mattress through your hallway, even an inch can become a big deal. Measuring your mattress will also help you determine if your vehicle is big enough to carry it.

Get The Right Tools

You’ll need the proper tools when considering how to move a mattress. Start with a mattress bag to protect your mattress from dust, grime and damage. Mattress bags are mattress-sized plastic bags that help keep your mattress dry and clean during your move. It’s also a good idea to have a dolly to easily move your mattress. You should also invest in ratchet straps or rope to secure the mattress in your vehicle. In addition, make sure you have moving tape with you to seal or patch up the mattress bag. Last, but not least, you’ll need a tool set to dismantle and reassemble your bed frame if you have one. Your set should include wrenches, Allen wrenches, screwdrivers and extra screws.

Call A Friend

Mattresses are heavy and unwieldy. They’re definitely not easy to carry alone. So make sure you have at least one friend to help you move your mattress. Just be sure to show them your gratitude. Pizza, breakfast burritos, coffee and adult beverages are always great ways to thank your friends.

Safely Transport Your Mattress

This is one of the most important tips for moving your mattress. A moving van or pickup truck are ideal for transporting your mattress. These will allow you to lay the mattress as flat as possible. However, if you have a car or SUV you’ll likely need to put the mattress on your roof. This is when the ratchet straps or rope come in handy. Make sure the mattress is tightly secured to the top of your vehicle. Now it’s time to take a ride. When you’re driving with a heavy load, it’s important to drive at a moderate pace. If possible, take back roads and side streets. You’ll want to be careful of sharp turns and sudden stops as this can cause your mattress to fall off. If your drive is long, stop periodically to check and make sure your mattress is still on securely.

Clear The Way

Congrats. You safely transported your mattress with no accidents, crashes or issues! The scary part is over. But we’re not done yet. Before you move your mattress into your new room, move everything out of the way. Make sure there are no boxes or clutter in the way so that you can easily move your mattress without any obstacles. Stand your mattress upright on its side and put it on your dolly. You could also stand your mattress on cardboard to slide it on the floor.

Ready For A New Mattress? Let’s Chat

These tips for moving your mattress should make things easier on moving day. However, moving is a great time to evaluate your mattress to see if it’s time for a new one. Sit ‘n Sleep will deliver your mattress straight to you. Which means it’s one less thing for you to move yourself. Come visit your local Sit ‘n Sleep or check out our amazing beds-in-a-box. Good luck on your big move!

Is Cortisol Affecting Your Sleep?

is cortisol affecting your sleep?

There are a lot of things that can stop you from getting a great night’s sleep. One of the biggest factors can be your stress levels. Stress effects on sleep have been well-documented. However, not everyone understands how your cortisol levels, the main stress hormone, can affect sleep. We wanted to dive deeper to see how cortisol influences your sleep and what can be done about it.

Cortisol Function

Cortisol is your body’s primary stress hormone. It helps control your mood, fear and motivation. It also keeps inflammation down, regulates blood pressure, increases your blood sugar, and boosts your energy. But the function we want to focus on is how cortisol controls your sleep-wake cycle.

Your sleep-wake cycle follows your circadian rhythm, a 24-hour cycle synchronized with night and day. As a result, your body knows when it’s time for bed and time to wake up. Cortisol production follows a similar circadian rhythm. Your levels rise about 2-3 hours after you fall asleep, keep rising into the early morning and waking hours, peak around 9am, and gradually decline as the day goes on.

The hypothalmus and pituitary gland in your brain can sense if you have the right level of cortisol. If your levels are too low, your brain can adjust the amount it makes. However, issues can occur from having too much cortisol as well. That’s why it’s important for your levels to be balanced.

What Affects Your Cortisol Levels

Balancing cortisol levels can be an important step in improving your sleep quality. There are a few different factors that may cause high cortisol symptoms.

Diet

High intakes of animal proteins, refined sugars, salt, and fat can negatively affect your cortisol secretion. As a result, your sleep quality could suffer. Conversely, fruits and vegetables are foods that help you sleep. Try eliminating cortisol-triggering foods from your diet, while eating more fruits and veggies, if you’re having trouble sleeping.

Stress

Too much stress or a traumatic experience can also impact your levels. Normally, after a dangerous or stressful event has passed, you return to normal cortisol levels. However, your levels can stay high for an extended amount of time if you’re under constant stress. Conversely, your levels can also drop if you’ve experienced trauma or have PTSD. In fact, Holocaust survivors were found to have lower levels of cortisol, even decades after the war. In addition, survivors of sexual assault and abuse had lower levels as well. Typically, the earlier the trauma occurs in someone’s life, the more permanent the change in levels.

Sleep Disorders

Certain sleep disorders, like obstructive sleep apnea, can cause your cortisol production to spike. Those dealing with insomnia also tend to have higher levels. However, it’s unclear if the elevated levels are the cause or the consequence of insomnia.

Cortisol-Related Diseases

There are other disorders and diseases that are correlated to your cortisol levels. Cushing’s syndrome occurs when your body produces too much of the hormone. This usually happens when you take too much corticosteroid medications over a long period of time. In addition, there is Cushing’s disease, which is different from the syndrome of the same name. Cushing’s disease occurs when there are increased cortisol levels caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland. With Cushing’s, you may experience rapid weight gain, muscle weakness, easily bruising skin, diabetes and more.

Lastly, you can suffer from Addison’s disease, which is the result of your adrenal gland producing too little cortisol. Cancer, infections, or an autoimmune condition can cause this rare disease. Addison’s disease can lead to chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and low blood pressure.

What Can Be Done?

There are quite a few things you can do to help lower your cortisol levels. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor first to make sure you get to the root of the issue. Regular exercise is a great way to lower your levels and get great sleep. But you should find the right routine and workout schedule that will help you sleep best. You should also try to cut out the triggering foods previously discussed from your diet. Make lowering your stress levels a priority. There are many different relaxation techniques you can practice to help with this. In addition, you can try supplements like fish oil and ashwagandha herb.

Chat With Our Sleep Consultants

Getting proper sleep should always be a priority. Aside from making sure you’re balancing cortisol levels, you should check to see if you’re on the right mattress. Stop by your local Sit ‘n Sleep and speak to one of our Sleep Consultants. We can help you find the perfect mattress for your unique sleeping needs.

The Best Position for Sleeping Soundly

best position for sleeping soundly

 

Good physical health and mental sharpness require getting a good night’s rest regularly. The way you sleep at night directly affects how you function during the day. Poor sleep can result in or worsen health problems, including cardiovascular and kidney disease, diabetes, obesity and breathing difficulties. Lack of sleep can also negatively impact mood, memory, concentration and logical thinking. The best position for sleeping soundly is one that allows you to wake up refreshed and free from pain.

There are measures you can take to improve your sleep, no matter the position you find to be the most comfortable. Read through the infographic below for a closer look at each sleeping position.

Stomach Sleeping

A lot of people seem to prefer sleeping on their stomachs. Many health care professionals, however, consider stomach sleeping to be the least healthy sleeping position. This is because sleeping on your stomach puts undue pressure on internal organs. This sleep position can limit oxygen intake during the night. However, it can reduce snoring as opposed to sleeping on one’s back.

Stomach sleeping also causes the neck to be twisted to one side, which forces the spine out of alignment. As a result, you can be left with pinched nerves and backaches.

If you must sleep on your stomach, try placing a pillow beneath one side of your pelvis. This should at least partially counteract the improper spinal alignment.

Sleeping on Your Side

Side sleeping is the most common sleeping position, and often brings relief to snorers or Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) sufferers. However, lying on your left side can subject the lungs and liver to undue pressure. Left side sleeping also constricts the ribcage, which causes the lungs to strain for oxygen. Meanwhile, your spine can relax in a more natural position when you sleep on your right side. Try placing a pillow between your legs to reduce the pressure on your knees. Furthermore, the pillow will keep the hips from rotating and misaligning the spine during the night.

Back Sleeping

Sleeping on your back is considered the healthiest of the three. Back sleeping relieves ribcage constriction, reduces lung strain and allows the spine to align properly. In addition, it allows the back muscles to relax naturally. Back sleeping also causes the internal organs to expand and relax. Some people may find that sleeping flat on their backs places excessive and sometimes pain-causing pressure on the hips. Placing a pillow beneath the legs to raise them slightly to reduce the pressure should help overcome this. However, sleeping on your back isn’t recommended for snorers or sleep apnea sufferers.

Don’t Neglect The Head & Neck

The position of the head and neck can make a huge difference in sleep quality, regardless of your sleep position. A neck that’s either overly stretched or too tightly compressed can cause pain and affect proper breathing. The neck needs to be supported in a forward-facing position. Using the right pillow will help ensure you get the support needed. Pillows that are the wrong shape or filled with the wrong material could lead to ongoing neck pain. All Sit ‘n Sleep’s Southern California sleep centers offer a full line of quality pillows. Our knowledgeable sleep consultants will help you select a replacement that could quickly relieve your nighttime neck discomfort.

Many people awaken in a different position than when they fell asleep. It can be an indication of a night filled with tossing and turning. Discuss any physical ailments you may have with your health care provider. They may have some recommendations for improving your quality of sleep simply by changing sleeping positions.

Could Your Mattress Be The Problem?

Lastly, your mattress can play a big role in the comfort level of your sleep position. You should first figure out what your preferred sleep position is. Then check in with yourself to see how you feel upon waking up. Do you have aches or pains? Any stiffness or soreness? If so, then you likely have the wrong mattress for your sleep position. Mattresses come in different firmness levels to best accommodate the different positions people sleep in. Find the right mattress and you’ll be on your way to a much better sleep.

Sleep Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

It’s no secret, sleep is critical to our health and well-being. There are so many benefits that come with getting a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, many people still don’t make sleep a priority in their life. The CDC reports that 1 in 3 adults don’t get the sleep they need. This can lead to various issues and difficulties with your health. Often times, people make sleep mistakes without even realizing they’re doing so. Here are some of the most common sleep mistakes you may not know you’re making.

The Top 5 Sleep Mistakes

Snoozing after your alarm

We’re all guilty of this sometimes. There’s nothing more tempting than pressing that glorious snooze button and getting a few more minutes of sleep. But while it may feel like a great idea at the time, the snooze button can disrupt important REM sleep. Late-stage REM sleep is a restorative sleep state, where your brain and body repairs, heals and grows. Disrupting this stage of sleep puts your body in fight or flight mode, increasing your blood pressure and heartbeat. Furthermore, that little amount of sleep you’re getting between snoozes is not restorative. So when your alarm goes off the first time, be intentional and proactive with getting out of bed. Eventually you’ll settle into a routine where it gets easier.

Not sticking to a sleep routine

Going to bed and waking up around the same time every day is important to our overall health. Irregular sleep patterns can lead to higher risk for several complications. These include obesity, hypertension and elevated blood sugar. In addition, there’s a higher risk of developing heart disease over the next decade. Keeping the same sleep routine helps our internal body clock build a stronger sleep wake cycle. A strong sleep wake cycle gives you the best chance at getting quality sleep. Make it a priority to create a routine and stick with it. Pick a realistic time for bed and an achievable time to wake up every day. The most important part is getting your full 8 hours of sleep.

Using your smartphone before bed

It’s getting late. So you brush your teeth, put on your PJs, then crawl into bed. What’s next? For many people, their hand goes straight for their smartphone for some late night scrolling. In fact, 66% of Americans admit to being on their phone before bed. But before you go to hop back on Instagram, there is something you should know. Being on your phone before bed is a big sleep mistake. Your phone emits blue light, which decreases your production of melatonin and reduces feelings of sleepiness. Plus, being on your phone stimulates your mind, making you more awake and active. It’s a good idea to turn off all your devices 30 minutes to an hour before you go to sleep. Keep your phone in a different room to ensure you stay off it. Instead, pick up a book or a calming hobby like knitting before sleep.

Taking a nap late in the day

Naps come with plenty of benefits. From stress-relief to cardiovascular health to just feeling refreshed, there are many reasons to take a nap. However, napping is one of those sleep mistakes you may not realize does any harm. The wrong nap can have adverse effects. If you take a nap too late in the day, it may interfere with your nighttime sleep. This is because napping later in the day consists of more deep sleep, which can disrupt your ability to fall asleep at night. As a result, you may mess up your nocturnal sleep cycle. Most sleep experts recommend taking a nap before 2pm. This will help ensure you get a lighter sleep, which won’t disrupt your nighttime sleep. Furthermore, you should aim to nap for about 20 minutes. Shorter naps have been shown to decrease grogginess and fatigue upon waking up.

Sleeping in the wrong environment

One of the sleep mistakes that may be easiest to fix is your poor sleep environment. Many people don’t put much thought into how their bedroom affects their sleep. They seem more focused on the look and design of the room. But it is extremely important have sleep be at the forefront when putting your bedroom together. For starters, you should be able to make your room as dark as possible, when necessary. That may mean getting blackout curtains to block out the sun in the early morning. You’ll also want to keep your room cool, around 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, when going to sleep. This can help with your temperature regulation and letting your body know it’s time to sleep. Lastly, your room should be comfortable. This means having the right pillows, blankets, and especially the right mattress.

Stop making sleep mistakes. Come see us

If you think you’re making too many sleep mistakes, visit your neighborhood Sit ‘n Sleep mattress store. Our knowledgeable sleep consultants can help make sure you have the right mattress and bed settings to give you the best sleep possible.

5 Sleep Disorders You Should Know About

Sleep disorders can negatively affect your sleep and everyday life. There are currently more than 100 documented sleep disorders. Here are 5 sleep disorders you should know about.

5 Sleep Disorders You Should Know About

Sleep Disorder #1: Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)

If you have PLMD, you may experience jerking, cramping, or twitching of your lower limbs while you sleep. The involuntary movements happen every 5 to 90 seconds for up to an hour. Even if you don’t wake up during an episode, these movements will disrupt your sleep cycle. Often, your partner will be the one to alert you of your PLMD symptoms. People who have PLMD suffer from daytime sleepiness and fatigue.

FACT: PLMD affects 4% to 11% of the population.

Diabetes, spinal cord injuries, and even caffeine can cause PMLD. Treatment of PLMD requires lifestyle changes and/or medication. Lifestyle changes may include incorporating more iron in your diet, cutting back on caffeine, and practicing stress management techniques.

Sleep Disorder #2: Sleep Paralysis

Here’s a sleep disorder with the opposite effect of PLMD: sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis occurs when you temporary lose muscle control after falling asleep or just before waking up. During a sleep paralysis episode, you become aware that you cannot move your body.

FACT: Sleep paralysis episodes are often accompanied by hallucinations.

The hallucinations are usually scary; there is often a feeling that a dangerous person is nearby, or that you are suffocating. The causes of sleep paralysis are unknown. Although in ancient times, sleep paralysis was actually attributed to unseen night demons. Others claim its alien abductors. Today, researchers believe multiple factors bring on sleep paralysis, including sleep apnea, insomnia, or mental health conditions.

Sleep Disorder #3: REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

While sleep paralysis is considered extreme, it’s totally normal for your arms and legs to be temporarily paralyzed during REM sleep. Temporary paralysis prevents you from physically acting out your dreams and hurting yourself (or your partner). However, if you suffer from REM sleep behavior disorder, temporary paralysis does not occur. Instead you kick, punch, flail your arms, or even jump out of bed. You might talk, laugh, shout or cry out. These outbursts are usually the result of acting out unpleasant dreams. Unfortunately, REM sleep behavior disorder can have real life consequences. Over 60% of spouses experience physical injury because of their partner’s physical outbursts.

The cause of REM sleep behavior disorder is linked to the neural pathways that would normally paralyze your muscles during REM sleep. If you suffer from REM sleep behavior disorder, those pathways are compromised or disrupted in some way. Lifestyle changes, medication, and techniques to prevent injury are the recommended treatments for REM sleep behavior disorder.

Sleep Disorder #4: Somniphobia

We all have fears. Unfortunately, some of you fear thing most of us love: sleep! Somniphobia causes extreme dread about sleep.

FACT: In many cases, somniphobia isn’t being afraid of sleep, but what happens while you sleep.

If you suffer from other sleep disorders, you might also get somniphobia. For example, you may dread going to bed if you suffer from sleep paralysis. An effective treatment for most cases of somniphobia is exposure therapy. Therapy for somniphobia includes discussing your fear, seeing pictures of others sleeping, or taking naps while a loved one is nearby. In other cases, you may be prescribed anxiety medication.

Sleep Disorder #5: Kleine-Levin Syndrome

Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS) primarily affects adolescents. This complex neurological disorder causes periods of excessive sleep. KLS starts with becoming increasingly drowsy, sleeping for most of the day and night. Occasionally you may wake up to use the bathroom or eat, but when awake, you are confused, disoriented, and lethargic. Sometimes called the “Sleeping Beauty” syndrome, an episode of KLS can last for 10 years or more! Unfortunately there is no cure for this rare disorder. However, stimulants usually help combat the sleepiness of KLS. Patients and their families are also taught how to recognize episodes to help them through it.

Sometimes digital sleep trackers can help you identify sleep disorders. If you think you have a sleep disorder, speak with your doctor to see what can be done to alleviate symptoms.

10 Secrets of Sleep to Help Get a Better Night’s Sleep

10 secrets of sleep to help get a better night's sleep

SitnSleep-SecretsofSleepInfographic

A great night’s sleep can deliver significant benefits. However, not everyone can easily fall asleep. As a result, many folks are at risk for developing health issues. But there’s hope. Here are 10 secrets of sleep to help you enjoy consistent rest night after night.

The Top Secrets Of Sleep

1. Develop A Sleep Routine

Going to bed at the same time each night enables a person to get into a regular sleep routine.

2. Limit Naps During the Day

Reducing or eliminating naps may make it easier to feel tired at the end of the day, resulting in restful sleep.

3. Stay Active

Exercising for even a few minutes each day promotes a healthy lifestyle that is proven to deliver sleep benefits.

4. Eat Healthy

Limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption and avoiding big meals before bedtime may help a person rest comfortably at night.

5. Relax Before Bed

Deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises can help an individual become calm, cool and collected before bedtime.

6. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment

A cool, dark and quiet sleep environment is ideal for optimal rest.

7. Turn Off Electronics

TVs, smartphones, tablets and other electronics often promote wakefulness, but turning them off at least a few hours before bedtime may help a person fall asleep quickly and effortlessly.

8. Reduce Fluid Intake

Limit fluid intake as bedtime approaches to reduce the risk of waking up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

9. Don’t Watch the Clock

Turn the face of a bedroom alarm clock around to alleviate the bedtime stress commonly associated with counting the minutes before an alarm clock will go off in the morning.

10. Pick Up A High-Quality Mattress

The ideal mattress should match a person’s body type and health, and ultimately, deliver improved sleep quality. However, not everyone knows the importance of replacing your mattress every eight years. For example, according to our recent survey, 43.1% of people replace their mattress every 5 to10 years. 

Use These Secrets Of Sleep For Your Health

Sleep is so important to our daily lives for some many reasons. From our health to our academic performance, it’s important we all get a good night’s rest. The secrets of sleep will help you get the sleep you need. As a result, you’ll wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to take on the day.

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Is Your Mattress Too Soft? Here’s what you can do.

is your mattress too soft?

The phrase “soft mattress” sounds so appealing. Thoughts of sinking into a nice plush mattress or the cliché of sleeping on a cloud. Who wouldn’t want that? Well it turns out there is such thing as a mattress that’s too soft. Despite how comfy they sound, a soft mattress can have you waking up in a lot of pain. That’s why it’s important to make sure your mattress is not too soft. In addition you should look to see which firmness level is right for you and your sleeping position.

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Digital Sleep Trackers. Are They Worth It?

Digital sleep trackers. Are they worth it?

Modern technology can help improve virtually every aspect of our lives, including exercise habits and physical condition. However, digital tracking devices aren’t limited to monitoring walking, jogging or other daytime exercise and fitness activities. Many people who consistently have trouble sleeping are now using digital sleep trackers. The tracker lets them record the time they fall asleep as well as when and how often they wake up. Furthermore, they can see how much time they actually spend sleeping during the night.

Types of Digital Sleep Trackers and What They Detect

The most common digital sleep trackers are wearable wristbands and smartwatches. Additionally, there are standalone systems that are clipped to a pillow or are placed on or under the mattress. These trackers gather and store information related to the quality, duration and trends of the user’s sleep.

Wearable Trackers

These contain sensors, called accelerometers, that monitor the sleeper’s rest and activity cycles. However, they’re not always entirely accurate. The accelerometer might confuse lack of movement as time spent sleeping. So when a body is lying still in bed for a while, it could be recorded as sleep. Conversely, the tracker might interpret nocturnal tossing and turning as awake time.

In addition to sleep cycles, some wearable trackers also monitor the sleeper’s heart and respiratory activity. This can change during the four different levels of sleep. Most wearable sleep trackers cost between $150 and $250, depending on the number and types of features they include.

 Standalone Sleep Tracking Systems

These types of trackers don’t come into contact with the body. Most contact-free sleep trackers use thin strips of fabric with built-in infrared sensors that detect the sleep/wake cycle. They’re placed either under the mattress or on top of the mattress beneath the bottom sheet. Standalone trackers use ballistocardiography (BCG) to create graphical representations of changes in the sleeper’s heart rate. Both types of trackers connect to your smartphone or tablet to keep records of sleep activity and trends. Some trackers will also interface with Alexa and similar home automation systems.  Non-wearable trackers are less expensive than wearable trackers because they lack the technology to monitor daytime activities. Prices for basic non-wearable trackers start at less than $100.

Additional Digital Sleep Tracker Features

Both wearable and non-wearable sleep trackers monitor each phase of the nightly sleep cycle. There are four stages of sleep in each cycle. Three are Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) phases, which called quiet sleep. There is also one Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage, known as active sleep. The trackers sense and record the amount of time the sleeper spends in each of the four stages:

  • NREM Stage 1 – This is a short, 5 to 10 minute period of transition between being awake and falling asleep.
  • NREM Stage 2 – During this period which lasts about 20 minutes, the body’s temperature drops and the heart rate begins to slow. There are also sudden bursts of brain activity during Stage 2.
  • NREM Stage 3 – This is when the deepest sleep occurs. The muscles relax, blood pressure drops and the breathing rate decreases.
  • REM Sleep – During the REM stage, brain activity increases, the body is relaxed and immobilized, the eyes move rapidly and dreaming occurs.

A full sleep cycle takes about 90 minutes, after which stages 1 through 4 are repeated throughout the night, all of which are captured and recorded. Ideally, healthy adults should complete four or five sleep cycles each night.

Some of the more advanced systems come with listening technology to detect snoring or other breathing abnormalities. These could be help identify indications of sleep apnea or similar sleep disorders. Many tracking systems will also monitor the sleeper’s surroundings. These include the bedroom’s temperature, ambient noise level and air quality. Both wearable trackers and contact-free trackers typically have silent alarms that vibrate to wake the user up.

Do Sleep Trackers Actually Work?

Sleep trackers can gather lots of information about sleeping habits. However, they don’t measure sleep directly. Sometimes they’ll interpret periods of inactivity as being sleep. Futhermore, they’ll consider episodes of restlessness as being awake. But they can still be useful in helping identify specific sleep patterns. Discuss your sleep quality with your doctor, if you’re concern about your sleep.

Sleep trackers can actually hinder some people from getting a good night’s rest. In some instances, trackers actually lower sleep quality by inducing anxiety that can result in insomnia. One study describes a growing number of cases of a new sleep disorder called orthosomnia. This disorder is an unhealthy obsession with the results of a sleep tracking device’s findings. In most cases, orthosomnia ends up impairing, rather than improving, sleep quality.

Many people find sleep trackers to be both entertaining and a useful way to monitor their sleep habits. But they’re not for everyone. If the tracker’s data contradicts the way you actually feel, listen to your body rather than the device. Otherwise, you may find yourself suffering from the effects of orthosomnia.

While a digital sleep tracker can help, nothing is more important than having the right mattress. Stop by your local Sit ‘n Sleep to speak with one of our knowledgeable sleep consultants. They’ll help you find everything you need for a good night’s rest.

How Often Should You Buy a New Mattress?

how often should you buy a new mattress?

How often should you buy a new mattress? It’s a question we get a lot. Let’s say you sleep in your bed for 8 hours a night for 365 days straight. At the end of the year, you have spent almost 3,000 hours lying on your mattress. Considering how much time you spend sleeping (plus lounging) on your mattress, it’s not surprising that it wears out eventually. The harder question is – how long does it take before a mattress really needs replacement?

The answer is “it depends.” Factors like mattress quality, the amount you sleep, sleep style, and sleeping with a partner all play a role. The National Sleep Foundation recommends changing your mattress every eight years. However, it’s helpful to take these other facts into consideration.

After all, you know your mattress and what kind of sleep it delivers better than anyone. But you also use your mattress every night and have grown used to its flaws and defects. Many people are sleeping on worn-out mattresses that actually hurt their sleep simply because it feels familiar.

How often should you buy a new mattress? Check out these factors.

Dips and Depressions

Your mattresses are supposed to provide a flat sleeping surface with even amounts of support. If there are obvious sections where the mattresses is sagging, it means your mattress no longer provides adequate support. Sections like around pressure points in your shoulders and hips are often areas where sagging occurs. At best, this makes your mattresses less comfortable, and at worst it leaves you with pain in the morning. Either way, saggy mattresses need replacement.

A Permanent Outline

If you have a memory foam mattress, you’re familiar with how the impression of your body stays in the foam. It usually lasts a second or two after you get out of bed, then it springs back to flat. As the years go by, the foam takes longer to fill back in. Eventually you’re left with a permanent outline of your body in bed. This is a clear indicator that the memory foam is worn out, incapable of providing adequate support. As a result, it’s time to replace.

 Spinal Pain

No matter how old your mattress is, when it doesn’t provide enough spinal support it’s not worth holding on to. If you sleep on your back or stomach, your spine should naturally form an S shape. If your spine is flattened or the S is elongated, the mattresses aren’t doing you any favors. Furthermore, side sleepers should have a straight spine, but a worn-out mattresses can cause uncomfortable bending and flexing. Spinal pain starts as a morning annoyance, but it can quickly become a chronic condition. Therefore, it’s worth seeking out a new mattress ASAP.

Lumps and Bumps

Over years of use, the padding inside your mattress will begin to shift around no matter what kind of mattress you have. Lumps might form, meaning that padding that’s supposed to provide support has moved to other parts of the mattress. In addition, trying to sleep on an uneven sleeping surface is annoying. Investing in a new mattress gives you an optimal environment to get the sleep you need.

Allergy Flare-Ups

So far, we have mostly focused on how mattresses lose padding and support, but that’s not the only consequence of age. When asking how often should you buy a new mattress, allergies also play a role. Allergens like mold, mildew, and dust mites collect in the mattress too. Unless you’re diligent about cleaning the mattress and sheets, those allergens could cause respiratory issues or other allergic flare-ups. Your bed is supposed to help you relax, not make you sick. So if your allergies are bothering you unexpectedly, consider a fresh mattress.

 Restless Nights

If you have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep, your mattress is the first thing to investigate. Many factors affect your sleep, from your pillows to the temperature of the room. However, none matter more than the mattress beneath you. Even if you can’t identify a specific problem, poor sleep might indicate that something is wrong with your current mattress. For the sake of your health and wellbeing, start looking for a mattress that encourages you to sleep deeply.

 Crowded Conditions

You can also outgrow a mattress. Perhaps you move into a bigger bedroom, start sharing your bed with a partner, or become pregnant. Your sleep is too important to deal with a bed that no longer works for your sleeping arrangements. The sooner you make an upgrade, the sooner you can sleep how you want.

Advancing Age

The most clear cut answer to “how often should you buy a new mattress?” is usually every 8 years. The best time to replace a mattress is before it’s absolutely necessary. If your mattress is 7-10 years old it may still perform perfectly, but statistics suggest it’s reaching its end. Don’t wait until you start tossing and turning at night or waking up with aches and pains. Many new mattresses offer features and amenities that weren’t available last time you went mattress shopping.

How often should you buy a new mattress? Talk to Sit ‘n Sleep.

If the signs indicate it’s time for you to replace your mattress, rely on Sit ‘n Sleep to make the process easy. We have a massive and diverse mattress inventory. Plus in-store sleep experts who can help you find a mattress perfectly suited to your needs. We’d love to answer any of your questions, especially “how often should you buy a new mattress?” Explore what we have to offer on our extensive website, or call us 800-908-0354. When you’re ready to experience the comfort of a new mattress in person, come visit us at your local Sit ‘n Sleep.