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.

Everything You Need to Know About Bed Bugs

According to the experts at the American Pest Management Association, the bed bug problem is out of control. Over 95% of professionals surveyed report dealing with at least one bed bug infestation within the past year, and the majority say that infestations are increasing. According to a different survey, 1 in 5 Americans have encountered bed bugs or knows someone who has. If you want to avoid becoming part of the statistics, you need to know to avoid these pests for good. Use this comprehensive guide to protect yourself, your bed, and your whole home.

What is a Bed Bug?

Bed bugs have terrorized beds for as long as beds have existed. They are small, round, brown bugs that grow to be around 5 millimeters long. The bugs feed on blood, which is why they seek out humans to bite in bed. The bugs are primarily active at night, and they use a decoagulant in their saliva to keep blood flowing at the site of the bite. The good news is that bed bugs do not transmit or spread diseases. The bad news is that their bites leave swollen, itchy red welts.

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

Typically, you carry bed bugs into your home without even knowing it. They may crawl into your luggage when you stay at a hotel, or bury themselves in your coat as you ride on a train. Used furniture is another common source of hidden bed bugs, and in an apartment or condo complexes, they can easily travel between units. Experts suspect that bed bug infestations are increasing in part because people are traveling more, unknowingly visiting places with an active bed bug infestation, and bringing the pests home accidentally. Considering that bed bugs can live in carpet, bedding, or almost any cloth surface, combined with the fact that they’re small and reclusive, it’s easy to encounter bed bugs without knowing.

How Do You Recognize an Infestation?

Bed bugs may be hard to spot, but it’s not impossible. Identifying them sooner makes it easier to control them effectively, so you should monitor for evidence of an infestation, especially after you travel. If you end up with red welts, it’s a clear sign bed bugs have followed you home. Small red or brown blood spots on your sheets are also tell-tale evidence. When you have reason to suspect bed bugs, look for the bugs themselves around the piping of your mattress. Even though these pests are small and good at hiding, you will usually be able to visually verify you have an infestation. If you’re unsure, err on the side of caution by treating the infestation, or call in a professional to evaluate the space.

How Do You Prevent an Infestation?

Considering how common bed bugs have become, it’s smart for everyone to take steps to prevent them.  When traveling, inspect for bed bugs in your room, and keep your suitcases on a luggage rack so the bugs can’t reach it. Upon returning home, unload your clothes directly into the washing machine, and store your suitcases away from your bedroom. In between trips, be cautious about any second-hand furniture you buy. It also helps to seal your mattress in protective plastic because it denies the bed bugs their favorite hiding spot. Take care to clean your bedroom, bed linens, and clothes regularly while watching for any evidence of bed bugs. Finally, never assume you are immune. Bed bugs are attracted to humans, not messes, and they can make their way into any home and hide out of sight. Be vigilant so you can address the problem as soon as it appears.

How Do You Treat an Infestation?

Getting rid of bed bugs involves multiple solutions. Take all these steps to ensure the bugs and their offspring are completely gone:

Put all your bedding and clothing in a dryer set to high temperature for at least 30 minutes. Washing will not kill bed bugs, but high, sustained heat will.

Heat items that may be infested but can’t go in the dryer (furniture, mattresses, etc.) along with any rooms that may be infested to 120 degrees for at least 90 minutes. People typically rent specialized equipment to safely reach these temperatures or hire a professional to do it for them.

Use a pesticide to kill the remainder of the bed bugs. There are literally hundreds of products to choose from, which you can easily search using this tool from the Environmental Protection Agency. Though it’s possible to eliminate an infestation without pesticides, it’s far less reliable, which is why most experts recommend using a product specifically made to kill bed bugs. If you’re worried about toxins in your home, work with an expert to explore greener options.

Put out indicators that can show you if bed bugs are present in the area so you know whether or not the infestation is gone.

It can take some time and persistence, but as long as you’re thorough you can kick bed bugs out of your home once and for all.

Everything You Need to Know About Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid mattresses made using memory foam were introduced to the public in 2008. They were developed as a result of complaints from customers that coil and foam systems alone didn’t provide the level of comfort needed for sound, uninterrupted sleep.

Hybrid mattresses combine the support, strength and bounce of conventional innerspring mattresses with the softness and comfort of foam, latex or gel sleep systems. Many sleepers find these combinations to be ideal for consistently getting a good night’s rest and awakening relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the day.

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Sit ‘n Sleep’s Five Best Selling Mattresses Under $1,000

From basic mattresses to technologically advanced sleep systems, Sit ‘n Sleep has quality mattresses to fit every body shape, comfort level preference and budget. Here are five of our best sellers, all of which are available for less than $1,000:

Sealy Good Spirits Firm Mattress. Sealy mattresses have long been known for their quality and durability, and the Good Spirits Queen Size Firm Mattress is no exception. Part of the Sealy Performance™ Collection, the Sealy Good Spirits Firm Mattress brings innovation and engineering together to deliver a restful night’s sleep at an attractive price.

Sealy’s exclusive  Posturepedic Technology™ combines 1” layers of SealySupport™ Firm and Ultra Firm Foam for stable, full body support, as well as added support under the heaviest part of the body where it’s needed most for a good night’s rest. The Good Spirit’s 2” layer of SealyCushion™ Air Foam has been designed as a series of peaks and valleys that allow increased airflow, added softness and greater overall sleeping comfort.

The mattress’s 910  Response Pro barrel-shaped encased coils allow them to move independently, which reduces motion transfer. Combined with the 1/2 ” layer of SealyCool™ Gel Foam, the result is a cooler, more comfortable night’s sleep. Sealy’s DuraFlex™ Edge Support System provides a high-density flexible coil border that makes the Good Spirit a sturdier mattress with a larger useable sleeping area. Top it all off with Sealy’s plush feeling ComfortLoft™ soft knit fabric cover, add a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty and you have a combination for a good night’s rest that’s hard to beat!

King Koil Florence Euro Top Mattress. This best seller brings together a luxurious plush feeling with the levels of comfort and support needed for sleeping well night after night. The King Koil Luxury Florence Euro Top is the only mattress endorsed by the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) for helping to promote proper spinal alignment and a better and healthier night’s sleep

The Florence Euro Top Mattress brings together advanced foam and spring coil technologies for better sleeping. The  8” Contour Elite innerspring system has 858 individually encased coils that conform to the body’s natural contours for less motion transfer and added sleeping comfort. The coils serve to relieve pressure on the sleeper’s body and reduce motion transfer that causes nocturnal tossing and turning and interrupts natural sleep.

The latex lumbar support system in the center of the mattress adds to its comfort and body supporting properties. King Koil’s Excellent Edge™ Foam Encasement provides a firm, sag resistant seating edge, greater stability and a larger usable space for sleeping. Add to that a comfortable, eco-friendly Tencel™ fiber surface made from sustainable wood sources, which is known to aid the body’s natural temperature regulating mechanism, resist microbial bacteria and wick away moisture.

The King Koil Florence Euro Top Mattress is made in the USA and comes with a 10 year non-prorated warranty.

Sealy Redondo Beach Cushion Firm Mattress. One of several mattresses from the Essentials™ Collection of Sealy’s Response™ product line, the Sealy Redondo Beach Cushion Firm Mattress delivers the same high levels of quality, support, comfort and value that Sealy has been providing its customers for more than130 years. As with all Sealy mattresses, the Redondo Beach Cushion Firm mattress is a combination of innovation, engineering and high level of strictly enforced quality assurance standards. The Redondo Beach Cushion Firm Mattress’s features include a 2” layer of SealyCushion™ Air Foam cushioning, a SolidEdge™ reinforced foam border and Sealy’s exclusive innerspring Response Pro HD coil system. The result is a perfect balance of the comfort and support needed to ensure a good night’s sleep.

As with all mattresses in Sealy’s Response line, the Redondo Beach Cushion Firm mattress is a great choice for today’s increasingly popular adjustable base beds. Like all Sealy mattresses, the Redondo Beach Cushion Firm mattress comes with a 10 year limited warranty.

Sertapedic Waitrose Euro Top Mattress. As with every Sertapedic mattress, comfort is included at no extra cost. The plush-feeling Sertapedic Waitrose Euro Top Mattress is filled with features designed to provide sleepers with cushiony comfort and just the right amount of support that’s needed for a good night’s rest.

The Sertapedic Waitrose Euro Top mattress has a comfortable plush feel. It’s recommended for people who like to sleep on their sides or backs and prefer a lot of softness. The following are some of the sleep-enhancing highlights that come with a Sertapedic Waitrose Euro Top mattress:

  • A 1/2 ” layer of Cool Twist® Gel Foam, which is polyurethane foam with tiny bits of gel mixed in that gently cradles the body and helps dissipate heat
  • A 1” layer of Serta Balanced Support Foam that supplements the mattress’s innerspring support system
  • A 2.75” layer of Serta Comfort XD® Foam that provides pressure-relieving comfort while gently cradling and supporting the sleeper’s body
  • The Serta 532 Continuous Support® Innerspring System, which is a series of head to toe coils that provide support along the entire length of the body
  • The Total Edge® Foam Encasement that works in harmony with the Continuous Support Innerspring System to minimize sagging at the mattress’s edges
  • Unlike many mattresses, there’s no need to periodically flip the Waitrose Euro Top to make it more comfortable

Available online only, the Sertapedic Waitrose Euro Top Mattress comes with a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty.

Sealy Cheery Cushion Firm Euro Top Mattress. This best-selling mattress and box spring combination is another quality sleep system from Sealy’s Performance collection. For people who prefer medium or medium soft mattresses, the Sealy Cheery Cushion Firm Euro Top Mattress offers stable, full body support reinforced with Sealy’s exclusive Posturepedic Technology for a sound, comfortable night’s sleep.

Regardless of whether you prefer to sleep on your back, side or stomach, you’ll find the Cheery Cushion Firm Euro Top mattresses to be a great choice. Features include motion isolation for uninterrupted sleep, pressure relief to minimize pain or loss of circulation at the shoulders and hips and easy repositioning for changing sleeping positions during the night. The mattress’s foam padding serves to both cushion the body and supplement the individually wrapped pocketed coil support system.

As with all Sealy mattresses, the Cheery Cushion Firm Euro Top Mattress comes with a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty.

For more information on these or any of Sit ‘n Sleep‘s huge inventory of mattresses, bedframes and sleep accessories, call us at 800-908-0354, contact us online or stop by any our 38 mattress superstores conveniently located throughout Southern California. We’re open seven days a week and our knowledgeable sleep consultants are always on duty to help you select a sleep system that’s best for your unique situation.

All About bedMATCH Technology

How do you buy a mattress? Lie down on a couple of options at the store? Pour over reviews and still feel confused about the best option for you? Pick one based on price? None of these are great options and you’ll likely end up with hip, back, or neck pain from sleeping on the wrong surface.

What if there was another way? Something you could do to make sure that you end up with the right mattress for you so you could sleep better and wake up with less pain?

Give the Sit ‘n Sleep patented bedMATCH technology a try! This free online quiz asks you questions about your age, body size, bed partner, and preferred sleeping position to match you to the perfect bed for you and your partner. Best of all; you don’t need to provide any information, not even an email address, to get your results!

Why is the right mattress important?

You spend up to a third of your day lying on your mattress; not using the correct one could cause pain and even bigger health problems over time. This is because when you fall asleep, your body and muscles are fully relaxed, much more so then when you test out a mattress for a few minutes in the store. If your spine and body aren’t properly aligned during sleep, you’ll be left with aches and pains in the morning when you wake up.

How does it work?

The bedMATCH process is super easy!

  • Take the quiz.  Answer a series of easy questions about yourself (or you and your partner).
  • Get your results. You’ll be given a color recommendation based on the answers to the quiz questions:
    • Red: Extra firm support
    • Blue: Medium firm support
    • Green: Medium plush support
    • Gold: Plush support

All of our mattresses are sorted according to these colors, making it very easy to look for the options that best fit with your recommendations.

  • Come visit us. Now that you have your personalized recommendations, it’s time to visit your local Sit ‘n Sleep showroom to test out our bedMATCH machine. It uses 18 statistical measurements and over 1,000 scientific calculations along with the information you provide, to better help you find the mattress with the best postural support and pressure relief for you. Print out and bring along the results from your quiz for even more accurate suggestions.
  • Pick your mattress. Using your results from the questionnaire, our sleep consultants will work with you to find the ideal mattress for your body type. You can try out the different options to find the one that works.

The details

The great thing about this quiz is that it is completely cost- and obligation-free. In addition, if you don’t like the recommendations we make, you are the final decision maker. While we provide a scientific recommendation based upon your body and sleep habits, your comfort is a personal thing!

You can also ask for a Blended Recommendation if you share a bed with a partner. Do you and your partner struggle with finding a bed that works for both of you? You like a plush and they like extra firm? Maybe you sleep on your stomach and they are a side sleeper? The bedMATCH process will not only give you the ideal selection for your sleep habits, but will also give you a blended recommendation that takes into account both you and your partner’s needs. Just make sure to enter their information into the quiz as well!

For even better results, consider also using our pillowMATCH diagnostic system! The system recommends the best pillow for you based upon a specific calculation using the distance between your head and shoulder, preferred sleeping position, and the recommended mattress.

Next Steps

If you’re ready to wake up well-rested and refreshed, without any aches and pains in your back, hips, and neck, it may be time for a new mattress. Rather than taking a chance on something that may or may not be the right fit for you, try the bedMATCH difference for yourself. Check out our dealer locator to find the retailer closest to you, or call our Customer Support team at 1-800-800-1353 to speak with one of our incredible team members.

When and How to Wash Your Pillows

Most people wash sheets and pillowcases once a week, but often put off laundering their pillows. Although somewhat inconvenient, failing to regularly wash your bed pillows can be a huge mistake.

Pillows can harbor all sorts of nasty things, including dust, perspiration, saliva, dirt, dead skin, mold, dust mites and other tiny insects. Amazingly, these unwanted intruders can cause the pillow to double in weight over time. If ignored and left untended, they will cause the pillow’s fill material to break down, and the pillow will no longer provide the support needed for a good night’s rest.

Continuing to sleep on a pillow without it being washed at least every few months can also have a negative impact on your health by causing illness or triggering allergic reactions. If you wake up with watery eyes and sneezing, failure to regularly launder your pillows may be the cause. People who live in warm, damp climates should wash their pillows frequently to keep them fresh, sanitary and comfortable for sleeping.

Tips for Washing and Drying Pillows

Most synthetic and down-filled pillows can be machine-washed and dried, although there are some that should be dry cleaned only. Regardless of the fill material, read the manufacturer’s instructions on the care label to confirm that machine washing is OK.

Before washing a pillow with a synthetic filling, fold it in half. If it doesn’t immediately bounce back into shape, the filling inside has been broken down and will no longer adequately support the sleeper’s head and neck.. Don’t bother washing it – just toss the pillow and replace it. All Sit ‘n Sleep Southern California mattress stores carry a full range of pillows at prices that can’t be beat!

Here are a few tips for hassle-free ways to keep your pillows clean and comfortable:

  • After confirming the pillow can be machine washed and dried, place the pillow or pillows into the washer. Washing two pillows at the same time will balance the load and allow better circulation of the water and detergent. The agitators in top-loading machines can be rough on pillows and shorten their useful lives, so set the machine on its “gentle” cycle for the shortest possible time. As an alternative, consider taking the pillows to a laundromat and use their front-loading equipment when they need laundering.
  • Set the water temperature selector on hot. It takes a water temperature of 140°F or higher to kill the dust mites and other creepy critters that might be inside.
  • Add a small amount a mild, low suds liquid detergent such as Woolite. Avoid powdered detergents, which can leave excessive residue. Fragrance free soaps are recommended.
  • Start the washing machine. Run the pillows through the machine’s rinse cycle at least twice. This will make sure all soap and dirt have been removed. Detergent that hasn’t been completely rinsed from the pillow will leave a sticky residue that can cause the filling to clump. It’s also a good idea to run the pillows through an extra spin cycle to remove as much moisture as possible.
  • Dry the pillows according to the instructions on the care label. Assuming machine drying is OK, place the pillows in the dryer along with a few tennis balls or wool dryer balls. This will give them some extra fluff and also help to break up clumps. It’s important that the pillow or pillows are thoroughly dried. A pillow that’s put back into use while it’s still even slightly damp can result in mildew, dust mites and bacteria returning.

Special Washing Instructions for Pillows With Various Filling Types

  • Down or Feather Pillows. Although it will take longer, use the dryer’s no-heat setting to avoid the feathers being singed and leaving the pillow with an unpleasant odor.
  • Polyester Pillows. Wash with warm (not hot) water, with the machine set on its gentle cycle. Use a mild detergent very sparingly – about one tablespoon of liquid soap is plenty.
  • Buckwheat Hull Fillings. Washing buckwheat hull pillows will ruin them. Open the zippered end of the pillowcase and empty the hulls onto a cookie sheet or into a large, shallow bowl. Setting the cookie sheet or bowl with the hulls in the sun will eliminate odors. Wash the cover in cold water using a mild detergent.
  • Memory Foam and Latex Pillows. Unfortunately, neither of these pillow types can be washed, nor should they be steam cleaned. Remove visible stains by blotting them with a damp (not wet) cloth and allow the pillow to air dry, but keep them away from direct sunlight. Occasionally vacuuming a latex pillow followed by running it through a dryer on the “no heat” setting will remove much of the accumulated dirt and grime. The best way to keep a latex pillow clean and sanitary is to use a machine washable protective pillow cover.

Regardless of a pillow’s filling type, most sleep experts recommend using zippered pillow protectors to extend their useful lives. Experts also agree that the rule of thumb for replacing pillows is every one to two years, although some will last longer. The expert sleep consultants at Sit ‘n Sleep will help you decide which pillow type is best for your particular situation.

Some Simple Tricks to Help Get You Out of Bed in the Morning

When you hear the alarm on your clock or smartphone go off in the morning, are you ready to wake up and take on the day? Like lots of people, you may be tempted to hit the snooze button – sometimes repeatedly – just to spend a few extra minutes dozing off before getting out of bed. If this sounds like you, you may wind up staying in bed longer than you had planned and end up being late for work or an important appointment. What’s more, you might spend the rest of the day feeling tired and groggy and walking around in a fog.

Hitting the snooze button is actually a waste of time. Although admittedly it’s tempting, falling back asleep for a few more minutes won’t give you the benefits of deep, REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. To avoid the possible negative consequences of oversleeping, here are some simple but effective tips you can use to make sure you get up quickly and effortlessly each morning feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Develop a Regular Sleep Routine and Stick to It

Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day will help regulate your body’s internal clock and improve the overall quality of your sleep. Choose a bedtime that’s around the time you usually begin to feel tired and stay with it. Although you may not notice the difference at first, after a few days you’ll start waking up refreshed and relaxed.

The starting point for creating a regular sleep routine is establishing a set schedule for the hours leading up to bedtime and sticking to it.

As an example, it’s a good idea to get some fresh air and exercise. Take a walk or engage in a similar low impact activity two or three hours before bedtime to help you relax. Eating a healthy evening meal is also a good idea, but make sure it’s at least three hours before you go to bed. If you’re still feeling hungry, it’s OK to have a light snack an hour or so before retiring for the night, so long as you stay away from spicy foods and avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.

It’s also important to remember to shut off all electronic devices at least a few hours before going to bed. Doing this should make it easier for you to fall asleep and rest soundly throughout the night. A National Sleep Foundation study found that 95% of the people they surveyed used digital devices either shortly before retiring or while in bed, causing them to lose the sleep they need to avoid early morning grogginess. Most digital devices also emit blue light, which the brain interprets as being daylight and interrupts the body’s circadian rhythm and prevents sleep. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, avoid using the devices close to bedtime.

Try Not to Nap Too Much During the Day

A prolonged nap or naps during the day can instantly throw your sleep routine off the track, so limit the duration of daytime naps to 20 or 30-minutes to improve your chances of consistently getting a good night’s rest.

Many people find that a brief nap in the afternoon helps them to “recharge the batteries” and maintain higher levels of productivity and efficiency. A nap that extends beyond half an hour, however, could disrupt your nighttime sleep routine and make it more difficult to get out of bed in the morning.

Place Your Alarm Clock in the Right Spot in Your Bedroom

Think carefully about where you set your alarm clock or smartphone alarm before you go to bed. Choose a spot such as somewhere across the room that’s more than arm’s length away, but still close enough to hear when it goes off in the morning. If it’s too close to your bed, you may be tempted to hit the snooze button, roll over and go back to sleep. On the other hand, if the alarm clock is on the opposite side of the room, you’ll need to get out of bed to turn it off.

Download an Alarm Clock App to Help You Wake Up

There are lots of alarm apps available online that can be downloaded for both iOS and Android devices. Some are meant to start your day with soothing sounds or soft, pleasant, music. If you’re a person that has trouble getting out of bed in the morning, however, it’s obviously best to avoid these alarm apps. Others are designed to get even the groggiest of sleepers out of bed and “up and at ‘em”! Here are a few examples:

  • Wake N Shake is an alarm clock app that could very well convert you into becoming a morning person, and with good reason. Available from the App Store, when an iOS device, such as an iPhone or iPad, with Wake N Shake installed goes off at the pre-set time, you’ll need to shake it to turn off the alarm sound. There are 16 shake level settings to choose from, which range from just a gentle side-to-side motion to vigorously shaking the device to stop the alarm from sounding.
  • BetterMe uses humor through social media as a means of ensuring you wake up on time. Whenever you’re late getting out of bed, BetterMe will publish a message on your Facebook wall to let the online world know you overslept. Available for most iOS devices, some of BetterMe’s other features include goal tracking progress and GPS check-ins for scheduled appointments. As with the app’s alarm feature, BetterMe will post a message on Facebook whenever you miss a deadline or fail to keep an appointment.
  • Loud Alarm Clock is another app for Apple devices that’s sure to awaken even the soundest of sleepers. Although you have the option of using the music of your choice from iTunes, you can also select one of the app’s several truly annoying sounds, such as a blaring siren or nails scratching on a chalkboard. The alarm can be set to randomize the sounds so that you don’t learn to sleep through the ones you’ve gotten used to.
  • Alarmy is one of several alarm apps for heavy-sleeping Android users. Available on Google play, Alarmy refers to itself as the “world’s most annoying alarm clock,” and with good reason. The user chooses a registration spot outside the bedroom, and when the alarm goes off, the only way to stop the sound is for the person to get up and go to the registration spot.

Make Your Bedroom a Sleep Sanctuary

Consider keeping your bedroom technology free, and make it a sleep sanctuary. Here are a few suggestions to make your bedroom conducive to the sound, uninterrupted sleep that will allow you to bound out of bed and seize the day in the morning:

  • Remove and use computers, televisions and other electrical devices from the bedroom and keep them in other areas of the house. At first it might be difficult, but after a few days you should be sleeping better and waking up refreshed and relaxed.
  • Keep the room cool. A slight decrease in body temperature promotes sound sleep, so it’s important to keep the room on the cool side. Sleep experts recommend a bedroom temperature of 68° or less, so be sure to adjust the thermostat before calling it a night.
  • Block out noises that can prevent you from falling asleep or abruptly awaken you in the middle of the night. If the source of the noise is beyond your control, such as neighbors or heavy traffic, consider blocking it with a sound machine that gives off soft, soothing sounds throughout the night. If all else fails, try using a pair of quality earplugs.
  • Keep the room dark, and the darker the better. Light reduces the production of melatonin, which is the naturally occurring substance that regulates the body’s internal clock. If the light that keeps you awake comes from outside the home, consider replacing your drapes or blinds with blackout curtains.

Sleep on the Right Mattress

Replacing that sagging old mattress can make a huge difference in the way you sleep. The right mattress will allow you to rest comfortably for hours and awaken feeling refreshed. Some things to consider when shopping for a new mattress include your body shape, sleeping position and any physical ailments such as back pain, neck pain or allergies. Choosing a mattress, however, can be confusing. That’s why all Sit ‘n Sleep Southern California Locations have sleep consultants on duty to help you select the mattress size, comfort level and bed type that’s best for you.

Use these simple tricks and you’ll sleep soundly and wake up in the morning relaxed and refreshed – so much so that you’ll probably forget your alarm even has a snooze button!



Starting and Sticking to a Sleep Routine (and Why it’s Important)

Everyone knows that a good night’s rest is essential for physical and mental health and well-being. Many people, however, go to bed at night and lie awake tossing and turning, unable to go to sleep for hours on end. The result is waking up the next morning feeling groggy and hitting the snooze button to postpone the inevitable just to spend a few more minutes in bed.

Both sleeping in too long or waking up earlier than you would like make the situation even worse. Failure to sleep well affects your mood, interactions with other people and on-the-job productivity throughout the day. This is particularly true for older teenagers and some young adults, who tend to stay up late but need to wake up early for work, school or other commitments. This combination over time can result in serious cases of insomnia. Chances are, your inability to sleep is due to a poor sleeping schedule. It is, however, possible, to reset your body’s clock for a happier, healthier and more rewarding life.

Creating a Sleep Routine that Works

Although it’s a problem for many people, regularly getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t necessarily need to be difficult. What’s required is a sleep schedule that lets you fall asleep at the same time each night, sleep soundly and get up on time feeling rested and ready to go. All that’s needed to develop and maintain that schedule is some time spent experimenting with different sleeping and waking times, along with self-discipline and determination.

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