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Holistic Wellness: 11 Ways to Change Your Health And Lifestyle

Thanks to the age of information and an almost overwhelming amount of free educational resources on the internet, more people are discovering ways they can lead a healthy lifestyle and detox the body and mind. If you have wanted to revamp your life and start thinking holistically about your well-being, take it one step at a time and take advantage of the free information available to you. In this post, you will learn about 11 simple ways you can radically change your health and lifestyle with holistic wellness.

  • Evaluate The Products in Your Home: It can be disheartening when you learn that a huge majority of the products in your home are unnatural and filled with dangerous chemicals. Take the first step toward a life of wellness by swapping generic home products for all-natural products. Switch to natural, chemical-free cleaners, hair products, detergent, and bedding and mattresses. Most people are unaware of just how many chemicals and other irritants are in their mattresses alone. Get informed on what most manufacturers put in the mattresses they produce and make the decision to opt for an all-natural mattress. By doing this, you will notice a difference in your sleep quality, comfort, energy in the morning, and overall health.
  • Make it a Group Effort: If you live with family or roommates, make the switch to a holistic lifestyle a collaborative effort. It’s easier to make changes in your life when others are helping you do it and they are doing it as well. Encourage everyone in your household to be more conscious about the products they are using and the food they are putting in their bodies. This is also a great way to build a sense of community within your family or living situation and get everyone excited about bettering themselves.
  • Perfect The Art of Doing Nothing: The Italians call it “la dolce far niente”, which is translated to “the sweetness of doing nothing”. Sadly, we live in a society that encourages an overworked, chaotic lifestyle which leaves everyone exhausted by the end of the day. Master the art of doing nothing and learn to appreciate stillness. Take a nap, watch the sunset, meditate…pick your poison or switch it up daily. Just make sure you set aside a period of time during the day to relax and still the mind and body. There are enormous benefits that come from just this one simple act. You will boost your mental performance as well as garner more physical energy. By the end of your “la dolce far niente” session you will be feeling refreshed.
  • Detox Technology: Limit the amount of time you spend sitting in front of a computer or scrolling through social media on your phone. The downside to social media is seeing the highlights of other people’s lives and envying that when all you can see is the behind-the-scenes action of your life. Significantly reduce the amount of time you spend online and focus instead on your own mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health.
  • Implement a Clean Eating Strategy: In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s tempting to just go through the fast-food drive-thru for lunch or order greasy takeout for dinner. In order to achieve mental clarity and strengthen the body, eliminate sugars and other foods that may cause allergies and bad reactions. Ensure that you are getting your daily dose of vitamins and eating plenty of fresh greens. To make it easier for you, consider meal prepping on Sundays. Having your meals prepared in advance not only guarantees that you’ll be getting the proper nutritional meals you need, you will also be saving a fantastic amount of time and money.
  • Get to Know The Companies You Purchase From: While it can be frustrating to see how many unnatural products are out there, there are plenty of companies that offer environmentally friendly, all-natural alternatives that also do a lot of social good. Try making an effort to buy from companies that offer you safe, healthy products and make a social contribution. For example, Urban Mattress donates 2% of every sale to local charities. When you buy something from Urban Mattress, you are giving back with the purchase you made.
  • Practice Gratitude: The human mind is an extremely powerful thing and by making a conscious effort to fill it with positive thoughts and practice gratitude, you can radically change your life. Take a few minutes every morning to repeat certain mantras that are important to you and recognize all the things you are thankful for. Even in our darkest moments, everyone can find something that makes them grateful. Express gratitude for your health, home, provisions, family, friendships, and anything else that has been a blessing in your life.
  • Switch up Your Fitness Regimen: Many people don’t even have a fitness regimen and if you are one of them, it’s time to get active. Strive to do something active every single day even if it’s just a brisk 15 minute walk. Introduce new variations into your workout by hiking one day, swimming the next, and trying a kickboxing class after that. Don’t let your fitness lifestyle get stagnant. Be open to trying new things and keep your mind and body alert by switching your exercise up constantly.
  • Get More Sleep: It’s astounding how most people not only don’t get enough rest, but will brag about it as if it’s a trait to be proud of. The majority of men and women need roughly 7-9 hours of sleep every night and far too many do not get that. Make it a point to get to bed a little earlier every night. If you have trouble sleeping, consider using different herbal teas and essential oils such as lavender to calm the brain and allow for a fuller night’s rest. Don’t scroll through your phone right before bed as this will only cause more activity in the brain. Some effective ways to soothe the mind before bed are reading a book, taking a hot bath, or doing some light yoga stretches. Also, take into consideration that a bad mattress is often the culprit behind poor sleep. Look into your options and find a high quality mattress that meets your sleep needs.
  • Try Yoga And Meditation: Many people who have not tried yoga may believe that they don’t have the patience or tolerance for it. However, many would be surprised to learn that yoga incorporates both relaxing, still poses with more rigorous, active movements and poses. Yoga and meditation are both excellent ways to eliminate stress, anxiety, and even help with depression. There are several amazing benefits that come with practicing yoga and meditation on a daily basis. It’s also a great way to quiet the mind and body right before bed.
  • Spend More Time With Loved Ones: At every opportunity possible, spend your precious time with friends and family rather than working extra hours. Fostering relationships will be the most important thing you do in life and spending time with those you love is beneficial for both them and you. It is incredible the effect healthy relationships have on your overall health and you will notice tremendous differences after spending quality time laughing and engaging in heartfelt conversation with them.

For more tips on improving holistic wellness in your life and switching to all-natural products such as mattresses, contact your local Urban Mattress store today.

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How Local Business Philanthropy Works for You

It’s been said that a rising tide lifts all boats. At Urban Mattress, we choose to live by that philosophy with our focus on making local business philanthropy work for you and your community. Here’s how we do that, and why.

How local stores, local sales staff, and local philanthropy go hand-in-glove

  • We sell our mattresses in our local, welcoming stores—not online and not in a huge impersonal box-store setting—for a reason. Once you walk in, there are no high pressure sales tactics. You are free to take your time, ask questions, test the products, and make your decisions in peace and comfort. Our only goal is helping the people in your community to get a great night’s sleep.
  • Our stores are locally owned and operated franchises. Who are the franchisees? They are your neighbors who want you to feel welcome and supported whenever you visit their stores. Franchisees are really local entrepreneurs who help to create wealth in their community by owning and operating a local small business there. In most communities, small business entrepreneurs are the economic backbone of the area.
  • How do you fit in? Every time you make a purchase at a local small business, you also are helping to make that tide rise. Your decision to shop locally for your new mattress reaps multiple rewards for you and your community. (1) You get the right mattress for a much-improved night’s sleep, as well as a shopping experience that is pleasant by design. (2) You are supporting one of your neighbors who owns that local franchise. (3) Your purchase means that neighbor then has the capacity to turn around and support other neighbors by shopping locally, too. (4) Your purchase triggers a gift to a local charity. Keep reading to see how.
  • To underscore our business philosophy and our commitment to be part of strengthening the fabric of our local communities, Urban Mattress donates 2% of each sale to local nonprofits. Why? We believe that when your neighbors who need a helping hand receive one, you and the entire community benefit.

The community triangle: businesses, nonprofits, and neighbors

Picture this: an equal-sided triangle with one side representing local businesses, another side representing local nonprofit agencies, and the third side representing your neighbors.

Now envision that the businesses each offer some level of support, as they are able, to the local nonprofit organizations—regardless of whether they are educational, arts, health-related, a food pantry, a clothing drive, or some other type of charity. After all, healthy, safe, active communities are better for their local businesses, too. In addition, most customers prefer shopping at businesses that are “good citizens” and generous to their local communities.

Next, picture the nonprofits who work to improve the local quality of life. They lend a helping hand to people in the community who need some assistance. The savvy nonprofit institution leaders know that they help strengthen the entire fabric of the community when they also publicly encourage their neighbors to patronize the local businesses who have been supporting them.

Finally, think about your neighbors who have received that helping hand. Once they are back on their feet, they often are eager to turn around and support the local businesses that helped make their assistance possible.

  • This is the community triangle that leads to that rising tide which lifts all boats: local businesses supporting nonprofit agencies who support local people in need, and local people in need and nonprofits in turn supporting local businesses.

Year-round philanthropy

These days, more and more retail businesses rely on charitable giving simply as a seasonal gimmick. They look to boost sales primarily at the end of the summer and during holiday seasons by luring in customers with ads showcasing their seasonal philanthropy.

We at Urban Mattress have a different view, one that demonstrates a consistent and year-round support of our local communities. Since our customers may need—and purchase—a new mattress at any point during the year, and since you or your neighbors may need a helping hand at any point during the year, we think our business philanthropy should reflect that same approach. That’s why every sale, at any time of the year, generates a gift to a local charity.

Doing good: what else is in it for you

When you shop at a local business that carries the reputation for being a genuine part of, and generous to, the local community, you feel good about your purchase. You should take pride in knowing that you have made a contribution, too. And in these uncertain times, that’s a great feeling to have.

It’s your choice

On any given day in any given week, we have customers whose experiences, priorities, and preferences differ from one another. That’s why there’s vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. That’s also why we offer a wide range of mattresses in a wide range of prices, and why we leave the choice to you of where to send the local charitable gift generated by your purchase.

Just as we would not decide which mattress is best for you, we also will not decide which nonprofit you might wish to support. That brings “double happiness”—a good feeling about supporting the charity that you have chosen to support.

In case you don’t consider 2% a substantial gift, consider this: in one local area, several gifts of 2% can add up to a more sizeable donation. Over time, each 2% gift becomes more significant. You also can play a role in ensuring that your gift multiplies. How? Ask your neighbors, perhaps on social media, if they are in the market for a new mattress. If they are, let them know where you purchased yours—and where you decided your charitable gift would go (and why).  That way, you are actively working to help your favorite charity while making your community stronger.

If you also are a small business owner…

Small business owners need a great night’s sleep also—so it’s possible that if you’re reading this, you may be both a small business owner and a customer.

We welcome you to our site, and hope that as a small business owner, you already have hopped onto the social responsibility bandwagon in your community. If you try charitable giving as a small business, you can borrow our model or try one of your own. Websites such as Good360 can help point the way as can your local Chamber of Commerce, since local nonprofits typically also are Chamber members.

Connecting via helping—it’s what we all want

For most of us, feeling connected to our local communities is key to our thriving there. Whether we form friendships, participate in groups, volunteer, or form business partnerships, connecting and the feeling that comes with it is the underpinning of local life.

At Urban Mattress, connecting in each community where we operate is what we strive for. Our local business philanthropy is an integral part of our strategy to help achieve a connection with the local community.

That’s why our franchisees welcome you to come in, unpressured, and take the time you need to make the critical decision to purchase the right mattress for you and your budget. And that’s why once you have made your purchase, your next decision is what charity you want to support with our 2% donation.

Purchasing the right mattress is an important decision, so please let us know how we can help you get a better night’s sleep.

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Wellness Strategies to Help You Stay Healthy This Fall

Fall is a great time of the year. The scents of cinnamon, cloves, and garlic fill the air along with crisp air, burning leaves, and pumpkin. The air is cooler, you’ve settled into your school year routine, and you’ve got a little breathing room before moving into the holidays. After the hustle and bustle of the summer, fall is a great time to slow down–but it’s also the time of year when you start to give in to temptation, relax, and stop paying attention to your health and wellness routines. Instead of letting your health start to slip this fall, follow these steps to increase your wellness all year long.

Enjoy Healthy Fall Foods

Fall brings with it plenty of great produce that you can use to freshen up your meals and keep your body fueled. Try incorporating pumpkin into some of your favorite dishes. It’s great for more than pie! Squash, sweet potatoes and other root vegetables, and cauliflower are also abundant in the fall months. Take advantage of all the great scents of all and add cinnamon, ginger, and cloves to your food for a health boost.

Fall is also the time of year when many people start preparing more soups, stews, and chili in an effort to ward off the chill in the air. Broth-based soups, rather than cream-based, are often healthier, and filling your soup full of fresh or frozen vegetables is a great way to get in more nutrients. Try making your own bone broth with the bones left over from other meals to add even more nutrients to your meals.

Feeling the need to bake some sweet treats as the air gets cooler? Don’t let the fact that sweater weather is coming tempt you into packing on extra pounds. Instead, look for lighter, healthier versions of your favorite treats. Applesauce makes a great substitute for oil and butter, and using flax seed instead of eggs will help reduce the calorie count of your favorite dishes.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

If you have kids, especially older kids, fall is filled with activities that keep you out late. School projects, sporting events, and other events take their toll, shortening your sleep and leaving you grumpy and tired the next day. If you’re starting to feel the sleep deficit, follow these rules for a better night’s sleep.

  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule. If you’re finding that you’re out late more often than you’re home, it might be time to cut some activities out of your schedule.
  • Design a solid bedtime routine for every member of your family. Whether it’s a warm bath, cuddling up for songs and stories with the kids, or sitting around and chatting for a few minutes before bed, that ritual will let everyone know that it’s time to get some sleep.
  • Make sure your mattress isn’t to blame. If you’re tossing and turning and can’t get comfortable, your mattress might not be working for you! Contact us to find out more about choosing the perfect mattress for a great night’s sleep.
  • Turn off all of your electronics at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light coming from the screens will convince your brain that it’s still time to be awake, making it difficult to fall asleep when you do turn off the light.

As you develop better methods for getting a great night’s sleep, you’ll find that you feel better rested, healthier, and happier than when you’re running here and there, trying to “catch up” your sleep on the weekends. Make sure you’re getting plenty of rest this fall to help ward off cold and flu germs!

Exercise

With the hot days of summer gone, you aren’t able to spend your days swimming anymore. Chances are, you’re spending less time outside, and you aren’t as active as you were through the summer. Getting plenty of exercise, however, will help keep you healthier, improve your sleep patterns, and help your body fight off illness. Try some of these strategies for getting in the exercise you need this fall.

  • Go for a long walk. The cooler air will make it much more pleasant to get outside than walking in the summer.
  • Pick a class that will get you excited to head into the gym. Try out kickboxing, Zumba, or spinning: whatever sounds interesting and will get you moving. The commitment of paying for a class is a great way to motivate yourself even when you don’t necessarily feel like exercising.
  • Choose a workout video that works for you. The best thing about workout videos is that you can do them from the comfort of your own home, whenever they fit into your hectic schedule.
  • Commit to meeting a friend for a regular exercise session, whether you’re going to the gym or going for a run outside together. Your best bet is to choose a buddy who will motivate you to succeed, pushing you to show up even on the days when you don’t want to go.

Sure, it’s tough to get moving, but once you develop a routine, you’ll find that you miss it when you don’t get your workout in. Find an exercise schedule that works for you and stick with it to watch your body grow stronger, tougher, and healthier.

Reduce Your Stress

Did you take on too much at the beginning of this school year? Are you all too aware of the fact that the holiday season is just around the corner? If so, it’s time to set the stress aside and make a new, healthier habit. Find ways to reduce stress in your life. Exercise and getting enough sleep are both ways to reduce stress, but for some people, that’s not quite enough.

Create a calming ritual and a period of time that’s just for you each day. Whether it’s getting out of bed a few minutes earlier to enjoy some quiet time alone with your first cup of coffee or coming home and relaxing for a few minutes before you dive in and fix dinner, that calming ritual will significantly lower your stress and make you feel renewed and refreshed.

Periodically, take the time to do something for yourself. No matter how busy your schedule is, taking the time to take care of you makes you a better spouse, parent, employee, and friend. Think about what helps you relax most and find a way to work it into your schedule. Buy a new book, spend some time at a spa, or go for a long hike to be alone with nature: whatever makes you feel calmer, more at ease, and more connected to your mind and body.

It’s easy to put off your wellness habits during the fall. Swimsuit season is past, the holidays are coming, and it seems like too much effort to make new resolutions and commit to better health and wellness. You shouldn’t have to wait for the new year to make a better, healthier you! Instead, dive in and make some changes this fall. You’ll love the benefits: looking better, feeling better, and staying healthier even when it seems as though everyone around you is fighting off illness are well worth the effort you’ll put in.

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Achieve Wellness for Body, Mind, and Emotions

To achieve a state of wellness, one must take into account the whole person – body, mind, and emotions. Each one of these is interwoven so that if one area suffers, the other areas will be impacted to some degree. Stress is one problem that tends to strike wellness at the root, effecting the emotions, fogging the mind, and breaking down the body. The Miami Herald had this statistic to report:

According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide. And more than 75 percent of all physician office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.

The opposite of stress is peace or a state of well-being. When one continually achieves a stress-free environment, he or she obtains a higher state of wellness. Through a concerted focus and plan, one may achieve a stress-reduced or stress-free life, and therefore, live a happier life of wellness. The following highlights the effects of stress on the body, mind, and emotions and practical ways to combat it.

 

Stress on the Body

Our body is capable of handling some stress. Actually, a certain amount of stress may be good, or at least ok. For example, if we had no stress reactions about danger, the body’s “fight or flight” mechanism would not kick in. So, when we experience a near miss traffic incident on the highway, the stress reaction probably saved us from an accident. Also, consider the effects of positive stress when we must deliver a speech or a doctor performs a difficult surgery. The adrenaline pumping, the heart beating a bit faster, transforms to positive energy (in most cases), and stress works on our behalf. A continued barrage of stress on the body without rest is the problem. When met with brief episodes of stress, followed by adequate rest and refreshment, the body bounces back. However, chronic stress breaks down the body in three key areas:

 

Muscular:

When the body is stressed, the muscles reflexively react by contracting. When the stress is chronic, muscles continually tense leading to pain, headaches, and other stress-related problems.

 

Cardiovascular:

Under stressful situations, the heart contracts, the heart and blood pressure rises, and the stress hormone cortisol increases. These all take a toll on the heart raising the risk of hypertension, heart attack, and stroke.

 

Endocrine:

Stress tells the body to produce epinephrine and cortisol which then triggers the body to make more glucose. For some people, this may not be much of an issue, but for others, it can lead to Type 2 diabetes.

To summarize, the body dealing with chronic stress may have these related diseases or disorders:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart problems
  • Diabetes
  • Skin conditions
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Higher vulnerability to cancer

 

Solutions for the Stressed Body

The solution for the stressed body is to provide plenty of recuperating rest. We all recognize the need for seven to eight hours of sleep a night. However, during times of stress, people must take additional time for napping or sleeping in order to restore their body. Additionally, it is important to invest in a high-quality mattress so the time you spend sleeping is deep and refreshing.

 

Stress on the Mind

Your body isn’t the only part of you that is impacted by stress. Your brain or mind takes a hit, too. Here are three ways chronic stress effects your mind:

 

1) Restructure of brain

Neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley have conducted studies tracing the effects of chronic stress on the brain and found a correlation between the stress hormone cortisol and changes in the brain structure. Long-term stress was found to be responsible for producing too many myelin cells. This results in more white matter in the brain at the expense of the gray matter. So, what does this all mean? First, an understanding of what role white matter and gray matter play in the brain is necessary.

White matter: White matter is responsible for providing tissue for messages to pass between various places of the gray matter.

Gray matter: Gray matter is the part of your brain that handles communication, sensory perception, muscle coordination, memory, emotions, decision-making, and self-discipline.

As is evident, gray matter is most important for our mind to function well.

 

2) Stem cell dysfunction

 Chronic stress releases the hormone cortisol which in turn carves out a more permanent pathway between the hippocampus and the amygdale. The hippocampus is the part of your brain that handles short-term memories, and the amygdale is the emotions center. So, what happens when these two areas get hard-wired? It results in a potential predisposition to the “fight or flight” response that is cyclic.

 

3) Inhibits learning

The hippocampus, responsible for transferring short-term memory to long-term memory, is impacted by stress. Researchers at the University of California Irvine discovered when the stress hormone cortisol is released into the brain it eliminates a part of the brain called dendritic spines. This is important because the dendritic spines support neurons, which in turn are necessary for learning and memory.

To summarize, a brain under stress looks different than a brain not experiencing stress resulting in potential cognitive problems.

 

Solutions for the Stressed Mind

The solutions for a stressed mind are refreshing the body through wholesome practices of plentiful sleep, exercise, and relaxation techniques. Combating stress requires a holistic approach.  Incorporate wellness techniques into each day. Furthermore, as individuals become more aware of their stress triggers, it is important to take a few moments for relaxation or deep breathing. Another helpful solution offered by Mayo Clinic is positive thinking or more accurately, positive self-talk.

  

Stress on the Emotions

The emotions are closely related to the mind and often times conditions may overlap from one category to the next. The distinction, for the sake of this article, is the mind is referred to as the physiological nature of the brain, whereas the emotions refer to one’s mental state. So, the question is, does stress impact your emotions? Almost everyone can answer that question without much research. We don’t use expressions like “stressed to the breaking point” for nothing. When chronic stress is a factor in someone’s life, some symptoms you may notice are:

  • Edginess
  • Moodiness
  • Crying easily
  • Fatigue
  • Depression

These are some of the normal signs for the stressed emotions. There is science to back up these symptoms, as well. Stress hormones act like a sedative which calms people, but when chronic stress is present, too many stress hormones lead to “low energy and depression.” Conversely, in other people, the continued production of stress hormones brings about anxiety disorders.

To summarize, people who are inundated with continual stress without refreshment for their body, may experience emotional problems such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Moodiness
  • Vulnerability to other mental disorders

 

Solutions for the Stressed Emotions

When the emotions are in an upheaval, life feels out of sorts. Providing care and comfort for your whole being is the only solution to bring about wellness. For the stressed emotions, the following is recommended:

  • Maintain close contact with loved ones.
  • Find an outlet for built up anxiety, worry, or fear (i.e. writing, talking it out, exercising, etc.).
  • Have a loved one give you a massage when stress is at a peak.
  • Ensure you have a comfortable mattress, sheets, and pillow.
  • Refrain from too much caffeine.
  • Sleep well.
  • Take mini naps when stress is at a peak.

 

Wellness is something everyone desires, but few achieve because it requires concentrated effort and work to maintain. The body, mind, and emotions work together to form the entire person and each component needs special care. Chronic stress is a sabotager of wellness. Adequate rest, relaxation, and healthful habits all play a part in reducing stress. At Urban Mattress, we specialize in promoting wellness through excellent mattresses. Contact you local Urban Mattress store to begin your journey to a more restful life.

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Finding The Perfect Bed For Your Needs

Sleep is vital, both allowing your body to rest and recover and giving you energy. Getting good sleep is hugely important to your overall health, and good sleep starts with good beds. When you buy a new bed, thinking about all the choices and options you have can easily become overwhelming. But once you look for in terms of the style, type, and other factors, it will make buying a bed a lot of fun instead of a daunting task.

Know Your Budget

Before you even start to look for a new bed, you should determine exactly what you are willing to spend. Obviously, the more luxurious a bed, the more expensive it will be. It’s important to know your budget, so that you can avoid falling in love with a bed that you simply can’t afford.

Knowing how much you can spend on a new bed will allow you to look at your options and narrow down your choices. That way, when you find the perfect bed within your budget, you won’t be disappointed.

Because quality and price can easily go hand in hand, realistic expectations within your budget are a crucial part of a successful bed shopping experience. And regardless of how much or how little you are willing to spend, at Urban Mattress, you’ll be sure to walk away with a high quality and comfortable bed.

Sleeping Position Matters

When you are looking for a new bed, it is a good idea to begin the process by considering what type of sleeper you are. You may think that this will not make a big difference in choosing the right bed, or that the answer to this question only matters when it comes to finding the right pillow. If that’s the case, you’re mistaken.

  1. Back Sleepers. For example, if you are a back sleeper, you will need to find a bed that offers you additional support. You may not know it, but laying on your back actually puts a lot of pressure on your spine. As a result, your bed needs to have extra support. If you are a back sleeper, look for a mattress that isn’t too soft; instead, a bed that is plush or medium firm is a great idea, just as a mattress topped by memory foam can improve your sleep. Either choice will help to cushion and cradle your body, while at the same time still providing enough support to make sure that your spine is comfortable.
  2. Side Sleepers. If you are a side sleeper, you’re in luck: this position is actually best for your body. It takes pressure off your spine, in addition to a variety of other benefits. For example, if you suffer from acid reflux, sleeping on your side can help to eliminate symptoms at night. Also, every pregnant woman knows that sleeping on your side is not only comfortable, but also healthy because it eliminates strain on your heart. Pressure from the baby can slow the flow of blood to the heart and make it have to pump harder. But in order for side sleeping to be truly beneficial, you have to make sure that you are comfortable. For example, it’s important to have a bed that will conform to your body while also providing support. If your bed can’t accomplish that, sleeping on your side can be strain on your hips and shoulders.
  3. Belly Sleepers. Many people enjoy sleeping on their stomachs. This position isn’t necessarily ideal for your body, because it can put pressure on your lungs. Yet, many sleepers find it to be simply the most comfortable sleeping position. Sleeping on your stomach tends to put additional strain on your spine; by finding the right bed, you’ll help to alleviate this pressure and get a good night’s rest. Once again, you want to find a bed that is right in the middle between firm and soft. If it’s too soft, the mattress won’t provide enough support. If, on the other hand, it is too firm, the bed will not allow your spine to relax in a natural position.

Organic Beds To Consider

Hearing the word organic to describe a mattress may seem strange. But in reality, choosing an organic bed makes perfect sense: a bed is organic is not only because of the materials used to comprise its core, but also the materials used to bind the bed together and make it fire retardant.

Most beds nowadays are filled with organic materials. For example, latex foam used in beds comes from the sap of a tree. Additionally, materials like wool, cotton, and bamboo are all natural components commonly used in mattresses. But because there are no true organic standards today, the most consistently eco friendly aspect of organic beds is the lack of chemicals used. All beds must be fireproof, and many companies use chemicals to make it possible. In an organic mattress, on the other hand, materials like wool and rubber achieve the same effect.

Also, adhesives commonly during the manufacturing process often contain chemicals such as formaldehyde. However, with higher-end organic mattress use all-natural adhesives, which are comprised of latex and other non-chemical materials.

When you buy organic, the comfort your new bed offers will not be the only thing to enable you to sleep well. You will also sleep better knowing that there are no harmful chemicals around you, enabling you to be safe in a high-quality and luxurious bed.

Do Your Research First

So you know your price range. You know what kind of sleeper you are, and you know the style of mattress you are looking for. The last step is to go and lay down on several beds. While it may seem odd at first, you absolutely need to actually test out a bed, because of the wide variety of manufacturing styles that could be used.

A bed from one brand may feel very different from a seemingly similar bed by another brand. By laying on each bed, you’ll be able to get a good idea of the firmness, softness, spring or foam, response to movement, and temperature control. Knowing what you are looking for will make your visit to buy the perfect bed less stressful, but the visit to the store is still crucial to making the right decision.

By formulating your criteria before the shopping process, your visit will be more succinct and targeted. But if you don’t find a mattress that you like, trust employees to help guide you to one that might work for you. At Urban Mattress, that means assistance from a staff that will not pressure you.

Too often when you go to purchase a new bed, you feel like you have the sales staff breathing down your neck and steering you into the most expensive section of the store. But that’s not the case with us; when you visit our store with your ideas in mind, your budget clearly defined, and what beds you are interested in, you’ll find your visit to be a smooth process.

Getting a new bed is and should be a very exciting time, especially if you are currently sleeping on an old, uncomfortable mattress. The idea of waking up while feeling rested and rejuvenated is tantalizing. That idea can easily become reality when you find the right bed, which is much easier when going through the above process. To find the perfect bed for your needs, please contact your local Urban Mattress store.

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Getting Better Rest on Vacation

Vacations are supposed to be restful, right? You don’t have to be at work. Most people don’t even have to set an alarm clock while they’re on vacation. You have long, peaceful days to spend in the location of your choice, whether you’re lounging on the beach, hanging out by a lake, or taking the scenic route through your favorite town. There’s just one problem: you aren’t feeling very rested.

The mattress is too hard (or, conversely, softer than the one that you’re used to sleeping on). The pillow doesn’t smell right. The sheets are scratchy. The light coming through the windows doesn’t hit at the right angle, and the hotel makes strange, unfamiliar noises–especially if you’re unlucky enough to share a thin wall with a noisy neighbor. It doesn’t take long before you’re starting to wonder if you’re going to come back from your vacation more tired than when you left!

If you’re struggling to get adequate rest while you’re on vacation, there’s hope! You can turn things around and, even if you aren’t quite sleeping like a baby, get a quality night’s rest while you’re away from home. With any luck, you’ll even find that you’re actually more rested when you come back from vacation.

Check Your Diet

Let’s face it: when you’re on vacation, your usual diet goes out the window. Most people are lucky to get one vacation a year, after all, and they might as well enjoy them! Unfortunately, poor dietary choices can also lead to poor rest that night. Is eating at your favorite restaurant really worth tossing and turning all night? Try keeping a few simple dietary rules in place while you’re on vacation to avoid interfering with the rest you need so badly.

  • Avoid foods that you know are going to cause digestive distress. If you know you can’t eat garlic or onions without it turning your stomach upside down, Italian for dinner might not be your best choice!
  • Keep the alcohol light. Yes, you’re on vacation. Sure, you can sleep as late as you’d like. Unfortunately, alcohol can interfere with your sleep habits all night long, leading to a shallower sleep with less of the vital REM sleep that will help you feel rested.
  • Watch what you drink with dinner. When you’re away from home, you’re more likely to drink soda or tea–and the caffeine can take six hours or more to wear off enough to let you sleep. Opt for water instead.
  • Don’t skip on lunch. A cycle of fasting and binge-eating can lead to significantly troubled sleep, especially if you’re overeating at the last meal of the day.
  • Add some carbs into your dinner diet to help you feel more full and satisfied longer.

Don’t Avoid Your Workout

You’re on vacation! The last thing you want to worry about is lacing up your running shoes and going for a jog, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar area. Skipping out on your regular exercise routine, however, can make it extremely difficult to fall asleep at night, especially if you’re accustomed to a good workout every day. 150 minutes of exercise per week–or about thirty minutes a day, five days a week–can lead to 65% better sleep when you’re at home, in your own bed. If you’re exercising properly while you’re on vacation, you’ll be more likely to be able to get your brain to turn off and let you rest when it matters. Struggling to find opportunities for exercise? Try:

  • Jogging around a park or around the neighborhood where you’re staying, if it’s safe.
  • Going for a long walk to check out the area. Walking at a mall or in a shopping area is appropriate, but make sure you don’t get distracted from your exercise by browsing!
  • Choose a hotel that offers a gym to guests. Spend some time using the machines before dinner each evening.
  • Check out the hotel pool. Don’t just float around enjoying the water, though that’s certainly a good way to relax at the end of the day. Swim a few laps to get your heart pumping and make the most of your exercise routine.
  • Explore the exercise opportunities that your destination has to offer. From swimming or surfing in the ocean to hiking through the mountains, many vacation destinations have great exercise opportunities just waiting for you.

Keep to Your Schedule

When you’re on vacation, you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn, because you don’t have anywhere you have to be or anything that you have to do at a specific time. For many people, that means it’s time to turn off the alarm and sleep the day away. There’s just one problem: when you turn your sleep routine upside down, it can interfere with your body’s natural clock, making it hard for you to get the quality rest you need. Instead of turning off your alarm completely, try keeping to your normal schedule as much as possible. Go to bed at a reasonable hour. Try to keep it within two hours of your usual bedtime, and do the same with your wake-up time. Not only will you be able to sleep easier, you’ll find that maintaining your schedule while on vacation will make it easier to return to your sleep schedule when you get back home.

Watch your naps carefully, too. Some people can take a long nap in the afternoon and wake up feeling refreshed, then turn in at their regular time that night. Others struggle to sleep at night if they’ve taken a nap during the day. Early naps tend to be better than late ones, but if they’re affecting your sleep, skip the nap entirely to get the best rest possible.

Pack Wisely

Hotels are rarely the restful places you’d like to imagine. By altering your packing list to include a few important items, however, you can make it easier to get the rest you need. Try, for example, including your pillowcase from home so that the familiar smell will help lull you to sleep. If you’re going to be staying in a hotel, don’t forget the earplugs. Use a white noise machine, a book on tape, or something else to help you fall asleep when you’re at home? Include it in your suitcase when you head on vacation to keep yourself from staring at the ceiling. In some cases, an eye mask can also help block out excess light and make it easier for you to get some much-needed rest at the end of the day. If you have enough room in your bag, you might also consider adding your favorite blanket so that you’ll have something to snuggle up and get cozy with, especially if your room is too cold.

Getting good, quality rest on vacation can be a challenge, especially if you’re in a loud environment with too much light pouring in while you’re trying to sleep. Thankfully, a few changes to your routine can make it easier to turn your vacation into the restful event you were hoping for. If you discover when you get back from vacation that a hotel room was more comfortable than your own bed, however, it’s time to make some serious changes! Contact us today to learn more about the type of mattress that will help you get the sleep you need every day, not just when you’re on vacation.

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Sleeping Through Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting time in anyone’s life. From getting a nursery ready to shopping for all those itty-bitty baby clothes, nothing could be more thrilling.

Unfortunately, growing and preparing for a baby is exhausting work, and many times the symptoms of pregnancy can leave expecting women unable to get the sleep they need to recover from the hard work they have cut out for themselves. So even though they know they should be sleeping while they have the opportunity, they are left tossing and turning the night away.

Fortunately, there are remedies to treat many of the more common causes of sleep deprivation during pregnancy.

 

— First Trimester —

The first trimester is filled with excitement. Finding out you will be welcoming a new little one into the world is absolutely life-changing.

Even though nobody would be able to tell a woman in early pregnancy is expecting by looking at her, women in their first trimester cope with their own fair share of pregnancy symptoms on a day-to-day basis. Many of these symptoms can cause sleepless nights, meaning that despite the fatigue experienced by most women during the first trimester, ladies who have recently discovered their pregnancy may have an incredibly difficult time getting to sleep and staying that way.

 

Symptom: Excitement and Restlessness

One of the biggest reasons for lack of sleep during the first trimester and throughout pregnancy is a general feeling of excitement, anticipation, or worry. While these feelings are all very valid when you are preparing to bring a new life into the world, it is important that you do your best to get adequate sleep despite them.

Solutions:

Skip the caffeine. Throughout the day if you can, but if that isn’t an option, at least banish caffeinated beverages and snacks from your afternoon and evening diet.

Write down worries and concerns and solutions. By keeping a running to-do list, you will likely ease some of your concerns so they don’t suddenly pop into your head just as you are drifting off.

Additionally, it is extremely helpful to spend the hour or two before bed winding down. A warm bath, some relaxing music, a massage, and warm milk are all great ways to tell your body to relax and get ready for bed.

 

Symptom: Frequent Bathroom Trips

As your body begins to adjust to pregnancy and pregnancy hormones increase, so do trips to the restroom. Unfortunately, increased bathroom trips throughout the night mean decreased sleep time.

Solution:

While drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day is very important during pregnancy, you can reduce the number of times you visit the ladies room during the night by scheduling the bulk of your liquid intake for the morning and afternoon hours and limiting fluids in the late evening and at night. Clearly, if you are thirsty you should drink some water, but downing a huge bottle of water just before bed is a sure-fire way to keep yourself up all night walking to and from the potty.

 

Symptom: Nausea

Commonly known as “morning sickness”, nausea during the first trimester can strike at any time during the day. For some women this means sleepless nights spent kneeling in front of a toilet. Keeping your nausea under control may seem impossible, but there are things you can try.

Solution:

Eat small meals throughout the day, including a small snack just before bed, and keep crackers and water on your bedside table. Letting your body run out of fuel is one thing that will induce the dreaded pregnancy nausea.

If the small meals aren’t working, try consuming ginger or peppermint.

 

— Second Trimester —

During the second trimester your excitement is likely to grow as you get to see your little one during your mid-pregnancy ultrasound and your belly begins to grow.

The hundreds of bathroom trips a day have trickled off, and while any nausea you may have been experiencing will likely subside during the second trimester, this middle bit of pregnancy comes with its own special symptoms to keep you up at night. This means that even though you aren’t quite as fatigued as you may have been in early pregnancy, you could still be feeling pretty sleepy and cloudy-headed during the day.

 

Symptom: Indigestion

Once again caused by those pregnancy hormones, indigestion is a common complaint throughout pregnancy. Your hormones tell your muscles to relax, leading to slower digestion. This also means the valve leading to your esophagus may relax a bit too much. These things, along with your growing uterus pushing on your stomach, can lead to stomach acids making their way into your esophagus, a very uncomfortable situation that makes sleeping seem like a far-off dream.

Solution:

Those small, frequent meals we mentioned before? You’ll want to keep those up through this trimester as well, and avoid any acidic foods that may trigger heart burn.

Just in case the indigestion strikes anyway, having some Tums or Rolaids on hand is always a good idea.

 

Symptom: Uncomfortable Body Changes

As your uterus grows, your internal organs get pushed around to make room. Additionally, the second trimester is a time of pelvic pain for many expectant women. These things combined create some very uncomfortable situations for pregnant mamas who are just trying to get in a good night’s sleep.

Solution:

It is recommended that you sleep on your side for the health of your baby. Because you may be feeling so uncomfortable at this point in your pregnancy, you will want to use plenty of pillows to support your growing belly. To help with pelvic pain, try putting a pillow between your legs. If you are feeling too uncomfortable to sleep, acetaminophen can be safely taken during pregnancy to help with discomfort or pain.

 

Symptom: Increased Body Temperature

Many women find that as their body grows, so does their body temperature. It isn’t uncommon to feel the need to turn the thermostat down to 65 degrees (Fahrenheit). Of course, your partner may not be too thrilled with this arrangement.

Solution:

Go ahead and turn that thermostat down. Offer your partner extra blankets and make yourself comfortable. Cool, wet cloths or ice packs may help cool you down as well.

 

— Third Trimester —

During the third trimester, anticipation mounts. Your belly feels enormous, and you can feel your tiny baby kicking and squirming, getting stronger by the minute and preparing for his or her arrival.

Because you are about to pop, finding a comfortable sleeping position continues to be a challenge, and a couple of new sleeping challenges may present themselves during this time. Additionally, an old friend (frequent urination) will likely come for a return visit.

 

Symptom: Return of Frequent Bathroom Trips

This time due to your growing baby pushing on your bladder more than hormones, frequent restroom breaks will likely make a comeback during your final stretch of pregnancy. The benefit of this symptom is knowing exactly where the restroom is in each and every establishment your visit; the downside is loss of precious sleep.

Solution:

As before, you will want to limit your before-bed fluid intake. Making a bathroom trip just before you head off to dreamland is also a good idea.

 

Symptom: Leg Cramps

Nobody knows the reason behind leg cramps during pregnancy, but many moms will agree that cramps in their calf muscles cause plenty of sleep loss during the last few weeks of their pregnancy.

Solution:

Stretch your calf muscles plenty of times throughout the day and just before sleep. Additionally, you will want to carry a water bottle with you in order to stay hydrated, and wear shoes with plenty of support.

 

Symptom: Lack of Adequate Exercise

Many women avoid exercise during their third trimester because their growing bellies make it more difficult to get up and around, or because they believe they may hurt the baby. This lack of exercise can cause sleep issues when your body is left with energy to burn at the end of the day.

Solution:

Unless your doctor or midwife has advised you not to, the best solution is to exercise. Go for a walk each day and practice prenatal yoga. Exercise will not only improve your sleep habits, it will also improve your overall health as well as your energy levels throughout the day.

 

Of course, one of the best ways to ensure you sleep well throughout your pregnancy is to invest in a high-quality mattress that offers you the comfort and support you need. If you are in need of a new mattress that serves just this purpose, please contact us at Urban Mattress. We would be happy to help you find the best mattress for you.

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4 Ways You Can Help in Your Community

No matter where you live, there are likely things you love about your community and other things you wish were a little different. While one person may not be able to change the entire community alone, your efforts combine with the efforts of others around you can make a difference. If you are looking for ways to make your community a better place, consider doing at least one of the following four things.

Volunteer

There are many opportunities to volunteer in your community. The key to discovering the best volunteer opportunities is to look at your talents and interests. For example, if you enjoy sports, you may want to consider volunteering through the Special Olympics. You can be a coach or official. If you have medical training, you can volunteer to provide health examinations for the athletes. If you want to join in the fun and play the sports alongside the other athletes, you can even volunteer as a member of a unified team, where athletes with and without intellectual disabilities are paired on the same team. Some examples of sports with unified teams are soccer, volleyball, and basketball. With Special Olympics, you can volunteer to help at a specific event or you can volunteer long-term. This allows you to contribute time based upon your own circumstances.

If you enjoy working with children and teens in need, you may want to consider looking into your local Big Brothers Big Sister of America program. This will allow you to mentor a who boy or girl who may not otherwise have a positive role model in his or her life. While it does not require a large financial commitment, it will require a significant time commitment. You are encouraged to have regular contact with your Little brother or sister. For some people, this contact continues for years. You never know what sort of positive impact you might have on the other person’s life.

If you like animals, you may want to volunteer at your local animal shelter. If you enjoy helping other people, volunteering at your local food bank, soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or domestic violence shelter might be more your style. If you enjoy books and learning, you can also help children and adults through your local literacy program or volunteer at your local library. You may also want to participate in a volunteer after school study program for children in your community. Contacting these programs will help you know the opportunities to volunteer for these groups in your area. While some services may allow you to offer your services on a one-time basis, others may require more of a commitment. Of course, if these programs are not available in your area, you might also be able to organize them.

There are likely many other opportunities to volunteer in your community. You can look for small things you can do, such as doing yard work for free for your neighbor who is unable to do the work himself. For teenagers, volunteering to baby-sit for free for a couple who are struggling financially could be a much-needed service. Even just picking up trash around your neighborhood could greatly benefit your community. If none of these volunteer opportunities appeal to you, think up your own ways to volunteer and help your community, or visit Volunteer Match to be connected with volunteer opportunities in your local area.

Donate

While donating your time is often a much appreciated service to your community, sometimes you can also help out your community by donating more tangible items. If you have the money, you may want to consider giving money to some of these causes for which you volunteer as well as other charities in your community, such as The Salvation Army.

If you have the resources you can donate food to a food bank, soup kitchen, or other service that feeds those in need. Even just a can or two of food can help. Of course, it is generally a good idea to contact the organization to ask them what sort of foods they do and do not accept as well as what sort of food they are currently lacking. Some groups only accept non-perishable food. Others will accept the food as long as it is in good condition.

If you no longer need clothing or other items, you may want to consider donating them. If you know a family or person in need, you can give the item or items to them. Otherwise, there are likely places in your area that will take gently used items. Homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters are great places to donate clothing and other items. Thrift stores, such as Goodwill Industries, will also appreciate your donation. As an added bonus, these sorts of stores often employ those who otherwise may not be able to find work.

Because some people are unable to donate blood, if you are able, you may also want to consider doing it. This can benefit people in your community who need blood for a variety of reasons. While people often flock to donate blood after a disaster, it is important to know that the blood used when disaster strikes is the blood previously donated. By visiting the American Red Cross website, you can find opportunities in your local area for giving blood.

Get Involved Politically in Your Community

If practical, you may want to consider running for public office. This will allow you to make changes in your community. Even just being on the school board or being a city council member allows you to have a say in some of the things that happen in your community. Even if you do hold a public office, you may be able to attend city council meetings or school board meetings. You can share your opinions and help to make sure your feelings are at least expressed.

You can also get involved in a community cause by actively campaigning for a candidate who supports your vision of how things should happen in the community. The more people who know what that candidate represents, the better chance someone you support has of making it into office. Of course, it is always important to vote in elections. If you did not express your preference, you cannot really complain if you do not agree with the decisions made in your community.

Support Businesses that Support Your Community

There are likely two types of businesses in your community that will be especially beneficial to your community. The first is local businesses. Because these businesses are local, their profits will go back into the community rather than being sent to a headquarters, which could be on the other side of the country. Plus, by buying from these businesses, you are helping someone in your community’s entrepreneur dream come true.

The second type of business that is especially beneficial to your community is the business that donates to the local community. This could be through donating a portion of their proceeds to local non-profit groups. For example, at Urban Mattress, we donate 2 percent of every mattress purchase to a local non-profit.

If you are looking for a quality mattress to sleep on after spending a hard day working to make your community a better place, contact your local Urban Mattress store. Not only do we donate a portion of our proceeds to charities, our mattresses are of the highest quality.

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Work Night Shift? It’s Still Possible to Get Good Sleep

There are many reasons why you might be working on the night shift. You might not have any choice, or you might like the higher pay that many night shift employees can enjoy. It might work better with your schedule — such as with child care — or you might just enjoy being able to work in the evenings rather than during the day.

Regardless of why you’re working night shift, it is important to make sure that you are getting ample sleep each day. This can be challenging for many people, but understanding a little more about how night shift work affects your body and how you can beat these issues can help you ensure that you get the rest that you need each day.

How Does Night Shift Work Affect Your Body?

First of all, you have to understand that night shift work can have a serious impact on your body. This is especially true when it comes to your sleeping schedule.

Basically, your body has its own internal clock, which operates off of circadian rhythms and basically tells you when you should be tired and when you should be wide awake. This internal clock works at least partially off of the sunlight, and your body — in general — is designed to operate based on a day and night schedule. When the sun comes up, it’s natural to feel wide awake and ready to begin your day. When the sun goes down, it’s natural for your body to tell you that it’s time to relax, unwind and prepare for a good night’s sleep.

Obviously, this internal clock can present a challenge when you work on night shift. At nighttime, when you should be gearing up for a night at work, your body might be telling you that you are tired. In the morning after your shift, when you should be preparing to sneak in some shut-eye, it’s natural for your body to tell you that it’s time to wake up and start your day.

Over time, your body can become adjusted to a different schedule. However, it can be challenging at first. It’s tough to deal with sleepless days, when you know you should be sleeping and preparing for the evening ahead but when your body is telling you to hop up and get outside. Then, it can be challenging to work all night long, when all you want to do is crawl into your bed. It isn’t just uncomfortable and exhausting, either — it can be downright dangerous, since you might find yourself falling asleep behind the wheel on your way to or from work, or you could make mistakes and put yourself at risk while working at night, when you’re feeling extremely tired.

How to Combat These Issues and Get Adequate Sleep During the Day

Obviously, you don’t want to remain miserable and exhausted forever, and you probably don’t want to put yourself or others at risk at work or on the road due to a lack of sleep. However, you could be wondering what you can do to reset your body’s internal clock. Luckily, there are steps that you can take to help get adjusted to your new schedule and to ensure that you get ample sleep in the meantime.

  • Make it Quiet – One big difference between sleeping at night and sleeping during the day is the fact that there can be a lot more distractions during the day. Not only do you have to worry about the people within your household, but you also have to worry about neighbors and everyone else making noise. Consider talking to your family members about your need to sleep during the day, and ask them to avoid disturbing you unless it is absolutely necessary. Also, consider investing in a good pair of ear plugs to help get rid of the noise, or consider playing soft, nature-type sounds that you can fall asleep to and that can drown out any noise in your home.
  • Make it Comfortable – It’s hard enough to fall asleep during the daytime hours, an it’ll be even harder if you aren’t completely comfortable. Consider investing in a new mattress if your current one isn’t cutting it, and use comfortable sheets and blankets. Also, make sure that you change into your pajamas; it might seem weird to wear pajamas in the middle of the day, but if you aren’t dressed comfortably, you’ll have an even harder time falling asleep. Plus, getting in the routine of putting on pajamas can help turn daytime into your new bedtime.
  • Black it Out – The sunlight can be one of the biggest issues that will keep you awake during the day. This means that you should consider putting black-out curtains or shades over your windows to prevent the sunlight from pouring in.
  • Take Something – Consider taking some sort of supplement or sleeping pill, at least at first, until your body has been trained to get accustomed to your new sleeping schedule. Talk to your doctor about your options, or consider taking something natural to help you sleep, such as melatonin. You can purchase melatonin at a health food store or even at a pharmacy. Just make sure that you give yourself enough time to sleep after taking your medication; otherwise, if you end up having to go to work before the medication has worn off, you could find yourself in an even worse (and more exhausted) state while you’re on the job, which is dangerous.
  • Don’t Try to Do it All – Some people who work night shift jobs find themselves trying to do it all, such as spending the day running errands or looking after children rather than taking them to daycare or hiring a babysitter. It might seem like the perfect alternative to allow you to work full-time and get everything done, but it can be easy to put too much on your own plate. You wouldn’t expect yourself to do these things in the middle of the night if you were working a day shift job, so you shouldn’t expect it from yourself now. It is absolutely imperative to ensure that you are getting enough rest, which is impossible to do if you find yourself trying to stay awake all day and all night long to get things done.
  • Make Yourself – If you feel wide awake but know you should get some sleep, make yourself lie down. If necessary, consider reading a book or doing another relaxing activity that does not involve a screen. Once you’re in bed, you might find that you drift off to sleep more quickly than you thought you would.
  • Rearrange Your Eating Schedule – Don’t try to eat on the same schedule that you ate on when you had a more traditional schedule. Instead, get accustomed to eating breakfast before you go to work in the evening, eating lunch while you’re on the job and eating “dinner” when you return back home, even if it is first thing in the morning. This is one of the best ways to simulate a more traditional schedule.

Working night shift and trying to get adequate sleep can be challenging. Luckily, following these tips can help. If you are in need of a new mattress to help make daytime sleeping even more comfortable, contact your local Urban Mattress store to find out more about our comfortable, all-natural mattresses.

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History of Mattresess and Why You Can’t Live Without Them

We take some things for granted, like the air we breathe. Or the mattress we sleep on at night. It has become such a part of the bedroom essentials that we hardly give it a thought about its existence. Have you ever wonder how it came into being or how many improvements it has undergone since it made its debut more than 10,000 years ago. Yes, the mattress that make sleep possible and offers rest and comfort. Let’s take a look at the interesting history of mattresses and why they are here to stay.

History 

Man has an intrinsic need to search for creature comfort. From as early as in the Neolithic period, people found that sleeping on the hard, cold ground was less than satisfactory. Though it’s functional, it lacks comfort. They found that creating a pile of leaves, grass, possibly straw gave a little cushion and offered some support for the back. Later, they threw animal skins over to hold the motley mound together and another animal skin to act as a blanket. Thus, the primitive mattress came into being.

By the 3,400 B.C., beds took on more sophistication. The Egyptians discovered that putting the mattress on a raised pallet off the ground made it better for comfort and support. Accordingly, Egyptian Pharaohs slept on raised pallets with ornate designs. King Tutankhamun had a bed made from ebony and gold. In those days, beds bore status symbols and only the rich had the luxury to splurge and enjoy. And then, these beds become more than beds, they became a place to eat meals and entertain guests. As for the common man, they continued to sleep on heaps of leaves piled heaped high in a corner of their house.

The Romans formulated their own mattress as well. They crafted beds with gold, silver or bronze decorations and filled the mattress (stitched skin or cloth together) with reeds, hay, wool or feathers to ensure a soft cushion for their back. Their quest for luxurious sleeping experience also led them to come up with the first idea of a waterbed. Not quite the waterbed in the market today but they should be lauded for the creative effort. Their waterbed was more like a spa experience. First the sleeper relaxed in a cradle of warm water until drowsy. Then the sleeper was lifted into an adjacent cradle with mattress, and then rocked to sleep. Needless to say, only the wealthy can afford this type of waterbed, since an attendant would be helpful in this type of sleeping experience.

The Renaissance came along and with that, the rebirth of art and sciences and creative innovations. Mattress took on intricate exteriors to reflect the richness of culture. They covered mattress made of pea shucks, straw and feathers with rich velvets,  texturally-rich brocade or smooth silk.

A typical 16th century bed consisted of a timber frame with rope or leather supports to buoy the mattress. At this point, the mattress was still stuffed with straw or wool or feathers and covered with fabric. Since these beds have supports that will sag with weight and age, and often, they had to be tightened from time to time, the age-old expression, “Sleep tight” came about.

History tells us that King Louis XIV loved his bed so much, he often held court in his royal bedroom. It was considered an honor to catch the king waking up or nodding off. His love affair with beds led him to amass a big collection of 413 beds. Not just any bed but spacious and ostentatious varieties that showed off his kingly status and his love for “dramatic artifice and splendor.” He was undoubtedly the king of high couture and that showed in his collection of beds.

Now, using organic and natural materials to stuff the mattress presented a problem. Vermin infestation. Bugs, dust mites and little critters sharing the bed may cause a little discomfort but back then, they took it in strike. After all, that was a little price to pay for creature comfort at night. The expression, “Don’t let the bed bugs bite” became a common night wish. By the 18th century, as man became wiser with time, the wish became a reality. They realized that making the bed frame out of cast iron or steel and using cotton mattress would provide a more hostile environment for bug infestation. A breakthrough for the overall sanitation and hygiene of mattress use.

Much progress happened and, in 1857, the first steel coil spring was patented for use in chair seat. Later, a German by the name of Heinrich Westphal took it further by inventing the innerspring mattress in 1871. It didn’t quite catch on in the beginning and it took more than 60 years for the innerspring mattress to gain popularity. Needless to say, Heinrich never profited from his invention in his lifetime. He died poor.

By the 1930s, innerspring mattress and upholstered foundation dominated the bedding market. Mattress became more comfortable and more bug-resistant. Fillings include variations of cotton (most popular), hair and feathers. Often, manufacturers used raw cotton to fill a sewn mattress and then, they beat the layers of cotton with a stick to make it flat. To finish off, they hand or machine tuft the ticks to make sure it has a sturdy shape and form.

As mattress soared in demand, various companies vied for a place in the market. In the 50s, licensed groups such as Sealy, Simmons, Spring Air, King Coil and Restonic became familiar names in the bedding industry. The idea that bigger is better gave rise to bigger-sized mattresses and King and Queen-sized mattresses made their appearance. Together with the larger size, manufacturers also touted heavier steel coils for better back support.

Soon, foam and latex mattresses made their appearance. Their popularity didn’t quite match the innerspring mattress in the beginning. Today, there are a variety of mattresses in the market, from Posturepedic to ergonomic to memory foam. There is, indeed, a mattress for everyone.

Types of Mattresses

The National Institutes of Health points out the importance of using a good supportive mattress to encourage a good sleep. It reveals that the comfort and support of sleep surface help sleep quality and efficiency. Although some sources suggest that medium-firm mattresses are best for helping back pain, shoulder pain and spine stiffness, findings are inconclusive. A better way to pick a mattress is to take your weight and your personal preference into consideration. In addition, always talk to the bedding specialist when in doubt.

Although there are many types of mattresses in the market, the Consumer Reports narrows it down to three main types to make it easier for you to determine what mattress is best for your needs:

  • Memory Foam

Made of mostly polyurethane, memory foam is a favorite. Some types of latex foam are hypoallergenic. The foam molds to your body when you lie down and springs back to its original shape when you get up. It remembers your weight distribution. Proponents claim that it helps back and joint pain.

  • Innerspring

This is perhaps the oldest and most traditional of mattresses. Made of steel coils in various configurations, modern innerspring mattresses come with various options: special layers of cushioning, pillowtop layer, infused gel. Unlike memory foam, you can shift positions easily but your partner may feel the shifting bounce (which may or may not be a problem).

  • Adjustable Air

When you see commercials on sleep number and adjustable firmness, they are referring to the adjustable air mattress. This type of mattress comes with an electric pump attached to the bed to adjust to different firmness to suit you and your partner needs.

As you follow the history of mattress, you may have gained a new respect for mattress and what it does for you on a nightly basis. Finding the right mattress can make a world of difference to your sleep and health. For more information on mattress, contact your local Urban Mattress store.