Mattress Warehouse Bed Blog Features Great Articles on Sleep Products and More

Who doesn’t love a great night’s sleep? The professionals at Mattress Warehouse know how important a great night’s sleep is to a person’s sense of physical and mental wellbeing. We understand that - if you’ve found our website and specifically this site’s Bed Blog - you’re on the lookout for the best path to achieving the rest your body and mind are after.


Here’s how we can help: the Mattress Warehouse Bed Blog is our ongoing effort to deliver informative and entertaining commentary on great buying strategies when shopping for a new mattress, box spring, bedroom furniture and more here at our website or at one of our many conveniently-located retail stores in communities spreading from Pennsylvania to North Carolina and from West Virginia to Delaware!


Mattress Warehouse Bed Blog is Exciting Blend of News and Buying Guides

The Mattress Warehouse Bed Blog is committed to developing and presenting an exciting blend of news, guides, and commentary on the latest from the world of mattress, box spring, bedroom furniture and bedding product manufacturing and marketing.


We will not only feature inviting content on our own lineup of products but will also provide our own unique insight on a range of bedding products you’ll be able to find out across the Web. Our stories will be complimented by an attractive array of exciting photography so the Bed Blog also captures the striking visual appeal these products have as well! It’s all here at the new Mattress Warehouse Bed Blog at SleepHappens.com! Come and experience a new and vibrant take on sleep here at the Bed Blog and please save a spot for us in your Web browser’s Favorites’ List!



  • Working 'Round the Clock II | Dr. Robert Oexman

    Working Round the Clock_Facebook

    Dr. Robert Oexman's blog post from last month talked about how shift work can have a lot of negative consequences for the employee and the employer. Shift workers are at increased risk for excessive sleepiness, gastrointestinal dysfunction, depression, cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and substance abuse. Beyond the health risks, there are strong social impacts, as shift workers try to maintain interactions with friends and family. Today he follows up with some of the treatments for shift work.

     

    What is Shift Work?

    As noted, shift work is an ambiguous term that covers a number of scenarios and occupational research often reflects that long shifts (12+ hours a day) and long weeks (over 55-60 hours a week) often suffer some of the same adverse outcomes (although in potentially lesser degrees). Here are some typical examples of scenarios that may be considered "shift work":

    Permanent Night Shift - Workers that are starting shifts in the late evening and working until around dawn, that are always on this shift. While these workers have a consistent work schedule, many of them will still try to change their sleep schedule to that of their family and friends on days off, to accommodate social obligations. Even if their situation allows for them to keep a regular schedule of sleeping in the daytime, most evidence shows that they still suffer, but maybe to a slightly lesser degree, the fatigue and other health risks associated with other types of shift workers.

    Rotating 8 hour shift workers - Workers who change their shifts on some sort of cycle from any combination of day shift, evening shift, and night shift. While there is not likely any "good" way to utilize a rotating shift schedule, there are certain variances in the method that can have greater or lesser negative impact.

    Rotating 10 or 12 hour shift workers - Using up to 12 hour shifts instead of 8 hour shifts can have some benefits when several days off in between can allow for more recovery sleep; however, there can be increased sleepiness at the end of longer shifts and less time between consecutive shifts to get things done at home and still have adequate sleep time.

     

    Why Do Shift Workers Suffer All These Problems?: The factors impacting the health, performance, and social quality of shift workers fall essentially into three areas:

    Circadian Rhythm Influences

    The Circadian Rhythm is a collection of biological and behavioral functions that run on a set daily schedule. Like a watch, it can be set daily by certain cues that alert our body to adapt to subtle changes in daylight, social interactions, eating times, etc. A regular schedule keeps our states of awareness, metabolism, physiology, endocrine profiles, behaviors etc. all running properly and in phase with each other. When someone goes "against the grain" and tries to be productive in a work setting during the middle of the night when the body would naturally be sleeping (because of daylight cues and normal social interactions during the day/evening), the circadian rhythm gets confused and things start getting out of whack.

    The result can be digestive problems (gastrointestinal issues affect 35-75% of people on night shift; 50% if they are permanent night shift workers), sleepiness and inability to focus and make good decisions (the body will naturally try to put a worker to sleep when in the "sleep cycle" phase of the circadian rhythm... which is naturally attuned to overnight hours)... which in turn increases risk of injury and reduces productivity.

    There are some individual differences that can alter the impact of this influence. For example, people who's rhythms gravitate more to being an "owl" (evening person) will fare better in entraining their circadian rhythm to nights more than those who are "larks" (early morning people). The body can make adjustments to the sleep phase at a rate of about 90 min per day. So it can take a week to adjust to sleeping during the day and a week to readjust back to sleeping at night when trying to combat the circadian influences. Still, it is never a natural thing to try and sleep during the day and work at night and as noted, even permanent night workers suffer adverse effects of their work schedule.

    Domestic Influences

    When considering an employee’s adaptability to shift work and overall morale, the most important factor to the worker is the impact on family and other social relationships. While health related issues and fatigue can present a challenge in maintaining good relationships, the incompatibly of schedules is a major issue. Even evening shifts (which may not impact a nighttime sleep schedule much) can be possibly more of a hindrance for families when someone is working while the kids are up and home from school. Shift work can compromise the roles of sexual partner, social companion, child rearing, etc. From that it comes as no surprise that the risk of divorce is increased by 57% in shift workers. It is domestic influences that lead permanent night shift workers to flip flop their schedule on weekends to catch their daughter's morning soccer game or go out to lunch with the family, when everyone else is awake and they would be otherwise trying to sleep. In some cases, spouses of shift workers will debilitate themselves in an effort to keep their own schedule more close to their mates and they will try to adopt a backward sleeping schedule too. Generally speaking, a body simply cannot adjust adequately to a complete reversal of day/night sleep in a couple or even a few days.

    In certain industries, there have been studies that show just how much of an impact the domestic influences have on the workplace. Oil rig workers, that may ship out offshore for weeks at a time, showed much higher adaptability to shift work over consecutive and long shifts in an isolated environment, away from friends and family, where down time could be better focused on sleep as a priority. They showed low levels of sleepiness and insufficient sleep; however, this does not transfer over to other industries where pronounced sleepiness and insufficient sleep is the norm under these conditions. Additionally, the oil rig workers were shown to struggle like everyone else when returning home and trying to get back to a normal schedule.

    Sleep Deprivation Influences

    Many of the adverse reactions and health risks associated with shift work are the same things we see with sleep deprivation in general. Shift work results in less sleep. Studies indicate that the sleep lost is about 10 hours a week compared to non-shift workers and it is mostly a loss of stage N2 sleep and REM sleep. Other studies showed a daily difference of 7.5 hours of sleep a night for early morning shift workers, 8.5 hours for afternoon workers, and 4-6 hours of sleep for night shift workers. Although, the domestic and circadian influences overlap in this area as a root cause, they are not the only thing keeping shift workers awake when they need their sleep. The daytime environment is not conducive to sleeping well. Beyond the obvious bright daylight conditions that triggers the body to stay awake, there is more noise from traffic, other members of the household, and the general bustle of the day. Even the smell of food from others cooking can trigger the brain to expect that it is time to be up.

    Environmental conditions, even if fixed, would still not eliminate the issue of chronic sleep deprivation. The circadian and domestic influences coupled with these other concerns result in a complex unwinnable problem. As the sleep deprivation mounts, the symptoms create even more problems that worsen all of these influences in a vicious cycle.

     

    Dr. Robert Oexman is the Director of the Sleep to Live Institute in Joplin, Mo. He oversees the Institute’s research studies, particularly the impact of the sleep environment on quality of sleep. At the Institute, Dr. Oexman helped develop bedMATCH, a patented system using 6 million people profiles, 18 statistical measurements and over 1,000 calculations to assist consumers in determining the best mattress and pillow options for their body type. Visit a Mattress Warehouse near you and you could be fitted for your bed in just 3 minutes!
  • The Only Thing Preventing Me From Smashing My Alarm Clock is that it is My Cellphone… And Other Ways To Avoid Hitting Snooze

    The Only Thing Preventing Me From Smashing My Alarm Clock is that it is My Cellphone… And Other Ways To Avoid Hitting Snooze

    I think that if there is one thing that everyone can agree on, it’s that there are few things in the world that are worse than an alarm clock. Unless it’s to remind you that your delicious homemade cookies are finished baking to perfection, they typically only serve one other purpose, to remind you that you have to do something that you more than likely don’t want to do. And nobody likes being told what to do, especially when that thing requires you getting out of bed, being an adult and accomplishing things.

    Blog2

     

    Well here are a few things that you can do to make hitting the snooze button a little bit harder.

    Be Prepared
    Admit it, you have woken up to the sound of your alarm only to convince yourself that you can totally skip packing that salad you planned to make for lunch today just so you can get 15 more minutes of snooze time. Only to completely regret that decision when you have to pay $10 for a restaurant salad from down the street. Take the time to prep your lunch at night before you hit the sheets. That will allow you to minimize the amount of time you need in the morning and set that alarm a little later – which will only allow you enough time to do necessary things, so you’ll have no other choice but to drag your lazy butt out of bed.

    Get Motivated
    It would be great if we all had awesome jobs with supportive bosses or a general life situation where we can’t wait to get up and get to work. But unfortunately that’s not always the reality for most, and that can make it hard to get out of bed in the morning. Instead, concentrate on little motivations to help you rise and grind every morning: like being able to enjoy an extra cup of coffee while watching the morning news, an early morning workout or time to make a to-do list to conquer the day!

    Get Techy and Track Your Sleep
    If you are sick and tired of being rudely awaken by your alarm in the middle of a glorious dream, this idea is for you. Invest in a sleep tracking app or band. Most of the fitness bands in the market today have an alarm built in that monitors your moments during the night and learns your sleep patterns and wakes you up at the optimal time in your REM cycle.

    Morning Tunes
    Here is an idea, switch things up and try picking your own tune to wake up to. Download something calming so you aren’t jerked into reality by phone-engineered church bells or whatever other terrible default alarm sounds comes on you smart phone.

    Consistency is Key
    One of the tricky things about being both a Responsible Adult with a 9-to-5 schedule and a Young Adult with a social calendar is merging the two lives. You spend your weeks either buried in your text books for school or building your career, but you still want to go out on the weekends. But switching between getting up at 6 a.m. on the weekdays and rolling out of bed for a noon brunch with your friends on the weekends can hurt your sleeping. Try your best to keep a consistent schedule. Your body will naturally learn what time to wake up, and a regular schedule will help to improve the quality of sleep your getting each night.

    Get a Good Night’s Sleep!
    Okay, I know it seems a little obvious, but the best way to make waking up in the morning easier is by making sure to get enough sleep. Most people can survive on 7 to 8 hours each night, but everyone is different. If you know you need a solid 7 hours sleep to not be a zombie at work on Monday morning, don’t fool yourself by thinking you can stay up until 2 a.m. on a Netflix binge. Your body with thank you if you go to sleep on time!

    Move Your Alarm
    And if all else fails, move your alarm (admit it, it’s your phone) across the room so you have to physically remove yourself from your warm and cozy bed to turn it off.

  • Mattress Warehouse Summer Concert Series Ticket Giveaway | Jason Aldean

    The next giveaway in the Mattress Warehouse Summer Concert Series ticket giveaway is for TWO pavilion level tickets to:

    Jason Aldean

    JasonAldean_Facebook

    with special guests Cole Swindell & Tyler Farr

    at Jiffy Lube Live on Saturday September 12, 2015!

    ENTER HERE for your chance to win!

    Winner will be announced on Monday August 31, 2015 on our Facebook Page! ♪♫♪♫

  • Children and Sleep | From Zzz's to A's

    Children and Sleep | From Zzz's to A's

  • Mattress Warehouse Summer Concert Series Ticket Giveaway | Tim McGraw

    The next giveaway in the Mattress Warehouse Summer Concert Series ticket giveaway is for TWO pavilion level tickets to:

    Tim McGraw

    MW_TimMcGraw_Facebook00

    with special guests Billy Currington & Chase Bryant

    at Jiffy Lube Live on Friday August 28, 2015!

    ENTER HERE for your chance to win!

    Winner will be announced on Monday August 17, 2015 on our Facebook Page! ♪♫♪♫

  • Working 'Round the Clock | Dr. Robert Oexman

    Working 'Round the Clock | Dr. Robert Oexman

    Working Round the Clock_Facebook

    Humans are hardwired to be awake and alert during the daylight hours and subsequently to sleep soundly during the dark hours of the day. The further away from the equator you are, the greater the swings in the amount of daily sunlight you get throughout the seasons. This can not only affect your sleep (and therefore numerous other aspects of your health), but it can also affect your mood. As a species, our circadian rhythm is somewhat adaptable. Most people can adjust reasonably well to seasonal changes in daylight. There are exceptions however, where some may present with Seasonal Affective Disorder. What has presented more of a challenge to mankind is our own technologies. With the invention of electric lighting, our ability to socialize or work late into the evening is no longer hampered by the fall of night. Modes of travel have increased in speed from horses to fast moving cars to air travel that can carry us over several time zones in a matter of hours. These technological advances have increased the potential to confuse our natural circadian rhythms, which don't adapt to several hours of change in day/night cycles in under a week, much less hours.

    Beyond just our ability to disrupt the natural "sleeping hours" with our artificial light and the rate at which we can change our environmental time of day, service demands and industrial advances have fueled a major force in subjecting the human body to unnatural sleeping and waking cycles: the development of "Shift Work". Shift work is an ambiguous term that refers essentially to working any shift outside of "normal" daytime hours. More than 1/5th of the work force in the U.S. are shift workers and the increasing population is driven much by a demand for 24-hour services being available and to offset the cost of expensive capital equipment investments that otherwise wouldn't be getting used during "off" hours. Round the clock operations make these investments more profitable and 24-hour service makes companies more marketable. The cost for this boost in the bottom line: shift workers.

    Shift work can have a lot of negative consequences for the employee and the employer. Shift workers are at increased risk for excessive sleepiness, gastrointestinal dysfunction, depression, cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and substance abuse. Beyond the health risks, there are strong social impacts, as shift workers try to maintain interactions with friends and family.

    The effects of shift work on the employees can reduce the benefit to the employer, as well. Shift workers tend to be more fatigued and prone to making mental errors, having reduced productivity, flat out falling asleep on shifts, and increased risk of injury.

    These problems are not only related to shift workers, but also people working extended shifts (over 12 hour shifts) and long weeks (working more than 55-60 hours a week). Workers reported having severe sleepiness or unintended sleep during their shifts 50% of the time on night shift compared to 5% on day shifts. Even starting too early in the morning can produce similar adverse reactions. Excessively early morning shift starts (04:00 - 07:00) yielded the same thing 25% of the time.

    Work related injuries can skyrocket, with shift workers twice as likely to be injured on the job. Overtime and extended work is not far behind with injuries increasing: 61% for overtime workers, 37% for workers on shifts over 12 hours, and 23% for those working over 60 hours.

    It is estimated that U.S. businesses lose $150 billion a year in lost productivity due to employee fatigue. Poor customer service and bad products from tired workers add to increased health costs and increased absenteeism from illness. Additionally, the cost of fatigue related accidents exceed $80 billion a year. Some high profile cases of fatigue-related accidents include the Exxon Valdez spill, Chernobyl's meltdown, Three-mile Island, Space Shuttle Columbia's explosion, etc. So, the profitability of using a shift work system can be reduced by the adverse conditions subjected to the employees in the process.

    Next month we will look at some of the treatments for shift work.

    Dr. Robert Oexman is the Director of the Sleep to Live Institute in Joplin, Mo. He oversees the Institute’s research studies, particularly the impact of the sleep environment on quality of sleep. At the Institute, Dr. Oexman helped develop bedMATCH, a patented system using 6 million people profiles, 18 statistical measurements and over 1,000 calculations to assist consumers in determining the best mattress and pillow options for their body type. Visit a Mattress Warehouse near you and you could be fitted for your bed in just 3 minutes!
  • Mattress Warehouse Summer Concert Series Ticket Giveaway | Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire

    The next giveaway in the Mattress Warehouse Summer Concert Series ticket giveaway is for TWO pavilion level tickets to:

    Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire

    Chicago_EWF_MW_Facebook

    at Jiffy Lube Live on Friday August 14, 2015!

    ENTER HERE for your chance to win!

    Winner will be announced on Thursday August 6, 2015 on our Facebook Page! ♪♫♪♫

  • Unplug This Summer

    Unplug This Summer

    Unplug This Summer_Wordpress

    Remember how summer felt like it lasted forever as a kid? Days were spent by the pool, riding around the neighborhood on your bike and of course the frequent visits from the ice cream man. Sure summer is still fun, but it is certainly different. It's not as easy to lose track of time when your smartphone is always right there to remind you. Instead of getting lost in a good book or a face to face conversation we spend most of our time with our noses buried in our Facebook or Twitter feeds.

    How does going back to the summers of our youth, summers before our lives revolved around our gadgets sound? Here are a few tips on how to unplug this summer and enjoy the season and all it has to offer!

    Set Office Hours: Being able to access your work e-mail on the go from your smart phone can be a blessing and a curse. It's great when you have a off campus meeting and need to stay updated on a project. But let's be honest, how many times has a quick check turned into a quick reply? Which then turns into tying up a few loose ends. Before you know an hour of your weekend that you waited all week for has been taken over by work.

    So if working out of the office on the weekend is a must for you, limit how often and when you check your emails.

    Find Tech-Free Activities: When you go gadget-free, you can fully unwind and take advantage of what summertime has to offer. Instead of spending your summer afternoons reading about what others are out doing, schedule an outdoor activity with your friends. Go for a bike ride, visit a local park, relax at the beach or go to an amusement park. Summer is the perfect time to explore and get off the grid for a while.

    Face Time: No, we're not talking about picking up your phone and using the FaceTime feature on your phone. We're saying spend some quality face-to-face time with friends. Rather than juggle multiple text message conversations while sitting by the pool alone, invite them over to sit by the pool and relax with you.

    Substitute Screen Time: If your phone isn't already sitting next to you at the dinner table, you are more than likely plunking yourself on the couch after dinner to scroll through your news feed or watch TV. Try putting together a post dinner activity with your family. Longer days mean that it's often still light out after the dishes are washed and put away. Go for a walk or watch the sunset - that definitely beats watching reruns.

    Take a Nap: Summer is the best time to recharge yourself, not your devices. Not only can an afternoon nap energize you, but it can also help boost your mood and more - which is the perfect thing to get you ready for a summer evening outing with friends.

    Reducing time spent on social media or even temporarily deactivating your accounts could greatly improve the quality of your life. Spend this summer focusing on yourself and enjoying summer and the beautiful outdoors to the fullest.
  • Mattress Warehouse Summer Concert Series Ticket Giveaway - Toby Keith

    The next giveaway in the Mattress Warehouse Summer Concert Series ticket giveaway is for TWO pavilion level tickets to:

    Toby Keith

    TobyKeith_Facebook

    with special guest Chris Janson

    at Jiffy Lube Live on Saturday August 8, 2015!

    ENTER HERE for your chance to win!

    Winner will be announced on Monday July 27, 2015 on our Facebook Page! ♪♫♪♫

  • Keeping Your Sheets Clean

    We spend a third of our lives sleeping, so don't you want to make sure that it’s on a clean bed? Many common allergens like dust mites can cause reactions like skin rashes and sneezing, which can lead to more serious illnesses like asthma, eczema and rhinitis. So here are a few hygiene tips to help keep get rid of dust and dirt on your bed.

    bedsheets

    No Liquid Cleaner: Do not use liquid- or moisture-based cleaning methods on your mattress without consulting professionals. These might damage it and introduce unwanted moisture.

    Replace your pillowsDirt and oil and dead skin cells get trapped there, which might lead to acne. Dust mites, which belong to the spider family, also like to hang out in the crevices of your pillow. Change your pillows every one to two years. The use of a mattress or pillow protector will help prevent stains and will help to protect your bed from bacteria and stains.

    Wash the dirt away: Wash your bed sheets every other week. However, if you sweat at night you should wash your sheets once a week. Always wash them in hot water to kill dust mites and bacteria. To get a deep, natural clean you can also wash run your sheets in cycle with hot water and 1 cup of vinegar (no detergent) followed by a second cycle with 1/2 cup of baking soda (no detergent). It helps to clean any build up and deodorize your sheets. The same thing can be done for towels.

    Sun your sheets: Open up your bedroom window and allow the sun to hit your pillow, mattresses and duvet regularly. The UV rays kill bacteria and dust mites.

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