Do you sleep with your pooch on your bed?

Most people feel that sleeping with their pets can be a cause of disruption. After all, who wants to be woken up by a howling dog in the middle of the night…or a dog that wants to go out for a walk at 6:00 in the morning?

But, did you know that sleeping with your dog is, on the contrary, good for your sleep? 

In this blog post, we will go through a few benefits of sharing your bed with your pooch and hope that we can change your mind about letting your dog in the bed. 

Let’s get started. 

Mayo Clinic conducted a studyto observe the effect of dogs on human sleep and whether or not their physical presence made things any different for us. And, the results were surprising. 

Contrary to popular belief, sleeping with your furry friend helps maintain good sleep efficacy. You might get a good night’s sleep if you share your comfy Sealy bed with your dog! 

There are other benefits of letting your furry friend sleep on your bed. Let’s take a look at them.

1.     Dogs de-stress you

Sharing a bed with your furry friend can help you de-stress after you’ve had a long, hard day. Studies have suggested that sleeping with your dog can help reduce the levels of cortisol in your body—it’s the hormone your body produces when you’re stressed out. High levels of cortisol puts you at risk for heart diseases such as coronary heart disease. So, it’s best to keep the cortisol in your body to a minimum. 

2.     Dogs are cuddly and comfortable to be around

Don’t have anyone to cuddle? At least you’ve got your pooch! 

When you’re stressed, feeling lonely, or looking for comfort, knowing that there’s an animal who loves you unconditionally lying beside you provides you all the support you need. 

3.     Dogs help keep you calm 

Dogs help you keep you calm during stressful times. Studies have suggested that sleeping with your dog can boost the level of oxytocinin your body. This is also known as the “love hormone”, and your body releases it when you’re happy. 

4.     Dogs help fight depression

Dogs are emotionally intelligent beings and they know when you’re feeling sad. They’re excellent at consoling and comforting their loved ones and help them go through tough times. 

Your dog is always there for you—even if you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, your dog will help show it to you!

Summing Things Up! 

Letting your dog sleep with you is something that you should consider. 

Trust us; you won’t regret it one bit. 

Initially, sharing your bed with an animal might feel like you’re kissing goodbye to a good night’s sleep but, you’re actually doing yourself and your health a favor. Sharing the bed with your dog has its benefits, after all. 

Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments! 

What’s your animal sleep style?

Most people can relate to the idea that not everyone’s biological clock runs on the same schedule. Just as you are calling it a day, your partner may be entering into their most creative and energetic hours.

We have all been away with those friends who want to wake at 5.30am every morning on holiday! And what about the work colleague who only seems to come to the party at 3pm each day?

In his new book, The Power of When, Clinical Psychologist Dr Michael Breus explains four different ‘sleep styles’ and then cleverly links them to animals with similar preferences.

Let’s start with the rarest sleep style of them all…

The Dolphin

Only 10% of human beings fit into this category that is reserved for highly intelligent, neurotic insomniacs who battle to fall asleep. Real dolphins sleep with half their brain awake to ensure they keep swimming and avoid becoming someone’s lunch.

Sleep drive= light

The Lion

Lions are brave, bold and optimistic leaders. They wake up rearing to go but hit a wall as the day ends. Because of this they do their best work in the mornings but need to sign off after 5pm. Real lions are reported to be able to sleep up to 20/24 hours each day!

Sleep drive= medium
Bed time = 10pm

The Wolf

If you only truly wake up at 3pm in the afternoon, love being part of a pack and do your best creative work at night then you are probably a wolf.

Sleep drive= high

The Bear

The easiest going, most social creature of them all bears are in synch with the movements of the sun- they rise with the sun and go to sleep when the sun does. Bears do their best work between 10am and 12pm. Bears are good sleepers who fall asleep and stay asleep easily. If you are a bear, you may struggle after 3pm to not socialize with your colleagues and get some work done.

Sleep drive= high

For more insight into which animal you are and when you should be exercising, eating and scheduling your best work hours take the full quiz.

Sleep better on a new Sealy today

Moon Milk – The New Bedtime Drink

Many cultures serve an ‘aperatif’ after dinner to prepare the digestive system for sleep.

It is common for children across the world to be given sweet, warm milk before bed to help them calm and fall asleep more easily.

But now there is a sleep drink designed for adults that is getting much praise in wellness circles. It is called Moon Milk and it forms part of the practice and philosophy of mindfulness.

It is a bedtime ritual that marks the end of the day.

Moon milk is

An Indian concoction of warmed nut milk with a mix of medicinal herbs and spices such as reishi mushroom, holy basil, cardamom and cinnamon.

A dash of local honey gives it a slight sweetness.

Whilst many may be making a large noise about this trend, it is really nothing new and nothing to be afraid of.

Choose your favourite milk (almond, goat, cow, rice or soya) and add the spices and herbs that either energise or calm you.

What is new is a new idea of us is that by using these ingredients you are balancing hormones and bringing adaptogens into your system. Adaptogens are preventative medicine- a thoughtful boost to help your the body prepare for particularly trying times. Think moving house, weddings, funerals, child birth and tax season.

Do you have a traditional family recipe that you follow to create the ultimate Moon Milk concoction? Do share in the comments section below.

For more healthy, midnight snack ideas go here.

 

Help is here for blanket hoggers

Ikea has launched the TOG-ether bundle to help couples sleep better. Inspired by the Swedish tradition of using two single duvets rather than one queen sized duvet, the TOG-ether bundle gives each person their own amount of insulation, but at a cost that that can be is less than buying two single duvets.

Whist some feel that this will put an end to any snuggling, others are excited about the prospect of getting a better night’s sleep.

Many who co-sleep report that their sleep is broken-

  1. when they wake up and realize they are blanket-less
  2. when their partner wakes them up to reclaim what was their half of the blanket
  3. when they share a bed with someone with a totally opposing thermostat and wake up freezing and/or over-heating.

Any couple who differ in bedding needs will love this idea that puts an end to the midnight tale of waking up to find you have double the blankets you would like thanks to your sweaty loved one who has dumped their bedding onto you.

Ranked as the ninth happiest country in the world, perhaps the Swedes are onto something and we should all copy their now infamous sleep strategy.

What we do know at Sealy is that good sleep means a great life.

Are your finances keeping you up?

We are in a recession people! The petrol price is shooting up whilst Christmas and ‘Back-2-School’ loom just around the corner.

With many anticipating no chance of a performance bonus or even a significant annual increase it is no surprise that many are staring at the ceiling instead of falling asleep peacefully.

Today’s families just getting by, and it is no surprise that financial stress is the leading cause of burn-out and a big factor in sleeplessness.

Many workers are taking on longer work hours to try and fill the gap between what they really earn and what they need to earn. This may mean working passed their natural bedtime, working night shifts or taking on a second or third job.

Whilst much is beyond our control (like the soaring price of food) what is in our control is how we choose to spend our time and our money.

Here are some time and money savers for those feeling the pinch in these economic times

Plan Your Meals

Sit down and plan your meals for the week ahead on a Sunday. Buy only what you need to prepare these and you avoid buying take-aways or having food spoil in your fridge.

Shop Online

Shopping online is the ultimate time saver. Whilst the initial ‘set-up’ takes time you can simply edit your usual list there after. This helps you stick to buying what you need and not buying into in-store promotions to save money on items you didn’t really need to start with.

Cook in bulk

Electricity is expensive people so save on your energy costs and cook or bake in bulk. Don’t make one lasagna- make two. Don’t bake one batch of muffins- bake three! You can then set aside the pre-cooked or pre-prepared meals that live happily in the freezer until you need them.

Buy local, seasonal foods

It’s spring in SA so now is the time to tuck into avocados, bananas and strawberries. Don’t buy fruit and veg that has had to be imported (such as lemons and oranges) as we are not in that season. You will be paying a premium for foods that have travelled far.

Car Pool

It’s good for your wallet and its good for the environment too. Try to connect with a fellow student or work colleague and share the commute when possible. This could halve your travel costs!

For more helpful strategies to manage your financial anxiety visit this blog post.

Get rid of fear – start here

A video clip of actor Will Smith has gone viral after the father shared an epiphany he had three years ago after going sky diving for the first time with friends on a talk show.

Will goes on to explain how facing his fear of skydiving has taught him that the only way to get rid of fear is to face it- each and every day.

If there was one concept that I would suggest to people to take a daily confrontation with its fear. The problem of fear is that it lies,” said Will.

Will goes on to explain how fear only exists before you face the perceived danger and that staring the actual danger in the face is “the most blissful experience of your life- there is zero fear. The point of maximum danger is the point of minimal fear. Its bliss.”

Many of us spend so much time fearing the things that have yet to happen or that might never happen that we avoid living life fully.

“There’s no reason to be scared. Its only gonna ruin your day…God placed the best things in life on the other side of terror.”

What are you scared of? Falling in love? Asking for a promotion? Moving into your own home? Looking foolish in front of your colleagues?

Facing your fears daily will allow you to live the way you truly want to rather than shrinking back.

Want more helpful strategies to live life to the fullest?

Check out these blog posts:

Food to improve your vitality

What should you be eating right now to live a long and happy life? The average human lifespan is currently 71 years. In this blog we look at foods packed with vitality that are eaten by those who live the longest, and happiest lives according to the World Happiness Report.

Sticky rice and fermented cabbage

The group of people who live longest on the planet are the South Koreans who eat ‘kimchi’ (a fermented cabbage, garlic and pepper dish) with almost every meal. The life expectancy for South Koreans is soon to be over 90 years! Fermented foods have been shown to decrease the risk of cancer and lower cholesterol as has their daily practice of meditation and mindfulness. Fermented foods like kefir and sauerkraut may be easier to include in your diet as a South African.

Tofu, sweet potato and a little bit of fish

A small group of southern Japanese islands known as Okinawa or ‘the land of immortals’ is home to more than 400 centenarians. The elderly community that lives here are socially and physically active which may also explain their high quality of life.

Olive oil, vegetables and wine

In Spain this healthy Mediterranean diet combined with the way it is eaten means that residents live well into their 80s. What appears to be so powerful is their cultural practice of stopping work at 2pm to walk home and eat a big meal slowly, together, followed by a delicious nap known as a ‘siesta’.

Noodles, rice and seafood

Those living in Singapore base their diet around these three food pillars. Although heavy in carbohydrates, the locals easily use up these calories as they exercise in parks and gyms across the city.

As you can see, how the food is eaten is as important as what the food is. Shoveling these foods in as fast you can in your lunch break is not going to help you live longer. However, finding a way to feed your body the nutrients, social interaction, physical activity and rest that it needs will ultimately help you live a longer, healthier life. 

What diet appeals to you most and which cultural practice would you love to take on board?

5 life lessons people learn too late

Hearing from those close to death offers us a chance to gain perspective. Here are the five most common pearls of wisdom that the older generation wants to pass on to the younger generation right now. 

1. Own your life

The sooner you realise that life is a series of choices that you make for yourself, the quicker you will feel a sense of control over your work life, friendships and the relationship you have with yourself. Success is not a destination but rather a journey or culmination of many good decisions that add up to a life well lived.

2. Live in the moment

Living in the past will bring you regret. Living in the future will make you feel worried. Choosing to live in the moment will allow you to collect new memories and learn new lessons. Staying current and relevant and interesting happens when you live each day in the present.

3. Do what you love, love what you do

If you are like most of the world’s population, you will have to spend a great deal of your life working. If you believe that your work aligns with your purpose then you will feel happier about getting your work done each day. If you feel that your work is a distraction from your purpose then you will be frustrated and resentful of your work life. Keep aligning your work and your purpose and yes the hours will still be long, but your heart will be at peace.

4. Embrace change

Everything is temporary and the sooner you accept that fact the easier it will be for you to ride the highs of life and keep trucking through the lows. There are many different seasons you will walk through- nobody lives a life of endless Summer. So if you are feeling ecstatic- enjoy it now for this shall pass. And if you are feeling down, then be patient and ride out the winter – this too shall pass.

5. Accept failure

This does not mean that you should give up, but rather that you would do well to see that there is more to your story than the page you are on right now. Mistakes and dead-ends are what builds character – what prepares you to take the wins when they come your way. Try to avoid comparing where you are in your story to where others are in their stories. Your first chapter may be somebody else’s final page.

Click here for more valuable life lessons

Invest in your rest with a new Sealy today.

Collagen – is this new superfood for you?

Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the human body. It is the glue that holds together skin cells and muscle fibres and keeps joints moving.

The beauty industry was the first to use collagen as a key ingredient in anti-wrinkle creams and serums. Then the medical fraternity started prescribing it in capsule form to aid achy joints. Now, sports stars and influencers are adding collagen powder to their daily smoothies.

In this blog we look at why collagen is getting so much attention and whether you could benefit.

It is important to note that the human body is actually really good at making its own collagen. So for those 25 years old and under taking collagen will most likely yield no improvement in your overall appearance or health. You are at your prime collagen level anyway. However, for those older than 25 and for those with certain chronic diseases, taking collagen may assist you to have better health in three key areas:

Collagen for Skin

Collagen is the glue that holds skin together and gives it its bounce. Young skin is rich in this protein which is why it does not flake and is not prone to wrinkles. When collagen levels are low, skin will appear thinner, redder and dryer as moisture leaves through the teeny gaps between skin cells.

Most biologists would recommend ingesting collagen rather than only applying it only to the top layer of your skin. Skin is a natural barrier and topical collagen may not penetrate deeply enough for you to see a difference.

Collagen for Muscle

For those who dabble in sports performance or those older athletes who do not want to have long recovery periods between events, taking collagen supplements can assist with muscle repair. As collagen plumps up the skin it can also plump up muscles making them look and work better. This increase in muscle mass has a knock on effect on fat loss.

A smoothie is a great way to ensure your collagen is broken down and absorbed along with the other natural food ingredients. Adding protein to your smoother will also keep you fuller for longer and maintain your blood glucose levels.

Collagen for Gut Health

The cells that line the digestive tract are also held together by collagen. When the gut becomes permeated or ‘leaky’ it becomes ineffective at absorbing nutrients and prone to inflammation and irritation.

Including collagen in your diet is simple. Eat animal protein. Collagen is found abundantly in bone broth, gelatin, eggs, chicken and meat.

Another great benefit of collagen? Less joint pain. It seems that a dose of collagen and a good night sleep on a Sealy could be the perfect recipe for waking up pain-free. Besides who doesn’t want to bounce out of bed each day?

Do you dabble with collagen to improve your skin, muscle and gut health? We would love to hear more about your experience

Good sleep is vital for great health. Follow our tips for a better night’s sleep.

How to start eating for energy

Rest is recovery and food is fuel so if you are looking to have more energy there is no greater combination than good sleep and good nutrition.

Whilst there are many conflicting ideologies when it comes to nutrition and weight-loss there is actually much consensus amongst sleep scientists when it comes to eating for sustained energy.

Here are some logical points to consider when planning what you put in your mouth:

Energy input must equal energy output…

If you are not eating enough, you will not have the energy you need to perform all day long.

Meals should be small and include protein…

Protein helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

If you want to have fewer energy dips then you will need to add foods such as biltong, full-fat cheese, nuts and hummus to your lunch box.

Avoid large meals heavy in carbohydrates…

Especially if you don’t want to feel sleepy after lunch.

Large meals require blood to divert away from your brain towards your digestive organs. If you want to feel alert, you will need blood flow in your brain.

Keeping your brain and body hydrated…

Will help you to keep going.

Caffeine can help pick you up but it can also lead to dehydration. Your brain consists of 73% water so its ability to do its job is impaired when it gets dry. Drinking water throughout the day is the best way to stay energetic and bright throughout your day.

Start eating for energy

The great news is eating this way will in turn help you sleep well. And sleeping well will help you find it easier to make good food selections during your day.

Here’s to fuelling your best life with good sleep and great food.