Desperately want better sleep? Here is what you may be doing wrong

A wise person once said, “Tired minds don’t plan well. Sleep first, plan later.” And we can’t agree more.

The repercussions of a sleep deficit are not just limited to ineffective planning and slower responses but go as far as disrupting the ability to form memories. People who either get less than the recommended amount of sleep during nighttime or struggle to get any shut-eye at all are not only good candidates for a host of health problems such as heart diseases, obesity, diabetes, and depression but also face a hard time in their relationships and perform badly in focus-driven tasks like driving. 

Scary, right?

A study conducted by American and British researchers on insomnia reveals that your genetics may be blamed for why you toss and turn in desperation each night. However, there are certain habits that induce a less-than-optimum quality of sleep as well. Some of the habits below might be keeping you from getting that all-important shut eye: 

Habit #1

Do you find yourself craving and ultimately succumbing to a caffeine surge later in the day?Stop in your tracks!

It’s not groundbreaking news that caffeine consumption is linked to insomnia. Did you know that it takes anywhere between 8 to 10 hours to break down just half the amount of caffeine in your system and that this process slows down as we age? 

Side note: drinking more than four cupsof your favorite brew in a day will steal your sleep away!

Is that 4 pm espresso still on schedule?

Habit #2

While we humbly acknowledge that technology took us to unimaginable places, regrettably, it also robbed us of some of the greatest pleasures of life, including slumber.No matter how many times you’ve heard this before, we shamelessly reiterate this again: TURN OFF all the screens around you when the clock suggests its bed time. Period.

‘Internet Addiction (IA)’ is one of the biggest reasons that keeps us glued to our screens all day long and even during night time. A study conducted on Korean adults found that individuals with IA have a tough time maintaining sound sleep as well as getting to sleep in the first place and are more prone to suicide. Need more reasons to ditch Instagram and Twitter in the pm?

Habit #3

Are you sleeping on the wrong mattress?

As simple as it may seem, this might be a problem from which all your sleep issues emanate. Common sense dictates that comfortable bedding is needed for getting that envious sleep which equips you to face the day ahead, but there is more to it than just that. According to Arya Nick Shamie (MD), who is an associate professor of neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, the mattress you sleeps on should neither be too firm nor too soft. Michael Breus, Ph.D., who is a WebMD sleep expert and author of Beauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep states that the right mattress makes you feel like you are floating in the air and may not be the same for everybody.

Keep that in mind when you browse the Sealy website find the perfect bed for you. 

Habit #4

Ah!! That vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and then sleeping in late to make up for it. On the weekends, do you find yourself partying late into the night and then sleeping in on the weekends? Bad idea. Here’s why.

What you’re ACTUALLY doing is jeopardising your biological clock and confusing your body (wake up? Sleep? What do you want?!). You oversleep one morning, keep tossing and turning in the night, oversleep the next day again and voila! You have officially messed up your sleep routine.

Do your body a favor and hit the bed at the same time seven days a week, 365 days a year, and you are out of danger zone.

If you find yourself doing any of the above things then it is time to step back and make amends. After all, nothing is more precious than your physical health and the well-being of your brain. And it all starts with sleeping well!

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.

Sealy fans have their say about sleep in our first online poll

Earlier this month we conducted our own Sealy Sleep Poll to find out more about the sleeping habits of our very own South African Sealy sleepers.

What did we find out?

Here’s how you responded to our Sealy Sleep Poll:

Do you sleep on the left or right hand side of the bed?

  • The majority of South Africans reported getting out on the left hand side of the bed.
  • 25% of respondents were loyal to their side – unwilling to switch sides with a partner.
  • 75% admitted that the choice was a practical one- such as wanting to be nearer the bathroom door or further away from a noisy window.

Are you a morning bird or a night owl… or some kind of exhausted pigeon?

  • 43% of you admitted to being night owls
  • 37% were proud early birds…
  • and 20% put themselves in the category of exhausted pigeon. Interestingly, almost all of these were young mothers caught up in feeding and caring for their little ones late at night and early in the morning.

Do you prefer waking up or falling asleep?

  • There were very few Sealy fans who preferred waking up to falling asleep.
  • 94% of respondents love falling asleep!

Do you prefer reading or watching TV before bedtime?

  • Sealy fans clearly practice clean sleeping as the majority read before bed – a habit that does not interfere with sleep onset or sleep quality.
  • Only 21% of respondents watch TV before bed.

Do you wake up tired or energized?

  • Two out of three respondents are waking up feeling exhausted and groggy.
  • One passionate respondent revealed that they wake up energized and ‘ready to go,go,go thanks to their Sealy mattress’

However, whenever and wherever you prefer to fall asleep, you have more chance of a good night sleep on a supportive mattress.

View our range of Sealy mattresses and find your perfect fit.

Here is a secret weapon to fight hayfever

For many South African, Spring is not as cheerful as it should be thanks to the itching, coughing and sneezing that accompanies their hayfever.

Hayfever is caused by an allergic reaction to allergens – which during Spring are mostly pollens from blossoming trees and plants.

If you suffer from hayfever, then taking oral anti-histamines once or twice a day can help relieve your allergies during the day and give you better quality sleep at night.

Research has shown that anti-histamines can decrease snoring, sleep apnea and nasal congestion if caused by an allergic reaction. Many allergy sufferers aren’t sleeping well due to this itchiness, stuffiness and difficulty breathing. Hence, by treating the allergy their sleep automatically benefits.

Whilst many health professionals recommend eradicating or limiting the source of your allergies this can be impossible with hayfever – air is everywhere!

Your Secret Weapon To Fight Hayfever

If your reaction is severe and you cannot get it under control with antihistamines then here are some more steps you could take-

  1. Wash out your eyes, nasal passages and sinuses with warm, salty water.
  2. Spring clean your home to get rid of air-born allergens that may have built up over Winter.
  3. Ask your GP for a cortisone injection which will decrease your body’s reaction to the allergens or ask your homeopath for an alternative medicine such as colloidal silver which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
  4. Choose to sleep on a Sealy mattress that are made from bamboo and aloe vera fabrics that are known for their non-allergenic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-dustmite properties. Allergy sufferers sleep better on a Sealy that is built to repel allergens.

Remember, this season shall pass and so should your hayfever!

Jewels are a girls best friend! Discover your perfect sleep companion with the Sealy Crown Jewel Collection.

Could magnesium restore your sleep?

There is a strong link between insomnia and magnesium deficiency especially in women. Magnesium is one of the 24 essential vitamins and minerals and its super powers have for many years been under-rated.

Magnesium is a mood stabilizer, bone builder, muscle relaxer and most importantly sleep promoter.

  1. Magnesium helps people to sleep more deeply with fewer wakings. Those who take magnesium report that they sleep more soundly.
  1. It supports the restorative process of sleep by joining forces with a sleep-promoting neuro-transmitter known as GABA.
  1. Magnesium reduces the symptoms of Restless-Leg Syndrome which often interfere with sleep quality.
  1. It also helps to relieve muscle pains in adults and growing pains in children.
  1. Magnesium relieves the symptoms of anxiety which can be linked to difficulty with sleep onset. 

Could adding some magnesium to your life improve your sleep?

If you are deficient (which many stressed people are) then the answer is yes.

Foods rich in magnesium include:

  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Squash, broccoli and other vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Dairy products
  • Meat

However, to be sure you are getting enough, you may want to add a magnesium supplement to your daily routine.

Discover the new la différence range by Sealy…

How much should the tooth fairy be leaving behind while your child is sleeping?

Losing a first tooth is a remarkable milestone. It is so remarkable in fact that left unchecked it can create a swell of ‘proud parent feelings’ that may result in a very generous but unsustainable contribution from the tooth fairy (or the equally dashing tooth mouse).

Now the problem with leaving a few fat notes next to your sleeping child is that there will be more teeth to come and usually a younger sibling or two will be paying close attention to what the ‘going rate’ is for milk teeth.

Parents are remarkably creative creatures and I have heard rumours of payment being delayed due to the tooth not being clean enough or not presented in an acceptable fashion… although the actual issue may have been a forgetful tooth fairy or a tooth mouse out of change.

Of course the other difficult decision once the money is out the way is what to do with said milk teeth. Do you throw them away in the bin? Or does this classify as medical grade waste? Holding onto these little souvenirs of childhood can be equally cumbersome especially if discovered in your jewelry box by their original owner a few years later.

The good news is that when your child does fall asleep on their Sealy it is highly likely that they will stay asleep while you creep around their room in the dark taking part in one of the most exciting celebrations of a child’s imagination.

However you choose to do it, enjoy it.  For the days are long, but they years are short.

  • For more information regarding when your child may need their own mattress go here.
  • Discover the Sealy Cot Mattress range here


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.

Bedtime stories for kids – can good parenting rituals make your kids smarter?

All previous research has suggested that certain ‘good parenting’ practices like reading a bedtime story to your child or having a meal together at a table increases a child’s IQ scores later on in life.

However, a recent study by Florida University has given scientists and parents a bit of grit to chew on.

In the controversial study entitled “A closer look at the role of parenting-related influences on verbal intelligence over the life course: Results from an adoption-based research design (Intelligence, 2014; 46: 179 DOI: 10.1016/j.intell.2014.06.002) the participants studied were all adopted children who had no genetic link to the parents who raised them.

Good parenting practices appeared to make no difference on the children’s long-term IQ scores and Beaver, the lead researcher believes that this data suggests that children inherit their intelligence genetically and not socially as thought.

In previous research, it looks as though parenting is having an effect on child intelligence, but in reality the parents who are more intelligent are doing these things and it is masking the genetic transformation of intelligence to their children,” Beaver said.

In other words, parents with higher IQ scores are more likely to put their children to bed, read them bedtime stories and have evening meals together. These actions are signs of good parenting and will assist with bonding and improved social skills… however they will not make them smarter as measured by an IQ test.

“The way you parent a child is not going to have a detectable effect on their IQ as long as that parenting is within normal bounds,” said Beaver.

The good news is that most parents are raising their children (whether biological or adopted) with the ultimate goal of being a good citizen – someone contributing to the world over a lifetime rather than merely achieving a superior score on an IQ test.

Now don’t we all wish there was a standardised test to measure that?

Did you know: The Sealy® Cot Mattress with low profile pocket system, ensures baby receives gentle cradling comfort from day one!