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.

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 lack of sleep make you less socially attractive?

In a study published on 14 August 2018, researchers Eti Ben Simon and Matthew P Walker unveiled four interesting connections between sleep and loneliness.

In our last blog we examined the first two connections that their research unveiled between sleep and feelings of loneliness.

In this blog we look at the last two connections their research made between sleep and social isolation.

Firstly, a sleep-deprived, lonely person becomes less likely to allow people to come into contact with them as they choose to increase their social distance.

The study showed that when people are sleep-deprived, lonely people are more inclined to keep a greater physical distance from others, compared to when they are fully rested. The energy needed to interact is just too great- they do not want people in their space and definitely do not want to be touched. This increases their feeling of loneliness and social isolation.

Secondly, well-rested people are less likely to want to get close or interact with a sleep-deprived person.

The researchers commented that sleep-deprived people may give off a lonely vibe and are also judged by others to be lonelier and less socially “attractive” when compared with pictures of their fully rested selves. So not only are the sleep-deprived people avoiding society, but society is more likely to avoid them too. This sets up a vicious cycle of social isolation.

This small study may have unveiled a link between the rise of sleep deprivation and the rise of social isolation and loneliness in our modern society. Sleep boosts our mood, our appearance and our social attractiveness and sleep loss impacts more than ourselves- it impacts all those around us.

Get to bed if you want to get out into the world- bright and bushy tailed.

Discover our range of sleep accessories to help you sleep even better on your Sealy.

How much sleep could you lose to the FIFA World Cup?

Soccer fans have no choice but to watch each and every world cup match – after all the FIFA World Cup only comes around every four years.

In the space of one month there has been a massive 48 matches in the first round, four quarter finals, two semi-finals and of course the final coming up. That a total of 53 soccer matches to watch in one month- around 1,76 matches per day to be accurate.

Whilst that may not seem too bad… we need to take into consideration the length of each of these soccer matches. As Sam Borden wrote for the NY Times after the US lost to Portugal Soccer’s elastic definition of time means that no player on the field, no fan in the stands and no announcer on television has any earthly idea as to when the last kick of the ball will come’.

So whilst technically each soccer match will consist of two 45-minute halves with 10 minutes of half time (a total of 100 minutes or 1 hour 40 minutes) there will be matches that require added time, extra time and even penalty shoot outs (a whopping total of up to 160 minutes or 2 hours 40 minutes).

So let’s be fair and round off each match to two hours.

With 53 matches we could be watching a whopping 106 hours of soccer this world cup… that’s 4,5 days of soccer!

In South Africa where the most tantalizing matches are scheduled in the late evenings we are looking at losing 90 minutes of sleep per evening. That’s a lot less sleep than we need when compared to the 7-8 hours we need each night to live well!

If you are feeling tired, take heart. We are four weeks in to celebrating this beautiful game and the glorious final is in sight. You can rekindle your love of sleep while waiting for the FIFA World Cup to kick off in Qatar in 2022.

Discover our range of Pillows for a good night’s sleep

How to get back to sleep

If you have ever had the displeasure of waking up in the middle of the night, you will know the feeling… the feeling of desperation when you realize it is only 1am and you know that three hours sleep is not nearly enough sleep at all.

You will also know the feeling of exasperation as you catch a glimpse of your alarm clock whilst tossing and turning- how can it be 3am!

You have been awake for two hours. That’s two hours of sleep that you reallyneeded given your early start and the BIG day that lies ahead of you.

Here are the best tried-and-tested get back to sleep techniques. Store them near your bed so you know exactly what to if you are unlucky enough to wake in the middle of the night.

  1. Use the 4-7-8 trick that is easy to implement and super effective at finding your calm place. This technique works as it increases the oxygen in your blood stream, calms your nervous system and relaxes your muscles. These are all changes that need to occur as you are falling asleep. Do not rush through this technique but enjoy the feeling of your muscles relaxing.
  1. Practice one of these yoga techniques – Choose from a variety of breathing techniques, sleep postures and certain forms of meditation that induce sleepiness.
  1. Try out progressive muscle relaxation that brings heaviness to your toes and to your eyelids. You can repeat this technique as many times as you need until you find yourself fast asleep.

Prolong the life of your Sealy Mattress by following these simple tips

Does a cooler core body temperature equal better sleep?

A recent study to come out of the Netherlands entitled Skin Temperature Measurement in Monitoring and Control of Sleep and Alertness has shown how manipulating body temperature could improve your sleep.

The study showed that a drop in your core temperature impacts:

  • what time you go to bed,
  • how long it takes you to fall asleep, and
  • the quality of your sleep quality.

The researchers put their participants in wetsuits and perfused warm or cold water past their skin to cool or warm a specific body part. What they found was if they lowered the core body temperature, the participant felt sleepy and fell asleep faster. The participant also experienced more slow wave sleep at this lower temperature.

So all these years the reason we all slept so well after taking a hot bath before bed was not the warmth and relaxation we got but rather the sudden drop in core body temperature that we experienced when we get out the bath.

And perhaps this is also why those who sleep semi-naked and maintain a lower body temperature throughout the night have improved sleep and deeper sleep

Would you invest in a device to cool your core so you could sleep better? Or are sticking with your warm bath before bed?

Sleep in Style! Discover the new la différence mattress and bed range from Sealy…

 

Should you take your shoes into your bedroom?

 

In many homes, shoes can be found abandoned in almost every room, including the bedroom. However, removing shoes before entering a home appears to be gaining a following once again.

There are three main reasons that people chose not to have shoes in their homes:

  1. spiritual reasons- to avoid shoes carrying in bad energy in from the outside world
  2. hygiene reasons – to avoid shoes harboring bad germs
  3. practical reasons – to avoid shoes staining the light carpets.

Karen Kingston, International best selling author and clutter clearing expertsays: “My personal favourite is to have a shoe cupboard somewhere just inside the main entrance so you can take your shoes off as soon as you enter and store them hidden from view”.

Whilst you may not be able fit a shoe cupboard at your front door, it’s not great to have a big pile of shoes there either. If you are tight on space here are some ideas:

  • Remove your shoes as you enter your home and carry them to where you store them
  • Wipe them clean before putting them away
  • Keep them inside a closed chest or cupboard rather than out in the open
  • If possible, store them separately to your clothing
  • Get rid of any shoes you never wear to save space

One big ‘hell-no’ is putting your shoes on soft furnishings such as beds and couches. Putting your dirty shoes on or near your sleep sanctuary is ludicrous. Remember your bed should be clean, fresh and germ-free. If you can’t make your house shoe-free at least try and make your bedroom a shoe-free zone.

Stunning on the outside, spectacular on the inside – Discover the new la différence by Sealy

Why trauma will tire you out

Last month we looked at what happens to your body after a traumatic experience. What we uncovered was a chemical cascade that led to post-traumatic hyper-arousal and post-traumatic hyper-vigilance. 

Both of these states are appropriate immediately after a trauma as they are required to ensure survival. Post-traumatic hyper-arousal is a description of a stress response that gets your body firing on all cylinders to ensure your survival. Post-traumatic hyper-vigilance is a description of how this stress response causes your mind to race, again, to ensure you will survive.

The outcome of living in these states is both physical and mental fatigue. This is why it is common to feel exhausted after a violent trauma and why more rest is required to recover.

The Sleep Foundation recommends getting more sleep than usual after a trauma.

If getting enough sleep at night is difficult, then it is recommended that you take time to relax and rest for brief times throughout the day. Taking short naps (15-45 minutes) may help your body re-enter a more calm state of rest.

You can also follow these tips to help you fall asleep more easily.

Whether your trauma is very recent or happened a very long time ago, it is recommended that you check in with a trauma counselor and get professional help if needed.

Ask your GP or local police station for the details of a recommended trauma counselor in your area.

Sleep better on a new Sealy today

10 Things to try when you just can’t fall asleep

Pure Wow has released a sleep-inducing infographic that highlights 27 things that can be done to help you fall asleep.

What was significant is that most of these things have been featured on our Sealy blog over the years.

Here are 10 sleepiest (and easiest!) things you can do before bedtime (and many helpful links if you want more information about how to apply them):

Try these 10 Sleep Tricks

  1. Make a cup of calming chamomile tea
  2. Be kind to yourself and give yourself the gift of sleep
  3. Use essential oils such as lavender
  4. Try wearing socks to bed
  5. Get your pets out of your bedroom
  6. Write a list of all your worries
  7. Download a mindfulness meditation app such as Calm
  8. Get away from bright lights an hour before bedtime
  9. Try some bedtime yoga routines
  10. Take a warm bath

We would love to hear about your bedroom routine and what is your family’s sleep secret?

If you have a tried and tested sleep remedy that gets your whole family to bed, then please share it with us by adding it to the comments below.

What is the right amount of sleep for me?

You may have heard that you need to sleep 8 hours a night, however, it turns out that there is actually no magic number. The amount of sleep you need varies a lot from person to person.

When it comes to figuring out how much sleep you need, Sleep Expert Dr Neil Stanley told the Metro:

‘Your personal sleep need is essentially the amount of sleep that allows you to feel awake, refreshed, and focused during the following day. Very simply if you feel sleepy during the day then you are probably not, for whatever reason, getting the sleep you need during the night.’

Here is how you can find out how much sleep works for you.

**You will need to do this over a weekend or during a holiday.

  1. Prioritise sleep – make getting to bed your biggest evening priority. Do not ignore your body’s biorhythms but embrace them.
  2. Fall asleep faster – after sunset your brain releases melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. If you jump into bed as soon as you start to feel sleepy you will fall asleep much quicker. Worry more about how you feel than what the clock says.
  3. Follow a sleep routine – Try to schedule in the same activities at the same time each evening to prepare your body for sleep. Quality sleep is often the bi-product of a predictable sleep routine.
  4. Wake up naturally – Do not set an alarm clock to wake you up but rather note your bedtime and the time of your first waking. If you fell asleep at 9.50pm and woke feeling refreshed at 5.30am then you can work out that the right amount of sleep for you is around 7,5 hours. Going forward you can set an alarm clock for this time each day.

Remember, there is a broad range of normal that varies from 6 hours – 9,5 hours of sleep per night for healthy adults. Once you know how much sleep works for you, you will be able to work backwards from your wake time to ensure you fit in the sleep you need.

For more information on sleep needs at varying ages click here.

Find the perfect sleep accessories for a good night’s rest.