Sleep Archives - Sealy

Perfect gifts for people who need more sleep

In an ideal world, we should spend one third of our lives sleeping, but for many people eight hours of sleep each night is out of reach. Whether its because of long work hours, insomnia, small kids, or just too much stress, chances are we know and love at least one person who needs more sleep. So, this year, give that person the gift of sleep.

Whether your budget is big or small, you should find something here for the sleep lover in your life –

Gifts for better sleep

  • Calming herbal teas. Did you know that sipping a cup of herbal tea before bedtime could help you sleep better? Peppermint tea and camomile tea are said to help calm anxiety. You will find a selection of calming blends in the tea aisle at your local grocery store or visit any of the upmarket tea stores popping up in many shopping centres. If your sleep lover is also a tea lover, put together a pretty box with a selection of calming teas.
  • Bath fizz balls. A bath before bedtime helps to calm the mind and prepare the body for sleep. Good quality fizz balls, also known as bath bombs, will soften and cleanse the skin and usually have aromatherapy benefits too. We love the Fizz Stardust bath bomb from Rain Natural Skincare, for R65.
  • Eye pillow. Also known as a dream pillows, this is a little pouch filled with various soothing ingredients like flax seed and aromatherapy oils, which you place over your eyes and forehead for a deeper sleep. The Earthway Infusions Eyepillow has lavender essential oil in it, which is known for its calming properties. Get it for R77 from Faithful to Nature.
  • Play dough stress ball. Who says play dough is just for kids?! (Although this is a great gift idea for children too.) When you play with an aromatherapy play dough ball, you engage your senses of smell and touch. It’s great for calming stress and anxiety before bed. Aromadough has a whole range of aromatherapy play dough balls, but when it comes to a good night’s sleep, we recommend the Festive Sleep Stress Ball (R95) which has sweet orange, neroli and lavender essential oils.
  • Pillow. Most people underestimate the value of a good pillow when it comes to good quality sleep. We manufacture a range of Sealy pillows, including our innovative Gel pillows. There’s the My Coolsmart Gel Pillow, which has a refreshing gel layer that reduces heat buildup, and the My Gel Pillow, which is made with gel-infused memory foam. Both pillows are made with adaptive memory foam and covered with Tencel material, which provides good moisture control and is naturally breathable and cool.
  • Weighted blanket. Imagine wrapping yourself in a blanket and feeling as though you’re getting a big hug. That is what weighted blankets do. Weighted blankets are heavier than normal blankets because they are filled with a heavier material, such as pellets. They help to calm the nervous system and reduce anxiety and insomnia. Weighted blankets from Pretty Special come in toddler, child, adult and extra-large sizes and range in price from R600 to R1500.
  • Himalayan salt lamp. These lamps are said to help boost mood, improve sleep, ease allergies and clean the air, however there is little scientific proof to support those claims. If they are true – bonus – if not, at the very least a Himalayan Salt Lamp will soften the lighting in a room, which helps encourage a more relaxed mood. These are fairly easy to find. Salty Sistas has a great collection, ranging from R250 to R2450.


The ultimate gift for people who need more sleep: A new bed

If you’re looking for a long-term investment that will reap rewards for many years to come, then consider investing in a new bed this year. Sleep is an important factor of a healthy lifestyle but unfortunately most people sleep on a mattress past its expiration date or to have a low-quality mattress to begin with. Having the right mattress can make all the difference with feeling more energetic, as well as keeping you healthy.

Through constant research and development, and collaboration and studies with orthopaedic surgeons all over the world, the Sealy team has established the best ‘criteria’ for optimal sleep. Building upon the recommendations of these world class orthopaedic surgeons, Sealy constructs mattresses with unique spring systems for body support, topped with foam and comfort layers with pressure relieving properties – meaning the body is in its natural position to fully relieve muscular tension. This is known today as Sealy’s exclusive Posturepedic Technology™, which targets the heaviest part of your body, with reinforced support where you need it most. Only Sealy with exclusive Posturepedic Technology™ mattresses give you deep-down push back support for exceptional all-over comfort.

Sealy Posturepedic Technology™ supports your sleep by providing:

  • Pressure relieving comfort for undisturbed sleep: from Ultra-Plush to Extra-Firm, built with premium materials.
  • The support you need: deep-down orthopedically correct push-back spring system, surrounded with a superior edge support system.
  • A system where everything works together to give you the same great comfort and support for a long time: extra durability that repays your investment day after day.




Why deep sleep is important

You may have heard that you need to get eight hours of sleep, but when you’re talking about sleep, the quality matters as much as how long you sleep.  Throughout the night you go through different stages of sleep.  Deep sleep is what allows you to wake up refreshed.

Cycles of sleep

Stage 1– During the first stage of sleep, your body starts to relax. Bodily functions such as breathing and heartbeat slow down and your muscles relax and your brain waves begin to slow down.

Stage 2– This stage encompasses half of your sleep cycle. You fall into this stage of sleep more than any of the others. During this stage your body continues to relax, your brain waves are much slower with short periods of activity, your eye movements stop and your body temperature drops.

Stages 3 and 4– These stages are considered deep sleep stages.  This is where your body is in the deepest state of relaxation and brain waves are at their slowest.  At this stage, it’s hard to wake up, and you don’t even wake up with loud noises.

Your body stays in deep sleep the longest during the first few cycles.  As the night progresses the deep sleep cycle gets shorter.

Stage 5– This last stage is REM sleep.

Why Stage 3 and 4 sleep is important

Sleep stages 3 and 4 facilitate several processes in the body.  During these stages, the brain metabolises glucose which helps with memory and overall learning.  These are the other benefits of deep sleep:

  • Promotes growth and repair of tissues and bones
  • Cells regenerate
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Increases blood supply to the muscles
  • Restores energy

Deep sleep is a vital part of your body healing itself so you are healthy.

Deterrent to deep sleep

There are many things that can cause you not to fall into sleep stages 3 and 4.  One of the main contributors is your mattress. When your mattress is not comfortable, it doesn’t allow your body to fall into a deep sleep because your body can’t get comfortable enough to relax.  You may toss and turn which keeps your body alert.

If you are waking up tired all the time, even after getting the right amount of sleep, you might not be getting enough good sleep, and you may need to look at your mattress as the culprit.  A good mattress supports your body and allows it to relax and fall into a deep sleep.

Having the right mattress can make all the difference with feeling more energetic as well as keeping you healthy.  Now that you know how important deep sleep is, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your mattress and how you feel after a “good night’s sleep”.



Slow down the signs of aging in 2020

A healthy diet, regular exercise, smart lifestyle choices, strong social connections and good sleep can help slow down the signs of aging. We teamed up with South African blogger, Fiona Rossiter, to explore practical ways to boost your chances of healthy aging, and to make the most of 2020.

In the latest blog post on her Inspired Living blog, Five tips to slow the signs of aging, Fiona shares some real-life practical tips to incorporate this year. While it’s impossible to stop the clock or turn back time, it is possible to slow it down.

A lack of sleep increases the signs of aging

Research shows a link between a lack of sleep and slowing metabolism. However, the National Sleep Foundation reveals that although women aged between 30 and 60 should get an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night, most women are getting less than seven.

Good sleep reduces stress, improves memory, lowers blood pressure, increases immunity and helps put you in a better mood. But did you know a good night’s sleep can also give you better skin? After all, it’s not called “beauty sleep” for nothing. Just think about it: If you don’t get enough sleep, you start seeing bags under your swollen eyes, paler skin and more wrinkles and fine lines. Your skin wants sleep! Yes, it’s wise to invest in good quality skin care products, but if you’re not making sleep a priority, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

A good quality mattress will help slow down the signs of mattress

A good quality mattress means good quality sleep! Considering you spend approximately one third of your life in bed, a quality mattress and sprung foundation is a smart investment in your health.

Sealy manufactures comfortable mattresses to suit everybody.  The absolute luxury of Essensual with its sumptuous feel for a gorgeous night’s sleep.  It looks and feels refined and luxurious.  Our Crown Jewel collection is sophisticated and elegant made from the best lavish materials and is the height of perfection in luxury.  The Hybrid Collection offers the best of both worlds with the top half featuring a Coolsmart Memory foam or the Dual-Flex Hybrid Foam layer with a pressure reducing properties and the bottom half providing pocket spring support to reduce motion transfer.  The Sealy Posturepedic range has a patented spring system with luxury layers to ensure healthy, restful sleep and providing the perfect balance for back support.


Amusing thoughts about sleep in South Africa

While we at Sealy take sleep seriously, we love to look on the lighter side of life – much like Christel-Michel Kruger, the writer behind The Nocturnal Wenchy blog. In her latest blog post, Wenchy takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the challenges of trying to get a good sleep in South Africa.

Describing the challenges of a nocturnal mind wanderer, Wenchy writes, “You may just get comfy, roughly throw your leg over your partner, let out a big sigh (the same one you make when you take your bra off at the end of the day) and bam the thought hits you… ‘Did I lock the back door?’” 

Check out the full blog post here, to fully understand Wenchy’s challenges when it comes to getting good sleep in South Africa.

Describing herself as “a fierce Mental Health advocate and a lover of frivolous laughter and intelligent conversation”, Wenchy knows the importance of sleep and a good mattress. Perhaps after following tips from our Sealy blog, Wenchy would consider changing the name of her blog to “The Well-Rested Wenchy”?

Keeping in the good-humoured spirit of Wenchy’s latest blog post, we’ve rounded some of our favourite jokes about sleep:

  • I’m so good at sleep, I can do it with my eyes closed!
  • Dear Sleep, I know we had problems when I was a young kid. I love you now and I’m totally devoted to our relationship.
  • Sleeping is my drug. My bed is my dealer, and my alarm clock is the police.
  • Happiness is… not having to set the alarm for the next day.
  • What do you get when you eat cookies in bed? Crummy sleep.
  • It hurts when someone you love says mean things, like “wake up”.
  • Insomnia sufferers, look on the bright side… only three more sleeps until Christmas!
  • What do you call a sleeping bull? A bulldozer

Five popular songs with the word ‘sleep’ in them

Did you know that there are more than 50 songs with the word ‘sleep’ in them? It shows besides love and money, sleep is powerful enough that it captures our mind and imagination – metaphorically and literally in the sense that we can’t live without it. Hence people create songs about it.

Love makes the world go around and makes us do silly things, but a lack of sleep turns people crazy too. Most people associate themselves with songs they are familiar with. We pick and choose ones that relate to our current mood, because songs and music are so much more than just entertainment.

A few popular songs with the word ‘sleep’

Below are five popular songs the word ‘sleep’ in the title. Maybe you can play it later on Spotify while lying on the beach or perhaps in your room – on that nice and cozy Sealy mattress of yours!

1. No sleep by Wiz Khalifa

‘No sleep’ is a great party song. It has a nice tempo and a great beat that gives you that uplifting vibe. It surely won’t put you to sleep; instead, you’ll feel like going to a party. Wiz Khalifa performs a few famous songs like ‘See you again’ and is a famous rap singer recognised for his first hit Black & Yellow.

2. Chinese sleep chant by Coldplay

Fall asleep

Fall asleep

Sleep and you’ll be satisfied

A British rock band – Coldplay – performs it. ‘Chinese sleep chant’ is a song about the forbidden love between a man and a lady. The song describes how the man tries to pursue the lady’s affection.

Just listening to the lyrics can enchant you to sleep. The lyrics repeatedly say fall asleep, sleep and you’ll be satisfied. You don’t have to know the full song, but I’m pretty sure you’ll need your bed soon. At least that’s what the lyrics say!     

3. Go to sleep by Radiohead

Do you love the band Radiohead? They have a variety of genres and styles in their music. The song ‘Go to sleep’ can be interpreted as focusing on the awareness of life – with sleep meaning a lack of power.

One way of interpreting this song is by seeing it as centering on political consciousness, with sleep being referred to as being oblivious to it. Give it a listen and try to break the hidden message behind the song.

4. How do you sleep by Sam Smith

Sam Smith is an English songwriter and singer. In the first verse of the song, he presents us with his disheartening experience of dealing with breakup anxieties. Sam Smith believes, if breakups broke him, it must have hurt his past romantic interests as well.

The song wants us to believe that by letting go of the person you love is the key to fix a broken heart.

5. One more sleep by Leona Lewis

A very catchy tune sung by Leona Lewis. ‘One More Sleep’ will make you want to dance and sing along to the lyrics. Although it’s a Christmas song – being fun and high spirited it’s still done in Motown-style. ‘One More Sleep’ is a song from Leona’s album ‘Christmas With Love’.

There you go, five songs inspired by the word ‘sleep’. As it turns out, sleep is not always definitive to one interpretation, as the meaning can really go deep, be literal or just plain fun. So the next time you go to bed, remember that you’re doing something wondrous – because great songs have been written about it!

If the relationship between you and your mattress is hardly a love song with the word ‘sleep’ in it, maybe it’s time to look for something better! To keep you singing and dancing throughout your day, you need a good night’s sleep. Our beds promise more than just sound sleep; they promise healthy sleep, thanks to our extensive research and development programmes that have put us at the cutting edge of the ‘Science of Sleep’.

Understanding the sleep graphs on your fitness tracker

As a lover of sleep, one of my favourite features of my fitness tracker is the sleep tracker app. In this blog post, we explain how to read the sleep cycle calculator.

Understand your sleep cycle

There are four stages of sleep: Stage 1, 2, 3 and 4 (REM- Rapid Eye Movement). There’s a five to 15 minutes interval between each stage of sleep, and a sleep cycle spans between 90 to 110 minutes. Stage 1, 2 and 3 are called the Non-Rapid Eye Movement Stages (NREM).

A sleep cycle is the transition between the Non Rapid Eye Movement to the Rapid Eye Movement phase of sleep. There are about four to five sleep cycles per sleep time and each cycle lasts for about 90-120 minutes, which are usually clearly separated on your sleep tracker app.

Stage 1 is the “transitional phase” of sleep, basically when you’re feeling drowsy. Eye movement at this stage of sleep is slowed down and your muscles become more relaxed. However, you can be easily awoken in this stage. This is also when your muscles will jerk, sometimes waking you up again.

Stage 2 is the defining phase of the NREM stage of sleep and about 50% of the time spent sleeping is in this stage. Your body temperature cools down and your heart rate slows. Your brain activity slows down with occasional burst of activity, or waves, called “sleep spindles”.

Stage 3 is characterised by Delta/Slow Waves. Deep sleep begins here and the body is less responsive to the surrounding environment. This stage of sleep only makes up about 20% of your time sleeping. The following are experienced in this stage of sleep:

  • Muscle and tissue repair
  • Growth and development
  • Immune system boost
  • Parasomnias (sleep walking, sleep talking)

REM (REM- Rapid Eye Movement) stage is characterised by increased brain activity. If Stage 3 is about rest and regeneration, stage 4 is all about energizing your body. Awakening and arousal is common place at this stage of sleep. Also, this is the phase where dreaming occurs. The following are experienced in this stage of sleep:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Faster breathing
  • Consolidation and processing of information by the brain

The benefits of good sleep

Good sleep helps to improve your health, with increased mental and physical performance. Fitness trackers and/or a sleep tracker app can establish the connection between sleep, weight gain/loss, blood pressure as well as heart rate from the data generated.

If you analyse your sleep pattern and it’s clear that you’re not getting a solid night’s sleep, it might be time to start thinking about your sleep routine and your sleep environment. When was the last time you replaced your mattress? Ideally, you should replace your mattress every 10 years.

Other aspects to consider are the amount of light in your bedroom, how much time is spent on screens before bedtime, and how warm or cold you are during the night.

Sleep is essential to your exercise and weight loss routine

Have you heard about Louis? He is a fitness geek. He goes for a jog every morning and hits the gym in the evening. He follows a strict diet too. Still, whenever he checks his weight on the scale, he discovers that he just can’t shake those extra kilos.

Do you face a similar problem? Even when you follow your fitness regime daily, do you end up with minimal results? Or worse, does following a fitness program completely drain you of energy?

If yes, then it could be that you’re ignoring the most underrated fact of staying in good shape – Sleep

Impact of poor sleep on your weight loss routine

“The poorer the quality of your sleep, the bigger the size of your pants.” – Rujuta Diwekar, a leading nutritionist & exercise science expert

Sleeping means recovery. When you sleep, you are recovering from the mental and physical stresses of the day.

If you don’t get adequate sleep, you wake up half-exhausted as if you haven’t slept at all. This can be owed to a number of things, including unhealthy sleep hygiene and the fact that it’s time to replace your mattress. (Did you know mattresses should be replaced every eight to 10 years?)

When you wake up tired, you have strong cravings for tea or coffee first thing in the morning, which is unhealthy because caffeine contains dehydrating properties. These cravings continue throughout the day and you end up seeking out more caffeinated beverages, sweets, chocolates and other carbs.

Sleep deprivation decreases your willpower, making it more difficult to deny fast food.

Reverse effects of poor sleep on exercise

As you know, when you exercise, your muscles break down and they require recovery time. If you don’t sleep, your muscles don’t get the opportunity to recover from the strain.

In the study of ACSM, 12 athletes went without a proper night’s rest. The next day, participants found that while they could engage in mental activities like music, reading, watching movies, etc., they didn’t have enough energy to effectively participate in physical activities.

Yes, nutritional supplements and foods high in protein will help you recover, but nothing can substitute a proper sleep.

Additionally, exercising when your body is tired can lead to unnecessary injuries which ultimately derail your fitness and weight loss plans!

Consistent deep-sleep gives you a fresh start for every day

An active mind and body helps you make healthy diet choices and keeps you energized and motivated to embrace your exercise programme. The Sealy suggestion? Every time you take on a new eating plan or exercise regime, be sure to include at least seven to eight of sleep as a mandatory part of that plan. Healthy diet, exercise and sleep go hand in hand.

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! 

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.

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.

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