Your mattress is an essential part of your everyday life, and you put a lot of thought into selecting just the right one for you. So it can be easy—and tempting—to believe that you and your mattress will be together forever. Unfortunately, no matter how amazing your mattress may be, this is one relationship that must come to an end.
You can expect a good 7-10 years out of a premium mattress, but eventually it will succumb to the wear and tear of supporting your body every night. At that point, it stops providing you with proper support, leading to aches, pains, less-than-stellar sleep—and the need to find a replacement.
But how do you know for sure when you need a new mattress? Here are 10 telltale signs:
1. Obvious sagging
The most visible indication that a mattress needs to be replaced, sagging may as well be an “It’s Time to Replace Your Mattress” sign. It’s also a symptom that applies to all mattress types, as springs break down over time, memory foam gets softer, and the fibers in other materials compress—all of which lead to sagging. Don’t wait for a crater to form in the middle of your bed. Even minor sags of 1-2 inches shouldn’t be ignored, as they can mean a lack of support for the most vulnerable parts of your body.
2. Quite the impression
This one applies specifically to memory foam mattresses and can be a bit tricky to decipher. See, memory foam is supposed to “remember” your body and sleeping position (hence the name)—but only to a certain degree. After you get out of bed, the foam should mostly return to its original position. However, over time the cellular structure of memory foam breaks down, becoming softer and losing its ability to bounce back, aka to support you. If your memory foam mattress has a body impression that stays long after you’ve gotten up, or if the impression is deeper than two inches, it’s time to replace it.
3. The Goldilocks effect
Memory foam mattress owners should also take note if their mattress becomes too hard or too soft. Because of memory foam’s sensitivity to temperature (the reason that many people “sleep hot” on memory foam mattresses), it will become hard over time when kept in a small room, or soft over time when kept in a warm room. This change in firmness can wreak havoc on your comfort.
4. One lump or two?
When the padding within the mattress shifts around over time, you may see lumps in your mattress. This uneven density can mean you’re not supported where you’re supposed to be. It can also cause uncomfortable pressure points. Though lumps are more common with lower-quality mattresses, it can also happen with higher-end mattresses that have run their course.
5. Age is just a number…unless you’re a mattress
Even if your mattress is showing none of the above signs, if it’s more than seven years old, you should apply some scrutiny to it. Most mattresses will need to be replaced after 7-10 years. Even if you think you’re sleeping fine, there’s a chance that you’ve just become slowly accustomed to a less-than-excellent sleeping experience.
6. What a pain
Sleep is a time for your body to recover from the stresses it experienced during the day, whether that’s an intense gym session or too much sitting at your desk. So if you wake up with more aches and pains than you had when you went to bed, your mattress is likely the culprit. Because of the gradual degradation and softening of a mattress’s materials, it loses its ability to provide crucial support for vulnerable areas like your neck, low back, and hips. On top of that, as cushioning gets worn down, it can create painful pressure points. When your back is sagging and springs are jabbing your hips, then waking up with aches and pains is inevitable.
So if you wake up feeling beat up rather than refreshed, chances are your mattress needs to go (this is even more likely to be the case if you wake up with pain and it gets better throughout the day).
7. Up all night
If you can’t fall asleep, or frequently wake up during the night and adjust positions, it could be time to replace your mattress. Of course, other things like stress or poor sleep hygiene can keep you up at night, too. But if you’re tossing and turning into the wee hours, chances are your mattress no longer provides you with the proper comfort and you need a new one. If you seem to sleep through the night but still wake up tired, the same may very well be true.
8. Sleeping for two
One of the more exciting reasons for getting a new mattress is becoming pregnant. Because your body is undergoing so many changes during and after pregnancy, a customizable mattress and adjustable bed is a great choice that will provide support during every stage of the journey. Custom support for side-sleeping will help support your belly and prevent back pain during pregnancy, and can be easily changed back to your usual sleep preference afterward. Plus, an adjustable bed makes getting out bed easier when you’re pregnant. It also makes nursing more comfortable and can help protect abdominal muscles after a C-section.
9. Active allergies
Over time, most types of mattresses can accumulate allergens like mold, mildew, and dust mites. If you’re allergic to these irritants, that means that your mattress will trigger an allergic reaction. So if you notice yourself sneezing when you get close to the bed or a stuffed up in the morning, it’s probably time to evaluate your mattress situation. When choosing a new mattress, consider hypoallergenic materials like wool or latex.
10. It’s not you, it’s me
Sometimes everything is still perfectly fine with your mattress, but circumstances in your own life necessitate that you get a new one. This could be the case if you sustained an injury, lost or gained a significant amount of weight, or have a new bed partner. If your mattress is still in the prime of its life but you’re not getting the support you need anymore, don’t feel guilty about letting it go—just find a mattress donation location near you.
Is it time for a new mattress? The leading consumer magazine just rated ours.
There are a couple oft-cited “epidemics” in America, one being obesity, and the other inadequate sleep. Unfortunately, it’s not just attention-grabbing headlines: according to studies, over one third of Americans are obese, and one third don’t get enough sleep.
The closeness of these two figures may be more than coincidence. A growing body of research shows a strong association between sleep deprivation and weight gain. In a meta-analysis that encompassed 634,511 subjects, both male and female, ranging in age from 2 to 102, researchers found a consistent increased risk of obesity among those who don’t sleep enough.
So what role does sleep loss play in weight gain—and, on the flip side, can quality sleep help with weight loss?
Before a bunch of unhealthy food can cause weight gain, you first have to make the decision to eat that unhealthy food. And there’s a great deal of evidence that sleep plays a major role in deciding whether or not you indulge.
Sleep deprivation dulls activity in the brain’s frontal lobe, which is the region responsible for decision making and impulse control. So when a coworker offers you a donut, you take it, rather than eating the yogurt you so dutifully packed.
What’s more, being overly tired actually makes your brain more interested in junk than you’d normally be. This is because sleep deprivation lights up your brain’s reward center, leading you to seek “pleasurable, rewarding experiences”… such as the nefarious donut mentioned earlier.
In one study from Berkeley, participants rated the desirability of certain foods both when they were well-rested and then again after sleep deprivation. In the state of sleep debt, the amygdala portion of the brain (which is involved in emotions, pleasure and appetite, and an important part of the brain’s reward system) was highly activated. Participants consistently rated unhealthy, high-calorie foods as more desirable than they had when they were well-rested.
The research bears out in real life, too. Sleep-deprived Japanese factory workers are more likely to snack between meals, eat out, and not eat vegetables; Americans who don’t sleep enough consume more sugar and have less variety in their diet; in Germany, inadequate sleep is associated with increased fast food consumption.
And to top it all off, sleep-deprived people also eat bigger portions. Bottom line: sleep helps you resist temptation and make smarter food choices.
Fatigue and fullness
So say you’re sleep-deprived and you splurge on two (okay, three) slices of pizza at lunch. At least you’ll be full for a while and not eat anymore waistline-expanding goodies, right?
Well, maybe not.
Short sleep disrupts the balance of your hormones, including leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is often referred to as the “satiety hormone,” causing you to feel full and suppressing appetite, while ghrelin triggers hunger and plays a large role in initiating eating.
When you’re not well-rested, your leptin levels plummet and your ghrelin levels rise; one study found that subjects who slept for 5 hours had 15.5% lower leptin than those who slept a full 8 hours, and 14.9% higher ghrelin. This means that you’ll not only be eating less healthy, more caloric food—you’ll also feel hungrier and seek food more frequently.
Sleepless and stress-full
Among the many benefits of proper sleep is that it can reduce stress, which, in turn, can help reduce your weight. How? It comes back to another hormone—this time, cortisol.
Cortisol is a hormone that is released in response to stress, and its levels are closely tied to our natural sleep/wake cycles. So when those cycles get disrupted, so do those levels, causing a spike in cortisol in the bloodstream.
This spike doesn’t just make you feel stressed out. Cortisol causes fat to be stored around the organs (especially visceral organs, which translates to belly fat), and also causes fat cells to become larger. Studies have shown that elevated cortisol can cause increased belly fat even in otherwise slender individuals.
You know how not sleeping well makes you feel groggy and lethargic? Well, turns out your metabolism feels pretty much the same way.
When you’re well-rested, your metabolism is a well-oiled machine, efficiently processing the calories that you consume. On the flip side, when you’re in a state of sleep deprivation, your groggy metabolism can’t keep up with your food intake. What causes this breakdown? It all comes down to insulin.
See, insulin plays an important role in helping our body convert sugar into energy for our cells. When our body can’t properly use insulin (insulin resistance) that sugar remains in our bloodstream and eventually is converted into fat. This is the case for those who have diabetes—and, research shows, for those who aren’t getting enough sleep.
One study showed that after just four nights of short sleep, subjects’ ability to respond to insulin decreased by 16%—a difference comparable to that between the cells of obese vs. lean people—and the insulin sensitivity of their fat cells dropped by 30%. The latter is particularly important because fat cells play a crucial role in storing and releasing energy. Meanwhile, insulin resistance in the brain means that insulin can’t do its job of reducing hunger cues.
One report put it in stark terms: “Chronic sleep loss can reduce the capacity of even young adults to perform basic metabolic functions, such as processing and storing carbohydrates or regulating hormone secretion.”
As if your metabolism wasn’t getting a big enough blow from the insulin resistance, there’s this: sleep deprivation reduces the production of thyroid-stimulating-hormone, which is an essential player in proper metabolism. Ouch.
Too sleepy to sweat
Anyone who has tried to slim down or get into better shape knows the importance of regular exercise, as well as how tough it can be to get into a workout routine. To the surprise of exactly nobody, not getting enough sleep makes it much more difficult to achieve this.
It’s intuitive—when you’re tired, you don’t want to go exert a bunch of energy. And studies show that subjects with sleep problems report a significant reduction in their levels of physical activity. What’s more, the increased ghrelin and decreased leptin levels associated with sleep loss mean an overall reduction in energy expenditure.
And if you do drag your tired butt to the gym, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle to keep yourself there for a full workout. Sleep deprivation increases your perceived exertion and increases the likelihood that you’ll cut your sweat session short.
Sweet dreams for good genes
Your lifestyle is a huge factor in determining your weight, but the fact is that genetics also play a role. This can be super discouraging to those who are working hard to eat right and work out but still can’t lose the weight because of a genetic predisposition to a higher BMI.
However, research shows that adequate sleep can reduce the influence your genetics have on your weight. In a study of identical twins that looked at BMI, genetics, and lifestyle factors including diet, exercise, and sleep habits, they found that the BMI variations in those who slept adequately were less dependent on genetics. However, those who slept less saw 70% of their BMI variations come from hereditary factors.
The final word
From the food you choose to eat, to how your body processes that food, to your workouts, to the relative impact of all of these components, sleep influences every aspect of your weight. Diet and exercise may get more press, but science has made it increasingly clear that sleep is the essential third pillar of fitness.
So if losing weight, getting fit, or just maintaining a healthy BMI is one of your resolutions, getting enough shut-eye needs to be as well.
Interested in the latest ways a good bed can help you sleep? Read more here.
With increasing interest in health and better sleep, among both millennials and baby boomers, more people are upgrading their mattresses. Usually that means a king size. In keeping with this trend, the mattress industry has moved to provide more options. Here’s an overview of what’s currently out there, starting with King and working on down to Twin.
KING SIZE, a plethora of choices
King size is the most popular choice for master bedrooms. This category has the most options, from sizes to special configurations or shapes. You’ll find king mattresses that are a little longer, ones that are built to allow separate movement on a power base and ones that are somewhere in the middles.
STANDARD KING, 76”W x 80”L
Pros: A king mattress provides an extra 16” of width (or 8” per person) more than a queen, for a more comfortable and less-crowded sleeping experience, particularly if you put the extra width between you. It is essentially the same size as two twin mattresses. Also great option if you have pets or children who like to climb in bed with you. Cons: Heavier and requires more room than queen size beds.
CALIFORNIA KING, 72”W X 84”L
Pros: At 84” long, California King mattresses are perfect for taller persons or anybody who wants more length in their mattress. It gives each sleeper 6” more sleeping width than a queen size bed. California King mattress size is nice for use with an adjustable base, because it provides extra length even with the head and foot elevated. If you’re taller or have a pet who likes to sleep at the foot of the bed, California King is a good choice. Cons: Takes up more space than a queen size, less width than a Standard King.
SPLIT TOP KING, 76”W X 80”L
Also referred to as a Split Head King and a DreamTop™ King, this is a newer entry into the market. Pros: It is built for use with a power adjustable base, with a split in the head section of the mattress about a third of the way down. This allows separate movement of head portion of the bed, which is the section that has the largest range of movement. The idea is to give an option to couples who like to cuddle while sleeping without the seam of a Split mattress. The foot of the bed, which rises less than the head, can still be operated separately, but is one piece. Cons: This bed requires special sheets, which can be harder to find, but are sold by some manufacturers who offer this mattress size, including Reverie.
SPLIT TOP CALIFORNIA KING, 72”W X 84”L
Also referred to as a DreamTop™ California Split King. Same as Split Top King above, except for the size, which is 4” longer and 4” less wide. Great for taller couples who like to cuddle while sleeping but who want the comfort options that a power base provides. Also good for couples whose pet sleeps at the foot of the bed.
SPLIT KING, 38”W X 80”L
(Two mattresses used side by side, for a total size of 76”W x 80”L)
An innovative newer option, Split King beds are made for use with power adjustable bases. Pros: They are great for couples who have different preferences for firmness in a mattress. They’re good for couples with different sleep preferences or schedules, allowing each partner to sleep in a different position, or one partner to read elevated while the other sleeps flat. They’re also nice for people who have different body temperatures; for instance, the partner who sleeps hot can opt for natural latex and the partner who sleeps cold might like a memory foam option. With a split king, you each get your own fitted sheet and can either sleep with one big flat sheet, or get your own completely different twin sheet sets and blankets, if one of you is known to steal the covers. If the power base has a massage function, each partner can use that separately, too, without disturbing the other. Cons: People who like to cuddle while sleeping sometimes find the seam down the middle bothersome.
SPLIT CALIFORNIA KING, 36”W X 84”L
(Two mattresses used side by side, for a total size of 72”W x 84”L)
Pros: A Split California King mattress gives ample space and length to each sleeper. When paired with adjustable bases, Split California King beds offer more comfort choices for couples who have different preferences in mattress firmness, sleeping positions or who keep different sleep schedules (see Split King description above). If the power base has a massage function, each partner can use that separately, too, without disturbing the other. Cons: People who like to cuddle while sleeping sometimes find the seam down the middle bothersome.
QUEEN, 60”W X 80”L
Pros: Queen mattresses are nice for couples with moderately sized bedrooms, bigger guest rooms, or couples who just like to sleep close together. Allows significantly more space than a full size mattress, with an extra 6” of width and 6” of length. This is also a good option for taller single sleepers who like to more space while sleeping. Cons: For couples with a bigger sleep footprint, queen size mattresses can feel cramped. A King mattress would give them an extra 12-18” of space.
SPLIT TOP QUEEN, 60”W X 80”L
Also referred to as a Split Head Queen and a DreamTop™ Queen, this mattress is built for couples with moderately sized bedrooms who want to maximize the comfort of their adjustable power base. Pros: Each partner can enjoy separate movement on his or her sides of the bed, sleeping or watching tv in different positions or perhaps using the bed massage function (or not). The top section of the mattress is split about a third of the way down, allowing separate movement of the head portion of the bed (which is the section that with the largest range of movement). The foot of the bed, which rises less than the head, can still be operated separately, but is one piece. Couples can sleep and cuddle in the middle comfortably. Cons: This bed requires special sheets, which can be harder to find, but are sold by some manufacturers who offer this mattress size, including Reverie.
SPLIT QUEEN, 30”W X 80”L
(Two mattresses used side by side, for a total size of 60”W x 80”L)
An option that is still available but starting to fall out of fashion. Split Queen beds are made for use with power adjustable bases. Pros: They allow individual movement of the bed for both partners, accommodating couples who have different preferences in a mattress in terms of firmness, sleeping position, body temperature or schedules. Cons: Splitting a smaller mattress all the way down the middle means having your separate territory can feel cramped at a width of only 30”. People who like to cuddle while sleeping sometimes find the seam down the middle bothersome. Sheets can be hard to find.
FULL, 54”W X 74”L
Full mattresses are great for tiny studio apartments, small guest rooms, single sleepers or children who need more space. Provide extra 16” of width over a twin and allows one sleeper to spread out comfortably as long as they aren’t too tall. Also, if you have a vintage bed, most of them are full size; people used to be smaller decades ago. Cons: At only 27” per person, full mattresses are a tight fit for two and they can be too short for some. There are no split power bases available for this size.
STANDARD TWIN, 38”W X 74”L
The smallest size mattress out there that can still fit an adult. Pros: Twin mattresses are the longtime standard size for kids, teenagers, bunk beds, trundle beds and daybeds. They are economical and fit most standard bed frames. Cons: It’s not a ton of room and most people outgrow them by the time they are adults. Obviously this mattress is only meant for one person.
TWIN XL, 38”W X 80”L
Twin Extra Long mattresses are great for teens’ bedrooms, college dorm rooms and small apartments. They don’t take much space, yet are suitable for young adults and guests that are too tall for regular twin beds. Cons: Even though they add 6” of length over a Standard Twin, they are the same width as a regular twin size mattress and still feel cramped for many adults.
Which is right for you?
Every person and every couple is different, so this advice is not absolute. Due to space considerations, we didn’t complicate things by talking about how, with Reverie, you can also get different firmness on each side of the mattress, even if they’re not split. Should you like to learn more about that, give us a call at 888-888-5990. We hope this detailed information has been helpful. Sleep well!
Every company in the industry talks about how great their beds are. But, as in most of life, independent verification is a good thing. Particularly when it comes to your bed. If you’re taking care of your health, you spend about a third of your life in your bed. What materials went into it? Are they safe? Have they been rigorously tested by reputable outside sources?
At Reverie, that answer is yes. An obsessive yes, in fact. We are truly dedicated to bringing you a happy, healthy bed. So we aggressively pursue certifications and reviews that are meaningful. Here’s a thorough guide to what outside sources say about our mattresses, power beds and linens.
Consumer Reports magazine
See what Consumer Reports had to say about our DreamCell® mattress here.
Women’s Choice Award® - Eight Times
The Women’s Choice Award is based on surveying women about products they own and would recommend. Since women are the primary shoppers for home items, this carries special significance when it comes to bedroom furniture. Over 96% of women surveyed would recommend their Reverie power bed to a friend. And over 98% of women who own our full sleep system (i.e., both the mattress and the power base), would recommend them to a friend. We’ve won the award for our power bed (aka power bases) every year since 2012 and the award for our sleep systems since 2016.
OEKO-TEX® Standard 100
Truth is, in the real world, many products can’t be manufactured fully organically and still be functional or reasonably affordable. Which makes OEKO-TEX Standard 100 especially relevant … in real-world terms, it’s basically the next best thing to organic. OEKO-TEX Standard 100 is rigorous about safe levels of substances like chemical flame retardants, pesticides, formaldehyde, colorants and allergic dyes. It also restricts chemicals like formaldehyde and VOC emission levels. OEKO-TEX Standard 100 means a product was tested for over 700 harmful substances through independent labs. In many cases, their standard is more stringent than legally required. They also regulate substances that scientific data show may be harmful but aren’t yet legally banned.
In another show of toughness, OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification is not awarded unless all components of the product meet their standards. In the case of a mattress, that means the foam, the outer cover, the threads used in quilting, the zippers–i.e., when they say everything, they mean everything. And the closer to the skin or the younger the intended user, the more stringent the standards. OEKO-TEX also insists on criteria regarding environmentally-conscious production.
Reverie is proud to have OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification for all the natural latex components of our Dream Supreme™ mattress lines, including the foam springs and comfort layers.
This certification comes from a nonprofit group that monitors the foam used in mattresses, whether it’s latex, memory foam or some other polyurethane. A versatile and far-reaching certification, CertiPUR-US monitors foam for toxic and carcinogenic materials within the foam itself like lead, formaldehyde, mercury, unsafe flame retardants, etc. CertiPUR-US certification also means that VOC levels (sometimes referred to as off-gassing) are low and within safe ranges. Lastly, CertiPUR-US certifies foam for manufacturing practices that look out for everybody’s future; namely, they strictly prohibit any chemicals that contribute to ozone depletion.
Reverie has CertiPUR-US certification for the memory foam used in our Hybrid mattresses as well as our RevTek™ polyurethane foam.
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
GOTS is for fabrics, and it’s the strictest level of certification—meaning no toxic stuff can pass through here. It’s recognized around the world as the leading processing standard for organic textiles, defining criteria that cover environmental, health, and social concerns. A GOTS certification gives the consumer a worldwide guarantee of quality.
There are two classes of GOTS certification: “organic” and “made with X% organic.” The only difference between these two classes has to do with the proportion of organic fibers in the material. A product carrying the “organic” label has more than 95% certified organic fibers, while “made with X% organic” has at least 70% organic fibers.
There are also restrictions concerning what the other 5% or 30% can contain. Certain additions—like formaldehyde, heavy metals, chlorine bleach and polyurethane—are strictly prohibited. For additional safety and authenticity, all organic fibers must be kept separate from conventional fibers during production. And there are corporate responsibility requirements as well: manufacturers must adhere to a number of standards regarding environmental stewardship and fair labor practices.
Reverie uses certified organic GOTS materials for our organic linens as well as our organic pillow covers.
Intertek® Quality Performance Mark (QPM)
This is a little-known - but brutal - durability test for mattresses. It basically involves abusing them repeatedly with a giant, heavy roller. We are proud to carry the Intertek certification on all our mattresses, so you can be certain they will provide you with proper support for ten years, and likely well beyond. In addition, we also have the Intertek QPM designation for having met their rigorous flammability standards.
UL-962 is the U.S. standard for home furnishings, certifying that safety standards for electrical, flammability and injury risk have been met. Again, they don’t take anybody’s word for it. Furniture is tested by a nationally recognized and accredited independent lab, ETL.
All Reverie power beds (aka, adjustable power bases) have been certified to standard UL-962.
Reverie power beds are:
FCC-certified to meet safety standards for electromagnetic interference.
SIG-certified for any Bluetooth® modules we use. SIG is an independent organization that certifies that products meet all Bluetooth requirements.
UL-listed for linear actuators. Underwriters Laboratory is a premier certification organization for electronics.
Power bed durability testing
Even though it isn’t required for power beds to be sold, our standards are high. We have the most strenuous electromechanical load durability testing in the industry. Our standard weight limit across all Reverie power beds is 850 pounds, which includes the weight of the mattress and anybody/anything on top of it. That’s up to 200 lbs. more than most of our competitors.
A final word on certifications
We are all citizens of the same planet, and Reverie is committed to protecting it. We firmly believe that healthy materials, quality parts and safety in design are integral to a restorative sleep experience. Durability is incredibly important as well, and we stand by all of our products with strong warranties. You can rest easy on a Reverie bed.
The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIF, Inc. Any use of such marks by Ascion LLC is under license.
Here's what people are saying about Reverie out in the big wide world in 2018, with our most recent press coverage first. Click the link to read the story.
Reverie CEO in Active Times
Martin Rawls-Meehan discusses high tech sleep with this fitness-focused blog.
Our CMO discusses sleep with Credit.com
Reverie's Chief Marketing Office Lisa Tan talks New Years resolutions and weight loss.
We went to CES, the prestigious Consumer Electronics Show, for our first time ever. And we made quite an impression with our technology and our mind-control bed.
Innovation and Tech Today
Their assistant editor checks out our mind-control bed and interviews us on video at CES.
A top tech magazine gives us their CES Editor's Choice Award.
Innovation and Tech Today magazine gave us their Editor's Choice Award for 2018.
Check out our CES video.
Sleep tips with Tech Republic at CES.
Video sleep tips from our CEO, Martin Rawls-Meehan.
Our CEO talks about our smart bed with Tech Republic.
Learn how reading your brain waves will lead to better sleep in the future.
He said, she said. Venus, Mars. The battle of the sexes isn’t limited to waking hours. When you don’t get your way in terms of sleep, it usually means less sleep. Which leads to to more crankiness. And then all bets are off, grrr.
How do both of you happily coexist in the same bed? If you sleep differently, the answer could be a split king adjustable bed. A Split King has two twin-size mattresses that can be raised and lowered separately on top of one king-size adjustable base.
Here’s our handy guide to some of the top bedtime relationship issues a Split King could help resolve.
He snores, she doesn’t.
44% of all men are habitual snorers. Thankfully, Split King adjustable power bases have one of the greatest features ever developed for womankind: the Anti-Snore position. Raise the head of his side of the bed, and usually that locomotive roar will subside. Settle flat on the other side of bed and, ahhhh. Can you say #bliss?
She needs to check emails, he wants lights out.
Even though we strongly advise against it, we know many of you work in bed, arrgh. If you must, at least allow the saner partner some peace. You can dash off some late-night emails with a fully raised head and support under your knees to hold that laptop or tablet. Meanwhile, your partner can adjust to whatever sleep position works best, perhaps lying flat on his side. He can avoid all that bad blue-screen light and enjoy all that sleep you should be getting, hint, hint.
He sleeps one way, she sleeps another.
Side and back sleepers often enjoy a little elevation. Stomach sleepers, not so much – flat is best. In an adjustable bed, to each his or her own. No need to compromise. There are also different positions that help alleviate pain and allergies. If you have a sore back, you can sleep in Zero Gravity position, while he fights his allergies with a raised head. Or if you’re pregnant, you can sleep flat on your side, while he nurses that ankle sprain with elevated feet.
She sleeps like a nomad; he sleeps like a rock.
If one of you moves a lot while sleeping, it doesn’t have to disturb the other’s sleep. The small divide in the Split King keeps your partner from rocking your world in ways that you do not appreciate. It’s like hanging a Do Not Disturb sign on your side of the bed.
The infinite number of positions achievable in a split adjustable king can also help to alleviate many medical conditions like restless legs and keep both partners sleeping comfortably.
He gets up early, she sleeps in late.
Many power foundations have programmable massage features or raise-to-wake alarms. If the adjustable base is well-designed, you can enjoy either feature (or both) without the vibrations or moving parts disturbing your partner. Some also have nightlights under the bed, allowing you to hit the bathroom or even make a late-night fridge run without disturbing your partner. How considerate!
She’s cold, he’s a furnace.
Or vice versa. For many couples, it’s not a matter of fighting for the blankets, it’s fighting off the blankets as well. With a Split King, one of you can pile on extra twin blankets on your side of the bed, the other can forgo blankets altogether and sleep with a lightweight organic cotton sheet.
One caveat: if you’re a maximal cuddler, a Split King has a very small gap between the two mattresses which some people find less comfortable. If that’s the case, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons, i.e., cuddling versus crankiness. The gender gap can be further accommodated with a mattress that can be customized in firmness on both sides for each of you.
All in all, a Split King has some big advantages that can promote harmony, increase the amount of restful sleep you both get and work well for most couples. We wish you luck bridging the divide and sleeping happily ever after. For our obsessive explanation of what a Split King base is, click here.
Summertime brings longer days and more sun. Light pours in the windows, and that feels good to nearly all of us. Until we’re trying to get a full eight hours of sleep and the light wakes us up at 5:30 am. Light is a well-known enemy of sleep. Thankfully, we’re not entirely at the mercy of the sun (or headlights or neon signs). There's a wide array of light-filtering, room-darkening and blackout window treatments currently out there to help. Here are the major options, along with what to think about when choosing.
Some companies make filtering liners that can be attached to the curtains you already have and love. Perfect and easy; right? Well, not so fast. You need to find a size that’s the same length and width as your curtains. Easier said than done. If the liners aren’t wide enough, you’re still letting light in, and they look funky during the day. If they’re too wide, there’s more aesthetic weirdness to deal with, with white liners hanging out from behind your curtains. If the liner isn’t the same length, you’ll also see it prominently silhouetted every time you walk by, like a black slip under a white skirt. Even if you own a sewing machine, you likely have better plans for your weekend than spending a couple hours measuring, hemming and attaching curtain liners.
We also found the “convenient” attachment devices on these blackout curtain liners aren’t all that convenient. Some are too bulky or difficult to attach, or don’t stay put. Some have sharp metal hooks that could ruin drapes made from delicate fabrics. Others don’t work well with the spacing of big grommets. Maybe you’ll be lucky, and not to have to deal with any of the above issues. But chances are … you won’t.
An economical choice, and they don’t need to match the width of your curtains. They come in both light filtering and room darkening. Hanging them is simple, but the process of having them cut to size can be painful, especially if you don’t have an old shade to take to the store for matching the length. A recent roller purchase took us four trips to the hardware store for trimming. Measurements need to be spot on, because it’s a custom (i.e., nonreturnable) cut. If you go even 1/8” too short, the shade will pop out every time you pull it, and you’ve wasted your money. However, once you get the perfect size, roller shades do filter light quite nicely and are reasonably cheap.
Minor down side? The shades are about a half inch smaller all the way around the window, so light creeps in around the edges. Roll-up shades also don’t come in sizes for really big windows. Typical length available in-store tops off at about 72”. Btw, vinyl roller shades are best pulled up when not in use, because they’re unattractive. And why darken the room if you’re not sleeping?
Ready-made blackout curtains
These are another economical choice, and also easy. Pros? Blackout curtains are widely available and do a pretty good job of filtering light. Most home stores carry at least some light-filtering curtains. When choosing, be aware that the amount of light filtered can vary widely depending on the product. Try holding the curtains up to the light in the store to see whether they filter light or block it. The more light they block, the better for sleeping. Besides, you never know when you’ll be tempted to take an afternoon nap. Blackout curtains also are thicker than other curtains, meaning they can be more energy efficient and also help to block outside noise.
Cons? The heavier material can necessitate sturdier (i.e., more expensive) curtain rods. But the biggest drawback about blackout curtains is a blatant case of the uglies. They either don’t drape very well or tend to look cheap and synthetic. The only ones that didn’t offend our inner interior designer were ones that had light blocking linings. Choices of these are limited at affordable price points, especially if you want colors beyond beige or prefer patterns. You can try making lined panels yourself (time-consuming but easy if you do clip-on curtain rings!). This option can still wind up being pricey, though. Cheapest blackout lining we saw was $6/yard, and that’s before you pop for the outer curtain fabric. Home décor fabric is typically wider and stronger than apparel fabric. Which means it costs more.
Made-to-order curtains and blinds
These work well, look great, and there are lots of options. Roman blackout shades, roll-up bamboo shades with blackout liners, gorgeous fabrics in rich and soul-satisfying colors. Internet and local stores that make them aren’t hard to find. But be prepared to part with a major chunk of change, even if your windows are small. Prices start around $200 per panel and go up (and up!) from there. If you opt for blinds or shades, consider the new ones with cordless mechanisms that prevent kids and pets from getting tangled and possibly choking.
Motorized window treatments
These are among the newest “smart” home items, They have all the pros of the more traditional blackout items we covered above, with one huge additional benefit – they allow you to wake to glorious natural light in the morning without leaving your bed. You can program the shades to automatically rise in the morning and lower at bedtime, and you can also operate them manually from your smartphone anytime. As you might expect, these come with an equally huge con: a 36” window starts around $300. Ouch. Other down sides? They’re either battery operated or have a power cord. So you’re either dealing with a lot of batteries to replace or extension cords, unless you’re lucky enough to have outlets right under all your windows. These are also more functionally complex than a curtain rod and therefore more likely to malfunction.
Room darkening rod from CrateandBarrel.com.
Blackout curtain rods
Even with blackout curtains, light can peek out from the area between the curtain and your wall. Some manufacturers have recently come up with a new room-darkening curtain rod style that wraps around at the corners, blocking even more light. Prices are in line with other typical rods on the market, and they’re not hard to install. If you’re really sensitive to light, these are a good addition to your room-darkening arsenal.
It all depends on your budget and your taste. After looking at all the options, we decided to make our own lined blackout curtains at some future date. Too cheap to spend the money on custom treatments, and too picky to settle for beige or ugly. We installed end-wrap curtain rods in anticipation and room darkening roller shades to tide us over. They’ve definitely helped with sleeping longer in the morning, though we do miss waking up to natural light. Good luck in making your own decision, but don’t procrastinate. Every moment of sleep is precious, and this is one way to make a big difference in your sleep hygiene immediately. Sleep well!
As kids, we were excited about summer vacation. No school. No homework. Just relaxing and fun for three months. Fast-forward to you being the parent; summer vacation is not as exciting. Without school, what are your kids going to do all day? Sleep the days away and stay up all night? Without the structure of school, your kids’ sleep schedules can be completely nonexistent during the summer months unless you seize control. Our summer vacation sleep guide for kids can help. Below you'll find some ways to keep kids on a sleep schedule while still allowing them to enjoy their vacation.
Set a summer bedtime.
Because kids don’t have anywhere they need to be every day, they would stay up all night if they could. But just like during the school year, kids need a bedtime. Set a summer bedtime and a wake-up time, too. It is okay to let your kids go to bed later and sleep in a little, but within reason. Setting these times is a way to make sure they don't stay up all night and sleep their days away.
Every parent knows that kids somehow tend to have so much energy come bedtime. To help them get to sleep, give them a late-night snack that promotes sleep. Foods like cherries, strawberries, tomatoes, and milk contain melatonin, which is what the body naturally releases when it is tired. Assisting the body into its natural state while sleeping can help your kids fall asleep faster.
Keep them active during summer vacation.
Help them sleep by getting them involved in summer activities. There are camps that will keep the kids active during the day – great for them and handy if you work outside the home. Also, you can send them to a summer camp that focuses on a specific activity, like a sport or performing arts; ask your friends on FB for some reccos. Summer camps usually have the schedule and structure that is similar to a school schedule. Keeping your kids busy and active during the day can tire them out, so they are wanting to go to bed at night and can wake energized.
Muggy nights. The enemy of sleep.
While getting ready for sleep, the body releases melatonin and the body temperature decreases; making the bedroom cool can help the body cool off faster. Sleeping in a cool room during the summer months can be a challenge, depending on where you live. Running your air conditioner all night is not your only option. Because the temperature drops at night, opening a window to get a nice breeze can be all they need. You can also use a fan on low to circulate the cooler air around the room. Between 60° and 68° is an ideal temperature range for sleeping.
Traveling with kids. Oh, the joy.
Traveling tends to mess up everyone’s sleep schedule, especially when traveling to a different time zone. To help kids cope better, try keeping their naps and bedtimes the same as if they were at home. This may help avoid the possibility of having a whiny, tired child because they didn’t get enough sleep. You can bring something that your child sleeps with at home, like a stuffed animal or blanket, which can make sleeping more comfortable for them. Also, plan your summer vacation travel times so that you're in the car (or on the plane) during naps and bedtimes, which can make traveling with a child easier and quieter.
Summer vacation can also bring an increase in sleepover invites. Sleepovers can be one parent’s night off, but another parent’s nightmare. Sleepovers usually mean all-nighters, never-ending sweets, and cranky kids afterward. If you are the hosting family, set rules for things like last call for snacks and bedtime. Making the kids go to bed and cutting off sweets can lessen the chance of all the parents having sleep-deprived children to deal with for the next few days. If you are the parents with the night off, you should prepare for a sleep-deprived child the next day. Try foregoing sweets the day afterward, because chances are your child overloaded on sugar during the sleepover. Also, allow a short nap, if necessary, and then get them to bed at the normal time. The sooner you can get your child back on schedule, the more you could shorten your time dealing with an ornery child.
Back to school.
About two to three weeks before school starts in the fall, begin adjusting the bedtime to allow for a full night’s rest with the designated wake-up time during the academic year. Every day, move their bedtime up by 15 minutes until you have reached your goal time. This slow transition will make getting up earlier easier for them and you.
When it's summer, sleep is usually the first thing everyone foregoes to fit in as much fun as possible. We hope that these suggestions will make sure that your kids have the energy to enjoy every minute of their summer vacation and also to help you cope.
Who doesn’t love a good night’s sleep, let alone an entire month celebrating it? That's why we're publishing a month's worth of tips to help you sleep better with only minor changes to your daily life. Here's to Better Sleep Month, and to sleeping your best year-round. You deserve it.
Better Sleep Month Tips
Sleep Tip #1:
When sleeping on your back or side, a medium height and slightly firm pillow works best to support your neck and head. On your stomach, a soft, flat pillow is best. Quality pillows are designed to keep your spine aligned while you sleep, which can mean more comfort and more sleep.
Sleep Tip #2:
By mid-afternoon, you feel the crash coming, and you reach for another cup of coffee. Caffeine is a proven stimulant, and that afternoon pick-me-up may be keeping you up longer than you’d like. Limiting your caffeine intake to before 2 pm gives your body time to calm down before bedtime.
Sleep Tip #3:
Falling asleep with the TV on or using your phone while in bed don’t seem like a big deal, right? Wrong, actually. The blue light from electronics suppresses your body’s natural production of melatonin. By cutting off all electronics 30-60 minutes before bedtime, your body naturally knows it's bedtime.
Sleep Tip #4:
Set a bedtime routine. Repeating it every night will put your body on a consistent schedule, making it easier to get up and go to sleep.
Sleep Tip #5:
Outside light can shine into your bedroom, preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep. Too much light makes your body think it’s time to wake up by interfering with your circadian rhythms. Investing in blinds or curtains that are designed to block out those lights puts you in charge of your sleep schedule again.
Sleep Tip #6:
Our body temperatures naturally decrease at night and produce melatonin, telling us it’s time to sleep. Keeping the bedroom cool helps that process happen faster, which can help you fall asleep faster. Recommended temperature is between 60° and 68°F.
Sleep Tip #7:
Working out during the day gives you the boost of energy to make it through the rest of your day. Doing so in the evening helps tire you out, so long as you complete your workout a couple of hours before turning in. By bedtime, your body is ready for rest. Working out a few times a week may even negate the need for an afternoon nap. But, hey, if you want to take a short nap, obviously, we approve.
Sleep Tip #8:
A small snack before bed isn’t a bad thing if you choose the right one. Greasy foods make you sluggish in the morning. Sugary foods, particularly processed ones, raise your blood sugar and energy levels. Foods like cherries, tomatoes, walnuts, olives, barley, strawberries, and milk contain melatonin, which can help you fall asleep.
Sleep Tip #9:
Your bedroom should be a sanctuary, a place for you to relax and reconnect with your partner. Having distractions in your bedroom (cute as they may be), makes it less peaceful because your focus is not on resting anymore. Cuddling and storytime are great. Working, gaming, jumping on the bed, dog tricks ... not so much. Give yourself the space to retreat, unwind and rest.
Sleep Tip #10:
That middle-of-the- night wakeup call that cannot be ignored, getting you out of your warm bed and then making it hard to fall back asleep. Just like kids are limited on consuming beverages close to bedtime, you should do the same. Uninterrupted sleep is the goal year-round, not just during Better Sleep Month.
Sleep Tip #11:
A hot bath or shower is a good feeling after a long day’s work. The hot water helps relax your muscles and puts your mind in bedtime mode. Doing so about two hours before bed gives your body temperature time to cool down. Adding some aromatherapy can enhance your relaxation.
Sleep Tip #12:
The walls make the room. Bright colors may look nice and energizing, but they don't create the best ambience for sleeping. Your bedroom should be inviting and peaceful. Painting in neutral, calming colors can promote sleep.
Sleep Tip #13:
Sleeping with your socks on may not sound alluring, but it could help you fall asleep faster. Warming your limbs increases dilation of the blood vessels, telling your body it's time for bed. Wearing socks that aren't too thick and are made from natural fabrics works best.
Sleep Tip #14:
Chamomile has many health benefits, but the most common is for sleep. It is a relaxing, non-caffeinated herb. Drinking a small cup of chamomile tea before bed can help ease pain and get your body ready to sleep.
Sleep Tip #15:
That cocktail or glass of wine before bed may help you get to sleep, but it may also be the reason you can't sleep through the night. Alcohol can disrupt your REM cycles. Avoid drinking any alcohol 3-4 hours before bed and drink more water instead. Don't drink any beverages right before bed, though, as noted in Sleep Tip #10 above.
Sleep Tip #16:
Aromatherapy uses the healing powers of scents to balance your mind, body and spirit. Pure essential oils are diffused into the air or rubbed on pressure points to help you relax, relieve stress, and promote better sleep. Some popular scents with calming effects include lavender, chamomile, ylang-ylang, and jasmine.
Sleep Tip #17:
In with peace. Out with drama. Meditation sounds easy enough, right? Thinking about tomorrow’s to-do list or worrying about a problem can keep you awake night after night. Being able to completely clear your mind can help you sleep better. Find a quiet place where you can spend time meditating before you go to bed.
Sleep Tip #18:
Smoking has quite a few health risks, and your sleep is one of them. Because nicotine is a stimulant, smoking throughout the day keeps nicotine in your system, making it harder to wind down and stay asleep through the night. The only good news on this subject? From the moment you stop smoking, your body goes into healing mode.
Sleep Tip #19:
Living in a city can be nice and convenient. And loud. Or maybe you have an air conditioner blasting outside your window or a snoring spouse. Noise interferes with sleep. Listening to the sounds of nature can be relaxing and helps to block outside noise without disturbing your sleep. You can also try soft music or white noise.
Sleep Tip #20:
“Five more minutes,” she says as she hits the snooze button. Those five extra minutes can be doing more harm than help. If you fall back asleep, when the alarm goes off in five minutes, you will be groggier than you were before. And if you set it repeatedly, you're robbing yourself of extra sleep for those minutes. Set one alarm and get into the habit of getting up as soon as it goes off.
Sleep Tip #21:
Scary, suspenseful or emotional movies or books should be avoided at bedtime. Leave the thrillers and murder mysteries for earlier in the day or a weekend afternoon. Not to mention, lighted screens are bad for sleep, as noted in Tip #3. Instead, find a book that is a lighter read (or a book you’ve already read), so it's a little easier to put down at bedtime.
Sleep Tip #22:
Naps. Just the word brings joy. But most of us struggle with knowing how long is too long. If the nap is too short, you wake more tired than before. If it's too long, you may be too awake for bedtime. 30 is the magic number. A 30-minute nap can help you feel refreshed and get you through the rest of your day.
Sleep Tip #23:
The arrangement of furniture and objects in your bedroom can affect your quality of sleep as well as your energy when you wake. Following the principles of feng shui can help you relax and also change your perception of your bedroom into one of a peaceful retreat.
Sleep Tip #24:
As you sleep, your body works to regulate your body temperature. All- natural sheets allow better circulation. Organic sheets are also all-natural but made to higher, healthier standards. There are many fakers trying to imply they're organic, so look for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) seal. Sheets made with synthetic fabrics tend to trap heat and sweat, which can breed bacteria and lead to sleeping hot.
Sleep Tip #25:
Wearing a sleep tracker to bed can tell you how many times you tossed and turned, plus how long you were awake throughout the night. Tracking your sleep is easy, with many trackers on the market to choose from, and can help you make the necessary changes to get a full night’s sleep.
Sleep Tip #26:
Acupressure is similar to acupuncture but less invasive. It involves applying pressure on the body or massaging certain points to help with various ailments. Practitioners believe it balances energy and health, helps with circulation, and relieves pain. Using essential oils during acupressure can enhance its effects and the experience, too.
Sleep Tip #27:
It's not fair when your partner is fast asleep and you're wide awake because of his or her snoring. We have a solution that is better than kicking them out of the bedroom. Sleeping at an angle of 7°-8° or higher helps with snoring. Elevate with pillows or an adjustable power base. This position is also good if you have acid reflux.
Sleep Tip #28:
Going to bed with tomorrow’s to-do list and other things that are stressing you out can keep you up at night. Writing things down can help you let them go or remember what needs to get done tomorrow. Keep a journal near your bed so you can write everything off your mind and sleep peacefully.
Sleep Tip #29:
There are many natural remedies that are thought to improve sleep, though more study is needed to conclusively prove cause and effect. Other than chamomile, herbs that may help you get some shuteye include valerian root, lavender, lemon balm, hops, passion flower and St. John's Wort.
Sleep Tip #30:
A messy bedroom is the last thing you see at night and the first thing you see in the morning. Cleaning your bedroom can be therapeutic. Having a space that is clear of clutter helps you avoid the stress caused by visual overload, helps you to feel like your room is under control and puts your mind at ease.
Sleep Tip #31:
Better Sleep Month has been all about giving you a month's worth of useful tips to help you sleep better. Sometimes, though, poor sleep can be the result of an underlying medical condition. Speaking with your doctor can help diagnose the problem. The sooner you find out what is wrong, the sooner you can be on your way to getting the great sleep you deserve.