Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sleep Cycles Revisited

We were reading another blogger, who favored sleeping less then 7 to 9 hours at night.  And we investigated it some.  While most adults sleep 7 to 9 hours, some people prefer to split up their sleep.  We need 5 to 6 sleep cycles per day, and it seems they do not have to be contiguous. 

There are alternative sleep patterns we can use, but keep in mind it takes time to adjust to these new patterns.  In a nut shell, it takes between 90 and 110 minutes to completely cycle through sleep.  From Stage 1 through REM sleep.  So it is conceivable to break the daily sleep required into 5 or 6 parts.  Each of these parts can be spread across the day, allowing the practitioner to sleep only 90 minutes at night.  But this also means naps need to be scheduled through out the day. 

As an example, one could schedule a prime sleep time of 2 hours at night.  Following this that person would then be awake and alert for just under 5 hours.  Then a 90 minute nap, followed by just under 5 hours of wake time.  This would continue for the entire day, or about 5 repetitions.  If that schedule were followed, there would be the correct amount of sleep.  Other scholars have proposed other systems, the key to all of them is that we sleep 7 to 9 hours a day.

So why do most of us do all our daily sleep at night?  We believe it is because, with the exception of the 20th and 21st century, lighting was poor or non existent at night.  Unlike nocturnal animals, we do not see as well at night as we do during the day.  From that stand point it makes sense to sleep when it is difficult to do anything else.

Hannah's Better Beds, World Headquarters


With the advent of artificial lighting, things have changed.  If you are in a room with bright light, and it's mid night, do you realize it's dark?  Because of artificial lighting, we could adjust our sleep habits.  But keep in mind, there is energy savings to follow a more traditional pattern.  Some times you just can't find a better way...  Electricity to power the artificial light, and environmental adjustments, like A/C in the afternoon to simulate night.  You would also have to invest in room darkening shades to accomplish good sleep during the day.

All of our research tends to point out that as long as you get the gross amount of sleep required to be healthy, it really doesn't matter when you get it.  So be yourself! 

Sleep Well!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

For children, today and tomorrow may be the toughest night in the year to sleep.  The song that says visions of sugarplum dance in their heads seems to sum it up.  But remember parents:  It is important to help foster a good sleep routine.  And have a great Christmas.  Sneak in after they do fall asleep and look at their faces, there is nothing quite so beautiful.

¡Feliz Navidad!  Geseënde Kersfees.  Gëzuar Krishtlindjet.  Շնորհավոր Սուրբ Ծնունդ:  Eguberri.  З Калядамі.  শুভ বড়দিন  Весела Коледа.  Bon Nadal.  圣诞节快乐  聖誕節快樂  Sretan Božić.  Veselé Vánoce.  Glædelig jul.  Gelukkig kerstfeest.  Feliĉa Kristnasko.  Häid jõule.  Maligayang Pasko.  hyvää joulua.  Joyeux Noël.  feliz Nadal.  შობა  Frohe Weihnachten.  Καλά Χριστούγεννα  Καλά Χριστούγεννα  חג המולד שמח  jwayeu Nwèl.  मेरी क्रिसमस  Boldog Karácsonyt.  Gleðileg jól.  Selamat Hari Natal.  Nollaig Shona.  Buon Natale  メリークリスマス  ಮೆರ್ರಿ ಕ್ರಿಸ್ಮಸ್  메리 크리스마스  ວັນຄຣິດສະມາດ Merry.  Verbum Caro.  Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus.  Linksmų Kalėdų.  Среќен Божиќ. کریسمس مبارک Merry Krismas.  God jul.  Wesołych Świąt.  Feliz Natal.  Crăciun fericit.  С Рождеством.  Срећан Божић.  veselé Vianoce.  Vesel božič.  Krismasi Njema.  மெர்ரி கிறிஸ்துமஸ்  మెర్రీ క్రిస్మస్  เมอร์รี่คริสต์มาส  Mutlu Noeller.  З Різдвом.  میری کرسمس  Mừng Giáng Sinh.  Nadolig Llawen.  לעבעדיק ניטל

How ever you say it, however it is written, have a great one!  And always remember to...

Sleep Well! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

The 12 Days of Sleepmas

Let's just have some fun, it's that time of year!

On the first day of Sleepmas,
My true love gave to me a Comfortaire bed.

On the send day of Sleepmas,
My true love gave to me 2 Gold Label Pillows,
and a great Comfortaire bed.

On the third day of  of Sleepmas,
My true love gave to me 3 hundred thread count sheets,
2 Gold Label Pillows,
and a great Comfortaire bed.

On the fourth day of Sleepmas,
My true love gave to me a 4 foot body pillow,
3 hundred thread count sheets,
2 Gold Label Pillows,
and a great Comfortaire bed.

On the fifth day of Sleepmas,
My true love gave to me 5 extra hours (of sleep).
a 4 foot body pillow,
3 hundred thread count sheets,
2 Gold Label Pillows,
and a great Comfortaire bed.

On the sixth day of Sleepmas,
My true love gave to me, a 6 inch pillow top,
5 extra hours (of sleep).
a 4 foot body pillow,
3 hundred thread count sheets,
2 Gold Label Pillows,
and a great Comfortaire bed.

On the seventh day of Sleepmas,
My true love gave to me,
7 silk PJ's,
a 6 inch pillow top,
5 extra hours (of sleep).
a 4 foot body pillow,
3 hundred thread count sheets,
2 Gold Label Pillows,
and a great Comfortaire bed.

On the eighth day of Sleepmas,
My true love gave to me,
8 undisturbed hours,
7 silk PJ's,
a 6 inch pillow top,
5 extra hours (of sleep).
a 4 foot body pillow,
3 hundred thread count sheets,
2 Gold Label Pillows,
and a great Comfortaire bed.

On the ninth day of Sleepmas,
My true love gave to me,
9 bed time books,
8 undisturbed hours ,
7 silk PJ's,
a 6 inch pillow top,
5 extra hours (of sleep).
a 4 foot body pillow,
3 hundred thread count sheets,
2 Gold Label Pillows,
and a great Comfortaire bed.

On the tenth day of Sleepmas,
My true love gave to me,
10 Lullabies,
9 bed time books,
8 undisturbed hours,
7 silk PJ's,
a 6 inch pillow top,
5 extra hours (of sleep).
a 4 foot body pillow,
3 hundred thread count sheets,
2 Gold Label Pillows,
and a great Comfortaire bed.

On the eleventh day of Sleepmas,
My true love gave to me,
11 sleepy time teas,
10 Lullabies,
9 bed time books,
8 undisturbed hours,
7 silk PJ's,
a 6 inch pillow top,
5 extra hours (of sleep).
a 4 foot body pillow,
3 hundred thread count sheets,
2 Gold Label Pillows,
and a great Comfortaire bed.

On the twelfth day of Sleepmas,
My true love gave to me, 12 Quiet relatives,
11 sleepy time teas,
10 Lullabies,
9 bed time books,
8 undisturbed hours,
7 silk PJ's,
a 6 inch pillow top,
5 extra hours (of sleep).
a 4 foot body pillow,
3 hundred thread count sheets,
2 Gold Label Pillows,
and a great Comfortaire bed.

Sleep Well!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tragic

While this blog is all about sleep, we find some things transcend that purpose.  Please pray for the victims and families of Sandy Hook Elementary School.  What a horrible time for this to happen.  Is there no sanity left in this world?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sleep Between Your Sheets

Today let's talk about sheets.  We all have had that favorite set that we use until it falls apart.  And it seems hard to find sheets that feel as good.  We look at thread counts, some of us look at the fabric content, and some of us look at the weave pattern.  We believe there are four things important in a good set of sheets.

First, thread count.  It is supposedly true that high thread count sheets are the best, right?  But what is thread count?  Thread count is simply how many threads occupy one square inch of the fabric.  Simple enough?  But wait!  Is the yarn one ply or two or three or more?  Are they counting plies, or individual threads?  The answer is it depends.  There are no regulations on thread count.  One manufacturer might offer a 300 thread count sheet, another 600, but they may be the same sheet.  If the 300 thread count sheet counts yarn fibers, and the other counts plies and the sheet is 2 ply, then 300 times 2 is 600.  And there is nothing illegal about either count.  We believe some high thread count sheets are counting plies to fool the public, and while not illegal, to us is immoral.  There is one thing you can be sure of, if the thread count is over about 1200, they are counting the plies, so look for the ply on the package and divide that into the thread count to get the true thread count.  Suppose you are at a trade show, and there is a hawker selling sheets with 800 thread count for a mere $30.  Trust me, he is counting plies.

Second is the fabric material itself.  Is it all cotton?  What kind of cotton?  Two important questions.  Some manufacturers have put synthetic fiber blends out.  These blended sheets are good for two things, giving the sheet a no iron quality, and reducing the over all cost of the sheets.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, true cotton sheets are going to be the softest. 

What kind of cotton, did you read right?  Absolutely.  Cotton comes in many varieties, and not all cotton is created equal.  As a general rule, the longer the fiber, or as the call it in the industry, the staple, the longer the sheets will last, and they will tend to be softer.  Many manufacturers will use the term 'long staple' on the label.  If you don't see that, assume it is not long staple cotton.  There is another way to know if the cotton is in the higher quality plateau, look for Pima cotton, it is among the best in the world, and it is grown right here in the United States.  Supima cotton is a marketing association for manufacturers using Pima cotton, and paying to license the Supima brand.  To the consumer Supima has high standards, and this is a very good thing.  There are very good sheets out there that do not invest in the Supima branding.  Why?  To save expense, or because they are using imported cotton.



Have you heard about Egyptian cotton?  It's supposed to be good isn't it?  It can be, but to call something Egyptian cotton is not unlike calling sheets from US cotton American cotton.  Its nice to know where the cotton came from, but there are still different varieties of cotton.  Good Egyptian cotton rivals Pima in quality, but how do you know what variety they used?

Third, we have the weave pattern.  Sateen weave is the softest weave.  Percales are not as soft, but they come out of the dryer with less wrinkles.  There are some others, but Sateen and Percale are the two major weaves.  If you prefer softer sheets, choose Sateen.

Fourth, and we touched on it earlier, but we believe where the cotton is grown, and where the cotton was processed does make a difference.  Not in quality, but in keeping our neighbors employed.  There are great sheet makers in Pakistan, India, and China.  They source there raw materials globally, some perhaps use US cotton.  We do recommend you look at the label, and just be aware of the country of origin.  Even Pima sheets can be finished in other countries, remember the Pima cotton is grown in the US, no guarantee it wasn't exported.

A little complicated just for sheets huh.  Well to boil it down, look at thread count, look at weave pattern, look at the length of the fiber, all should be on the label.  When you find a good set, also take a moment to look at the country of origin.  Buy the set that is the best quality, but know where they come from.  There is one final thought.  My Grandmother always said, "you get what you pay for."  Manufacturing costs being somewhat equal, the price of raw materials being somewhat equal, the price on the package can sometimes give insight into the quality inside.  $30 sheet sets will cover your bed, $100 sets will feel so much better.  The only way to reduce cost, is to reduce quality.  Don't look at one part of the four here, you won't find that next great sheet set.  Look at all four, and your chances are much better.

Sleep Well!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Better Sleep is the Best Medicine

I want to start off by saying sorry for the time between posts.  It is after Thanksgiving, and our retail business is like others, busier now than most of the rest of the year.  Through the end of the year these post might be a bit longer than what we would like, please bear with us.

Our store is next to a pharmacy, and they are our good friends.  In fact the owner has purchased one of our beds.  Throughout this post, make sure you understand that doctors and medicine are important parts of a your health.  In no way are we discounting that.  In previous posts we always recommend that you talk to your doctor.  That being said, we do believe that sleep is overlooked in a healthy life style.

I have known people who get up at 4:30 AM to go to the gym, because their life is so busy.  That is not necessarily bad, but remember sleep hygiene and schedule that trip.  To give up the proper amount of sleep can be detrimental to what you are trying to do at the gym.  Sleep is when our bodies recover from activity, and when our minds retool for the coming day.  To avoid sleep will make the workout less effective than it should be.  Nature and biology have us set to sleep for 7-9 hours each night; that can not be changed in the short term.  So in this example, if you go to bed at 11 PM and get up at 4 AM your sleep cycle is incomplete, if that is when you can exercise, then keep in mind your bed time is around 8 PM.

Modern medicine has done amazing things since the early 1900s.  Doctors know more now than ever before in the history of man.  Pharmaceuticals are coming through the pipeline at amazing speeds.  Research by drug companies has helped us to live longer and be more productive.  Our expected life span is well over the 63 years of 1935.  However, sometimes I think we rely on science to solve things that may not be a problem if we took a holistic approach to our health.  For example, I remember my grandmother telling me that her doctor called Chiropractors 'bone crackers' and she would never go to one. 

Most people today see a place for chiropractors in the health care system, some insurance even pays for chiropractic care.  Chiropractors generally try to help health issues through proper alignment of the skeletal system of our bodies.  That is a pretty natural approach.  And while there are limits to what chiropractors can cure (like the common cold), at times their approach is successful.  And chiropractors do not prescribe medication, making what they do pretty natural.

It is our opinion that while there certainly is a place for medication, that place is in emergencies, or when all other things have been tried.  Some medical professionals are way to eager to prescribe for a problem, rather than take the time to try other things first.  They make the same either way.  Drug companies are sales organizations, they stay in business by selling their products to the general population, but patent drugs have to be prescribed, and because of this their sales force visits doctors all the time, touting the benefits of their products.  It is natural for the doctors to then think first of medications, the really good doctors still want to try other natural things first.



Drugs can interfere with normal sleep.  Which then need more drugs to encourage sleep, it's a catch 22.  Many ills, especially skeletal ills can be helped by proper sleep on a good bed.  Like ours, so here comes the ad:  Comfortaire will align your body in good posture as you sleep, reducing tossing and turning, promoting productive sleep; and helping to reduce back pain, especially morning back pain.  And the individual adjustability of Comfortaire insures that both partners have their optimal sleep surface, it's like two beds in one.

Talk to your doctor, perhaps a dietary change, or even a mattress change may help what ills you, without drugs.  But please keep visiting our neighbors, they work real hard for their customers!

Sleep Well! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving and the Holidays

Before we get to sleep during the Holiday Season please let us first thank you.  The reader, who if not reading would make this pointless.  Thank you!  To our small business, Hannah's Better Beds, who makes it possible to write this.  And thanks to our family who put up with a crazy business owner.

If you have read these blogs, you will know that sleep is best when it is on a regular schedule.  Often times in this season that is very hard, bordering on impossible to keep a regular schedule.  The good news is that we can survive!

The key is to try.  Not everyday is too crazy that we can't be on our schedule, the days when we go over the hills and cross the river, will challenge, but by keeping a regular schedule at other times, and the fact that for the most part we want to be there will help our bodies cope with the stress.

And don't forget the kids, the more regular their schedule, the less likely they will be cranky at grandmother's house.  They will be looking to you for leadership, help them rest sufficiently to really enjoy the season.

A nice short blog today, but we wish you a Happy Holiday.  Thanksgiving is a truly unique American Holiday, let it bring us together as a culture and a nation.  But, no matter what holiday you observe, may it bring your family closer together and foster the love that all families deserve! 

Sleep Well!



Friday, November 9, 2012

Politics and Sleep

This past Wednesday night was probably the best night sleep President Obama got in a number of weeks.  We are sure it was better than the challenger, Mitt Romney.  Sleep is affected by our waking lives.  It is a natural thing.

Conversely, we suspect that Monday night may have been the worst nights sleep either candidate got, because of the stress levels of a National Campaign.  Again it is just nature.  Our bodies and minds react to our lives.  We can perform in times of stress and sleep deprivation.  However, when the stressful time is ended, it is important to get good sleep.

On the campaign trail, there were nights that the candidates slept on planes, or trains, or buses.  There were different hotels every night.  There were events, some of which went well in to the night.  There was little concern given to a sleep schedule, there isn't enough time.  And yet, we the voters require that they look youthful, and full of energy.  The key here is to get productive sleep.  By knowing there is an end to the campaign, our bodies can often allow us to push a little harder.  And we are sure there was some scheduled down time for each to relax.  In our everyday lives, except in stressful times, we should schedule our sleep.  Going to bed and waking at the same time helps us to sleep productively.

Controlling our sleep environment also helps that sleep productivity.  The environment includes things like the bed we sleep in, the linens, and the room temperature.  It also includes even the color of the walls and window treatments.  Most important of all may be how much ambient light is in the room.  We have all heard for instance that President Obama is the first "Blackberry" President.  He likes to carry and keep in touch with his smart phone.  Which is great, as long as it is not on and in the room, when he is sleeping.  The light from the screen could disrupt sleep.  If it rang it would obviously disrupt sleep.  At the very least turn off the ringers and turn it over to block the light.

Noise levels in general are an important consideration.  In the candidates case, aides may be in the next room, making calls while the candidate tries to sleep.  In our case, our room may be on a road with cars and or trucks passing by.  It is important to control the noise level in our rooms.  In either case a noise canceling appliance may help to create white noise and ensure a more suitable environment for sleep.

Consider your bed as well.  An adjustable firmness bed, like Comfortaire, will help make the mattress, at least, familiar every night.  It will also help maintain posture as we sleep.  Our store would love to help these men sleep better!  But you do not have to be a President to get a great nights sleep on a Comfortaire bed, all you have to do is stop by our store.

And while the President probably slept well on Wednesday, the stress of his job will cause sleep disruption that Mitt Romney will not experience moving forward.  As we deal with loss, and compartmentalize it, our sleep patterns will become more normal again.  The stress is over, security is much lighter, than for a candidate.  We once drove by a house in Plains, GA, the home of then ex president Carter.  The secret service solution to noise cancellation... Build a big wall between the house and the street!

Sleep Well!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sleep Your Way


Your Number One Comfortaire Exclusive DealerThere are three positions that people sleep in.  Sometimes we all wonder which position is best.  Let's just put the statistic on the table:  around 70% of people in the US sleep on their side, 10% sleep on their stomach, and 20% sleep on their backs.  That is interesting to me as a mattress sales professional in that most people coming in to our store test beds on their backs.  Our preferred position seems to be ingrained in to our minds, it is very hard to change.  This blog entry wants to not promote one position or another, we feel that instead we need to talk about what we can do to make each position better by using body mechanics to lessen the stress on our skeletal system.

Side sleepers have the least amount of surface area on the sleep surface.  And the most amount of profile, that is the curves of the human body.  Our hips and shoulders are more pronounced on our side than on our back or stomach.  The surface you sleep on should accommodate those curves to effectively enhance your sleep posture.  This will be a bit counter general thought, but side sleepers should look for a some what softer sleep surface than back or stomach sleepers.  The softer surface will allow your hips and shoulders to indent the surface more, encouraging better posture.  Side sleepers are the ones who appreciate pillow tops, as pillow tops help deflect more pressure from our bodies, and soften the surface.

Back sleepers, roughly 20% of the population, have the most surface sleep area on our mattresses.  Because of this, the amount of pressure per square inch of sleep area is less.  But back sleepers still need to consider how they sleep on their backs.  Our bodies are not intended to be a straight line, there are normal curves which need to be taken in to account.  Back sleepers should shop for their mattresses by paying attention to their lower back.  If you feel a push in the lower back, the mattress you are laying on is too hard.  Our muscles work to keep our spine in the proper alignment.  If the bed is too hard, it will push the hips up relying on the muscles, particularly in our lower back, to compensate and align our spines.  Over use of muscles will cause pain.  Back sleepers need to also look to their knees, again the knees will be stressed if they are too straight, consider a small pillow under them to give them a slight bend.  Like with the side sleepers, too hard of a bed will cause it to not conform properly to your body, and that too will cause pain.  Too soft or too much pillow top will cause your back to sag, and that will cause lost sleep and pain.

And the stomach sleepers... Most doctors, osteopaths, and chiropractors recommend against sleeping on your stomach.  However in otherwise healthy people, it is not as bad as you might think.  Stomach sleepers do need a firm surface with no pillow top, or very slight.  And, this is important, the legs should never be straight.  A slight bend in one leg will help encourage your body to be in a good posture.  Stomach sleepers also do not need nor often times desire a pillow.  Pillows will throw the neck out of position, it is not comfortable and can cause neck pain.

Minor tweeks to the way you sleep is often easier than to try a complete new position.  And can eliminate some early morning neck and back pain.  We do not normally sleep in the same position all night.  This has to do with the pressure of the sleep surface against the body.  In most cases our bodies will sense the build up of pressure, when it reaches a certain point, we will roll over.  When we ask the question:  Which sleep position do you prefer?  Often we are met with quizzical looks, some people do not know what their sleep position is, because they toss and turn all night.  Your preferred sleep position is that position, which when you go to it, you fall asleep fastest.  If you plan for and shop for that preferred position, you will get a better bed.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know there are 4 major types of sleep systems in the US these days:  Coil springs, Memory Foam, Water, and Air Technology beds.  To be fair, our store concentrates on the last one, Air Technology, we feel it is the most responsive to our bodies and, it allows two different people to adjust the sides individually keeping both in the same bed, and that is a good thing. 



Our store is a Comfortaire dealer, and we believe they are the highest quality out there today.  There are others like Innomax, and Sleep Number, but Comfortaire is the oldest of the air bed companies, their design is the first mass market design, and was copied by others, with minor changes to avoid patent infringement.  As prices of materials have gone up, Comfortaire has managed to maintain quality with slight price increases, rather than holding the price static and cheapening the inside of the mattress. 

And of the two major players in the air technology business, Comfortaire generally has lower prices on similar beds.  Which means they are a better value.  If you are inclined to look at Air Based sleep products, ask to see the inside of the bed.  Comfortaire trains their representatives to offer a look inside, the others generally discourage it, but will show the customer, if asked.

Quality is a base pad, it keeps the Air Technology from moving too much and stretching the cover, making the bed last longer.  You will not feel anything different, at least for a number of years.  Quality is good controls.  Good controls are those that work when you need them too.  Wireless controls require a battery, wired do not; wired seem to get better quality ratings, and they are real hard to lose.  Quality is good fabrics.  The fabric on top will help determine how well you acclimate to the bed.  Fabrics can cause you to sleep hot.  Lower quality fabrics can stretch.  Quality is good foams.  How long your bed lasts depends on how good the foam is as well.  Lower quality foams will indent sooner and performance will sag. 

Sleep Well!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sleep and Babies.

Read this article today: Welcome to the five star sleep spa! Hotel holds 'enforced relaxation' weeks where exhausted parents can recuperate.  And realized that this is our times... Kind of sad, but even raising children seems to be hurting our sleep.

We have two children, and a grand child; we know about the sleep disruption they cause.  But isn't this a little over the top?  I suppose with all the two earner families out there that it can be stressful.  Perhaps the single parents are in similar straits, however, in the past family has always been there for a break.  But we are in the 'me' world of the 21st century. 

Perhaps by setting regular bed times for the child, these parents could anticipate some relaxation.  By planning meals at the right time and taking advantage of when the child sleeps, they could better their position.  Too often we believe that children are treated as small adults.  Ever see how many strollers there are in the local mall after 8 PM? 

And perhaps worse is the lesson we are teaching our children.  Sleep is relegated to lesser status than other activities.  And we wonder why kids are obese?  We starve them at school.  We keep them up too late.  They do learn from us... Let's take a pledge to teach them well, then watch them soar!

Two things are important to us, children and sleep.  Children are the future, sleep makes sure the future is secure.  Sleep like the future depends on it, it really does!

Sleep Well!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The World Series, or How to Sleep Like a Champion!

We are baseball fans, its what we do in St. Louis.  They call us Cardinal Nation, and when our beloved Birds make the post season the town goes red!  So Go Cards!

So how do we sleep like champions?  Sleep is one of the most important things we do every day that influences our quality of life from the beginning, to the end of it.  When we are babies, nature and parents make sure we get enough sleep, when we grow older we some times make decisions that affect the amount of sleep we get.  Those decisions can determine how long you will live, and the quality of your life.

First set a schedule for sleep.  Make sure it is the same hours all 7 days of each week.  It doesn't matter if you want to wake up early and go to the gym, or read the paper, but keep that schedule.  Occasional variations are OK, but occasional would be less than a couple times every month.  We would suggest to take your waking time and subtract 7 to 9 hours to arrive at a bed time.  Regardless of when you arise, make sure you have plenty of quality sleep time.

Second, make sure your room is sleep friendly.  What is sleep friendly?  Sleep friendly is a room that screens out external light.  It is a room that is at a good sleep temperature.  And it is furnished with a great sleep surface (like Comfortaire, its what we do...).  Consider the wall color by choosing a color that is restful.  Make sure that there are no light sources to interrupt your sleep, like cell phones, computers, TVs and the like.  Make sure the sound level is conducive to sleeping.  If you live on a noisy street consider heavy drapes or a white noise device to filter out the noise.

Third, consider what you sleep in.  Make sure it is louse fitting and comfortable.  This includes the bedding.  Natural materials like cotton are a great choice. 

Fourth, make time to snuggle.  It is something we all need to be a complete human.  But it should not interrupt the amount of time we are in sleep mode.  It is one of the two things that should occur in the bed room.

Fifth, take time to wind down before your bed time.  Avoid stimulants, or depressants that would impact your sleep.  The Cardinals, when they won the Wild Card Game, had champagne, but most of it went all over the room! 



These five things can make you a sleep champion, and although there is no big blingy ring for being a champion, you might find yourself more productive when awake.  Productivity should find your wallet getting fatter, so splurge on the bling yourself!  Oh and hey St. Louis... Its OK to watch the Cardinals, this will be the one off variation, OK?

Sleep Well!

An Apology

When we started this blog, our goal was to write 2 to 3 times a week on sleep.  It has been too long since our last, and we are sorry.  We do not take you, our readers for granted, it has just been a bit busy around here.  Now check out the next entry for today's blog!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Why Can't I Get Comfortable on My Pillow?

Ahh pillows, they support our heads in soft bliss as we sleep-- well maybe not always.  A pillow is integral to your sleep especially for side sleepers.  But how do you know what pillow to buy?  That is one of the great mysteries of our time.  Today I was scanning TV and saw an infomercial for pillows, and it was the inspiration for this post.

There are many types of pillows available.  Down, a natural fill with good resiliency and softness.  Synthetic down, usually a polyester fiber these days has similar resiliency, less softness.  Memory foam a very heavy pillow that conforms well to your head, but may also retain heat.  Buckwheat pillows, another heavy pillow that is said to conform well, and has some fans.  Latex pillows, these come in a couple ways either one piece or shredded, these tend to be the hardest pillows.  There are many more types of pillows, I am sure, because we keep looking for a better one.

The thing is, there are some good ones out there now.  No one pillow will be perfect for all people.  I have even seen a marketing ploy where they 'fit' a pillow by using two different parts to make the whole.  There are some novelty places that will stuff your pillow right in the store.  What is the mystery of a great pillow?

First, the fill material is not important.  Rather it is the quantity of that fill and how you feel when you are on it.  Few of us are exactly the same size.  Men tend to have broader shoulders than women.  Women generally have longer necks.  There is not a one size fits all pillow.  So we go in to a department store, discounter, linen store, or specialty store and look for the best pillow.  Yet from what I heard this morning we all over the course of our lives own 50 pillows.  That's a maximum of 2 years per pillow.  Sometimes it is more like 2 weeks.  And still we are enamoured with the next great pillow to come along, I was even compelled to go to the infomercials web site to check it out.



So what is the answer?  It is important to get high quality ingredients.  If you choose memory foam as an example, consider the foam inside the pillow.  All the different fills come in different quality levels.  Consider the cover of the pillow, is it pleasant to touch?  Consider shopping stores that let you test drive the pillow.  Bed stores are a great place.  Lay on a bed, preferably close to the bed at home, and feel the pillow as it supports you.  Great stores will help you to 'fit' the pillow to your body, much like a good shoe store.  At the very least make sure there is a return policy, so if it doesn't fit, you can return it.  However, understand that a returned pillow is often thrown away, or donated to charity and you owe it to the merchant to try to get it right the first time.

Sleep correctly on the pillow.  A pillow is not designed to support your shoulders.  It is designed to support your neck and head.  By keeping your neck in good posture, it will make sleep much more enjoyable and healthy.  It may even help eliminate snoring.  It is probably good to shop for a pillow with a friend.  Ask them to judge how straight your neck is while you lay on the pillow.  A pillow can take the stress off your neck, if it fits right.  And like the mattress, it is all about posture.  The closer you can get to normal waking posture, the better the pillow will help you sleep. 

The cover is important because it is what we actually feel as we lay on it.  There are different materials for this as well.  If you choose down as a fill, make sure the cover is down proof to keep the down in the pillow.  When you find a really good pillow and it feels great, protect it.  Buy a pillow protector.  A pillow protector is like a mattress pad, it is washable and will help keep body oils and moisture out of the pillow, extending the life of the pillow.

Once you have found your pillow, it's time to maintain it.  Make sure the pillow can be laundered.  Most can, it just depends on the how the materials were prepared.  Learn how to fluff a pillow properly, don't just beat it.  Make sure , if you have a pillow protector you launder the pillow a couple times per year.  Without a protector, at least once a quarter to remove oils, moisture build up, and keep dust mites under control.

Finally, and this is something my Irish Grandmother taught me, you get what you pay for.  The pillow manufacturers are very competitive and the only way to find a cheaper pillow is if it is a cheaper made pillow.  It will not last as long.  And if you find a great pillow, shouldn't it last a long time?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Brain Sleep

Sleep is when our bodies regenerate.  But do we need as much sleep as when we were younger?  What if we just relax in a quiet environment?  Can we function without enough sleep?  The answer seems to depend on what you want to do. 

In tests of sleep deprivation, cognitive skills seem to be the most affected.  But even in severe cases, cognitive functions still happened, just not as effectively as when there is proper rest.  Speech might be slurred, reaction time may be delayed.  We know this to be true because for years regulators have been trying to insure that truck drivers get the proper amount of rest.  They have found that when a truck driver drives too long he or she is more likely to have an accident.  the debate seems to be what is the right amount of sleep for optimum performance.  The laws have changed over the years as sleep science has progressed.  Consider yourself now.  If you do not get enough sleep will you be optimum?  Or will it affect your career? 

There are certain things that happen during sleep.  Each of the sleep stages helps to regenerate different areas of our bodies.  The less you sleep, the longer you stay in stage one, so the less time you have for the rest.  People who do not get enough sleep tend to not be as creative.  If you have a fast food or factory job, perhaps that won't matter as much, but even there, the best way to move up the ladder is by offering insight in to making the job more efficient.  With out enough sleep, you will not be able to.  If you are in customer service or office jobs anywhere, you rely on creativity to perform your job.  Finding the right solution for your customer is where you and your company profit.  Too little sleep would seem to hurt that ability.  Doctors, especially residents, are notorious for lack of sleep.  Kind of scary isn't it.



The time required to regenerate is pretty constant.  So it would seem you cannot 'train' yourself to need less sleep.  To ignore the need for sleep can only affect your health and career, it doesn't seem worth it.

As we discussed before, different people need different amounts of sleep.  The differences are based on age as much as anything else.  An infant as example will sleep 12 hours per day.  That gradually scales back as the person ages and in adulthood we need 7 - 9 hours of sleep.  For brief periods we can function with less, but not for the long run.  In 1900 the average adult slept for an average of 9 hours per day.  It would seem to explain why a lot of advancement occurred around then.  Things like the light bulb, car assembly lines, and other manufacturing improvements happened in this point in history. Think Thomas Edison, or Albert Einstein, both made their mark through the middle of the 20th century, growing up in a time where proper sleep was the norm.

Why nor err on the side of caution and try to get good sleep?  Regular bed and wake times, and enough to regenerate our bodies.  Will you take the pledge?

Sleep Well!

Monday, September 10, 2012

This post is not about sleep, maybe it is in a way.  It is about lost sleep, and it is about hope that it will never happen again.

All wars are fought over one of two things.  It is always about either territory, money, or both. Do you remember where you were when the current war began? When the planes flew into the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and was crashed in that Pennsylvania field by every day hero's? We are at another anniversary of that event, September 11.

I was at work. On the Monday prior to this, I was at a meeting in the headquarters of the company I worked for in Nashville, Tennessee. I was packing out my suitcase, and was in a hurry, so I didn't have the TV on. As I loaded the suitcase into the car some people started talking to me. Which is a little odd in a big city like Nashville. They asked me if I saw it. I said, no what happened? A plane hit the World Trade center they said. For some reason I went back to my room and turned on the TV. News coverage was on, at first they thought it was a horrible accident. But as the cameras were trained at the crash site, another plane came into the frame and flew right into the second tower. My jaw dropped. At that instant I knew we were under attack. The American way of life was in peril. Most of us, Americans just want to be left alone, we have no ill will towards anyone. Perhaps our Government is a different story, but every day Americans are doing what most peoples are trying to do, make a living. Tears started to flow. I sat on the end of the bed for hours watching the coverage. At some point I guess I realized that my way of life was being threatened. And I remember making this promise to myself, I don't remember if I said it out loud, however, I was not going to let the bastards win. I took a few minutes to compose myself, then I went out to the car, I had sales calls to make. It was the hardest day of my life. But my life went on.

My kids were 16 and 20 years old, they and my wife were 500 miles away. Each mile closer to home had a certain apprehension. Was there to be more attacks? Where would the next one be. I do remember feeling some security in that President Bush, at least at first did what I was doing, his job. He was reading to some elementary students, a political event, but he didn't stop right away, that gave me some calm. I never understood, how later that would be seen as uncaring. For weeks or months after, I was worried that there was another attack coming. 

Now at the 11th anniversary of that attack, the mastermind is dead. Life is still not normal in our country, but is closer. Maybe it will never be like it was on September 10th, but I hope it will be. It is in living the way we wish to live that causes those who would attack us to stay on their heels. It is the retaliation, the eagles rage, that will keep us safe. Some day, in the future, my great grand children will ask their grandparents "what were you doing on September 11th 2001?" And they can answer, I was in school, learning, and living my life.

Let us not forget. Let us honor those who died, and those who risked their lives to rush in and try to save lives. Let us remember so that if it happens again we can be sure that we will survive, and thrive. Liberty assures that.

Thank you for your patience.

Sleep Well!

Friday, September 7, 2012

We Win!

This is going to be a blog that we pat ourselves on the back.  It is hard, as growing up I was taught to be humble, but I also have learned that it is OK, because it isn't bragging if it is true.  Today we randomly selected 19 of our customers that bought a Comfortaire bed from us.  They came from all around us, Cisne, IL to Metropolis, IL, to right here in Chesterfield, MO.  We have sold to customers as far away as Richmond, VA and Michigan.  We are proud of our ability to provide value in offering a great technology, at a fair price.  We were just a bit apprehensive, after all the 400 store chain that is our largest competitor and manufactures the product they sell, should offer a great value as well.

We pushed on.  We took those 19 random sales and went to their web site.  We used comparable beds based on over all height and amount of comfort materials (pillow top).  Our most popular selling bed is a bed they don't have anything like.  See Comfortaire is an innovative company, a few years ago they introduced a much shorter air chamber technology.  To date Comfortaire is the only mass producer of that technology.  Just like in 1981 when Comfortaire introduced their 6 inch cotton latex 24 gauge air chamber, no one else used it, at first.  Our biggest competitor started producing their beds around 1987 using a 6 inch cotton latex air chamber.  That's why Comfortaire calls this chamber the Original Design chamber, often copied.  If you have not tried a Comfortaire 3.5 inch chamber you really do owe it to yourself to try it, it is amazing!



So you might ask, what were the results?  Here is what we really are proud of.  Over all results showed that on average we saved our customer about $1059 on their purchase.  And over all our sales were priced 34.73% less than the comparable bed at their web site.  Click here to see the full results.  We added the mattress price to the delivery fee, then compensated for any free stuff either company was offering.  We worked hard to make this a fair comparison.  Not one of our customers paid more than they would have at the mall.  The smallest discount was 11.9%, the largest was 48.51%.  Yet the mall stores sell a lot of mattresses, and usually with a the "greatest sale ever" tag line.  Good for them! 

The bottom line is, if you are looking for great air technology, at least check our store out.  We might surprise you on our quality and price.  That is what true value is!

Sleep Well!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is supposed to affect over 22 million people.  Many people are not sure what it is, so they actually do not know if they suffer from it.  Perhaps it is time to set out a little information, but keep in mind, if you suspect you or a loved one might have Apnea, please get the proper help.  Sleep Apnea if left untreated can lead to heart issues, diabetes, and even accidents.  The primary reason for this is that those who suffer do not sleep properly.  Sleep Apnea interrupts the sleep stages resulting in things like drowsy driving and affects the overall health.  It can also cause death when asleep.

Let's review the stages of sleep.  Stage 1 is that point when you might feel alert, but you are drowsy and your body is preparing for sleep.  Stage 2 is the early light sleep, during Stage 2 a loud noise will awaken you, however your brain waves are slowing.  Stage 3 is when Delta waves start, although there are still other brain waves present.  By Stage 4 Delta waves are almost exclusive, this is sometimes called deep sleep.  The last stage is REM.  During REM breathing becomes more rapid, irregular and shallow, eyes jerk rapidly and limb muscles are temporarily paralyzed. Brain waves during this stage increase to levels experienced when a person is awake. Also, heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, males develop erections and the body loses some of the ability to regulate its temperature. This is the time when most dreams occur, and, if awoken during REM sleep, a person can remember the dreams. Most people experience three to five intervals of REM sleep each night.

Sleep Apnea interferes with this healthy sleep cycle.  And that interruption will affect our memories and the ability of our body to recharge.  This is why health issues may develop.  REM in particular can affect learning and memory.  Some researchers have found a link between obesity and poor sleep.  Students may not be able to learn as easily.

In 1900 nearly all Americans slept 9 hours each night.  Today about 30% sleep 6 hours per night.  If you add sleep apnea to the mix, many more are not getting proper sleep.  This runs the risk of massive proportions.  Which is why we need to get a handle on Sleep Apnea.




It is very treatable.  In mild cases something as simple as a better bed may help.  Sleeping slightly elevated may help mild cases.  For the worst cases a doctor might prescribe a C-PAP machine to keep air flowing into the lungs.  We would like to suggest that even in those cases, a good bed or elevation might help as well.  There are Sleep Clinics popping up every day, and if you suspect Sleep Apnea, check with your doctor, doctors can be your best resource.  Do not ignore the symptoms. 

Sleep Well!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sleep 101


Ah sleep. Sleep is the time to relax our bodies, refresh, re-energize and recoup from the day. For most of us, we see sleep as a time when nothing of consequence happens. Today, though, sleep researchers would claim otherwise. That we do use our brains while we sleep. And the quality of sleep matters.

So what happens to our bodies as we sleep? Is the process consistent? It is, which makes the first question easier to answer. We all know intrinsically if we had a great night's sleep, or not. It is the 'not' that can negatively affect our entire day. Everything from lethargy, to concentration difficulties. Scientists have found that lack of sleep can shorten our lives. Yet many doctors have limited education in sleep science. Until recently, some medical schools have not even required course work for graduation. WE NEED TO SLEEP, IT IS NOT AN OPTION.

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Neurotransmitters in the brain control our sleep. While we sleep we experience five sleep stages. It will take up to 2 hours to cycle through these stages, after which the cycle repeats itself. Stage 1 is that time when your eyes want to close, but if a noise happens, you will wake easy, this stage is preparing our bodies to sleep, systems are shutting down. Our eyes may still move during stage 1, however in stage 2 that movement stops. Our brain's activity slows down considerably from stage 1. During stage 3 delta waves appear. Our brains are asleep. The lowest brain activity occurs during stage 4, sometimes called deep sleep. It is very difficult to wake someone in stage 4 sleep. During stage 4 there is no evidence of muscle or eye movement. The final stage is REM sleep. REM sleep is characterized by rapid eye movement, and rapid breathing. Heart rate and blood pressure increases. Muscles are temporarily paralyzed which means we cannot move, tossing and turning disrupts REM sleep. And we dream. Age will determine how long we stay in the various stages, as well as the total hours of sleep needed to produce quality.

That is why your sleep surface is important to your over all health. When we sleep bad, it affects more than mood, or concentration. It can affect other things as well, such as weight control, and the ability to learn and function at peek levels. So that being said, the first thing to consider is your mattress. Innerspring manufacturers build their mattresses to last approximately 10 years. After that, the support is not where it needs to be and our sleep can be disrupted. They know that our bodies change over time, so 10 years is the optimum time to provide value in their product. Foam is a little better, it reacts to your body, and can last much longer, but it still is unable to change dramatically over time. Air sleep, like the mattresses by Comfortaire, allow for changes to occur as needed, thus making the bed the longest lasting value in the market today.

Sleep Well!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Healthy Backs Need Good Posture





Posture is the position we hold our bodies in which most effectively balances us against the force of gravity. We need to practice good posture to help remove stress from our joints and maximize the effects of our muscles. The better our posture, the less strain on ligaments, muscles, and joints, reducing pain and improving our quality of life.
At Hannah's, we want to concentrate on our sleeping posture. After all, we spend 1/3 of our lives in bed, without good posture, we can cause ourselves back and neck pain, especially in the morning as we awake. Some focus on sleep position, however, whatever the position, you can achieve good posture, if you know how. What we need to do is maintain the natural curve in our spine, and keep the line of the spine in it's normal straight position. Depending on your bed, you may find that your hips are being pressured out of position. Depending on your pillow, you may find that your head angles differently than when you are standing up. Both of these can cause stress on your body. Eliminating these stresses should be the first attempt to lessen or eliminate back pain. In fact, most orthopedists and chiropractors would suggest that a pillow be added to the leg area, between for side sleepers, or under the knees for back sleepers. This simple act will help your body to achieve posture while you sleep.

Always select a mattress that encourages good posture. There are a number of good ones out there, one thing they have in common is that they put their effort in producing a good mattress, not a commodity that can be squeezed for cheap shipping, or inferior foam to save money. This is why it is important to research the brand you are interested in. We would like to suggest Comfortaire. Over 90% of our owners experience lesser pain than prior to sleeping on our bed. And Comfortaire mattresses will change with you as your body changes, something that no other style of bed will do. And at Hannah's we will take the time to help educate you in good posture on the bed.

Sleep Well!

All About Sleep


http://HannahsBetterBeds.com

Importance of Sleep
Sleep is an important element of human flourishing and well-being, both subjectively and objectively. Sleep is necessary for a healthy and balanced life. We need to sleep long enough (quantity) and well enough(quality) to function well during waking hours. Nearly all physiological and behavioral functions in humans occur on a rhythmic basis, which in turn leads to dramatic diurnal rhythms in human performance capabilities.   Most adults need around eight hours of sleep to function well. Although many people claim they require less, doctors who study sleep find only 10% require significantly more or less sleep. Recent findings indicate that the chronic lack of sleep and untreated sleep disorders may be factors in the development of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Why do we sleep?
 Why did Mother Nature make us need to sleep every night?  Physiologically, sleep has several functions. It is an active process during which biochemical and neurobiology functions take place. Contrary to popular belief, the brain does not "shutdown" during sleep. Sleep may be a way of recharging the brain.  One idea is that it is a time for accelerated repair of neurons and to exercise important neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate due to lack of activity. Sleep appears necessary for our nervous systems to work properly. Too little sleep leaves us drowsy and unable to concentrate the next day. It also leads to impaired memory and physical performance and reduced ability to carry out math calculations. If sleep deprivation continues, hallucinations and mood swings may develop. Without sleep, neurons may become so depleted in energy or so polluted with by products of normal cellular activities that they begin to malfunction. We typically spend more than two hours each night dreaming.  Only during the 1950s when researchers first described rapid eye movement (REM) did scientists begin to carefully study sleep and dreaming. They soon realized that the strange, illogical experiences we call dreams almost always occur during REM sleep.There are typically five stages of sleep during a normal night's cycle. Diagnostic tools, from X rays and electroencephalograms(EEG) to CAT scans and NMR imaging, revolutionized procedures, diagnoses, and treatments of sleep disorders in the latter half of the 20th century. Likewise, advances are occurring at an unprecedented rate in the 21st century and scientists are learning more and more about sleep all the time. Scientists still have an inadequate understanding of the physiology of sleep and the pathology of sleep disorders. Further, although neurodegenerative diseases associated with abnormal sleep, nobody knows if there is a cause-and-effect in place, and if so, which way it runs.

Sleep for HealthAccording to National Institutes of Health, "sleep and sleep-related problems play a role in a large number of human disorders and affect almost every field of medicine....At least 40 million Americans each year suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders each year, and an additional 20 million experience occasional sleeping problems."  Factors to consider in assessing sleep include sleep disturbance,
  • sleep adequacy, somnolence, quantity of sleep, snoring, and awakening short of breath or with a headache.
  • About one-third of Americans have symptoms of insomnia but less than 10% of those cases are identified by their doctors. Sleep deficit has become one for the most pervasive health problems facing the United States.
  • Insomnia, can result in case accidents and industrial mishaps. Other common sleep disorders include apnea, chronic snoring, narcolepsy, and restless legs syndrome.
  • Even if you don't have a true sleep disorder, you can improve your sleep habits and enjoy the benefits of better sleep.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving leads to more than 100,000 motor vehicle crashes per year in the United States. Even small disruptions in sleep can wreak havoc on human safety and performance.
  • Sleep is important for athletic performance, as shown in scientific studies and in anecdotal evidence.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sleep and Obesity


There are some alarming statistics out there: 2 out of 3 Americans are considered obese according to the Centers for Disease Control. Let's take a few minutes and explore some of the reasons for this statistics.
Much of it is common sense. 100 years ago, there were no lights, few cars, and generally people moved much more than the lifestyle of the modern America. Simply put our level of activity is much less than it was in the past. Whether it is sitting in front of computers, or just couch potato time on our days off, coupled with increased stress of constant communication and the never ending job day, we just don't as a nation, get enough activity. Health clubs are booming, with some people waking at early morning hours to 'work out' because that is the only time they can.
Enter problem number 2, lack of sleep. Since the invention of the light bulb, and the subsequent wiring of our nation, we have been getting much less sleep. It is down from almost 9 hours at the turn of the last century (1900) to 7 or less today. Because of obesity, an estimated 18 million Americans experience sleep apnea. Sleep apnea infringes on what sleep we do get. Just a 10% decrease in body weight can lead to a lessening of the severity of sleep apnea.
Our bodies have an internal clock that can't really be cheated, with out consequences, like obesity. Stress on our bodies causes it to retain fat, a natural reaction built into our DNA. It is a crazy circle, we are fatter, which causes us to sleep less soundly, which makes us fatter. We need to break the circle, to get healthier and more productive within the current socialital culture we find ourselves in, because we can't really change that on a massive scale.

First, we believe the most important first step is to improve our sleep. We need to care for any thing like sleep apnea that may be robbing us of vital sleep. Sometimes it is important to consult a medical professional, especially in extreme cases. There are treatments that can lessen sleep apnea's affect on our sleep. There is also something to say about our sleep surface. Sleep Apnea can be helped if you maintain a positive air flow through positive posture. Our beds can augment other medical devices and improve your sleep, making it more productive. More productive sleep will encourage more waking activity, which can improve obesity. Keeping a consistent schedule will also help. Put sleep on your calendar at the same time every day.

Controlling the amount and quality of our sleep will help break the circle. A quality sleep surface like a Comfortaire mattress can help.

Secondly, it is important to watch your waking life, heating healthy, and of course exercise will be the second leg of attack against the national scourge of obesity.

We welcome you to our store to explore the options of better sleep, whether it is due to obesity, or any other cause, we want to help.
We believe we have more options to improve sleep than any other store in town.

Sleep Well!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Want to Sleep Better?

It is once again time for a shameless commercial for our business.  The business is how we continue to write these blogs.  So visit Hannah's Better Beds either on the web or in person.  We are located in Chesterfield, MO, part of the Greater St. Louis Metropolitan Area at Olive Blvd and Woodsmill Road.  We specialize in Comfortaire, and we are the Largest Comfortaire Exclusive Dealer in Missouri.  We have more Comfortaire choices for you to test out than any other store we have found.  Comfortaire mattresses were introduced in 1981.  As part of Park Place Mattress Co., Comfortaire has the staying power to back your purchase for years to come.  Park Place was founded by the Orders Family in the 1930's, and today is still a family run business located in South Carolina. 

Comfortaire has recently received a Certipur Certification for many of their products.  Certipur is voluntary certification with two sides.  Side one is a commitment to constantly self certify that the components off gas minimally (very strict off gassing requirements), this ensures that your bed does not have any chemicals that are deemed harmful.  Comfortaire certifies that there are no CFCs or ozone depleters in our foams or adhesives. Further, Comfortaire does not process foams or adhesives with dichloromathane, n-propl bromide, BHT Polyol Additives, or PBDE additives.  The second side is voluntary independent laboratory testing to back up the internal certifications.  All of this makes sure your new Comfortaire bed is safe from harmful chemicals.  Look for the CertiPUR-US tag when you shop for a bed.  If you would like to learn more, you may visit CertiPUR on the web.

Now about Hannah's.  Hannah's was founded two years ago.  Our mission is to help people sleep better.  That's why we don't offer products that would impede sleep.  There are others out there who will import compressed mattresses from China, only because they are cheap, and they can move a lot of them.  We stand behind our product, we want you to be happy.  Comfortaire produces among the longest lasting beds available today.  They do this two ways, quality materials, and modular engineering.  There is no reason your Comfortaire bed can't last as long as you want it to, the components are high quality, and if those components ever fail there is a 20 year limited warranty, and even outside the warranty, individual components can be replaced.  The only reason to buy a new bed is to upgrade to newer fabrics, technology, or materials.  Because of this, we rely on our customers to tell their friends, neighbors, and relatives about their experiences with Comfortaire, and Hannah's. 

Hannah's promises to be what we have labeled "econocentric".  What that means is that we will source products as close to St. Louis as we can.  If a quality line of products, like our pillows are manufactured here, we want them in our store.  Next we love our home state, Missouri.  Leggett and Platt in Carthage, MO is our preferred vendor for adjustable bases.  If a product is not available in Missouri, then the Midwest like mattress protectors from a Chicago company called Protect-A-Bed, and then our country, the United States, Comfortaire manufactures the mattresses in South Carolina.  If after all that, the products are not available, then we will look overseas.

We think that makes sense, we want to help the local economy first, and keep some of our neighbors employed so they can experience a great nights sleep.  

We also want to be different.  Up until now, there have been two types of Mattress Stores.  Those that will do everything they can to capture information, to use it to telemarket you as many times as they can, trying to get your business; and those who have clerks who will pressure you while in the store trying to get you to buy.  We know how phone calls interrupt your life.  WE WILL NOT DO THAT, IN FACT, UNLESS IT IS TO RETURN A CALL FROM YOU, OR CONFIRM A DELIVERY APPOINTMENT YOU WILL NEVER HAVE YOUR PHONE RING FROM US.  We are however, at your service, we want you to call us with questions, our number is (314)205-1166.  Whether it is about your bed, bedding accessories, or sleep issues; we are here for you.  We regularly shop around, and there are a lot of great products at many stores available to you.  If we don't have it, or can't get it, we will refer you to someplace that may be able to help, even if that is our biggest competitor.  It's simple customer service.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Insomnia, a cure?

There are too many people to count who suffer from chronic insomnia.  And as with other problems of health, you would expect to find someone who is promoting a cure for it.  Too often these 'cures' lack scientific study, and as the snake oil of yesteryear, are more concerned with taking your money.  That being said, there is some research out there that suggests there is at times a deficiency in vitamins and minerals can affect sleep.

Calcium and magnesium can help relax the nervous system, so strategically taking these minerals after supper can help promote sleep, and of course they are the building blocks of other parts of our body, so it may be worth a try.

Vitamin B6 and B12 are mentioned in several places.  Vitamin B6 can help your body make serotonin which is a regulator of sleep.  B12 deficiency can cause some sleep issues.  The B vitamins do have a maximum recommended amount, so pay attention to how much you take.

Of course your doctor can suggest, based on his working with you and testing the best course of action.  We prefer to try more natural things first, but there is a point when chemicals are the only answer left.  What ever solve the insomnia problem, it is important to solve it.  Sleep has a major impact on quality of life.

Sleep Well!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Just Do Something

If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.

 ~Dale Carnegie

Our last post was a quote from Ben Franklin.  It inspired us, so we searched for more quotes.  The above quote is from Dale Carnegie, a little more contemporary to our times.  And it is absolutely true.  There are times in our lives when we suffer insomnia.  Insomnia can be a health nightmare, at times it seems almost incurable, and to those who suffer it, it can be scary.

Thing is, insomnia is a natural reaction to stress or danger.  Our minds are telling us we may be in danger if we lose our alertness.  Sometimes, that feeling is over stated.  There are times when insomnia actually can keep us alive, it is the other times that are much more frustrating.  Those are also the times when we need to root it out and end it.  Lack of sleep over long periods can devastate our well being and health.

The key is to figure out what is causing the insomnia.  It can come from various sources like mental stress at work or home, or even from drugs we are taking whether via prescription or street drugs.  The point is to figure out what is causing the insomnia, and repair it. 

If it is mental stress the cure is eliminating the source.  That does not mean quitting a job or leaving home, but figuring out the underlying problems and dealing with them.  If it is at work, perhaps talking to a manager or coworker can put things into perspective, thereby eliminating the source.  If at home talk to your spouse or parents again to find the underlying problem and fixing it.  Sometimes in some cases perhaps a counselor would be helpful, help is what you need to solve the problem.  If you can't seem to fix it yourself, please seek out a professional.

If it is chemical, seek medical help.  If a prescription is keeping you awake, talk to your doctor and let them know about the problem.  See if there are ways to deal with it or different medicines that might work as well and bypass the problem.  If it is illegal drugs, STOP.  If you can't, talk to your doctor and get clean.  Save your life now, before it is too late. 

For more common insomnia, what Mr. Carnegie suggests is great advise.  If it is not chronic, and you find you can't sleep, get up.  Do something, just try to do something that will help you relax and set the mood for sleep.  Light reading, sitting in a comfy chair with a bit of decaffeinated, non alcoholic beverage might be useful.  Meditation or stretching might also help. Try to stay in dim light to allow your body to prime your sleep.  Try to avoid sleep aids, some will not do anything but knock you out, and their presence may impact your moving through the sleep cycles which is very important.  At times it becomes a cycle, we can sleep so we worry about it, then the worry keeps us from sleeping.  Break the cycle, get the proper amount and quality of sleep. 

Perhaps it is your sleep environment, even your bed.  Our business promotes healthy sleep by providing great beds.  Our hope is that you sleep well, to live a long happy life.

Sleep Well!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ben Knew


Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Benjamin Franklin
US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer (1706 - 1790)


Ben Franklin, one of the wisest Americans, got it:  Sleep is good!  If you have read our previous blogs, you would see us promoting regular sleep patterns, and getting enough sleep. 

It was easier in the 1700's, the electric light bulb didn't exist.  TV didn't exist.  The Internet didn't exist.  There were no smart phones.  Life was a bit less hectic.  When the sun went down, most people went to sleep.  Oh there was Paul Revere who rode at night, and there was some activity.  But that activity was put in perspective.  The important things in life were just that, and sleep was important.  Let's dissect this saying.

Early to bed:  To make sure you get the proper amount of sleep, and remember, with no electricity, there were no clock radios, they would arise when their bodies were ready, or a noise would startle them.  Going to bed early insured that they would get enough sleep.

Early to rise:  Because they went to bed early, they would naturally wake with the sun.  Having a full days sunlight insured maximum productivity.  Maximum productivity could help move their lives along, out performing others who did not get up so early.

Makes a man Healthy:  Yes sleep does influence health.  In our modern day we have looked at sleep deprivation and found some of its detrimental effects on our bodies.  The stress caused by too little sleep can cause obesity, lower immune function and lower productivity.  Proper amounts of sleep reverses this, and we find ourselves more likely to exercise, less sick time, and higher productivity.

Wealthy:  Yes, its still true today.  Productivity is tied directly to wealth.  The most productive people in our society generally will also be the wealthiest.  It is simple economics, of course talent is important, but having the proper amount of sleep will make us....

Wise:  With wisdom comes ability.  Wisdom allows us to work smarter, like tying a key to a kite and exploring science of electricity.  It is wisdom that ties back to productivity and produces wealth.  Wisdom is something most of our founders had in abundant amounts.

In our hectic 24 hour world, we have sometimes forgotten that sleep is important.  Sometimes we even raise people up on a pedestal who can sleep less.  Less sleep will not insure higher productivity.  Less sleep can harm our career paths.  Less sleep can hurt our pocket book.  Not to mention that America today has an obesity problem, we wonder if it is because we don't sleep enough.  We are living longer today.  In the 1700's life expectancy was just 35 years, medicine has expanded that considerably.  And now its our turn, by taking care of ourselves, we can enhance the quality of that life.  Its the only wise thing to do.

Sleep Well!