What Prevents You from Sleeping Well

It’s happening again: you’re trying to fall asleep and something is keeping you awake at night. You might know what is keeping you up, or maybe you have no idea. While there can be a number of factors influencing your sleep, it helps to solve these problems for a better sleep. Sleep plays a crucial part in your metabolism, memory, learning, immune function, and other vital areas.
 
Sleep Disrupters

  1. Back Light: Watching TV, Checking your phone, using the computer—all these activities can actually keep you up at night. Not because you’re on Pinterest for hours, but the light suppresses you melatonin production. Melatonin, a hormone made in the pineal gland, controls your internal clock. Light affects the amount of melatonin produced, which is why it’s advised not to use these devices before going to bed. Your need melatonin to feel groggy and sleepy, and light actually suppresses your melatonin production. However, instead of completely avoiding the Kindle Fire or iPad, simply turn down the brightness and hold the device at least 14 inches away from your face.
  2. Big Meals: Sometimes it’s difficult to avoid the call of McDonald’s late at night, but it may be disrupting your sleep pattern. Including big meals, drinking a large amount of fluid can keep you up at night and send you on multiple trips to the bathroom. This is a relatively simple fix: avoid eating at least two to three hours before going to sleep. If you need food, try and pick a healthier snack like almonds, yogurt, or an apple.
  3. Intense Cognitive Activity: According to a study done by the University of Pennsylvania, measures of fatigue and sleepiness increased about 60% after intense cognitive activities. Additionally the study found it took an extra 30 minutes for people who had completed mentally difficult tasks to fall asleep after they were in bed. To help your brain wind down, listen to quiet music or read a book before going to sleep.
  4. Thinking Too Much: This common problem has even cropped up in a Supertramp song, “But at night, when all the world’s asleep, the questions run so deep…” It could be money, relationships, or work that’s occupying your thoughts late at night. It’s hard to avoid pondering a little as you drift in and out of the beginning stages of sleep. If your thoughts are too distracting, get up and walk to a different part of the house, keeping the lights off as you go. This movement helps these pressing thoughts to subside. This also prevents you from associating bed and sleep with anxious thoughts. If these worries continue, try and write down your thoughts in a notebook by your bed.
  5. Partner Snores: This is an obvious problem, but one that can be detrimental to your health. Buy ear plugs if you can; however, for parents with young babies this is not a viable option. Try and sleep in another room for a while and see if this improves your alertness (and your mood) the following day. This will help your partner see this is a serious issue affecting your health. Consult a doctor about what your next step should be.
  6. Too Much Light: Even the glow from your alarm clock can be distracting. Some alarm clocks allow you to turn down the brightness, but sometimes even this isn’t dark enough. Cover the front with a book or turn the alarm clock away from you. Invest in some curtains or blackout shades if your blinds aren’t coverage enough and that street light is burning your retina. Another easy fix is a sleep mask, which you can easily purchase at the local drug store.
  7. Pets Be Gone: Boot your dog or cat out of your room at night. If they bother you at night, try placing them in another room or crate. Pets can be disruptive to your sleep by taking up room on the bed or by making noise in the room at night. If your cat is bent on scratching the door until you let it in, try to use double sided tape on your door. Your cat won’t enjoy the stickiness, and you can sleep better at night.
  8. Reduce Allergies: Allergies to dust mites are another common reason you might be staying up at night (most likely sneezing). Reducing the number of dust mites in your bed can help you sleep better at night. Keep your bed clean by regularly washing your sheets, pillow covers, and bed spread. Vacuum the mattress occasionally as well.
  9. Uncomfortable Mattress: According to the National Sleep Foundation, 92% of Americans say a comfortable mattress is pivotal to sleeping well, but only 60% say their mattress is more comfortable than one in quality hotel room. Investing in a quality mattress or air mattress can make all the difference in your sleep at night.

8 Sleep Tips for You and the Kids This Summer

Don’t let long summer days ruin your family’s hard-earned sleep routine. Or, if you never had a sleep schedule to begin with, don’t wait until summer ends to start one. It’s possible for everyone in the family to maintain good sleeping habits in the summer and for the rest of the year.

 

  1. Do Relaxing Activities Together: Begin with a habit such as reading together or family yoga. Reading a book or stretching together will relax everyone before bed. If you choose a longer book, set a page limit each night—otherwise an exciting book will be hard to put down.
  2. Dim the Lights: Since the sun sets later, your kids are probably falling asleep later. However, if you can create a sleeping atmosphere (at least in one room), you may be able to keep your kids in a schedule. Thick, dark curtains or sheets will work to block out light from the windows and prepare the senses for sleep.
  3. Provide White Noise: A fan, music, or calming sounds will make continual sleep easier for kids. A fan not only keeps the room cold, but the steady hum will also help a child relax. A sound machine, or even white noise sleep apps for your phone, can play soothing noises that will help to block out distracting noises, keeping everyone in sleep mode.
  4. Maintain a Cool Temperature: Both kids and adults alike will sleep better in the summer heat if the bedroom stays cool. Find a temperature that works for everyone and set it there each night.
  5. Invite Kids to Keep a Schedule: Have your kids set a wake up alarm. Ask them to be responsible for staying in bed until the alarm goes off: this way your child may get used to waking up at a certain hour, denoted by a familiar noise. This alarm trick could also work for getting your kids to sleep at a certain time. A nighttime alarm could initiate when your kids should start getting ready for bed; thus, teaching their body and minds when to relax.
  6. Nighttime Prep is Important: With a bedtime routine, your kids will have recurring rituals that will prepare them for bed. Routines such as a warm bath, a bedtime story, and other relaxing activities could help them unwind.
  7. Set an Electronics Time Limit: Once a child’s bedtime routine has started, it’s best to limit TV use and other activities that will keep them restless. Electronics with a backlight right before bed will most likely disrupt a child’s sleep.
  8. Sleep Schedules are Good for You Too: If you commit yourself to a sleep routine, you will be able to get better rest during the summer months. Also, if you are sleeping better, you will be able to communicate and function better with your children.

When you are getting the sleep you need, your children may be able to follow suit. With a family routine, the summer months can provide a time for quality sleep, leaving more time for activities during the day.

How to Find the Best Air Mattress: Avoiding Common Problems


When you’re on the hunt for the best air mattress, it can be difficult to sort through all of the reviews; especially when one person sings its praises and another thinks it’s the air mattress from hell. We’ve read many reviews here at AirBeds4Less, and we encourage our customers to review on our website. After reading their reviews and reviews on other sites, we have distilled the most common problems into this awesome list:

  1. Leaking
  2. Uncomfortable
  3. Short Warranty

If you can prevent these problems, then you’ll have a good experience with your purchase. Now we’ll tell you what qualifications to look for in an air mattress that should prevent these problems.

Leaking

Leaking is probably the biggest complaint and rightly so: the air mattress is useless if it can’t hold air. Just as a general note, keep sharp objects away from the air mattress. This might seem like just common sense, but you would be surprised how often it still happens. If you’re camping, put a tarp down and don’t wear shoes in the tent. (This minimizes the amount of puncture-like-items you track into the tent.) Sometimes these sharp objects show up in the guise of a furry animal. Don’t let your golden retriever on the bed. Don’t let your cat on the bed (even though its claws are retractable, they have punctured many a mattress before.) Our parting advice: vacuum the area you’ll be using before you inflate the mattress.

Now let’s talk about other things that cause leaks. One many people don’t know about is a slow leak can develop through a two-way pump. Those pumps are nice because they inflate and deflate the air mattress for you. The problem presented with this design, however, is it means the pump can never close up 100% tight. This slight opening sometimes results into a slow leak, which is difficult to find and fix. If you’re considering purchasing an air mattress with a two-way pump, run the opposite direction if other reviewers report slow leaking issues later on down the road.

As we mentioned all the possible ways to puncture an air mattress, keep in mind the need for thick vinyl. Most air mattresses sit at about 18 gauge vinyl, which gets the job done; however, thicker is better. It does make the air mattress heavier, but it’s worth it. Looking for an air mattress topper further protects it against punctures.

Uncomfortable

This is a more subjective criteria because everybody prefers a different level of firmness. With that being said, most everybody agrees that a topper makes any air mattress more comfortable. It also helps keep you warm by acting as a barrier between you and the cool air in the air mattress. Look for an air mattress with a topper, or look to find one you can add to an air mattress you’ve purchased.

Looking for thicker vinyl is a must again. It works to help keep the air mattress firm and the overall construction of the air mattress is much stronger. If you have a sturdy air mattress you can fill it with more air and it should be firmer than other air mattresses. It’s easy to make an air mattress plush but difficult to make it firm if the air mattress has poor construction.

Short Warranty

This again might seem like common sense, but expired warranties sneak up on people. It’s important to educate yourself on the warranty your air mattress carries before you purchase it. Internet etiquette dictates opening the air mattress right away upon receiving it. This way, you can determine if there are any defects and get it fixed within the warranty limit.

Of course the best air mattresses offer a longer warranty to their customers, and this often speaks to the quality of the air mattress you’re purchasing. You can think of it as a reflection of the trust the manufacturer has in the product.

Read Reviews

As you continue your search, be sure to read reviews left by other customers, taking excessively glowing reviews and highly negative ones into perspective. Having a set criteria helps narrow down the best air mattresses from the no-so-best air mattresses.

Sleeping Tips for Camping in the Summer

Sleeping in the outdoors can offer some unique surprises. Nature has a funny way of shifting our plans when we least expect it. However, the risks we take by subjecting ourselves to the laws of mother nature can be very rewarding. The beauty of leaving your comfortable bed to sleep in a tent or under the stars is all part of the camping experience. Enjoy!

To make your outdoor sleeping experience better, check out the following tips:

Check the weather reports, but be prepared for sudden changes:

  1. Bring extra bedding in case the temperature drops lower than expected. (This means sleeping bags and blankets to suit your camping destination.)
  2. Make sure you will be propped up of the ground to protect you from the cold. If you are separated from the cold ground with an air mattress, pad, or cot, you will be able to stay warmer.

Dress for a good night’s sleep:

  1. Wear only one pair of socks. Your best layer for warmth is your sleeping bag. If you are still cold, add sheets and blankets on top of the sleeping bag.
  2. Wear a beanie. This will trap some heat in for your head, since most sleeping bags leave your head exposed.
  3. Bring a sleep mask. If you plan to sleep in, and you don’t want to be harassed by the morning light.
  4. Dry and clean clothing. During a cold night, it can take longer for your clothes to dry, especially if you are in an enclosed tent. Dry and clean clothes will keep you warmer and more comfortable.
  5. Use headlamps. These make midnight trips to the outdoor lou much more functional.
  6. Bring ear plugs. You may not be used to flourish of sounds during the night. Whether you’re camping on the beach or in the mountains, there are lots of chirps, crackles, crashes, and other noises that may keep you up. Ear plugs will block out any uncommon commotions.

Transitioning for outdoor sleep:

  1. Find a moment to meditate: breathe, stretch, pray—do whatever you need to relax in unfamiliar surroundings.
  2. Drink a glass of warm milk or tea before bed. This could aid in your sleep as it relaxes you; it could also make you warmer, which can ease you to sleep.
  3. Eat a snack. Sometimes allowing your body to digest food while you sleep can keep you warm, and this helps subside the feeling of hunger during the night.
  4. Keep food and scented items outside. Hang food bags and other scented bathroom items outside of the tent. Keeping them off the ground will help keep them from bugs. It will also deter raccoons, a skunk, a bear, and other animals from scoping out the inside of your tent.

Part of camping is creating a new experience. For some people, a new environment may make it difficult to sleep. There are unique benefits that come from outdoor surroundings, without all the comforts of home, if you take a moment to appreciate them. Hopefully, some of these tips will allow you to find the rest you need, at the same time, enjoy a summer camping trip.