Blog

Home/Blog

Blog posts from CertiPUR-US®,  a certification program administered by a not-for-profit organization.

Survey Says: Top Ten Reasons People Have Trouble Sleeping

In an independent national consumer survey among mattress shoppers commissioned by the CertiPUR-US® program, we asked, “On nights when you have trouble sleeping, what are the biggest factors?” Quite a few of the things people told us that interfere with their sleep are relatively easy to fix. So, here’s the top ten list and beyond – along with some solutions you can put into play tonight to improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. The top 10 factors that interfere with sleep: Too hot or too cold Uncomfortable mattress Aches and pains General life stress worries Watching TV Snoring partner Too much light in room Tossing and turning partner Checking phone/electronics while in bed Noise from sources you can’t control, such as street noise, neighbors, heating system, etc. But beyond the Top 10 list, there are some interesting insights if you group the answers into categories, as well as several action steps you can take to improve sleep: Find the right temperature. Invest in an electric blanket or fan with a remote control, so you can easily turn it on or off from bed during the night. If your temperature needs differ from your partner, get a [...]

By |2020-10-23T20:26:28-04:00September 30, 2020|

Surviving the New Normal at Home

Home is being redefined in 2020. Who would have imagined that home would become where just about everything is, subbing for the office, classroom, gym, restaurant, vacation destination and countless other places that, sadly, we may never view quite the same way again. There is no sugarcoating the fact that many are enduring unbearable personal loss and financial hardship during the pandemic. If you have the good fortune to be healthy and still have a steady income, now is a time to consider donating to one or more of the deserving charities working overtime to fill unprecedented need. Before donating, you may want to research the organization's worthiness on Charity Navigator, a nonprofit that evaluates charities.  Those who do have the means are investing in their home life right now. Housing sales are booming—up a record 24.7% in July despite an otherwise troubled economy, according to the National Association of Realtors. Spending more time at home is prompting many people to look for larger places in which to work remotely. Other market factors, such as a shortage of available housing and low interest rates, are helping to fuel the boom. Those of us staying put are looking for creative [...]

By |2020-08-31T09:14:10-04:00August 26, 2020|

Checklist for Better Sleep: 10 Things You Can Do Tonight

The quality of your sleep affects your day in profound ways—it can inspire or sap creativity, flexibility, energy and mood. It can also make us feel as if we can take on the world or are unable to perform the simplest tasks. If you’re having a “down” day, there’s a good chance you didn’t sleep well the night before. Some things can’t be controlled, which is even more reason to control the things you can. These 10 tips are considered basic sleep hygiene, an odd term defined as “habits and practices that are conducive to sleeping well on a regular basis.” Are you practicing these sleep basics? Be consistent. Try to go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day, including weekends and vacations. Aim for seven-plus hours. If you’re still lying there after 20 minutes, get up. Worrying about not sleeping can trigger a vicious cycle. Control your environment. Quiet and darkness are critical for sound sleep. Use blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, fans, white noise or whatever works to control external stimuli. Keep the room at a comfortable 65 degrees. Sound chilly? Read about the science of sleep temperature. Power down. Turn off [...]

By |2020-08-03T09:05:37-04:00July 29, 2020|

Practical Advice on Choosing a Dog Bed

Dogs spend about 12–14 hours a day snoozing, and most welcome the warmth, comfort, security and support of a dog bed over a hard floor. Some say a dog bed can even prolong the life of your beloved pet by cushioning joints.  I’m a big believer in proper crate training to housebreak puppies, but post-crate training, dog beds provide a place to feel safe and to relax during the day. This is true even if they share your bed at night—which is not always a good idea for light sleepers or those with allergies—or as a second-best place to sleep if your bed is off limits. When you travel with your dog, bringing along their bed provides a sense of familiarity, making them less anxious and more likely to settle down. My daughter’s two dogs are trained to retreat to their beds when she says “place.” The command is not meant or seen as a punishment, just a request to kindly relocate during family dinner or when it's best that dogs are not underfoot. What shape, size, design and other features of your dog’s bed you choose depends on several factors. Here are a few guidelines:  Size and fit. [...]

By |2020-06-30T12:11:54-04:00June 29, 2020|

8 Tips for Buying a Mattress Online

Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the idea of purchasing a mattress online particularly appealing. There’s no denying the convenience factor, but how do you choose a mattress without trying it first? Much like buying a car, it can be daunting to purchase without a test-drive, but these tips will help: Do your homework. Carefully check reviews and consumer safeguards before buying. Look at the 4- or 5-star reviews, often the first to show up on a website, but also read less favorable reviews and look for most recent reviews, too, to see patterns that either give you greater comfort — or raise a red flag. Be sure your purchase is returnable or exchangeable. Many online retailers are savvy about consumers’ concerns and offer money-back trial periods and exchange programs. But take time to read the fine print on the return policy and options. Who pays for shipping — and how does a mattress get packaged for return? Can you reach the company? Make sure there is a phone number or a responsive virtual chat system. It’s a good idea to test customer service with a pre-purchase question. If you cannot connect with customer service when you are [...]

By |2020-05-28T08:01:13-04:00May 28, 2020|

Bravo: Mattress and Furniture Companies Donating Beds, Sewing Face Masks

We all need a little good news right now—like stories of how people and companies are rising to the challenge as we face the Coronavirus (COVID-19) global crisis together. Within our own industry, I’ve been impressed by the generosity and creativity demonstrated by some of our CertiPUR-US® participating companies in mobilizing their manufacturing resources to help meet some of the medical supply challenges. Below are just a few of our heroes—the list is growing. If you are a company tooling up to help, please let us know so we can share your efforts, too. Serta Simmons Bedding, the nation’s largest bedding manufacturer, is donating 10,000 mattresses to New York City hospitals and temporary medical facilities to help meet the need for 140,000 additional hospital beds. It’s also calling on its peers to do the same. Serta Simmons will also use its factories and expansive distribution network to produce up to 20,000 beds per day at the lowest possible cost if needed. The $2 million donation is being facilitated through its relationship with Relief Bed International, a nonprofit that provides beds to impoverished people and disaster victims around the world. Mattress manufacturer Eclipse International is producing an initial batch of [...]

By |2020-06-17T13:57:30-04:00April 2, 2020|

Sheltering in Place? Here’s a Worthy Home Health and Safety Project

Thanks to Covid-19, we are all spending more time at home and more time cleaning. Once you've got your  anti-virus protocols in place, since you're already focused on healthy and safety, why not look at other ways you can protect yourself and your family? To that end, I'd like to introduce the concept of "replacement cycles." These are the predictable lengths of time that you can expect household products to last before they lose their effectiveness or deteriorate. Between waking up and going to bed, we engage in many routines for our personal hygiene, beauty and fitness, as well as household cooking and cleaning —all with the best of intentions.  However, many items we use carry hidden dangers if we don’t swap them out soon enough.  Here’s a room-by-room guide: Whole-House: Smoke Detector Batteries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends changing your smoke detector batteries twice a year, at the same time you change your clocks.  Of course, in the interim, if your smoke detector chirps at you to let you know the battery is dying, you’ll need to replace it before then.  This is so critical.  The CPSC says two thirds of residential fire deaths take [...]

By |2020-03-19T10:16:26-04:00March 18, 2020|

7 Surprising Facts about Chairs

I just love “Chairman Tut,” a sculpture by the artist Larry Morris because it speaks to the creative process (often born of discomfort!) and also illustrates that chairs may well be one of man’s greatest inventions—certainly a vast improvement over nature’s chairs, such as the logs, tree stumps and rocks used by our early ancestors. In his book “Now I Sit Me Down,” which is an appreciation of the chair and its 5,000-year history, architect Witold Rybczynski notes, “The way we choose to sit, and what we choose to sit on, says a lot about us: our values, our tastes, the things we hold dear.” Consider these seven facts about the fascinating history of the chair: Seating styles differ around the world. More than 100 distinct seating postures have been identified worldwide. For example, some cultures have a strong preference for squatting, kneeling or sitting on mats on the floor. In China, chair backs often have a 45-degree angle, as opposed to Western chairs with straight backs or slight reclines. Each of these culturally dictated postures has informed the development of chair styles as well as our muscles—which is why people used to floor-sitting may choose to sit on [...]

By |2020-02-24T07:13:57-05:00February 19, 2020|

48 Words: Rx for Health

Thank you to Yoni Freedhoff, MD, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa, for providing us with a simple recipe for health. Just 48 words. Freedhoff’s 48 words eschew “fad diets and fitness gimmicks. Just stick to the basics,” he writes in an op-ed piece in the New York Times on January 3. With such a sparse list, I was happy to see that “nurture sleep” was included as one of the most important actions we can take to maintain our best health. The importance of sleep is so underestimated in our society. I am guilty of (in the past) boasting about how little sleep I need—as have so many other people. If you’re like me, I suggest you try sleeping more for a few weeks. It will probably surprise you just how much getting a few extra hours of sleep can do for your general health, happiness and work productivity. Freedhoff’s advice for improving sleep includes the usual suspects: light and noise control in the bedroom, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, decreasing caffeine intake and taking steps to be sure you don’t suffer from sleep apnea, a life-threatening sleep disorder (snoring being just one [...]

By |2020-01-07T07:40:33-05:00January 7, 2020|

The Naughty or Nice List

Santa’s got his list, and here at CertiPUR-US®, we have a list that matters, too. It’s a list of the companies and brands consumers can count on that use CertiPUR-US® certified foam. The most common question we get from consumers day in and day out, goes something like this: “I’m about to buy an [XYZ mattress or XYZ sofa or chair] and their website (or salesperson) says they use certified foam, but I don’t see them on your list.” So, here’s the thing: If they aren’t on our list, they are either being naughty or misleading. When we established CertiPUR-US, we anticipated that there would be companies that would say their foam was certified when it wasn’t. So, we built in a safeguard—because our whole operation is based on consumer service, integrity and transparency. The safeguard was that we would keep an up-to-date list of the companies and brands that had registered with us and for whom we had verification that they were truly using CertiPUR-US certified foam in their mattresses, pillows, bedding accessories and upholstered furniture. We have registered companies using certified foam in dog beds and medical sleep-related products, too. Most unlisted companies are just naughty. They [...]

By |2020-01-07T07:35:47-05:00December 19, 2019|

Hibernate at Home

Hibernating, or cocooning as we used to call it, may seem to be self-indulgent and luxurious, but there are sound reasons to listen to our bodies and give in to it. Winter is an intrinsic part of nature’s cycle, designed to restore us and prepare us for the renewal of spring. Rather than fighting the urge to be lazy, it’s healthier to go with the flow. We’re much better off viewing winter as a gift -- a chance to lounge around in an inside environment that feels safe, comfortable, and nurturing. How do we make our home interiors winter-ready? A cushion-y sofa and, soft and cozy chairs that invite us to sink in and never leave are a good start. Complete your lair with plush pillows, throw blankets, warm and muted colors, lamps and candles (flameless for safety) that create soft lighting for the extra hours of darkness this season brings. For more ideas, check out this article on hibernating from House and Home. If you’re investing in new upholstered furniture, remember that indoor air quality matters – and never more so than in the winter, when our homes are sealed tight against the cold. Be sure that any [...]

By |2019-12-02T11:52:54-05:00November 26, 2019|

Every Bed Needs a Cover-Up

When I was shopping for a mattress pad recently, I was struck by the range of choices in coverings. There was everything from basic, waterproof covers to hypoallergenic, anti-microbial, allergen-resistant and bed bug-proof encasements. Then there were foam pads several inches thick. It turns out that each fulfills a different purpose. Here’s a guide: Mattress protectors and pads. If you have a new mattress, you may need only a protective cover or pad that fits snugly over the corners—or is anchored by elastic bands. Most are machine-washable; many are waterproof. Some even expand to fit varying mattress thicknesses. You probably know if your mattress is a king, California king, queen, full or twin, but to find the right size cover, you’ll need to measure the height/depth of your mattress. Encasements. Encasements have six sides to fully enclose a mattress and/or foundation (another word for box spring). They also have a locking zipper—making it impossible for bedbugs, dust mites and other undesirables to get in. Some encasements have padding on top, offering an extra layer of cushioning between you and the mattress. If you’re moving, it’s a good idea to protect your mattress with an encasement. They are often available [...]

By |2019-10-25T09:34:54-04:00October 24, 2019|

5 Ways Adults Can Achieve A Safer Night’s Sleep

There’s a lot of information available about safe sleep for babies—which is so important—but what about safe sleep for the rest of us? After all, when you’re asleep, it’s a potentially vulnerable time. But it turns out there are concrete steps we can take to sleep more safely—and that can help us sleep more soundly. 1. Sleep with your bedroom door closed Sleeping with your bedroom door closed buys you critical time in the event of a fire. Whether from candles, clothes dryers, faulty wiring or countless other causes, many fires start at night while people are sleeping. It’s sobering to know that you are more likely to die in a fire at home, than anywhere else, according to FEMA. Decades ago, you had 17 minutes to get out of your house alive. Today, because of open floor plans and other factors that make residential fires burn faster, you have 3 minutes or less, according to extensive testing by Underwriters Labs. Fortunately, closing your bedroom door each night is a simple, yet little-known measure that can save your life. A regular wooden door is remarkably effective at keeping the heat, smoke and flames at bay, giving you extra time [...]

By |2019-09-30T12:28:17-04:00September 23, 2019|

What’s Lurking in Your Pillow?

Have you ever struggled to get comfortable on a pillow that’s too hard, soft, full, flat, lumpy or well past its prime? As someone who’s very particular about my own pillow, I certainly have! A pillow can make the difference between a restful night’s sleep or tossing and turning and possibly waking up with neck and back pain. Back, side and stomach sleepers may have very different needs and preferences. The right pillow for you is a magic combination of variables—composition, firmness, contour, coolness, etc. Sleep experts recommend we replace our pillows every year or two, since flattened pillows can exert strain on your neck, shoulders and back—and because pillows harbor bacteria and dust mites from the accumulation of hair and body oils. Gross, right? When the CertiPUR-US® program was first established, we only certified what in the industry is called “slabstock”polyurethane foam—that is foam that is manufactured in huge (like the size of a football field) buns and then cut for shipping and later further cut or fabricated as needed. Many pillows use foam made this way, but many are made with “molded” foam, which is when foam is poured into pre-made molds that are shaped to fit [...]

By |2019-09-09T11:47:11-04:00August 29, 2019|

Is the Foam Really Certified?

How can you be sure the foam in the mattress or upholstered furniture you are about to purchase is really certified through the CertiPUR-US® program? It’s easy. Just check our online consumer directory of participating companies and brands to see if the company or brand you are considering buying from is listed on our website. If the company is not listed, we have no way of knowing for sure if it is using certified flexible conventional, gel, memory or specialty polyurethane foam. There are companies that use our logo and say their foam is certified—but unless they are registered and listed with us, you simply can’t be sure. The companies that are listed on our website have all submitted forms to document their use of certified foam, including verifications filed separately by one or more of our participating foam producers.  So, whatever your salesperson tells you, or whatever label you see on the merchandise, or whatever the product website says, cross-checking with the CertiPUR-US online directory of participating firms is the way to confirm. If you come across a company that is misrepresenting its use of certified foam, please let us know by contacting us via this form. Very often in that case, the company means [...]

By |2019-08-23T14:51:06-04:00July 26, 2019|

Chemical-free Claims: Don’t Be Duped

If you’re buying a mattress, sofa or pillow from someone who tells you it’s chemical-free, please laugh and take your hard-earned money elsewhere. The truth is, there are few things on this planet that are chemical-free—including you and me. Yes, everything is made with or contains chemicals. Anyone who tells you differently is greenwashing—it’s against Federal Trade Commission guidelines, yet it’s still rampant. Chemical-free, made without chemicals and no chemicals are all unsupportable marketing terms meant to tap into consumer chemophobia. Don’t fall for it. Did you eat an apple today? Apples are made of these chemicals: water (water is the chemical H2O), vegetable oils, sugars, starch, carotene, tocopherol (E306), riboflavin (E101), nicotinamide, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid, ascorbic acid (E300), palmitic acid, stearic acid (E570), oleic acid, linoleic acid, malic acid (E296), salicylic acid, purines, sodium, potassium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, phosphorous, chloride, colors and antioxidants. I love the chart produced by Sense about Science and featured in a Big Think blog by Simon Oxenham that compares the chemical ingredients of apples to candy hearts. The list of chemicals in apples is way longer and on the surface more frightening! Chemophobia has been around a long time, often [...]

By |2019-08-01T10:50:31-04:00June 20, 2019|

7 Eye-Opening Stats for Better Sleep Month 2019

May was established as Better Sleep Month in 1985. In the decades since, study after study has confirmed the importance good sleep plays in good health and feeling good each day. When you think of self-care, getting enough quality sleep is just as important—if not more important—than good nutrition and exercise. In honor of this special month, here are some eye-opening stats about sleep: Roughly 20% of Americans have a sleep disorder—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls insufficient sleep a public heath epidemic. About 87% of high school students in the U.S. are chronically sleep deprived, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Nearly 40% of people unintentionally fell asleep during the day at least once in the preceding month, an American Sleep Association study found. An estimated 100,000 deaths occur each year in U.S. hospitals due to medical errors, reports the National Academy of Medicine. Sleep deprivation has been shown to be a contributing factor. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes; 44,000 injuries; and 800 deaths in 2013. The American Psychology Association says sleeping 60 to 90 minutes more each night can improve happiness and health. Insufficient sleep [...]

By |2019-05-20T13:24:13-04:00May 20, 2019|

Put Your Feet Up

The trend and health benefits of stand-up desks aside, putting your feet up is good for you. After a long day, have you ever been so tired that your inner voice said, “I’ve just got to put my feet up!”? That’s your body being wise. This point was driven home to me recently when my 93-year-old dad, who isn’t nearly as active as he used to be, remarked that his lower legs were swelling. I suggested he try putting his legs up when sitting on a chair or sofa. It worked! Within 48 hours, his legs were completely back to normal. Vein specialists confirm that elevating your legs is beneficial for those of us who spend hours a day sitting—or even standing—at a computer.  I’m also a big believer in cat naps, but if you’re too busy for a nap, taking just five minutes to put your feet up can be wonderfully restorative.  Ideally, you should lie in a position on your sofa or bed that elevates your legs above your head and heart. A stack of pillows or cushions can provide the necessary height and support under your feet. Experts stress not to elevate your legs on a [...]

By |2019-05-16T11:03:57-04:00April 11, 2019|

Make Your Bed and Change the World

In an airport shop, a small book titled “Make Your Bed: Little Things that Can Change Your Life … and Maybe the World” caught my eye. What a gem! This New York Times bestseller by Admiral William H. McRaven is a true inspiration. Of course, it’s the “make your bed” part that first got my attention.  McRaven wrote this book after his commencement address to the 2014 graduating class at the University of Texas at Austin. His address focused on 10 lessons he learned from his Navy SEAL training. Making your bed every morning, explains McRaven, is a way to start the day off right—with a task completed. This week, I’m spending time with some of my favorite people—the folks who literally made your bed. I am at a conference of the International Sleep Products Association, the trade association of mattress manufacturers and suppliers. My first connection with this group was in 1983 when I had the privilege of working with its consumer education arm, the Better Sleep Council (BSC). The BSC has worked tirelessly for decades to help people understand the importance of sleep—and the importance of sleeping on a good mattress. When you make your bed tomorrow [...]

By |2019-05-16T11:06:58-04:00March 14, 2019|

Couples Sleeping Together on TV

Valentine’s week is a good time to reflect on the history of couples sleeping together on TV. Times have changed. “The Flintstones,” an animated series in the 1960s about a cave-dwelling prehistoric family, may have been among the first to show a couple, Betty and Fred, together in bed (albeit a bed made of rock). For live-action couples on TV shows, the “one-foot rule” was said to have existed. You could show a couple in their bedroom, but at least one person had to have one foot on the floor! On “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” there was a nightstand between Laura and Rob’s twin-size beds. The same was true of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo on “I Love Lucy” in the 1950s (and reruns forever)—and they were married in real life! Florence Henderson, playing Carol, the mother (and stepmother) on “The Brady Brunch” (1969–1974), once suggested she and TV husband Peter were the first to sleep in the same bed on-air, but that’s widely disputed. The not-quite-human family in “The Munsters” (1964–1966) are often cited, but TV history trivia experts are more likely to give the honors to Mary Kay and Johnny (1947–1950), which was set in Greenwich Village, New [...]

By |2019-05-16T11:11:22-04:00February 10, 2019|

Reinvent Your Home With a Furniture Inventory

When is the last time you did a room-by-room furniture inventory in your house? A friend and I once worked together on a little pamphlet about the pleasures—and frustrations—with decorating a home. The opening paragraph stuck with me. To paraphrase, we advised homeowners to take time to see their home through the eyes of others.   When I am expecting houseguests, I am never more aware of all the places in my home that need sprucing up. The sofa looks more worn when I imagine a visitor walking in. And that stack of mail by the phone? Unsightly. Just how old is that floor lamp in the family room? And how many years have I put up with the dang switch on that lamp that falls off every time I touch it?!  So here’s an exercise for you to try. Grab a notepad and pencil. Walk out your front door. Now walk in, pretending you’re a stranger, seeing each room for the first time. Take notes! You might come to the conclusion that the time has come to switch out the sofa or add a fresh new accent chair. You can even get a whole new look with a [...]

By |2019-05-16T11:14:08-04:00January 17, 2019|

Top 15 Sleep Trends for 2019

What’s in, what’s out when it comes to sleep trends for 2019? For the new year, here’s a fun, completely unscientific list of 15 sleep-related trends: Out  In 1. Bragging about how little sleep you need Bragging about how much sleep you get 2. Old mattresses New mattresses 3. Comforters Weighted, anti-anxiety, gravity blankets 4. PJs as sleepwear PJs as streetwear 5. Goodnight Moon Goodnight (fill in your favorite city) 6. Sleep masks Room darkening shades 7. Twin beds for kids Full beds for kids 8. Mystery foam CertiPUR-US® certified foam 9. Slippers Slipper socks 10. Sleep sacks for post-swaddle toddlers Zipadee-zips for post-swaddle toddlers 11. Dogs on your sofa Dog beds 12. Snoring  Sleep apnea treatment 13. Wearable sleep trackers Nightstand sleep trackers 14. Sound machines to aid sleep Mind games to aid sleep 15. Discarding mattresses in landfills Recycling mattresses

By |2019-11-08T13:15:39-05:00January 1, 2019|

Man Caves and She Sheds

Will 2019 be the year you give in to the primal urge to create your Man or Woman Cave? It won’t be hard to find inspiration. When you Google “man caves,” there are endless photos and ideas for imaginative masculine spaces and how to furnish, theme, and decorate them. There’s even an organization that’s devoted to “spreading the word of the Man Cave as a way of life,” with an annual contest.  The DIY Network has a whole show devoted to helping men design and build their own budget-friendly Man Caves. But rapidly gaining in popularity are Woman Caves, or “She Sheds,” where women can slip away from family and enjoy glorious alone or girlfriend time.  Whether it’s a “do it yourself” project or a high-end design, the DIY Network’s Man Cave experts, Jason Cameron and Tony “The Goose” Siragusa, offer solid advice that applies to both men and women: first assess your space and desired function and visualize what you want your Cave to look like.  If you have an object or collection of them –it might be a pool table, jukebox, sports memorabilia, or travel souvenirs; or space to house a sewing machine, meditation space, or fitness equipment [...]

By |2019-11-08T13:16:17-05:00December 5, 2018|

Counting Blessings and Chairs at Thanksgiving

Is Thanksgiving at your house? If so, you’ve already made a lot of decisions—like what to serve, what to serve it on, how to decorate your table and house, who to invite and how to seat them. On this most-American of holidays, you want your guests to feel welcome in your home as you share the bounty of food and spirit of gratitude. How much thought have you given to what your family or friends will be sitting on during the meal? More than anything else, you want your seating to be comfortable because your guests will be sitting through several courses and second (or third) helpings. If you don’t have quite enough matching dining room chairs, don’t worry—a mix-and-match, eclectic assortment of chairs and benches is considered chic today.  Consider adding comfortable, upholstered armchairs of a different style or color at the ends of the table.  I’ve recently seen sofas being used for seating on one side of a dining room table, or even as an L-shape to create a booth-like feeling. This approach can add space to a room by allowing you to place the table off-center and deeper into a corner. Experiment to create a relaxed [...]

By |2019-05-24T09:43:17-04:00November 19, 2018|

Getting Rid of an Old Mattress 

How do you get rid of your used mattress? We’ve all seen decaying old mattresses on the side of the road, or thrown down a ravine, or into a creek. Not good! Although landfills are a better choice, dumping fees are often imposed, and, from an environmental standpoint, this isn’t the optimal choice. About 50,000 used mattresses and box springs are carted off daily (yes, daily!) to U.S. landfills, where they can take more than a decade to decompose. It’s also not a good idea to pass along an old mattress to others, particularly children. Hat’s off to the bedding industry and its trade association, the International Sleep Products Association(ISPA), which has worked diligently to find solutions to this problem for decades. Today, its Mattress Recycling Council works closely with local governments, waste management professionals, recyclers, and others to make sure that mattress recycling is accessible and easy to use. Currently, three states have implemented MRC’s Bye Bye Mattress Program – California, Connecticut and Rhode Island – and more than 3 million mattresses have been recycled, diverting more than 25,000 tons of material from landfills. More than 80 percent of the metal, foam, and textiles that comprise your mattress [...]

By |2019-12-16T13:27:04-05:00November 6, 2018|

Life or Death Tip: Close Bedroom Door

Wow. I recently saw the most striking demonstration of fire safety on an NBC-TV Today show Rossen Reports segment. What a lifesaving tip to share while its still October, National Fire Prevention Month. The video shows the difference between two bedrooms in the same house that is set on fire by burning a sofa in the living room. One bedroom door is left open. The other bedroom door is closed. Within minutes, the bedroom with the open door is full of smoke and is not survivable. The bedroom with the door closed, provides many more minutes for escape – and remains remarkably free from smoke. The video is life-changing and lifesaving. Watch it here. Here are additional bedroom fire safety tips from the Sleep Products Safety Council: Don’t smoke in bed. This is a common cause of fatal bedroom fires. Keep matches and lighters away from children. Playing with fire can be deadly. Using candles in a bedroom can be dangerous. Even a small candle can ignite a deadly fire. Keep space heaters far away from beds and other flammable items. Follow all the space heater manufacturer’s instructions and warnings. Don’t run the electrical cords under your bed or trap them against a [...]

By |2019-05-14T09:34:15-04:00October 25, 2018|

Do You Need a Polysomnogram?

Sleep problems can range from inconvenient to dangerous and potentially life-threatening. A polysomnogram (sounds better when you call it a sleep study, right?) is a non-invasive, pain-free procedure that usually requires spending a few hours, or an overnight, in a facility where your sleep can be monitored. Basically, you get hooked up to monitors and fall asleep in a private room with specially trained technicians monitoring your brain waves.  Here are some indicators that a sleep study might be a good idea: Do you regularly have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep? Do people tell you that you snore? Has anyone ever told you that you have pauses in breathing or that you gasp for breath when you sleep? This could be sleep apnea, a potentially life threatening, but treatable condition. Are your legs “active” at night? Do you experience tingling, creeping, itching, pulling, aching or other strange feelings in your legs while sitting or lying down that cause a strong urge to move, walk or kick your legs for relief? Restless leg syndrome (RLS), also called Willis-Ekbom Disease, is real. Are you so tired when you wake up in the morning that you cannot function normally during [...]

By |2019-05-14T09:33:54-04:00September 26, 2018|

The Sleep Science Paradox

A fascinating, perhaps life-changing, article in the August 2018 issue of National Geographic magazine presents an in-depth account of each sleep stage and its significance. The article makes the case for prioritizing sleep in your daily life, pointing out that sleep can have a profound effect on your productivity and your ability to cope with trauma and ward off disease. Ultimately, sleep affects the overall quality and longevity of your life. Take time to read “While We Sleep, Our Mind Goes on an Amazing Journey.” It’s mind-blowing! The paradox? Just as humans are gaining a deeper understanding about sleep and its critical role in repairing and replenishing our bodies for both mental and physical health, we live in a time when most of us suffer from sleep deprivation.  “A full night’s sleep now feels as rare and old-fashioned as a handwritten letter,” notes writer Michael Finkel. “Before the industrial revolution, which brought us alarm clocks and fixed work schedules, we could often counteract insomnia simply by sleeping in. No longer.”  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 80 million U.S. adults are chronically sleep-deprived, routinely getting less than the recommended minimum of seven hours a [...]

By |2019-05-14T09:35:57-04:00August 10, 2018|

Bad Back, Bad Mattress?

Research shows that 80 percent of us will experience a back problem at some time in our lives, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year, and worldwide back pain is the single leading cause of disability. How much of that is bed-related? It’s hard to confirm, but in a three-month study of 313 patients suffering from lower back pain, the majority reported experiencing less pain—both while lying in bed and long afterward—when they slept on “medium-firm” rather than “firm” mattresses. An old or unsupportive bed can wreak havoc on your sleep—and your body—but there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to mattresses. What works for one person may not work for another. And, although many people still believe that firm is best, the term applied to bedding is really a holdover from decades ago, when a bed had to very hard to be supportive. However, with advances in technology and sophisticated engineering, mattresses can now have a comfy, softer top layer and still be highly supportive. What’s more, firmness is subjective. One person’s firm might be another person’s medium-firm or soft. That’s why it’s a good idea [...]

By |2019-05-30T15:49:34-04:00July 17, 2018|

Three Cheers for Customer Service

It’s easy for a furniture store sales rep to be customer service-oriented when you’re buying a sleeper sofa, but the real test is when that sale goes south. Here’s what happened this week when I was shopping for a sleep sofa in preparation for lots of family—and all bedrooms taken—for an upcoming baby shower for one of my daughters. Of course, I was only going to purchase a sleeper sofa that had a mattress that was comfortable—and I was sure contained CertiPUR-US® certified foam. I drove to the showroom of one of our listed companies and found a sofa that I just loved the style of—and the mattress met my requirements. However, it wasn’t available in quite the right color. Because it could be delivered within a few days, I decided to forgo my color preference and told the super-nice sales associate to ring it up! With all my paperwork and receipts in hand, I left the store, which was in a strip shopping center. Lo and behold, as I walked to my car, I noticed there was another furniture store in the same shopping center! Oh, dear. Should I even look? I did. And there was a sleeper sofa—also [...]

By |2019-05-24T09:55:40-04:00June 7, 2018|

Poor Sleep, Poor Work Performance

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to be productive at work when you haven’t gotten enough sleep?The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has joined the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the National Safety Council and the Sleep Research Society to improve education and awareness about the importance of sleep.These groups have established the “National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project.” The initiative focuses not only on getting employers to encourage their employees to develop better sleep habits, but also on high-school students, who generally get far less sleep than their still-developing bodies need.Getting enough sleep is not always an option, especially in work cultures that view long work days and minimal sleep as a sign of commitment. The statistics are eye-opening:One survey shows that 37 percent of today’s workers are sleep-deprived, which increases both the risk and incidence of employee accidents, vehicle crashes and other severe consequences.According to the National Safety Council, fatigued workers cost employers about $1,200 to $3,100 per employee in declining job performance each year, while sleepy workers are estimated to cost employers $136 billion a year in health-related lost productivity. Check out the organization’s Cost of Fatigue calculator.Driving to and from work can be [...]

By |2019-05-14T09:38:06-04:00May 23, 2018|

How Long Can You Live Without Sleep?

How long can you live without water? About a week. How long can you live without food? About 40–70 days. How long can you live without sleep? About 11 days—and even then, researchers say during that long a period, you would probably nod off without even knowing it, getting a moment here and there of microsleep. How do we know 11 days is the maximum humans can be sleep deprived and survive? In 1965, Randy Gardner was a high school student in San Diego figuring out what to do for a science fair. He decided to set a world record for going without sleep. He did – and lived to tell the tale. Water. Food. Sleep. This is the triad of what is needed for physical survival. The Better Sleep Council, the group that established Better Sleep Month in 1985, recommends five ways to focus on sleep this month and get a better night’s rest: Avoid eating too much or drinking alcohol before bed. If you eat too much, an active digestion system sabotages sleep. And while wine or a cocktail can seemingly help you fall asleep, sleep experts say it  may rob you of the deep quality sleep [...]

By |2019-05-31T09:58:14-04:00May 3, 2018|

When Sales People Help

In one of my first jobs, my boss told me something I have always remembered and taken to heart during my career: A knowledgeable salesperson can provide an education and guide you in making a wise purchasing decision. When you’re in the market to buy something, it pays to connect with a salesperson that listens to you to understand exactly what you are looking for. You want someone who has invested time to truly know about the products he or she sells. You want the person to realize that making you happy is the key to avoiding returns and to building a business based on referrals from happy customers. If you walk into a store and don’t feel confident that the salesperson has your best interests at heart, ask for someone else or take your business elsewhere. I read recently that April is National Training Month, so I thought it is a good time to give a shout-out to the more than 2,000 bedding and upholstered furniture sales reps throughout the U.S. that have taken our CertiPUR-US® Certificate of Knowledge online training course. I want to applaud the companies that sell products containing certified foam that are encouraging their [...]

By |2019-05-14T09:40:20-04:00April 6, 2018|

Happy National Sleep Awareness Week

March 11–17, 2018 -- It’s National Sleep Awareness Week! Sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), this special week Is a good time to focus on strategies for getting a better night’s sleep. I believe you need to build a good night’s sleep from the bottom up—starting with what you are sleeping on. Think of your mattress and foundation as sleep equipment. As in any endeavor, the quality of your equipment matters. Tennis pros invest in just the right racket. Golfers on the PGA Tour care deeply about the clubs they use. I don’t recall a NASCAR driver winning a major race in a clunker! According to the Better Sleep Council, if your mattress is more than seven years old, it’s probably time to consider a new one —or at least try some new mattresses to see if they feel more supportive and comfortable than what you are used to sleeping on. With so many manufacturers and retailers today offering mattresses containing CertiPUR-US® certified foam, it's easy to find a mattress (and topper and pillow) that will make you comfortable physically, but also mentally, by giving you the peace of mind that comes with knowing more about the products [...]

By |2019-05-14T09:40:37-04:00March 13, 2018|

Small Nook, Big Rewards

Do you have a favorite cozy spot in your home? To relax properly, it helps to have a space all to yourself -- a private escape. That can be a challenge! But taking a few minutes to discover the right spot in your house and then adding comfortable furniture and a few accessories can turn an under-utilized area of your home into the perfect, re-purposed corner. Where can you create your own mini getaway? Try these ideas: under stairs, within a closet, on a stair landing, an entrance way, in an attic, where there is (or could be) a window seat, an empty corner, alcove, or at the end of a hallway. A friend of mine created an oasis with a small leather chair in a corner of her home office where stacks of unread magazines and a floor lamp were collecting dust. She added a mini area rug, cozy throw and pillows -- which she switches out each season -- to make a favorite spot for stepping away from the computer. It doesn’t have to be a large area or cost a lot of money. Use your creativity: An apartment-sized upholstered chair (made with CertiPUR-US® certified foam, of [...]

By |2019-05-14T09:40:59-04:00February 28, 2018|