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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|

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|

Seven Tips for Buying a New Mattress

A mattress is one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make—after all, you spend approximately a third of your life in bed. The number of choices can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to lose sleep over it! These seven tips can help: Size matters. If you’re sharing a bed, you should buy at least a queen-size mattress. A healthy person moves 40 to 60 times a night and makes lots of full-body turns. For sound sleep, you need freedom of motion. Test-drive different models. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes you can easily slip off so you can lie down. Compare a variety of support levels and styles within your budget. Finding a bed that feels right is a personal choice. Look under the hood. Ask the salesperson to show you illustrated or actual “cutaways” of the interior of the different mattresses and foundations. The mechanics of innersprings and foams vary widely, which can greatly affect comfort. Find a reputable dealer. Furniture stores, department stores and sleep specialty shops all sell mattresses. Ask friends and family for referrals. If you don’t feel your salesperson is knowledgeable or helpful, take your business elsewhere. Go for the best value, not [...]

By |2019-05-24T09:49:57-04:00January 10, 2018|

December 21 Is Don’t Make Your Bed Day

Here’s how Don’t Make Your Bed Day got started.A fifth-grade boy who attends Calvary Christian Academy in New Mexico wrote a letter to his senator, Tom Udall, requesting that one day be set aside each year to take making the bed off everyone’s list of chores. Do your kids make their bed every day? Do you? Decades ago, one of my children’s beloved babysitters taught me something that I have found to be true.“When you make your bed in the morning, the day just goes better,” Nancy G. advised me.Shannon Barba’s parents have expected him to make his bed each and every day before he goes to school since he was 4 years old. That’s what prompted his petition for a day off. Here’s his letter:“My name is Shannon Barba, and I reside in Tijeras, New Mexico. I am in the fifth grade at Calvary Christian Academy. I am writing you to ask that you help me figure out a way to institute National Don’t Make Your Bed Day. I have made my bed every day since I was 4 years old. I make it so my parents are proud of me. But sometimes, I get really tired of making [...]

By |2019-12-16T14:04:29-05:00December 21, 2017|

It’s Hygge Time

The Danish have a word for the feeling you get when you are cozy. The word is hygge (pronounced HOOG-gah). And because the 2017 World Happiness Report gives Denmark one of the highest happiness scores, I wanted to learn more. I checked out a blog about design and hygge, which features photos that depict being cozy. Nearly every photo features furniture or beds. Isn’t that the truth? We are most cozy on a sofa, an upholstered chair or loveseat, or a bed. Three cheers for the foam that cushions our homes and brings so much comfort. With the holidays upon us, take time to nestle in, sit down, lie down and feel cozy. Whether it’s adding a throw blanket to your sofa or textured pillows to your bed, think about adding cozy elements to every room in your house. But hygge is also a state of mind. Taking the time to really listen to a friend or family member, for instance. Stealing a quiet moment with a cup of hot chocolate or pulling on some warm and fuzzy socks. Dimming the lights to create a hygge atmosphere is also good. So, for the holiday season, I urge you to find [...]

By |2019-12-16T14:10:02-05:00December 12, 2017|

Moving? Five Ways Not to Lose Sleep Over It

Planning a move? If so, you’re in good company—nearly 26 million Americans will relocate this summer, often prompted by a school break, a wedding or the prospect of fair weather (or at least no ice and snow). That doesn’t change the reality that moving is one of life’s biggest stressors. Along with the emotional turmoil of saying goodbye to friends, we are disrupting our routines and dealing with countless logistical details. However, you needn’t lose sleep over changing households. Instead, seize the opportunity to sleep better. Moving is an ideal time to rethink what you are sleeping on and make sure it is helping you get those much-needed zzzzzs. Here are five ways to make this part of your transition go smoothly: If you are taking mattresses with you, encase them in plastic to protect them during transport. Most truck rental companies like U-Haul keep protectors in stock for all mattress sizes. Starting fresh? If your mattress is more than seven years old, it’s probably time to replace it. Dispose of your old mattress properly. Find tips from the Better Sleep Council here. When mattress shopping, wear comfortable clothes and shoes you can easily slip off and don’t be [...]

By |2019-05-14T10:03:52-04:00July 13, 2017|