Most people are aware that their medical history, along with what they eat and how much they weigh, can create a risk of getting Type-2 diabetes. But what they are unaware of is that such a health problem can interfere with their normal sleep routine. Not only sleep can affect the blood sugar levels but it is also true the other way round. Apart from the usual problems associated with getting a good night’s rest such as sleep apnea, hypos at night, and being overweight, having high blood sugar levels can also have a similar impact.
People who have blood sugar levels that are excessively high or low can experience tiredness throughout the day. Insomnia and lethargy are two common symptoms of blood sugar though it is not necessary that people who are suffering from sleeplessness and lethargy are diabetic.
How Does Diabetes Have Impact on the Ability to Sleep?
Several research studies over the years have established a clear connection between diabetes and sleep problems. Sleep disturbance not only indicates the difficulty in falling asleep but also staying asleep or sleeping too much. While diabetes does not necessarily mean that your normal sleeping habits will be impacted, such a health condition is likely to interfere with your night’s rest. Some of the symptoms include –
- People with high blood sugar levels are prone to frequent urination. This will impact the deep sleep making the person get up frequently for using the bathroom.
- When the body contains extra glucose, it draws excess water from the tissues. This will make you feel dehydrated forcing you to get up in the middle of your sleep for a glass of water.
- The common symptoms of dizziness, sweating, and shakiness can affect your normal sleep routine.
Different Sleep Disorders and Their Connection With Diabetes
Although tossing and turning may be a common symptom among people with diabetes problems, there might be a separate medical condition that might be breeding underneath. Some of the commonly experienced sleep disorders among people are mainly the underlying cause of diabetes.
This sleep disorder is characterized by trouble falling and staying asleep. You are more at risk of experiencing insomnia if you have high glucose levels with high stress. Insomnia patients are known to experience several kinds of sleep disruptions, like –
- Problem falling asleep;
- Difficulty in staying asleep;
- Waking up early;
- Waking up tired
Taking any OTC medication won’t solve the issue. Instead, try to identify the root cause of the problem, such as experiencing any family issues or working in a high-stress environment. Seek medical advice from a healthcare practitioner to determine and cure the root cause of such defects.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
This is the most common disorder among people with diabetes problems, with almost 86 percent of people with diabetes having obstructive sleep apnea. The OSA is a medical condition that is characterized by frequently interrupted breathing while sleeping. People with such problems experience fully or partially blocked airways. Such a sleep disorder is harmful to both sleep quantity and sleep quality.
Most people having OSA experience frequent awakenings with fragmented and restless sleep. In addition, it also develops a higher risk of getting Type-2 diabetes and an increased risk for cardiovascular problems.
Low glucose levels in the blood, or hypoglycemia, can have an adverse impact on the quality of your sleep. People who are taking blood sugar medications or insulin might be at risk of getting low blood sugar. Overnight fall of blood sugar levels can disrupt your usual sleep pattern and make it difficult for you to wake up in the morning and feel tired throughout the day. One of the most common symptoms of nocturnal hypoglycemia is waking up sweating in the middle of the night.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Also known as the Ekbom Syndrome, this sleep disorder is characterized by uncomfortable and unpleasant feelings in the legs, causing the person to move the legs to reduce such sensation. The sleeper may experience a burning sensation or as if insects were crawling over the legs. Such a syndrome may also be an indication of the presence of peripheral neuropathy. Such a condition is often associated with a lack of diabetes control which can be treated by improving the blood glucose levels.
Post Meal Lethargy or Daytime Tiredness
A feeling of tiredness throughout the day, particularly during the morning period and after meals can often be a result of high blood sugar levels. If you happen to experience such problems, get a blood sugar test done to check any correlation between the blood sugar count and such feelings of tiredness. This could probably be a result of low blood sugar levels, especially if you are taking insulin or is at risk of having hypoglycemia.
Some Common Causes of Sleep Disruption
The dysfunction of circadian rhythm due to the underlying cause of diabetes can also disrupt the metabolic hormones. Some of the common symptoms associated with sleep disruption problems include –
Headaches: Both low and high blood sugar count can develop headache problems making it hard to sleep.
Sweating: This is a sign of low blood sugar levels that can prevent you from falling asleep.
Irritability and Anxiety: Low levels of blood sugar can trigger irritability and anxiousness. This may be a prime cause of restless sleep and insomnia. Such people may also experience a racing heartbeat with dizziness that interferes with their ability to fall asleep.
Increased thirst: Both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia is known to contract dehydration problems causing you to wake frequently and difficult to fall asleep.
The Bottom Line
If you are experiencing persistent sleep problems, consider testing your blood sugar levels as it might be the underlying cause of such an effect. In such a situation, you need to consult a healthcare practitioner to help you effectively manage and prevent the recurrence of such problems and keep your blood sugar count to normal. It may take about a week or two to observe the changes, so make sure to follow a regular routine.
The chilly winter months are known to breed flu, common cold, and other annoying infections and viruses. If you are one of those unlucky ones to contract one or more of these winter illnesses, you know how difficult it is to get some sound sleep while you are constantly getting those sniffles and coughs. Well, there are some simple solutions to get a peaceful night’s sleep while battling with common cold and cough.
Take a Steamy Hot Bath
Taking hot steam in the shower can prove to be effective in opening your nasal passages while loosening the dried mucous and cleaning the airways. It is also a good way to relax and wind down before hitting the bed. The body becomes cold when you have a cold, and a steamy shower can help you to energize and reduce the symptoms of a blocked nose and running sinuses while making the nasal muscles relaxed.
Sip Some Tea with Honey
Just like a bowl of hot soup, a hot beverage can also loosen the mucus from your sinuses. But not all hot beverages will give out the same results as some hot tea with honey. Adding honey to tea not only helps in soothing a sore throat but can also prove to be effective as a cough suppressant to help you get rid of that sore throat.
A Humidifier or Vaporizer Can Work Wonders
Dry air and the cold season go hand in hand. Under such weather conditions, a good vaporizer or humidifier can add the required moisture into the air and soothe the sinuses. But it is necessary to clean the humidifier regularly to avoid making it the breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Change the water daily and clean the tank every couple of days to keep it clean. If there is a child inside the room, use a cool-mist vaporizer as warm mist units can cause burns to children who get too close to it.
Maintain an Optimal Sleep Environment
Just because you have a cold, don’t be tempted to overheat the room. Keep the room temperature at normal levels and stack up blankets so that you can remove them if you begin to overheat. It is also important to maintain the humidity of the room. Combine that with a good humidifier and you are sure to get a problem-free sleep at night.
Reconsider Your Sleep Position
Some people think that stacking an extra pillow under their head can provide relief from the cold and flu and help them get better sleep. But this can make the situation even worse by causing the head to sag forward and worsening the breathing problem. Instead, you can use a foam wedge that will help to raise your upper body, letting the nasal packages drain. Don’t lay on your back as it may worsen postnasal drip. Sleep on the side opposite to that of your blocked nose.
Depriving the body of adequate fluid can make your nasal cavities dry. It is necessary to keep the body well-hydrated so that the entire respiratory system stays wet and prevent any breathing problems. You can also sip a hot caffeine-free beverage to give your throat some relief during bedtime. It will provide you with a short relief period during which you can slip off to slumber.
Try Out Some Over-the-Counter Remedies
Whether you are feeling hot, stuffy, and achy or any uneasiness due to cough and cold, you can always reach out for some over-the-counter medications. If the condition is severe, consider seeking medical advice from a doctor or an ear and teeth specialist. Some medications can escalate the problem if not taken at the right dosage. You can also ask a pharmacist to get the right solution for your cough, cold, or sinus problem.
Prepare Yourself for the Night’s Sleep
If you find yourself maintaining a relaxed posture, tossing and turning in bed, get out of your bed, and engage in some other activity. You can read a book by dimming the room lights or listen to some soothing music. Get into some low-intensity activity unless you feel sleepy. Don’t go to bed until you are feeling sleepy to promote healthier sleep habits throughout the year.
Things to Avoid
Besides the effective tips for sleeping with a cold, there are some don’ts that you should keep in mind to avoid making the situation even more complicated.
- Refrain from drinking alcohol as it will dry out your breathing passage and making it difficult for you to breathe. Also, it can swell up your sinuses and react adversely with your cold and flu problems.
- Don’t engage in any high-intensity activity as it will interfere with your sleeping routine and make it difficult for you to sleep.
- You cannot force yourself to sleep. So, don’t lie down forcefully expecting that sleep will come off naturally. Read a book or listen to some soothing music.
- Don’t use any gadget or digital device that will impact the release of melatonin by the body. Devices that are known to emit blue light can severely interfere with your sleep routine.
- Many people think that overheating the room will help them combat the common cold and get a better night’s sleep. But that is a complete myth as it might lead to night sweat and make you wake up in the middle of your sleep. Maintain normal room temperature to set the stage for a relaxed night’s sleep.
The good news is that common cold and flu will not last for more than a few days, or at most a week. Although they are irritating and uncomfortable, they are your on-and-off companion. Just make sure that you take some precautionary measures and necessary steps to help you combat the irritation when they occur. It will improve your health condition and help you to get rid of such problems quickly for a calm and relaxed night’s sleep.
Editor’s Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. For full details visit the disclosures page.
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep-related disorder that affects millions of people across the globe. If you or your loved one is suffering from the same problem there are several ways to treat this sleep disorder and minimize its effect on healthy sleeping habits. One of the quickest and simplest tricks that can help you ensure a good sleep cycle and prevent frequent awakenings at night is purchasing mattresses that can help you with your sleep apnea problem.
Below is a list of the best products for sleep apnea along with a detailed guide to help you combat such a problem.
Best Memory Foam Mattress for Sleep Apnea: Nectar Mattress
If you have a sleeping partner and want to keep motion transfer at bay then the Nectar Mattress would be the best choice for you. The flagship memory foam bed from Nectar Mattress is constructed with a top layer of quilted gel memory foam, followed by a subsequent layer of gel memory foam.
It also features a high-density memory foam transitional layer with a support core made of high-density polyfoam. The removable cover is a combination of cotton and TENCEL lyocell.
The dense foam layer of the Nectar provides above-average durability with an estimated lifespan of 6-7 years.
- Exerts minimal pressure for those with stiff muscles and achy joints.
- Carries a budget price tag affordable to most buyers.
- Suitable for all types of sleepers – stomach, side, back, and combo.
- Best product for buyers looking for a long trial period and warranty.
- Inappropriate for individuals who dislike memory foam.
- Light-weight sleepers under 130 lbs might find it too firm.
- The body-hugging sensation that the mattress provides might be uncomfortable for some users.
Best Natural Mattress for Sleep Apnea: Avocado
One of the best natural mattresses available in the market, Avocado mattress features an eco-friendly construction with 100% organic certified latex, organic cotton, and wool. The Avocado is a blend of the traditional innerspring with elevated comfort feature foam that assures a chemical-free, all-natural night’s sleep.
The bed comes with environmental certifications like OEKO-TEX and GREENGUARD which ensures safety from hazardous substances.
- The firmness paired with the thickness of this mattress makes it a perfect choice for sleepers with heavier body frames.
- Committed to handcrafted construction and all-natural material, the bed comes straight out of the collection with no noticeable off-gassing.
- People who prefer a responsive and durable latex mattress should go for this product.
- Those who tend to sleep hot should opt for the Avocado.
- Inappropriate for petite side sleepers.
- If you are on a tight budget you should look for other alternatives as this is made from premium and certified organic material.
Best Hybrid Mattress For Sleep Apnea: Lytton
If you are looking for a durable, comfortable and serene mattress then you are at the right place as Lytton Sleep Mattress makes the best mattress for sleep apnea.
The heavy gauge border coils provide all-round edge support and durability. Its cooling gel technology makes the mattress as breathable as a cloud and as cool as an ocean breeze.
Considering the superior and durable material used, this mattress is expected to serve for a minimum of 10 years. If you have any doubt about the quality of this mattress they offer 100 nights trial for potential buyers to try out.
- The quantum coil system combined with high-density serene foam makes the mattress lasts longer than other market alternatives.
- The deep-pocketed coil system offers optimal back, hip, and shoulder support while minimizing the motion transfer.
- The serene foam provides consistent comfort for greater support while reducing motion transfer significantly for a better night’s sleep.
- The cover is made from eco-friendly certified organic cotton which provides a soft plush feel to the user.
- This mattress offers limited thickness and composition options.
- The Lytton may be a bit heavy for some users to move.
Luxury: Brentwood Home Oceano
The high-quality Brentwood Home Oceano mattress is designed to provide a luxurious experience to the user at a budget-friendly rate.
This hybrid mattress uses both foam and coils with layers of gel memory foam and pocketed coils to offer both pressure relief and support to the user.
The material is CertiPUR-US certified which ensures that the foam on which you are sleeping has low VOC and is non-toxic. Brentwood uses natural hydrated silica sand as fire-retardant layer in its Oceano mattress.
Its cover is made from natural plant-based TENCEL fibers making it thick and soft to touch. The construction provides the bed with an innerspring feel, topped with plush and soft pillow top.
- It has earned positive reviews from sleepers who weigh 230 lbs or less.
- Both coil layers promote strong airflow while the top wool layer wicks away moisture.
- The mattress isolates motion better than most competing products.
- Perfect for eco-conscious shoppers.
- This mattress is inappropriate for those who prefer a classic memory foam feel.
- Buyers looking for the cheapest mattress might find it inappropriate.
Performance: Eight Sleep
For most online beds it is the convenience and value that sells, but for Eight it is all about the smart features more than anything else.
Although it is technically not smart, the mattress contains a 4-layer foam with great pressure relief and support and also a nice medium feel.
Its unique smart cover slips over the mattress and helps the user connect to his phone. The cover tracks the sleep of the user and ensures that each side of the bed is evenly warm.
- Eight follows the direct to consumer model to help buyers save a significant amount.
- The 2” Reactive foam offers consistent heating without getting excessively hot making it appropriate for sleepers who like to sleep cool.
- Eight has a good amount of bounce and body conformance for great pressure relief.
- This mattress is appropriate for all sleeping positions with a smart cover sleep tracker.
- If you prefer a spring mattress you should consider something with coils.
- Eight provides a medium feel you should look elsewhere if you prefer an extra-soft mattress.
- This mattress is inappropriate for sleepers weighing over 300 lbs.
The Allswell hybrid mattress constructed from premium memory foam and supportive pocketed coils makes it the best economy mattress for sleep apnea.
Allswell features three variants of its mattresses – The Allswell, The Luxe, and the Supreme. A comfort layer of copper with graphite-infused gel memory foam provides firmness to the mattress while keeping it soft and comfortable.
- The thicker coils along the perimeter ensure strong edge support with minimal sinkage.
- This mattress is suitable for all body types, including heavier sleepers.
- People on a tight budget should definitely opt for this mattress.
- It sleeps relatively cool as its spring system offers more breathability and doesn’t let the sleeper sink too much.
- It does not provide the same pressure-relieving sensation as a traditional memory foam mattress.
- It might feel a bit firm for lightweight side sleepers.
More about the Best Mattress for Sleep Apnea
If you are dealing with sleep apnea on a nightly basis you would probably be wondering if there is a perfect mattress to ease such symptoms. Fortunately, there are and you just need to know the essential factors that play a major role in your search process. The essential factors to consider include –
Construction and Build Material
The construction and build material of your mattress is likely to help with your sleep apnea problem
- Latex Mattress: Made from the sap of rubber trees these are light and airy material. Avoid buying synthetic latex when shopping for the best mattress for sleep apnea as it contains a petroleum base and chemical compounds that can affect breathing.
- Memory Foam Mattress: It offers superior pressure point relief by supporting the hips and lumbar area. Make sure you buy a high-quality product when purchasing a foam mattress. Innerspring mattresses and firm beds tend to lack pressure relief making them a less suitable choice for this purpose.
- Hybrid Mattress: Consists of an innerspring base with memory or latex foam as comfort layers. Check whether the hybrid mattress is compatible with an adjustable base.
Natural and Organic Material
If you have breathing problems the last thing you would want is a mattress that increases your breathing problems. Therefore, it is recommended to opt for natural and organic materials as opposed to synthetic ones. Synthetic mattresses are known to contain volatile organic compounds that trigger conditions of asthma, allergies, and respiratory problems. If an organic product is beyond your budget opt for a mattress that is hypoallergenic.
Sleepers with sleep apnea problems usually sleep on their sides, especially if they are using a CPAP machine. This would require a mattress that not only provides ample support but also enough contouring to relieve the pressure points at the shoulders and hips. Choose a mattress that would be firm enough to provide support while preventing you from sinking too deep to maintain the right alignment.
Best Mattress for Sleep Apnea FAQs
What Type of Mattress Is Best for Sleep Apnea?
If you are on a hunt for the best mattress for sleep apnea keep the different types of mattresses in mind before making a purchase. This includes –
- Memory Foam: The superior pressure point relief makes it a suitable choice for sleepers with sleep apnea problems.
- Latex: It is available either in natural or synthetic form. The natural latex is made from the sap of rubber trees that makes it a hypoallergenic component. Synthetic latex is made from a petroleum base and other chemical compounds that may worsen the sleep apnea problem.
- Hybrid: This combines innerspring base or core with a latex surface or memory foam. Choose a mattress that can adjust to your bed frame.
Can a Mattress Help Sleep Apnea?
An elevated bed will allow air to easily pass through the airways and into the vital organs. Although adjustable beds are not a solution to sleep apnea problems they can surely lessen the symptoms and bring more peaceful sleep to the user. A latex mattress can encourage a good sleeping posture, relax muscles and help with sleep apnea and insomnia problems.
Can a Bad Mattress Cause Sleep Apnea?
Sleeping on the wrong mattress can escalate the problems related to sleep apnea and insomnia. For severe cases of sleep apnea, the episodes can last the entire night with the sleeper waking up every thirty seconds.
Is It Better to Sleep on a Hard or Soft Mattress?
Sleepers who are experiencing troublesome back pain should opt for a firm mattress for a comfortable sleep. Firm mattresses are appropriate for sleepers who sleep on their back as they provide a more stable and even surface. Also, stomach sleepers find these mattresses more appropriate. Others may opt for a softer one.
Your hunt for the best mattress for sleep apnea comes to an end once you get to know the features that you should be considering while searching for one. Rest is just your personal preference and choice which may influence your decision of selecting one product over the others.
Editor’s Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. For full details visit the disclosures page.
If you ever have trouble falling asleep at night, someone might have suggested the white noise technique to you. While such a method is quite familiar with the latest invention to help improve our sleep quality is through pink noise.
While it may sound counterintuitive to sleep under the guidance of more noise such as the buzz of a radio station or the static of a muted TV, these sounds are pleasant to the human ears and can do a lot in making you fall asleep. Then what is the “pink noise” all about?
In simple words, pink noise – the best sound for sleep is a natural-sounding mix of low and high frequencies that aids in a deeper sleep and better memory. The primary difference between white noise and pink noise is the intensity of the sound frequency that is intended to lull people to sleep. The pink noise is more balanced and soothing to the human ear than white noise.
The goal of playing such noise is to block out any external sounds like noisy neighbors, street traffic, and other noisy distractions that are sleep-disrupting. Studies reveal that pink noise helps in reducing brain activity, thereby leading to a more stable sleep.
Before you plan to switch over to this mysterious shade of pink noise, you need to gain a more in-depth insight as to what distinguishes this unique sound from that of other sound-masking apps.
More Natural to The Human Ear
This statement has a different meaning than what most people interpret. It doesn’t mean that the “sound of the rainforest” breed of natural. Instead, it means that the pink noise sounds more balanced and soothing to the static white noise or similar other sounds.
The white noise is a mixture of different sounds of color that are combined to create a single giant sonic barrier. In contrast, the pink noise operates similarly, except that the sound present at the lower end of the spectrum are much louder and the sounds at the higher end are much softer. This produces a gentle and less jarring sound that seems more like a light rainstorm or waterfall.
Promotes Sound and Stable Sleep
Both pink and white noises act as sound barriers that can block out other outside noises while you are snoozing. Most people are not aware that sound itself does not make us aware. Instead, it is the alteration in the sound level that does the trick.
Therefore, producing a noise that is relatively more even and consistent and effectively masks the changes in external noise, helps the user to experience uninterrupted sleep.
While white, brown, and pink sound all operate with the same primary goal, the pink noise is more effective in steadying and slowing down brain waves for inducing a high-quality sleep.
Helps You with Memory Recall
In the sleep cycle, deep non-rapid eye movement happens when the brain goes into the process of memory consolidation. At that point, the input of pink noise can help with cognitive retention. Studies reveal that sleepers who are infused with pink noise acoustic stimulation are more successful in recalling memory up to three times than those without such noise.
However, there is a lot more research to be done on the cognitive abilities of pink noise. Nonetheless, it would be a wise decision to play some pink noise the night before any big presentation.
Aids Productivity in Your Waking Hours
Pairing pink noise with your busy daily schedule can enhance your productivity. Not only can it help in masking the chattering of coworkers but also help in sharpening the focus. One study reveals that pink noise minimizes distractions while talking and eliminates pauses while writing.
How Pink Noise Benefits Your Sleep Health
Some of the commonly experienced benefits of pink noise include –
- Falling asleep more quickly by masking all distracting sounds.
- Improving sleep quality by extending the amount of time spent in a deep sleep.
- Improving memory retention.
- Those having trouble drifting off can choose to listen to pink noise for improved sleep quality and getting up fresh in the morning.
Pink Noise FAQs
What Type of Noise Is Best For Sleep?
Relaxing and deep sleep is critical to maintaining a sharp and robust memory. Both of these decline with age and can be restored and revived with the help of effective sleep strategies like the use of pink noise – the best sound for sleep. A study by the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience reveals that listening to certain soothing sounds like the pink noise can promote deeper sleep and develop stronger memories among older adults.
What Is Pink Noise to Help You Sleep?
Pink noise is a combination of low and high frequencies that sounds more natural and balanced than similar other noise therapies such as “white noise” and “brown noise.” The noise aids in improved sleep, meditation, and masking of unwanted external sounds while sleeping.
What Is Pink Noise Sound Like?
The noise is often considered as superior to white noise and closely resembles sounds found in nature. It sounds more like a combination of the sounds from the ocean and a TV set. Also, sometimes referred to as Flicker Noise, this sound emits equal energy as all sound frequency octaves. This means that noise or bass frequencies that sound more like the natural power of the ocean can be considered as pink noise.
What Does Pink Noise Do to Your Brain?
The pink noise is responsible for enhancing the activity of the brain that is associated with deep phases of sleep. This has the potential for increasing deep sleep while dramatically improving memory in older adults. However, research studies are yet to establish that pink noise is better than white noise.
A Final Word of Advice
While more researches are being conducted every day to support the contribution and effectiveness of pink noise as the best sound for sleep, you can always take the help of this specific sound therapy if you are looking for a sleep improvement strategy.
Check out the Lectro Fan which offers Pink Noise as well as other noises to choose from.
Editor’s Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. For full details visit the disclosures page.
Everyone needs a good sleep at night, failing, which can have severe consequences on the health and happiness of the individual. If you are having difficulty dozing off or waking in the middle of the night, then you need to find ways to prevent such occurrences. But spending more hours in bed is not the solution to such a problem.
However, there is no exact science that can help you get that perfect sleep. But of course, there are things that can improve your sleep quality and make you feel refreshed and full of energy.
One of the proven techniques for getting quality sleep is by placing certain stones and crystals near the bed. These are known to have unique vibrations that can resonate with the sleep cycle.
Below are some of the best crystals for sleep that can induce relaxation and encourage a good night’s rest.
This is one of the most common stones recommended for helping people sleep better. Amethyst Crystals are made from quartz, which has strong amplification properties.
These can also be programmed. So, the user can program it to broadcast calming messages for a soothing and calming sleeping experience.
However, if you are a light sleeper, avoid placing a large piece of this stone near your bed.
The balance of mental and emotional energies within the body helps with sleep disturbances, nightmares, and rest. Furthermore, this crystal contains lithium that is often used medically for treating mood swings and depression.
Lepidolite is also associated with the Third Eye Chakra that affects rest, sleep, and dreaming, making it the perfect choice for restoring healthy sleep patterns.
The soothing blue energy of Angelite brings a sense of inner peace and calm to the user. Also known as the “Stone of Awareness,” this crystal is known to be connected to love, serenity, angelic connection, and astral traveling.
The common causes of worry, such as anxiety and worry, can be eased by placing the stone near your bed while sleeping.
However, it is recommended not to use this stone near water as it can turn into gypsum upon getting wet.
This stone is known to vibrate at a high frequency, bringing a sense of peace and calm, while removing negative energy. With an attractive ethereal appearance, this stone is frequently used in meditation because of its mystical healing properties.
A large piece of this stone in your bedroom can help in creating a peaceful atmosphere by removing all tension and worries.
More On The Best Crystals For Sleep
A variety of crystals that can be used to correct insomnia, you need to know the most effective ways to use these crystals while sleeping. Some of the commonly followed ways include –
- Place crystals under the pillow or on the bedside table to make the most out of such stones. However, it is recommended to cleanse the stones at regular intervals to remove any negativity that it might be absorbing.
- Use the stones to do a crystal meditation before going to bed. This will help to keep your body, mind, and soul calm for a peaceful night’s sleep.
- Wear them during the day on a regular basis to regulate the energy levels in your body. This will help you to slip off to slumber more easily.
- Use one crystal at a time, as combining multiple crystals at a time can generate lots of energy that can keep you awake.
- Try monitoring the effects of different crystals by regulating their use to find out which one works best for you.
Crystals for Sleep FAQs
What Types Of Crystals Can Encourage More Vivid Or Happier Dreams?
Selenite is a favorite night time crystal among users for combating insomnia and getting a good night’s sleep. It aptly represents the mindset that a person should have before heading to bed – calm and clear. Having I beside your bed each night can make you calm and clear and program your body, mind, and soul for a restful night.
Do Light Sleepers Need Different Crystals To Help With Sleep From Deep Sleepers?
Crystals are amplifiers that help to remove all negative energy and fill their surroundings with positive energy. Since it amplifies the surrounding atmosphere, light sleepers should keep such stone further away from the bed or choose a smaller version of the same.
For light sleepers, crystals such as Amethyst, Selenite, or Rose Quartz works the best. You should make it a nighttime routine to work with the crystal before going to bed.
Where In The Bedroom Are Crystals Best Kept?
For users who want to tap into their dreams should keep crystals under the pillow. Certain crystals like Selenite are great for placing near the foot of the bed. You can also place them on your nightstand. But if you are feeling that they are keeping you awake, consider placing them further away from your bed.
Does Moonstone Help With Sleep?
Different Moonstones have different properties when it comes to healing. While yellow or peach moonstone stimulates the mind and removes all worry and anxiety, rainbow moonstone provides psychotic protection, thereby aiding in calm sleep and lucid dreaming.
If you are experiencing difficulty in getting deep sleep or waking up early, you may not be getting adequate high-quality rest. This may make you feel tired, unhappy, and demotivated.
The best way to improve your sleep quality is by using the best crystals for sleep. Each has its unique characteristics that can calm the mind, promote relaxation, and ensure a deep and refreshing night’s sleep.
Research published by the Annals American Thoracic Society states that the ill effects of air pollution may cause many people to lose sleep.
Researchers have found that people living in regions with high air pollution are likely to face sleep problems compared to those living in areas with less air pollution.
Low quality and lack of sleep have adverse effects on humans. It increases the chances of accidents and also makes them moody. If this becomes a habit, then it can be harmful to your health. People not having adequate sleep are more likely to suffer from cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
How Air Pollution Affects your Airways
Poor air quality could affect your upper airways and also increase the chances of sleep apnea. Dr. Ryan Donald, sleep medicine expert at The Ohio State University, said that they need to research more to conclude if poor air quality and sleep are interconnected.
There are many reasons for sleep apnea. Air pollution causes congestion in upper airway but things like mold, dust, and pollen can cause allergies and increase the chances of sleep apnea.
A study has found the association of air pollution and sleep but not a cause-effect relationship. Dr. Martha E. Billings professor of Medicine at the University of Washington stated that there is no direct relationship between air pollution and sleep, but yes, pollution causes people not to have a sound sleep. It makes them toss and turn while they are asleep.
Billings said that more studies are required to understand the direct link between air quality and sleep.
Air Pollution and Mood
Adverse air pollution also affects your mood. A research published a few months back on people’s happiness pointed out that people living in more polluted areas are less happier.
Researcher Siqi Zheng of MIT China Future City Lab stated that pollution has an emotional effect as well. Pollution makes people unhappy and makes them take irrational decisions. Researchers also noticed that people who do not like to live in air polluted areas, move to clean cities, and are likely to experience mood swings when they live in more polluted areas.
Also, people living in cities with adverse air pollution are aware of and worried about their adverse health effects.
Air Pollution and Health Problems
Air pollution has a direct link to increased chances of respiratory problems like asthma and lung cancer. Studies have shown a relation between air pollution and many health problems.
A study published in 2017 by the researchers of the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, stated that every additional 10 micrograms of PM 2.5/cubic meter of air increased the chances of cancer by 22% in seniors.
Another research stated that there are increased chances of premature birth if the pregnant woman is breathing highly polluted air. Other research stated that air pollution particles in the human brain could lead to dementia.
Indoor Air Quality and Sleep
Indoor air pollution could be more harmful than outdoor air. The outdoor air is around 4 to 5 times less polluted than the air indoors.
People are becoming more careful about what they eat and drink but airborne chemicals enter your body easily. One of the best ways to improve indoor air quality is by having more organic options at home.
One of the common airborne chemicals in our houses are toxic gases like Volatile Organic Compounds and PBDEs. It is next to impossible to find a house to stay in the United States that does not have any airborne chemicals present.
VOCs are found in homes in different forms like paints, hobby supplies, dry cleaned clothes, aerosol spray, air fresheners etc.
Your bedroom is the place where you could avoid toxic chemicals. Converting your bedroom into a healthy retreat can be a positive impact on your health and your children. Clean air helps you have a good night’s sleep and is significant for overall health.
Quality Air Purifier
Investing in a quality air purifier is the best thing that you can do to improve air quality. It is almost impossible to limit the toxins and pollution but an air purifier can help you breathe cleaner air.
You should look for an air purifier that is tried and tested by the users. Go for the one that removes more than 99% of airborne contaminants that are larger than 0.3 microns.
Also, choose the purifier that eliminates more than 2500 toxic gases and odors that surround you like ammonia, benzene, cooking odor, dry cleaning odor etc.
I recently reviewed the Molekule Air Purifier that will eliminate VOCs and goes beyond what a standard HEPA filter can do. I highly recommend it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Air Quality Affect Sleep?
The air pollution could affect the quality of your sleep. The researchers have focused on two parts – sleep quality and sleep efficiency. This is measured as the total number of hours you sleep and the times you wake up after falling asleep.
Can Air Pollution Make You Feel Tired?
The pollutants in the air cause an increase in fatigue. If you feel tired often, you should take some time off from working in poor air quality areas. One of the common symptoms of poor air quality is headache.
How Does Poor Air Quality Affect Health?
Long term exposure to poor air quality can lead to many health issues like:
- Development of chronic respiratory diseases
- A decrease in lung function
- Respiratory issues like irritation of airways, difficulty in breathing and coughing.
Do Air Purifiers Help You Sleep Better?
Yes, air purifiers improve your sleep. They purify the air by trapping more than 99% of up to 0.3-micron airborne allergens like pet hair, molds, bacteria, dust and dust mites. These are the elements that wake you up in the middle of the sleep. Thus, air purifiers help you sleep better.
We hope to have helped you give a basic idea of how poor air quality may be affecting your sleep. Investing in a quality air purifier is the only solution so far.
How does lack of sleep effects your brain in short term? Likewise, what happens to our brains when we don’t get adequate sleep for a prolonged period?
Everybody knows that sleep is essential for our bodies and brains to function at their best. Otherwise, why would we be spending one third of our lives doing it? Chronic sleep deprivation puts us at a higher risk of various disorders and long term health conditions such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, to name just a few.
It has also been amply demonstrated that the lack of sleep has a negative affect on our cognitive performance. At the cognitive level, the lack of sleep impairs our ability to focus, make judgements, consolidate information and learn new things. In the words of Dr Michael Breus, The Sleep Doctor, “It’s difficult to identify a cognitive skill that isn’t affected by sleep, and compromised by sleep deprivation.”
Yet, while the effect of sleep and the lack of it on our cognitive performance is very well documented, much less is still known about how exactly sleep affects the brain on the cellular level.
However, as brain science rapidly advances, more and more studies appear that begin to fill that gap. Here are four of the most prominent studies of recent years and their findings that looked closely at our sleep deprived brains.
Sleep Allows Your Brain Cells To Repair Themselves
A study published earlier this year in Nature Communications found that sleep is essential for the brain’s ability to repair itself. More specifically, scientists found that during sleep essential DNA repair processes take place in the brain.
In the course of the study, the researchers from Bar-Ilan University observed zebrafish, species that are characterized by having transparent heads. With the use of a powerful microscope, the researchers were able to observe the brain of the zebrafish during sleeping and waking, and took time-lapsed images of individual neurons. They were then able to see that during sleep the process of DNA repair kicked off in their brains, reversing the DNA damage accumulated during the day.
According to the researchers, human brain cells also regularly accumulate DNA damage not only from exposure to radiation and other undesirable conditions but also as a result of the normal brain activity. Sleep allows for these cells to be repaired.
One of the study’s authors, Professor Lior Applebaum, explained why this complicated process takes place while we sleep, by comparing it to repairing potholes in the road. Speaking to Independent, he said: “Roads accumulate wear and tear, especially during daytime rush hours, and it is most convenient and efficient to fix them at night, when there is light traffic.”
The researchers think that this finding might explain the essential role of sleep for all animals with neural system including humans.
Sleep Deprivation Kills Your Brain Cells
In a study that was published in 2014 in the Journal of Neuroscience researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine made an alarming discovery that lack of sleep can result in irreversible loss of brain neurons.
The study was conducted on mice, whose brain is known to be surprisingly similar to the human brain. The mice were put on a schedule similar to the one that is used by people who work night shifts or long hours. In each 24 hour period, the mice got only 4 to 5 hours of sleep.
The results were astounding. After just three day of this schedule, the sleep-deprived mice lost 25% of brain cells in part of the brain stem, the damage that seemed to be irreversible.
According to the study’s authors, because of the similarity between the brains of mice and humans, it is very likely that the human brain suffers from the same loss of neurons when deprived of adequate sleep. This is something that researchers planned to further investigate by conducting autopsies of shift workers.
Sleep Helps Brain ‘Detox’
Another study published in Science around the same time, found that during sleep a sort of detox process takes place in your brain, as it gets rid of harmful waste products, including some that have been linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) who used high-tech imaging to look into the brains of mice and found that their brains behaved very differently when awake and asleep. Specifically, the waste removal process happened ten times faster when the mice were sleeping, flushing out among other things the toxic protein amyloid-beta that is associated with Alzheimer’s.
The clean up process observed by the researchers happens with the help of the cerebrospinal fluid that flows through the spaces between neurons flushing waste into the circulatory system. During sleep, the researchers found, brain cells contract, leaving more space for the cerebrospinal fluid to do its job a lot more effectively.
Sleep Enables Brain Cells to Communicate Effectively
In a fourth study on brain and sleep published recently in Nature Medicine, researchers found neurological explanation to the mental sluggishness that is so familiar to any of us who’ve ever had to take an exam, drive a car or perform any other cognitively demanding activity while sleep deprived. Specifically, the study authors found that lack of sleep severely impairs the ability of brain cells to communicate effectively.
In the study, 12 participants who were preparing to undergo surgery for epilepsy (unrelated to the study) had electrodes implanted into their brains and were asked to stay up the entire night. Several times throughout the night, researchers asked them to categorize images of faces, places and animals as fast as possible. They noticed that as people got drowsier, their reactions got slower. The researchers monitored the brain activity at the same time, paying particular attention to neurons in the temporal lobe, which regulates visual perception and memory. They were able to see that the slowed down response time was due to the less effective communication between their brain cells.
One of the study’s authors, Dr. Itzhak Fried, a professor of neurosurgery at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) explained in a statement: “We discovered that starving the body of sleep also robs neurons of the ability to function properly. This paves the way for cognitive lapses in how we perceive and react to the world around us.”
This of course has direct consequences in everyday activities such as driving, and thus can have a fatal affect. “Severe fatigue exerts a similar influence on the brain to drinking too much,” Fried said. “Yet no legal or medical standards exist for identifying overtired drivers on the road the same way we target drunk drivers.”
Sleep is one of the most mysterious phenomena in living beings, and it has intrigued since the dawn of civilization. Although science has been able to understand much of the processes in living beings, sleep is still mostly a mystery. Much of this is because we aren’t conscious when sleep happens and it’s impossible to tell what happened while we were sleeping after we wake up. For years, scientists have been studying sleep and associated phenomenons like sleep paralysis and have also managed to figure out a lot about what happens in the brain and the body when a person is asleep. However, some aspects of sleep are yet to be demystified, and one of them is the REM stage.
The final of the four stages of sleep is called the Rapid Eye Movement stage because the brain is active in this phase and the eyes move rapidly behind closed eyelids. Many interesting things happen during this stage. Dreams, for instance, have intrigued both scientists and the common man for the longest time, and they happen during the REM phase. When dreams happen, the brain is active, but the body is still inactive, in a state of paralysis, to prevent it from acting out the dreams. Another mysterious phenomenon is linked to the REM stage, and this is sleep paralysis.
Decoding Sleep Paralysis?
Have you ever woken up from sleep, only to find that you couldn’t move or talk or get out of bed for a few moments? That’s what is sleep paralysis. In ancient times, it was linked to supernatural creatures. When the episode occurs, everyone thought that is supernatural creature had possessed him. This made sleep paralysis a very scary phenomenon for everyone.
The condition was also termed a type of nightmare. But after a lot of scientific research, it is now known that the condition is nothing but being mentally aware while still asleep. This can happen either during falling asleep or waking up. The REM stage is the most complicated phenomenon associated with sleep, mainly because the brain becomes active and is conscious enough to experience life-like visions in the form of dreams, but the body is still inactive. Although the cause of sleep paralysis has been learned, the reason behind it still remains unclear.
What Causes Sleep Paralysis?
Although science is still unsure about the exact cause of sleep paralysis, global folklore has had explanations for centuries. These include visits from supernatural beings like ghosts, witches, and demons. In recent cases in the US, sleep paralysis has also been called “alien abductions.”
These associations to supernatural activity make sense because during sleep paralysis many people experience pressure on the chest, the feeling of being secretly watched by an intruder, and other hallucinations. However, none of these actually happen. These are only sensory perceptions because the brain is still in the REM phase and the body is inactive. This means the person has woken up when he is not supposed to be awake.
Because sleep paralysis is a complex phenomenon, it has been widely studied by scientists. The most common cause is waking up in the middle of REM stage sleep. When a person wakes up when the REM stage is still active, he is able to see, hear and feel because the brain is awake, but is unable to move because the body has not yet come out of the REM stage. Although this sounds scary, it lasts only a few seconds because the body realizes that the brain is already awake and slowly begins to move again.
In the number of studies conducted over the years to find out more about sleep paralysis, the most common cause has been identified as sleep deprivation. When a person is deprived of the normal sleep cycle, he is more likely to wake up in the middle of the REM stage. Usually, we are supposed to wake up at the end of the REM stage, but if we don’t have a normal sleep cycle, the possibility of waking up in the middle of the REM stage increases. This is when sleep paralysis is most likely to happen.
Sleep paralysis is also common in narcolepsy patients, according to sleep experts at the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at the Montefiore Health System, New York. Because narcolepsy is the result of a disrupted sleep cycle, sleep paralysis is more likely to happen, in combination with hallucinations. Napping also increases the possibility of sleep paralysis because it disrupts the natural sleep pattern. If you oversleep while napping, you may experience sleep paralysis.
Young age also is likely to be a cause behind sleep paralysis. The Mayo Clinic says that sleep paralysis is most common in the age range of 10 and 25. This means even children can be affected by this disorder and also get very frightened.
In people with anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or panic disorder, sleep paralysis is very likely, according to a 2017 report published by the National Institutes of Health. Since these emotional disorders result in nightmares and insomnia, they also increase the possibility of sleep paralysis.
According to a 2011 study by Pennsylvania State University, nearly eight percent of the general population experienced sleep paralysis. Among them, about 31 percent of people suffer from mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Although this was a small study, it does go a long way in proving that mental disorders are associated with sleep paralysis to a certain extent. However, this doesn’t mean that every person with anxiety or PTSD will get sleep paralysis.
Genetics may also have a role to play in sleep paralysis. According to the findings of a 2015 sleep study involving 862 twins and siblings by the University of Sheffield, genetics could influence sleep paralysis is some people. Although this study was also preliminary, the researchers added that it does provide a basic idea about the involvement of circadian rhythms in sleep paralysis.
Symptoms of Sleep Paralysis
Those who have experienced sleep paralysis find it to be scary. It almost seems like you were having a stroke, where your entire body was paralyzed, and you couldn’t move or speak. These are the most important symptoms of sleep paralysis. People are unable to move any part of their bodies or speak right after waking up or right when falling asleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, this can last a few seconds or up to a minute. Along with paralysis of the body, people may also experience tightness or pressure on their chest, as well as a choking feeling.
Hallucinations are also not uncommon during an episode of sleep paralysis. This is because the brain is still in a dream-state and hasn’t fully woken up. These visions or hallucinations can be an extension of an ongoing dream. Aside from these, there are no other symptoms of sleep paralysis. The person is awake and aware during sleep paralysis episodes and can later recount the experience.
There are no short or long term effects of sleep paralysis. Hence, there is no treatment for it. What can be treated is an underlying cause that could be contributing to sleep paralysis. Rather than treatment, this is an effort to prevent sleep paralysis.
Sleep experts suggest that medical help is not required after only one rare episode of sleep paralysis. What is important is to check your sleep hygiene. Often, sleep paralysis is a sign of sleep deprivation. If you have experienced sleep paralysis only once or twice, you should make sure to get enough sleep daily, limit caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and all other drugs, and stop using electronics at bedtime.
Medical help might be needed to treat underlying causes if the above doesn’t help and sleep paralysis episodes keep becoming more frequent. A sleep specialist is a person to see if you have recurrent sleep paralysis episodes.
Although sleep paralysis is not dangerous, if you experience extreme episodes, you may be prescribed a short course of antidepressants. This helps to treat any underlying stress or mental disorder that might be the reason.
Sleep experts suggest that during a sleep paralysis episode, it is important to remain calm and keep telling yourself that it will soon pass. There’s not much else that you can do. No one has ever remained in a sleep paralysis forever, so it’s important to understand that it’s only temporary and pass very soon. However, this is possible only when you’ve experienced an episode or two before. The first time, such episodes can really be frightening.
Risk Factors of Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis is a fairly common phenomenon and can affect anyone in any age group. It is most likely to begin between age 14 and 17 years and decreases after the age of 30. A person is more likely to experience it if there someone in the family with the disorder.
Some of the risk factors are:
- Bipolar disorder
- Anxiety, depression or PTSD
- Sleeping on your back
- Excessive stress
- The use of certain medications
Interesting Facts About Sleep Paralysis
In the past, before science could explain everything, it used to be believed that ghosts and demons caused sleep paralysis by pinning people down by sitting on their chest. However, these visions were mere hallucinations, a common symptom of sleep paralysis. In fact, most people who report seeing apparitions actually had sleep paralysis.
People also use different methods to shake themselves out of the episode. Some wiggle their toes while others cough. However, it isn’t possible to wake oneself up from an episode of sleep paralysis, until it passes.
If you, or someone you know has episodes of sleep paralysis, share the following infographic. It lucidly explains what sleep paralysis is, what causes it, and finally how to treat sleep paralysis.
XOcomfort Carbon Series Cooling Pillow by XOcomfort
The XOcomfort Pillow is real materials science brought to bedding. It’s a customizable shredded memory foam pillow designed for all types of sleepers. Unlike other cooling pillows, the XOcomfort pillow is not cool to the touch, meaning that you can “stay cool” without feeling cold. The secret is within the actual foam itself.
Overview of the XOcomfort Pillow
XOcomfort provides engineered foam products designed to increase comfort. It’s currently used in beds and pillows but is expected to be introduced to other comfort surfaces. It’s built with heat channels which move heat away from the body allowing for easier sleep and relaxation.
The company is currently offering $20 off their pillow (in Queen size) if you follow the link to their Amazon Product Page directly from their website. The pillow normally retails for $69.99. Also, because it’s a Prime item, Amazon Prime members are able to get this pillow with free 2-day shipping. The company guarantees deep and restorative sleep or your money back within 30 days of purchase.
Construction of the XOcomfort Pillow
This may seem minuscule to some people but one nice thing about this pillow is the option in terms of size. Many pillows come in just a single standard size but in the case of the XOcomfort pillow, it’s available in Standard, Queen and King sizes. The depth of their pillows is about 6 inches but because this is a customizable pillow, that can change based on whether or not you choose to remove any foam from it.
Dimensions for the pillow are as follows:
Standard: 20 inches x 26 inches
Queen: 20 inches x 30 inches
King: 20 inches x 36 inches
The actual foam itself is CertiPUR-US certified. This is a not-for-profit organization that certifies foam based on their standards for content, emissions and durability. There are 6 requirements that need to be met to receive CertiPUR-US certification. They are:
- Made without ozone depleters
- Made without PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (“Tris) flame retardants
- Made without mercury, lead and heavy metals
- Made without formaldehyde
- Made without prohibited phthalates
- Low emission (low VOCs)
My XOcomfort Pillow Findings
I did experience some off-gassing with this pillow so be sure to let it BREATHE. As for the foam itself, it’s certainly interesting. The pillow contained shredded, cross-chopped, cooling memory foam. It’s incredibly soft to the touch and feels so light but when you’re laying on a pillow full of it, it’s actually quite supportive and a bit on the firmer side. The pillowcase also feels soft and I was happy to see that the actual foam itself was contained in a seperate layer, made of a light, opaque and breathable material. Everything looks like it’s of quality. The fabrics, zipper and foam itself all look top-notch. Also for a clean freak, it’s so nice that I don’t need to remove each piece of foam just to wash the pillowcase. God bless! Laying on the pillow, I would have to say that I found it incredibly supportive. As a side-sleeper, I felt it supported that gap between the head and neck really quite nicely.
You can access the inside of the pillow with its zippered cover.
The XOcomfort pillow is created by the same people behind XOcomfort™ Cooling Technology and XOnano Smartfoam™. The XOcomfort pillow is what utilizes their cooling technology, while their smartfoam is a component of another entirely different project and endeavor. You can learn more about that here: https://xonanosmartfoam.com
XOnano Smartfoam is defined as: “an impact sensing technology that can be used to measure the magnitude of impacts in real time. The foam is engineered to create electricity when impacted which correlates to the impact magnitude.” This type of sophisticated smart foam allows data to be collected by way of technologically advanced nano-particles that are much smaller and less complex than sensors currently on the market. They create foam that is impact sensing, pressure sensing, and thermal regulating.
The inventor behind Smartfoam™ is Jake Merrell, who actually sold one of his companies to go back to school to become an engineer. XOnano Smartfoam™ is the commercialization of his Doctoral research at Brigham Young University. Initially, the smartfoam he developed was designed to better address concussions and head injuries that were common among young football athletes. For example, by measuring the impact, a coach could more easily decide whether or not a player should seek medical attention. XOnano is seeing a lot of application in the sports industry and its use will continue to expand into other markets.
You can watch the video below to learn more:
XOnano Smartfoam™ partnered with Rogers Corporation (NYSE:ROG) in Feb of 2018. Rogers Corporation is an electronics industry company and a global leader in engineered materials that power, project and connect the world. The announcement of this partnership was published on the Rogers Corp website itself, further amplifying its significance.
Many companies in the sleep industry say their products are “designed by real engineers” and so on and so forth but I sometimes wonder the validity behind those types of statements. More often than not, it can be difficult to find all the information you’re looking for but I’m happy to say that the company and the people within it are the real deal. If a public company like the Rogers Corporation is confident in them than how can I not be?
My XOcomfort Pillow Recommendation
Because this is a pillow that would require some time before I can report on it’s cooling properties, keep their 30 day guarantee in mind. While I do tend to sleep hot, that’s not the case every night so it varies. Many online reviews show that people are absolutely ecstatic about this thing but as with everything there are some exceptions. On another side note, if you find you’ve tried many cooling pillows but still aren’t seeing a difference, consider whether or not your mattress and/or your bed sheets, blankets, and comforters are conducive to cooler sleep. They might not be.
The XOcomfort pillow was developed by a startup with REAL promise for this venture and beyond. This isn’t just a company that purchases white label pillows from a manufacturer in China. They engineer their own products and the potential of their inventions is staggering.
There is often an endless list of factors that can affect sleep. Many of these factors are not what people usually consider to be associated with sleep in any way, but they go a long way in determining the amount and quality of rest you get every night. From the number of hours, you work every day to the kinds of food you eat to the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume to your bedroom environment– all of these factors influence sleep quality in one way or the other. For instance, if you eat a big heavy meal very close to bedtime, your sleep quality that night will be negatively affected.
When it comes to food, there is a lot that’s connected to sleep. Not only does the amount of food you eat every day have an impact on your sleep quality, but your overall diet also goes a long way in influencing your quality of rest. There is a lot of social awareness about eating healthy and exercising right in order to stay in shape, reduce stress and get the right amount of sleep. But even when people think they are doing everything right, they may actually be following a diet that’s not beneficial for sleep.
Recently, an acidic diet has come under the scanner for being harmful to sleep quality. But the majority of the global population follows an acidic diet even without knowing it. But this kind of diet is often responsible for insufficient or poor sleep quality. If you wake up feeling tired every morning an acidic diet could be responsible for it.
What Is an Acidic Diet?
You have an acidic diet when most of the foods that you consume have a pH level of 4.6 or lower. These types of food produce more acid in the body and make your entire system more acidic than alkaline. The pH level of any substance tells you if it is an acid, an alkali or neutral. For instance, the pH level in a battery is zero, which is extremely acidic. But your toilet cleaner has a pH level of 14, which is completely alkaline. Water, especially if it’s pure distilled water, has a pH level of 7, which is neither acidic nor alkaline.
In the same way, different parts of our bodies have different pH levels. The pH level in your blood is more alkaline than the pH level of your stomach. This is because various acids are produced in the intestine help break down food. Your blood should generally remain alkaline. If the pH level of your blood is too low, you have too much acid in your system.
Consuming acidic foods on a regular basis contributes to a low blood pH level. When the pH level in your blood is low, it interferes with the pH level of your stomach and leads to various digestive and gastrointestinal issues. Generally, the low pH level of the stomach is beneficial for proper digestion of food. But if the pH level of your blood is also low, then this can cause a problem. If you suffer from frequent indigestion, it could be a sign that your body is acidic.
What Foods Are Acidic?
There are several everyday food products that are acidic in nature, and regular consumption of these can make the blood pH level lower than it should be. Some of the most acidic foods are:
- Dairy products
- Processed food like pizzas, fries, burgers, pies, cookies, donuts, etc
- Both fresh meat and processed meat, such as ground beef
- Sodas, alcohol, and other sweetened beverages
- Protein-rich food and protein supplements
- Fruits and fruit juices
- Certain vegetables
These are all common foods that we consume daily, but they contribute to making the blood acidic and hurt not only the digestive system but also sleep quality.
How Acidic Diet Affects Sleep
Most people follow an acidic diet, without realizing that it affects their sleep quality. The stomach produces enough acids on its own, but excessive consumption of acidic foods increase this normal level of acids and cause problems. This is the reason why you have trouble falling asleep after consuming certain foods for dinner or why you are asked to not consume citrus fruits late in the evening.
It requires the brain a lot of energy to help us sleep. When the system is focused on digestion throughout the night, it cannot focus on falling asleep. Any acidic food increases the time taken for digestion, making the intestine work harder. And when the intestine is working hard to break down the acids, the brain is unable to fall asleep. Even if does manage to fall asleep, the sleep quality is poor. If you wake up tired even after getting 8 hours of sleep, it could be the effect of an acidic diet.
Benefits of Alkaline Diet
Foods considered alkaline have a pH level higher than 7. They help balance the acids already present in your system. Alkalizing foods should be a major part of any diet because they keep the digestive system healthy as well as contribute to better sleep. Alkaline foods include:
- soy, tofu, miso, and soybeans
- most fresh vegetables
- unsweetened yogurt and milk
- certain fruits
- herbs and spices, not including salt, nutmeg, and mustard
- lentils and beans
- some whole grains, such as millet and quinoa
- healthy fats in nuts, olive oil, seeds and avocado
- herbal teas
To keep your diet on the alkaline side, you should replace acidic foods with alkalizing ones. This isn’t hard to do if you cook your own meals and eat at home. But if you regularly eat out or consume packaged foods, you are more at risk of a higher acidic level. Alkaline diets focus more on plant-based foods and eliminate processed food. Sticking to an alkaline diet isn’t possible if you regularly eat out, but small changes can be made slowly to improve health as well as the quality of sleep.
Parents of children with autism are acutely aware of the struggle of getting them to sleep every night. Sleep issues in those with autism spectrum disorder are one of the most major concerns of parents, because it affects not only the child but also the entire household. Children with autism have a wide range of issues that pose challenges for parents, teachers, and healthcare practitioners. But sleep problems can leave the child tired and irritable and disrupt the sleep of every other person in the house.
Much like the other issues presented by autism spectrum disorder, the sleep issues also range from mild to severe. In some children, it is more manageable, while in others, the help of healthcare practitioners may be required. By understanding the cause of sleep disorders, parents can help children with autism settle down and get a good night’s rest.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism is defined as a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties in communication and social interaction, varying in severity. Not all children with autism spectrum disorder have the same symptoms, although most of them are related to social skills and communication. Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder appear within the ages of 1 and 2. Children with autism may also have symptoms of hyperactivity, difficulty learning, and inability to make friends.
Some of the most important symptoms of autism spectrum disorder include:
- Lack of response when called by name
- Resistance to being held or cuddled
- Not showing emotions or making eye contact
- Difficulty speaking or delayed speech
- Inability to start a conversation or hold one
- Difficulty following instructions or nonverbal cues like facial expressions
- Passive, aggressive or disruptive behavior in social situations
- Problem with coordination
- Repetitive movements like spinning or rocking
- Indulging in self-harm, like biting or head-banging
- Affinity to specific routines and inability to adapt to change
Autism spectrum disorder has no cure but if intervened early the right treatment and therapy can make a big difference. People have to live with autism forever, and in many cases, their social and professional lives are impaired, including making friends, forming relationships, or holding a job. In some people, symptoms of autism are very visible while others may not appear as autistic at first glance.
Sleep Disorders in Autism
All children have a problem with sleep in the early years. They may either refuse to adhere to a certain bed time, or fall asleep before it’s time for bed, or have difficulty waking up in the morning. Some children me also experience insomnia, but it usually goes away on its own and is not a cause for concern.
But when it comes to children with autism, sleep disorders add to the challenges already faced by parents on a daily basis. Children with autism also exhibit certain sleep disorders not usually seen in other children, such as:
- Irregular sleep and wake patterns, such as staying awake till very late or waking up too early in the morning
- Sleeping too little for their age or being awake till late in the night
- Getting up and playing or making noise in the middle of the night when they are supposed to sleep
- Excessive sleepiness during the day
- Falling asleep in weird places and refusing to budge
As with other problems experienced by children with autism, sleep disorders can also be hard to manage. The worst part is when it begins to take a toll on the parents and other members of the household. Children with autism can be excessively needy and seek reassurance all the time. They may wake up in the middle of the night or too early in the morning and also wake up the entire household because they cannot settle and need reassurance. Such behavior can lead to excessive parental stress.
In children with mild to moderate autism, these sleep disorders get better with age. But in children with severe autism spectrum disorder, sleep issues can last for years and may never completely go away. If a child with severe autism experiences sleep disorders on a daily basis, parents should seek the help of a professional to try and make things better before the child grows older. Once the child grows up, these issues can be almost impossible to eradicate.
Causes Behind Sleep Disorders in Children with Autism
Sleep disorders in children with autism result from a number of factors. It helps to note that sleep disorder itself is not the issue; there is an underlying cause that needs to be treated first. Some of the causes behind autism related sleep disorders are:
Difficulty in Communication
Children with autism usually have difficulties communicating their needs and wants to others. They are not able to adjust in a social setting or make friends. This is often one of the reasons why your child might be kept awake at night. Inability to communicate clearly with others causes stress to the child and prevents normal sleep. Because of these communication problems, children with autism are often unable to pick up on cues. All these stress can cause sleep disorders in children with autism.
Sticking to Routine
Children with autism are extremely particular about routine. They find it easy to fall asleep if a specific bedtime is followed every day. Even the slightest deviation from routine can upset them and cause mental disturbances. Besides, they also have weird habits, such as falling asleep in a particular place and refusing to sleep in bed. They may have favorite objects like a toy or a set of clothes without which they refuse to go to bed. They may even throw tantrums if they do not find their favorite objects. Children with autism can be stubborn and these habits can be very hard to break, escalating sleep disorders.
One of the biggest symptoms of autism spectrum disorder is hyperactivity. Children with autism refuse to settle and have excessive energy and alertness, make it hard for them to fall asleep. They may have difficulty sitting or lying in one place for long time, and make repetitive movements like spinning, jumping or flapping their arms and legs. Because of such hyperactivity, it can be hard to get children with autism to settle or sleep. If social settings cause anxiety to the child, it can snowball into a sleep disorder.
Side Effects of Medications
If your child takes medications for autism, they can have certain side effects. Sleep issues are often side effects of medications. In that case, you should consult the healthcare practitioner to change the medication.
Managing Sleep Disorders
Sleep problems in children with autism aren’t always because of the condition. Some of them can also be behavior issues that can be easily managed by strategies used for any other child.
However, children with autism can have difficulty understanding instructions or cues, so you need a lot of time and patience.
The following are a few strategies for managing sleep problems in children with autism.
Develop and Stick to Sleep Routines
As with any other child, you need to establish a positive routine during bedtime. This involves engaging your child in relaxing and calming activities for 20 or 30 minutes before bed. The routine should be age-appropriate bedtime for your child. Regular bedtimes and wake times have been found to help children with autism spectrum disorder with their sleep problems.
Warning for Approaching Bed Time
Children with autism get upset if they are suddenly asked to change activities. For instance, if your child is busy with his favorite toy when you suddenly announce it’s time for bed, they may get upset and throw a tantrum. Therefore, you should give plenty of warnings in advance that bedtime is approaching. Also make sure to stick to the routine every single day, even when you are on a holiday or at someone else’s house.
Be Patient and Consistent
Children with autism can get upset at being put to bed and keep getting out. Parents need to put the child gently back to bed, as many times as they get out. Returning the child to bed helps establish the fact that it’s bedtime and they need to sleep.
Pay careful attention to the sleep environment of the child. If the child won’t sleep without a certain toy or pillow, it’s important to gradually phase out the item to decrease their reliance on it. It’s also necessary to teach the child to sleep in their own bed and to fall asleep on their own. This can be done with the help of cues, like drawing pictures or telling them stories. If your child suffers from anxiety, playing music, keeping a night light on, or telling them bedtime stories can help bring about relaxation.
Although certain autism-related problems exist even in adulthood, sleep problems can be managed with lots of patience and consistence from the parents, and help from professionals.
Get 15% off your Pillow Guy purchase with coupon code SLEEPSHERPA at checkout. Activate Here
The Pillow Guy Down Alternative Pillow is marketed towards gentlemen who could step up their bed game. The entire Pillow Guy brand offers an array of products, all meant to encourage men to pay more mind to this routine but an essential part of life.
The products they offer are pillows, sheets, comforters, duvet sets and also bundles to help you save in case you’re looking for a nice package deal.
Overview of the Pillow Guy Down Alternative Pillow
Pillow Guy only has 2 types of pillows in their inventory but I believe it’s more than enough; some people just don’t like foam and there already exists an array of places where foam pillows are available. The Pillow Guy brand seeks to distinguish itself by representing men of higher class and higher taste, of which quality pillows like traditional down pillows remain relevant. Their down pillows are $150.00 each, a rather steep price but I have no doubt that the quality matches the price. Usually, things made of premium materials will cost you a premium price and that’s just the reality. For those that want to spend less or are of a more animal-friendly tendency, the down alternative pillow is a solid option. With a price tag of $80.00, it’s worth considering for the budget-minded.
Construction of the Pillow Guy Down Alternative Pillow
The Pillow Guy Down Alternative Pillow comes in two sizes: Jumbo and King. Jumbo is more or less just about the size of a Queen pillow (which are generally ~ 20” X 30”). I kind of wish they just sticked with the term, as anyone shopping for bedding is familiar with it but I respect their decision to focus on their male target audience. To be honest, if we’re talking about men, King would be the appropriate term to take advantage of, for the most part.
Both come with the option of two densities: soft, meant for stomach sleepers, and overstuffed, designed for back and side sleepers.
|King Medium Firm||20||36||76oz|
My Pillow Guy Down Alternative Pillow Findings
Pillow shells, that which houses the inner pillow material, are not usually a topic of conversation but what they’ve done with theirs is worth the mention and pretty interesting. Having utilized what’s known as MicronOne Technology means their pillow fabric shells are more premium than most. MicronOne technology refers to a rather high-tech fabric, invented to effectively protect the skin and respiratory system. It’s said to be the only material that’s been scientifically tested to block out bed bugs and micro toxins, down to the size of one micron. The biggest flaw with MicronOne Technology however is that there isn’t ENOUGH research behind it. This however is NOT a reason to think of Pillow Guy in any negative or skeptical way, as these are two completely separate companies. I consider Pillow Guy to be an absolutely awesome brand that has clearly done their absolute best to invest in the most high-quality materials for their high-class creations.
The color of the pillow cases for the down alternative pillows is something the company is quite proud of, and they should be. What they’ve dubbed to be “Pillow Guy Blue” is a striking and bold color, their own blend of Pantone colors, versatile enough to compliment various styles of bedding and decor. A lot of guys also tend to like blue so it was a great choice given their target audience. It is, after all, a rather sophisticated color. In addition, I like that their pillow cases were designed to be used as is. It feels like the sort of thing you’d get when purchasing a bedding set. It’s distinct and of quality. I feel like most companies go with the generic look of pillows; they’re always white, which is understandable (easy to know how clean or dirty they are, right?) but I appreciate that Pillow Guy chose to do something different.
It also comes with a hidden zipper (it’s actually really well hidden) and white satin piping. Piping is usually a posh feature when it comes to any product and the luxury of having it in a pillow case is really nice.
My Pillow Guy Down Alternative Pillow Recommendation
I’ll admit that I had a liking for Pillow Guy the moment I saw their commercial but pillows are more than their marketing and working here at Sleep Sherpa, you deserve the truth. The truth is that out of all of the pillows I’ve reviewed thus far, this one is probably one of my top two favorites. The quality matches its price, both the soft and overstuffed version provide more than sufficient support, it’s well designed and really thought out, it achieves its purpose to look and feel just like a down pillow (I was really surprised how well they pulled this off because it’s not easy), and the company isn’t scared to be creative in terms of the look of their product and how they market it, which I think is really cool and what variety is all about.
I also think it’s worth mentioning that despite their intense buffer against dirtiness, it’s always recommended to clean your pillows routinely, so the fact that this pillow is machine washable is a huge plus.
Additionally, they provide Free US Shipping, a 30-Day Sleep Free Guarantee, free returns, and even monthly payments through Affirm, financing for those who can’t afford the entirety of what they’d like to purchase, be it pillows or something else.
In terms of their marketing, what I really like is that there’s a message associated with their products, which is not really typical of sleep products, if you think about it. Most companies are trying to provide a solution, which is great, sure, but not all of them state having a particular reason/purpose as to why they create their products in the first place.
If you haven’t seen their entire commercial, there’s mention how men who care about their appearance and their nice car, things speaking either of their social status or their attention to detail (or both), should care just as much about their sleep hygiene. Pillow Guy is making an attempt to remind people that they should have standards when it comes to their sleep, and how they sleep; it’s precisely why one of their slogans is “Get your sheet together.”
One’s bedroom is no doubt telling of one’s tendency towards cleanliness and whether we’re talking about how others will perceive you because of it, or how you perceive yourself, this is an area worth investing in—regardless of whether or not you can afford the most premium products.
Seeing a line of products that are targeted towards men who are commonly known to not put much care or emphasis into their bedding, is refreshing. It’s nice to see the topic brought up and Pillow Guy does it in a really sophisticated and polite manner.
Pillow Guy challenges men to “step up their bed game,” and I think anyone dating a man who could do better in this arena, would definitely appreciate that.
This is a top-notch luxury pillow that one should not hesitate about; firstly, because of its quality and secondly, because of the company’s values and their finesse in addressing the topic of clean sleep.
Get 15% off your Pillow Guy purchase with coupon code SLEEPSHERPA at checkout. Activate Here
Brainwave-Oriented Sleep Companion
Made by Oregon Scientific
If your bedroom is exposed to street and other noises that keep you awake, or if you find that sounds like falling rain lulls you to sleep, then the DreamScience Sleep Companion may be the perfect sleep aide for you. The DreamScience Sleep Companion will cocoon you in an envelope of 20 different sleep inducing soundscapes.
According to the manufacturer, Oregon Scientific, “the DreamScience Sleep Companion envelops you in a calming buffer of soundscapes programmed and clinically proven to help you gently fall asleep, stay asleep, and reach deeper, more restful levels of sleep. The technologies utilized by DreamScience let you reset your sleep routine, helping to reduce stress, restore energy and improve your focus”.
Manufacturer Feature List:
- Produces 20 different clinically proven soundscapes designed by Dr. Lee Bartel at the University of Toronto
- Soundscapes are designed to complement and entrain the brains natural delta, alpha and beta brain waves for a quicker and deeper sleep experience
- Patented Sleep Enhancement Technology that lulls you to sleep by gradually slowing the rhythm of playback
- Selectable wake up soundscapes to gently wake you from your sleep
- Option to turn on six selectable mood backlights
- Option to enable a sleep timer for 30, 60 or 90 minute in addition to continuous playback
- Digital clock
- Includes line-in port and 3.5mm audio cable to use the DreamScience speaker for other audio devices such as your favorite music app on your phone
- Powered by an included AC adapter or 4-AA batteries (not included)
- DreamScience Sleep Companion
- USB power adapter plug
- USB power cable
- 3.5mm audio cable (for external music device such as a smartphone)
- CR2032 “button” style battery (to retain system settings in the event of a power failure to unit)
- Instruction booklet
The DreamScience Sleep Companion is easy to setup. The selection of soundscapes include rain, ocean surf, whales, waterfall, forest sounds and basic white noise among others. The speaker provides rich, soothing but not over powering soundscape levels.
We found all the soundscapes soothing and warm. We did not use the mood lights while sleeping as we prefer total dark, but some may prefer the mood light to be on to act as a soothing night light.
We preferred the “rain”, “revitalize” and “meditate” soundscapes. The family cats liked the “bird” sounds for obvious reasons. That said, we found all of them relaxing except perhaps “thunder” although even that one is not harsh but more of a distant rumble. Thinking about “thunder”, it may be of use as a gentle way to acclimate a pet who has a fear of thunderstorms. Given the range of soundscapes, everyone should be able to find one or more to be soothing and restful.
Because the DreamScience Sleep Companion is small and battery powered, it is also ideal for travel. It helps mask out noisy hotel hallways and busy street traffic giving you restful sleep before that important business meeting.
Do you meditate or do yoga? The soundscapes can also calm you into that perfect meditative state. An extra bonus!
We also plugged a smartphone into the AUX port using the provided 3.5mm standard audio cable and used it to play music. Once plugged in, the volume controls on your smartphone can be used to adjust your selected music’s sound level from very soft to very loud. While not intended to be a high performance audio speaker it does give a good music listening experience.
To sum up, the DreamScience Sleep Companion functions as your:
- Wake up alarm
- Music speaker
- Mood light / night light
- And most importantly, a sleep inducing and calming soundscape player
Disclosure: We aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting, and if you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue.
Get comfortable with this massage mat
Made by Comfort Products Inc.
Overview of the Comfort Products Massage Mat
If you are restless and can’t sleep, a warm full body back massage often helps one relax and sleep better. The Comfort Products Motorized Massage Mat is 66 inches long and provides 10 massage zones covering your entire back down to your lower extremities. It also has an heating element that can be turned on to provide soothing warmth to the lumbar section of the back. The mat can either be lain flat on a bed or used in a chair. The mat offers 3 levels of intensity and five programmed modes to massage different areas of the back and lower extremities. The mat is covered in a soft plush beige or charcoal fabric.
Manufacturer Feature List:
- Ten invigorating massage zones
- Easy-to-operate LED hand controller
- 5 preprogrammed variable modes plus independent body zone control
- 3 intensity levels
- Side storage pouch for easy access to controller
- Soothing heat treatment in lumbar area
- Maximum temperature 59.9C (140F) reached at 7 minutes 40 seconds
- Soft plush beige polyester fabric
- Mat size: 66″ x 22″
- 1 year limited warranty
- Motorized Mat
- AC Power adapter and cord
- Instruction guide
Having had back surgery 20 years ago, I find that I relax and sleep better after a massage. I have had the Comfort Products Massage Mat for about 4 months now. I use it every night. The massage mat can be used flat on a bed or in a chair. I prefer to use it in a recliner chair. Once started, the massage lasts about 30 minutes and then automatically shuts off. You can select the massage pattern, intensity and also set it to apply heat to the lumbar area. The mat has 10 motorized massage areas. This mat is not designed to give you a deep tissue shiatsu type massage. Instead, the mat gives you a tension reducing and relaxing vibrating massage.
The motors and massage zones are comfortable enough to fall asleep on, which is what I normally do when I use the mat. The mat cover is nice and soft. But it is not removable to wash, so you should always use a sheet or towel between your body and mat to keep the mat clean. In operation, the motors are not excessively loud and we have found it does not disturb others nor interfere with other activities such as watching TV.
Based on our experience, to get a better nights sleep or simply to relax and soothe a tense back, the Comfort Products Motorized Massage Mat may be just the comfort you have been looking for.
My Comfort Massage Mat Findings
Disclosure: We aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting, and if you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue.
Here’s a great article on power napping at the office from the Huffington Post. They say just 10-30 minutes is enough to see significant improvement in your alertness and mood.
It might make sense to work 30 minutes late and take 30 minutes off during the afternoon to take a quick nap so you can reap the benefits both at work and at home!