Why Do People Sleep Under Blankets in the Summer?

At night, which camp are you in – blanket or no blanket? Have you ever wondered why so many people sleep with a blanket, even during the hottest nights of summer? Well, the answers may surprise you.

Let’s start with the science. So many people say they can’t fall asleep without a blanket. If you’re one of those people, you’re definitely not alone. One reason could be psychological, especially if you were used to being put to bed as a child tucked neatly into bed. It’s as if we’re conditioned to want blankets – even babies have a thing for them.

The simple biological fact is that your body actually needs a little more warmth at night. Your core temperature drops around bedtime and that’s when melatonin levels increase. This is your body telling you that it’s time to hit the hay. Once you’re asleep and you hit your deepest REM cycles, your body can’t warm itself up again. Overnight temperatures are actually coldest right after the dawn, and our bodies are conditioned to know that we’ll need some warmth later.

Blankets are, in fact, a newer trend among humans. Long before there were 1200-thread count sheets and luxury down-filled comforters, there were barnyard animals. Centuries ago, it was incredibly expensive and difficult to weave the equivalent of something like a twin sheet. So, except for the wealthiest people, most slept with barnyard animals to keep warm.

Throughout ancient Egyptian and Roman times, only the wealthiest families could afford blankets. Years later, when the weaving process became less laborious, middle-class families could afford them. However, they were still expensive and often passed down as an inheritance or a family heirloom.

These days, we don’t have to worry about snuggling up next to the cows or horses. We’ve come a long way since the wool sheets of the ancient Roman Empire, too! Bedding innovation means that we can offer you the finest of luxury bedding. We won’t judge you for sleeping with one foot sticking out, so don’t be afraid to get in touch to speak with one of our bedding experts.

History of Sleep Series: Strange Bedfellows in History

One of my favorite sleep history stories is from American history. Ever heard the phrase “strange bedfellows”? Sure, the phrase really is a metaphor for unlikely partners. However, if your partner and you have different ideas about how to sleep in comfort, it can be a great way to describe your sleeping arrangements at home. For one patriotic duo, it was a quite literal description of a historical event that may have changed the course of our country’s independence.

Autumn 1776

Imagine a crisp September day in the fall of 1776, and the American colonies had established independence from Britain. Weeks earlier, George Washington and his troops, though badly defeated, narrowly escaped from British capture. The Revolutionary War continued to rage,  and a British Admiral and his troops were holed up on Staten Island in New York. The British Admiral urged the Founding Fathers to renounce the Declaration of Independence and come back home to Britain.

A delegation from the Continental Congress in Philadelphia was sent north on a little road trip to negotiate an end to the war. The group of three travelers included Dr. Benjamin Franklin, who was the oldest Congress member at 70, the youngest Congress member Edward Rutledge (he was 27), and John Adams — who was stuck right in the middle at a fresh-faced 41 years old.

After traveling some distance by horseback, the trio decided to take a pit stop at a small New Jersey inn. There were only two rooms left for the three men, and Ben and John shacked up together in accommodations that were only slightly larger than the bed in the room and included a small window. Here’s where things get strange.

To Open or Shut the Window

John, who was a bit of a hypochondriac, believed he needed to sleep with the window closed to avoid catching a cold. Ben, in his old age and extensive wisdom, stated his case: “Don’t shut the window,” he told John, “we shall be suffocated!” Ben (he was a doctor and scientist, after all) explained that it was not the “frowzy corrupt air” filled with dirt that would make them sick should it waft into their small room. He elaborated on the benefits of fresh air and ventilation.

Dr. Ben and John argued back and forth about the pros and cons of sleeping with the window open, until logic prevailed and John decided to sleep with the window open. He hopped in bed — both still mumbling as they drifted off to sleep — and neither caught a cold that night. Unfortunately the peace talks in Long Island lasted a few hours and weren’t successful.  Maybe if the inn’s mattress was memory foam, we would all have a different story to tell about how America came to be…

The Four Most Important Tips For Mattress Maintenance

All you have to do is put your mattress on the floor, and sleep on it. There’s nothing complicated about mattress maintenance. Right?

Unfortunately, this is not the case.  A key part of your health, your mattress requires a bit of maintenance to prevent the breakdown of its components. When the components break down, your sleep may be disrupted. Disrupted sleep leads to sleep deficiency, that can lead to headaches, memory problems, and weight gain.

If you want to get the most out of your mattress and get the highest quality sleep possible, here are four tips for proper mattress maintenance.

Get a Good Box Spring

There are tons of different bedding accessories online, but the most important of these sleep accessories is arguably a good box spring, which can be as important as a good mattress is. These sleep accessories act like a giant shock absorber, taking much of the nightly wear and tear you put on your mattress, improving comfort and support. We recommend a box spring or foundation with steel components inside as these are less likely to squeak over time.

A Proper Bed Frame is Essential

To maintain your mattress, get a box spring bed frame, too, which can accommodate both a mattress and a box spring. Make sure the bed frame has the center support recommended by the mattress warranty. Center supports are also sold separately online if you already have a bed frame or wood bed rails.

Flip and Rotate Your Mattress

Not only is it wise to get more sleep accessories and bedding online, but you also need to do some maintenance on your mattress, too. Think about it like this: if you sleep about eight hours a night, you’re racking up 3,000 hours per year on your mattress. If you sleep in the same position, on the same spot, you’re going to wear that particular part of the mattress out quickly. Most of today’s mattresses are one-sided so you can’t flip them over, but still you can rotate them head to foot. We recommend rotating your mattress every two weeks during the “break-in” period, the first 3 months of owning a new mattress.  Rotate the mattress with the seasons thereafter.  If you have a two-sided mattress, both flip and rotate it every other month to ensure that the wear and tear is evenly distributed.

Mattress Maintenance Requires a Stainproof Mattress Protector

Stains void your mattress warranty, but that’s not the only reason to get a quality mattress protector. One of the main reasons that mattresses break down is moisture. If a mattress isn’t protected by a good moisture barrier, moisture gets into the foams, the true comfort layers of the mattress. This causes the foams to break down more quickly. Always protect a new mattress with a stain and water proof mattress cover.

If you want to get a good night’s sleep, you need to get the appropriate sleep accessories, take care of your mattress, and avoid sitting on it. If you have any questions, or know of any other sleep accessories that can help others, feel free to share in the comments.

Selecting the Right Bed Frame

Pretty much everyone who has slept on a bed knows what a bed frame is.  However, not everyone knows that choosing the right bed frame takes some serious consideration. Just as it is important to get the right support for your body with a mattress, it’s equally as important for your mattress to get the right support with a proper bed frame.

First, you should decide which size frame you’ll need. If you already have a mattress and/or headboard, you’ll buy one that corresponds with that bedding. With the right hardware, any bed frame can attach to any existing headboard or footboard. If you’re starting fresh and just figuring out which size is right, measure your room and think about other furniture that may be in the room.  Below are the standard bed frame dimensions for each size.

Standard Bed Sizes

Graphic showing Mattress size measurements

Twin: Usually 38” wide by 72” long, this size is great for younger kids or an infrequently-used guest bedroom.

Full: This size generally measures 53” by 75” and offers enough space for a sprawling sleeper — but it may be a tight fit for two people.

Queen: Typically this size measures 60” by 80” and is a good choice for couples who like to snuggle or have a smaller bedroom.

King: At 76” wide and 80” long, this choice is perfect for sleepers who like their space but it can also take up a lot of room.

California King: A whopping 72” of width and 84” of length makes this large size ideal for big rooms and restless sleepers.

Second, standard bed frames are great for most mattress options.  However, there are a few factors that may require a custom-sized or custom-style bed frame.

Height

A standard frame is about 7” high, so add that to the existing height of your bedding. You may need something lower or higher that will help you get in and out of bed easily.

Growth

Buying a new bed for a growing child? Look into a frame that adjusts to give more room to stretch out as you upgrade the mattress size.

Mobility

If moving the bed around the room is a concern, choose a frame that’s light and easy to move.

As you can see, there are many options when it comes to finding the right bed frame for your mattress.  Give us a call or stop by to talk to our specialists to find the perfect fit for your home — and for a perfect night’s sleep!

The History of Sleep

In 1996 while studying mood disorders, pediatrician Ronald E. Dahl decided to dive into the history of sleep and how it affected children.  He discovered that there was very little scientific information about how human sleep evolved over time. From sleeping arrangements to the evolution of bedding and linens, Dahl uncovered literature that detailed the history of sleep and how humans sleep.

Sleep in the Neolithic Era

Let’s start our journey of the history of sleep by traveling back in time to the Neolithic era, when humans were hunter-gatherers and roamed in tribes, sleeping wherever large, scary predators weren’t. We didn’t really have a reason to stay in one place until we learned how to farm domesticated animals and grow crops. One of the first beds was discovered in Texas caves, dating back to 8000 BCE. and made of a pit in the ground near cave walls. Several of us would huddle together and stuff soft grass into the pits for comfort.

Sleep Like an Egyptian

Ancient Egyptians really had a thing for sleep, as they believed it was a state close to death. Dreams were revered as messages from the gods, and many hours were spent deciphering and analyzing symbols for deeper meanings. Bedding had pictures of gods known for protection from demons.  Wealthy Egyptians had bed frames dipped in the middle, elevating the feet.

Roman Sleep Habits

Fast forward to ancient Roman times where sleep wasn’t always an option, especially for those in power. When they did have time, they slept in rooms called cubiculum that also served as meeting rooms during the day. Beds during that time looked more like modern sofas, and Romans — known for their overindulging and opulence — kept their cubiculum sparsely furnished.

The Middle Ages

Unfortunately, the Middle Ages weren’t the best years when it came to sleep. With the lack of sanitation, rampant illness, and overwhelming filth, these conditions made insomnia seem like a walk in the park. Families often slept in large beds together near fires, and put coals under their mattress to add warmth. Servants for rich families slept on straw mats at the feet of their masters.

The Renaissance and Beyond

It wasn’t until the Renaissance period (surprise, surprise) that people figured out how to make sleeping comfortable and restful. People learned that stringing ropes across bed frames helped to better support their mattress, but these strings needed to be tightened nightly. Some even believed this is where the term “sleep tight” came from. In China, similar things were happening as beds became a more ornate centerpiece of any bedroom. The bed, bedding, and linens were the most expensive of a couple’s belongings. These possessions were among the most valuable items left in any inheritance.

Then the Industrial Revolution hit, and sleep as we know it changed for good. Before the advent of artificial light, humans used to have biphasic sleep patterns in two 4-hour blocks.  People would awaken at night to get chores done before heading back for an extended nap. As access to electricity became widespread and factory workers pulled 16 hour shifts, our sleep morphed into one block overnight.

One thing is for sure: as our sleeping habits changed over the years, so have our mattresses! It’s a good thing we have more options aside from cave pits. Stop in to find the right mattress for your cubiculum!

Game-Changing Bed Frames by emBrace

Let’s talk about bed frames. How many times do you stub your toe or hit your shin on that rickety, brown, metal frame that’s supporting your luxury mattress? Have your kids stopped jumping on the bed because of all that noise?  We talk a lot about mattress and bedding innovation, but not so much when it comes to bed frames.  That was before seeing the new line of bed frames by emBrace.

Bed Frame of the Future

After decades of settling for the standard bed frames we’ve all come to know and dislike, the emBrace bed frame is changing the game. This revolutionary design features advanced polymer resin over Pennsylvania steel core supports.  It can hold up to 2000 pounds, which means it’s perfect for heavier luxury mattress sets. The emBrace frame is longer than traditional frames and comes closer to the end of the box spring, offering more stable support.

embrace-full-bed-frameFor as long as we can remember, we’ve been covering bed frames with bed skirts. A contemporary design makes the emBrace bed frame something you can actually show off.  Its height makes it easy to clean under the bed. Removing the bed skirt and allowing for easier cleaning are both small changes that will help allergy sufferers feel better almost instantly. The emBrace comes in four colors: black, brown, gray, or white.  This allows you to match the existing design of your room and compliment your style.

embrace-full-bed-frameAs for safety, your toes and shins will thank you! The emBrace doesn’t have any exposed or sharp metal edges, which is especially great for kids’ rooms.  An injection-molded fiberglass-infused resin encases the steel core. The edges are also coated with a soft polymer. This design will also help save all types of floors. This is the same polymer that helps reduce noise by absorbing and muffling the sound of restless sleepers.

If all of these features weren’t enough, the emBrace side rail connectors quickly lock together or come apart without tools. It could take you longer to remove it from the box that it takes for you to put together!  While the innovative design doesn’t allow for you to use risers with it, you can attach a headboard if you choose.

Want to know how the emBrace stacks up when compared to other bed frame choices? Bookmark our detailed bed frame comparison chart to help with your research.

Help Sagging Beds with Lazarbeam Bed Support Systems

Lumpy mattress?
Morning back pain?
Hard to get comfortable?

Check Under Your Bed

If you’re losing sleep at night and wondering if it’s time to buy a new mattress (again) you should consider the support you’re getting.  Even though mattresses have gotten more advanced and much more comfortable, they’ve also gotten heavier.   A newer, heavier mattress can cause sagging in beds that were made years earlier. In fact, over the years mattresses have gotten 40% heavier and can often tip the scales at over 300 pounds.

As much as we love selling mattresses, we also know that it’s not always the wallet-friendly option. We also know that sometimes you fall in love with the actual bed before you even consider how well the design would support a mattress long-term. Don’t worry about that gorgeous solid wood bed that Grandma let you take.  You can now buy that expensive, modern mattress you’ve had your eye on. Even if you have a newer mattress and bed frames, you could use some extra help. Here’s an added bonus: It can lift up sagging beds so you can use the space to add more storage.

Lazarbeam for Platform Beds

Lazarbeam Bed SupportEnter Lazarbeam — no, not the newest rock band, but a cost-efficient and patented support system that you can add to your existing setup. Lazarbeam systems are designed specifically for platform beds. Platform beds typically do not require a box spring or foundation. Rather, platform beds rely on  13 – 15 wood slats for support of the mattress. Good center support systems integrate and supplement your existing bed frame. The Lazarbeam support system offers support for sagging or uneven slats and even platform beds that don’t rely on a box spring.

The Lazarbeam is an all-American product made from domestic, raw materials and heavy-duty steel. It has horizontal supports at the head and the foot, and a vertical support across the middle to connect the two. The Lazarbeam is adjustable from 6 to 15 inches high and with compliance across every major mattress manufacturer protecting your mattress warranty. Installation is easy and adding the Lazarbeam system protects the investment you made in both your mattress and your wooden-slat bed frame. Sometimes getting a better night’s sleep means adjusting your current bedding setup, especially if you’re not ready to purchase a new bed or mattress.

Take some time to look through our selection of Lazarbeam support systems and find the one that fits your bed size.  If you have concerns about how these would work with your bed, call us or if you’re local to Western North Carolina, visit us in person.  We’ll be glad to answer all of your questions!

4 Antique Beds That Won’t Convert With Converter Rails

Using full to queen converter rails, you may be able to convert your full antique bed to queen. Converter rails are designed to hook on or bolt on to your existing full size headboard and footboard. These rails are the length of queen size bedding and have specially designed L-brackets for the extra width of queen size bedding. Most of our customers LOVE converter rails, because the rails allow the use of their beloved antique full size beds with more comfortable queen size mattress. However, following are four antique beds that won’t convert with full to queen converter rails.

Tall and Heavy Beds

First, if your antique bed is particularly tall or heavy, full to queen converter rails won’t be substantial enough to support your bed. Though full to queen converter rails work well on many beds, some beds work best with their original bed rails. This is owing to the overall bed design. For example, see the bed pictured below. Full to queen converter rails could not support the weight of a massive bed like this one. The original bed rails appear over 12 inches wide.

Tall, Heavy Antique Bed
Unusually tall, heavy antique beds like this one won’t convert using converter rails.

Sleigh Beds

Antique Sleigh Bed
If you have a sleigh bed, you won’t be happy with full to queen converter rails.

Sleigh beds are beautiful with their graceful curved headboard and footboard. Often sleigh beds come with specially-designed and shortened bed rails to fit into the curves of the sleigh. When a customer adds the extra length of full to queen converter rails – 82″ – 83″, often they end up with an extra 6 – 8 inches at one end of the bed rails!

Wood Beds with “Puzzle Piece” Rails

The “puzzle piece” or key lock attachment is common among antique beds, but hook-on converter rails won’t work with this type of bed. Bolt-on converter rails may work for your bed; It may be possible to drill holes and use the bolt-on converter rails to convert your antique full bed to a queen. This process will require some knowledge of how to properly drill into the wood and what type of fasteners work best in each application. However, if your bed is truly an antique, drilling holes in it may destroy its value. Below, you’ll see two examples of wood beds that cannot be converted using hook-on converter rails. (Bolt-on converter rails – maybe.)

Antique Bed Key Lock
If your antique bed has this type of attachment, hook-on converter rails won’t work for you. If you’re willing and able to drill holes, you may be able to use bolt-on converter rails.
Antique wood bed with round attachment
Above: Another example of a wood bed that won’t easily convert using converter rails.

Iron Beds with Cone Type Rails

Antique iron beds are fashionable and fit in many decorating schemes. Many of these beautiful beds, unfortunately, are full size, and their owners want to sleep on queen size bedding. No wonder; for couples, full size bedding offers less space in width than a crib mattress! One type of bed that converter rails won’t convert are iron beds with cone type attachment parts. See the picture below.

Antique iron bed with puzzle piece attachment
Converter rails won’t convert antique iron beds with puzzle piece attachments

If you still want to convert this type of bed, consult a local machine shop or welder. Often they can custom weld a solution for your bed.

 

Luxury Bedding by Jamison

Many of us go on vacation at expensive hotels just so we can remember what it’s like to get a good night’s sleep. Luxury bedding and mattresses used to be just that — a luxury that few could afford, and so pricey that only the highest-end hotels could invest in these amenities. Guess what? You can now make champagne wishes and have caviar dreams right in the comfort of your own bedroom with a Jamison mattress.

Jamison Bedding was founded in 1883 with a basic business model that emphasized production of handcrafted products and stellar customer service. After 135 years, Jamison continues to deliver its promise and is the mattress of choice for many hotels across the country. We are proud to partner with this extraordinary mattress and bedding company.  However, these mattresses are so amazing that we only offer them in-store.  Visit our showroom and you can easily feel the difference for yourself.

We showcase the Resort collection from Jamison.  These mattresses offer “high resiliency proprietary all foam support cores using varying comfort layers from convoluted foam to latex and visco memory foam.” So what exactly does that mean? Well, for starters, you’ll fall asleep thinking you’re on that dream vacation you’ve been thinking of taking. It also means that your mattress is resilient enough to stand up to many years of good sleep. You can purchase the mattress with or without Jamison’s steel foundational box spring, depending on your bedding needs.

Features

Want to know about some of the features included in your Jamison mattress? Thermo Cool Technology creates a  better, cooler sleep experience that helps consistent sleep temperature. Luxury firm comfort foam offers the ultimate collection of support layers. A Semi-Flex Foundation with a rigid metal wire grid allows some “give” but maximizes support for the mattress. Jamison Resort mattresses also offer firm, plush, or pillow-top options.

We found this awesome review of one customer’s Jamison: “This is without doubt the most comfortable mattress I’ve ever had. The very first instant I get on the mattress I notice it. And it hasn’t changed over time–it stills feels as wonderful today as it did when I first got it. I really look forward to climbing into bed at night.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

Want to learn more about Jamison mattresses? Check out this great video and then come by our showroom and speak to one of our sleep experts.

3 Steps to Choosing the Right Mattress Size

When you’re looking for the right mattress, size matters! Depending on who is going to use it, you have plenty of options. It can seem overwhelming to figure out all of the variations in mattress size, length, width, and depth. Let our mattress experts help with this quick-start guide!

Step One: Making Room

Are you looking for some extra room for you and your partner to spread out? How about your child/children?  Are they transitioning to a “big kid” bed?  Is your mother-in-law coming to spend time in your guest room? Figuring out which mattress size you need is a purely personal decision.  However, consider how the mattress will be used and which room it will be going in. Twin sizes are great for kids and single-sleeper adults, and full sizes are perfect for singles who like to stretch out. Queen sizes can accommodate a couple of snugglers, or solo sleepers who want lots of bed without taking up the whole room. With king sized mattresses, the whole family can pile in!

Mattress Size dimensions guide

Infographic courtesy SleepAdvisor.org

Step Two: Consider bedding

Bedding like sheets and blankets for standard twin, full, queen, and king mattresses are easy to find.  They can be very affordable depending on what they’re made of and where you buy them. Custom bedding for the less popular mattress sizes (twin XL, California king) can be harder to find and a bit pricier. If you already own bedding, double-check the dimensions so you know which mattress size you should be looking at. Also, remember that the pillows, pillowcases, and shams for king size bedding are larger than the other sizes. Depending on the mattress style you buy, you could also pay more for extra depth on fitted sheets to allow for a pillow or foam topper.

Step Three: Get deep

Traditional, old-school mattresses used to have a standard depth of 7 inches. However, recent innovation in mattress construction has created a new generation of mattress that can be up to 24 inches high! Keep this measurement in mind as you shop.  Once you add in the height of your frame and box spring, the inches add up.  This is especially important to consider for those who have trouble climbing in and out of bed.  If you are purchasing a mattress for a child or someone with mobility issues, perhaps look for a mattress with a lower setup.

Make sure you research before you make a mattress investment. The most common mistake most people make is that the bed we buy ends up being too small! Mattresses aren’t one-size-fits-all, and that’s okay because there are plenty of options for every style sleeper.  Once you know what mattress size is right for your situation, come visit our showroom and let us help you find the perfect mattress!