Back Pain? Try Yoga

Is it your mattress?

When you start waking up with back, neck, or shoulder pain, that’s a good time to ask, is it your mattress? Don’t listen to the mattress industry’s advice that you MUST change your mattress every 8 years, though that’s a general rule of thumb to consider. A high quality mattress may lose some of its support after 8 years of use. (Some lessor quality mattresses may lose support in one year!) If you’re still sleeping soundly and waking up feeling well-rested – no aches or pains – there is no reason to replace your mattress after 8 years or even 10 years, for that matter. On the other hand, if you develop an achy back or shoulders and wake up feeling unwell, your mattress may be to blame.

How to be sure it’s your mattress

If you start waking up with an achy back, neck, or shoulders, it could be your mattress, but how can you be sure? If your mattress is 8 years or older, it may have lost some of its support. If your mattress is still in good shape, it may be something you’re doing or not doing that’s causing your pain. I have a very comfortable, new mattress – it’s not too firm and it’s not too soft – it’s just right. Yet, in December, my lower back started hurting for no reason. I hadn’t exercised too hard or overdone it working in the yard. I though that the problem was I had been too sedentary during the holidays. I’d gone for walks and even jogged a bit, but I hadn’t really moved or stretched my whole body.

I was a little too unpracticed to go to a yoga studio so I looked for yoga videos on YouTube. I discovered Yoga With Adriene. Adriene has so many great yoga videos, and she’s really funny, too. The video that helped the most is Deep Stretch, shown below. I don’t have 45 minutes to do this video every day, but she does a sequence from 3:40 to 19:50 that I do every day (a little over 16 minutes) that has really helped my lower back. (The very best stretch is from 14:40 – 19:50). She has several month-long series of videos around 25 minutes long to get you started if you’re a beginner. Adriene makes it fun and easy to start your yoga journey.

Before shopping for a new mattress, make sure you’re moving your body to the best of your ability. Stretching your lower back, neck, and shoulders and working your core are all very important to back health, as well as your physical health in general. If you do a few weeks of yoga consistently, your mattress is over 8 years old or just not comfortable to you anymore, and you’re still waking up feeling achy and unwell, then it’s time for a new mattress.

Try the Casper and Purple Mattress at The Sleep Shop in Hudson, NC

Like many of my customers, I was curious about The Casper Mattress and the Purple Mattress. After all, who hasn’t seen those mattress ads on YouTube or heard them on podcasts? If you’ve seen the ads, then you probably believe either of the mattresses can cure whatever ails you! I cannot help wonder how much of their budget goes into advertising.

The Ordering Process

Both Casper and Purple have a simple ordering process. If you’ve ever ordered anything online, you won’t have any trouble. I didn’t have to call in for help to either mattress company, so I cannot speak about working with a customer service agent for either company. From the time I ordered to the time the Casper Mattress arrived was 3 days. Amazing. The Purple Mattress took a lot longer (9 days!), so if you are counting on guests coming soon, better go with Casper.

Casper Mattress Video


Purple Mattress Video


An Expert’s Opinion

I was selling mattresses when memory foam first came out, long before Casper Mattress, Purple Mattress, or bed in a box existed. 21 years to be exact. So what do I think? The Purple Mattress is so soft as to be unsubstantial. I would have a hard time recommending it to an overweight customer. It is likely to soften more over time as most mattresses do with use. The Casper Mattress has a more substantial feel. It is neither firm, nor soft, and it may suit many people. Having said that, Casper queen prices vary from $899 – $999, and we have several memory foam mattresses for less. Stop by our store on Highway 321 in Hudson, NC to try the Casper Mattress and the Purple Mattress before you order it online. See what we have to offer that’s comparable!

Memory Foam Advantages Over Traditional Spring Mattresses

The first step when choosing a new mattress is to decide between a traditional spring design and a modern memory foam model. While each one has unique features, memory foam offers some advantages that make it an excellent choice for many consumers.

Structure and Technology

Traditional mattresses with springs are based on a design that’s been around for over a century. Most models have a base layer of springs covered by a cushion. In theory, the cushion and springs compress to provide a comfortable and supportive sleeping surface. Modern spring mattress designs aren’t very different from older models.

Memory foam is fairly modern by comparison. It was developed in the 1960s as part of a NASA project to improve safety in aircraft seating. Mattresses utilizing memory foam have been around since NASA made the technology public in the 1980s. There have also been upgrades to memory foam technology over the years to improve breathability and reduce manufacturing costs.

Temperature

The internal structure of a traditional spring mattress allows airflow, which can help to keep people from getting too hot while sleeping. However, spring mattresses with thick top cushions can reduce air circulation and make users uncomfortably warm.

Due to its dense structure, memory foam can retain heat, which was a potential disadvantage of some of the early memory foam mattresses. Fortunately, there have been many changes to memory foam technology that have improved breathability and reduced heat retention. Some mattresses are made of gel memory foam, which has integrated gel particles that help cool and stabilize the material’s temperature. Moisture-wicking coverings can also help maintain a comfortable temperature.

Pressure Points

Many people, especially those who sleep on their sides, notice that spring mattresses push on certain areas of the body, including the hips and shoulders. This pressure can contribute to misalignment of the spine, which can cause back and joint pain. It can also cause sleepers to change position frequently in an attempt to relieve the pressure.

One of the most well-known benefits of memory foam is its ability to eliminate pressure points. Memory foam is designed to soften and change shape. This means it molds around a person’s body, creating a customized surface that is both soft and supportive. Most people experience no pressure points regardless of which sleeping position they choose. This can reduce tossing and turning, helping users wake up feeling rested and pain-free.

Allergen Control

Mattresses generally require cleaning. They can trap dirt, sweat, hair, and dust mites, contributing to odor and poor indoor air quality. This is a common issue with traditional spring mattresses, which have large open spaces in the internal structure that attract and trap dust and allergens. Vacuuming can clean the top surface of a mattress, but it can’t really affect the allergens trapped inside.

Memory foam has a very dense structure, which makes it much more difficult for dirt and dust mites to become embedded. As such, memory foam mattresses generally stay cleaner than traditional models. Some memory foam styles also feature hypoallergenic materials.

Motion Transfer

When partners share a bed, it is common for each person’s movement to affect the other. In a traditional mattress, the springs transfer movement throughout the whole structure, making it uncomfortable when one person turns over or gets out of bed. In a memory foam mattress, there aren’t any springs to transfer motion. The spongy nature of memory foam naturally prevents one person’s movement from affecting the other. This can help improve sleep for both partners.

Durability

All types of mattresses eventually wear out and need to be replaced. In most cases, spring mattresses and memory foam perform similarly in terms of longevity. However, traditional mattresses may become uncomfortable over time. Worn out springs can cause sharp peaks or permanent depressions in the mattress. As memory foam ages, it tends to become softer and recover its shape more slowly, which is not as problematic.

Conclusion

A mattress is an important investment that can affect a person’s sleep and quality of life for years. While traditional spring mattresses remain popular, many people are turning to memory foam for its numerous advantages. Memory foam mattresses can eliminate pressure points, allergens, and motion transfer, creating a comfortable environment for high-quality sleep.

Here at The Sleep Shop, we carry a large selection of both traditional spring and modern memory foam mattresses.  Come by our store and see which mattress is best for you!

Top 8 Benefits of Memory Foam Mattresses

Serta-blue-100-gentle-firm-memory-foam-mattressChoosing a new mattress is an important decision that can affect your sleep and overall quality of life for several years. With all the available options from traditional spring mattresses to state-of-the-art memory foam, you may be wondering which type is best. Memory foam mattresses offer numerous unique benefits that you can’t find in other styles. Here are some of the top advantages to consider when deciding if a memory foam mattress is right for you.

  1. Minimal Motion Transfer

If you share a bed with a partner, you likely know the frustration of waking up every time he or she moves or gets out of bed. This can be especially difficult if you are a light sleeper. One of the most appreciated advantages of memory foam is the lack of motion transfer. Because of the construction and properties of memory foam, it doesn’t allow movements to carry through the material. 

  1. Relief From Aches and Pains

Ideally, sleeping should help your body recover from everyday soreness and aches so you wake up feeling refreshed and free from pain. Memory foam can help ensure your body rests completely by conforming to the unique contours of your sleeping position. Because of the way memory foam adjusts, it evenly spreads your weight across your whole body instead of just a few points such as your hips, heels, and shoulders. This customized cushioning helps reduce pressure points. Because there is no tension or poking from internal springs, you don’t have to worry about pain in sensitive joints or muscles.

  1. Reduction in Allergens

You may not think that your mattress can be a source of allergens, but it’s a fairly common problem. Fortunately, the density of memory foam discourages dust mites (one of the most common causes of indoor allergies). Dust mites need space to live, breed, and burrow into, and memory foam doesn’t provide that space. Since any dust mites in your mattress can’t burrow, vacuuming occasionally can help control them completely. Memory foam’s density also discourages dust, mold spores, and pet dander from settling into your mattress. You can choose a memory foam mattress with a hypoallergenic cover to further reduce the risk of indoor allergies.

  1. Proper Spinal Alignment

If you suffer from back pain, it’s essential to find a mattress that encourages the correct alignment of your spine while you sleep. If your bed doesn’t help adjust the position of your back, sleeping in a misaligned posture can actually make your back problems worse. Because every inch of memory foam can adjust to your body, it supports your spine in the lumbar area while reducing pressure on the shoulders and hips. As such, you can enjoy a restful night with reduced back pain, which improves your relaxation and helps ensure you wake up feeling your best.

  1. Easy Care Requirements

With a memory foam mattress, you don’t have to worry about difficult maintenance chores such as flipping it over every few months. You may want to rotate your mattress on your bed and vacuum it every so often, but these tasks don’t require much time or energy to complete.

  1. Accommodation for All Sleeping Positions

Whether you are a side, back, or stomach sleeper, you can be completely comfortable on a memory foam mattress. If you tend to sleep in several positions overnight, memory foam can constantly adjust to each movement, reducing the chance you will be restless or wake up when you change to a new sleeping position. 

  1. Excellent Performance in Adjustable Beds

Beds that adjust to different positions and configurations are becoming more popular outside hospitals and care facilities. Many of these beds can adjust the height of the head, the foot, or both to improve circulation, reduce pressure points, and make it easier to get in and out of bed. Because memory foam curves and conforms easily without losing its structural integrity, it’s an ideal material for adjustable beds.

  1. Long Lifespan and Durability

While all mattresses will eventually wear out and need to be replaced, most memory foam styles last at least a decade. Additionally, this type of mattress can retain its original shape and contouring properties throughout its entire lifespan, so you don’t have to worry about sagging or soft spots.

With their ability to improve sleeping posture, reduce aches and pains, and improve the overall quality of sleep, memory foam mattresses are becoming more popular every year. Upgrading to a mattress of this type gives you all the benefits of reduced indoor allergies and deeper sleep without interruption from your partner’s movements. Additionally, you can feel confident a new memory foam mattress is a solid investment that will perform well for years to come.

If you’re looking for a new mattress for your bed, come by our store and check out our selection of memory foam mattresses.  Our helpful knowledgeable staff can answer any questions you may have.

The Rise and Fall of the Waterbed in the United States

Waterbed in bedroomMost of us would probably remember the first time we laid eyes on a waterbed – maybe had one of our own. Waterbeds were once a huge trend; classy, sexy, comfortable, and you had to have one.

The waterbed got its kickstart in California, in the late 60s. After failed experiments with cornstarch and even Jell-O filled chairs, Charlie Hall, a design student in San Francisco State University, had the idea of a mattress full of water. Hall designed the product while focusing the comfort and a good night’s sleep. The water-filled mattress was his master’s thesis, and once he presented it, his entire class spent the night playing with it. That’s how the modern waterbed as we know it was born.

During the 1970s, waterbeds hit the US market while the general idea of choosing an innerspring mattress was firm, firmer, or firmest.  Over the next 20 years, waterbeds became a must-have household product for many people. By the end of 1989, waterbed sales reached upwards of $30 million. People just couldn’t get enough of the waterbeds as these beds offered seamless comfort when compared to conventional spring mattresses. They were also believed to be super-fashionable and incredibly sexy amongst the youth. That’s how waterbeds became the beds of the sexual revolution and were viewed as a significant piece of impressing the opposite sex. If you didn’t have a waterbed, you had a lesser chance.

Why they were so popular

Aside from their appeal of passion, which was liberally encouraged by manufacturers who tried some slogans like “Two things are better on a waterbed, one is sleep,” waterbeds offered something that most beds at the time didn’t offer: a comfortable good night’s sleep.  When you were lying down on the waterbed, your body’s pressure was distributed equally, meaning you experienced support without any excess pressure on any part of your body, such as your hips, back, or shoulders.

Also, waterbeds were cheap, very cheap! If you went shopping for a waterbed, the average price you’d come across back then was between $150-350. Plus, by the end of the waterbed era, it could cost as low as $90, which was also too much to resist.

Why the love is over

All of a sudden, the passion was gone. The sexual marketing, which had been a big hit thanks to advertisements back in the 80s, quickly became old news in the 90s and it started to be considered as quirky and weird to be lying on a waterbed. Plus, the feelings of practicality and sensibility took over, and it was not as acceptable to be sexually rambunctious and to be over the top.

However, this wasn’t the only factor against waterbeds. They also had technical problems such as propensity to spring leaks, and they needed constant maintenance. If you wanted to move your waterbed, you had to drain it first, which was a time consuming process.

By the early 90s, as suddenly as they were cool and sexy, they became weird and lame.  It became clear that the novelty of waterbeds wasn’t worth the additional work they needed. Also, different manufacturers came up with different mattress innovations which offer comfort, flexibility, and softness while not making you run a garden hose through your second-floor bedroom window.

As for today…

Today, even though the waterbed market is still active in a much, much smaller scale, the market of mattresses offers significantly more options than it did during the waterbed era. If you spend some time looking at different mattress options, you’re likely to come across hybrid mattresses, innerspring mattresses, gel mattresses, pillow-top mattresses, or latex mattresses, or even waterbeds, if you’re lucky!

The answer to the question of “what kind of mattress is best for me?” depends on many factors, many of which are separately specific. The best way to find out which type of bedding is best for you is to come see us in person or you can give us a call, so our specialists can help you out with finding the best option for your needs and comfort.

Why Buy A Bed Frame or Bed Rails From Us

When I started my online store in 2000, I didn’t have much competition. No one was selling full to queen converter rails, low profile bed frames, or heavy duty bed frames online or even in stores. For many years, I maintained a niche, offering products that customers couldn’t find anywhere else.  Today, customers have many more choices for buying a new specialty bed frame or bed rails. Why buy a bed frame or bed rails from us?

Our Packaging Shows We Care

Our packages don’t look pretty, but we carefully package nearly every order in our warehouse in Hudson, NC.* Though constructed of angle-iron steel, bed frames and bed rails are no match for hurried delivery drivers or conveyor belts that sling packages from one destination to another. We consulted packaging experts to find the most cost effective way to protect our bed frames and rails. We decided on white pallet edging as the best way to protect our bed rails and frames. For less than $3.50 a package,  avoid bent hooks and damaged bed rails and lost hardware (most of the time!)**. While it costs more in time and labor on our end, it saves frustration on your end!   buy a bed frame

Buy a Bed Frame From Us Because We’re Experts

If it’s a bed frame or bed rails, we probably know about it. We’re may be a small company.  Right now, only four employees; but we know a great deal about not only our bed frame products, but also what other suppliers have to offer. I’ve spent eighteen years listening to customers around the country tell me about their bed frame needs, and I’ve chosen products to suit as many needs as possible. I’ve also spent eighteen years honing the details of our website product descriptions to ensure they are complete and accurate. When you buy a bed frame from us, sight unseen, from a store you’ve probably never heard of, you get the product exactly as described on our website. Earning trust on the Internet is something we don’t take lightly.

buy bed rails from us
Bed frames and rails waiting on UPS. (They’re heading to their “forever homes”.)

*Some orders are drop shipped from trusted suppliers.
**Unfortunately, edging won’t protect every order. Though damages have been reduced about 80% because of our commitment to packaging, it isn’t foolproof. The nature of shipping large, bulky bed frames and rails works against us despite our best efforts. If your item gets damaged (and is unusable) in transit, we’ll send a replacement.

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!