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Blue Goggles

A new study conducted by Swiss researchers at the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel has found that special glasses that block only blue wavelengths may help us sleep better.

Our body is more sensitive to light then we might imagine. That computer screen in front of you could be the reason you had trouble sleeping last night. Excessive blue light is one of the leading contributors to poor sleep. Blue light wavelengths are produced by many of the devices that we rely on every day. Absorbing excessive amounts of these rays after sunset can make it hard to fall asleep.

Natural daylight keeps our body aligned with the environment. During the winter, when we experience less daylight, our body produces increased levels of melatonin, so we can fall asleep easier. During the summer, when we have more daylight hours to be productive, natural light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, allowing us to stay awake longer.

This dynamic pattern is part of our personal set of circadian rhythms. These rhythms aid in our sleep.

Unfortunately technology has the potential to disrupt these rhythms.

The Swiss team found that teenage boys who wore the glasses and used computers and hand-held devices before bed were much more likely to feel relaxed and tired before bedtime than when wearing clear glasses.

The glasses were effective in blocking the wavelengths that suppressed melatonin. The researchers were careful to also suggest the results may have been caused by an overall dimness. Not just the blue light.

Ten Sleep Tips for Switching from Holiday Mode to Work Mode

10. Hydrate

All that time in the sun has sucked the moisture from your body. As you head back to work, try and drink as much water as possible. It will help you stay awake, fall asleep when you want and help your body preform at its peak potential.

9. Bring Back Routine

Holidays are the perfect time to abandon routine and let chance and circumstance be your guide. Now that it’s business time, routine is key. It will help you maintain a balanced sleep schedule, where your body naturally prepares for bed at the end of the work day.

8. Disable the Snooze

If you have an old-school alarm clock like us, use tape to eliminate your desire for seven more minutes of sleep. If you use your phone, use the settings menu to disable the snooze option.

7. Eat Earlier

A late barbecue or meal out in the summer is acceptable, but your body doesn’t need the extra workload of digesting right before bed. Try to eat at least four hours before crawling on to your Vancouver mattress.

6. Appropriate Snacking

If you do need a snack before bed, go with milk or nuts. Avoid pizza and anything salty.

5. Tinderdown

Put the phone away at least an hour before bed. You can scroll through the latest ‘Tinderites’ over breakfast.

4. School Prep

If your kids can’t sleep, you won’t be getting any rest. Lower bedtimes to match the school year. Increase reading before bed and strategically hide the iPad.

3. Lower the Light

The sun is setting earlier and earlier, but for these first few weeks of September, close the blinds completely to block out any unnecessary light.

2. Substitute Local Craft Beer for Organic Tea

Everyone seems to be enjoying the craft beer craze, but alcohol is the worst for securing a proper sleep. [See tip 1] Try some loose-leaf tea with your beard.

1. Mattress Makeover

Sleep can sometimes come easy after a physical day in the sun. During the fall you need all the help you can get. Upgrade your mattress at Simmons Mattress Gallery and feel an immediate difference in the comfort provided by your bed.

‘Out Like a Light’

A customer at our Broadway location, in Vancouver, told us an interesting fact this week about the origins of the term ‘out like a light.’

Apparently, this English idiom references a period in time when electricity and the ability to flick a light switch, was fairly groundbreaking.

Before the time of electrical lighting, homeowners needed to extinguish all the candles or gas lamps in their homes to turn off the lights before bed. With light switches, this process was dramatically simplified.

Instead of making a trip around the home to blow out all the candles and turn off the gas lines, it was now possible to darken a room with the quick, simple, flick of a switch – like magic!

This ease of this process was married with the ability to quickly fall asleep and a new idiom was formed: Out like a light.

Another interesting phenomenon is the use of ‘sleep’ terms in computer technology. Did you ever think it was weird that one of the options on you iPad was sleep mode? This setting powers down your tablet and extends your battery life. It basically gives the processor a needed rest.

Too bad it doesn’t allow for restorative energy to be banked. Maybe the next generation of iPads will come with solar panels…

Deep Thought of the Day:

If your iPad does truly go to sleep, what do you think it dreams of? Do you think it harbours jealousy that you get to spend your nights on an ultra comfortable Beautyrest Recharge Mattress and all it gets is a few hours on your IKEA bedside table? We’d be jealous, no question.

Things to think about.

If you have any other interesting stories or insight into terms regarding sleep, add them to the comments below or tweet back at us @mattressvan on Twitter.

Paper Books vs the iPad

One of the hottest gadgets on the market right now is Apple’s iPad. We all have a friend who has made the trek across the border to buy one of the devices before they go on sale in Canada. The buzz is huge and it seems Apple’s new gizmo is living up to the hype.

With web, email, photo, video abilities and a multi-touch screen, the iPad is the, all in one, portable device.

And, unlike your iPod, where the text is more suitable for squinting at than reading, the iPad has a 9.7 inch LED-backlit screen for browsing and indulging in e-books.

This has inspired many owners to replace their bedside ritual of reading a book before bed with scrolling through pages of the latest best seller on their new iPad.

The lamp may be off, your partner may be asleep, but you’re still able to enjoy “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” without a flashlight.

But this medium switch has some sleep scientists worried.

If we were reading a book the light from a lamp would be from behind us onto a page. With the iPad, the light is intensely direct. This light can disrupt the natural melatonin levels produced by the pineal gland. This gland regulates the sleep-wake cycle in our bodies. Artificial light delays the production of melatonin and makes it harder for our bodies to begin a restful state.

Reading a book before bed has also been considered a passive activity, suitable for winding down the day. The iPad experience is much more engaging, especially when you consider the options for surfing the net, checking your email and playing music.

All these extra activities have the potential to increase our anxiety, the last thing we want before sleeping.

Simmons Mattress Gallery knows that sleep is essential for our well-being and that is why we would like to suggest users of the iPad to stick with bound paper before bed.

You’re body may be cradled by a Beautyrest, but your mind needs to be given a rest as well.

Turn off the screen, turn on the lamp and ease into your sleep.

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