Mattress Vancouver

Simmons Mattress Gallery's Blog

Street Sleep

Last week 39 local executives braved the cold and rain to sleep outside to raise donations and awareness for Vancouver’s Covenant House Crisis Program. By morning, the sleepers had raised $385,374 through private donations and sponsorships.

The group included the Vancouver Whitecaps President, Bob Lenarduzzi, BC Lions President and CEO, Dennis Skulsky and many others local execs and media personalities.

Most of the participants slept on simple cardboard sleeping mats, using only their sleeping bag as shelter. Luckily for the participants, the temperatures remained above freezing, but the rain made it an uncomfortable experience, to say the least.

The brave sleepers were treated to sit-down dinner by the Covenant House staff before their ordeal. After the meal they participated in a roundtable discussion with some of the youth who were living at the facility. The youth shared their personal experiences about sleeping outside and provided tips for the execs.

In the end, only six of the sleepers made it the entire night, but their charitable donations will help youth in our city find proper shelter for months to come.

The Vancouver event was part of a larger demonstration that took place in cities across North America, all in the pursuit of getting young people off the street and indoors.

Fall Back

On Sunday November 2nd, most of British Columbia will move their clocks back an hour. Daylight savings is here and with it a chance to gain back some needed sleep.

Sleep experts say that an extra hour on the mattress over the weekend can help us get caught up on our weeknight sleep debt. That extra hour helps our body recharge and our brain repair the damaged synapses that might have been clouding our thoughts during the week. And with Daylight Savings – It’s guilt-free!

You don’t even have to sleep. All you need to do is enjoy your Vancouver mattress for one extra hour. That’s not so hard.

If it is a chore to stay in bed, you probably are sleeping on the wrong mattress. A visit to Simmons Mattress Gallery can reverse your stance on sleeping-in. Come talk to the professionals before Sunday.

And for those of you on Mountain Time, well, it’s business as usual for you. To keep up with the rest of us, why don’t you head to bed an hour earlier on Saturday? We wouldn’t want an unfair advantage.

The Forbidden City

The Vancouver Art Gallery is hosting a new exhibit this fall that will feature five centuries of artifacts from Imperial China. The exhibit is titled “The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’ Emperors” and will run until January 11th at the main museum centre between Robson and Georgia Street.

At the height of it’s power, the Beijing palace was a place of mystery, where only a select group of staff, visitors and family members could ogle the treasures held within its walls. Now, a century after the Empire fell, the veil is being removed and the priceless contents are being displayed for the public.

The exhibition is organized by Beijing’s Palace Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. The main curator is Dr. Chen Shen, the ROM’s Chair of East Asian Archaeology. Local historian and UBC professor, Timothy Brook, is coordinating the exhibit for Vancouver’s exhibit.

The collection is divided into nine unique sections:

Entrance

  • Focuses on Aisin-Gioro lineage line, the greatest triple generation of emperors in Chinese history

Reigning

  • Icons of power are displayed in this room with an emphasis on the emperor’s throne.

Warring

  • Armour and weaponry, the tools for consolidating power.

Symbols

  • This section looks at the colours and dress of the emperors.

Lineage

  • A look at the concubines who provided heirs to the throne.

Texting

  • Less emoticons and more calligraphy, this section deals with the private and public communications voiced by the rulers.

Consuming

  • The far-from-ordinary daily objects used in the palace.

Collecting

  • The emperor’s private collection of artifacts from China and around the world.

Farewell My Emperor

  • The final room features a discussion on the last emperor of the Forbidden City.

The exhibit will also host two historical lectures on October 28th at 7 p.m. and November 4th at 7 p.m. Both of these talks are on a Tuesday evening, where entrance is by donation.

Tedx Vancouver

The hugely popular TED Talks series is bringing its local edition to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 18th for the 5th version of TEDxVancouver. The theme of this year’s event is TILT, as in tilt your perspective. Organizers hope to remove attendees from their comfort zones in the hope of finding new methods of circumventing traditional barriers that limit potential.

Here are the confirmed speakers for this year’s event:

Jay DeMerit

  • DeMerit is a retired soccer player who captained the Vancouver Whitecaps, before his retirement earlier this year due to injury. DeMerit is the subject of an independent film titled “Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story,” based on his seemingly impossible rise from ninth tier English soccer play to the Premier League with Watford.

Treana Peake

  • Peake is a Vancouver designer who started her own women’s fashion line, Obakki, in 2005. She has gone on to create the Obakki Foundation, a charitable organization that focuses on providing clean water and education in Africa.

Victor Chan

  • A spiritual student of the Dalai Lama, Chan has traveled the world studying the simple lessons past down the Buddhist leader.

Charles Montgomery

  • Montgomery is the author of Happy City, an experimentalist’s take on the perceived goal of urban design.

Jennifer Gardy and Peter Gregson

  • This team of scientists is invested in researching the potential of DNA sequencing and its ability to solve public heath issues. This is a must-see for local health personnel.

Jessica O’Reilly

  • O’Reilly is a sexologist, determined to extend the current discourse on intimacy and its importance in a healthy relationship.

Just Announced:

Chip Wilson

  • Wilson, the founder of Lululemon Athletica, has been an inspiration to Vancouver entrepreneurs for decades. He recently got himself in a little hot water over comments he made about a certain customer demographic, but even so, Wilson is an undeniable leader with a lot to say.

The Kids Are Alright

The kids could be heading back to school on Monday, as the B.C. teacher’s strike looks to finally be over.

The two sides reached an agreement on Tuesday in the wee hours of the morning. Vince Ready, a veteran mediator who has helped negotiate labour agreements in British Columbia as far back as the 1980s, helped them find a workable solution. Ready had initially declined the invitation to mediate the teacher’s dispute, but chose to wade into the foray in mid August after two other mediators, Mark Brown and B.C. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kelleher, refused to offer assistance.

The new six-year collective agreement will see a 7.25 per cent salary increase for the teachers over the next six years. The agreement also calls for $400 million to be spent on additional educational needs such as hiring new teachers, controlling class size and increasing the number of educational assistants.

Premier Christy Clark promises that the deal will not require a tax increase.

The teachers still need to vote on the agreement that would send their more than 40,000 members back to work. More importantly, it would allow 500,000 students the chance to resume their education.

Both sides might finally be able to get some sleep after three months of bitterness and frustration.

Our guess is there will be more than a few educational professionals seeking a new mattress. Both sides are welcome at Simmons Mattress Gallery. We’re just glad the kids get to back to school.

Vancouver’s Zombie Walk

Haven’t been sleeping well? Feel stressed and under appreciated? Trouble at home? Lose your worries at this year’s Zombie Walk.

The Zombie Walk returns to Vancouver to round off the summer. The event was moved from its earlier date in August, to September, to appease the tourism industry. Apparently an army of foot-dragging, near-dead, blood-spitting ghouls is off-putting to cruise ship passengers.

Never-or-less, the dead will have their day. All you need to concern yourself with on September 6th is ‘braaaaaains.’ That and your make-up.

The organizers have planned a 3 p.m. meet-up at the Vancouver Art Gallery, with a 4 p.m. start time for the parade of undead corpses. The route will be the same as years prior: west down Robson and then south on Denman to English Bay. The shenanigans should wrap up around 6 p.m.

All participants are kindly asked to help with the cleanup, i.e., blood detail. The undead leave a nasty slug trail.

Spectators are welcome and encouraged to document the walk on social media.

The police will also be on hand to monitor the event and keep the fun safe for everyone. Zombies are asked not to deface public or private property and to respect the space of the bystanders.

Need a little inspiration for your costume or zombie movements? Your homework for the week is a sit-down viewing of any or all of the films listed below:

  • Shaun of the Dead
  • World War Z
  • Night of the Living Dead
  • 28 Days Later
  • Dawn of the Dead (our favourite)

“This is the way the world ends; not with a bang or a whimper,

but with zombies breaking down the back door.”Amanda Hocking

Ten Reasons to Surprise Your Spouse With a New Mattress

10. Distraction Purchase

Your new shoes cost close to what you paid for your first car. Distract your spouse by coming home with a bed you can ‘both’ enjoy for years to come.

9. Back Pain

Assume a sympathetic position and present a luxury mattress designed to eliminate back pain to your hubby. You’ll look like the hero.

8. Ten Year Anniversary

Unlike wine, mattresses do not get better with age. If you’ve had your mattress for over a decade, it needs to go.

7. Promoted

The perfect gift for a new promotion. They will need all the rest they can get in the coming months.

6. Hazardous Material

That bowl of cereal you spilt and forgot to cleanup turned your last mattress into a HAZMAT zone. No amour of Glade Pug-Ins could ever defeat that odour.

5.Random Act of Kindness

It’s Tuesday. Do you really need a reason?

4. Puppy Love

A new pet can be a wonderful surprise, but not everyone is ready for the responsibility. A new bed provides all the comfort with none of the maintenance.

3. Birthday Make-Up

We don’t want to bring up bad memories, but forgetting a birthday… Smooth it over with a new bed and a lot of cuddling.

2. Bargain Prices

Everyone love a bargain. Impress your significant other with your savvy shopping skills. Simmons Mattress Gallery is currently having a Beautyrest sale with beds up to 75% off.

1. Declaration of Love

Your partner deserves the best. Go with a World Class Beautyrest Mattress.

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.

The Ultimate Waterslide

This past weekend Salt Lake City residents were treated with a summer gift: a 1,000-foot long slip-and-slide down the city’s Main Street. The massive slide was a huge hit and was accompanied by live music, food trucks and street performers.

Now the organizers are looking at different cities around North America to bring their summer event to. And guess what, Vancouver is on the list!

The event is  pay-to-ride, with single tickets running around $15 and triple slides at a discounted rate of $25. For an extra $10 ($35 total), sliders can buy an unlimited access pass. The organizers also offer a $45 VIP experience with extended sliding hours, lunch included and various sliding swag.

The organizers in Salt Lake donated the proceeds to Ronald McDonald House and the Utah Aids Foundation.

The big question is which street in Vancouver would be best for a 1,000-foot water slide? We’re thinking Alberni downtown, or maybe an extreme version on Oak Street, right next to Vancouver’s favourite mattress store, Simmons Mattress Gallery.

And don’t worry; the slide is mounted on a layer of foam. Maybe not as comfortable as the memory foam found inside in a Simmons Beautyrest, but enough so you won’t rip up your belly on the pavement.

Tell us where you think the slide should go with the hashtag #VanSlide.


Returning From the Crusades: LeBron is Coming Home to Ohio

After four seasons leading the Miami Heat, Lebron James is returning to the city that once called him King.

After weeks of speculation, meetings and prognostication, James has decided to return to his roots. Instead of a two-hour cable special, James made his decision known through a letter published in Sports Illustrated. The lead-up was a frenzied media circus, but when it came time, the decision was revealed in a from-the-heart piece that spoke more to the region then to the star himself.

James has shown that time heals, maybe not all, but enough to put the past behind for an opportunity to bring the ultimate prize home to Cleveland. Dan Gilbert’s infamous letter, the night James made his decision to leave Cleveland for Miami in 2010, must have been a hard hurdle to jump over, even for a man who stands at 6 ft 8 in. No one appreciates being called a betrayer.

The only lasting message from that letter that rings true is: “Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day…”

With the King returning, the Cavaliers finally have a team with competitive potential. The young stars will be looking to James for leadership, a role that LeBron says he is more than ready to take on.

The promise of playing with the likes of Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao must have helped his decision. James mentioned both of these players in his SI letter. Awkwardly absent from the list was Andrew Wiggins, the NBA’s first overall pick, taken by the Cavs in this year’s draft.

But the real reason for his return, James claims, is “bigger than basketball.” The king has not forgotten his roots and the citizens of Cleveland, Ohio couldn’t be more pleased.

Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.

And All That Jazz

The Vancouver International Jazz Festival is back! The even kicked-off this weekend with free concerts held at the Georgia side of the Vancouver Art Gallery and around the back in Robson Square. The festival is set to run until July 1st.

Between now and then the festival will present some of the biggest names in the contemporary jazz field. This year’s big draws are Bobby McFerrin, saxophonist Maceo Parker, guitarist John Scofield and vocalist Cassandra Wilson. The performers will play at venues around the city.

This is the 29th time Vancouver has hosted the event. The first festival was in 1986, when organizers teamed up with the Expo 86 planners to bring a stellar line-up of talent to our city. On the first bill were performers such as trumpet legend Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis and this year’s returning star, Bobby McFerrin (don’t believe the hype – McFerrin is alive and ‘happy’).

One of the best features of the festival are the number of free concerts available to Vancouverites. Next weekend the free fun moves to Yaletown, with free shows at David Lam Park. Don’t miss the crazy mash-up Delhi 2 Dublin, a group that mixes Celtic music with Bhangra; let the highland flash mob commence!

The festival wraps up with a day of free jazz on Granville Island on July 1st, Canada Day.

Unplug Your Child

The evidence that exposure to video games disrupts children’s sleep is mounting. With one in ten children in North America having sleep difficulties, there is now more reason then ever to unplug your youngster before their sleep quality begins to affect their cognitive development.

Video games may supply educational scenarios and advanced problem solving queries, but they also increase your child’s heart rate and blood pressure. Even hours after gaming, a child’s heart can still be reeling from the effects of digital interaction. It is no wonder that when it’s time to go to bed, many children are too wired from gameplay to fall asleep properly. As a result, their restorative sleep suffers.

Compounded with the stimulation factor, is the ability of brightly lit screens to reduce melatonin levels. For all humans, no matter their age, a bright screen creates an unnatural light that the eye absorbs. A message is sent to the brain to halt production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. The artificial light convinces the eye that the body needs to stay alert. Instead of preparing for sleep, the brain is on full alert mode.

Even if a child is able to sleep eight to ten hours, the sleep they are getting is less than optimal. The body’s ability to move into deep sleep mode is stunted when overly stimulated. As a result, the restorative sleep cycle is cut short. This gives the brain less time to recharge. Children wake with their bodies rested but their minds still wired.

Parents can stop the vicious cycle of sleep depravation by limiting or reducing all exposure to electronic games. Children may complain at first, but their overall mood, concentration and mental potential will improve drastically. They will also engage in more creative and meaningful play without their devices.

Marijuana Affects Your Sleep

Last week, in our article “Comic Sleeping Positions,” we briefly touched on the topic of alcohol as a sleep inducer. We mentioned that alcohol may have the power to put us to bed, but ultimately, it does more damage than good. Alcohol use can disturb our sleep rhythms and cause us to wake periodically throughout the night. It also forces us to leave our beds for the bathroom, another unneeded disturbance.

This week, Simmons Mattress Gallery would like to turn our attention to another recreational relaxing agent, marijuana.

It is no secret that many British Columbians enjoy the odd toke from time to time and seems that use of the drug has increased in our Province. Public pressure has worked to relax the criminal fines surrounding marijuana use, as more and more people see it as a personal choice, not a criminal act. It is also being used to treat a number of medical ailments.

But while marijuana use may be increasing, so are the studies surrounding the side effects of pot smoking.

At a recent sleep conference in Minneapolis, University of Pennsylvania psychiatrist, Dr. Michael Grandner, presented findings that showed that marijuana use can have many of the same troubling sleep side effects as alcohol.

The study was done with participants between the ages of 20 and 59. The strongest correlation between marijuana use and sleep disturbance was found with participants who had started pot smoking before the age of 15. These users were twice as likely to have severe sleep problems.

More research is definitely needed, but users should be aware of the possible damage that weed may have on their sleep schedules. With increased research, comes the need for increased education. The public needs to be better educated on the ramifications of using recreational drugs, especially when it comes to one of our basic needs: sleep.

Summer Outdoor Movies in Stanley Park

Grab your lawn chair, some healthy snacks and all the jelly bracelets you can find at your parent’s house; The Chevron Summer Cinema Series is coming back to Stanley Park.

The best popcorn flicks from the 80s and 90s will be cast upon the giant blowup screen at Ceperley Meadows every Tuesday night from July 8th to September 2nd.

Fresh Air Cinema will once again be putting on the event that has seen up to 5,000 viewers attend a single viewing. This is the fifth year of the hugely popular outdoor movie night.

Last year, the cinema series partnered with a number of food trucks that offered a variety of tasty snacks for filmgoers. Hopefully the trucks will be returning this year.

Guests are reminded that there is absolutely no smoking in Stanley Park. Alcohol consumption at the event is also prohibited.

This year’s lineup is as follows:

July 8th: The Lego Movie

You have to start with a kid’s film – It’s tradition.

July 15th – Pretty in Pink

The good kind of Molly. Not the Miley kind.

July 22nd – Foot Loose

It’s the 30th Anniversary of this Kevin Bacon dance-off. We hate to imagine what the Reverend Shaw Moore would think of twerking!

July 29th – Mean Girls

Before Lindsay went all crazy she was reciting some of Tina Fey’s funniest lines. “You go Glen Coco!”

August 5th – Dumb and Dumber

Harry and Lloyd fans rejoice. Put our bill on Seabass’ tab.

August 12th – Ghost

Just when you thought you had the visual of Demi Moore at the pottery wheel out of your head…

August 19th – The Karate Kid

Sweep the leg.

August 26th – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Love the film for some of the action bits, but have you watched it lately? Crazy racial stereotypes. Just saying…

September 2nd – The Princess Bride

You voted for it and Fresh Air Cinema responded with: “As you wish.” A perfect film to end the series.

Vancouver Full Moon Party

UBC students be warned: The RCMP are on Facebook too.

The Mounted Police, that service the area around the province’s largest university, have announced publicly that they will be blocking all entrances to Wreck Beach on the night of June 13th.

Wreck Beach is the proposed site for a full moon party hosted by DJ Bjorn on the date mentioned above. The party’s Facebook page already has 7,000 ‘confirmed’ guests.

RCMP officials are concerned the party could get out of hand. They are also worried about the possibility of thousands of party revelers traversing the precarious steps that lead down to Wreck Beach.

The secret (but completely transparent) plan to host the party at the beach is in direct violation of Metro Vancouver’s regional district parks bylaw that permits anyone from being on a beach after sunset. Obviously this is a loose law that is often overlooked, but when 7,000 people break it simultaneously, well…arrests could be made.

The RCMP have already started cracking down on the illegal sale of drugs and alcohol that the beach is famous for.

Our recommendation: Give the kids an alternative site for their party. We are worried that the partiers will be losing sleep, but youth will be youth. Let them have their night in a safe environment. YOLO!

“Wake Up Baby!”

A young Ohio couple was shaken from their sleep this past week by the sounds of screaming from their baby monitor; the unnerving part: the screams were the voice of a young man.

“Wake up baby,” was the call that startled them from their slumber. Apparently, a young man had hacked into their home monitoring system, which included a camera, a microphone and a mobile display interface. When the father ran to the bedroom of his child, the camera turned to face him. The voice then uttered obscenities until the father unplugged the unit.

The scene seems like something from a sci-fi novel, where the household instruments, that we rely on daily, turn on their users. In this case, it was more of a security breach, then an Orwellian takeover.

The breach demonstrates how vulnerable we are when we open our lives up to the ‘Internet of Everything.’ Complete connectivity comes at a risk and securing our endpoints is an important part of being a responsible consumer.

Dave Evans, at Cisco Systems Inc., estimates that there are over 10 billion electronic devices connected to the Internet. Like your home computer, all of these electronic systems are susceptible to hackers.

Even appliances without cameras or audio are being compromised. An oven or rice maker connected to the Internet could tell a potential thief the approximate times when a family is home. They can also be turned on remotely, possibly creating a fire hazard.

Education and an updated security system is key.

When it comes to your bedroom, Simmons Mattress Gallery suggests a tech free zone. It has been repeatedly proven that quality of sleep is directly related to the amount of electronic devices in and around your Vancouver mattress. Reduce the amount of gadgets and improve your nighttime rest.

For alternatives to baby monitors, sleep with your hall door open or decrease the distance between you and your sleeping child. It is surprising what the human ear will detect when the sounds are from a loved one.

The Benefits of Sleep Contact

A study out of the University of Hertfordshire showed that 94 percent of couples that spent the night in contact with their partners were happy with their relationship. On the flip side, 68 percent of couples that slept the night on opposite sides of the bed showed the same feelings of happiness.

The same study found that couples that sleep touching face-to-face are far more content with their relationship than couples that sleep in the spoon position. But within the group of couples who sleep without contact, the group that slept facing the same direction was more content then the group that faced each other.

The research did not elaborate on what stage the relationships were at. From experience, we might assume that the close sleepers were probably at the initial stages of their time together.

Your comfort is important, but so is contact. Maintaining a physical bond with your partner will increase your endorphin levels and solidify your feelings for each other.

You may have a wonderful king size mattress to spread out on, but pull your sweetie close.

Cherry Vs. Plum

Pink is the colour of spring in Vancouver, as the city’s most popular tree, the flowering cherry, blooms into a cloudy rosé of pillowy pink blossoms. Vancouverites treasure this time of year, with a dedicated festival to the tree that lines almost 75% of our neighbourhood streets.

But did you know, mixed in among those cherry trees are a number of flowering plum trees. The differences are small, but a trained eye can easily distinguish the two.

Here is a quick guide for determining which flowering sapling you are viewing:

Blossoms

The cherry blossom flowers are constructed of five petals. Each petal has a small ‘v’ cut split at its narrowed tip.

The plum tree also has five petal flowers, but the petals are rounded at the tips.

Buds

The cherry buds can support multiple blossoms. This gives their branches their cloudy appearance. One of our favourite spots for viewing the dense blossoms is the Burrard Street SkyTrain station concourse.

Plum buds only support single blossoms. This limits the density of the pink clusters.

Bark

The cherry tree’s bark often has horizontal markings on it.

Fragrance

The plum tree’s blossom is much more fragrant then the cherry.

Top Ten Signs Your Mattress is Defunct

10. Colour Recognition

  • If you can’t discern your mattress’s original colour through the stains on its exterior, you need a new bed.

9. Meet In the Middle

  • If you wake up each night in the middle of your mattress, pressed uncomfortably against your partner, your mattress is experiencing some significant sag. The coils are shot; An upgrade is in order.

8. Visible Damage

  • If the top comfort layer of your mattress looks like it’s gone through a shredder, it is probably impacting your comfort.

7. Sounds From Below

  • If your moves in the night incite a symphony of metal springs, it’s time to trade in the ear plugs for a Simmons Beautyrest.

6. College Size

  • If your mattress is the same size as the one you used in your college dorm room, you should probably consider moving up to a Queen size mattress.

5. Damp To The Touch

  • If changing your sheets is like pulling the cling wrap off your plate of leftovers, it means three things: You probably have a mold problem; Your mattress has been compromised; You should probably move.

4. Morning Ache

  • If your body aches more in the morning than it did before you went to sleep, you need a new bed.

3. Searching For the Sweet Spot

  • If you need to spend ten minutes trying to find a comfortable spot between the mattress lumps, you should have bought a new mattress years ago.

2. Stank Factor

1. Spring In Your Back

  • If there is an actual physical spring sticking through the top comfort layer of your mattress, take a photo and send it to us. That bed belongs on a Fail Blog.

Professionalism In the Workplace

Simmons Mattress Gallery is home to Vancouver’s top mattress professionals. Our in-store staff are dedicated to finding the perfect mattress for your home. Their deep knowledge of the Simmons mattress line-up will help you make an educated decision regarding your next mattress purchase.

All the staff at Simmons Mattress Gallery go through an intense mattress education program. This instruction, along with years of experience in the mattress industry, qualifies them as experts in the mattress field.

Knowing each bed from the floor to the pillow top helps them suggest appropriate mattresses that match your desired specifications. Bring in your measurements and a basic comfort preference and our professionals will handle the rest. Spend an hour or two sampling the beds they recommend and leave the showroom with the mattress of your dreams.

Don’t waste your time at bulk furniture stores. Buy your next mattress from a professional and sleep soundly on the ‘right mattress’ for years to come.

Olympic Jet Lag

We are fully into the Olympic madness in Vancouver and it is becoming obvious to us all, that the time change is playing a distractive role in our sleep schedules.

With a full 12 hour difference between us and Sochi, the majority of the 3,417 events that will take place in the wee hours of the morning. Our options: stay up late and burn the midnight oil watching the skeleton athletes hurl themselves headfirst down the track or get up early and catch Canada’s Men’s Hockey Team pulverizing the Swedes. One thing is for sure, both will mess with your sleep and ultimately your daily performance.

The stay-up option and the get-up-early option both reduce the number of hours you have with your mattress. Unfortunately, the reduction in hours impedes the time your body spends in REM sleep. REM is the last stage of the five separate stages your body goes through when you sleep. Your body spends about 90 minutes in each stage. The fifth stage, REM, is the stage that concerns your mental restoration process.

When we reduce or skip this stage our brain processing suffers. Our bodies might be physically restored, but our minds lag.

If we continue this cycle, the body also starts to weaken. Our immune system loses its capability to ward off unwanted viruses and our cardiovascular system starts to fail.

So how do we watch the games with the least amount of impact to our health?

Enlist the mighty powers of technology. Your PVR has now become your new best friend. Spend some time with the Olympic schedule, figure out the events you want to watch and set the record button. The trick is staying away from your social media circles, so as not to accidentally spoil your programming.

If you absolutely have to watch the events live, try to stock up on sleep during the nights leading up to your must-see competitions. You can also try adding a nap to your daily routine. A little extra shut-eye goes a long way. Just make sure you keep it to under an hour. Any longer and you will disrupt your regular sleep hours.

Good luck. And Go Canada Go!!!

Tech Specs: Sleep Gadgetry

Apple has hired J.E.M Raymann, from the Philips Research team, to help implement new health sensors in their forthcoming iWatch. Raymann has been focusing on sleep research with the Philips Tech Company. The hire suggests that the iWatch will be able to track the sleep activity of it users, hopefully offering personal advice on how to improve sleeping habits.

The Philips team founded a Sleep Experience Laboratory that focuses on non-clinical sleep research, with a non-pharmacological approach. Raymann will be able to use this background work to advise Apple on their products ability to optimize rest and activity.

Apple is releasing few details about the product, but rumours have the watch being heavily tied to the new IOS system, iOS 8. It will work in conjunction with current products, such as the iPad and iPhone. The wrist device is also rumoured to have a proximity charging station.

As a Vancouver bed store, we hope that Apple’s new watch will encourage user’s to spend a full eight hours on their mattress, or at least remind them to prioritize sleep. You can arm your self with new-fangled gadget from head-to-toe, but if you don’t get your rest, your mind and body will lag.

Top Ten Blogs From 2013

Everyone has a Best of List, so we went along with the trend and compiled a list of our 10 favourite posts from the Mattress Vancouver blog.

We Have the List!

Movie Makeovers – February 22, 2013
Our top five Hollywood make-up transformations. Number five is Ralph Fiennes as Voldermort. Kind of reminds us of the thin prince, David Bowie. Without the androgyny.

Food to Avoid if You’re Having Trouble Sleeping – March 3, 2013
We’ve listed six items to avoid before bed for a calm night’s sleep. The most surprising food to avoid is oranges. Apparently the acidity in oranges can keep you from enjoying your Beautyrest mattress.

Keep It Tucked – March 18, 2013
Before you start to imagine that scene from Silence of the Lambs, this article is about keeping your ‘bed’ tucked and tidy. Studies have proven that people who make their bed feel far better about going to sleep than people who leave their sheets in disarray.

Cat Nap – March 30, 2013
Our feline friends are masters of the mid-day nap. Take notes.

Prioritizing Sleep Does Not Make You a Bad Parent – April 16, 2013
An article that every new parent should read. Remember, you need sleep too.

Advances in Bed Bug Prevention – June 1, 2013
We’ve dedicated a number of articles to bed bugs over the years. This particular article includes some positive news from the field. Always exercise caution when offering your bed to guests.

Cool Facts About Sleep From Ancient History – June 14, 2013
Did you know the first documented observation of circadian rhythms was written down by Androsthenes, a scribe of Alexander the Great? He observed the daily movements of the tamarind tree, a vegetation that closes its leaves at night.

Don’t Sweat the Technique: Sleeping Through the Heat – July 13, 2013
A few tips for summer snoozing. Contrary to the title this post has nothing to do with the classic Eric B. and Rakim beat.

Mattress Fads ( Part 2: The Hobo’s Space Saver ) – August 18, 2013
A brief history of the Murphy Bed. Included in the post is a five minute YouTube video of Charlie Chaplin using the Murphy bed as a prop for his physical comedy. The clip is taken from the 1916 short film, “One A.M.”

The Russian Rocket Flies to the Rafters – November 17, 2013
Pavel Bure is the Vancouver Canucks only legitimate franchise superstar. Sure the twins and Naslund have put up incredible numbers and Trevor Linden was the epitome of what a team captain should be, but Bure had that indefinable flare that makes an athlete extraordinary. Jordan had it, Gretzky had it, Crosby has it and Bure had it in spades. It’s unfortunate that he had to leave our city under a cloud. His jersey retirement was a peace offering of sorts and a wonderful way to remember those magical moments he gave to us all.

Avoid These Holidays Treats to Keep the Tummy Tight

It seems that every other night this month is a holiday celebration, staff party or family feast. With all the extra socializing, comes a whole host of extra calories. Keep that belly tight and try to avoid these sinful, seasonal delights:

Egg Nog: The quintessential holiday beverage is a weight-watchers liquid nightmare. Each cup of nog holds about 300 calories. That’s the equivalent of one small bowl of ice cream. Add a little rum and your tacking on another 75-100 calories, depending on how heavy you pour.

Candy Nuts: Not thirsty? Just gonna stay with a few dried snacks? Well keep your hands out of the candied nut bowl. Each 1/4 cup of nuts has about 140 calories of sugar alone. Add to that, another 150 calories for the nuts themselves and you’re coming close to a glass of nog.

Butter Tarts: The name says it all. They may look small and helpless, but these tiny assassins each carry close to 330 calories. Three of these and you’re looking at more calories then you’d receive from an average dinner.

Pecan Pie: Speaking of desserts… Pecan Pie is by far the most dangerous of the post dinner delicacies. One slice runs about 640 calories. That’s an hour on the elliptical. No one has time for an ‘extra’ hour at the gym over the holidays.

Peppermint Mocha: A grande cup of this holiday shopper’s ‘energy drink’ contains over 50 grams of sugar, with 410 calories. It’ll get you moving through the crowds, but that sugar spike comes with a sugar crash.

Sausage Rolls: Zero nutrition. We won’t even scare you with the caloric intake. Just trust us, you want to stay as far away from these pastry rolls as possible. Try a baby carrot instead – Frosty has been asking for a nose reduction.

If you indulge, remember that one of the best things for keeping the pounds off is a full night’s rest. Catch up on yours this December on a Simmons Beautyrest.

The Black Veil

Lululemon yoga pants are like magical black sorcerers that help lift, tone and accentuate the backsides of women around the world. They can make you look like you spent all week on the stair-master, when you actually spent your free time getting caught up on Breaking Bad. They are a high-priced illusion for those of us who would rather enjoy a cinnamon bun, than run five miles after work.
But, if you want the real thing – the toned legs and the perfect bum – you need to hit the gym. Plain and simple. Lulus might help you catch a stare or two, but at the end of the day, those pants are coming off.
It’s like your mattress. You can dress up your bed with 800 thread count sheets, but if the coils beneath are worn, what’s the point? You would be far better off spending your money on a quality Beautyrest than Egyptian cotton.
Like a toned body, the quality of a mattress is found beneath the fabric layers. Simmons Beautyrest mattresses use individual pocket coils to support bodies of all sizes. Their unique design limits motion transfer and lets couples sleep soundly.
Pull back the black veil and work on improving the basics; the gym is calling. You can always rest later on your Beautyrest – sans pants.

Fright Nights 2013

Halloween is two days away and all the little ghouls and ghosts are putting the last minute touches on their costumes. They will proudly parade them at school on Thursday and then it’s off to the neighbourhood for treats and a few PG scares.

For the adults, it takes more than a little fake blood and a bed sheet to peak the fright levels. Even the current stock of horror films offers few ‘jump out of your seat’ moments.

Good thing Fright nights has returned to the PNE. The annual scarefest is on until November 2. This year’s scream offerings include six haunted houses, twelve rides of doom and an entirely new freak show titled The Monsters of Schlock.

We’ve attended a few Fright Nights in the past and they always live up to their hype. You always think: “how scary could a haunted house be in an amusement park?” Turns out – pretty scary. We pity those poor souls who have to stand in hidden trap doors for three hours…

And the wooden coaster is always great for that initial plunge – the drop into the unknown. They don’t build them like they used to.

So tuck the little ones in, hire a sitter and get your scream on. We can’t promise it will help you sleep, but it will be a ‘wicked’ night out.

Free Entry to Science World!

When is the last time you took the kids to Science World? We know, the tickets are CRAZY expensive. BUT NOT THIS WEEKEND!

Science World is having a free entrance weekend on September 28th and 29th. Genome BC and BC Hydro are sponsoring the two-day event. It will kick start a month of fun activities being hosted by Science World in their “Around the Dome in 30 Days” festival.

The festival will include the opening of a new exhibit: “Amped.” Amped is a musical exhibition that looks at technology’s role in the creation of rhythm. Much like the Seattle “Experience Music Project,” Amped promises to allow for hands-on exploration of sound.

Lovers of the False Creek seawall have probably noticed that the construction has finally finished on the exterior of the Telus World of Science (somehow this is different than Science World – we’re still not sure how…).  The 35 million dollar renovation project brings a number of larger installations outside, creating a playground of science based learning installations. The Around the Dome will include a celebration of this exterior park.

For the adult visitors, the festival has a two-night murder mystery exhibit. The first night has already sold out. Book your tickets now for Saturday, October 19th.

For a quick look around at what’s new, come down for free this weekend. Make a whole day out of it and stop by Simmons Mattress Gallery at Broadway and Oak. You won’t believe the mattresses our sleep scientists have created.

Vancouver Water Parks

It’s hot and your kids need to cool off. The perfect destination activity for days like these: the water park.

Vancouver is blessed with a large variety of water and spray parks that operate seasonally. They take less effort that setting up the backyard slip-n-slide and they give your kids a chance to socialize with other bambinos. They are also guaranteed to tire your kids out and get them ready for the mattress Vancouver summers, like our fall and spring, are made to be spent in a shower of water.

Here is a short list of some of our favourite water parks in the city:

Harbour Green Park – 119 West Cordova Street

This water park is located in Coal Harbour, just off the seawall path. It’s constructed of ground sprinklers that shoot water over two feet high. The jets shoot water rhythmically on a timed system. The park is great for group games, like tag. For adults, the park has a great view of the local mountains and a lovely patio restaurant only metres away.

Connaught Park - 2390 West 10th Avenue

This West Side spray park is small but fun. It is located at the Kitsilano Community Centre.

Stanley Park – Lumberman’s Arch

This large water park is located just off the seawall below the Vancouver Aquarium. It has a variety of water toys, including cannons and umbrella sprinklers. It is a great pit-stop for families riding around the seawall. It also has a concession stand within 50 metres.

MacLean Park – 710 Keefer Street

This park is found in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, in the trendy Strathcona neighbourhood. It is situated just off the Adanac bike route. MacLean Park would be classified as ‘inner city.’

Granville Island

The Grandaddy of water parks. The Granville Island water park is located just behind the Kids Only Market. This park has slides, water cannons, sprinklers above and below ground and a large picnic area for groups to gather. Warning: this park can get crazy busy in the summer. If your kids don’t like crowds, better to stay clear.

The Celebration of Sleep

The Celebration of Light fireworks are a polarizing topic for many Vancouverites.

For some, it’s a yearly event for the whole family to enjoy, involving patient seat-saving, shoulder-rubbing with crowds of thousands, dinner on a picnic blanket and half-an-hour of light and music.

For others, it’s just another reason to stay away from the downtown core. If you turn up your high-def television loud enough, you can drown out the echoing bangs and pretend like it’s not even happening.

Newborns and toddlers, have a different reaction altogether. For infants, the sounds of distant bangs can be disturbing and lead to temporary or long-term anxiety. For parents, it can also mean a night without sleep.

The best way to tackle this issue is to have your young person view a fireworks display from a safe distance. This will allow them to match the sounds with an image and more importantly, a family-friendly spectacle.

Your reactions as parents are important too. Your toddler looks to you for appropriate responses. If you exude calm behaviour, your child will recognize this and mirror your reaction.

With the association made, the next time your young one hears fireworks, their mind will connect the visual with the audio. And, you will at least have the potential, to get a few solid hours on the mattress Vancouver’s quiet nights will soon return…

Don’t Sweat the Technique: Sleeping Through the Heat

“Sufferin succotash! I say, where… Where did this here heat wave come from?”

With temperatures in the high 20s, Vancouverites are experiencing an uncommon phenomenon for the West Coast: a heat wave. It may not be comparable to the heat experienced in Dixie, but the mercury is rising to heights rarely seen in Lotusland.

Accompanying the heat are a host of new personal issues that Vancouver citizens are being forced to tackle, issues like sweat drenched work clothes, melting dry goods and sleepless nights.

We can’t offer a solution to your dripping work shirt, but we do hope to share a few ideas for cooling down your bedroom. Here is a quick list for improving your sleep this week:

Avoid Trap (Trap is sooo 2012)

Keep the air circulating at night by opening windows and creating a cross breeze. Have the windows and shades closed during the day. If you have access to an attic or loft space, open the hatch or door to give the heat an area to move to. Circulate the air in your living space with fans. Larger fans move more air with less noise.

Duck and Cover

Heat rises, so stay as low as possible. If you have a furnished basement, you may want to move your mattress down a few stories. If you’re in an apartment, you may consider removing your foundation. The closer to the floor the better.

Body Chills

Water can work wonders for keeping your body cool. Before you head to bed, take a colder shower. Only partially dry yourself before getting back in bed. With the fan on, the extra moisture will help cool your body. No time for a shower? Use a light mist with a spray bottle before turning on the fan and heading to bed. Use blue ice blocks wrapped in a cotton material as cooling pillow.

Faux A//C

If you can afford A/C, your investment is paying off. If you can’t, place a shallow bowl of cubed ice directly below your room fan. This will blow cool air over you during the night, or at least for the first hour while you try and fall asleep.

Another crazy alternative is the ‘water wick’ method. Dip your curtains in buckets of water on the floor. During the night, the fabric in your curtains will (hopefully) absorb some of the water. If any breeze enters the room from outside it will pass through the curtains, transporting some of the moisture to your waiting body as you sleep. Random fact: the British adopted this method during their colonization of India.

Splitsville

Simmons Mattress Gallery is not usually a forum for gossip speculation, but the recent split of newlyweds Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries has us a little concerned.

The marriage lasted a total of 72 days. They didn’t even complete a financial quarter. Imagine what all the guests who attended that wedding are feeling. I bet a few of them are wishing they didn’t spend so much on their gift.

But the real question is: Why are so many celebrity couples calling it quits?

Is it the pressures of being in the spotlight? The legions of fans who bolster their egos? Is it that they were never in love to begin with? Are all these marriages simply grandiose publicity stunts?

No. Most probably started with love, but somewhere along the way, the fire died.

Sleeping apart from your partner can have that effect. We firmly believe the couple that sleeps together, stays together. Often celebrity couples are forced apart by the demands of their jobs. Without a permanent mattress to share, the individuals start to feel less like a union and more like two private enterprises.

Thankfully, most couples that buy our mattresses are able to enjoy the comfort they offer together. With non-flip pocket coils, designed to eliminate motion transfer, both partners can rise in the morning refreshed from an undisturbed sleep. When both parties in a relationship are rested, there is less chance of minor issues blowing up into major ones. There is also more energy for the other endeavors that mattresses provide.

Don’t model your life on the fleeting bond of two distant stars. Stay grounded on a mattress that supports the weight of a committed relationship.

Kim Kardashian

Mattress Time Machine

Let’s take a look back at the beds that defined you:

The Wooden Prison – Your crib provided you with a confined space to for those short periods of sleep between epic crying bouts. The upside: you never had to get up to go to the washroom in the middle of the night. The downside: lack of freedom.

The Layer Cake – All of your friends were envious of your bunk bed, but sharing a bedroom with your older brother quickly lost its novelty. You dreamed of the top bunk, but sadly were forced to settle for the lower class bottom bunk for eight long years.

Puberty Plank – Pimples, emerging hair and voice crackles were manageable, but your Grade Ten growth spurt put your feet off the end of your twin mattress; it left you with 3/4’s of a comfortable night’s rest.

College Daze – If your dorm room mattresses could speak, we’re sure it would utter something along the lines of Kurtz’s final words; “The horror….the horror.”

Young Professional - Independent enough to buy your first bed – too poor to shop anywhere but IKEA.

Marriage Bed – She insisted on going to a proper mattress store. Together, you picked out a Beautyrest. Everything up to that point was…history.

Bunk Beds: Family Caste System

“Heart of the City”

Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is an area of the city that many of us choose to avoid. The poverty level scares us, the open drug market makes us nervous and the prostitution reminds us of the dangerous hold of addiction. So we divert our travel routes, choose alternative venues and leave the issues for the community to deal with on their own. It’s a coping mechanism that most of us subscribe to.

One thing we can’t forget, even if we choose to turn our backs, is that the DES is full of people. People who have a past, present and future. People who value the community they live in. People who are artistic, creative and passionate.

As a part of Vancouver’s 125th Anniversary Celebration, the DES community will be celebrating the ‘Heart of the City Festival.’ The festival will showcase the talents of many of the area’s current citizens, as well as document some of the rich stories from the neighbourhood’s past.

Events are running all week. For more details check the festival website:

http://www.heartofthecityfestival.com/

Dunbar Haunted House

Looking for a family scare this weekend? Check out the Dunbar Haunted House, which ironically, is no longer located in Dunbar.

The annual scare factory has moved locations, due to the increased volume of visitors that the house has received over the past seven years. The new location is 8934 Shaughnessy St., near the Marine and Cambie Canada Line station.

The house has now become a community project, taking almost four months to create.

With props, live actors, dramatic settings and an animated soundtrack, the walking tour is a theatrical buffet of scaredom.

This year’s theme is “Barbaric British Columbia.” The word from the crypt is the house will showcase a number of iconic images from BC history and culture – possible frights include the undead crew of the S.S. Beaver, the resurrection of Bill Vander Zalm’s Fantasy Garden and the impenetrable Tim Thomas.

The haunted house opened for business on Oct 14th and will close its doors at midnight on Halloween.

Entry costs $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. All proceeds are distributed between the B.C. Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund, the Christmas Bureau and the Vancouver Police Union Charity Foundation.

For younger visitors, the house offers a reduced rate, performerless walk through on Saturdays and Sundays, between 11am and 7pm. At 7pm, the actors take their place to offer the true, spine-tingling spectacle.

We’ll see you there… if you dare.

Spooky Family Fun

Mattress Break-Up (Curbside)

Do the people who abandon mattresses on the streets think they are helping the homeless? Do they believe there is a magic mattress collector that trolls the alleys at night looking for soggy discarded beds? One would wonder…

With the recent ban on mattresses at city transfer stations, beds are being illegally abandoned all over the city.

Last year 1,500 mattresses were discarded illegally on city streets. This year, with the $20 surcharge in effect, frugal, lazy citizens have dumped over 5,000 mattresses.

The city has used taxpayer money to send out special vehicles to collect the unwanted beds. It has been a massive resource drain on the collection department’s budget. All this because people did not want to properly deal with their waste.

It’s a shame.

The good news is that more beds then ever are being properly recycled. Thanks to the new ban, over 47,000 mattresses were given to Lower Mainland recycling agencies in the first half of this year.

If you are looking to properly dispose of your old mattress and do not want to pay the $20 fee, consider one of the three mattress recycling companies operating in and around Vancouver.

Here is a list of the companies and their minimum charge:

Canadian Mattress Recycling - If dropped off, CMR will charge $12 per item. This is the cheapest option. They also have pick-up options starting at $72.00.

Mattressrecycling.ca - This company charges $12.50 per dropped off item. With a professional website and David Suzuki’s endorsement, this company appears to be the most respectable operation in the Vancouver area. We have also featured this company in an earlier post on mattress recycling.

Recyc-Mattress - This is the most expensive option. Recyc-Mattress charges $15 per item.

A mattress dumped in a landfill takes decades to decompose. Do your part and recycle your bed properly.

Mattress Abandonment

Diwali Lights Up Vancouver

The new moon has a special significance in October (and no, it has nothing to do with Vampires). It marks the date of the cultural festival known as Diwali. Observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, Diwali is a fall festival that celebrates ‘good over evil.’

In traditional celebrations, the triumph of good is portrayed through the lightening of lamps and candles.

The new moon is the darkest day of the month. In a natural setting, void of electrical lights, the candles represent a defeat of the darkness that exists during the absence of the moon.

Like Thanksgiving, Diwali is traditionally a family occasion, with activities organized around the family unit.  But it is also celebrated with community events and decorations.

The slogan for Vancouver’s publicly organized Diwali celebrations is “Light your Spirit.” There are five major events put on by Vancouver Celebrates Diwali. They run from October 15th to the 23rd. Here is a brief summary of the planned festivities:

October 16

“Dance All Sorts Diwali Style” (2:00 pm)

-The festival will begin with a performance by Bageshree Vaze, a contemporary kathak dancer, who will preform at the Roundhouse Theatre in Yaletown. Tickets at the door.

October 18

“Diwali Bright Lights” (4:30 pm)

-This night is dedicated to emerging South Asian artists in the Vancouver community. It will include classical Indian music and a variety of dance groups, including the ever-popular Bollywood style. The event will take place at the Heritage Hall on Main Street. This is a free event.

“Chai House on Main Street”

-This is an upscaled version of the earlier event. The headline performer will be Grammy winner Chin Injeti. Tickets are $10.

October 23

“Diwali Downtown” (12:00 pm)

This is a family event to close out the public festival. It runs from noon till 6:00 pm at the Roundhouse in Yaletown. There will be a variety of musical acts, dance teams, craft workshops and traditional Indian food. Tickets for this final event are by donation.

Diwali Celebrations

Festival of Lights

Locating Our Biological Clock

How often do you wake up minutes before your alarm goes off?

With the right sleep conditions, our bodies naturally wake up at a similar hour each day. If you are sleeping on a Simmons Beautyrest, this event is probably a common occurrence.

Until recently, scientists had trouble determining the cause of this natural phenomenon. The scientific community was roughly aware of the mechanism that prepared us for sleep, but little was known about the way we wake-up.

Now researchers at the Salt Lake Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla California have located the gene that triggers our body to wake-up at a given time.

Researcher, Satchidananda Panda, claims, “the body is essentially a collection of clocks.” These clocks subconsciously trigger our brain and other organs to carry out involuntary actions. Our body’s natural drop in temperature before we fall asleep is one example.

With the ‘wake-up’ gene located, sleep scientists can now expand their study of sleep disorders. There is also hope that the discovery can aid research into chronic illness and aging.

Dressing ‘Up’ for Bed

Shah Rukh Khan is one of the biggest movie stars on the planet. Appearing in over 70 Hindi films, Khan is considered by many to be the King of Bollywood.

With his new science fiction film, “Ra.One,” premiering on October 26th, the world media is obsessed with everything Kahn.

This week, an article in “Harper’s Bazaar” published some interesting facts about Kahn’s sleeping rituals.

Kahn was asked by Mala Sekhri to describe his bed attire. The middle-aged star, often referred to by his acronym SRK, revealed that he prefers to ‘dress up for bed.’

“I like to wear clean, really nice pair of clothes, so like my Dolce and Gabbana shorts, I will sometime . . . wear my Lululemon track pants and I’ll wear a nice, crisp white T-shirt.”

Kahn also went on to comment that he enjoys putting cologne on before crawling beneath the covers.

Cologne? Dress shirts? DG boxers? The ‘King’ knows how to push the boundaries of extravagant living. And a little shout-out to a local company.

We only hope his mattress is on par with his sweet-smelling wardrobe.

SRK

Meadow Maze

Summer is winding to a close and fall is starting to show on the leaves. This is great news for corn lovers in B.C. as the fields are filled with this year’s crop. It’s also the time of year when farmers with an entrepreneurial artistic side, can turn their land from simple fields of corn into complex harvest labyrinths.

One of the largest mazes in the Pacific Northwest is located in Pitt Meadows. Appropriately titled the ‘Meadow Maze,’ this year’s design boasts 6.3 kms of pathways. The theme is the Vancouver Zoo. Previous themes include: the PNE, the Golden Ears Bridge and ‘eat local.’

The corn maze design begins on a computer, where a designer creates an image and then maps out the pathways. The maze is then cut when the corn is a foot high using a tractor with GPS compatibility. Before the cut, there are nearly 1 million plants in the field.

Visitors to the maze are encouraged to bring water and a hat. The Pitt Meadows location occasionally closes when the temperature is too high. The average walker takes about 1 1/2 hours to complete the maze. The fastest time for this years design is 35 minutes.

The Meadow Maze also boasts a full concession and market area, plus a petting zoo and hay rides.

Pitt Meadows Maze

*From Experience: Do not watch “Children of the Corn” before a trip to the Pitt Meadows maze.

‘Big Ride’

Amateur and pro cycling enthusiasts around the Lower Mainland have been training, tuning and timing for months in preparation for this weekend’s Gran Fondo ride from Vancouver to Whistler. The ride is 120 km, along one of the most beautiful highways on the planet. Take part or encourage a friend or family member as they climb towards Whistler Village.

This is the second year of the mass cycling event in Canada, a phenomenon that was born in Europe and given the Italian name of Gran Fondo – roughly translated as ‘Big Ride.’ The event is not a race, but awards are given to the top finishers. It features riders from a variety of skill levels and backgrounds. This year’s amateur category is sold out, but the pro category still has room for last minute entries.

The race will start at Thurlow and West Georgia at 7:00 am, with amateur riders staggered back to Seymour Street. The race will finish in Whistler Village, with the finish line closing at 4:00 pm. There will also be a celebration event afterwards, featuring the music of 54-40.

Canadian Gran Fondo

TaiwanFest

Vancouver is blessed to have so many diverse ethnicities infused into its kaleidoscope culture. Celebrating specific regions of origin helps Vancouverites appreciate the richness of our multicultural society.

This weekend, the city is proud to host Taiwanfest. With a variety of events planned around the city, Taiwanfest hopes to offer a sampling of the entertainment, food and art from the island of Taiwan and Mainland China.

Free musical performances will be held all weekend around the Vancouver Art Gallery. One of the anticipated highlights of the Labour Day weekend will be the Musou Girls. Starting at 8pm on Saturday, the Musou girls will play a mix of modern and traditional Chinese instruments. The music is composed by the founder of the group, Mr. Xue Xuan Liu.

For a deeper look into the Taiwanese culture, checkout the four documentaries that will be showing around town. Simmons Mattress Gallery suggests “Faces of Taiwan.” This film is made up of five mini docs that focus on overcoming adversity.

On the edible menu will be Vancouver’s first street banquet. This event is being sponsored by the city as part of Vancouver’s 125th celebrations.

Taiwanese ceramics will be on display at the Roundhouse theatre from September 3rd to the 10th.

Enjoy the festivities!

For a more detailed schedule of events click here.

Art is Everywhere

Vancouver is a haven for public art. From “The Birds” at the Olympic Plaza in the Athletes Village complex, to the “A-maze-ing Laughter” men at English Bay, to the “Equestrian Monument” at the Yaletown Roundhouse Skytrain Station, art surrounds us.

Now BC Hydro is adding its own touch to the public art scene in our city. Hydro boxes are now being decorated with vegetation scenes, children’s art work and graphic design pieces. ‘Function’ is giving ‘design’ an opportunity to paint on its metal canvas.

Instead of random tags and garish graffiti, the boxes now display images that are more reflective of the community they are located in.

Often commissioned, public art is a way for large corporations and city planners to probe the imagination of commuters, homeowners and travelers. The installations encourage an interaction between the observer and the artist. They make us value our streets.

So lift your head from your smart phone browsing and take in the installations that pepper our city streets. They may inspire a response that could change your day.

Movies in the Park

The fireworks have come and gone, but there are still a number of free public events being offered around the city. The most popular are the Fresh Air Cinema screenings being shown around the Lower Mainland.

“Jaws” aired on Tuesday in Stanley park. Word has it there was more laughs then screams. Still a classic that everyone enjoys. The defining line: “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”

This Tuesday the classic urban Cinderella story comes to Stanley park with the screening of “Pretty Women.” We’ve never really been big Julia Roberts fans, but when Richard Gere snaps that jewelry box shut and Julia flashes those pearly whites, just for a moment we can see how she rose to fame. What a smile!

"Snap!"

The film we are dying to see airs on August 30th. “Stand By Me,” the quintessential end of summer/innocence film will closeout the summer series at Stanley Park. From “Chopper sick balls,” to the ‘barfarama,’ to the rail-tie sing-a-longs, “Stand By Me” has it all; even a few tears. Bring the family or a date and relive your youth in the open air of Stanley Park.

Exceptionale Mattress

What could be more comfortable than a layer of 80 individual pocket coils? A double stack of coil on coil springs to ease your body onto. Add a 360° memory foam encasement and top it with a hi-loft pillow top and you have the finest Beautyrest mattress available in our showroom.

The Beautyrest Exceptionale series is the jewel in the Beautyrest line. It is designed to offer the most comfortable sleep imaginable. No other mattress comes close to the pampering offered by an Exceptionale mattress.

The stack begins with two layers of four-inch coils; that’s a full eight inches of support. The foam layer adds another three inches of cushioning. And the pillow top is half an inch. The total sum: eleven and a half inches of mattress heaven.

Add a Triton foundation, and your bed is suddenly a tower of clouds so soft and supportive, an angel would be envious.

If you feel you deserve the best mattress possible, select the Beautyrest Exceptionale mattress. It is comfort taken to the highest level.

Beautyrest Exceptionale - You Deserve It!

Malkin Bowl Welcomes Ben Harper

On Friday, August 28th, the Malkin Bowl Summer Concert Series welcomes Ben Harper to Stanley Park. This is one of the most anticipated outdoor shows of the season. Tickets went on sale in May, but there are still some being sold online. If you see one show this summer, catch Ben Harper’s set in the park.

Harper is touring on his most recent album, Give Till it’s Gone. Like most of his previous works, the album contains a strong message of hope, mixed with the pain of life. Always spiritual, Harper’s tracks reverberate with healing and religious conviction. But even with their strong Christian message, Harper’s words attract a strong secular audience that can relate with the pain and joy of love’s handiwork.

If you have never heard Harper’s music, download Live from Mars. Standout tracks include “Please Bleed,” “Women in You” and the quintessential mix-tape track “Walk Away.”

Harper will be playing between the cedars and beneath the stars at the beautiful Malkin clearing. Bring a blanket and some friends and let the one-man choir receive your heart.

Ben Harper Playing the Slide Guitar

Vancouver Mattress Shopping Tips

Before you come into shop for a new mattress at Simmons Mattress Gallery, it’s a good idea to compile a few notes on the specifics of what you will be looking for in your new bed. This will help the Simmons professionals suggest the perfect mattress for your needs.

Here is a list of questions you should consider:

1. What sort of sleeping position do you prefer? Do you sleep on your back, your side or on your stomach? Some mattresses are specifically designed for certain sleeping positions, so knowing which one you prefer helps with selection.

2. Do you have chronic back pain? Memory foam is an excellent addition for those suffering neck or back pain.

3. Do you and or your partner move around in your sleep? All of the Beautyrest models are made with non-flip pocket coils that help reduce motion transfer, but some are more sensitive than others.

4. What firmness do you prefer? Think about the most comfortable sleep you’ve had. Was the mattress extra firm or was it the softness that made it so cozy?

5. How much room do you have in your bedroom for your new mattress? You don’t want to buy a king size mattress if it will not fit in your room. Use a tape measure and record the dimensions you will need.

6. How much are you willing to spend? Figure out a budget beforehand. Knowing this number will help the mattress professional suggest mattresses within your price range.

Bring all these facts in with you when you visit one of our two locations. Make sure to sleep test at least five different mattresses in our showroom. Again, this will help you decide on what qualities you prefer.

Wake Up on Your New Simmons Mattress

Sounds to Soothe Your Baby to Sleep

A new baby can turn your sleeping schedule upside down. Finding ways to help your infant fall asleep at times that are suitable for you is a challenge. New research is showing that one of the best aids you can use is soothing noise. This calms the baby and encourages sleep.

The makers of baby related products have reacted to this research and have started producing high-end white noise machines. These little items might make great shower gifts, but for those mothers who don’t receive one, the cost can be a little excessive. Babies are an expensive enterprise and finding ways to cut down on costs is a necessity for new parents.

Good news! A new app for your android phone called Relax and Sleep Plus can play soothing sounds through the speaker in your phone for a fraction of what it would cost to buy a white noise machine. The app costs $2 and is available at the Android Marketplace.

The app lets you set how long you want the ambient noise to run. It also has a number of various sounds to choose from. You can mix them together, or have them play one after another. Examples of available sounds are: acoustic guitar, aquarium sounds, ocean and rainforest. There are also animal noises such as frogs and birds. The most bizarre option is the sound of wolves howling, for those Farley Mowat fans.

Consumer guides suggest setting the volume at a low level and keeping the phone well away from the sleeping infants head; the debate on cell phones and stimulating brain cancer is ongoing.

Another tip is to set your phone on airplane mode. You don’t want your infant interrupted by one of your friends calling or texting.

Unfortunately for iPhone users, this app is not currently available on Apple products. We’re sure they will make something similar in the coming months.

Down for at Least a Few Hours

The Quiet Room

At home, the only people who have to deal with your nocturnal noises are your family and or your roommates. But what happens when you travel? Do the rest of the guests have to suffer through your snoring bouts, as the nasal noise reverberates around your room and out into the hall?

The Crowne Plaza hotel chain has created a room to minimize the effects of your snoring, so both you and your partner can enjoy a sound sleep. Anti-snoring pillows and white noise encourages your body to sleep quietly. With sound proofing on both the walls and headboards, noise that is made, is contained so that other patrons are unaffected.

Other popular hotel chains are implementing measures to identify and deter noisy sleepers. More than ten hotel chains in Europe and the Middle East are hiring night watchmen to act as snore patrollers. These men and women walk the halls and check for noise disruptions. When they find a culprit, they bang lightly on the door to wake the snorer, pulling him or her out of their slumber and temporarily relieving the noise.

The watchmen keep track of which patrons are being unintentionally disruptive. Like a medical annotation, your sleeping history follows you. After three disturbances, hotel staff can suggest an area of the hotel where noise is permitted.

Back home, on your Vancouver mattress, you can be as loud as you like; or as loud as your partner permits.

Repeat Customers

Mattresses are one of those things you only need to shop for every five or six years. They are dependable to a point and then it is in your best interest to replace them. When your current mattress reaches that mark, look to Simmons Mattress Gallery to supply you with a new bed.

Simmons has been making beds for the last 130 years. Our beds are leading the industry in mattress innovation; they are also leading to repeat customers.

A Simmons owner knows that their new bed will offer them an undisturbed sleep every night of the week. They have experienced the comfort of a well-crafted product and their choice to buy another Simmons is an easy one.

An easier choice is where to buy their Simmons. With seven consecutive years of being named ‘Best Mattress Store‘ by the Consumers’ Choice Awards, Simmons Mattress Gallery is the number one Vancouver mattress store.

The mattress professionals at Simmons Mattress Gallery can help recommend the perfect bed for your lifestyle. Explain your sleeping preferences, test-lie a few beds and walk away with your favourite.

We won’t see you for a few years, but we will be here when it’s time for another new one.

Spin to Win

Two weeks ago, we posted a story on Randy Gardner, the official Guinness record holder for the number of consecutive hours without sleep. The young man attempted the feat as part of a science experiment.

Since writing that article, Simmons Mattress Gallery has received a number of emails about other famous insomniacs.

One story that stood out from the others was the story of Peter Tripp. Tripp was a disc jockey, who in 1959, stayed awake for 201 hours as part of a promotional stunt for a New York radio station. The stunt took place in a glass booth in Times Square.

Unlike Gardner, Tripp used pharmaceutical stimulants to stay awake. Doctors, who should have known better, supplied these.

By the fifth day of the stunt, witnesses claim Tripp took on a crazed look. He began to hallucinate, claiming to see kittens and mice scurrying around the makeshift studio. He also became spooked when a man in a trench coat visited. Tripp believed the man to be an undertaker and ran out into the street in fear. He was dragged back to his turntables.

The stunt was successful in raising money for the March of Dimes, a charity whose mission is to promote the health of young infants. Tripp’s health, however, declined after the stunt. Years later, he would complain of recurring headaches and emotional instability.

We think a car wash would have been a much healthier fundraiser.

Peter Tripp Trying to Keep His Eyes Open

Vancouver’s 125th Birthday Celebration (Part 2): Summer Live

After the initial party on April 6th, Vancouver is planning a summer festival in Stanley Park to continue our city’s 125th birthday celebration. ‘Summer Live’ will take place over three days – July 8, 9, 10.  The festival will showcase a number of artists, including an impressive line-up of local musicians.

The music will be the big draw of the weekend, with The New Pornographers, Said the Whale and Mother Mother sharing a stage. Local singer songwriter, Dan Mangan, will also play, along with the collective sound of Vancouver’s Symphony Orchestra.

Admission is free and the organizers promise that the event will be family friendly.

Party in the Park

The city chose Stanley Park as the site of the festival because of its beautiful setting, picnic capacity and its history with Vancouver’s city council.

Fact: The area of land now known as Stanley Park was delegated park space at the first Vancouver city council meeting in 1886.

There will also be a sports day like atmosphere, with hilarious relay races.

So don’t plan any getaways during the second weekend in July. You’ll want to stay home and enjoy this one with the rest of your fellow Vancouverites.

A Healthy Lifestyle Starts With Your Mattress

How much money do you spend at the pharmacy each month on products designed to improve your looks? Close to a hundred dollars probably. You need to buy shampoo, bodywash, facial scrubs, toothpaste and beauty products – it all adds up. What about for your interior organs? You probably buy at least one multi-vitamin and maybe one package of stomach relief.

Did you know that a good night’s rest could change your daily complexion and help you fight off illness?

Your gym membership costs more than half your pharmacy bill and you still have to put in the work.

An undisturbed rest is free on a Beautyrest.

Those Sudoku puzzles you do to keep your brain active are rather time consuming. The first four were fun, but numbers really aren’t that interesting.

Eight hours of sleep is the perfect amount of rest needed to maintain your mental potential throughout the working day.

Seems like you could save a lot of time, money and stress by upgrading your mattress set. A Simmons may not freshen your breath, but it will do wonders for your health. Try one today at Vancouver’s mattress store, Simmons Mattress Gallery.

Sleep First

Hollywood North at the Waldorf

The Waldorf Hotel has seen a resurgence in recent years, becoming the place to be seen for young hipsters around town. The redone Tiki lounge is the main attraction, serving pineapple swirly-strawed girly drinks alongside PBR’s.

Last week, the hotel added another hat to its already crowded rack. The latest enterprise, by the rejuvenated Vancouver landmark, is a film series being shown every Wednesday. The title of the series is “Vancouver Sometimes Plays Itself.” The weekly series will feature films shot in Vancouver between 1964-1988, the years before the X-Files got its claws in the Vancouver Film Industry.

The weekly MC will be the series creator, Elvy Del Bianco. Bianco will introduce each film explaining the areas where it was shot along with relevant history and trivia. Bianco will also be joined by a number of guest speakers including UBC professor Tom Scholte.

The films will be shown every Monday night. Last week’s feature was “Sweet Substitute.” This week will be “Explosion.” The following week is “That Cold Day in the Park,” a Robert Altman sexual thriller.

The series wraps on Monday, June 13th with the film “The Squamish Five.”

Waldorf Tiki Bar

Directional Advice

On Monday, May 2nd, Canada will return to the polls to vote. The current Conservative government was forced to call an election after the Liberal Party’s no-confidence motion passed on March 25th. The popularity of the Conservatives has remained strong in the wake of the Liberal attack and it seems, even with a failed budget, the populace is prepared to have Stephen Harper maintain his position as Prime Minister of Canada.

But these are early speculations.

If you are wondering where your vote should go, it may be in your interest to log onto the CBC website and use their helpful tool to find out which party’s platform is closest to your own interests. The tool is called the ‘Vote Compass.’ It works as an extended questionnaire. The answers you give are matched with a party and a position on the political spectrum. So far, over one million visitors have used it.

It will be interesting to see if Canadians will move away from their traditional allegiances. Will the results provided by the CBC’s tool really affect their vote? I guess we will need to wait until the 2nd to discover the answer.

Find out where you stand.

Where do you stand?

Visit: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/votecompass/

Vancouver’s 125th Birthday Celebration (Part 1)

This Wednesday, April 6th, marks the official start to Vancouver’s 125th Birthday celebration. There will be an all-day event at Jack Poole Plaza, the site of the Olympic Cauldron. The festivities will begin at 2pm and continue until 10pm.

The opening event will be a drop-in street hockey tournament. This will be followed by an organized youth tournament featuring teams from Thunderbird, Sunset, West End, Britannia, Riley Park and Killarney communities.

From 6:00 to 7:00 will be the Official Ceremonies, with a giant birthday cake and speeches by Mayor Gregor and other dignitaries.

The big draw will be a performance by Vancouver’s own classic rockers, 54-40. They will hit the stage around 8:45 and will play until 10:00. During the performance, the plaza will become the backdrop for a video and light installation titled Time Drifts, by Berlin-based artist Phillipp Geist.

In the spirit of our ever-loving cycling mayor, there will be a bicycle valet option for those of you choosing the two-wheeled commute.

Gregor has also promised to unveil other events as the year progresses.

The Olympics were just the beginning Vancouver! Let’s celebrate who we are and where we came from!

Blow Out The Candles

Dare to Dream!

Dreams. They come to us at night while we sleep soundly. They float into our minds while we spend the day doing simple tasks. They infect our soul and force us to face the question: “What if?”

What if we went back to school for three years and improved our education?

What if we took a year off and moved our family to Chile for the experience?

What if we had only one day to live?

What if our family was increased by one?

What if we chased our artistic dream?

But for many, these questions, brought on by dreams, are stifled with the so-called ‘realistic advice’ of friends or family members. This is discouraging.

Dreams come to us because we know there is a better way to live, to enjoy each day, to find employment and to act on our passions. Don’t be discouraged by others. And never settle for average.

John Maxwell, a leadership author, claims, “being exceptional demands extra effort, sustained inspiration and uncommon discipline.” Fulfilling our dreams is never easy. So be prepared to fight for them. Your soul will thank you.

John Maxwell: Leadership Speaker

Romantic Inclinations

Romance is thick in the air this week, as lovers across the Lower Mainland profess their undying love for one another with heart felt cards and more than one or two sad clichés.

But if you are one of those absentminded folk, who may have forgotten to grab some overpriced flowers for your shmoopie, it’s not too late. For the flowers, maybe, but there are other gifts that can get you back in the good books with your significant other.

Our suggestion to you: head over to Simmons Mattress Gallery for a great deal on a new bed. Nothing says, ‘baby, I know I messed up, but I want to fix it so we can get back to having fun,’ like a new passion platform. Simmons has a massive variety of beds in ranging sizes, firmness and extravagance. Upgrade from your Ikea cast-off to a bed that will keep you and your loved one comfortable for years to come. Buy it before Friday and he/she will never remember your epic fail.

Want to make a romantic evening out of it? Pack some sexy nightwear, for both of you, and head into our showroom to sample some of our beds on display. We won’t judge your tiger print and we promise not to stare at your partner’s visible parts. Just hold off on the physical stuff until you get home.

Happy Valentines week, from your friends at Simmons Mattress Gallery.

All Smiles

Ordering For Two

It started over drinks at Bin 942. They had been set-up by a mutual friend who thought their mutual love for indoor climbing and after-dinner mints made them a perfect match.

They shared the ‘picnic on a grilled flat bread’ and a bottle of Heartland Shiraz. The music was low and bass driven and the date ended with a kiss; a soft kiss, with the hope of more to come.

Three months later, after many trips to Cliffhangers and a plethora of after dinner mints from some of the cities finest restaurants, the two decided to move in together. But both had terribly small beds; being single for that long has its effect on furniture choice.

Together, they visited the Broadway Simmons Mattress Gallery. It was a flirtatious outing, where both made quiet jokes and hinted at the passion of the nights to come.

On the advice of one of the many in-house mattress professionals, the two finally decided on a mattress from the Cartier line; a king size bed, designed to eliminate motion transfer between couples and provide the ultimate in undisturbed sleep. With the non-flip pocket coil design, the Cartier would be their foundation for play and rest.

The first night of use, he made the bed and left a small mint on her pillow.

Mints To Share

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