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The Top Ten Worst Uses For Your Mattress 26.02.14

10. Dominoes

Why someone would ever use their mattress for a life-size game of dominoes is beyond us. If your mattress is that expendable, come talk to Simmons Mattress Gallery about a replacement bed.

9. Hiding a Body

Why is this a bad idea? Let’s start with ‘Why are you hiding a body!’ It’s also the first place investigators look. CSI 101.

8. Safety Net

Even in an emergency situation, it’s probably better to wait for the fire department then to throw your mattress out a third storey window and hope that it breaks your fall.

7. Hillbilly boogeyboarding

We covered this crazy sport in one of our first posts, almost five years ago. How it works is ’said Hillbilly’ attaches a long rope to his mattress, brings out to a field and ties the other end to a 4X4. The driver then pulls the mattress around a field as one brave (stupid) sole rides it.

6. Human Sushi

It’s a thing. Don’t Google it. You’ll be disgusted. Trust us.

5. Wrestling Platform

Back to the hillbillies. Wrestling, even though the world knows it’s fake, still seems to be popular among young adult men. Mattresses are used as platforms for wannabes to practice their suplexes. Somebody is going to get seriously hurt.

4. Family Toboggan

‘A family that plays together, stays together.’ But in the case of mattress tobogganing, ‘a family that sleds together, shares a hospital room together.’

3. Child Fort

Jokes aside, mattresses are often used as the roof for child forts. This is incredibly dangerous. Mattresses can be heavy objects that can easily pin a child down. In a worst-case scenario it could suffocate them. Please inform your child about the dangers of building a fort with a mattress.

2. Piggy Bank

Banks are hard institutions to trust these days, but when you start stuffing your bed full of money to avoid paying banking fees, you immediately begin to limit the comfort you will receive from your mattress. If you insist on storing your money at home, use something less valuable – like a shoebox.

1. Snacking

The TLC program, My Strange Addiction, featured a young woman who was obsessed with eating the contents of her mattress. The woman was featured on the show’s season premiere last month. Only in America.

Norwegian Olympic Secrets: Babes In the Cold 26.02.14

Could a bizarre childcare practice be the reason for Norway’s dominance at the Winter Olympics in Sochi? North Americans may be shocked to learn that Norwegian childcare workers and new moms place their children in buggies outside their homes to nap.

Tour a neighbourhood in Norway and you might see a half dozen carriages lined up just outside the patio doors. Closer inspection might show that young tots occupy most of them. Crazy!

Researchers, even in Norway, don’t seem to be able to offer any scientific proof that the odd practice is beneficial to child development. Dr Kai-Håkon Carlsen, a Norwegian child allergy specialist believes the only reason parents and child workers continue to put children outside to nap is tradition. In an interview with Norway’s largest newspaper, Calrsen said: “As far as I know, there is no research to support this issue.” He continued: ” Inhalation of very cold air can be harmful to a child’s airways…Very cold temperatures can also cause frostbite unless the baby is properly dressed.”

So why continue with the tradition? Norwegians are strong believers that fresh air is healthy for development – even cold air.

But there are limits. Most childcare groups in the Scandinavian country freeze the practice (sort of speak) if temperatures drop to minus ten or colder.

MINUS TEN! Geeez louise.

Even if this practice is a distant reason for the recent Norwegian success at the games, would you really want to subject your child to those kind of sleeping conditions. We think not.

The Top Five Things to Consider When Shopping For Sheets For Your New Mattress 18.02.14

5. Thread Count Is Not the Be-All and End-All

  • Yes, it matters, but there is a limit. Fabric experts suggest buying sheets between 200-600; the sweet spot is between 280-400. Sheets in this range are soft, yet breathable. They also wear better. Sheets over 600 will trap body heat, which is less than ideal, unless of course you are doing winter camping. But who takes their 600 count sheets into the bush.

4. Cotton is King

  • When in doubt, go with cotton. You can use them year round, they feel soft and for those of us with little ones, they are easy to clean. On the cotton charts, Sea Island Cotton reigns supreme. Second is Egyptian Cotton, the material used for most high class hotel sheets. Prima is another kind and is grown in the United States. Beware the 100 per cent cotton label. If they’re bragging about being 100 per cent, the quality of cotton is probably low.

3. Organic Choices

  • If you or your partner have skin sensitivity issues, spend the extra money and go with an organic cotton. This cotton is grown without pesticides.

2. Bamboo Blends

  • The granola fibre of the moment is bamboo. Often blended with cotton, this fibre is soft and breathable and rarely requires pesticides for commercial farming.

1. Your Mattress

  • It doesn’t matter what you’re sheets are like if you are stretching them over a tired, saggy mattress. Start with your bed first and then spend the money on decent sheets.

Reducing The Threat of Alzheimer’s 18.02.14

Researchers have linked lack of sleep with the increase of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain of older adults. These plaques lead to cognitive impairment and increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Previous scientific studies have documented the frequency of fragmented sleep, experienced by sufferers of Alzheimer’s. The new findings, revealed in a study done by The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, suggest that it may be possible to delay or prevent the onset of AD with modern sleep medication.

“Because late-life sleep disturbance can be treated,” claims the study author, “interventions to improve sleep or maintain healthy sleep among older adults may help prevent or slow AD to the extent that poor sleep promotes AD onset and progression.”

These findings could go a long way in improving the quality of life for older adults.

The Hopkins researchers admit that there research is still in its initial stage and that longer trials will be needed to solidify the link between sleep and the progression of Alzheimer’s.

In the meantime, seniors with a high risk of developing Alzheimer’s might consider speaking with their doctors about improving their sleeping patterns.

Even if future research proves the link to be minimal, a good sleep can be the difference between finishing the Sudoku puzzle and forgetting your keys.

Olympic Jet Lag 18.02.14

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!!!

From Russia With Love 10.02.14

The Canadian Men’s Hockey team is full of high profile players that will be representing Canada on the Olympic ice in Sochi over the next few weeks. In the Olympic Village, they will probably be some of the most recognizable athletes. Along with their fellow NHLers they will also be some of the most highly paid individuals participating in the games. But when it comes to accommodations, the premier hockey players will be living in the same cramped quarters as the rest of the winter athletes.

Last Tuesday, the media was given a tour of the rooms the Canadian competitors will be staying in  – As one reporter put it, the athletes will be trading ‘luxury for community.’

The rooms are for three single occupants to live. They have four walls and the bare essentials. The most bizarre feature: the bed arrangements.

Each room holds three twin beds, lined up in a row, with just over a foot of space between. Tight, too say the least.

Shannon Szabados, of the Woman’s Hockey Team said her roommates were already making adjustments. “We arranged our beds so they weren’t side-by-side,” she said. “I think mine’s in the kitchen right now.”

One of the only NHLers to receive a sliver of special treatment was Zdeno Chara, the flag-bearer for Slovakia. Chara received an extra foot-and-a-half extension on his bed to fit his 6′9″ frame.

No word if all three Canadian Men’s Hockey goalies will be sharing a room together.

It will certainly be a change from Roberto Luongo’s lavish Yaletown digs. Maybe he will send a family member over to Simmons Mattress Gallery and we could send him a Beautyrest World Class mattress. We’ve heard there’s room in the lounge…

Tech Specs: Sleep Gadgetry 10.02.14

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.

Rent or Own? That Is the Question. 10.02.14

The ‘buy or rent’ debate is a hot topic in Vancouver. The rule has traditionally been buy if you can afford it, but with the current Vancouver housing market, who can afford it? Renting is now becoming a viable option for young families and single professionals.

If you do find yourself pondering this question, take the time and do the math. Can you realistically afford your mortgage payments? What will you be left with after paying the bank? Is this enough to afford the lifestyle you have chosen?

Make sure to factor in homeowner expenses on top of your mortgage payments. Things will wear, as the age of your home increases. These costs will need to be paid to maintain the quality of your investment. Then there’s also the property taxes, that increase as the value of your home improves.

A renter is free from these additional fees. They have their monthly rent, their utilities and their tenant insurance. They can utilize more money for additional investments. With their money diversified, they are not tied a single market.

But where does that rent money go? To pay someone else’s mortgage. That can be a hard pill to swallow.

You will never see your rental payments again. You are unable to build home equity. And you live at the whims of your homeowner.

This takes us back to what can you afford.

If you are a homeowner and your mortgage payments are too high, you won’t be able to enjoy the present. You may have secured a long-term investment, but are you willing to sacrifice your current standard of living?

Some owners fall into the trap of using credit to pay off their mortgage payments. A huge mistake. In this situation you are paying double the interest on a single investment.

Defaulting on your payments can ruin your credit altogether.

Young families need to think long and hard before they commit.

Our advice: if you are just starting out, stick with the rental option. Focus on improving your standard of life, before you worry about a massive investment.

Rent and you can afford items like a new bed. This in turn will improve your health, your relationship with your partner and your general mood.

Make sure the necessities like a healthy sleep are attainable before surrendering a massive down payment.

RoboBed 03.02.14

“You have 20 seconds to comply.

You now have 15 seconds to comply…

Four, three, two, one.. I am now authorized to use physical force.”

The ED-209 demonstration, from the film Robocop, highlighted the danger of replacing our current systems with computerized artificial intelligence – failure is inevitable.

What does all this have to do with mattresses? At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, a new kind of bed was unveiled, a bed that immediately reminded us of the ED-209.

Sleep Number X12 is a new mattress, ready for market. The bed is loaded with circuitry, sensors and dare we say, needless technological accessories, to improve your sleep through monitoring, sleep feedback and voice activated pampering.

The bed uses a software program known as SleepIQ. With the help of a number of sensors, the program monitors and tracks users movements, breathing and heart rate. This data is used to make charts, for a visible log of your sleep habits. The bed’s software is compatible with most smartphones and tablets for easy viewing.

The bed features voice-activated controls to adjust the bed’s firmness and elevation. The voice activation setting also enables you to engage the massage settings and adjust the light on your bedside table (also included). It’s basically the clapper on steroids.

Our biggest beef with the cyborg bed is the amount of electrical wires running through the actual mattress. Would you real feel safe with that much voltage beneath you? It goes against all the science that tells us never to sleep with our electronics.

And, like a modern vehicle with a plethora of added electronic features, you have an increase for failure. If one system goes down, does it domino and take down the rest? Will your bed be stuck in the TV viewing position for months? Yikes!

We like to prioritize comfort. That’s why Simmons Beautyrest will always focus our attention on beds that offer our customers the perfect sleep night-in and night-out. Our Beautyrest mattresses are made out of pocket-coils, memory foam and luxurious fabrics, all the elements you need to make a world-class mattress.

The best part, you won’t have to apply for a second mortgage to buy one. All our Beautyrest beds are on sale at our Broadway location. Instead of spending $7,999, the asking price of the Sleep Number x12, you can spend less than a $1,000 and receive a bed that will last you for the next 8-10 years.

Sleep without the fear of technological failure. Sleep on a Beautyrest.

Roosting 03.02.14

FYI: Birds do not sleep in nests.

Nests are safe places for birds to leave their eggs; they are not self-made sleeping quarters.

That being said, birds have been known to nod off, while sitting atop their eggs. But the only reason they have chosen the nest for rest is to keep the eggs warm.

Birds roost.

When a bird seeks out a roosting location they are looking for two things: warmth and safety. Songbirds sleep off the ground to avoid predators but larger birds can sleep anywhere, from on the water, to branches, to on the ground.

Birds that sleep in bushes, on branches or on power lines, have flexor tendons in their legs that maintain a fixed grip on their chosen perch. These tendons only release the grip, established by the bird’s feet, when the leg is outstretched. This trait allows some birds the ability to sleep upside down.

Birds often flock together for safety while they sleep. The birds in the center of the formation are able to completely nod off, while the ones on the outer ring adopt a unihemispheric slow-wave sleep. During this kind of sleep, the birds keep one eye open to watch for predators. Half of their brain is allowed to rest while the other half is on moderate alert. Throughout the night, the birds on watch switch positions with the inner circle, giving the entire flock a chance for consistent rest.

A great local example of this sleep formation is the flock of crows that roost along Boundry Road, on the border of Vancouver and Burnaby. You can see these crows moving into position an hour before dusk every night. It is one of the coolest natural phenomenons in Vancouver.

Fun Fact: A flock of crows is not a murder. Poets, not the scientific community, adopted the term ‘murder of crows’. Birders and scientists use the common term ‘flock’ to describe a group of crows.

Laugh Till You Sleep 03.02.14

Are you ready to laugh Vancouver? Aziz Ansari, the hilarious comic from the award winning television show Parks and Recreation is coming to Vancouver for two back-to-back shows on Saturday, March 29th.

Aziz, who was dubbed by Rolling Stone as the ‘Funniest Man Under 30,’ will preform at the River Rock Casino. His North American tour is titled “Modern Romance” and includes all new material.

His previous stand-up show, “Buried Alive,” is currently streaming on Netflix. We watched it a few months back – Hilarious!

Need an added incentive?

New research shows that comedy induced laughter actually helps you sleep. Besides lowering anxiety levels, laughter before bed has been proven to increase melatonin levels, the body’s natural sleep aid.

Japanese research found that laughing in the evening hours causes your body to increase the natural production of melatonin. The study was done with 48 women who had recently given birth. The control group of the experiment watched 87 minutes of weather broadcasts before bed. The experimental group watched the Charlie Chaplin’s film “Modern Times.” Breast milk was taken from all the participants after the viewing and the Chaplin group recorded a substantially higher level of melatonin.

Just think what Aziz could do for you!

Tickets for the show go on sale on Friday, January 31st.

Tortorella’s Sentence 22.01.14

The NHL has passed down their verdict: John Tortorella will receive a 15 day suspension for his role in the ruckus that occurred on Saturday, January 18th, when the Vancouver Canucks took on the Calgary Flames. He will miss six games in total. Tortorella is not allowed to have any contact with his club for the entire fifteen days.

In the words of Colin Campbell: “Coaches in the NHL bear the responsibility of providing leadership, even when emotions run high, and Mr. Tortorella failed in his responsibility to the game.”

So Canuck fans, it looks like we will be without Torts for the next few weeks. So who will take his place? The injured Henrik? Nope. Mike Sullivan, Torts right-hand man, will assume the reigns.

For those of you with little or no background knowledge of Sullivan, Simmons Mattress Gallery would like to provide this brief bio:

Sullivan was born in Marshfield, Massachusetts in 1968, making him a fairly young coach at 45. He was drafted by the New York Rangers in 1987, but did not play his first game in the NHL until the 1991-92 season, playing for the San Jose Sharks. He would go on to play 709 games in the NHL before retiring in 2002.

Sullivan moved directly from playing into a coaching position. He was given control of the Boston Bruin’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins coaching them for one year before being called up to work in the NHL. He was the head coach of the Boston Bruins for the 2004-05 and the 2005-06 seasons, before being fired by Peter Chiarelli at the end of the Bruins unproductive 2006 season.

In 2007 he served as head coach of the U.S. Men’s team at the 2007 World Championships in Russia.

He was hired by the Tampa Bay Lightening, as an assistant coach to John Tortorella, for the 2007-08 season. After Tortorella moved to New York in the middle of the 2008-09 season, Sullivan was hired that July to resume his assistant coach responsibilities. He would continue with Tortorella until they were both let go by the organization at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season.

When the Vancouver Canucks hired Tortorella during the 2013 off-season, Torts made sure that Sullivan came with him.

Sullivan has a wife and three children.

The Canuck players claim he is slightly easier to talk to then the surly Tortorella. “They see the game the same way,” says Alexander Burrows. “I think [Sullivan] is a little bit more rational, more laid back a little bit than Torts. But I think he has got some fire in him too, and if he needs to get the boys going, that’s what he’ll do.”

Glen Gulutzan will assist Sullivan. Bio to come…

Vancouver’s Space Program 22.01.14

Canadian technology has been an important part of the international space program for years. Our finest contribution has been the production of the Canadarm, a robotic arm used to manipulate massive payloads in space. The arm has been installed on NASA’s space shuttles and on the International Space Station. It was also recently featured in the blockbuster space-thriller “Gravity.

Now a local Vancouver company is preparing to be recognized as the next big Canadian contributor to the International Space Program. UrtheCast Corporation has created two cameras that are set to capture the first colour video feed of the earth from space. The cameras were designed with help from aerospace partners from around the globe.

The cameras were first installed on the Russian segment of the International Space Station on December 27th of 2013. Unfortunately, the Mission Control Centre in Moscow has been unable to receive any data from the cameras. A second attempt to correctly install the cameras will be made during the next two weeks.

Once setup correctly, the cameras will broadcast high-resolution video and stills back to earth. These images will allow for environmental monitoring, perhaps playing a huge part in our ability to track and predict the ongoing climate changes affecting our planet. The cameras will also be used for global tracking of social events and humanitarian relief.

The developers hope that the images will be made available for public viewing on the Internet by early next year.

Simmons Mattress Gallery would like to commend UrtheCast on their huge accomplishment.

Losing Heat 22.01.14

Your body is a natural conductor of heat. As you sleep, your body increases the temperature of your mattress. Unfortunately, our bodies sleep best at a cooler temperature.

Enter the Simmons Recharge Beautyrest mattress. The Recharge’s design reduces the heat stored by your mattress, keeping your bed at a controlled temperature. It does so with two new innovations in mattress technology.

The first innovation is AirCool Memory Foam. Simmons new design contains a ventilated structure that provides support to the edge of the mattress. The top layer of memory foam dissipates heat, while the built in vents allow heat to pass through the middle of the mattress and exit through the sides.

The second innovation is TruTemp Gel. This gel is added to the top layer of foam. It is specifically designed to absorb, store and release excess warmth in the one-of-a-kind, Beautyrest World Class mattress series. The Simmons design team has patented this innovation.

Even during winter, mattress temperature can affect the way you sleep. A Recharge Beautyrest will ensure your bed remains at the optimal temperature for unparalleled sleeping comfort.

Ironman Takes a Knee 22.01.14

“O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done.”

Who ever said Swedes weren’t tough enough to play the North American game, never met the Vancouver Canucks captain, Henrik Sedin.

Henrik currently holds the sixth longest ironman streak record in NHL history. At 679 games, it is the longest ever recorded by a Canuck and the second longest of currently active NHL players, behind Jay Bouwmeester, who has recorded 683 games.

Unfortunately, the streak will come to an end on Tuesday night, when the Vancouver Canucks take on the Edmonton Oilers. Canucks assistant coach Mike Sullivan confirmed on Monday that Sedin will not play in the January 21st tilt. His injuries are considered day-to-day. Henriks gear was not added to the clubs tally when they departed for Edmonton.

The exact detail of Henrik’s injuries have not been revealed, but is believed the captain suffered bruising to his ribs following a hit in Phoenix last week. It is also rumoured that Henrik has been playing with not one, but two broken fingers.

What was that about Swede toughness…?

The Canucks are hopeful that their captain will be back for Thursday’s game against the Nashville Predators.

Rest up Hank. Time to get reacquainted with your mattress.

Factoid: Trevor Linden’s streak for the Canucks ended at 482, on December 1, 1996. Brendan Morrison, who ended his run with 542 consecutive games played, succeeded his streak.

Ambien Defence 22.01.14

Pharmaceutical sleep aids are a dangerous tool for those of us with sleep issues.

On the one hand, they do the job. You take the pill and it works. You could have a huge meeting the next morning, or family anxiety – doesn’t matter; the pills will put you to sleep.

But then there are the side effects. Most companies, for legal reasons, list at least a paragraph of potential side effects and warnings on every bottle. Some go as so far as to say you may not remember doing an activity, like cooking a meal. You could wakeup the next morning with no knowledge of anything that happened during the time you took the pill and your waking moments the next morning. You may have slept for ten hours or you may have slept for four been up for two and then slept for another four. During those two hours you could have cleaned your kitchen, read, updated your Facebook, or in an extreme case, driven to the store and back for snacks.

The last example is not a huge stretch of the imagination. In fact, a number of legal cases in the U.S. are centering on drivers who were arrested for dangerous driving, drivers who had no knowledge they were actually driving.

A number of these cases involve Ambien, the most prescribed sleeping aid in the United States. With a 1.6 billion dollar market, Ambien is used by countless Americans to secure an eight-hour sleep. Most use it successfully, with no problems. But the number of legal cases using what is now being called, “the Ambien defence,” is growing rapidly.

The most frequent cases involve users getting behind the wheel of their car, while under the influence. What’s difficult for the courts is deciding whether the sleep aid is an involuntary form of intoxication or an voluntary form. The users knowingly take the drug and are aware of the side effects, but are they legally responsible for their actions if they are unaware of their physical movements.

Hard questions to answer…

The manufacturers were forced to change their labeling in 2013, suggesting users of the controlled release version refrain from driving completely the following day.

But is this enough? Should we really be prescribing a drug this powerful?

Pop star Eminem has gone on record describing his own experiences with Ambien. “It’s kind of a memory-eraser,” says the rapper. “That s**t wiped out five years of my life.” It seems like quite the risk for a good-night’s-sleep.

Our suggestion for those with sleep issues: start with the basics before you jump to pharmaceutical options. Is your bedroom at the ideal temperature for sleep? Is there exterior light entering your bedroom? Does your mattress need to be upgraded? Adjust the basics and limit the need for a doctor’s prescription.

Always Room For Improvement 22.01.14

A number of our articles focus on people who are having trouble sleeping: new parents, over-stretched business professionals, shift workers, insomniacs. But what about that other huge demographic, the folks that believe they are receiving a great night’s sleep each and every night?

We firmly believe a new mattress can improve everyone’s quest for the perfect sleep, even if you are comfortable with your current sleeping arrangement.

It’s all about potential. If you are heading to bed at reasonable hour, have adjusted your bedroom to an ideal sleeping atmosphere and have found a way to eliminate sleep anxiety, well, you’re ahead of the game. But is there room for further improvement?

We believe there is.

The pocket coil innovation in a Simmons Beautyrest limits almost all motion transfer between two partners. Small disturbances that may subtly affect your sleep are removed. It’s as if you had the whole bed to yourself. The result: an extended period of uninterrupted rest, the perfect formula for increasing your potential energy for the following day.

Sleeping alone? A new Simmons mattress provides sleepers with the highest levels of comfort through plush fabric toppers, memory foam cushioning and pocket coil support. It is a pampered sleep experience; a five-star combination of luxury and practical innovation.

Give us the chance to take your nights to the next level. Visit our Broadway location to sleep-test a new Simmons mattress.

Gaming With Your Kids 22.01.14

Want to spend more quality time with your children? Can’t pry them away from their technology? Try joining in the fun by picking up a controller, phone or iPad. Let them teach you how to navigate their game world.

The technology gap between parents and their children will always be present, as different generations cling to the gadgets of their time. You may not understand the appeal of the latest gaming console, but have you asked your child to explain its features?

By putting your son or daughter in the teacher seat, you allow them the opportunity to become an expert. As they explain the buttons and functions, their confidence grows and they increase their own understanding of the gaming experience. To teach you, they need to become more empathetic and relate their technology in a language you will understand – a challenging exercise.

Professional teachers have been using these methods for years, encouraging students to each other. When a student is able to confidently explain a theory to his/her peers it shows they have a full understanding of what is being taught.

Arizona State University’s Teacher College is now sponsoring a program that hosts gaming nights for children to bring their parents to. Elisabeth Gee, a professor involved with the program, claims that the most common pairings are mothers and their sons. “Typically, mothers are less informed about the games their sons play,” say Gee. “Yet they really want to be able to understand them.”

It’s easy to dismiss gaming as a waste of time, but when you start to play them, you begin to understand their value.

For one thing, gaming is far more active than television. A child can stare at a television for hours, engaged but distant. A gaming experience is a much more complicated relationship. There is of course the hand-eye element, but there is also strategy, problem solving and social skills at work.

Playing with your child provides opportunities to discuss the topics presented in the gameplay. These interactions can lead to deeper discussions. Ultimately, they help you create a rounder understanding of your child’s thoughts and behaviour.

Startup Strength 22.01.14

Thinking of leaving your office job and following your dream of opening a small business? The B.C. Government has an excellent online database for young entrepreneurs. One of our favourite articles listed the 9 essential traits that new business owners should master:

1. Clear Vision: You need to know what you’re selling, who you are selling to and what goals you plan to achieve. Start with this and everything else will follow. It is essential that you understand your product before you pitch it.

2. Determination: Holding down an office job is peanuts when compared to starting your own business. If you don’t have the determination to follow your plan through, it won’t get done. Your determination to push past setbacks will ultimately define your business prowess. Learn from your mistakes and push forward.

3. Ambition: “Big results require big ambitions.” – Heraclitus

4. Self-Confidence: Your personality will sell your product. If you don’t believe it will sell, it won’t.

5. Good Health: Your health is directly related to your ability to succeed. Look after your body and you will be able to allocate the energy you need to see out your business plan. Refuse to be sick. How? Sleep. Make your mattress a priority.

6. Realistic Goals: Strive for the top, but realize you need to start at the bottom.

7. Problem-Solving: The path to success is never straight. You need to be ready to adapt and change at the drop of a hat. Your business plan is a guide not a firm recipe. Be willing to think for yourself.

8. Willing to Work for Free: Monetary success is your goal, but during your initial years, it is definitely not a certainty.

9. Skills: Know every area of your enterprise and secure your value.

Pushing Pride in Sochi 22.01.14

Tim Stevenson will be flying to Sochi in less than a month. He has been named deputy mayor for the trip, the official representative from the City of Vancouver.

Why is this newsworthy? Tim Stevenson is an openly gay city councilor.

Apart from representing the previous host city of the Winter Olympics, Stevenson will be lobbying for a change in the Olympic Charter to include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination clause. This will allow greater opportunities for openly gay athletes, especially in countries that outlaw homosexual activity.

Also on Stevenson’s agenda, encouraging the Olympic committee to include Pride Houses in future games, a tradition that was started in Vancouver in 2010 and repeated in London, during the 2012 Summer Olympics. Pride Houses provide safe locations for athletes and coaches who identify as LGBTQ to meet and socialize. Sochi has not sanctioned the establishment of Pride Houses.

In fact, Russia has established a number of ant-gay laws that discourage open displays of affection among homosexual individuals and make it unlawful to spread “gay propaganda.” Basically, the laws make it legal for police to give out fines for public displays of affection amongst homosexuals. These laws have been attacked by human rights organizations around the globe.

The hope is that Stevenson’s efforts will be able to illicit policy change; so future Olympic participants can compete in an environment free of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Snow Conditions 15.01.14

You’ve had a whole winter to rest Vancouver, now it’s time to hit the slopes; Whistler is calling.

Snow conditions are at the best they’ve been all season and it looks like more of fluffy white stuff to come. The current base is 170cm with 195 out of a possible 200 runs open. Of the 37 scattered lifts, 36 are open for use. In the terrain park, 20 of the 30 jumps are available, with another 40 rails out of a possible 50. Unfortunately, both pipes are still down.

For our Island friends, Mount Washington has worked out a deal with Whistler, offering its season pass holders, free access to the Whistler hills for the month of January. This is to makeup for the complete lack of snow on Vancouver Island’s premier ski destination. Mount Washington hopes to open sometime this month, if not, early February. The Island mountain has seen a 50-year precipitation low since early November.

Vancouver’s local mountains have received an average of 13cm of snow in the last few days. Mt. Seymour currently has the deepest base with 82cm.

If you are heading for the hills, remember to get a good night’s rest on your Beautyrest mattress. It will let you take full advantage of the newly fallen ‘white gold.’ Enjoy my friends. Winter has finally arrived.

Point Grey Road Closure 15.01.14

Vancouver is heavily invested in changing the commuter habits of its residents. The Point Grey Road bike lanes are a part of this commitment. On January 18th, like it or hate it, Point Grey Road, from MacDonald to Alma, will be closed to commuter traffic.

The area is being rezoned for local vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle traffic only. The conversion is part of a plan to increase bike access on Vancouver’s West Side, connecting the Jericho bike path with Kitsilano.

Work began last fall on the south side of the Burrard Bridge to streamline the bicycle traffic coming and going from the Burrard Bridge bike lanes.

The plan will also support the much larger, Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, already in place. Greenest City hopes to make walking, cycling and public transit the preferred transportation options by 2020. The specific target of this plan is to reduce the distance of vehicular travel driven by each resident by 20% from levels recorded in 2007.

City planners project that the road changes will temporarily increase the number of vehicles travelling on the neighbouring streets. The planners predict that traffic will increase on MacDonald from 10,000 users per day to 17,000. West 4th, they predict, will jump from 15,000 to 20,000 and West Broadway from 18,000 to 21,000.

Hopefully these numbers will decrease as more commuters buy into the idea of commuting via greener methods.

Sidenote: Simmons Mattress Gallery is located along an excellent transit line. Our mattress store is also walking distance from the Canada Line connection at Cambie and Broadway.

Golden Moments from the Globes 15.01.14

The Golden Globes were last night and although the shock value wasn’t on par with the Ricky Gervais broadcasts of year’s past, the night did have a few OMG moments. In descending order, here are our top five:

5. Gravity’s Pull

While gravity rarely plays a role in the Botox-friendly crowd (zing), last night’s first laugh came at the expense of George Clooney and Sandra Bullock space drama. It was actually more to do with Clooney’s dating habits. The line from Tina Fey: “George Clooney would rather float away in space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age.” Ouch.

4. Woody (Not the Cowboy)

Diane Keaton accepted the Cecil B. DeMille award for Lifetime Achievement on behalf of Woody Allen. The speech was a nice homage to the ‘film-a-year’ auteur, but she punctuated her final point on friendship with an odd cappella performance of the Girl Scouts song, “Make New Friends.” Love Keaton, but stick with the acting.

3. I’m Doing Matt Damon

Matt Damon seemed to be the butt of quite a few jokes over the course of the evening. The best was an impersonation by Melissa McCarthey. She nailed the mannerisms. But Damon took it all in stride, even referring to himself as the ‘garbage man’ during his acceptance speech for the TV drama “Beyond the Candelabra.” Amy Poehler had given him this title during the opening.

2. Crazy Lady

Jacqueline Bisset was called up to the stage to accept the Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Dancing on the Edge.” What happened next, well… Words cannot describe. Here’s a clip:

Somebody shouldn’t mix her painkillers with alcohol.

1. One Last Zinger

The last joke of the night was aimed at Hollywood’s, golden son, Leonardo DiCaprio. Tina Fey introduced the final presenter of the night with this not-likely-to-be-forgotten line: “And now, like a supermodel’s vagina, let’s all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio.”

Bonus entry:

Amy Poehler, making out with Bono after her name was called to accept the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Comedy or Musical. She went for it. Fortunately, so did Bono. Nick Kroll, Amy’s boyfriend and fellow comedian tweeted this message after the kiss: “Hey Bono, watch your back.”

2014 Movie Preview 10.01.14

The Golden Globes are less than a week away and Hollywood has swung it’s focus to the year that was. But while the stars and suits congratulate each other on 2013’s cinematic offerings, Simmons Mattress Gallery would like to take a look to the future and see what the celluloid world holds in store for 2014.

Here are six titles that have caught our attention:

Dumb and Dumber To

No, that is not a spelling mistake. Loyd and Harry (Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels) are back for another low-brow adventure directed by the Farrelly Brothers. Expect an abnormal amount of poop jokes and possibly the return of Cam Neely as Seabass.

Maleficent

The classic Disney tale of Sleeping Beauty gets turned on its head and retold through the eyes of the antagonist, the Queen of Darkness, Maleficent. M., considered one of the scariest villains in the Disney canon, will be played by Angelina Jolie. The beauty put-to-sleep will be played by Dakota’s younger sister, Elle Fanning.

The Lego Movie

The Lego game franchise has already tackled such titles as Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and their highly successful Star Wars series. For 2014, they plan to abandon the gaming console for the big screen. Will Arnett, Morgan Freeman and Elizabeth Banks will lend their voices to the yellow-headed adventurers.

A Million Ways To Die In The West

A gunslinging love story from the maker of Family Guy. Random… This western will star Amanda Seyfried, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson and Neil Patrick Harris.

Hercules: The Legend Begins / Hercules: The Thracian Wars

2014 will offer up a double shot of Hercules films. The Legend Begins will star Kellan Lutz of Twilight and Immortals fame. The Thracian Wars, based on the graphic novel will be released five months after and will star the ‘peoples champ,’ Dwayne Johnson, known to the wrestling world as The Rock.

Sleep Texting 10.01.14

This post belongs in the “Believe-It-Or-Not” folder.

A new condition is afflicting North American teens: Sleep texting is on the rise. Yes, it may be hard to believe, but teens are so wired to their devices these days, that they are actually writing and responding to texts in their sleep.

Elizabeth Dowdell, a nursing professor at Villanova University, is studying the phenomenon. She claims the teens use their phones in a semiconscious state between sleep and awake. “The phone will beep, they’ll answer the text,” says Dowdell. “They’ll either respond in words or gibberish.”

The condition is a direct result of the increased number of young people who go to bed with their phones. In a survey done by the Pew Research Center, four out of five teens admitted to having their phones within arms reach while they slept.

The same research centre claims that the average North American teen sends an average of 60 texts per day. With that many messages, it’s understandable that teens are having trouble disengaging from their devices when it’s time to sleep.

The sleep texts may seem like a harmless response to a hyperconnected society, but the condition does represent a harmful sleep interruption. The teens may not consciously remember texting, but their bodies most certainly do. Any interruption, especially one that requires reading and writing, is disruptive to the brain’s rest period.

Dowdell believes the only answer is a physical disengagement. Parents should encourage a technology-free bedroom, or at the very least, recommend or demand that their children turn their ringers off while they sleep.

Cauliflower: The New ‘IT’ Vegetable 09.01.14

Move over Kale, foodies have their eyes on a new super vegetable for 2014: cauliflower. Mashed, grilled or boiled, broccoli’s albino cousin is set to see resurgence in popularity, according to those with their ‘ear’ to the vegetable trends. The low-carb veggie can be served as a hearty main dish or as a simple steamed side.

Pinterest is full of ways to manipulate cauliflower. One of the most imaginative transformations we came across was cauliflower pizza crust.

Nutritionally speaking, cauliflower offers a wide range of antioxidants, provides protein and is even a source of vitamin C. It is also said to be an excellent cancer preventing vegetable, offering nutritional support to many of the body systems connected to preventing cancer cells.

Seems to good to be true? Well there is one negative characteristic to cauliflower that should be mentioned, especially in a mattress blog. Eating cauliflower before bed, possibly as a late-night snack, could disrupt your sleep. Cauliflower is high in fiber, which can be great for your bowels, but ultimately takes an extended period to digest. Your body may still be wrestling with the digestive process as you try to catch some shut-eye. This could reduce your chances for a disturbance-free sleep.

Our suggestion is to stay away from ‘the white wonder’ at least three hours before hitting the mattress.

Top Ten Blogs From 2013 04.01.14

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.

Bedtimes 04.01.14

Bedtimes are a constant struggle for parents with young children. Sometimes it seems that the little ones’ internal clocks are reset daily. One night they fall asleep as soon as you put them down, the next they fuss and cry for two hours before closing their eyes.

A team at the University of Colorado is looking to shed some new light on this topic. Actually, their findings show that ‘less’ light may be the key to a more even sleeping schedule.

The research team, working under the leadership of lead scientist Monique LeBourgeois, studied the sleeping habits of 14 healthy toddlers to learn more about children’s circadian rhythms. They used wrist activity monitors to track the children’s sleeping patterns over the course of six days. They also used cotton swabs to monitor the levels of melatonin in each child. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps our bodies slow down at the end of the day.

They found that children who’s melatonin levels surged 30 minutes before bed, were far more likely to fall asleep when they were put to bed. Children who did not experience this surge, or received it later in the evening, were far more likely to remain restless once tucked in.

So now the question: How do we control the surge of melatonin?

Science has proven that melatonin levels are directly related to the amount of light the body receives. As light levels dip in the evening, levels rise.

The team from Colorado found that a progressive dimming of the house lights was an extremely effective way of controlling the hormone release in the children’s bodies. They also concluded, that allowing natural morning light was just as important for maintaining a proper sleep schedule.

Exposure to unnatural light from electronic sources like iPads, the television and laptops was strongly discouraged during the lead-up hours before bed.

The Rob Ford Files 04.01.14

He was a buffoon, a liar and a media darling – This week we countdown the Top Five Rob Ford Moments from 2013.

5. The ‘P’ Word

In a televised interview with Conrad Black on Dec 9th, Rob Ford insinuated that Daniel Dale, a Toronto Star reporter, was a pedophile and had taken photos of Ford’s children. His exact words were: “Daniel Dale is in my backyard taking pictures. I have little kids. He’s taking pictures of little kids. I don’t want to say that word, but you start thinking what this guy is all about.” Dale has gone on record saying he never took pictures of the mayor’s family, home or even the property.

4. The Steamroll

On November 18th, the ‘mayor’ and his brother Doug got in a shouting match with a few of the spectators in the city council observatory seating section. After yelling back and forth, the mayor walked back to his seat as his brother Doug continued to argue. Before sitting down, Rob Ford, noticed that his brother’s confrontation had escalated. Hoping to offer his support, the mayor took off running (more of a quick waddle) as he rounded the corner of the top bench row, he ran straight into Councillor Pam McConnell. Fortunately, Ford was able to brace her fall.

3. The Pause

“Mr. Mayor have you purchased illegal drugs in the last two years?”

[Pause]

[Uncomfortable Silence]

[Awkward Staring]

“Yes I have.”

2. The Quote

Too vulgar to repeat, the mayor insinuated that he had enough oral sex at home and did not need to chase other women, specifically Sarah Thomson. The mayor had been accused of sexual harassing Thomson during a photo shoot.

1. Double Admission

On November 5th, after all the denials, the Mayor of Toronto admitted to using crack cocaine. His exact words: “Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors.” With that quick phrase the Mayor of North America’s 4th largest city admitted to both smoking a banned substance and drinking to a level that he may have engaged in any number of illegal actions without his knowledge. And this man still holds a sliver of power.

Bonus moment from 2010:

This is not the most scandalous item from the mayor’s record, but it does show the incredible difference between Gregor Robertson, the active Mayor of Vancouver, and Rob Ford.

The Naughty List 24.12.13

What’s that line from Chicago: “If you’d have been there, if you’d have seen it / I betcha you would have done the same.”

Here’s a quick list of some of the common and not so common crimes we’ve been unjustly pegged for over the holidays:

10. Pretending to Sing

We’re doing everyone a favour.

9. “Homemade” Cookies

Who has time to bake these days? The office would have never known if Pam didn’t rat us out. Never trust Pam with a secret is the true holiday lesson here.

8. Not Shoveling the Walk

Give it an hour. This is Vancouver.

7. Turning off “It’s A Wonderful Life”

“Die Hard” is a far superior Christmas film. ‘Yippie Kaiyay ’something-something.’

6. Absent Christmas Cards

Canada Post – slipping up again.

5. Spiking the Punch

What’s an office party without a little bit of the wobbly mixture? The question should not be ‘who spiked the punch’, but why was there no booze in there to begin with. Really. It’s Christmas!

4. Last Minute Shopping

Yes, we had all year, but so did Santa and you don’t see him dropping off gifts in August.

3. Falling Asleep At Church

Must have been the punch.

2. Re-Gifting

Those socks look horrendous on anyone with an ounce of style, but on Aunt Gina, they look absolutely divine.

1. Mattress Snow Angel

Shopping is exhausting and our Beautyrest is just so darn comfortable. Sorry honey.

Bacon, Vampires and Jimmy Fallon 24.12.13

Everyone plans to go to bed early, but we all get distracted by work, television, family or chores and end up staying up way later than we wanted to. It’s human nature.

Being a Vancouver mattress company, we want our customers to have an optimal sleeping experience, with eight hours or more a night of quality rest. So, to encourage an earlier bedtime, we came up with a list of five solid reasons to head to bed early:

5. YouTube

It used to be, that we all had to stay up till 11:30 to watch late night TV. But with YouTube, we can watch the best bits the next day at work. It might seem counterproductive, but think about all the energy you will have for the rest of your working day when you don’t stay up till 12:30. It’s 11:15 and the spreadsheets are done, the phone calls are made, the reports are filed and you’ve updated your Facebook status – now you have plenty of time to watch the Hashtag/Hashtag video.

4. Bacon

We all love it. It’s the perfect food and you have a half pound waiting for you in the morning. The quicker you go to bed, the sooner it’s bacon time.

3. Sex

You can have sex anywhere, but its more comfortable on a mattress. Head to bed early and work off some of those bacon calories. The exercise will also help you fall asleep quicker. Everybody wins.

2. Vampires

They love to suck your blood, but they also have terrible night vision (weird for a nocturnal species). Head to bed early and turn out the lights. If you do hear some banging around downstairs, send the dog down. He’s getting old anyway.

1. Pocket Coils

Sounds kinda dirty, but it’s actually the key component in the make-up of a Beautyrest mattress. With over a hundred individual pocket coils to support your body, the Beautyrest will reward your early bedtime with an unprecedented sleep. So worth it….

Our Top Ten Christmas Tracks 24.12.13

The Christmas song canon is an extensive catalogue of classic favourites, timeless pop hits and crooning ballads. But it’s time to trim the fat. Here’s a list of the ten songs, we believe, are the top Christmas tracks of all time. Feel free to comment below if you think we’re off the mark.

10. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

We’ll start our list with a classic, sung by many a crooner. Our favourite rendition would have to be from old blue eyes, Frank Sinatra; the perfect pace for winding down an evening with the family or snuggling up with a loved one.

9. All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey

We had to include at least one pop hit, so we went with Mariah. Played in malls around the world, this track keeps you moving. How she hits those high notes is beyond even the man in the red suit.

8. Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms

From 1957, Helms classic was released just as rock ‘n’ roll was taking off.

7. White Christmas

Every child’s wish: snow on Christmas. Bing Crosby’s version is probably the most beloved. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the top selling single of all time.

6. The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole

We don’t know anyone who still roasts chestnuts over the fireplace, but that opening line immediately puts you in the Christmas mood. Beliebers aside, we think everyone would agree that Nat King Cole’s version stands alone.

5. Blue Christmas

Sung by the hip-swayer, Elvis Presley, and the often forgotten Martina McBride, Blue Christmas is a swinging country love song about a colour rarely associated with the winter holiday.

4. Sleigh Ride

Sleigh Ride is our only instrumental entry. Often played by large orchestras, our favourite part is the whip crack. A close second is the final trumpet horse neigh.

3. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacCoil

This is the ultimate drunken holiday sing-a-long. Released first, but not written by, The Pogues (ftr. Kirsty MacCoil), Fairytale in New York is a Celtic tale of a bickering transplanted coupe who are living out a tempestuous new life in New York City. Admist their heckling taunts, the couple can still appreciate the bells of Christmas.

2. Baby, It’s Cold Outside

No real mention of Christmas, but still one of our favourite holiday tunes. The Louis Armstrong and Velma Middleton (no relation) version has the most chemistry. Jimmy Fallon did a hilarious rendition last week on SNL.

1. Silent Night

Written in 1818, this classic Christmas carol is sung in French, English and German. During the 1914 Christmas truce of World War I, both sides sang this song simultaneously across the trenches. It describes one of the simple, but often misplaced, pleasures of Christmas: calm.

Vancouver Holiday Spectacular 20.12.13

Do you have family visiting over the holidays? Are you looking for fun, seasonal activities to take them on? Here’s a list of our Top Ten Vancouver Holiday events:

10. FlyOver Canada

  • The new IMax exhibit at Canada Place has been a huge hit with locals and visitors to our city. This month, the FlyOver received a holiday makeover, with a pre-show Christmas experience. Head down Friday at 5 pm for an amazing ice carving demonstration.

9. Canadian Christmas at Canada Place

  • The ‘five-sail’ location features another Christmas exhibit in its conference facility. The ‘Canadian Christmas‘ exhibit hosts an ice rink, a return of the Woodwards window displays, Santa visits on the weekend and non-perishable food drive. For the latter event, the organizers are hoping to fill an entire container crate full of goods for the Vancouver Food Bank.

8. Skating at Robson Square

  • The artificial pond is back at Howe and Robson. Come down with your own skates and blade for free, or rent a pair for $4. Skate till 9 pm during the week and 11 pm on the weekends. Don’t worry if you can’t make it down over the holidays; the ice rink plans to stay open until February 28th.

7. “It’s Snowing on Saltspring Island”

  • The Arts Club Theatre is performing Bill Bannister’s search for the meaning of Christmas. The classic west coast tale will be running until December 28th.

6. Carol Ships

  • The aquatic ‘parade of lights’ leaves Coal Harbour nightly and tours around the Vancouver harbour. You can add your voice to the crowd or sit back and take in the music. Here is a list of the cruise ships participating in this years flotilla.

Vancouver Holiday Spectacular (2) 20.12.13

Continuing with our Christmas event guide, here are five more family-friendly events for the holidays:

5. Karaoke Christmas Trolly Tours

  • “It’s a beautiful night in the neighbourhood, a beautiful night in the neighbourhood, won’t you be mine…” If boating isn’t your thing, try the Vancouver Trolly Company for your fix of Christmas musical classics.

4. Vancouver Christmas Market

  • Quickly becoming a tradition on the Vancouver winter holiday scene, the Christmas Market is the place to go for holiday food with a European flair. You can also treat yourself to a glass of mulled wine. Take in some traditional music and let the kids have a spin on the the classic carousel.

3. The Christmas Train in Stanley Park

  • An annual event for the whole family. The theme for this year’s music and light display is “Charlie Brown’s Christmas.” Tickets online are already sold-out, so come down early on the day-of to purchase your ticket. And don’t forget to bring a few extra dollars to give to the Firefighters Burn Fund. The train runs till January 5th.

2. The Nutcracker at Queen Elizabeth Theatre

  • Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet will be performed by the Ballet BC Company at the QE Theatre from December 28th to December 31st. Don’t miss out.

1. Luminescence at the Vancouver Aquarium

  • This brand new exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium focuses on the natural light produced by fish who live in complete darkness. The exhibit hosts a deep-sea dive interactive film as well as the ever-popular electric eel lit Christmas tree.

Misrepresentation 20.12.13

Nelson Mandela’s memorial service has now become an embarrassing fumble for the South African organizers, as reports show that the lead sign language interpreter had no previous credentials. Thamsanga Jantile stood beside some of the most powerful men and women in the world and gestured a language that can only be described as gibberish.

Millions watching around the world witnessed Jantile’s clumsy attempt at transcribing heartfelt and emotional tributes to one of the twentieth centuries greatest leaders.

Jantile’s expressionless face should have been the first cue that something was awry. Signing relies heavily on facial expressions and Jantile’s was a blank canvas. Deaf viewers have claimed that Jantile only had command over a handful of common signs, the rest he made up.

But this was not the first time Jantile had been caught misrepresenting his skills as an interpreter. A year prior, Jantile had been working for another event where the South African President, Jacob Zuma, spoke. One attendee has so horrified by the signing that they videotaped his work and later submitted it to a deaf organization in South Africa. This organization then submitted a formal complaint to the African National Congress.

Unfortunately, no action was taken.

Avoid These Holidays Treats to Keep the Tummy Tight 11.12.13

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.

Reducing Teenage Angst with Sleep Supervision 11.12.13

Teenagers crave freedom. They want their own space, they want to cultivate their own opinions and they want to constantly express their individuality. As parents, we need to grant them the room they need to develop, but we also need to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle, one that lets them exercise their full potential.

A study done by the University of Cincinnati and published in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, suggests that teenagers whose parents monitor their behaviour, were far more likely to practice healthier sleeping patterns than adolescents who were not monitored.

Sleep is central to a healthy lifestyle and teenagers need more sleep than any of us. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 9 1/4 hours a night for teenagers. This helps their concentration at school and increases their energy for extracurricular activities. It also improves their mood, which we all know is prone to heavy pendulum swings.

Tracking their sleep schedules is difficult, but important. A simple nightly visit to their bedroom will show you are still keeping a watchful eye on their habits. You can also include a general conversation about the benefits of sleep. Here are a few general talking points for encouraging an earlier bedtime:

Your teen may also have troubles getting up in the morning. This is natural and part of their biological development. Instead of getting mad at them for missing their alarm, poke your head in their room and offer a gentle reminder.

The Cincinnati survey also found that girls were far more likely to have sleep issues than boys.

If you find that after all your encouragement, your teenager is still not following a healthy sleep schedule, spend the money and improve their mattress Vancouver adolescents will love the gesture. It shows you care and that’s what really matters.

A Look Back at Divided Sleep 11.12.13

Did you know that the idea of eight ‘consecutive’ hours of sleep a night is a fairly modern convention? Research published by Roger Ekirch, a professor of History at Virginia Tech, suggests that as recently as the 18th Century, human beings adopted a bi-modal sleep pattern, consisting of a first and second sleep shift.

The divided sleep schedule was documented in literature, court transcripts and private journals. One doctor’s message, referenced in Ekirch’s book “At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past,” claims that the ideal time for study is between ‘first sleep’ and ’second sleep.’

Ekirch’s work shows that after an initial four or hours of sleep, humans would wake-up and spend an hour or so mediating, reading, talking with their bed partners or in some cases engaging in coitus. A reference from a personal letter, also written by a doctor, asserts that the working class have more children because they have sex after their ‘first sleep.’

Ekirch believes the change to a consecutive sleep schedule came about as a reaction to the introduction of streetlights and indoor electrical lights. These two modernizations allowed people to work and socialize later into the night. This limited the time between ‘turning-in’ and the onset of daylight and made the bi-modal system obsolete.

In a time when our whole lives are shared online, over texts and on the phone, it might not hurt society to return to a bi-modal sleep pattern. A little midnight meditation, without our devices, would probably be a refreshing break. But then again, who sleeps further than three feet from their phone, tablet or laptop. We’re sure that bonus hour would be partly spent checking our Facebook.

Regardless, if you do find yourself slipping into a pattern of divided sleep, don’t freak out. It’s worked before and it could work for you. Give it a shot and send us a comment. We’d love to hear if it works.

Sidebar: New parents can disregard this entire post. Your sleep schedule is more akin to a ‘get it while I can‘ pattern. Good luck with that. It does get better…

The Daisy Theatre 02.12.13

The theatrical art of puppeteering is currently going through a renaissance of sorts. Puppets are taking their spot in the foreground on stage and screen. From the return of Jim Henson’s Muppets, to the ‘R’ rated Avenue Q, puppets are now accepted players for contemporary storytelling.

Just out of the spotlight, Canada’s own puppeteer, Ronnie Burkett, has been creating beautiful puppet stage plays for over thirty years. His most recent work will be coming to The Cultch Theatre on November 26th and will run until December 11th.

The production plays homage to the Czechoslovakian puppet shows that were performed illegally during World War II. The Czech playwrights and puppeteers used the string medium to comment on life under German occupation. Burkett has titled his production, “The Daisy Theatre,” after the slang name given to the Czech shows.

The Daisy Theatre has a thirty puppet cast, all voiced and handled by Ronnie Burkett. The production is similar to a cabaret performance, with a number of different theatrical styles including song, monologues and playlets. While Burkett often writes his own pieces, the Daisy Theatre includes dialogue written by ten different Canadian playwrights.

The physical puppets are handcrafted by Burkett. Unlike Henson’s felt-like creations, Burkett’s marionettes are incredibly detailed. Their facial features resemble characters caught in a sneeze or emphasizing a point. They are carved exaggerations, the perfect vessels for morality tales and variety vignettes.

The show itself, though scripted, incorporates audience suggestions, so no two shows are exactly alike.

Burkett will also be hosting two talkback nights on December 4th and December 11th.

Asleep At The Wheel 02.12.13

At Simmons Mattress Gallery, we take sleep depravation extremely seriously, especially when it impacts the health and safety of our customers. But there are times when we have to giggle at some of the stories we hear about people falling asleep.

While it’s never nice to laugh or make fun of someone’s misfortunes, we had to stifle a chuckle when we read about this glaringly ironic news story out of Dallas, Texas. On November 4th, at approximately 11:30 at night, an anonymous driver fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a Sleep Experts mattress store. The driver, according to local news reports, had just finished a 13-hour shift and was heading home when she momentarily dozed off. Her truck drifted off the road and drove headlong into the brick wall of a Sleep Experts mattress showroom.

Fortunately, the driver walked away from the accident without any serious injuries.

While the irony of the incident is laughable, sleep depravation, brought on by shift work, is a serious problem. The probability of workplace accidents is compounded when staff are asked to work extended shifts with quick turnaround periods. The ability to concentrate and focus on a task is dramatically reduced when a worker is suffering from exhaustion.

Companies also run the risk of facing liability issues when workers injure themselves commuting under limited rest.

If your exhaustion level is impeding your ability to safely transport yourself home, call a taxi or ask a friend or family member to pick you up from work. Don’t run the risk of injuring yourself or others due to your lack of sleep.

The Black Veil 02.12.13

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.

The Russian Rocket Flies to the Rafters 17.11.13

Let’s all agree that Pavel Bure is the most entertaining sports personality in Vancouver’s history. You can argue his heart was only in it for about four of the seven years he played for the Vancouver Canucks, but he still managed to astound viewers with his speed, creativity and undeniable skill. He was a superstar, one that captivated a hockey market that was desperate for a highlight reel phenom.

Last week the Vancouver Canucks organization honoured Bure’s gift to our city by retiring his number ‘10′ jersey to the rafters of Rogers Arena, the highest honour possible for a player in professional sports. Bure, along with his mother and his wife (who threatened to steal the show with her choice of dress) were joined at centre ice by the Aquilini family, Mike Gillis, Pat Quinn and Bure’s longtime friend and teammate Gino Odjick. Jim Hughston, was the MC for the ceremony and kept the proceedings moving at a nice pace.

When the jersey was finally lifted, there were less tears than the Linden ceremony, but a definite communal feeling of ‘if only he had stayed and remained healthy.’

Despite that melancholy feeling, Vancouver Canuck fans will always the memories of Bure’s magical performances on ice. Here are a two of our favourite Russian Rocket blasts:

  • We’ll start with a personal recount of his jaw-dropping goal against the Boston Bruins in the 1996-97 preseason: “My friends and I had purchased ‘Ice Packs’ for the Canucks 96-97 season in order to secure tickets to The World Cup of Hockey game been played in Vancouver on August 29th. That game was amazing! Unfortunately, the Canadian team went on to place second in the tournament behind the United States. Our Ice Packs however, included, I believe, eight regular season games and two preseason tilts. One of the preseason games was against Boston. On September 25th, we took our seats in the nosebleeds of GM Place (now Rogers Arena), unaware that we were about to watch history in the making. On a penalty kill, Bure received an errant pass from Adam Oates that slipped by Ray Bourque at the Canucks Blue line. Bure gained control of the puck just over the centre ice line and was at full speed by the time he crossed Boston’s blue line. At the harsh marks he started his cut across the ice, still at full speed. What we saw in those next few seconds was a blur of skate, puck and stick. The puck was already in the net before any of us knew what had happened. It was only after watching the replay on the jumbotron that we recognized what we had seen (or not seen) firsthand. Bure had faked the Boston goalie, Scott Bailey, by passing the puck back to his skate and then kicked it back to his stick. It was a thing of beauty that happened so fast it needed multiple replays to fully comprehend.

  • “This is the greatest moment in Vancouver Canucks history,” was the cry from colour commentator Tom Larscheid after Bure streaked in, deked and put the puck past Mike Vernon in double overtime of game seven against the Calgary Flames in 1994. It was a beautiful goal. The rocket may have been offside by a few inches, but what ref would ever call that in a game seven. Almost as beautiful as the goal, was Bure’s boyish celebration.  He tossed his gloves and stick to the side and threw himself into his teammates, arms stretched as wide as his smile. It was pure magic. Goosebumps…

Giving Pavel Bure his due was difficult for many fans who still, to this day, have bitter feelings about the way the Russian star left the organization. But when reliving those goals and the personal moments of pure joy they provided, it’s hard to raise an argument for not including Bure in the franchise’s highest rafters.

Morning Back Ache 02.11.13

The British Chiropractic Association has released a new poll that shows one in three British citizens wake up with back or neck pain. Rishi Loatey, a chiropractor and spokesman for the BCA believes that changing your mattress every seven years can alleviate unnecessary morning pain.
This practice, along with proper lifting techniques can dramatically reduce the need for chiropractic work.
Here are a few rules for proper lifting:

  • Always enlist the help of equipment to help you lift heavy objects. Don’t soldier all the weight when a mechanical device can reduce the burden. It might take a few extra minutes for setup, but your back will thank you.
  • Never twist at the waist while lifting.
  • Bend with the knees and keep your back straight.
  • If you need to do repetitive lifts, take short breaks so as not to over exert your muscles.
  • Always stretch before beginning repetitive lifts

Follow these steps and keep your mattress upgraded and hopefully your mornings will be free of pain.
For a new mattress look no further than Vancouver’s luxury mattress company, Simmons Mattress Gallery. Our 75% off sale is continuing this fall, so take advantage of the deals being offered on our whole line of Beautyrest mattresses.

Fright Nights 2013 31.10.13

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.

Draw By NIght 30.10.13

Attention all doodlers, designers and creative types! Vancouver is now hosting a new outlet for your artistic endeavours. Draw by Night is holding bi-monthly drawing parties at the Vancouver Film School Cafe at 390 West Hastings Street.

The next party is tonight, from 6-8pm. The theme will be video games of a spooky nature.

The parties are intended to promote creativity, imagination and the collaboration of local artists in the Vancouver community. Participants draw on communal rolls of paper, spread out over long tables. You can bring your own artistic implements or use the creative tools supplied. It’s completely free and tons of fun.

Previous parties have included author readings, live music and guest artists. One show incorporated a live stream from the studio of Cian Donnelly in Rome.

Participants are encouraged to use twitter and other social media platforms to share their work and promote future events.

Once again, the event is completely free of charge and no previous artistic background is required. Just show up, have fun and let your creativity flow.

Draw a mattress themed composition, send us a photo to our twitter feed and we’ll publish your artwork on our blog. Can’t think of any video games involving mattresses, but I’m sure you will come up with something.

For more information on future events visit http://drawbynight.notsosimpleton.com/

Conquering the Snooze Button 15.10.13

“Why do they make the snooze button so big and the ‘turn-off’ alarm switch so small?”

If we had our way, there would be no snooze alarms on any alarm devices. If you set your alarm for 7:00 am, then that is when you should rise. Those brief seven minutes of semi-slumber are doing nothing for you.

We admit, it is another eight minutes you get to spend with your Beautyrest mattress, but really it’s eight valuable minutes you’re losing from your day. Get up! Seize the day and get things rolling.

Here Are 5 Tips for Conquering Your Snooze Addiction

5. Put your alarm clock on the opposite side of your room. Force yourself to get off your mattress and turn it off. The further you place it the better.

4. Set a light timer for the same time as your alarm. Your alarm goes off, the lights go on and the day begins.

3. Multiple alarms makes it harder for your waking brain to find the various snooze functions. The longer you struggle, the closer you are to being fully awake.

2. Putting your coffee maker on a timer is useful for those of us with a strong sense of smell. The promise of caffeine can work wonders. We do not advise the Michael Scott, bacon timer. No one needs a grilled foot.

1. As a last resort, break out the superglue. Fix that snooze button once and for all.

Homelessness Action Week 15.10.13

Homelessness is a hot topic in our city and it has been for years. With the closure of Riverview and other mental health facilities, a great number of mentally ill citizens are living on the street. With plans in place to help the situation any positive news is encouraging.

This week, a new report by the City of Vancouver, shows a sliver of hope. The number of recorded homeless people in Vancouver was down by exactly two this year, when compared to last year’s figures. In 2012, there were 1,602 homeless people living in Vancouver and this year there were 1,600, a drop of two. But more encouraging, of the 1,602 people, 1,327 were able to find sheltered homes. In 2012, the numbers were slightly lower at 1,296.

Other significant numbers in this year’s report show that over 60% of the citizens counted as homeless faced addiction problems, while 46% claimed they had mental illness problems and 34% had a mental disability. Unfortunately these numbers, when compared to earlier years, showed a decrease in general health.

Resolving the issues around homelessness will take the work of our entire community. A good place to start is attending any number of the events planned for Homelessness Action Week. Free educational workshops will be offered in different municipalities around the Lower Mainland from October 13th-19th. In Vancouver, make sure to check out the weeklong art exhibition titled “Out of the Rain.”

Superhero Ball 05.10.13

Our spidey-senses are tingling… But why? Has the waterbed made a comeback? Has the City cancelled the mattress-recycling program? Are Uggs back in style? Let’s hope not.

Maybe our arachnid jitters are a reminder that the Superhero Ball is coming up on Friday, October 4th. The red carpet affair is a must-attend for all spandex-wanna-be-crime fighters. Staged at the Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel, the event will be a who’s-who of the caped crusade.

Besides the regular Avengers, Chef Keving Greehy will be on hand to mix kryptonite cocktails and danger-filled desserts. Music will be supplied by DJ Southpaw (we think he’s a lefty…) and there will be a costume contest with prizes going to best superhero, supervillain and duo.

The event also promises a super-silent auction, a 50/50 draw and balloon popping prize game, where contestants can win Marriot hotel stays.

But the truly super element of the evening is the fact that all money raised will be donated to the BC Children’s Hospital.

The true sign of a hero is how she/he helps those in need. Come have a hilarious night of costumed fun for a good cause.

Tickets for this event are $30 and are sold through Eventbrite. For further inquires call 604-691-2709. And yes, costumes are required.

Have a great night!

Dunbar Village Harvest Festival 28.09.13

The family fun continues this weekend with the Dunbar Village Harvest Festival. The Fall Fest starts at 9am on Saturday, September 28th and finishes at 3pm. To experience the whole fair, you’ll need to be up early and off your mattress Vancouver neighbourhoods are not known for their Fall Fairs, it’s more of a rural activity, but the Dunbar Village has planned a host of family themed events.

Because of the natural spread of businesses and public spaces along the Dunbar corridor, the festival has been split into three zones:

Dunbar Village North (between 17th and 19th Avenue)

The North End of Dunbar will be the home of the sustainability section of the festival. Bringing the farm to the people, this section will have garden workshops, lessons on how to raise urban chicken (now allowed in Vancouver) and a mobile dairy classroom, where young ones can see the process by which their cereal milk is extracted from cows. Weather permitting, there might also be a ‘hay play.’ Not a 100 percent sure, but we assume that’s like king of the castle, just on a giant mountain of hay.

Dunbar Village Centre (between 26th and 30th)

This is the fun zone! For the kids, they have a bouncy castle, sumo suits, carnival games and community art. For the adults there is a car show, a barbecue and a used booksale. This will also be the site of the live music stage. This year’s musical guests: Music with Marnie (for the kids), the blues pairing, Gary Comeau Duo and cover artists, Rogue Messengers.

Dunbar Village South

Pancakes severed to the first 500 at 9am. The breakfast feast will take place in the IGA parking lot. Other activities in this area include a charity dog wash, circus workshops and the Gratitude Graffiti Project; your guess is as good as ours on that last one.

There will be a free shuttle on hand to facilitate travel between the different zones.

Free Entry to Science World! 28.09.13

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.

“Road Rash” Art Show 28.09.13

Two Vancouver based companies are coming together this weekend to put on a one-of-a-kind art show in Gastown. Landyachtz Longboards and the Steveston Tattoo Company are combining forces to present an art exhibit of original art painted on handmade longboards. The exhibition is titled, “Road Rash,” and no, it has nothing to do with the Sega Genesis game from your childhood.

Road Rash will feature original works by over two-dozen Canadian tattoo artists. On opening night, Saturday September 28th, a silent auction will be held at The Shop, at 432 Columbia Street. The art will remain on display for two weeks, at the end of which, the new owners will be allowed to pick up their boards.

All proceeds from the event will go to supporting the Arts Umbrella program on Granville Island. Arts Umbrella is a non-profit performing arts studio for children. The studio has classes in visual arts, media, theatre, music and dance. The money raised by Road Rash will help keep this valuable program alive.

Simmons Mattress Gallery considered donating a handful of beds for artists to transform, but we figure the true beauty is always found on the inside of a mattress Vancouver crowds will have to settle for skateboards.

Securing a Commitment 21.09.13

Are you having troubles getting your partner to commit to more than just a verbal acknowledgement of your relationship? Are you tired of dropping hints about moving in together? Want to up the ante? Change your mattress.

Partners who are afraid of commitment tend to idealize their single living dwellings. In order to rationalize their delay in settling down, they focus their attention on how sweet their current residence is.

Getting them out of their comfort cocoon takes a cunning offensive. What you need to do is make your own living arrangement more attractive. That can mean many different things, from keeping up with cleaning, to a well-stocked fridge, to a decent cable package, to the ultimate lure, a new luxury mattress.

We spend more time on our mattress than any other furnishing in our homes. If your mattress exudes opulence, your partner will notice. Guaranteed.

Everyone wants to improve his or her sleep and if you can provide that need to your partner, well the game just swung in your favour.

Improve your commitment strategy with a trip to Simmons Mattress Gallery.  We have the finest beds in the business at a convenient location on the Broadway corridor. Stop by this week to sleep test some of our mattresses.

The Great Canadian Shore Cleanup 21.09.13

The Great Canadian Shore Cleanup is having their 20th Anniversary this week and to celebrate they are hosting a Thank You Lunch at Iona Beach on September 21st at 10 am.

This incredibly successful program is a staple for fall environmental activities. It dramatically helps reduce the waste on beaches left by the summer crowds.

Over the past twenty years 400,000 participants have managed to remove over 1,000,000 kilos of garbage. The program has become the third largest cleanup in the world.

The cleanup program is a national campaign, with sites in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. It runs all week from September 21st to September 29th. The initiative is lead by the World Wildlife Federation and the Vancouver Aquarium. This year’s corporate sponsor is Loblaw.

The program is setup to include educational packages for younger volunteers. The focus of the program is empowerment through local participation. Kids take ownership for the beaches in their community. Hopefully this sets in motion a lifetime of environmental stewardship.

This program is effective because the younger generation can see an instant improvement in the areas they work in.

Random Fact: During one cleanup, a few years back,

a participant found an 18k gold ring. What will you find?

Cops for Cancer 21.09.13

In 1994, an Edmonton police officer shaved his head in a show of support for a young cancer patient who was being teased at school. Since that initial show of solidarity, police officers all over the country have been supporting cancer patients through different fundraisers.

One of the largest programs is Cops for Cancer, an annual bike ride event that tours through communities in British Columbia. The ride is broken into stages, with different riders taking on specific sections. In total, the event includes over a 100 police and emergency service personnel.

The cycling side of the cancer fundraising started in 1998 on Vancouver Island. This year, Tour de Rock section will be over 1,000 kms in two weeks. The wheels start spinning Saturday, coming to a rest on October 4th.

The Tour de Valley starts the following week. Riders will travel from Langley to Boston Bar and then south to Tsawwassen and White Rock.

To help the program, sign-up to support a specific rider or give a general donation. All money raised is being sent to the Canadian Cancer Society to fund life-saving research.

So far the police have raised over $25 million. Help them keep up the good work.

Bedtime Routines for Young Children (Part 3/3): Star Gazing 21.09.13

Stars Above

The stories are finished and it’s time to make a silent exit from your little one’s room. The only problem is your munchkin’s eyes are still open. Time to light up the sky.

If you’re old fashioned and love the retro look of glow in the dark stars, you can use your iPhone to give them a last minute power boost before you head out of the room. A fun game is to name the stars as you power them up.

Looking for something a little more educational? Try the Twilight Turtle. This small plush toy, with a hard shell, will light up your child’s room with eight major constellations. It comes with a star guide for you and your child and offers a 45-minute shut off timer. As your child begins to recognize the constellations, they can form their own stories on how the constellations interact.

Want to go a little more high-tech? The Laser Stars Indoor Light Show is a considerably larger investment, but the visuals are stunning. With a dual projection system, the faux sky takes on an animated form with nebula cloud formations and the occasional shooting star. This projector is so cool, you’ll want one for your own room.

Give up the night light for star power. Leave your child with a visual that will whisk their imaginations away to a sky full of nocturnal possibilities

Bedtime Routines for Young Children (Part 2/3): Story Time 21.09.13

Story Time

Story time is and will continue to be, the perfect activity to send your child to dreamland. Sure there are apps and movies on your iPad that your child loves, but these warrant a different kind of engagement. A book requires them to either look at the pages with you at a controlled pace or use their own imaginations to put pictures to a story. Leave your electronics in the living room.

The tone of your voice is important when reading. Talk slowly and try to enunciate your words. This will help in vocabulary building. For young ones, choose stories with basic rhyme schemes or nightie themes.

Here are a few of our favourite story time reads for children three and under:

1. Good Night Moon: The Classic

  • Simple, but effective. Your child will probably have the words memorized by the age of two.

2. Little Blue Truck: Personal Favourite

  • It won’t be up for a Pulitzer, but it’s nice story about helping others. It utilizes a simple rhyme scheme that will help your child anticipate words and encourage memorization.

3. Llama, Llama, Red Pyjama: Off the Press

  • A fairly new addition to the nighttime library, Llama deals with separation issues. This book is great if your child is just starting to sleep on their own mattress Vancouver bookstores have praised it.

Build your own library of books that are purely for bedtime reading.

Bedtime Routines for Young Children (Part 1/3): Bathtime 21.09.13

This week, Simmons Mattress Gallery is turning our sleep focus to the wee little ones in the house; if they’re not sleeping, nobody is. You could have a luxurious Beautyrest Black mattress to return to every night, but if your children can’t sleep in their own beds or cribs, you won’t be getting any shuteye.

As many of you know already, routines are the key to getting baby, or your toddler, or even your preteen, down to bed. Sticking to those routines night after night is tough, but essential.

In this three part series, we look at thee important elements of those routines, specifically three steps for putting your young child to sleep.

Bathtime

Your child’s been at the park, climbed over the dog and crawled numerous times through the kitchen; it’s been an active day but now it’s time to come clean. A nighttime bath will help wash away the germs, but it also starts a routine of calming, presleep activities.

To prepare the tub, especially for young ones, swirl the water with your hand to remove any hotspots. You can also warm the air in the room to prevent chills when your child exits the tub or bath basin.

If you want to bring toys or games to the bath area, try to initiate gentle play and keep the splashing to a minimum.

To induce a calm atmosphere, try using a Bedtime Bath product. These soaps are like aromatherapy for your child. Johnson and Johnson make a tear free product that has been highly reviewed. The soap’s calming lavender aromas are perfect for encouraging sleep. Just be careful the scent doesn’t work its wonders on your own eyes.

Johnson and Johnson’s product is recommended for children three months and up.

Once clean, towel off and give your child some cuddle time. Massaging their little feet is an excellent post-bath activity.

From here it’s on to the bedroom.

Vancouver International Film Festival (2013) 21.09.13

Now that Will Smith has sent Jayden back to school, we’ve recovered from that terrible Hangover and Tonto has retired that ridiculous headdress, it is time to head back to the theatre for some truly inspiring celluloid magic. Neither too fast, nor too furious, genuine cinema returns to our city with the Vancouver International Film Festival.

VIFF will open on September 26th and run for two weeks, closing on October 11th. During that time, over 340 films will be shown from 70 different countries. Just over a hundred will be the works of proud Canadians.

The festival is the second largest in Canada and although it does not draw the star power that Toronto attracts, it does provide one of the most diverse exhibitions of film offered in North America.

There were a few speedbumps this year over theatre availability, after Granville 7 closed for good and The Centre for Performing Arts was sold to the WestSide Evangelical Church. But VIFF secured six theatre locations and eventually managed to work out a deal with the new owners of The Centre.

The Vancouver Playhouse will be a new venue, with the tearful exit of their ‘live company’ earlier this year. The Rio is also on the list, the only theatre where drinks of the adult-kind may be consumed inside the cinema. Also, the festivals new headquarters at Simon Fraser’s University Woodwards campus, will host a number of smaller screens. The gala functions will take place at The Centre.

The films in this year’s festival have been separated into eight series for quick reference (many straddle more than one category). VIFF’s online guide colour codes the films according to the series they belong to. Here is a list of the eight series and a brief description of what viewers should expect:

Galas and Special Presentations

  • Pretty self-explanatory. This year’s opening gala film is Nebraska, an American road-comedy about a father settling scores and a son looking for a way in. The closing gala will feature Annette Benning’s, The Face of Love.

Canadian Images and BC Spotlight

  • This category features local talent. Along with a plethora of short films, BC filmmakers will be presenting a dozen feature submissions filmed and conceived within our province. From the larger Canadian folder, comes All the Wrong Reasons, one of Corey Monteith’s last films. The film aspires to show the right and wrong ways to love.

Dragons and Tigers

  • A VIFF staple, Dragons and Tigers features films from East Asia. This portion of the submissions represents the largest exhibition of East Asian films outside of Asia.

Cinema of Our Time

  • The ‘world music’ category, Cinema of Our Time offers contemporary films from around the world.

Spotlight on France

  • The films of Australia. Kidding. Films from France. Probably very good ones. Moving on…

NonFiction Features

  • There are 75 documentary films that will be screened in this category. Canada has always supported and encouraged the works of documentary filmmakers. Considered one of our natural talents, the documentary genre is ripe with Canadiana content.

Art and Letters

  • This series highlights other visual and literary artists – the poets, dancers, painters and designers that give and inspire the colour that the film lens loves to capture. Rap is War, a film from this series, documents the underground hip-hop scene in Cuba and its political message.

Altered States

  • For the late-night set, Altered States focuses on films of a darker nature. Many of the titles included in this series have age restrictions. Check out Willow Creek, Bobcat Goldthwait’s (yes, of Police Academy fame), Blair Witch’ian’ style, Sasquatch picture.

Tickets, like any film festival, are sold in confusing clusters, overpriced singles and unaffordable passes. That being said, we wouldn’t miss it for the world. Anything to get the taste of After Earth from our mouths.


Vocabulary Expansion 13.09.13

Oxford Dictionaries Online published a list of the new word submissions for 2013. On the list, is Miley Cyrus’s favourite new dance move ‘twerk’, phone portrait photos known as ’selfless’, and the act of disconnecting, known as ‘digital detox’.

The online version of The Oxford English Dictionary adds approximately a thousand words each year, often entering terms that have been directly pulled from pop culture. The words are not always a product of the current year. The term ‘twerk’ has actually been a part of hip hop culture for close to 20 years. It only gained recognition this year as a popular dance move, thanks to Miley.

More words then ever have a strong connection to social media and our digital environment. As a technology evolves, so does our language.

The mattress world is no different. Simmons Beautyrest mattresses are evolving and with their evolution come a new language for describing the elements and components of mattress design.

Here are three terms ushered in by Beautyrest’s Recharge Mattress Technology:

1. Pocket Coil

2. AirCool Memory Foam

  • A layer of foam that provides pressure relief and temperature control.

3. TruTemp Gel

  • Absorbs and releases excess warmth to maintain a cool consistent sleeping temperature.

Now that your vocabulary has increased, consider using it with your next purchase of a Beautyrest mattress Vancouver residents can purchase these modern miracle machines at Simmons Mattress Gallery on Broadway and Oak Street.

Single In The City 13.09.13

From the outside looking in, single life may seem like a bed of fresh roses – new partners, limited social engagements, periodic lapses in hygiene levels. But, when it comes down to the everyday experience, singledom can be an expensive and lonely experience.

Take grocery shopping for an example. Grocery stores don’t package food for the single professional; they package food for the family of four. That means eating chicken for the next four nights.

Paying for a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver is like shackling yourself to a literal ball and chain, not the figurative marital status. In a city where rent has skyrocketed, making a run of it as a single income occupant is becoming nearly impossible.

Then there is the mattress issue. No one wants to have a weekend guest over to sleep on a double or twin size mattress. You need at least a Queen to entertain any sense of maturity. But what about during the week, with all that extra space…? That GLORIOUS space!

Really, who needs a partner anyways. All they do is limit the complete enjoyment of your Simmons Beautyrest mattress Vancouver singles are the fortunate ones. Their mattress independence is what keeps the smile on their faces.

It pays to be free!

The Freshman Move 13.09.13

Moving into your first campus dorms is super exciting (especially if it’s co-ed). There is the initial euphoria that freedom provides with no curfew, no supervision and no rules. There are new opportunities to socialize, new friends to add on Facebook, new pastimes to try and of course, new academic avenues to pursue. Life officially begins again and this time it’s awesome!

But the flip side of that coin is all those subtle and not-so-subtle elements of home life that are suddenly missing. The following is a list of the top five luxuries that students everywhere miss once they’ve made that first big move out of their parent’s house.

Mom / Dad’s Home Cooking

Most university students feel the first longings for home cooking by day three of their university experience. By day three, they have tried one meat dinner, one vegetarian and one dinner of cup-o-noodles, using their dorm room kettle. It’s at that point that they realize just how lucky they were to be fed a hot meal for eighteen years of their lives; A meal that was nutritious and actually tasted like food.

Laundry Service

The laundry longing will come on suddenly, the first week when three or more papers are due. That is the moment when students everywhere begin to ask the same question: “How long can I go before I need to wash my socks and underwear.” Most dorm rooms across the country take on a certain funk during the first round of papers.

Privacy

At home, privacy is always a battle. But teens have tools to fight back. They have doors to lock, bathrooms to hide in and basements to escape to. At university, there is no privacy; all space is shared. Students go to the bathroom with their peers, they sleep beside a roommate and they share a common room with twelve other students competing for a single remote. There is no privacy.

The Mattress

Dorm rooms are notorious for having thirty-year-old mattresses. Twin torture racks, that squeak with every nocturnal move, provide zero support and leave students pining for their teenage mattress Vancouver university dorms, especially UBC’s Totem Park, are seemingly built with the intention of housing the cast from Wizard of Oz. If you are over 5′9”, you may have problems. Most first-years won’t experience a decent night’s sleep until their first visit home. Fact.

Parents

Once they’ve been removed from a young person’s life, their presence is immediately missed. The physical reassurance of an all-knowing hug is irreplaceable.

Sleep Loss Reduces Testosterone Levels in Young Men 01.09.13

The blue pill is not the answer! Sleep is the aphrodisiac you’ve been looking for.

A new study out of the University of Chicago found that young men, between the ages of 25-40, who sleep five hours or less a night have dramatically lower testosterone levels than men of the same age group who received a full night’s rest. Lower levels of testosterone reduce libido and lower potential reproduction levels. A lack of testosterone is also linked to increase health risks like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The research showed it took only a week of poor sleep to see a dramatic drop in the levels of testosterone. Men naturally see a decrease of 1 to 2 per cent each year in testosterone levels. The study showed a drop of 15 per cent in just over a week for those subjected to the poor sleeping conditions.

With a drop in vigour, men are more likely to physically distance themselves from their partners. Maintaining a high level of testosterone promotes an active sex life, which in many cases, strengthens relationships.

In a completely different study, three out of four men in Britain would rather have a good night’s sleep than sex.

The Final Days of Summer 01.09.13

Summer is winding down and with it, the opportunity to enjoy some of Vancouver’s premier seasonal outdoor activities. Here are our top three events to round out the summer:

The PNE Fairgrounds:

The Pacific National Exhibition is a mesh of random live shows, cultural events, agricultural exhibitions, fair rides and of course the beloved, mini-donuts. This year, the PNE welcomes a travelling exhibit of artifacts and murals focusing on the mongolian warlord, Genghis Khan. Entry is another $3. The fair grounds will of course host repeat crowd favourites, The Superdogs and a nightly summer concert series. This weekend will feature the music of Martina McBride on Friday, Reo Speedwagon on Saturday, Lights on Sunday and local 80s heros, Loverboy, on Monday.

Bard on the Beach:

The Vanier Park Shakespeare festival will close its tents on the twelfth of September, with the aptly chosen play: Twelfth Night. This year, Jonathon Young steals the show, as both the Danish Prince and Feste, from Twelfth Night. On the Studio Stage, Bard presents Measure for Measure and Elizabeth Rex, a Timothy Findley play set during Queen Elizabeth’s reign in England.

Seawall Bike Cruise:

Wait till after the long weekend and enjoy an early fall cruise of the park without all the tourists and kiddies. Rent on Denman or bring your own ride from home. Cut through the trails or stick to the sea. Do it all a leisurely rate and enjoy the last rays of what has been an amazing Vancouver summer.

Tiger Blames Bed 01.09.13

The greatest golfer in the history of the game, Tiger Woods, is currently suffering from back pains due to a soft mattress. Woods blamed his poor showing at last week’s, Barclay’s Cup on the hotel bed.

Speaking with reporters after his round on Wednesday, Woods said: “My back and neck are a little bit stiff. It was stiff this morning after a soft bed and just one of those things, sleeping in hotels.”

Woods hinted that he may need to sleep on the floor, to rectify the damages done by the overly cushiony mattress.

This won’t be the first time Tiger is subjected to crashing on the floor. In 2010, after being kicked out of his house by his now ex-wife Elin, Woods retired to his friend, Mark O’Meara’s, empty Florida villa. Woods is rumoured to have spent a few nights on an air mattress inside the vacant mansion.

Tiger’s pains are not entirely new, his back has been troubling him for years.

The golfing legend may have to consider travelling with a luxury mattress, possibly a Simmons Beautyrest, to ensure a quality sleep while on tour. We know a mattress Vancouver showroom that would be happy to sell him one of the finest beds in the industry. We’ll leave our number below, just in case said golfer needs a little mattress caddy advice from the professionals.

Swing away!

You don’t realize how much you use your back

on a day to day basis until it is injured.” – Brett Farve

Mattress Fads: ( An Epilogue: Mattress Stacks ) 24.08.13

After publishing last week’s “Mattress Fads,” we remembered a specific fad from our youth that we failed to cover: the Bunk Bed. So, as an epilogue to our discussion on mattress fads, Simmons Mattress Gallery would like to take it back to the days of cereal and Saturday morning cartoons with a quick discussion of the mattress stack.

“I call top bunk!”

It’s a simple idea: two bed frames, four planks to elevate, one ladder and a guard rail for the top bunk. The mattress on the bottom can be a twin or a full bed, but it’s always recommended that the top be a twin (for weight). Materials can range from laminate wood, to maple, to iron or a lighter metal alloy. The high bed is elevated five or six feet off the ground, with a minimum two foot clearance from the ceiling. And that’s about it.

For parents, the bunk bed has one major benefit; it provides a space-saving tool that limits the number of bedrooms needed in a family home. Floor space is maximized and Mom can keep her office.

For kids, it provides a plethora of excuses for nighttime fun. It’s great for sleepovers, forts and stuffed animal storage.

If siblings use them, the sound of one child sleeping will often put the other child to sleep. Conversely, a crying child can keep the other up. It should be mentioned that most bunk bed manufactures suggest that any child using a top bunk be over six years of age.

The beds were used as early as the 18th century for sea voyages and are still found in navy vessels today. They are also used in penitentiaries, where inmates share a cell.

I wonder if prisoners call the top bunk?

Lowering the Blinds 24.08.13

Question for everyone: Do you close your bedroom blinds at night, or do you leave them open?

Your answer probably depends on a few things: What time you go to bed; If your bedroom points east for the morning sun; What the evening’s agenda is.

If you tend to head to bed before ten, especially in the summer, you probably close them. Just a guess. Better to block out the light.

If the morning sun has a direct path to your pillow, you probably close them as well.

And, if you plan to get a little frisky with your loved one, you probably shut them before the birthday suits come out.

But, if you love fresh air, natural light and the occasional voyeur, chances are they stay raised or open. At this time of year, the morning light works better than an alarm clock. And it’s definitely less grading…

It probably also depends on where you live. Urban dwellers, especially those folks living downtown tend to shut theirs. Folks in the country have less to worry about with fewer neighbours to peek in.

Another variable is your mattress. For those sleeping on a Simmons, a mattress Vancouver has fallen in love with, sleep comes instantly. It doesn’t matter if the sun is still up when you head to bed, if the morning rays are pouring in at 7am or if your neighbours are gathering in the backyard. With a Simmons Beautyrest, sleep is your only concern.

Open your mind. Invite a Simmons mattress into your home and let the light shine in.

Too Racy for Public Transit 24.08.13

The Telus World of Science is currently hosting an exhibit on the Science of Sexuality. The exhibit has been open since May, but a recent ad campaign has earned the show some free media coverage.

Two billboard photo ads have been removed from Translink bus stops around the city when they were deemed too sexy for public consumption. The ads are part of a trilogy that were used for promoting the exhibit on bus shelters and online. Science World will continue to use the images online and will use one of the less edgy ads for transit purposes.

The ads in question both use humour to suggest that sex has medical benefits.

In one ad, a suggested female patient with broken legs is having sex on what appears to be a hospital bed. The tagline: Orgasms can kill pain. The other ad features an image of a number of scrunched up tissues and a tissue box. The caption: Ejaculation fights colds. The suggestion is that frequent masturbation can help you stay healthy.

The ads were created, pro bono, by the Canadian ad agency Rethink. Rethink took on the project as an opportunity for free publicity. Looks like their gamble paid off.

As purveyors of mattresses, we know a thing or two about the questions around sex. You wouldn’t believe some of the doozies we’ve fielded. But questions are important and if not addressed, the public, young people especially, can come up with their own, seemingly, implausible answers.

Talking about sex, leads to responsible decision making. Even if the ads were pulled, they still created a dialogue and that’s a win for us all.

Mattress Fads ( Part 2: The Hobo’s Space Saver ) 18.08.13

A young inventor, by the name of William L. Murphy, invented the first wall bed in the late 1800s. Legend has it, the young man was dating a fairly conservative young lady, who wouldn’t consent to enter young Murphy’s suite if it was just a bedroom. To change his one room flat from a bedroom to a common area, Murphy designed a bed that would fold into the wall. He patented his design in 1990 and began to sell them under the Murphy Wall Bed Company name.

In 1925, he moved the company to New York, where the space-saving invention took off with a population crammed into tiny apartments.

The bed received massive exposure when it was heavily featured in Charlie Chaplin’s 1916 film, “One A.M.” In the film, Chaplin wrestles with the mechanics of the bed, but the idea of a fold away mattress was suddenly introduced to a world audience.

The popularity of the bed seems to mirror the financial stability of the open market. When times are plentiful, the 1950s and 1980s, Murphy bed sales are down. When the economy dips into a recession, Murphy bed sales increase, as space becomes more valuable.

Murphy beds also suffer from their dependence on a number of moving parts. Moving metal increases the chance of mechanical failure and also the potential for accidents. A modern pocket coil mattress is much safer.

As a permanent structure, they also allow limit the options for interior designing.

But the most challenging feature of the Murphy Bed is the need for professional installation. This is not a bed you can buy from a mattress Vancouver showroom, take home and sleep on that night. Murphy bed installation requires a strong knowledge of load bearing walls; without which the bed of your dreams could end up in a comic crash that is far from silent.

Mattress Fads ( Part 1: Asleep at Sea ) 18.08.13

The mattress industry has seen many innovations over the years. The Simmons non-flip pocket coil revolutionized the industry, creating a mattress that never needed to be turned, had complete comfort coverage and provided motion separation between bed partners. This was an instant gamechanger.

But what about other innovations, or mattress fads. Where did they come from, why did they fail and where are they now? In this two-part series, Simmons Mattress Gallery would like to answer these questions for two passing mattress fads: the waterbed and the Murphy bed.

Part 1: The Sexiest Bed Ever

It seems that humans have been infatuated with the idea of creating a liquid sleeping surface for some time now. In Persia, over 3,000 years ago, beds were being made of goatskin sacks that were warmed in the sun.

In the 19th century, doctors started to experiment with waterbed technology to help treat patients with skin ailments. The water designs were intended to distribute the weight of the patient, applying an even amount of pressure to the sleeping surface.

But it wasn’t until a student at the University of San Francisco State, accidentally invented the modern day waterbed, that the idea suddenly became popular. Charles Hall came up with a design for his master’s thesis. His prototype, which he eventually took to market, was created with vinyl, the perfect material for a durable sac. Hall would go on to invent a heater, liner and patch kit for his beds. Unfortunately, his main bed design was never fully patented, due to the fact that the intellectual property surrounding the bed was already existent in science fiction, specifically in the novels of 1930s writer, Robert Heinlein.

And though Hall missed out on a patent deal, he did introduce his bed at the perfect point in history: the sexual revolution. With free love still in the air, Hall’s bed was a perfect addition to Hugh Hefner’s Playboy pop culture of the late 60s and early 1970s.

And for twenty or so years the waterbed shone. In 1986 it represented 20 percent of the mattress market. But, like the ideals of free love, eventually logic prevailed. STDs tainted the idea of multiple bed partners and flooded apartments eventually drowned the waterbed market. Research also emerged that waterbeds were extremely dangerous for infants who slept with their parents.

The beds are still being made, but the consumer has made a definitive move away from the watery technology. Coils still trump the goatskin sac.

Random Fact: Hugh Hefner once owned a waterbed that was covered in Tasmanian possum fur

Forbidden Tours 18.08.13

Every city has its dirty secrets, but did you know that Vancouver was full of them. From opium dens to, bawdy houses, to police corruption, Vancouver’s streets tell a tale of city with a tarnished halo.

Want to know the whole story, learn some history about your hometown and have a fun time out on the town? Take a walking tour of the city and prepare yourself for a delicious bite of the seedy underbelly of Vancouver.

Sins of the City: Vice, Dice and Opium Pipes

Sins of the City is put on by the Vancouver Police Museum. It is a two-hour walking tour of Chinatown and Gastown. From brothels, to gambling houses, to opium dens, the tour promises to take you to a number of former illegal establishments throughout downtown. Canoe.ca has rated this walking tour as one of the top ten in the world. As a bonus, the $20 tour ticket includes free admission to the police museum. Registration is done by phone: 604-665-3346. Because of the content, guests need to be at least 18 years of age.

Forbidden Vancouver

Forbidden Vancouver is more of a theatrical performance, with a costumed storyteller focusing on specific locations. Their company offers four unique downtown walking tours: Prohibition City, Lost Souls of Gastown, The Granville Street Reveal and Secrets of the Penthouse. These tours are a mix of history, theatre and iconic buildings. Founded in 2012 by Will Woods, the lead guide, Forbidden Vancouver currently holds a 5 out of 5 on Trip Advisor. Check their website for a current schedule of tours.

Vancouver Water Parks 08.08.13

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.

Recharge 08.08.13

It’s 2:38, mid-way through the afternoon, when your phone battery dies. It didn’t even last till the end of your shift. Now how will you Whatsapp your friend in New York, follow Amanda Bynes latest brush with the law and Vine your coworkers attempt at a Sasso lemon face. You might actually get some work done this afternoon…

But that’s not the point! The real issue is battery life! If you can’t count on your phone charge lasting till dinner, what can you count on? The answer is your mattress.

Simmons Mattress has developed a new mattress specifically designed for ‘recharging’ our tired bodies. Your phone might pack it in after your marathon session of Candy Crush, but your body and mind will hold their charge until pillow time.

The new mattress line uses a combination of patented Beautyrest pocket coils and AirCool and GelTouch foams to create the most recharging sleep ever. The coils provide support, the gel touch adds an extra layer of comfort and the AirCool design provides cooling technology guaranteed to keep your mattress at an ideal temperature for sleep.

The result: full bars from sunup to sunset.

Come in and test-sleep a Recharge mattress at our Broadway location. We can charge your iPhone at the same time. Free of ‘charge.’

The Celebration of Sleep 08.08.13

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…

The Queen’s Beautyrest 22.07.13

We just heard about a crazy story out of London. Turns out the announcement for the Royal birth could be delayed by the Queen’s sleep schedule.

Apparently, the Queen needs to be told the child’s name and sex before the world. Now, if the baby comes at night, who will wake the Queen? Turns out no one will.

If the heir to the throne arrives during the wee hours of the night, the official announcement will be delayed until morning.

So, if the Queen has a restless sleep and gets up early for the royal morning constitutional, she could be brought up to speed on all the baby details before the sun rises. In this scenario, Brits could learn of the baby news before they were finished breakfast.

But, what if she has an amazing sleep, one brought on by the cushiony softness of over 180 individual pocket coils. In this case, she could wake up hours later, delaying the announcement even further. The news could break during the morning rush hour commute. Imagine 50 million Brits listening intently to their radios, constantly refreshing their news source and feverishly scanning twitter for accurate information. Imagine the bedlam on the M1, the congestion at the tube turnstiles and the chaos at Heathrow when the news came.

A comfortable mattress could lead the Empire to a potentially disastrous scenario.

Lets hope the Queen hasn’t replaced her mattress Vancouver in a few years.

Blueberry Hill 22.07.13

Smile and stick out your tongue! As blue as Smurfette! BC blueberries must be back in season.

The British Columbia Blueberry Council has predicted a strong crop this year due to our mild winter and early spring. Pickers have already started harvesting on more than 800 blueberry farms throughout BC. Grown on over 11,000 hectares of arable land, BC farmers produce over 55 million kilos of blueberries annually. In fact, BC is one of the top three blueberry producing regions in the world.

Dubbed nature’s candy by the British Columbia Blueberry Council, blueberries are considered a superfruit. They are one of the best natural sources of anti-oxidants on the planet. They help with the aging process and they reduce cell damage. They are also high in dietary fibre and vitamin C.

And…. they’re delicious.

Freeze them, bake them into your muffins, serve them with ice cream, add them to a salad or simply enjoy a bowl with a friend.

If you feel like getting your hands blue, consider doing your own picking at one of the many U-Picks in the Fraser Valley. Here are three farms to try:

Krause Berry Farm & Estate Winery -Langley

Driediger Farms – Langley

Mann Farms – Abbotsford

Bring the family for an educational outing with a ’super fruit’ yield.

Vancouver Pride 22.07.13

Party preparations are underway for more than a week of planned Pride events. The colours of the rainbow will spill out over the West End from July 27th to August 4th, as Vancouver’s Pride Festival celebrates the active LGBTQ community in our city.

This is a special 35th anniversary for the festival, now seen as the fifth largest Pride event in the world. It is also the first year that the City of Vancouver has granted the festival ‘Civic Event Status’. What does that mean for Vancouver Pride? More Money! The festival was given a funding increase of 345%.

This year’s party begins on July 27th with the Pride Run and Walk event; you won’t want to miss the disco water stations.

Following the race, Brockton Oval will host Picnic in the Park, Pride’s media launch party. There will be a beer garden, live music and of course foooood!

On Tuesday, July 30th, the Chevron Summer Film Series at Second Beach will show “Mamma Mia,” a rousing musical featuring the music of ABBA.

The legendary Davie Street Party will run on Friday, August 2nd. This year, the event will contain an all-ages portion from 4 pm till 7 pm. After 7 pm, the section from Bute to Burrard will open up to the licensed portion of the event. Superstar DJs are promised, as well as a special appearance by Jinkx Monsoon, winner of America’s next drag superstar.

Saturday will feature Thailand’s fireworks display, the final performance for this year’s Celebration of Light.

The official parade will take place on Sunday, starting at 12 pm on the corner of Robson and Thurlow. The rainbow of fun will march down Robson, take a left at Denman and continue up to Pacific. If you’re looking for the perfect vantage point, try the elevated Safeway patio at the corner of Denman and Robson. This spot also comes with a hilarious MC.

The parade ends at Sunset Beach, the sight of the festival grounds and marketplace.

Show your colours, but remember to make time for your mattress Vancouver. All that pride can be draining.

Change Up Your Sleep Position 16.07.13

Are you one to lie face first on the mattress, one hand dangling limply to the side, with the other under your pillow, with a slowly growing wet spot from your sideways, drooling face. Is that you? Legs outstretched at a particular angle. Ankles bent at odd degrees. The covers rolled under your legs to form a warm cocoon of humid fluids? Is this unusual position the only way you can sleep?

Chances are your awkward sleep style has been formed through years of dozing on a bed that’s the wrong size. You may have been trying to share a double with a partner for far too long after the honeymoon phase. You may have been stuck on a single and forced to conform to an awkward shape and frame.

Like a free-range chicken, you need to liberate yourself to a world without borders. Once you have stretched out on a king, you will never be able to treat yourself like a peasant again.

It’s time to change up your sleep position. Explore some new options. Take a test drive of the mattress Vancouver residents have been raving about for years – the Simmons Mattress Gallery Beautyrest Black. Only SMG has the Triple Edge comfort – you won’t find this at department stores. And the worst part is, it’s only available for another few short weeks.

Soon, Simmons Mattress Gallery will be shutting its doors for good, and you might not have a chance to enjoy this luxurious added feature only found in its mattresses. As a consolation – they are offering a 75% discount on new beds. So if you hurry down to their store on Broadway and Oak, you can have a chance to unlock yourself from an awkward sleep position, and enjoy the freedom of sleeping any which way you choose for the rest of your days (and nights).

Coquitlam Mattress Store 16.07.13

We would like to welcome Mattress Choice to the neighbourhood. If you live in Coquitlam mattress shopping will never be the same again, and here’s why.

Traditionally there were only two options for mattress stores.

  1. Generalist. This is the most common  model. You’d go into a mattress store in Coquitlam only to discover that they have a huge selection of a variety of brands. Problem is, floor space is finite. So to make up for all of the possible styles and sizes and shapes of bed, what they do is keep a disjointed number of brands. You may find the bed you are looking for – but not in a brand you recognize. This is no good. You are getting an inferior product just because you have a particular comfort preference level and your Coquitlam mattress store doesn’t have the depth of brand choices to cover it.
  2. Specialist. Simmons Mattress Gallery stocks Simmons brand mattresses exclusively. This is great if you love Simmons, and frankly, who doesn’t? The depth element of brand choice is covered, because every bed in every size will be a premium Simmons bed. However, this can be a little limiting if you like different big brands as well (ie Sealy or Serta).

The answer is Mattress Choice. Opening their new mattress store in Coquitlam, they have found a way to offer the best of both worlds. By dealing exclusively in the three top brands (Simmons, Sealy and Serta) they are able to ensure that every bed you pick is a top quality mattress without the second-rate brands that will only compromise your decision (and rest).

So, welcome Mattress Choice to Coquitlam. You can find them at 202 Schoolhouse Street, just off the Lougheed Highway in Coquiltam.

How To Stop Fighting With Your Partner 16.07.13

A recent study has found that the #1 reason that spouses fight is not because of money, or a lack of space, or even the famous wandering eye. Couples fight when they are tired and sleep-deprived.

UK Berkley published their findings in the journal: Social Psychological and Personality Science stating that fighting makes couples less happy and healthy (duh!) but also that it is sleepless nights that prompts most quarrels in the first place.

The study goes on to conclude that the reason for poor sleep in today’s society is that most North Americans are underpaid, overworked, stressed out all the time.

Stats have showed that due to workplace related stress, and overwork, thirty percent of the population is sleeping less than six hours a night.

These studies don’t, however, mention that a big contributor to a lack of sleep is an improper mattress.

Many couples make the mistake of simply co-inhabiting their partner’s bed once they hook up. This is fine in the short term, but the reality is that mattress was chosen by only one side of the two-part equation that is a unified couple.

To find a mattress that meets the needs of both bodies, the couple should really do their mattress shopping together. What better way to celebrate a new relationship than with a new bed you can both enjoy?

So if you are serious about living a peaceful life, you owe it to yourself to make sure that your partner is as rested as you are. Take an evening together to drop in at Simmons Mattress Gallery’s Vancouver mattress store and find a bed that’s right for you.

If you don’t want to fight: Sleep well at night.

The Personal Shopping Experience 16.07.13

There’s a new trend fast sweeping the nation and it’s going to the dearth of the mattress industry as we know it. Showcasing is quickly catching on in big box stores, from Future Shop to Best Buy, and the only way to combat it, as a retailer, is to change the shopping experience for you, our loyal customer.

Essentially, showcasing is when consumers visit stores where products are on display, you know, showrooms. They find the items (beds) they like and then use their Smartphones to compare prices with other models elsewhere on the Internets. It leaves Vancouver mattress retailers like Simmons Mattress Gallery holding the bag, and the lease for a 10,000 sq ft show space. It’s not a sustainable model.

Our answer is what we like to call the Personal Shopping Experience. Simply go to our website and pick out a few beds you would like to try. Alternatively, call ahead and tell us your personal preferences, be it a king sized, queen, hard or soft. Then, we will arrange a few beds for you in advance. When your mattress session is ready, we’ll treat you to fresh coffee, tea, hands on advice and have your mattresses all ready to try. It’s the little, personal differences that are going to change the face of the mattress industry, and we plan to lead the way to a better, more enjoyable shopping experience.

Slang Teasers 16.07.13

Here are some colloquial and colourful expressions about sleep. It’s fun to explore word meanings, so let’s dig a little deeper to their origins.

Have you ever wondered how the term: hit the hay came about?
In 1902, mattresses were often sacks stuffed with straw or hay (hence the similar phrase ‘hit the sack’).

Catch 40 winks. This phrase is thought to have originated due to the utterly boring 39 parables that were passed down in church literature. Apparently they were so dreary, show couldn’t help to take a 40 wink nap afterward. Also 40 is thought to be a number with mystical powers.

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/4/messages/1152.html

Did you know the expressions sleep like a log and sleep like a rock were predated by another similie?

The expression ’sleep like a top’ is quite old and is recorded from at least 1693, when it appeared in William Congreve’s The Old Batchelour:

“Should he seem to rouse, ’tis but well lashing him, and he will sleep like a Top.”

Counting sheep jumping over a wall goes back to 1854.

Sawing logs refers to the sound someone makes when snoring.

The idea of a Sandman goes all the way back to Hans Christian Anderson in 1841. The Danish fairy tale describes a mythical creature with a colour-changing silk jacket who sprinkles dust in the eyes of children to help them get dozy and fall asleep. He carries two umbrellas, one with colourful pictures so that good children can have wonderful dreams at night, and one with no images at all, so naughty children will sleep heavily without any dreams at all.

A bed from Simmons Mattress Gallery is a lot like a colourful umbrella that will usher you into a vivid world of dreams.

Book Of Awesome – Bedtime Edition 16.07.13

Have you read the Book of Awesome? It’s all about little, yet significant events that we stumble across in our day that totally makes it better, such as rain on a hot sidewalk or the smell of fresh cut grass in the summertime.

We thought we’d expand the awesomeness into the evening as well. Here are a few awesome things that can totally make your night.

Waking up early only to realize you still have another hour to go before your alarm goes off.

Cuddling up to your partner without waking them up. Spoon for the win.

New sheets fresh out of the dryer. Nothing’s better than falling into that at the end of the night, amiright?

Starfish. Usually you can only pull this off when sleeping alone, but on those nights you get a chance to spread out, fingers extended, toes stretched to your heart’s content, you have to admit, that’s nice.

The cool side of the pillow. There is nothing quite like flipping over your hot, ruffled pillow in the middle of the night to enjoy the smooth, calming cool of the other side. Just one of the awesome things about loving your bed.

That new bed smell, okay, so there’s no new bed smell, but the first night on a new mattress can be pretty magical.

It’s time to bring this awesome back home. Visit us at our Vancouver mattress store and we will set you up with

Don’t Sweat the Technique: Sleeping Through the Heat 13.07.13

“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.

Yo! This is What’SUP 13.07.13

It is easier to store than a kayak, more portable than a canoe and less dangerous than windsurfing. The new craze to hit the West Coast is Stand Up Paddleboarding.

All it requires in gear is a board, an elongated paddle, and a PFD (personal flotation device). That’s a lot less than winter sports like snowboarding.

Unlike surfing in Tofino, the learning curve is low. First timers can find their balance in calm water and be paddling in 5 minutes. Most companies offering lessons include a 15-minute intro course on land.

Secluded saltwater shelters like Deep Cove are excellent locations for beginners to learn. First timers may also want to practice on freshwater lakes before bringing their talent to the ocean.

Besides an excuse to get out on the water with a new sport, standup paddleboarding also offers an amazing workout. Anytime you can incorporate balance into your physical activity your core muscles will thank you.

Some local entrepreneurs have been offering classes that combine yoga and paddleboarding. The classes are around 30-50 dollars and include the rental cost. The boards are anchored to reduce drift.

There are currently a handful of companies offering lessons and rentals in the Greater Vancouver area. Give it a shot and take your summer to a whole new level of fun.

Time to Get Wet 13.07.13

Ladies and Gentlemen, arm yourselves! The Great Vancouver Water Fight is returning to Stanley Park.

The hydro fight of the year will take place on Saturday, August 10th at Lumberman’s Arch.

Bathing suits are suggested, but birthday suits are tolerated. There will be no referees, so participants will need to police themselves. If you are concerned about your eyes, bring protection. Swimming goggles might look ridiculous, but they will certainly do the trick.

Yes, water balloons are a-go, but play nice. No one likes a ruiner. Also, don’t involve the public. The occasional crossfire spray is understandable.

Be frugal with your water supply. It’s going to be a long hot summer; we don’t want to drain the Capilano Reservoir in one afternoon.

Most importantly, please do not bring any water pistols that look like replica guns. No one wants the actual police involved.

There is no official organizer for the event, but the group does have a Facebook page for general inquires, photo sharing and tactical support.

Good luck everyone. Prepare to get wet!

Food Cart Fest 2013 29.06.13

Our friends at Mattress Choice recently wrote a piece on Coquitlam’s first food cart: This Little Piggy. Their article wetted our appetite and started us thinking about Vancouver’s own mobile restaurants. On a whim we visited three in one-day, sampling some of Vancouver’s finest street eats.  Our tasty pilgrimage lead us to discuss the idea of a central location for Vancouver food carts, a virtual drive-in food court. We couldn’t believe the idea hadn’t been proposed. Well, turns out it had…

Vancouver’s Food Cart Festival had its 2013 opening weekend on June 23rd. The festival brings twenty food trucks from around the Lower Mainland to one central location for a stand-up-foodie-extravaganza! It runs every Sunday, from 12pm-6pm, until September 22nd.

This will be the second year the festival has been operating. The Waldorf parking lot was the location for the festivals first crack at the can. Organizers are hoping the new location, just off of First Avenue by the Olympic Village, will receive more transit and walk up traffic.

The vendors include a number of carts operating as satellite businesses for their, much larger, parent restaurants. Two of our favourites from this category are Vij’s “Railway Express” and The Reef’s “Runner.”

Along with the eats, organizers have brought together a number of local vendors, some kids entertainers and live music acts.

Admission is $2 or free for those eaters 13 and under.

Just as a side note, Vancouver was recently named one of the top three cities for Food Carts in North America by Travel+Escape.

And once you’ve finished with your edible sampling, burn off a few calories with a brisk walk up Oak Street to your favourite mattress store. You won’t believe the incredible prices on now for our Closing Out Sale.

Japanese Imports 28.06.13

We were told that BC’s coast might receive radioactive waste from the nuclear fallout in Japan, but we never expected it to take over downtown Vancouver. A new Godzilla picture is filming at a variety of locations around the Lower Mainland. The Japanese import is a welcomed project for the failing film industry in British Columbia.

Godzilla got us thinking about other Japanese imports, specifically the futon mattress.

The futon is still used in households across Japan. It became popular in North America in the 1970s and has remained a viable option to the standard coil mattress for over forty years.

The original Japanese design is much different than the common western futon. Intended for use without a frame, the Japanese futon works with tatami flooring in traditional Japanese homes. The futons are rolled out and placed on the flooring when it is time to sleep. In the morning they are aired and then stored in a closet, so the sleeping space can be used for other purposes. The space management tool is ideal for a society with limited living areas.

The western design is dependent on a frame system. The appeal of the westernized futon is that it can morph from a sleeping surface to a couch. Popular with students and young professionals, the western version also offers a cheap space saving solution for furniture.

What the futon lacks is support. A coil mattress is designed to cushion your body and offer physical relief. A futon provides little or no relief and is not suggested for anyone suffering joint or back pain.

We would only recommend a futon mattress as a last resort. If Chuck Norris, the A-Team and Clint Eastwood were all busy, you might call Godzilla for help, but you’d probably regret it come morning. Same deal with a futon.

Coach Swap 28.06.13

Well folks, it looks like the New York Rangers and the Vancouver Canucks have swapped coaches. Alain Vigneault was officially signed to the Rangers on Friday, June 21st and the Vancouver Canucks have now confirmed the signing of John Tortorella.So who is the big winner in this ‘coach swap’?

If you look at Stanley Cup wins, than the Canucks are. Tortorella won Lord Stanley’s cup with the Tampa Bay Lightening in 2004, but has not been to the finals since. Coach V took the Canucks to the big dance in 2011, but lost in Game 7.

Vigneault has the better regular season record over the last seven years, with his Cancuks finishing first in the league twice and first in their division another four times. Tortorella had only one season where the Rangers claimed first in the Atlantic division.

Both coaches have received the Jack Adams award for coach of the year; Torts in 2004 and V in 2007.

It’s a tough comparison…

In terms of coaching styles, the Canucks are getting a firecracker who is not afraid to call out his players, speak his mind freely about the officiating or institute a nightly goalie rotation (heads-up Schneids). The Rangers, as Canuck Nation knows, are getting a calm headman, whose stare can make you feel two-feet tall, but whose bench laugh can keep players howling with laughter.

Some will say Tortorella is less qualified, having never played a game in the NHL, but that is a silly argument.

No, we won’t truly be able to compare until the end of the 2013-14 season. Then the numbers will tell who won the coach swap.

That being said, Simmons Mattress Gallery has been a fan of Alain Vigneault through his entire tenure. We wish him all the best in New York. The thing we will miss the most is his press conference giggle. Only a man, who loved the game with the purity of a child, could giggle at a press conference.

Get Up, Stand Up: Don’t Give Up the Fight. 18.06.13

Sleep and the culture of sleep is our passion. We sell the perfect product for enhancing your sleep: the Beautyrest mattress. But we also keep our ears open for other sleep advice.

This week we came across this quote by Dr. Kelly Glazer Baron: “Most people who have sleep problems spend too much time in bed trying to sleep. If you are spending eight hours in bed and only sleeping six restless hours, why not get six hours of deeper sleep rather than eight hours of fragmented sleep? It’s counterintuitive, but I recommend most of my insomnia patients go to bed a little (or a lot) later.”

Dr. Baron is the assistant professor of neurology and director of the Behavioural Sleep Medicine Program at Northwestern University. His suggestion is interesting, but probably should not be taken at face value.

If you do have problems sleeping, you probably already have anxiety around the issue. There is no sense going to bed early if you are going to fret about not falling asleep. Stay up later and tire your body for a short, but substantial sleep.

Also, if you find yourself staring at the ceiling, praying for rest, remove yourself from the situation. Go for a walk, read in the living room, or have a snack. Return to your bed when your body and mind are more relaxed.

For more sleep tips, read this blog.

Yoga Leader Wanted 18.06.13

Can’t sleep at night thinking about your less than pleasurable day at the office? Maybe it’s time for a new mattress. Or maybe it’s time for a new job!

Lululemon shocked the social media world this week when they posted a banner ad on the front page of their website advertising their vacant CEO position. “CEO wanted, click here to apply,” is written in all caps. Once clicked, the banner takes visitors to a brief job-posting write-up.

In the job description, the company states: “You report to no one, you are the CEO (duh).”

The post suggests the applicant mirror the following description:

  • You communicate powerfully, often through Sanskrit
  • You’re a long-term thinker. You already have a plan to bring yoga and luon to Mars by 2018
  • Not only do you lead the organization to create components for people to live long, healthy and fun lives, you know the secret to how they got the caramel in the Caramilk bar

And our favourite:

  • You voted for Pedro

The company is obviously attempting to have some fun with a fairly serious management dilemma.

Christine Day abruptly announced her upcoming departure from the CEO position on Monday. Day claims she is leaving the company with a five-year plan in place and a vision for the next ten.

The move did scare a few investors, with the stock dipping 18 per cent the day after the announcement.

This is the second scandal that has rocked the company this year. ‘Tansparency-gate‘ highlighted some production problems that needed to be addressed.

Hopefully the Vancouver company will be able to find its course fairly quickly. Maybe with your help!

Car Free Day 16.06.13

June is Bike Month in Vancouver, a whole month devoted to two-wheel transportation. Bike culture seems to be exploding in our city where bike lanes multiply like rabbits. A moderate climate keeps riders on the streets later in the year and environmentalists encourage us to permanently leave our four-wheels at home.

To further promote alternative transportation, local organizers have created Car Free Day. This year, Car Free Day lands on Sunday, June 16th. Festivities will take place at four specific locations and one general neighbourhood. The specific locations are Main Street, between Broadway and 30th, Commercial Drive, between Venables and North Grandview Highway, Semlin Street, between Adanac and Venables and Denman Street, between Davie and Robson. The general neighbourhood will be Kitsilano.

There will be fare booths, entertainment and of course citywide rides.

The street parties will close their roads to traffic and so will some of the official block parties. The current location list of block parties being held in Kits can be seen at this website.

If you do plan on attending any of the FREE parties in the city, please, don’t drive your car. Use transit or your own two legs. Bring your bicycle and visit a variety of venues.

Less Cars = More Community.

Slop On the Sunscreen 14.06.13

Nothing feels better than a lazy summer Sunday on the deck, with a cold drink, a good book and your swimsuit.

Nothing feels worse than a sunburn on Monday morning, that makes you look like you bathed in cherry Jello, has you shuttering at contact of any kind and leaves you wishing you had spent two minutes lathering up with sunscreen.

Hindsight is 20/20.

Don’t make the same mistake twice. Here are a few simple facts about sunscreen and the damaging effects of the sun:

  • 2 million people each year are diagnosed with skin cancer.
  • The sun admits harmful rays all year round, not just in the summer.
  • Dermatologists suggest wearing sunblock whenever you go outside for extended periods, no matter what the weather.
  • Snow, sand and water reflect the sun’s rays and increase the potential for skin damage.
  • Sunscreen wears off and should be reapplied every two hours.
  • Experts suggest a 30 Sun Protection Factor or higher (30 blocks 97% of the sun’s harmful rays).
  • ‘Broad spectrum’ protection is optimal.
  • Sunscreen should always be combined with seeking shade and wearing protective clothing.
  • Babies six months old and younger should not wear sunscreen. Their skin is far too sensitive for direct contact with the sun’s rays.

Enjoy the warm weather responsibly.

If you do forget to apply, here are some of our tips for treating a sunburn:

  • Take a cool bath.
  • Apply moisturizer in thin layers. Repeat.
  • Ibuprofen for the headache
  • Drink as much water as you can take in.

If your skin blisters, you have a second-degree burn. Do not pop. Let the blisters protect the burn.

Cool Facts About Sleep From Ancient History 14.06.13

Here is a quick survey of how the Greeks started to theorize about sleep:

The Greek philosopher Alcamaeon of Croton penned the first recorded theory on the nature of sleep.  He correctly theorized that sleep was the loss of consciousness, but missed the mark when he claimed that sleep was the result of blood vessels filling in the brain. His connection between sleep and the brain would prove to be invaluable.

Less than a century later, Hippocrates, expanded on Alcamaeon’s theory. He proposed that blood left the outer tissues of the body to retreat into the inner organs. This, he claimed, was the reason a sleeping body drops in temperature; a keen observation, but an inaccurate conclusion.

Around the same time Androsthenes, the scribe of Alexander the Great, was observing tamarind trees. He documented the plants natural movement to close its leaves during the night. This is the first recorded documentation of circadian rhythm, or daily, internally controlled, activity.

Next up, Aristotle mused that sleep was connected to physical renewal. This was big! Unfortunately, Aristotle also believed that sleep was the cause of warm vapours rising from the stomach, as a result of digestion. Plato’s finest pupil must have been a fan of turkey sandwiches.

Sometimes, scientific advancement needs to take a step back before moving forward again. In 162 A.D., five hundred years after Aristotle, the physician Galen returned to Alcamaeon’s thoughts and connected sleep with the natural processes in the brain. A big win for the science of sleep

Learning to Share 14.06.13

We’ve said it before, but the best wedding gift you can give is a new mattress. The first year of marriage can be draining, as couples try not to rock the often-delicate balance created when two people coexist.

The bedroom can bring unintended complications to a newly married couple. Let’s put aside the physical play and focus this article on the hours spent trying to sleep with another human being beside you.

One of the greatest challenges is differing sleep schedules. It is rare that couples go into a marriage or a relationship with the same preferred bedtime. Finding a happy medium early is a good idea.

A snoring partner is another disruption. Identifying a sleep position that lightens the bear growl is a start. So are earplugs. Sleeping in separate rooms should be a last resort.

Food in bed is also a polarizing topic. Some individuals can’t stand to see their partners snack in bed. Crumbs, stains and smells can infuriate an unwilling mattress snacker.

Finally, some mates still require a peripheral light when falling asleep. Getting used to a light on can take some time.

Compromise is key.

A new mattress will help ease the transition.

Educate. Listen. Support. 01.06.13

Your children are your life; Protecting them is an on-going struggle that never really ends.

A child’s teen years are the most stressful for parents. It is the age when they are exposed to counter-culture ideas, their bodies are going through dramatic physical and chemical changes, they are under a huge amount of stress in terms of school and social belonging and they are given the opportunity to step behind the wheel of an automobile, possibly the most dangerous activity they will do in their lives. Throw these all in a pot and stir, then serve over an over-protective creator.

What can we do as parents? Educate. Listen. Support.

  • If you want to limit the dangers associated with drugs and alcohol, give them all the facts.
  • Explain their body’s potential for change before it occurs so that they can articulate their concerns when it happens.
  • Don’t push unreasonable academic expectations.
  • Talk to them about their social life at school and on the internet.
  • Pay for driving lessons.

And, most importantly, encourage a healthy sleep schedule. When your child is properly rested they will be much more likely to make reasonable decisions. Their bodies will have more energy to grow and change naturally. They will be able to stay awake during class, at home and when they’re with their friends. And, they will stay awake at the wheel; Drowsy driving is estimated to be responsible for 20 per cent of all car crashes in North America.

But how do you improve their sleep habits?

Three simple ways: Model and encourage consistent bedtimes, limit use of electronics before bedtime, make sure they have a proper mattress that offers adequate support.

Need to find a new mattress. Come to Simmons Mattress Gallery. We’re parents too.

Advances in Bed Bug Prevention 01.06.13

Vancouver is listed as on one of top ten bed bug infected cities in North America. As a travel hub, thousands of visitors pass through each year, many of them, unintentionally carrying unwanted pests. These bugs are left in hotels, hostels, friends’ homes and retail stores. They attach themselves to local residents, are transported to homes around the city and thrive once they settle on or around the mattress of a host.

Dealing with these bugs has been a major issue for local health organizations, Vancouver tenants and local homeowners. People have been forced from their homes and have paid tens of thousands of dollars to remove the bugs from their living quarters.

Pest control companies are flooded with daily bed bug calls, often servicing the same location two or three times before the issue is properly handled. As the exterminators refine their methods, the bugs adapt too, creating a hopeless cycle of infestation.

The demand for a more stable bed bug control method has lead local biochemists to invest heavily in the industry.

Two local companies with products on the cusp of launching are SemiosBIO and Terramera.

SemiosBIO has developed a synthetic pheromone that repels bed bugs from beds and luggage. The bio pesticide lasts longer than natural airborne pheromones.

The product will be marketed towards police personnel, medics in the field and other individuals who are forced to enter homes that may be infected.

Sidenote: A good friend of ours is a documentary filmmaker. She picked up the bugs when working on a film in the Downtown Eastside. Her West End apartment needed multiple treatments before she was finally rid of the little terrors.

The other company, Terramera is set to release a product called Cirkil. This product is made of natural neem oil, a product produced from an evergreen tree in India. The oil interferes with the bugs metabolic systems. It can kill 100 per cent of the bugs in an infected area within 24 hours. This includes the eggs. The company is currently developing a travel size product line.

Till their release, consumers will need to continue to exercise caution when sharing beds, visiting local hotels and visiting the DTES. Never accept a mattress from the home of someone you don’t know. Recycle your old bed. When it comes time to buy a new one, shop at Simmons Mattress Gallery in Vancouver.

Art Battle Royale 01.06.13

The first rule of Art Battle: Tell everyone you know about Art Battle. The second rule of Art Battle: Tell EVERYONE you know about Art Battle!

Vancouver has a new performance competition and it ain’t “So You Think You Can Dance.” Artists from around the province are entering the Art Battle arena to compete in monthly live events that pit artist against artist in a live setting.

The battles consist of twenty-minute rounds, where the competitors are given a blank canvas on which to create a speedy masterpiece. Once the time is elapsed, the audience, democratically, votes on their favourite piece. The creator then moves on to subsequent rounds. Each evening concludes with a winner who is rewarded a cash prize and a chance to compete in the national championships in July.

The artists/performers must use acrylic paint, brushes, palette knives and or any non-mechanical implement.

The audience is given free reign to roam the floors and comment on the artistic process. Painters are also given the right to fling paint at any heckler.

Each piece that is created is put up for silent auction and sold to the highest bidder at the end of the evening.

The competition takes place at the Fan Club, at 1050 Granville Street. Last year was Vancouver’s inaugural battle season, with competitions being held at Raw Canvas. The change in venue was needed to accommodate the crowds.

Audio inspiration is provided by DJ SimonSayz.

And remember, if this is your first night at Art Battle, you have to vote.

For artists looking to apply: http://artbattle.ca/register/

Sleep Deprivation Is Killing Us 13.05.13

A new study has found that a lack of sleep can be as harmful as drinking to intoxication. Yet not nearly as pleasurable.

When people are tired they make bad decisions. Their mental processing is slower. And they are worse drivers, causing far more accidents and fatalities.

The more hours we are awake, the more prone we are to making mistakes.

If you have one takeaway about the dangers of sleep deprivation, let it be this: a lack of sleep is killing North Americans. For being a nation of half-walking dead zombies living intravenously through our smart phones, it’s scary to think that we might as well be in the middle ages with everyone half cocked on mead all the time.

Look at this graph.

If you’ve been up for more than 16 hours, your performance goes downhill. Way downhill. And once you get to about 18 hours without sleep you might as well be 3 martinis in.

In our sleep deprived culture where expectations run high, a lot of us cut corners in the sleep department to make time. Bad call. It makes more sense to do things slowly, methodically, and to get the rest you need.

For a more efficient dream machine, try a Beautyrest. Thanks to individual pocket coils, there is no motion transfer between partners. That means you will fall to sleep easier, and stay asleep longer. There is no point laying wide-eyed on a bed for 2 hours, that doesn’t count towards sleep. You want to be out like a light and to do that you need a comfortable bed. Talk to us, we’ll set you up.

Helpful Guests 13.05.13

It’s great to have company. When friends and relatives that you haven seen in ages come in from out of town, it’s always fun to catch up, share stories and enjoy each others company.

However, people have their routines. And sometimes a houseguest can disrupt the usual flow. After about four nights, even the most polite and accommodating guests can become a mild irritation and the joyousness of the first few nights can turn dreary.

This is too bad, because with visits so infrequent, it’s best to make the most of the positive times, and eliminate any chance of friction.

The solution, for some, is to have uncomfortable beds for guests. But what kind of host does such a thing? It’s rather cruel.

A better solution is to have a happy, helpful guest. Give them a great bed and they will be inclined to stay longer. Then you can put them to work.

A helpful guest is a great guest. When the pleasantries have all been said, you can get them babysitting the kids, or tending the garden or helping you mend the fence.

The only way to keep a guest around long enough to endure a bit of back-breaking labour is to ensure that they have a soft bed to rest in each night. If your bed is better than theirs at home, you might even secure yourself a free workforce in family help.

There has never been a better time to stock up on comfortable beds for your guests. Simmons Mattress Gallery is having a Close Out Mattress Sale, with beds up to 75% off.

As the name implies, this sale won’t last forever, and once the remaining models are gone, so is your chance at free help around the house.

So don’t delay and visit Simmons at 1001 West Broadway today.

So Long, Farewell 13.05.13

Simmons Mattress Gallery is closing its doors for good.

It’s been great to service Vancouver and Coquitlam (and for a while Victoria and Nanaimo) but the days of SMG are no more.

To make our final goodbye a little less painful (and a lot more drawn out) we hare hosting a Close Out Mattress Sale.

It’s a one-time event that will feature our amazing Simmons mattresses on sale for as much as 75% off.

Everything must go, because once we shut off the lights for the last time, the Simmons Mattress Gallery will left to rest forever.

So, before it’s too late, make your way down to 1001 West Broadway for our downtown Vancouver location or 101 Schoolhouse Street in Coquitlam to find a sale to cap off almost 15 years of business.

This could be your last chance to buy a bed with the Triple Edge that only Simmons Mattress Galleries offer. Because we close SMG, Simmons is going to stop making that product.

And it’s really good one. Plus at 75% off, you can’t go wrong. So take this chance to say goodbye, and enjoy the savings of a lifetime.

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