The Bedding Snob

Cultivating relaxation need not leave you starving for style …

Snobbish Thoughts November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving – enjoy the day and save 25% off!

First ThanksgivingMost retailers would agree that Black Friday has become one of, if not the most, important sales periods of the entire year – in fact many businesses depend on it. However, what started as sales on the day following Thanksgiving, has now expanded into taking over Thanksgiving Day as well. Only a few states here in New England – where the Puritans first celebrated (thus beginning a holiday tradition) – still have “blue laws” which prevent most stores from opening on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving sale 25% off At Cuddledown, we began as a small family-owned business, and believe our employees and our customers should be able to enjoy the day at home with family and friends. However, we also want to provide great deals for our customers, so we’ve started our Black Friday sale early online only! Save 25% off everything online, and never leave your couch!

 

How Cuddledown celebrates Thanksgiving – by giving a comforter away!

Cuddledown Ruby Anniversary giveawayIn honor of our 40th anniversary (also known as the “Ruby Anniversary”) we thought we’d celebrate by giving away one of our luxurious comforters! Our Ruby Jacquard Scroll comforter is as cozy as it is gorgeous (and the color is perfect for the holidays)!  It’s simple – all you have to do to enter the contest is sign up for Cuddledown’s emails. And with Black Friday deals coming up – you’ll be among the first to know, so it’s a win either way !

Since it’s our 40th anniversary, we’ve been researching the 70s, and found that in 1976, in the year of our country’s bicentennial, President Gerald Ford and Congress designated the week of Thanksgiving “National Family Week.” In an article posted at the Retro Housewife, the author outlines the history of Thanksgiving, including the following:

Thanksgiving and family are two words that have become inseparably linked ever since this – rich tradition began with the pilgrims 355 years ago in December 1621. ”Thanksgiving is the oldest and most truly American of our national holidays,” contended Ralph Linton,” renowned American anthropologist. “It has changed less in its intention and in the manner of its celebration than any other of our holidays, national or international. The founders of America had never heard of most of the things we now do at Christmas or Easter, but Thanksgiving is still very much what the Pilgrims made it – A giving of thanks for divine bounty coupled with a practical demonstration of that bounty.”

“Thanksgiving, even more than Christmas, is the holiday which brings scattered kindred together,” he continued, “Old family jokes and stones are shared and for a little while all hands bask in a sense of belonging to an intimate, affectionate group. They may go back to their separate homes later, but for a while they have been part of something larger than themselves.”

Following in this tradition, at Cuddledown, we’re closed on Thanksgiving (unlike many of the big box stores), so our employees (and customers) can spend the day relaxing and celebrating with their familes and friends. We’ll be enjoying the holiday with our loved ones, and wish you the same!

How to Sleep Better in 10 Easy Steps (part 2)

Insomnia - how to sleep better in 10 easy stepsAs promised, here’s Part Two of our guest blogger Peter Litchfield’s post on employing natural methods for better sleep! Having been through chronic insomnia himself, Peter spent several years researching the topic and has developed a program, Six Steps to Sleep, recently touted by the National Sleep Foundation, to help people achieve better sleep.

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How To Sleep Better In 10 Easy Steps – (part two)

The Power of Routine

When it comes to sleep the body responds best to routine, which is why sleep quality deteriorates when we try to compensate for lost sleep by sleeping in late and taking naps during the day. The sleep-wake cycle is thrown out of sync and the body doesn’t know when it is supposed to be asleep. It becomes tired at odd hours and doesn’t shutdown when you require it to at bedtime. This situation can quickly spiral and trigger a bout of insomnia, which must then be treated using good sleep hygiene methods.

If you are prone to periods of poor sleep, or struggle to sleep well in general, you should go to bed at roughly the same time each night and wake at the same time each morning. Regardless of how long it takes you to fall asleep or how much sleep you get during the night, get up at the same time the next day, even on weekends. Your body will soon be longing for your head to hit the pillow at the end of the day, and will naturally begin wanting to sleep 6-8 hours before your usual waking time.

That said, getting a healthy sleep isn’t just about the routine of sleep, it’s also about routine preparation and relaxation. Give yourself ample time to wind down in the evening and put the day to bed before putting yourself to bed. Set strict rules for the cultivation of mental spaciousness in the evening.

Here is a list of 10 things you can do to create a mindset conducive to getting a good night’s sleep:

1. Stop working on your computer at least 3 hours before attempting to sleep.

2. Stop eating at least 3 hours before bed, and avoid any stimulants such as caffeine or high-sugar content foods in the evening.

3. Stop playing on digital devices such as a phone or tablet at least 2 hours before going to bed.

4. Do not engage in long telephone conversations, debates or arguments close to bedtime. Keep your stress levels as low as possible.

5. Heard the phrase “tidy life, tidy mind”? Well, making sure your bedroom is free of clutter will help your mind de-clutter too. The bedroom should be spacious and relaxing, a place where your mind can be free of distraction.

6. Make sure you change the air in your bedroom once a day so that your respiratory system can function smoothly while you sleep. Excessive dust and odors will cause you to sneeze, snore and prevent smooth breathing.

7. Don’t conduct any other activity in your bedroom other than sleep and sex. The bedroom should be a sanctuary for sleep, not a place for work or play.

8. Bring your day to a close by spending the last hour before bedtime doing something quiet that requires very little brainpower. You might choose to stretch, meditate or tidy up a little to put the day to bed.

9. Try light reading for 10 minutes if your mind is still overactive when you get into bed, but make sure you use a low wattage bedside lamp and turn the light away from you so that you aren’t overly stimulated by the brightness.

10. Don’t obsess over lost sleep. One common trait in all serial bad sleepers is the compulsive analyzing of lost sleep and their sleep habits. Getting a good night’s sleep is as much psychological as it is physical, which means worrying about not sleeping enough is only going to make the problem worse. We all have a bad night now and again, and the best way to ensure an odd night doesn’t become a habit is to forget about it and move on. Get on with your day as you would if you had slept like a baby. Continue your routine and focus on being positive, healthy and happy.

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Peter Litchfield_Sleep Hygiene ExpertPeter Litchfield is the author of “Six Steps to Sleep,” the popular, natural program that cures insomnia and improves overall sleep health.

How to Sleep Better in 10 Easy Steps (part 1)

Six Steps to SleepWe’re pleased to introduce our newest guest blogger, Peter Litchfield, author of “Six Steps to Sleep.” A good, sound night’s sleep is something that doctors all recommend, and unfortunately many of us struggle to achieve. Through many years of discovery and research, Peter learned how to sleep better and cure his own insomnia once and for all. Along with his book, he created a program, also titled “Six Steps to Sleep” which employs natural methods to better sleep, and which he’s shared with more than 100,000 people. His program was recently recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.
He’s generously shared his knowledge here with a guest post featuring not just six, but 10 recommended steps for a good night’s sleep – which will appear in Part Two of this post!

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How To Sleep Better In 10 Easy Steps (Part One)

Getting a good night’s sleep should be an easy, natural process; the day ends, you go to bed, sleep for 7 or 8 hours and wake feeling refreshed and raring to go. But for the large majority, the reality is quite different.

We’re sleeping 20% less than we did 100 years ago, and it’s costing us our health. In fact, the problem is so bad that 10 million Americans use prescription sleep aids, and more than 30% of the population suffers from insomnia. Lack of sleep has been linked to all sorts of health problems, including weight gain, weakened immunity, depreciating cardiovascular health and increased risk of depression, not to mention the risk of accidents – the National Roads and Motorists Association (NRMA) estimates fatigue is involved in one in six fatal road accidents.

Compounding our inability to get a proper night’s sleep is the allure of the 24-hour world, which is fuelled by the internet that enables non-stop communication, game playing and retail therapy. Add to the mix an increasing amount of stress and anxiety due to working too many hours and worrying about how to make ends meet and you’ve got the perfect recipe for insomnia.

Understanding the Human Sleep-Wake Cycle

In my experience, 90% of insomnia cases are self-inflicted, and I include my previous 15-year struggle in that figure, too. This might sound harsh to some, but the reality is that there are very few people who have insomnia because of a related health issue. Yes it’s true that many people who suffer depression and anxiety experience insomnia, but it’s also true that lack of sleep contributes greatly to these conditions, too.

In one major study of 10,000 adults, people with insomnia were five times more likely to develop depression. Lack of sleep can be an even greater risk factor for anxiety. In the same study, people with insomnia were 20 times more likely to develop panic disorder – a type of anxiety disorder. (Source: Resource from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School)

We all have the ability to improve the health of our sleep-wake cycle by making positive lifestyle and environment adjustments, and doing so has a hugely positive effect on the way we feel, think and function. Once we educate ourselves on the process of sleep and the things that can interfere with the sleep-wake cycle, it is very easy to improve sleep quality.

For example, simply understanding that the sleep-wake cycle has been designed to work in tandem with the light and darkness of day offers insight as to how humans are supposed to sleep; it’s no coincidence that melatonin levels rise as darkness falls and remain elevated through the night. It’s also worth considering that our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t have streetlights, bedside lamps, televisions and such. They slept within a few hours of sun down and rose with the sunlight, enduring little mental stimulation through the evening. This is the natural human cycle, and shifting your sleep pattern in alignment with that cycle will improve sleep quality and overall health.

As wonderful as artificial light is, we abuse its capability at the expense of our sleep. Staring at your computer, phone or tablet screen into the early hours of the morning is likely to affect the quality of your sleep. This is because the brain responds to stimulation, thus the modern term ‘LCD insomnia’.

The fact is that humans have not adapted to the 24-hour lifestyle of excessive evening stimulation, nighttime food binging, all-night partying and surviving the day propped up by stimulants to combat lack of sleep. And so the most positive thing you can do to improve your sleep health is reduce exposure to brain-stimulating activities in the evening and develop a sleep-friendly routine.

(Stay tuned for Part Two – featuring the 10 tips for better sleep!)

 

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Peter Litchfield_Sleep Hygiene ExpertPeter Litchfield is the author of “Six Steps to Sleep,” the popular, natural program that cures insomnia and improves overall sleep health.

Happy Veterans Day from Cuddledown

Today, we’re honoring all those who have served our country, past or present. We sincerely thank you for your time and dedication.

Veterans Day by brianjmatis, on flickr

Veterans Day by brianjmatis, on flickr

On a different note, today is also the final day of our president’s birthday celebration – which means that it’s the final day of free shipping at cuddledown.com! Click through the link to start shopping: Free Shipping 

It’s our president’s birthday – and you get the present!

Don’t tell our boss! While he’s out celebrating his birthday, we’re offering you free shipping sitewide! Click through this link to activate the promotion: Free Shipping

Hurry, free shipping ends Monday, November 11th. Now’s the perfect time to start picking out comfy holiday gifts for your friends and family (and yourself)!

Free shipping this weekend, November 8-11!

Free shipping this weekend, November 8-11!

The easiest way to improve your guest bedroom

It’s that time of year again! We’re starting to think about making our homes a little cozier for the holidays, and what better place to start than with the guest bedroom. If you’re a little strapped for time (who isn’t?) but want to perk up a tired guest bed, why not add …

Cuddledown Extra Thick Waterproof Comfort Pad

Cuddledown Extra Thick Waterproof Comfort Pad

A mattress pad! Although they aren’t the most glamorous element of a top-notch bed, mattress pads are essential in transforming a comfy bed into one that you’ll never want to leave. Not sure which mattress pad to choose? A couple of our favorites are the Ultimate Comfort Mattress Pad (with an average of 4.8/5 stars in 69 reviews) and the Plush Wool Fleece Pad that’s both cushiony and moisture wicking. For more help picking the perfect mattress pad, our article on How to Choose the Perfect Mattress Pad and mattress pad video are handy resources.

We’ll have more tips for getting your guest bedroom in tip-top shape soon – stay tuned!

Fall back (and don’t look at the sun)!

Eclipse viewing at Cuddledown

Eclipse viewing at Cuddledown

During the wee hours of Sunday, November 3, 2013, daylight savings time ends, gaining us an hour of sleep, at least in our minds. Harvard Medical School discusses why you really don’t gain that hour, and tips on how to adjust your sleep schedule.

In addition, there’s also a rare “hybrid” partial solar eclipse that can be viewed beginning at 5:19 a.m. EST (maximum viewing time is 6:13 a.m. with 61% coverage).

Normally you couldn’t get me out of my cozy, Cuddledown-enhanced bed on a Sunday at that early hour unless there was a fire or some other crisis… however, with the added hour of sleep… perhaps?

partial-solar-eclipse-may-20-2012

Partial Solar Eclipse, Austin, TX, 2012 - credit: mrlaugh’s photostream

The “hybrid” solar eclipse will be visible from the East Coast here, to Europe, all the way to parts of Africa and the Middle East, according to EarthSky.com. The eclipse will begin over North America at sunrise and will move east through sunset on Sunday evening.

Unlike a total eclipse, or an annular eclipse (where the moon covers all but a bright ring around the circumference of the sun), this eclipse is a hybrid. It starts as an annular eclipse before the Moon’s orbit gets close enough to Earth to become a total eclipse. Of course here on the East Coast, we’ll just see a partial eclipse. Of the nearly 12,000 solar eclipses that have occurred since 1999 BC, fewer than five percent are hybrid eclipses, according to a report from Universe Today.

So don’t forget to turn your clock back when you go to bed (by 2:00 a.m. on Sunday). And if you are an early bird, or would love to see the rarely-occurring eclipse, either stay up, or get up early and enjoy (with safe viewing glasses of course – whatever you do, do NOT look directly at the eclipse!)

Pillows 40% off, for just 40 hours!!

Cuddledown pillows 40% off for 40 hoursIn need of a terrific sleep pillow?  Our Cuddledown comfy pillow features lofty, synthetic fill and a 100% cotton shell!  And, best of all, for the next 40 hours, you can get this pillow for 40% off!

You can choose from a soft pillow, perfect for stomach sleepers; a medium fill pillow – ideal for people who sleep on their backs or sides; or even an overfilled pillow, which supports the neck, perfect for side sleepers. Our synthetic fill is hypoallergenic and irritant free — it’s the next best thing to down itself and this pillow’s shell is soft, yet durable 100% cotton cambric fabric, and like all our shells, is Oeko-Tex certified to be free from harmful chemicals!  Plus our pillows are made right here in our Maine factory by our team of skilled bedding experts!

Don’t miss out on the chance to save big on a pillow that will provide you with true sleep comfort – but this deal is only good for 40 hours!

 

 

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