The Bedding Snob

Cultivating relaxation need not leave you starving for style …

Shake up your routine! Tips for a healthy, happy retirement

Officially Retired Tiara Crown by Steven Repolo via Flickr

If you’re retired and find that you don’t always know what to do with your extra time, then keep on reading!

  1. Join a club- there are clubs for almost every hobby out there, whether it’s sports, arts and crafts, reading or playing card games. If you’re not sure what to join, start by making a list of the activities you enjoy the most or have always wanted to try but never had time to pursue.
  2. Be a foodie- who doesn’t like eating food? Designate a day of the week or month when you try a new restaurant or dish. Researching and planning the trip can be a fun and exciting experience for yourself or for you and your spouse. It’s also a great reason to go somewhere you’ve never been and meet new people.
  3. Find a part-time job or volunteer work- this may sound like the exact opposite of why you retired, but having a low-stress, part-time job is a great way to meet new people and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with it. Try choosing a job or volunteer position related to your hobbies and interests to make it even more fun.
  4. Go exploring- if traveling to a different country or state isn’t an option, then check out places in your own community or neighboring towns that you’ve never been to before. You can visit museums, parks, concerts, community events, libraries or scenic walking trails. If you live in Maine, visit our Maine places page for the inside scoop on hidden gems around the state. Or, if there aren’t many community events offered in your area and you enjoy event planning, volunteer to organize some!
  5. Spend quality time with your family- now that you have more control over your time, make sure to spend some of it with your loved ones. Plan visits with your children, grandchildren, relatives and friends.

Most retirees love post-work life, so reaching out to your retired friends for advice on what to do is another great idea. Whatever you choose to do, we hope you spend your retirement years happy, healthy and active! 

Grand parents on the North Pier by Snapshooter46 via Flickr

Apps and devices made to help you sleep- good or bad?

Photo: "Sleeptime" by Kengo via Flickr

Have you ever monitored the light, sounds and movements that occur while you sleep? It sounds like something you’d see in a lab with scientists conducting research, but with today’s technology, we can now do all of that at home with easily obtainable apps and other devices. These range from apps you can download for free to masks that sell for a few hundred dollars.

Although these technologies aim to help you get a better night’s sleep, can some of them actually cause more harm than good? The newly developed sleep tracker from Sense, for example, monitors light, sounds and movement while you sleep and then provides a sleep score while also charting previous ones. Focusing on these grade-like scores, however, might just add another item to your list of things to stress about. Other devices go as far as monitoring your muscle tension, eye movements and brain activity. The NeuroOn does this while encouraging a 20 minute nap every four hours instead of the 7-8 hours that most sleep experts recommend.

Outside of supervised labs conducting research, do we really need all of these sleep devices? Recently, a smartphone caught fire when it slipped under the sleeper’s pillow and overheated. Since sleep apps require placing the smartphone near your pillow, it’s something to keep in mind. Getting a good night’s sleep shouldn’t be stressful or dangerous!

We would love you hear your thoughts about sleep apps and devices. Let us know by leaving a comment below!

 

Back-to-school: Getting a Better Night’s Sleep

Sleeping by Timothy Krause via Flickr

If your child is heading back to school in a couple weeks, then it’s important to understand the significance of getting a good night’s sleep and transition into more consistent bed time habits now that summer is sadly almost over. This is because studies have shown that sleep is not only critical for memory- leading to better grades- but that it has a big impact on one’s overall health. A good night’s sleep can help with grades, sports performance and alertness, which is crucial if they are driving to school or have to walk across busy streets. Going over the following tips with your child will help lead to a better night’s sleep.

1. Sunlight is a natural alarm clock, so if your child doesn’t need to get up at sunrise, try using blackout curtains or shades to keep the rays out. An extra tip for waking up less abruptly than a traditional alarm clock is to use a wake up light that gradually increases its brightness, simulating sunrise.

2. Although a nice long nap after a tiring school day sounds relaxing, it will disturb the body’s natural sleep cycle and make it harder to fall asleep later on. A short 15 minute nap will give a boost of energy without keeping your child awake at night.

3. Lastly, going to sleep at the same time every day helps set the circadian rhythm. With that in mind, it’s important to have a consistent bed time. Winding down about 30 minutes before bed also helps relax the mind and prepare it for sleep. Avoid high energy activities or using electronics that stimulate the mind.

On average, school-age children between the ages of five and twelve need about ten hours of sleep, while teenagers need nine. The infographic below shows just how important sleep is!

Infographic by Alissa Scheller for The Huffington Post

Back-to-School: Dorm Room Essentials

Warren | Moore Colleges: Double Room by Vanderbilt University via Flickr

This summer is flying by and many college students will be heading off to campus in just a few weeks. If your child happens to be in that group, then you’ve probably been hearing about all kinds of decorating ideas. As much fun as decorating a new space can be, it’s important to remember that comfort should also be a top priority. These 3 easy tips will be helpful in creating a much more comfortable living space, even if that space happens to be the size of a large closet.

1. The first thing to tackle is that questionable dorm mattress, which often comes with mysterious stains and odors. A featherbed will help to make it more comfortable and a quality mattress protector will help separate your child from all of the allergens, bed bugs and dust mites that could be lurking. Our Student Bed Protection Kit is a great option, as it includes protectors for the mattress and pillows. Plus, it has earned the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

2. In addition to bed protection, soft sheets are also essential for sleeping comfortably. Finding high-quality sheets in twin XL, however, can be a struggle. Our 350 thread count twin XL sheets won’t fall apart after years of use, and come in a variety of colors to match any room. They’re also easy to clean, which your child will definitely appreciate!

3. Since space is limited and dorm room chairs can be uncomfortable, reading and studying away from the desk often happens. When studying in bed, reading pillows are great for helping your child sit comfortably. And when studying or hanging out in the student lounge or common area, cozy slippers are definitely necessary. UGG® slippers are warm, comfy and also trendy!

Check out our previous posts for even more tips on creating a cozy dorm space and for decorating ideas.

and so it begins by Stevie Rae via Flickr

Napping at work- forward thinking or faux pas?

Nap pod at Google HQ by Joe Loong via Flickr

Falling asleep at work has traditionally been a big no-no. Many employers think of it as a sign of laziness or an unproductive use of time. Research, however, shows that a short power nap can actually increase productivity by 34% and alertness by 100%. This leads to a much more efficient worker who is less likely to have accidents or make mistakes.

With such an increase in efficiency, some companies have started encouraging post-lunch naps. Just a few of those forward-thinking companies include Nike, Google and Ben & Jerry’s. Google has even installed napping pods and has designated certain areas as quiet space.

If you find yourself getting hit by the afternoon slump, but your office isn’t equipped with high-tech napping pods, try bringing a small pillow and travel blanket to work. You just may find that a quick 15 minute power nap will allow you to get much more work done than if you had decided to slog through the afternoon. For additional napping help, check out our previous blog post for more tips.

Let us know in the comment section below what your thoughts about napping at work are and if you happen to do it!

5 Tips to Sleep Cool this Summer

Hot summer weather is great for planning beach trips and BBQs, but it can be a nightmare to sleep in. If air conditioning isn’t an option, then try these five tips to beat the summer heat and get a good night’s sleep.

1. Increase air circulation- Fans make you feel cooler by increasing the rate sweat evaporates from the skin and also by redistributing the air. To maximize the fan’s effectiveness, try placing the fan in front of a window if it’s cooler outside. If it’s hotter outside, then place a bucket of ice between the fan and your bed.

2. Change your sheets- It’s time to ditch the flannel sheets for something more lightweight. Look for natural fibers since they’ll help wick away moisture and are much more breathable than synthetics. Linen and percale are great choices.

3. Take a cold shower- Before hopping into bed, take a cold shower to temporarily cool off, which will help you fall asleep faster. It will also make you more comfortable in bed by removing the sweat and stickiness built up during the day. For additional cooling relief, try using a peppermint infused shower gel.

4. Keep the sun out- Sunlight shining through the window will increase the temperature of your home. Closing the blinds during the day will maintain a cooler temperature that will carry into the night.

5. Freeze your bedding- Place your pillowcases, or all of your sheets, into a reclosable bag and then leave them in the freezer until you’re ready for bed. You can also try using items specifically made to be put in the freezer, like this soothing neck pillow. This simple trick takes sleeping on the cool side of the pillow to a whole other level.

Sweet dreams!

Sleepy Time via Alexandra Guerson on Flickr

American marathoner Shalane Flanagan races for the win in Boston

Shalane Flanagan (center) in 2010. Photo courtesy of outsideonline.com/Don Feria/Corbis

Shalane Flanagan (center) in 2010. Photo courtesy of outsideonline.com/Don Feria/Corbis

For elite runner Shalane Flanagan, this year’s Boston Marathon is especially meaningful. Growing up just north of Boston in Marblehead, Massachusetts, she had a love of running from a young age and thought that “Patriots’ Day was a national holiday and that everything revolved around the Boston Marathon.” Both of her parents competed in the marathon and she remembers standing at the finish as a child, cheering them on. Last year, Flanagan herself finished fourth in the race and recalls feeling disappointed about her finish, until hearing about the bombings. She then became the first runner to commit to the 2014 race, and has dedicated herself not only to running a personal best, but to winning the women’s division.

Recently, Anderson Cooper of 60 Minutes sat down with (or rather, laced up his sneakers and ran with) Flanagan, who talked about her training plan and strategy. The “pony-tailed assassin in knee socks” described the learning curve associated with marathon running, and how proper pacing is critical to success. Currently, she runs up to 120 miles per week, fitting in weight training and high-altitude runs to achieve peak fitness.

We’ll be cheering on Shalane today when she races in the 118th Boston Marathon, as we keep those impacted by last year’s tragic events in our thoughts. We’re so inspired by the strength and dedication of those racing, and wish the best of luck to all of the athletes!

It’s National Plant a Flower Day!

We’re not quite ready to plant flowers here in Maine, as we brace for yet another large snowstorm heading our way this evening. However, even if it’s too early for us to start gardening, we’re thinking spring with fresh florals … on our beds!

Cotton Percale Garden Floral Bedding at cuddledown.com

Cotton Percale Garden Floral Bedding at cuddledown.com

To find more spring bedding, sleepwear, and slippers, head over to cuddledown.com. You’ll also find a large selection of clearance items – up to 75% off – with more being added regularly. Happy shopping!

Spring forward without losing sleep

Sure sign of spring by blmiers2, on flickr

Sure sign of spring by blmiers2, on flickr

We’re looking forward to the unofficial start of spring this weekend as we set our clocks forward and jump into daylight saving time. However, even this small transition can throw our circadian rhythm out of sync, leading to increased fatigue and grogginess. Luckily, there are several simple ways to get back on track and wake up well-rested Monday morning.

1. Soak up sunlight at the right time  Since our circadian rhythm is affected by the balance of light and darkness, you can help to reset yours by heading outside at dawn this Saturday and Sunday. If that’s not feasible, limiting your time outside at sunset can also help with the transition.

2. Exercise  Spending time exercising outdoors on Sunday is a great way to ease into the time change, as you’ll most likely feel tired and ready for bed earlier. Although it’s frequently debated, sleep experts recommend exercising in the morning for better sleep, as vigorous exercise before bedtime can keep you up later.

3. Eat dinner a little earlier To fully prepare for your earlier bedtime, you might want to eat dinner a bit earlier Sunday night (particularly important if you are typically a night owl)! You also might consider having a meal that promotes sleep, while avoiding caffeine intake late in the day.

How do you deal with the transition to daylight saving time? We’d love to read your feedback in the comments section below!

Olympians make sleep a priority in Sochi

Sochi Olympics team figure skating medal ceremony

Jeremy Abbot and teammates at the Sochi Olympics team figure skating medal ceremony

For Olympians like Jeremy Abbot, going for the gold starts with getting a good night’s sleep. In fact, Abbot even brought his own queen-size mattress to Sochi so that he could avoid tossing and turning on the twin-size beds at the Olympic village! Reflecting on his experience at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Abbot told NBCOlympics.com, “I toss and turn a lot. For the two and a half weeks I was in Vancouver I didn’t sleep one full night because I was always afraid that I was going to roll off the bed.”

Talking about his portable queen-size mattress, Abbot commented that “[The mattress] is really high; it’s a legitimate bed. Getting it here was a pain; it weighs 25 pounds. I literally packed a suitcase just for the bed, but it’s definitely worth it.”

Sleep experts agree that as little as one extra hour of sleep per night can improve athletic performance. In an interview on the Huffington Post, sleep specialists Haley A. Davis and James B. Maas, Ph.D explained how athletes can reap the maximum benefits from sleep. By sleeping at least 7 hours and delaying early morning exercise until later in the day (if possible), athletes can improve their muscle memory, leading to better performance.

We hope all of the Olympians have been able to get some much-needed sleep in Sochi – and a big congrats to Jeremy Abbot and his teammates (above) for their bronze medal in the figure skating team competition!

“Rush More” to Save — Why President’s Day Includes Sales?!

Mount Rushmore Ever wonder what’s with all the sales on President’s Day?  Or why it’s even called “President’s Day?” Thanks to the History Channel, we’ve learned more about the holiday and how it came to be, and have shared the highlights here!

In 1885 the government created an official, nation-wide holiday to recognize our first president, George Washington, and it was held on his actual birthday, February 22.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon issued an executive order, passing an act known as the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, that moved the dates of certain holidays to create more three-day weekends for workers. Thus the holiday formerly known as Washington’s Birthday was changed to the third Monday in February, and at the same time, the name was changed to President’s Day, to honor both Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as the date fell between their birthdays.

With the new three-day weekend, retailers took advantage and began to promote sales during the post-Christmas down time. Over the years, the retail opportunity has taken off and many businesses hold such sales during the holiday. Cuddledown too, is taking the opportunity to share some discounts with our customers!

Cuddledown Comforter and Mattress Pad SaleDuring this month, our once-a-year comforter and mattress pad sale is going on – with big savings on many Cuddledown items made right here in the USA! And during the holiday weekend itself, our Freeport Outlet Store here in Maine, is having a President’s Weekend sale with 25% off all regularly priced merchandise and deep discounts on select items, such as 50% off comforters, up to 70% off duvet covers and even pillow shams for $3-5!

So although it may seem like an odd way to honor our country’s leaders, you can do your Presidential part and go get something comfy – on sale!

 

Cuddledown Wishes You a Comfy New Year!

Cuddledown's Winter White SaleWe could say our New Year’s resolution is to get outdoors and go jogging, but then again, it’s 8 degrees outside!? Or we could actually uncover the exercise bike that’s being used for a clothes hanger… but then where would we hang our clothes??  So perhaps a more realistic and comfy resolution is to crawl back under the covers in our cozy beds and catch some more ZZZZZs!

Our New Year’s wish for everyone is happiness and good health – and of course that means getting a good night’s sleep!  Right now, you can refresh and renew your bedroom with cozy, new bedding – now on sale! So relax, enjoy the day, and if you’re ready to start the New Year with some new bedding – you can shop from the comfort of your couch in our Winter White Sale!

When the Snow Miser appears – it’s time to get cozy!

Here in Maine, today we all woke up to ungodly cold temperatures – all in the negative range (from -5 or so in Yarmouth where our offices are, to -18 inland!)  So, needless to say, avoiding the chill is going to be a challenge! However, here at Cuddledown, we know everything there is to know about staying warm and cozy!

From our lofty, insulating down comforters (up to an amazing 1000 fill power!) to luxuriously snuggly faux fur throws, to warm and comfy UGG® slippers, boots, gloves and earmuffs, to soft cotton flannel PJs and bedding – we’ve got your back when it comes to keeping warm! And we are even offering some of our toasty, snuggly goodness on sale now!

Snow MiserAnd PS: when you’ve got warm and cozy Cuddledown in your life, this guy can’t win!!

It’s Flannel PJ Friday! PLUS they’re 40% off for 40 hours!

Cuddledown's 40% off for 40 hours sale-Flannel SleepwearAs this is the last first Friday of our 40th Anniversary (confused yet?), here at Cuddledown we’re celebrating with a great sale on our comfy flannel sleepwear collection! You’ll save 40% off for 40 hours! At this time of year, who doesn’t want to snuggle up in soft, comfy PJs or a nightgown? This perfectly cozy collection of sleepwear makes for a great gift, for your loved ones or for you!

Our collection includes a nice mix of traditional, classic button down, 100% cotton flannel pajama sets, nightshirts or nightgowns, as well as more trendy knit cotton tops matched with comfy flannel pants (for wearing as lounge pants too). And you’ll be all set for the holidays, with fun winter hats, cheerful snowflakes, or soothing pine tree designs!

So don’t miss out on this last chance to save 40% off – the clock’s ticking!

Who came up with that name “Cyber Monday”? Robots?

Robots - Rosie, R2D2, C3PO, Wall-EWhenever I hear that term “Cyber Monday” I picture a bunch of robots out doing my shopping for me – and wouldn’t that be awesome?! Online shopping comes in a close second in my book though – sure beats standing in line with hundreds of tired, annoyed shoppers!

According to Dictionary.com, the term “Cyber Monday” was first used as part of a marketing strategy in 2005 to refer to the Monday following Black Friday, and featured online shopping deals.

Dictionary.com defines the prefix “cyber” as referencing “computer,” “computer network,” or “virtual reality.” From the Greek root word “kybernetes,” meaning “steersman,” it is used in compound words like “cyberart,” “cyberspace,”and “cybernetics.” While use of the prefix boomed with the widespread use of the Internet in the 1990s, its English origin dates back to 1948, when U.S. mathematician Norbert Wiener came up with “cybernetics,” the study of human control functions and of mechanical and electronic systems designed to replace them. Weiner applied statistical mechanics to engineering, paving the way for computer programming. In cybernetics, human knowledge creates and guides electronic systems, metaphorically steering them.

Cyber Monday at Cuddledown, save 25% off and free shipping!This Cyber Monday, you’ll be steered towards some great deals and here at Cuddledown we have our share – everything online is 25% off, plus you’ll get free shipping! So don’t wait, do some cybershopping and save – time and money!  And tell them Rosie the Robot sent you!

 

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