The Bedding Snob

Cultivating relaxation need not leave you starving for style …

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!

 

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 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.

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!

 

 

Love organic cotton sheets? They’re 40% off for 40 hours!

Cuddledown organic percale sheets 40% offIf you love organic cotton, you’ll love our Cuddledown organic cotton percale sheets!  Best of all, they’re 40% off for 40 hours, so get them now to enjoy a great night’s sleep.

Made from 300 thread count, 100% organic cotton, our percale sheets are also Oeko-tex® certified to be free of harmful chemicals. Plus, even better, they’re GOTS certified. The Global Organic Trade Standard is used around the world to guarantee that in addition to being organic, safe fabrics, certified products are also manufactured in a fair and just working environment.

You’ll not only enjoy the crisp, lightweight feel of these Cuddledown organic percale sheets, but will sleep well knowing that they are safe for you and your family, as well as the environment.

But don’t miss out, the clock’s ticking!

Want some soft and cozy sleep – at 40% off?

Cuddledown colored sateen comforter, 40x40 saleThis month’s 40% off for 40 hours sale features our heavenly 600 fill power down Cuddledown comforter in a rainbow of soft hues! Our best-selling, smooth 400 thread count 100% cotton sateen is filled with just the right amount of our lofty 600 Fill Power European Duck Down for a perfectly soft and cozy night’s sleep.

The colors coordinate with our customer favorite 400 thread count Sateen bedding for great decorating options – you won’t even need a duvet cover! And better yet, these lovely comforters are Oeko-tex® certified to be free of harmful chemicals and healthy for you and your family, plus they’re handcrafted right here in the USA!

It may not be cold enough yet for a comforter, but cooler weather is on its way, so get it now while it’s 40% off!

Bright and comfy – and now on sale – 40% off for 40 hours!

Cuddledown oversized quilted blanketAugust is here already? But (you’re no doubt saying) summer’s just begun?!  Back to school can’t be happening in a few weeks!!?? This month, our Cuddledown First Friday Sale features the perfect bedding for student to take to college, a brightly colored, oversized, quilted blanket – great for any temperature, and easy care – just toss it in the wash!  And since it’s oversized, the Twin will fit those Twin XL dorm beds (or use the full size for even more coverage!) Or brighten the décor in your own bedroom, or your family room or living room, as it comes in a Throw size as well.

Our quilted blankets or throws are made from smooth 350 thread count, 100% combed cotton percale and filled with hypoallergenic synthetic fill that lofts and clusters just like down! And the colors coordinate with our 350 thread count percale sheeting. The blanket  is generously oversized, so you can easily tuck the sides under your mattress.

But don’t wait, this blanket is now 40% off – but only for 40 hours!

The Maine Lobster Festival takes place this week!

revenginator by newneonunion, on flickr

revenginator by newneonunion, on flickr

Summer in Maine just isn’t complete without lobster, so why not get your fix at the Maine Lobster Festival from July 31 – August 4! This annual event takes place in the beautiful coastal town of Rockland, known for shipbuilding and its artsy downtown district. At the Lobster Festival, which brings in thousands of visitors from around the world, you’ll find a wide range of lobster-related activities (naturally), from a lobster crate race, to a seafood cooking contest, to the coronation of the Maine Sea Goddess! Plus, there’s no shortage of lobster in all forms, including lobster Caesar salad and the traditional lobster dinner.

For more information including directions and a schedule of events, visit the Maine Lobster Festival Website. 

Design inspiration: the world’s most beautiful college dorms

Utrecht University, the Netherlands (photo courtesy of Flavorwire, Scagliola and Brakkee, and designboom)

Utrecht University, the Netherlands (photo courtesy of Flavorwire, Scagliola and Brakkee, and designboom)

With back-to-school time coming up next month, we thought it would be the perfect time to take a peek at some of the world’s most beautiful dorms.  From a building with the country’s largest exterior climbing wall in the Netherlands to a dorm with a 125-seat theater at MIT, these residence halls get high marks for both aesthetics and amenities.

The Campagneplein Dormitory at University Twente, the Netherlands (photo courtesy of Flavorpill/Eikongraphia)

The Campagneplein Dormitory at University Twente, the Netherlands (photo courtesy of Flavorwire/Eikongraphia)

Tell us, how did your dorm compare to these palatial spaces? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

How to get more A’s in college – get more Z’s

 

1970s dorm room

1970s dorm room

Dorm rooms haven’t changed all that much from the 1970s when Cuddledown was founded until now. Some dorms today may look more like a high-end hotel suite, and of course, students come with a wide array of technology, from iPads to flat screen TVs, and some dorms even allow coed rooms (yes, men and women sharing the same room!). But the essentials are still the same. From the hard and narrow twin-size dorm room beds, to the annoying loud parties next door (of course you never joined in!), to the roomies snoring, watching TV, or inviting friends in late at night, it’s amazing college students can even function by noon, much less get up for an early morning class.

Dorm room 2000s

Dorm room_2000s

There’s a growing awareness on college campuses that sleep plays a huge part in a student’s success at college, but only a few are acknowledging it, or providing education on the topic. In a 2012 article on the impact of sleep on college students by the Washington Times,  a health official at the University of Arizona stated that the average student is functioning with a clinical sleep disorder, averaging about 6.5 hours per night (an amount they say is over-reported, so the actual number is probably lower).  And a University of Delaware psychologist said that students who think they have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder often are just sleep-deprived, and that improving sleep is a far better option than taking medications.

Cuddledown Meribel Comforter_perfect for students

Cuddledown Meribel Comforter_perfect for students

One very simple way for college students to get more sleep is to create a better sleep environment. That can include earplugs to avoid all the noise in a typical dorm. And another is to avoid early morning classes! But the best way to get a good night’s sleep is to make your student’s dorm bed into a heavenly nest with perfectly comfy bedding. And where could one find such a thing?  Why Cuddledown of course! Keep your student happy and well-rested with our collection of comfy college bedding, including sheets, comforters, mattress pads and more in Twin or Twin XL sizes, as well as our student bedding protection kit to protect from dust mites, bedbugs and other nasties!

 

Easy dorm decorating tips!

Inside a dorm room by MTSOfan, on flickr

Inside a dorm room by MTSOfan, on flickr

Even though it’s not quite back-to-school time yet, it isn’t too early to start thinking about ways to decorate the dorm. Granted, dorm rooms aren’t always the coziest places (think linoleum floors and worn-out mattresses), but with a little TLC, they can be made much more comfortable – and stylish, too! Here are a few simple ways your college-bound student can perk up his or her space.

1. Add a DIY Headboard. If your child is lucky enough to have a relatively spacious dorm room, she might consider making a cute headboard to add personality to the space. A handy headboard tutorial can be found at HGTV.com.

2. Decorate walls with removable wallpaper. If allowed by the school, dress up a plain wall with patterned peel-off paper! To find out how to make your own, our post on DIY wallpaper has everything you’ll need to know.

3. Top the bed with a colorful comforter. A bright, fun comforter will not only keep your child cozy, but also will make a drab dorm room more cheerful. Our Meribel comforters are available in both down and synthetic fills, and come in several bold colors. Even better – they’re now on sale!

4. Bring in a hardy plant. Not only do plants purify the air, they also add beauty to desks and night tables. When selecting a plant, choose one that’s relatively low-maintenance, like cactus or aloe vera.

5. Look to Pinterest. For more decorating tips, follow us on Pinterest, where you’ll find ideas for simple DIY projects, upcycled decor, room inspiration and more.

Tell us, what are your tips for decorating tiny spaces? We’d love to hear!

Supremely comfy featherbed – 40% off for 40 hours!

Cuddledown Original Baffle Box Featherbed 40% off sale

Cuddledown Original Baffle Box Featherbed 40% off sale

As most of the nation swelters in the hot July weather, perhaps a cozy featherbed is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, if you’ve got a/c or if you’re thinking ahead to the cooler months, now’s the time to get one of our supremely comfy featherbeds – because for the next 40 hours, it’s 40% off!

Our Original Baffle-Box Featherbed gives you an extra layer of comfort and support that you’ll look forward to every night. Made with 100% cotton twill fabric and filled with a blend of 95% Small Goose Feather/5% Goose Down, it’s supportive yet soft, plus it’s Oeko-Tex® certified to be free of all harmful chemicals. And best of all, it’s made right here in Maine by our own bedding experts, so you can be sure of its quality!

Maine restaurant wins “America’s Best Lobster Roll” competition!

Lobster roll from the Clam Shack of Kennebunkport, ME (photo courtesy of the Clam Shack)

Lobster roll from The Clam Shack of Kennebunkport, ME (photo courtesy of the Clam Shack)

For the second consecutive year, The Clam Shack of Kennebunkport, ME has been crowned the winner of the Lobster Roll Rumble! Taking place in New York City, the Lobster Roll Rumble brings together 20 contestants to compete for the coveted title of “America’s Best Lobster Roll.” Three other Maine restaurants were also in the running – Bite Into Maine, Eventide Oyster Co., and The Galley Restaurant & Pub – with Eventide’s brown butter lobster roll taking home the title of “Editor’s Choice.”

If all this lobster talk has you hungry, why not plan a trip to Maine and sample some! In addition to the delicious restaurants mentioned here, our Employee Favorites page highlights some of the best eateries around, plus events, outdoor venues, and shops!

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