When it comes to making massive savings on bedding purchases, there’s one period of the year that every bargain hunter waits for..the winter holiday sale!
If you missed any of the previous big mattress sale days, now’s the perfect time to begin your hunt. Pre and post-Christmas, boxing day, and the end of year sale is a time when everywhere you turn there’s a deal to be had.
Usually starting shortly after the November Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale, the next best time to buy a mattress is in early December, through the holiday and into the new year in early January. During this whole 4-6 week period some of the leading manufacturers offer discounts and coupon codes that can get you savings of up to 70% off your order.
So, whether it’s a pillow, mattress, or some other type of bedding, browse through some of the best brands below to find the perfect deal for you. Take advantage of sitting at home in the warmth comparing deals, ordering to your doorstep, and arranging hassle-free returns after lengthy in-home trials if you’re unsatisfied.
Please note, some of the before and after Christmas sales, and new year deals will require that you enter a promo code during the checkout stage to apply the discount, while others simply require you to click the link and follow through to their site to receive the saving.
Holiday Sale – Get up to $100 off and choose a free product with a mattress purchase
Many people would much rather wait until the next upcoming sale to cash in on huge savings. Why pay full price when you can save money, right? Everyone loves a bargain, and November is one of the best times to grab one. There are numerous big sale days in the US, and there’s one that gets bigger and better every year..
It’s back, and the 2018 Black Friday mattress sale has already seen massive savings from many of the top brands in this industry. Many of the retailers have started their sales early, and this year seems to have more choice and bigger discounts than ever before.
Gone are the days of queuing for ages at busy brick and mortar stores. Buying mattresses online is a new phenomenon that comes with hassle-free returns and lengthy in-home trials. Simply sit from the comfort of your own home and compare the best offers in your own time.
So, why not kick-start your winter with a comfortable new mattress or some luxurious goose down pillows? Whatever you fancy, there’s a deal for it below.
Please note, some of the Black Friday mattress deals will require that you enter a promo code during the checkout stage to apply the discount, while others don’t.
Get up to $100 off the Original Purple Mattress + get a FREE Purple Blanket
Getting a new mattress can be an exciting time, after all, you spend about a quarter of your life in bed, and therefore it’s not only an important investment, but it can drastically improve your quality of life. But things aren’t all rosy; there are some health issues that you need to consider when you receive your new purchase, especially when one of those is an off-gassing mattress.
Although there is a serious debate in the healthcare community about the health impacts of off-gassing, what’s not debated is the effect it can have on the environment and your air quality. Mattresses aren’t produced using only natural ingredients, and therefore the manufacturing process uses machinery, chemicals, and human-made products.
What Is Mattress Off-Gassing?
Mattress off-gassing is the continual release of gases from your mattress, not only at night but also throughout the day. Off-gassing occurs as a result of the breakdown in the volatile organic compounds, known as VOCs, which are emitted as gases or vapors from some of the compounds in the product.
VOCs aren’t rare, in fact, they are found in thousands of the products which we use in homes every day including cleaning products, paints, and air fresheners. Typically, the VOCs which are released from your mattress will come from the adhesives and foams used in the product.
These VOCs Include:
These volatile organic compounds break down over time, slowly releasing these gases into our homes. However, studies have shown that a huge percentage of all the gas that will be released is done so in the first two months of the product being used.
This statistic is important because while VOCs could be harmful. In small quantities, it’s unlikely to have any drastic impact while at higher concentrations it could be dangerous. In this first two months, the concentration of VOC emissions is likely to be far higher and therefore during this period you must make an effort to reduce the risk to yourself and your family.
Memory Foam Off-Gassing
Memory foam is so called because it adapts to the shape of your body. Once you stand up, you’ll see an imprint of your body before it quickly returns to the standard shape. Memory foam is viscoelastic foam which is what many popular brands use, including some of the Tempur-Pedic mattresses below.
Many believe that memory foam off-gassing is far more prevalent than other materials, because memory foam mattresses have a more pungent smell which tends to last for weeks instead of days.
For this reason, it’s even more important that you allow the product to air out before you start using it. If you can, leaving it upright near a window for two to three days can drastically reduce the smell and allows much of the VOCs to break down and the gases to be released. As usual, removing the sheets and allowing for regular off-gassing can reduce the smell quicker.
Mattress Off-Gassing How Long?
It’s unrealistic for us to allow it to air out for weeks on end. You need the space in your home, and you want to be able to use the new product that you just paid for. As a result, most experts recommend that you air it out for 24 hours, a number which is backed by the Sleep Products Safety Council.
Once this time has passed, you can smell the surface up close and compare it to how visceral the scent was when it first arrived. As long as the smell doesn’t bother you any longer, it’s okay for you to start sleeping on it. If the scent is too strong, you can continue to air it out for longer and rotate it periodically to ensure that the entire bed can air out.
How To Air Out A New Mattress
When you first unbox one, you’ll notice a potent chemical smell which can be overpowering and nauseating. While the jury is still out on whether it’s dangerous for your health in small amounts and for short periods, the smell is unpleasant, and it can make you reluctant to sleep. To prevent this, you need to do whatever you can to air it out. Here are some tips:
Remove Plastic Cover Immediately
All mattresses will come covered with a thin plastic layer which prevents staining and damage during transportation. However, not only does this plastic have a noticeably unpleasant smell, but it also keeps in the VOCs from the foam and adhesives, preventing them from escaping and causing them to seep back into the bed.
Typically to conform to local safety laws, they are doused with chemical flame retardants that help to reduce the spread of fire. However, some believe that these chemicals can cause a variety of severe health problems including developmental brain disorders and cancer. To reduce this risk, you must remove the plastic and let the gas escape, typically for about 24 hours at least.
Choosing Where To Air It Out
Some bloggers have suggested that airing out your mattress outdoors can speed up the process and allow for greater gas release. However, there seems to be little evidence of this, and it will drastically increase the risk of damage from critters and animals.
Outside it’s likely that bugs will end up on the surface, even if you’re airing it out on a balcony or outside of your condo. Instead, it’s wise to keep it inside at all times to prevent it from becoming tarnished.
The smartest way to air out your mattress is to lean it up against a wall near a range of windows so that only the smallest amount of the surface is touching the floor and wall. This position allows for greater ventilation and ensures that more of the gas is released. If you leave it lying down the gases from the bottom will be unable to escape.
Reducing The Chemical Smell
To reduce the smell which is going to spread through the home, you ideally want to locate the mattress on a wall near to a few windows. By opening these windows, you can create air circulation which will drag out the VOCs and the associated smell, while bringing in fresh air which will allow you to continue to enjoy your home.
It’s also possible to use air freshener to mask the smell but because these release VOCs too it’s not the wisest decision. Instead, lighting a few candles around the home can get rid of much of the scent without putting more dangerous gases into your house.
With an open window and a few candles around the home, not near the mattress, you should notice that the smell dissipates significantly in the first few hours. After 24 hours, almost all of the scent should disappear, allowing you to start using your new bed.
In the first 24 hours, a lot of the VOCs are released, but they will continue to be emitted for the lifetime of the bed. Noticeably, in the first two months much of the lifetime VOCs will be released, and therefore you would expect the continuation of off-gassing for the first two months.
At least once a week it’s wise to peel back the sheets from the mattress and stand it up straight or lean it against a wall while you’re out at work. This period will allow further off-gassing which is nearly impossible with your sheets on the bed. Doing this once a week for the first eight weeks, with the windows open, will get rid of practically all of the smell and can drastically reduce the VOCs emissions in your home.
Mattress Off-Gassing Symptoms
Although the science is debatable, and experts are still figuring out the truth, many believe that the chemicals and products used in mattresses can cause health problems. Some suggest that they could lead to:
Skin, eye and lung irritation
Cancer from chronic toxic exposure
In particular, the pesticides which are found in textiles can influence the nervous system, contribute to cancer and cause skin and eye irritation.
Similarly, the flame-retardant chemicals, phthalates, and benzene have been linked to other issues including cancer, chromosome damage, fertility problems, and behavioral issues.
Using A Mattress Cover To Prevent Off-Gassing
One method that some homeowners and parents swear by is the use of a mattress cover to prevent off-gassing. A mattress wrap made using a polyethylene sheeting, or similar material can prevent gases from permeating through it, forcing off-gassing through the bottom of the mattress which is less likely to be inhaled.
The main problem is that we sleep directly on our mattresses with only thin cotton sheets, allowing the VOCs to be inhaled easily. A non-permeable cover can prevent this while still allowing the surface to breathe through the bottom. These wraps or covers also act as spill protectors, dust mite barriers and will trap bedbugs too.
Tuft and Needle Off-Gassing
Tuft and Needle mattresses are made using polyurethane foam which is incredibly comfortable to sleep on but more importantly, can be manipulated to fit into a box to ship directly to your home. Polyurethane foam is a common emitter of VOCs and is therefore tightly regulated by CertiPUR-US which measures the amount of gas emitted over a 72 hour period.
The mattresses from Tuft and Needle easily passed their safety test which means it gives off no more than 0.16ppm of benzene over 72 hours and 0.13ppm for toluene. The Tuft and Needle is shipped directly from the factory to your home in a box, and therefore it needs to be allowed to air out.
As with other brands, you’re required to remove it from the box and take off any plastic packaging before you let it expand. Once it is fully extended, you can lean it up against a wall with open windows to ensure circulation and leave it there for 24 hours to reduce the unpleasant smell and to allow the VOCs to be emitted. (Read the full Tuft and Needle Review).
According to some experts, Leesa is one of the most superior online mattress companies which also delivers in a box. With layers of supportive foam, it can help to give you a better night sleep and prevent aches and pains.
As with the Tuft and Needle mattresses, polyurethane foam is used because it’s incredibly effective, cheap and durable. However, it produces lots of VOCs and therefore airing out the bed to allow for off-gassing in the first few weeks is essential. While many would argue that the health impacts are negligible, the smell can be unpleasant and the effort required is minimal. (Read the full Leesa Mattress Review).
Tempur-Pedic is the manufacturer of possibly the most famous mattress of all time, which uses viscoelastic foam that allows for pressure reduction and adaptive temperature contouring. Traditional polyurethane foam which is used by Leesa and Tuft and Needle is excellent, but it compresses under your weight rather than contouring and adjusting.
These Tempur-Pedic mattresses can give you greater support where you need it with little to no counter pressure. However, many would argue that this type of viscoelastic foam, otherwise known as memory foam, has high levels of off-gassing.
To prevent against any increased risk, it’s wise to let your Tempur-Pedic air out for at least 24 hours. Also, ensure that you remove the sheets and stand it up to air out at least once per week for the first two months. After four weeks you will notice that practically all of the scent has disappeared.
Purple Mattress Off-Gassing
Purple is one of the fastest-growing companies of all time, originally started through a crowdfunding campaign. They use a variety of different materials in their mattresses, but for those worried about VOCs and off-gassing, it’s important to note that it uses polyurethane foam just like the Leesa.
Polyurethane foam off gasses quite heavily and because the Purple is transported in a box and plastic wrap, it might need slightly longer to off-gas than a mattress shipped whole in a container without any compressed wrapping. For this reason, make sure to remove the plastic wrapping quickly, let it expand and then lean it up against a wall to off-gas for 24 hours before use. (Read the full Purple Mattress Review).
Adding plants to your bedroom can help improve the overall aesthetic and feel of the environment. However, did you know that there are plants that help you sleep better? It’s true! Not only are they great for indoor decoration, they actually provide added benefits that promote healthier, more restful sleep like stress relief, better breathing, and allergy relief from mold and dust.
Instead of purchasing plants based simply on their appearance check out the best plants for bedroom use outlined here first.
What makes some plants better than others for the bedroom?
Several studies show that plants can benefit your sleep in multiple ways. The most prominent study comes from NASA and is highly regarded by sleep professionals.
Indoor plants for bedroom use have specific traits that make them particularly well suited for promoting healthier sleep.
Firstly, many plants have air purifying characteristics. They filter toxins out of the air like carbon dioxide and mold, absorb carbon dioxide, and emit oxygen-rich air. All of these characteristics facilitate easier breathing and lead to more restful sleep.
Secondly, the best bedroom plants also work as natural humidifiers by releasing moisture into the air through their leaves. If your bedroom is too dry it can create respiratory irritation, dry skin, and chapped lips, all of which have the potential to interrupt your sleep. By adding moisture emitting plants to your bedroom you can avoid any of these side effects which hinder peaceful sleep.
The best plants for bedroom air quality help reduce sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Additionally, they are known to reduce allergy symptoms, dry skin, and a dry respiratory tract.
Plants in bedroom ideas: our top 7 choices
There are many plants that will thrive in a bedroom environment, but which ones will also help you thrive in the process?
In no particular order, here are seven air purifying plants for bedroom use that have proven to help aid with sleep:
Snake Plant or Mother-In-Law’s Tongue
The snake plant is great for a bedroom because it emits oxygen at night while also taking in carbon dioxide. This mirrors the human breathing cycle which takes in oxygen and emits carbon dioxide. As a result, the snake plant gives us better, purer air quality overnight which promotes a more restful sleep.
You will not have to worry about picking up leaves that drop because it is hardy and durable, a result of its West African origin. The snake plant is also a slow grower so don’t be surprised if you don’t see growth at first.
The snake plant is easy to care for and only requires watering every couple of weeks. Make sure you use a pot with drainage holes standing water will cause it to rot. It will thrive in varying light conditions from low to bright.
Indoor Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe vera is one of the top-rated air purification plants according to the study done by NASA. It is very similar to a snake plant in the way it mirrors and compliments our respiratory cycle by emitting oxygen at night. However, it also emits oxygen during the day giving its priority status among plants for sleep.
The plant also purifies the air from toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde which can be found in plastics, detergents, adhesives, grout, varnishes, and floor finishes.
Aloe vera is very easy to care for. It only requires water every couple weeks and is very resilient if you forget. It does not need a lot of direct sunlight either. Aloe reproduces easily and can be separated and repotted so you have a plant in every room.
Aloe vera is also a great plant for natural remedies that have been used for centuries. If you cut a leaf off and open it up, the gel from inside can be used to apply on dry skin, insect bites, burns, and cuts.
An Indoor Spider Plant
A spider plant is an excellent air purifier. NASA tests show that it can remove approximately 90% of toxins in the air within just two days. Like aloe vera, it is exceptionally good at extracting formaldehyde from the air. People with dust allergies have found the spider plant helps alleviate their symptoms while cleaning the air.
This plant also excels at absorbing odors and fumes produced by other objects in the room. It allows a neutral, clean scent which helps you attain better rest all night long.
A spider plant will grow in all types of light and requires standard watering. If the tips of leaves start turning brown, you may want to water them with rainwater as they are hypersensitive to the fluoride which is often found in tap water. They reproduce quickly and you can report the dangling stems as you please.
An English Ivy
English Ivy grows well indoors and outdoors. In your bedroom, it is another one of NASA’s top plants for air purification. Studies show that the leaves help improve asthma and allergy symptoms for some individuals filtering allergens out of the air which improves the quality and quantity of the air in the room. This, in turn, leads to better sleep when placed in the bedroom.
English ivy is especially great at removing mold and feces particles in the air. This makes it a great plant for the bathroom as well as the bedroom.
This plant grows easily with a low to bright sunlight environment. It only needs minimal watering and can be groomed to grow in any direction you want simply by pinning the tendrils where you like.
This plant is toxic for kids and animals so use accordingly. You may want to use a hanging pot that can be placed out of reach.
An Indoor Peace Lily
NASA highly recommends the peace lily for air purification as well. They help filter harmful toxins out of the air like benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde. They also absorb mold spores through their leaves and use them as food for their root system.
The peace lily also works as a natural humidifier by adding as much as 5% humidity to a room. This helps alleviate allergy symptoms by suppressing airborne microbes. It also provides relief for dry noses and throats which can interrupt your sleep.
Peace lilies grow in low or high light rooms and accept various watering cycles making them durable. When they are thirsty, a Peace Lily will wilt slightly to let you know and bounce back immediately after watering. If your plant is not blooming, try giving it a bit more sun if you want flowers. Otherwise, it will be fine in darker conditions.
Colorful Gerbera Daisies
Gerber daisies are known not only for their vibrant colors but are also a great plant to have in your bedroom to help aid with sleep quality. They emit oxygen all day and night which you readily use while asleep. They can help alleviate allergies and sleep apnea for some people.
Indoor Gerber daisies require special care and attention. Their unique greenhouse care is hard, if not impossible, to reproduce in a home environment. The colorful daisy is not as resilient as the other plants listed here, but well worth purchasing for their beauty. The Gerber daisy comes in many bright colors that add cheer to any room, even if only for a short period of time. They require lots of light and frequent watering. Even with extra care, it is best to think of them as disposable after a period of time.
An Areca Palm
According to NASA, the areca palm is the most efficient plant for cleaning up pollutants. It filters xylene and toluene specifically well which promotes healthier breathing and better sleep.
This plant is particularly effective at relieving sinus irritation and cold symptoms because it emits moisture into the air. It works as a natural humidifier and allows you to breathe and sleep easier. An areca palm that is around 6’ in height will release one liter of water per 24 hours.
The areca palm is also referred to as a golden cane palm, yellow palm, or butterfly palm. It is native to Madagascar and South India.
Other plants to consider for use in your bedroom
The first four plants listed here are beneficial because of their soothing essential oils which release a calming scent and allow you to fall asleep faster. Many people find that mixing these plants with air purifying plants helps them fall asleep faster, and stay asleep.
Jasmin: The scent has a gentle, soothing effect on your mind and body. It may also help with reducing anxiety. The scent it produces is sweet and calming.
Lavender: Proven effective in the realm of sleep for centuries, lavender slows down the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and lowers stress. Its scent is earthy and sweet. Lavender is the most recommended essential oil scent, or plant, for helping people fall asleep quickly and remain asleep all night without interruption.
Valerian: The scent helps promote falling asleep quickly and getting a more restful, better quality night of sleep. It has been used as a natural insomnia remedy for a very long time.
Gardenia: Promotes sleep and reduces anxiety but is hard to care for. If you have insomnia it is worth giving it a try, regardless of the extra care and attention it requires.
To learn more about how essential oils can help you experience better sleep check out more expansive exploration of the topic here.
Here is a list of some of the other plants that are among the best plants for bedroom use (mainly for air purifying characteristics):
Fiddle leaf fig
Dwarf date palm Lady palm
Care and selection
A few tips to help you choose the right plants and maintain their health once in your home can go a long way. Keep this stuff in mind:
Some find choosing a mixture of air purifying plants and scented sleep-inducing plants to get the best results.
15-18 air purifying plants per 1800 square feet is recommended by NASA to have in your home.
Wipe the leaves of your plants with a damp paper towel every couple of weeks so they continue to filter air at their greatest potential. Think of it like changing an air filter in your car or electronic air purifier.
Make sure you check plants for toxicity if you have pets or small children. Some plants should be excluded from your home if you do, but most are more than ok for everyone.
Remember, you don’t have to choose just one
When it comes time for you to purchase plants for your bedroom, remember the best plants for bedroom use have strong air purifying capabilities. Also, mix and match different ones that are suited to your personal preferences and needs. Choose a selection that amplifies they key benefits you desire while still being aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Plants that help you sleep by improving air quality are easily available online and commonly found in many retailers. Achieving better sleep could be as easy as buying a new plant or two, so what are you waiting for? Give it a try!
Sleep is critical to our survival, not only physically but also mentally. Recent research has shown just how detrimental losing just thirty minutes of sleep each night can be. Therefore you should be trying to sleep as much as possible.
However, if you are getting an extremely high body temperature while sleeping, you might wake up, experience less deep REM sleep and feel less refreshed the next morning. A common question we see is, “why does my body temperature rise at night“? This rise can happen for a variety of reasons. Often it can disrupt your sleep and make you feel tired the next day.
Why Is Body Temperature Important At Night?
You might have heard that each evening your body produces a chemical called melatonin which makes you feel tired and ready to sleep. But what you might be unaware of is that your body temperature begins to decline as well, which tells your body to rest. The temperature of your internal body is critical to sleeping.
Each day your temperature shifts between roughly 96.8 and 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, given a normal circadian rhythm you will begin to drop in temperature around 8 pm through until 5 am. Research has shown that not only is there an optimal temperature for sleep, somewhere between 60 and 68 degrees, but the rate of change is also vital.
Sleep occurs when the core temperature is dropping at the quickest rate, i.e., the loss of body heat is maximal. This change in temperature signals to your body that it’s time to sleep. If you fail to let your body heat drop at all, particularly into the acceptable range which for many of us is far cooler than we usually keep our rooms, you will struggle to fall asleep and won’t have long deep REM cycles.
What Causes Changes In Body Temperature?
Humans can thermoregulate themselves, meaning they can maintain their body temperature. We can do this by balancing our heat absorption, production and loss to ensure that we are at an optimal level for our bodies to function. Even small variations can be disadvantageous and eventually become fatal.
We have two different zones to regulate our heat, the core temperature, and the shell temperature. The abdominal, thoracic and cranial cavities are the most important areas because they contain our vital organs. This area is known as the core and has a separate temperature. The shell is the skin, subcutaneous tissues, and muscles.
The shell has its temperature too, but unlike the core, the shell temperature is more affected by the external temperature than it is from the brains conscious choices. The core is the most important part of our body, and therefore it uses the shell to either conserve or release heat whenever it needs to.
When the core temperature gets too high, blood vessels which are located in the skin will dilate, allowing more blood flow, much of which is closer to the skin. Heat is lost through this blood flow and the walls of the skin. We also produce sweat, as you’ll notice when you exercise and raise your core body temperature.
Sweat beads on the surface of our skin and when it evaporates it takes lots of the heat from the body with it, cooling us down. On the contrast, when we are too cold the blood vessels contract and minimize heat loss by directing the blood flow to our organs and away from our skin and limbs.
Body Temperature Throughout The Day
It’s not just in the night that body temperature changes, it’s constantly changing throughout the day. Typically, your body starts somewhere around your baseline of 98.6 when you first wake up and over the course of the morning into the early afternoon it will increase slowly until it reaches roughly 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Scientists have shown that the higher our body temperature, the more awake and alert we feel. You can try this yourself when you workout and increase the core temperature you will feel bright and awake, even though you should be tired from the exercise. Around two to three in the afternoon your temperature temporarily drops, suggesting that we were designed to have an afternoon nap.
After this napping period, body temperature rises once again until it peaks in the late afternoon or early evening. From here it slowly drops, reaching maximal heat loss at the point where you should be going to sleep. It will continue to drop throughout the night until a few hours before you wake, which is when it starts to increase again to wake you up and make you feel alert.
Our body has a natural body clock that is only slightly longer than the length of a day, but we’ve evolved to line up very well with the cycle of the sun. As a result, we are hottest and therefore most alert when the sun is at its peak, and our body temperature begins to drop very rapidly once the sun disappears, stimulating melatonin production and making us ready for bed.
Why Is My Body Temperature Rising While Sleeping?
Let’s start by saying this; your core body temperature should only rise while sleeping in the final few hours of sleep. Your shell temperature, on the other hand, can rise and fall depending on the external environmental temperature.
Sickness And High Body Temperature At Night
There is an exception to this rule, and that’s for women that are experiencing menopause. This period of life can send the body into shock whereby core temperature might not line up with your circadian rhythm. If you’re sometimes experiencing hot flushes in the day, it’s possible that you’re also getting these while sleeping.
If you’re not a woman, nor experiencing other menopausal symptoms, it’s possible that you are sick. Flu and other more serious conditions can cause body temperature to rise as it tries to fight off the problem. These conditions can cause to wake up in the middle of the night sweating and burning up.
As with menopause, you should be able to correlate this nighttime increase in body temperature to daytime warmness and other sickness symptoms. If neither of these factors is the case, it could be that your environment is too hot or the way that you are tracking body temperature is inaccurate.
Scientists recommend that we keep our rooms between 60 and 68 degrees throughout the evening, but even if this is the case, you might be adding extra heat, especially with clothing and sheets. If you’re regularly waking up in the middle of the night and feeling hot, or tracking your temperature and seeing it rising throughout your entire sleep, you are almost certainly keeping yourself too warm.
Although you might be reluctant to throw away the sheets because they are warm and comfortable, you need to drop the room temperature down to the recommend range and reduce your heat. You can do this by sleeping naked, minimizing the sheets in use and reducing pillows to one thin (not dense) pillow.
Poor Temperature Tracking
It’s also possible that you’re not experiencing an increase in body temperature but the method of tracking it is poor. If you’re using a watch or other wearable device, it’s tracking shell temperature which while related to core body temperature, is more indicative of a hot environment.
Similarly, if your partner is telling you that you are hot or you wake up at night feeling warm, this isn’t necessarily a confirmation that your core body temperature is rising at all.
Reducing Your Nighttime Temperature and Sleeping Better
Research has consistently shown that your body temperature is critical to achieving a deep, meaningful and restorative sleep. Unfortunately, in the era of houses, running water and comfortable beds, many of us choose far too much comfort, and this increases our body temperature, ruining our sleep.
To combat this, especially for those of us who have increasing body temperatures at night or who wake up sweating, you need to make some sacrifices. Often these changes can be tough at first, but you quickly become accustomed to them as you’ll feel more refreshed the next morning and your body will become used to the cooler feeling of the evening.
Choose Thinner Or Fewer Sheets
Perhaps the most common mistake that is made, especially among those with lower body fat like many women and younger men, is compensating with multiple thick sheets. Unless it’s a very cold night, the chances are that there is no need to sleep with more than a single thin duvet sheet.
While it can feel comfortable to use more because you get a thick layer to wrap yourself in, those thick sheets prevent air circulation and trap air against your body where it gets hot and prevents heat loss. This air can cause you to overheat, waking you up in sweats or causing you to have an unfulfilling sleep.
Use Fewer Pillows
Pillows aren’t quite as harmful as excessive sheets, but many of us use multiple pillows on our bed, stacked on top of each other to create a huge rest for our head. Again, these prevent air circulation through the bed, trap extra heat and generally increase the temperature of the bed, which reduces heat loss through your shell, preventing your core from cooling down.
The problem of pillows is particularly bad for those of us that use memory foam or dense foam pillows because they have very little breathability. While traditional feather pillows are primarily filled with air, the foam is incredibly dense and very little air can get through it. This type of pillow prevents cooling and can cause you to overheat, especially in your head and upper back.
Even if you’re only using a single sheet and pillow, the clothes that you’re wearing to bed might be preventing cooling through your shell. To fix this, you should try reducing the clothes that you wear to sleep, or simply sleep naked.
Doing so will allow your body to cool down quicker and more easily. You might imagine that this will cause you to sweat onto your sheets, but reducing the clothing you wear should minimize the amount you sweat, thereby diffusing the problem from the root.
Reduce the Room Temperature
If after all of these changes you’re still waking up hot in the middle of the night or feel that your body temperature is continuing to rise, you should drop the temperature of your room further. While 60 to 68 is the guideline, you might need a lower temperature if you happen to sleep hot at night, which is common among those who are overweight or who have large amounts of muscle.
Taking the temperature down to 55 or even 50 degrees can have a massive difference. After all, if you’re going to sleep with bed sheets, you should feel like you need them, rather than using them purely for the sake of it or physical comfort.
Take a Warm Bath Before Bed
Hotness can make it hard to fall asleep, and if this is the case for you, you might consider taking a warm bath shortly before you want to go to sleep. This idea sounds crazy, right? But taking a warm, but not hot bath, will dilate all of your blood vessels so that when you get out of the bath, your body temperature will plummet, far below what it was when you first got into the bath.
This handy hack can be a lifesaver and is precisely why it’s recommended by so many bloggers and health experts. Not only does it take you away from screens and distractions, allowing melatonin production and stress reduction, but it drastically decreases your body temperature to allow you to fall asleep quickly.
Don’t Eat, Exercise or Use Caffeine Before Bed
There are three other factors that you might consider, food, exercise, and caffeine. All of these will cause your core body temperature to increase by varying degrees, and when they are done within the final two hours before bed, they can prevent you from sleeping and cause your core body temperature to continue to rise. Instead, try to eat your final meal no less than three hours before bed, use caffeine more than eight hours before and exercise three hours before bed.
For many of us, air mattresses are reserved for rare camping trips and the occasional house guest who decides to stay over. But what about using an air bed long term? It’s more common than you might think, especially for those moving to new areas or for people on a lower income who may not have the money to purchase an expensive mattress.
While large traditional mattresses usually start at many hundreds of dollars, an air bed can be had for $50. Therefore, it’s easy to see why some might decide to use an air bed day in and day out. But is it safe and if not, what can you do to improve the situation?
What Is An Air Mattress?
An air mattress or air bed is mostly a giant balloon in the shape of a mattress which is inflated with air and then closed to retain it throughout the night. You can thereby sleep on the upper surface relatively comfortably because when fully inflated it becomes stable and can easily support your weight.
Benefits Of An Air Mattress
While most of us don’t use them extensively, there are certainly some benefits that an air bed has instead of traditional foam or coil mattresses.
If you’re on a tight budget, an air bed can be a lifesaver. It’s far more comfortable than sleeping on the sofa, and it’s available at a fraction of the cost of a traditional mattress. The cheapest air beds start at $20 or $30, while even the cheapest mattresses will cost ten times that, before you even begin to look at bed frames and headboards.
But for those who are planning to use their air bed every day, it’s worth stretching your budget slightly to find a higher quality product that will last. Potentially the largest downside of air beds is that they aren’t as durable and therefore if you’re buying a cheap product it will likely need to be replaced sooner rather than later.
To prevent this, it’s worth investing in one of the highest quality air mattresses possible, which are far more comparable to traditional beds and have superior spinal support, durability and firmness control. Importantly, they don’t cost that much more and will save you money in the long term because you need to replace them far less frequently.
Living in a very tight space can be challenging. Tiny apartments are particularly common on the east coast of the US in cities like NYC where a couple of hundred square feet might be all the room that you get. In this case, it might not be feasible to have a bed permanently in the room.
Air mattresses can be very quickly deployed and deflated, often in less than two minutes. The benefit of this is that you can efficiently deflate the bed in the morning and suddenly there’s far more livable space so that you can cook, wash and enjoy your apartment.
Single and twin air beds are ideal for this situation, and they will usually fold up small enough to fit into a backpack, making them perfect for storing in a drawer or a tiny closet. At night you can come home and inflate the mattress in only a couple minutes, making your apartment feel bigger than it would if you had a permanent bed frame.
Risks Of Sleeping On An Air Mattress Long Term
With few people choosing to sleep on air beds long term it’s hard to know the precise risks that you face. However, sleep scientists have been looking at the importance of body support and temperature regulation for decades, and therefore we have a fairly good idea of the health impacts of improper spinal alignment and sleep.
Poor Body Support
At night we usually spend an average of eight hours in bed, and therefore we need to think carefully about how our body is being supported. It’s not just your spine either; hips, shoulders and other joints also need to be supported by the mattress to prevent the aches and pains that many of us feel the next morning.
The problem with air mattresses is that you’re laying on air, not a dense foam or coil springs and therefore there is little resistance. The goal is not for your body to feel comfortable, it’s to ensure that your spine is kept straight through the night and your other joints don’t feel too much pressure.
To achieve this state you need to choose the right type of mattress for your body and sleeping position. Those who sleep on their backs tend to need a firmer mattress, while side sleepers usually demand a softer foam or memory foam that reduces the pressure on your hips and shoulders while letting your side sink in to keep the spine straight.
Unfortunately, the air mattress doesn’t offer adequate support in any of these areas. There is practically no ‘give back’ from it, which can reduce the pressure for side sleepers which is beneficial, but it will offer very little help for your spine. Therefore, it is wise to sleep on your back on an air mattress because it’s more similar to a firm coil or spring mattress.
Lack Of Temperature Regulation
Scientists have known for years that the temperature of our sleeping environment is critical to falling asleep quickly, getting long deep REM cycles and feeling refreshed the next morning. There is a specific range of temperatures which the room should be, roughly between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit and to deviate from this can prevent you from sleeping well.
Air beds don’t help with this because they tend to sleep hot. The surface is usually constructed using synthetic materials such a vinyl which don’t breathe well at all, preventing air circulation and therefore causing you to get warmer.
Traditional mattresses allow for heat dispersion to the mattress itself and also to the air surrounding you. But the air trapped inside of the mattress takes on the temperature in the room, and therefore in warmer evenings, it’s akin to sleeping on a hot water bottle.
In contrast, during the winter the air inside the bed will become cold, and therefore you’re sleeping on a cold surface, which can drop your temperature below the desirable level. To combat this you can use heat in the room to manage the temperature or use thick cotton sheets as a barrier between you and the cold air bed.
Improving Your Air Mattress Experience
Regardless of these two risks, you might decide that an air mattress is still the right decision, in which case you should take precautions to improve the experience as much as possible. By following this advice, you can simulate the feeling of sleeping on a traditional mattress, which for long-term use can give your mental and physical health a boost.
Deflate and Inflate
While an air mattress is designed to stretch and expand with the air that you’re pumping in, the surface can only take so much pressure before it breaks. When it is left full of air at all times the surface material, and the lining of the balloon will stretch, causing the material to become slightly thinner, especially when it is left inflated for long periods.
To prevent this, it is wise to deflate and inflate the mattress regularly, preferably on a daily basis. This routine is how these beds were designed to be used. By deflating it regularly, the material can contract and not be stretched out constantly, allowing it to last longer.
Typically, air beds first break by refusing to retain air, not because of a large gash or hold in the upper surface, but because of tiny micro-tears in the air balloon. These tears occur because of constant stretching from remaining inflated day in and day out.
Use A Mattress Topper
Low-cost mattress toppers and pads can be bought relatively cheaply from a variety of places. Both memory foam toppers and fiber-filled pads will add an extra level of comfort to the bed. For those who wake up feeling achy after a night on an air bed, a foam topper can be a game changer.
For side sleepers and front sleepers, a foam topper is particularly crucial because it has some ‘give’ which will reduce the pressure on your joints and allows the spine to be aligned at night. A cheap topper like this can be the difference between a comfortable sleep or waking up periodically.
Adding this extra comfort and ensuring physical health is vital, especially if you’re using the air mattress for everyday use whereby the adverse effects will build up causing back pain.
Invest In Quality Sheets
Although sheets won’t have any impact on the health if sleeping on an air mattress nightly, it can help with comfort, the feeling and temperature control. It can become disheartening to use an airbed each night and adding a little bit of luxury with some soft sheets that you can regularly wash to keep the bed clean; it can improve the experience drastically.
Choosing the Best Air Bed for Everyday Use
If you’re using an air bed only once or twice, it doesn’t matter which you choose. But for long-term use where you’re using the air mattress everyday, it’s vital to choose the best air bed which will care for your body and leave you feeling refreshed the next morning.
Poor sleep can have a serious impact on not only physical but also mental health and therefore ensuring that you get a good rest is critical. To achieve this, you need to consider the firmness adjustment of the bed, the convenience of the product and how long it will last. After all, the value of an air bed is negligible if it needs to be regularly replaced.
Air beds have come a long way since you were a child. No longer do that fill up to a certain limit, not you can electronically adjust the firmness of the bed so that you can get a more comfortable night sleep.
For those of us that don’t sleep on our backs and therefore do not want a firm surface, being able to adjust the firmness without leaving it only partially inflated, can make a drastic difference. The very best air beds go a step further and use multiple chambers to allow for variable support across your body.
By using multiple chambers with different levels of air, you can add support where you need it and keep your spine perfectly straight. This adjustment is crucial for long-term use because while the pain is negligible in the first week, sleeping on a poor-quality air mattress for months can be incredibly damaging for your spine.
The Durability of the Surface
Taking care of your bed will prevent it from breaking early, but regularly sleeping on a synthetic surface will cause it to break down slowly. Choosing a bed with a durable upper layer will help to extend its lifetime, driving down the cost per night and saving you money in the long term.
It’s easy to see the durability of the surface just by looking and feeling it. You want a bed that has a thick, sturdy and strong surface which is on top of the air balloon, rather than sleeping directly on the air. Some premium beds also have upper memory foam layers, and this is a great sign that there is plenty of support and thickness between you and the air chamber.
The days of manually pumping up an air mattress should be long behind us. Most middle to upper tier beds now come with incredible efficient pumps, not only to push air into the chamber but also to draw it out. Electric pumps turn an otherwise time-consuming task into a huge benefit because you can quickly deflate and pack the bed away, giving your home more room.
Regardless of the quality of a product, there is always a chance that something will go wrong. If this happens to you, you want to know that you’re covered. Looking for beds that have a year or multiple year manufacturer warranties will allow you to sleep sound at night, plus, it gives you an indication into how long the manufacturer believes their products should last for their customers.
Many people find a mattress alone is not enough to provide a full night of comfort and choose to add a topper to their sleeping arrangements. This extra cushion has evolved from the simple “egg crate” styles to high-end cooling gels, but the most popular versions of mattress toppers are memory foam.
Nearly one-third of your life is spent using your mattress and, consequently, the topper upon it. More than just for sleeping, many people relax and read or watch television while lying on the bed – add in binge-watching on weekends or sick time over a span of years and that mattress topper clocks in some serious hours of use. As a reward for its hard work, give that topper a cleaning session roughly every six months to keep it free of odors and allergens.
Before starting on the path to a good cleaning routine, let’s address one question directly – memory foam mattress toppers are not machine washable. It can damage the washing machine and will more likely ruin the topper too. Never place a foam pad in a standard tumble dryer. The foam literally cannot take the heat. Without further ado, let’s show you how to clean your memory foam topper.
Why Bother With Cleaning?
Maybe something has spilled, leaving a stain on the mattress topper? Perhaps the toddler or new puppy has not figured out exactly when and where to use the potty? There are always reasons to clean specific spots, but allergens such as dust mites and skin cells collect over time, especially underneath the sheets.
Going through a regular maintenance routine can extend the life of the mat and keep it smelling nice despite those sick days or sweltering nights when the air conditioner has retired without permission.
Before cleaning can begin, have a checklist and several hours ready. The task is not difficult but is time consuming and cutting corners while cleaning a foam mattress or topper can lead to mildew or even ruin the item you are trying to preserve. Here is an example checklist for reference:
Mark the calendar and make the time to do it right
Get the supplies for cleaning ready in advance
Have a clear, open space for the topper to dry flat (drying may take a few days)
Time Not Wasted
Spot cleaning may only take 30 minutes to an hour, but the drying process can take several hours. The topper should not be covered or used until it is thoroughly dry; trapped moisture can quickly cause mold growth or lead to unpleasant odors.
Supplies in Hand
Here are the tools and cleaning supplies you need to have available so cleaning can happen start to finish in one session:
White vinegar – works great for spot cleaning, and the smell will dissipate more quickly than more pungent versions such as apple cider vinegar. As a bonus, the vinegar will also neutralize the odor of stains from urine.
Mild liquid detergent – dilute it and place it in a spray bottle for easy scrubbing without saturating the memory foam. Harsh, gritty, or abrasive detergents (including powders) can damage the topper.
The topper needs to dry flat to avoid getting lumps or moisture pooling in some areas. For spot cleaning, this may be on your bed directly, but do not put sheets or blankets over the pad or use it until completely dry. Be prepared to sleep on the couch if you decided to wash the topper on your bed. Smaller cleaning jobs and where you live may offer the option of putting the topper outside to dry as well, but plan for the drying phase to take place in the shade.
Step by Step: General Maintenance
The National Sleep Foundation provides a variety of tips and tricks to improve your night’s rest, but nothing replaces a good old-fashioned clean. Here are the steps for a basic cleaning session of your memory foam mattress topper:
Phase I – Vacuuming
Phase II – Spot Clean
Phase III – Detergent
Phase IV – Rinse
Phase V – Dry
While the topper is dry, the first step is to vacuum up the dust and crumbs gathering from everyday use. This can be done more often than the rest of the cleaning cycle since no drying time is required. Make your life easier and use a vacuum with attachments such as an arm or hose. However, bear in mind, dragging the entire vacuum over the pad can damage the topper.
Use white vinegar to tackle individual spots. Take a cloth and dampen it with vinegar – do not pour the vinegar or any liquid directly on to the topper.
A mild detergent diluted in a small spray bottle is perfect for cleaning the rest of the mattress topper. Diluting the solution is vital – keeping the cleaning power without increasing the time needed for a thorough rinse. Using a different cloth than the one with vinegar, spray a light layer over the pad, scrub gently, then let it sit for about 30 minutes. Do not saturate the foam.
When some time has elapsed, rinse the topper with cold water. Again, use a spray bottle, and there is no need to pour water directly on to the pad. Wipe up the water as you spray and rinse off the detergent. Blot any excess water up with a cloth.
Drying is the most challenging step for one reason – patience. The mattress topper needs to dry in a flat area and dry through and through. Any moisture retained will lead to musty odors and mildew or other allergen growth. When drying outdoors, the pad cannot be in full sun as it may cause discoloration or damage the foam.
Step by Step: The Deep Clean
In addition to the steps above, during Phase III clean one entire side of the mattress topper with the diluted detergent in the spray bottle, then flip the mattress and repeat the process on the opposite side. There is never a good reason to dunk it in water, pour liquids directly on it, or place it in the washing machine.
Roll the topper to remove excess water – squeezing can cause deformations in the foam and may not be fixable. Dryers should flow warm air over the topper and not be placed directly against it as the foam is not designed to handle high temperatures. They literally cannot take the heat; it will ruin the topper. Drying time could be days after a deep clean, so be prepared accordingly. Do not cut corners by putting it in a tumble dryer.
Tips and Tricks
Baking soda is an alternative to the detergent as a cleaning reagent, but hydrogen peroxide is discouraged. The latter can cause discoloration and ruin the outer texture of the topper’s cover. Be aware that it is sensitive to heat – this includes heating blankets – and no cramming the mattress topper into the dryer!
Consider covering your foam topper with a machine washable cover that zips over the entire pad. This inexpensive investment can protect from sweat stains and be a valuable barrier for quick cleanups after accidents and spills. Reducing the need to deep clean the mattress topper will help extend its lifespan, keep away smells, and reduce the need for long drying times after removing stains.
Still not sure what to do? Put your mind at ease and take a few minutes to watch a tutorial to boost your confidence.
How Do You Clean A Memory Foam Mattress Topper? - YouTube
The Final Say
Most of us enjoy our memory foam toppers and all of the comfort and support they bring, but to maintain them, it’s important to keep them clean. By using the methods outlined above, you’ll be able to maximize the lifespan of your mattress topper and enjoy it for years to come.