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Which Pillow is right for you?

winnipeg pillow

Good sleep is essential for both mental and physical health, and it plays a significant part in how we feel each and every day. But how do you make sure you are getting the best sleep you possibly can? Sure, we all know a good mattress is important, and how many hours you get is vital too, but don’t forget about your pillow! The right pillow can play a surprisingly big part in whether or not you get good sleep. You may think pillow type does not make a big impact, but you’d be wrong. Here’s a quick look at the different pillow types and how you can decide which is best for you.

What’s your sleep position?

Your usual sleeping position can help determine the best pillow type for you. If you sleep on your back, you’re going to want a flatter, thinner pillow to ensure your head is not cranked forward too much. Sleeping on your side means you should be looking for a thicker and more firm pillow in order to fill the space between your ear and shoulder, keeping your head in line with your spine. Lastly, if you sleep on your stomach, you’ll do best with the thinnest pillow possible or even no pillow at all, so that your head is not cranked back. Stomach sleepers should also consider placing a pillow underneath their stomachs to avoid lower back pain.

What’s in your ideal pillow?

Pillow stuffing is another important factor in determining the right pillow. Here’s a look at the most popular pillow stuffing options and the benefits they can provide:

Foam- foam pillows are good for supporting your head, provided that the foam is on the denser side. Foam that is not dense enough is going to give you less support.

Memory foam- a popular choice for some time now, memory foam is designed to constantly adjust to your head as you move throughout the night. This constant moulding to your head’s shape reduces pressure points and can help your neck feel less strained in the morning. The most popular memory foam pillow is the S-shaped design which is very supportive for your neck.

Latex- latex pillows are the firmest types of pillows and are often contoured for neck support, making them very helpful for back and neck alignment. Latex is also resistant to dust mites and mould.

Down/feather- these pillows are usually highly recommended by sleep experts because they are soft yet firm enough to give the support that is needed, and the stuffing can easily be moved around allowing you to shift the support where it is most needed.

Wool/cotton- like latex pillows, these are on the firmer side and are not for anyone who is looking for a soft and squishy pillow. Also like latex, wool and cotton resist mould and dust mites. A firm pillow means you’re going to be getting good neck support.  

Now that you know more about the different types of pillows available, you can be more confident that you are buying a pillow that is going to give you a better night’s sleep and that is also going to make you feel better on a daily basis!

History of Mattresses

bed frame

Everyone loves sleep. And one of the major contributing factors to a great night’s sleep is a comfortable mattress. Mattresses have been around for so long that it would be feasible to think that there was never a time without them. But, how did the mattress come to be? Surely, someone thought that there was a better alternative to sleeping on a cold hard ground and decided to remedy that.

Well, the inventor of the mattress couldn’t be narrowed down to just one specific person, but to a specific time period instead. Over 10,000 years ago in the Neolithic period, the first “primitive” mattress was invented, they consisted of piles of leaves, grass and straw with a layer of animal skins over it.

From then, the types of mattresses varied across different civilizations. Ranging as far back as 3600 B.C.E. to 200 B.C.E, Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt and Persia had their own variation of what they considered a mattress. Ancient Rome mattresses were bags filled with reeds, hay or wool (the wealthy used feather – a hint of what was to come). Ancient Egypt mattresses were just a pile of palm boughs in the corner of a room. Mattresses in Persia were goatskins filled with water.

Mattresses began to evolve in the 15th to 17th century (the Renaissance period) with straws and feathers being stuffed into sacks and being covered with velvet, brocades or silks. Then in the 18th century mattresses started to get covered by linen or cotton. The line or cotton would get stitched on the sides to prevent any stuffing from falling out.

From 1857-1871, the mattress gets advanced as the first coil spring mattress was invented. Soon afterwards, things got more creative and inspired by the primitive mattresses in 3600 B.C.E. Persia, waterbeds were invented (primarily as a way to treat and prevent pressure ulcers). These waterbeds were often described as life size hot water bottles.

In the 19th century, the box spring was invented which helped make the mattress less lumpy. From then on mattresses steadily developed as the last few kinks were worked out. Here is a quick summation of how the rest of the 19th century fared with mattresses.

1920s: mattresses got constructed from latex rubber.

1930s: innerspring mattresses, as well as mattresses with artificial fillers, became popular. Also pocket spring mattresses, individual springs sewn into linked fabric bags, were invented.

1940s: the futon becomes known.

1950s: foam rubber mattresses and pillows hit the market.

1960s: the more modern and upscale waterbed is invented and available for purchase. These waterbeds looked distinctly less like hot water bottles are more like the mattresses today with the use of vinyl.

1980s: air mattresses made of vinyl is introduced.

After the 19th century, mattresses were available in an array of sizes and types with various modifications further being made to improve the overall quality of mattresses. With the multitude of sleeping options available to them, consumers can be guaranteed a high degree of comfort when they sleep on their mattress.  

What is lucid dreaming?

dreaming

You may have heard of lucid dreaming but perhaps weren’t sure exactly what that term means or how it can benefit anyone.  During a lucid dream, the dreamer is aware that they’re dreaming and is sometimes able to have a certain amount of control over the dream; the outcome, the characters, the storyline, and the environment around them.  A lucid dream can appear as real as your surroundings when you’re awake, from the sounds, tastes, sights and even to your sense of touch.  Your conscious brain wakes up during this type of dream, as opposed to shutting down as it does during other types of dreaming.  Out of body experiences may be explained by this type of dreaming.  

So why would someone choose to lucid dream?  Because your senses come alive during this type of dream state, you have the opportunity to truly experience some wonderful things, and can explore the inner workings of your mind.  For thousands of years, Tibetan monks have used dream control especially with regards to dream yoga, but it wasn’t until the 1800’s that the term “lucid dreaming” was actually used; first by the Marquis d’Hervey de Staint-Denys.  During the 1960’s it was Celia Green who made the connection between lucid dreaming and the scientific potential it implied.  She also linked REM sleep with false awakenings.  British parapsychologist Keith Hearne caught and recorded predetermined conscious eye movements from a volunteer during his lucid dreaming research in 1975.  This was the first scientific evidence of lucid dreaming.

lucid dreaming

It is thought that anyone can learn to lucid dream, as we all dream (although we may not remember anything about them once we’ve woken) and so it makes sense that we have the ability to become conscious while dreaming.  Children seem particularly adept at lucid dreaming, although age doesn’t appear to be a restricting factor, and you can learn to lucid dream at any stage during your life once you’ve discovered how to tap into them.   In fact, you’ve most likely already had at least once lucid dream.  

In order to get into the habit of recognizing your lucid dreams, there are a few things you can do regularly.  Meditation can help you to intentionally focus your mind, and visualization can help you to start lucid dreaming from a waking, conscious state.  You can perform reality checks so that your self awareness kicks in during your dream or use dream journaling to help you remember your dreams after you wake up.  There are dream herbs that can help to make dreams more intense and can help lengthen their duration.   You can easily practise one or several of these methods daily or get into the habit just before you fall asleep so that your unconscious mind starts to recognize when to trigger your conscious mind while asleep.  You may find this difficult in the beginning, but it will become easier with each practise; most people find that using these methods typically brings about their first lucid dream within 3 to 20 days.

reality check lucid dreaming

How mattresses are made

factory direct mattress

The rough idea of a mattress has been around for millennia; our ancient ancestors relied on piles of leaves or other greenery to lie down on.  As people settled in areas as opposed to keeping with nomadic traditions, beds and mattresses could become a little more elaborate, although the mattresses stayed fairly rough in feel and materials until the last 100 years or so.  A mattress used to be a simple casing stuffed with whatever was handy and cheap; generally corn cobs, horse hair or straw.  Even the wealthy didn’t exactly lie down on billowy softness, and it wasn’t until the mid 1850’s that internal stabilizing springs were offered.  This gave mattresses a far more resilient and uniform texture, but they were expensive, so only the elite upper classes could afford them.  It was in the early 1920’s that millions of American’s scrimped and saved to afford this better innerspring bedding that was a far cry from the stuffed mattresses they’d tolerated until then.

The mattresses we enjoy today come in a variety of materials, although the vast majority fall into standardized sizes, making it convenient to replace them when they’ve served their purpose.  Obviously, depending on the type of mattress and materials used, they’re made in very different ways, so for the purpose of keeping this article readable, we’ll focus on the very popular memory foam mattress.

Memory foam was originally intended to be used to improve the safety of aircraft seats.  It was made by feeding gas into a polymer matrix and it was discovered to create a product that is both temperature sensitive, and springs back into place after pressure has been applied and removed.  Over the years, the formula has been improved upon, fusing visco foam with gel particles to create memory foam that doesn’t trap body heat and has a faster spring back time.  As if that weren’t enough, the gel was then produced in “beads” which has an even more efficient method of reducing trapped heat and even cools the body as it rests.  Since then the addition of green tea extract, activated charcoal or aloe vera can help reduce mattress or room odours and even provide aromatherapy.  

A foam or memory foam mattress comes in a range of soft to firm, which is measured by the indentation force deflection (IFD), although the foam’s density will also play a part in determining the range.  

A memory foam mattress has a great way of letting the sharper parts of your body (elbows, hips, shoulders) sink deeper into the depths, allowing for a better distribution of body weight and less likelihood of waking sore and stiff or developing pressure points.   It can also reduce the issues when one partner is a restless sleeper and moves around a lot, as the movements are largely absorbed by the foam.  This type of mattress is durable and long lasting, as it continuously bounces back and retains its shape, and requires very little maintenance over its lifetime.

Tips and Tricks to Fall Asleep Faster

winnipeg furniture store

You’re tired, but sleep just doesn’t seem to be in the cards for you tonight.  It can be a frustrating re occurrence that leaves you dragging yourself through the next day and, over the long term, can actually lead to illness.  Sleep is crucial to our well being and a good night’s rest is important for our health.  Without an underlying medical condition to point the finger at, generally a case of insomnia is due to anxiety.  If you’ve got something nagging at the back of your mind, it tends to keep you awake much longer than you’d like, rolling the idea over and over again.  Here are 8 great tips for helping you get to dreamland faster;

1.Try to stay awake

It seems counterproductive, but if you’ve got kids you’ll know well the simple idea of reverse psychology and how well it can produce results.  But this also has some scientific backup; in several studies patients who were told to lie down and try hard to stay awake fell asleep much sooner than those who were told to try to fall asleep.

2.No time!

Are you watching the clock?  Watching the minutes tick by and thinking that those minutes could have been better spent dreaming?  Hide your clock and forget the passing of time; you’re just adding to the anxiety and not getting anywhere fast.

3.Cool it down

Did you know that when you fall asleep your body temperature drops?  It may help to cool the room down and start that process rolling.  Open a window, or start a fan...which leads us to the next tip...

4.White noise

White noise can help distract your mind from whatever it’s thinking about and create a space for your body to relax.  It could be a fan, a humidifier, or even some light music; just stay away from the rock and roll!

5.Get out of bed

We’re not suggesting you pace for hours, but sometimes the act of getting up, accomplishing a task (hey, you’re awake anyways, right?) can lead your brain to wind down.  Don’t do anything that requires a lot of thought, but sweeping or doing a load of dishes can help to bring on a feeling of accomplishment that may just be the ticket to help you drift off afterwards.

6.Lavender

If you like essential oils, get yourself a little lavender.  Lavender is shown to relax your nerves and lower blood pressure, so either have some going in a diffuser, or even spritz some into your bedding before tucking in.

7.Tense up

Known as progressive relaxation, this is a process of tensing up muscles, starting at the neck, and working your way down, and relaxing them again.  (You can also start with your toes and work your way up).   

8.Shut off the lights!

This doesn’t just refer to your bedroom light; our electronic devices are the worst offenders for keeping us awake by suppressing our bodies’ production of melatonin.

Why we dream?

It was once thought that when you slept, your brain simply shut off, and that it was inactive until you woke in the morning.  It wasn’t until the late 1920’s that scientists had the technology to read brain activity and monitor it.  They discovered during this time that the brain is actually very much awake and at times, highly active; sometimes even more active at night than during the day!  They also discovered that there are two main types of sleep; REM (rapid-eye movement) and NREM (which you’ve probably guessed is non-rapid eye movement).  We go through a cycle each night of light sleep (also referred to as NREM) followed by deep sleep (REM); most of us remember our dreams much better when we’re awakened during our deep sleep cycle.  One cycle can last about an hour and a half and will repeat itself over and over throughout the evening.  During REM your leg and arm muscles actually become paralyzed, which scientists assume is a safeguard against actually acting out our dreams.

REM sleep cycle

We’re still not entirely sure why we dream, but there are a few theories.  One suggests that dreaming is a way for our brains to sort all of the data it’s collected all day long.  Because our brains process millions of pieces of information (even when we’re not aware of it), dreaming might be a way for our brains to decide what to retain and what isn’t important enough to hang onto.  Studies have shown that when we learn new things we tend to dream more; during one particular dream study, those participants who were learning a new language displayed more dream activity than those who were not.  It may very well be that while the students dreamt, their brains were hard at work ensuring that the new language was headed to long term memory while the less important pieces of information were tossed aside.

dream sleep

There is another theory that dreams are a reflection of our emotions.  While we go about our normal daily routines, our brains are hard at work processing everything down to the tiniest detail.  Let’s say you’re building a garden bed frame.  Your brain is not only focused on the design and which tools work with each step, it’s also sending signals to your body; a signal for your fingers to grab the hammer, for example, and for the other hand to grip that nail tight!  Since during the evening hours while we’re sleeping our brain has the chance to slow down, it also has the chance to wade through all of the emotions that maybe we’d been too busy to recognize during our busy waking hours.  A common dream brought on by stress is one of losing your teeth.  This is often a case of feeling powerless or having lost control of a situation.  Especially during times of high stress or worry, you may find you have more dreams relating to your situation; even if only in a symbolic manner.

How to choose the right mattress for you?

winnipeg mattresses

A good night’s sleep can make the difference between acing that presentation in front of the big boss or making the biggest fumble of your career.  It can be the only thing that saves you when dealing with toddler tantrums or testy teens.  A good consistent, good night’s rest improves your overall health, your brain’s ability to function and most definitely your mood!  If you find that your sleep is regularly interrupted or that you’re dragging yourself bleary eyed from your bed each and every morning, your mattress just might be the culprit.


The average lifespan of a mattress is anywhere from 5 to 10 years, depending on the quality, use, and whether or not you use a mattress pad and protectors.  If you’re not sleeping properly, it could be that you’ve logged enough hours on yours and it’s time for a switch.  Check out your mattress next time you’re changing the sheets; are there lumps, sags or pockets worn into it? Those are definitely signs that it’s past its prime.  It could also be that your mattress isn’t of great quality and it’s just not holding up any longer, despite not being very old.

You’ve determined that you need to replace your mattress, but which one is best for you?  Generally speaking, a firmer mattress is better for most people.  Test mattresses before you buy; lie down on them and ensure that you’re testing them with a pillow (so long as you use one at home) and in the position that you’d normally lie.  It might seem silly, but if the store doesn’t provide pillows, bring your own!  The more realistic your test is, the more accurate your buy will be. It’s also a good idea to test the mattress while lying flat on your back.  Take note of how much give there is on your pressure points; your head, shoulders, buttocks and heels should all be in alignment.  If you’re feeling as if the mattress is pressing hard on these areas, the mattress is too firm.  If your body feels as if it’s sinking and there is no resistance at all, the mattress is too soft.  Studies conducted on back pain show that for the most part, the biggest sufferers slept on the softest mattress.   

There are a wide variety of mattresses to choose from; innerspring, memory foam, latex, air mattresses (not the blow up kind here; we’re talking about air chambers as opposed to coils in the mattress), pillow top, and adjustable beds!  With such a wide variety it can be overwhelming to choose from amongst them to ensure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck.  That’s where both testing them out and our qualified sales team will come in handy.  Well trained staff will give you all of the information you’re looking for when trying to choose a mattress that’s best for you to ensure you get a blissful nights rest and are ready to meet the challenges of your day.

Sleepwell Year in Review

Well, it’s been a year since I moved back to Winnipeg to join the Sleepwell team and I can’t believe how quickly it’s passed. The day to day just feels like business as usual but when you sum it all up, you can accomplish a lot in a year!

The most important thing I have learned so far is that running a business involves constant evolution. As the environment around you changes, you have to adapt your products and processes to change with it – and do so in a way that continues to add value to your customers. I mean, in the last year, we have had 3 website changes and are currently working on a 4th – each creating more value than the last!

Some of our accomplishments this year include:

  • Introducing an online mattress store
  • Major website improvements for a more user friendly experience
  • Developing strategic partnerships with other businesses in the city
  • And of course, opening our 2nd location in south Winnipeg

A personal goal of mine for the upcoming year is to attend more networking events – I’m looking forward to connecting with other local businesses and sharing these experiences through our blog and Instagram account. Lots to look forward to!

Until then, hope to see you around town.

…And as always, hope you’re sleeping well,

Kajal

Putting the Custom in Customer

One of my favourite pizza places in Winnipeg has got to be Za Pizza Bistro. And I don’t think I’m the only one because every time I go there, the lineup is outside the door! But I get why people love it. Sure, the unlimited toppings and coal fired crust are great. But the key is you can custom make it to exactly what you want. And that’s what people want. Across all industries.

As consumers, we love products that are tailor made to meet our needs but unfortunately, living in a world ruled by mass production makes that hard to find. Being able to provide this valuable asset is what customers come back for. And it happens to be one of Sleepwell Bedding’s competitive advantages. Unlike most of our competitors, we cut our own foam and springs in our factory, making tailor made sizes easy to produce. Have an odd sized frame you need to fit a mattress in? We can do it. Need a twin mattress with the length of a queen because you’re tall? We can do that too. Want a mattress that’s soft on one side and firm on the other? You got it!

So if there’s something you’ve been wanting from your mattress but aren’t sure if it can be done, ask us. If you can dream it, we can probably do it! All hand crafted and made with love, right here in Winnipeg.

What Exactly IS Factory Direct Pricing?

You see it on our signs, our website, our social media pages – ‘Sleepwell Bedding: Factory Direct Pricing’ – but what exactly does that mean?

 

At Sleepwell Bedding, all of our mattresses are made in our factory on site and placed directly in our showroom, saving you time and money while still maintaining a high quality product.

When purchasing designer mattresses from department stores, your money is going toward paying both the mattress company and the store that sells it. At Sleepwell Bedding, there is no middleman, allowing us to offer the same or better quality at a much lower price.

But the benefits don’t stop there! Because we make our mattresses on site, they are always in stock so you can take it home with you the day you buy it and sleep on it that night! If you’re getting it delivered, we can send it out on the Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday following your purchase! Getting a custom order? We commit to a maximum 3 day turnaround!

What’s more? Many of our top quality mattresses are about half the cost of our competitors and the specs speak for themselves! 25 year warrantied, 775 pocket coiled queen sets starting at just $599! These mattresses are made using 2 pound density foam so they are built stronger to last you longer!

If you’re looking for mattresses for bunk beds or spare bedrooms, our twin mattresses start at $119 and our double mattresses at $149. Even with these great prices, we still offer 5 year warranties so you know you are getting a mattress that will last!

And if all of this sounds too good to be true, we would love to have you stop in to test the mattresses for yourself! We encourage you to compare the specs and prices of our mattresses with those of our competitors, we don’t think you will be disappointed!

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