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Find the Perfect Sleep Position

Monday, 08 July 2013 14:19
A better night's rest image

‘Find the Perfect Sleep Position – Comfortable sleeping with common conditions’ an article by The Wall Street Journal

Stomach, Back or Side? How You Slumber Can Aggravate Pain, Prevent the Body From Bouncing Back

Article by SUMATHI REDDY for the Wall Street Journal (link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324595704578241642030220064.html)

A version of this article appeared January 15, 2013, on page D1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Find the Perfect Sleep Position.

Tossing and turning all night to find that perfect sleeping position?

Experts say there is no one right way to sleep. But for people with certain types of pain and medical conditions, there are positions that can help keep problems from getting worse and may even alleviate them. In some cases, sleeping in the same position night after night can itself create pain, such as neck or shoulder problems.

"It's important that people take time to think about how they position themselves when they sleep," said Peggy Brill, a Manhattan orthopedic physical therapist. "Rest is important for the muscular skeletal system to recover" from the day's stresses, she said. "The proteins get back into the muscles, there's rejuvenation of the body, so you want to be in a healthy anatomical position when you sleep."

The most common sleeping position is on the side—57% of us at least start the night in that position, according to a nationwide survey of more than 2,000 people performed for mattress maker Tempur-Pedic North America. That's followed by the back—17% of people opt for this position—and the stomach, 11%. Most of the remaining respondents said their position when they first go to bed varies each night.

Moving around during the night is common. Videotaped sleep studies have found that adults might change their position between three and 36 times a night, with the average person switching about a dozen times. The tendency to shift in one's sleep decreases with age.

Each sleep position has benefits and disadvantages, although sleeping on the stomach generally isn't recommended because it can constrain the neck. Lying flat on your back, for instance, may be good for the lower back but can exacerbate digestive and breathing problems—and snoring.

"You want to make sure that your joints are not being excessively compressed or muscles put in abnormally shortened or stretched positions," said Mary Ann Wilmarth, chief of physical therapy at Harvard University Health Services.

Dr. Wilmarth said that always sleeping in the same position can cause problems. Consistently compressing the body on one side or stretching another side over time can create an imbalance and result in soreness or pain in that area or exacerbate an existing condition.

In general, for most painful conditions, experts say sinking into a mattress that is too soft, or bending backward, said Nick Shamie, associate professor of orthopedic surgery at University of California, Los Angeles and spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

For people suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis, in which nerves are pinched in the lower back, lying in any position can create significant pain except, perhaps, when the knees are bent.

"When these people are sleeping, whether on the back or side, they like to bend their knees because that brings their legs up and opens up the back of their spine," said Dr. Shamie. Spinal stenosis patients often place a pillow under their knees when sleeping on their back or between their legs if sleeping on their side. Adopting a fetal position while sleeping also helps ease pain for many patients, he said.

Shoulder pain. Avoid sleeping on the side with the painful shoulder. Sleep on your back with a small pillow to support the bad shoulder. Or, if you sleep on the other side, hug a pillow.

Also, if the neck isn't adequately supported, you could get compression of the nerves that go from the neck to the arm, said Harvard's Dr. Wilmarth. "That's when you can get numbness or tingling, usually with the compression of a nerve from the sleeping position," she said.

Neck pain. Avoid sleeping on your stomach, experts advise people with this condition. Turning the neck to the side compresses the joints. "Sleep on your side or back," Ms. Brill said.

Also, use a pillow that is as thick as the space between your neck and shoulder, and position it above the shoulders so they don't become hunched, she said. "You want a soft down pillow or something similar that you can kind of bulk and put into the hollow of your neck and support your head," Ms. Brill said.

Joseph Feinberg, director of the physiatry, or rehabilitative medicine, at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, suggests supporting the neck.

This helped Loli Wu, 45, an investment banker in Manhattan, who said he used to wake up with horrible neck cramps. Dr. Feinberg diagnosed a herniated cervical disc, the result of years of imperfect posture.

In addition to physical therapy, Dr. Feinberg suggested Mr. Wu use a rolled towel in his pillowcase. "Since doing that I have not had a reoccurrence of the neck cramps," Mr. Wu said. "I stick to it religiously now."

 


Our Grand Soleil foam mattresses provide excellent anatomical support in combination with perfectly aligned body weight distribution across the surface of the mattress. The Etoile and Zefiro models have both received medical grades in Italy which guarantee their suitability for alleviating back pain and are certifiably recommended by A.F.I (The Italian Physiotherapists Association). The mattress’ visco elastic top layers are both designed to minimize pressure points throughout the process of sleep. This in turn reduces pressure and strains on the back, making it an ideal mattress choice for those individuals concerned with back problems and poor sleep posture.

The correct sleep posture is essential for a comfortable and healthy sleep. It can be determined that back and neck pains are often caused by incorrect sleep posture, contributing to hindered blood blow. Our Grand Soleil mattresses embody 7 core support zones that help increase hindered blood flow and conform to your body’s contours, which accommodate your shoulders and hips. This technological advancement allows for instant responses to your body's movements, cradling every curve upon turning throughout sleep. By relieving pressure points, our mattresses promote normal blood flow. This is why Grand Soleil mattresses are highly recommended by Italian physiotherapists for a healthy sleep, and why they are an essential choice for those seeking a mattress targeting reduction of back pain.

The Reasons Mattress Prices Vary So Much

Thursday, 09 May 2013 11:56


Why is there such variance in the price of foam mattresses?  For example, foam mattresses are available from $200 or so, and run right through into the thousands, what differences do these mattresses have to reflect the price variations?


The reason different foams are at different prices is technology.  The may look similar on the outside, but what goes into the composition of different foams varies greatly, in the same way all car’s share the same basic function, but it’s performance (what’s under the bonnet) that sets the price. 

It takes years of research to discover the right chemicals & the right curing time to achieve the right feeling product.  This R&D takes time and money.  The top mattress companies will be conducting continuous research and development and driving innovation in the mattress field.  The secret to any foam is the recipe to produce it, and the better the product the more guarded the recipe will be.


Here are some of the main differences to look out for that will be reflected in the price of the product.


Synthetic foams will be less expensive.


-  Synthetic foams are made from petrochemicals.  Petrochemicals are chemical products derived from petroleum. Some chemical compounds made from petroleum are also obtained from other fossil fuels, such as coal.


-  These are cheaper to produce the natural foams, but natural foams have greater benefits for your sleep & health. 


Density, lower densities will be less expensive


-  Denisty refers to the amount of the ingredient in the final product, so it makes sense that a lower density mattress uses fewer ingredients and is cheaper.


-  A high density foam will be more expensive, but will hold its form for longer meaning you can use it for longer, and it will offer more effective support. 


Technology


-  The latest technologies will be more expensive.  As with anything, when a technology is first released, it has cost that company research and development time, the price will reflect this.  When purchasing a mattress, the trick is to look for a balance, since you only purchase a mattress every 5-10 years, it is best to look for the latest technologies, but don’t buy into a ‘fad’, look for a product that is from a reputable company who has a range of mattresses to meet different needs.  There is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to sleeping, so new technologies should be integrated into a range of sleeping products, rather than one ‘super’ mattress.


-  The latest innovations and technologies on offer do have real sleep benefits, prioritise what you sleep needs are and match it up to a mattress that addresses these needs.


Inexpensive mattresses will offer fewer benefits.


-  Some technologies will be visible, contouring, pin holes, layered construction etc.  Always ask to see what’s inside the cover, companies that pride themselves on technology will have everything out on display, and sales staff will be able to accurately tell you all about it. 


Materials


-  Another reason that is relatively straight forward, the more expensive the materials going into the mattress, the more expensive the mattress will be.


-  Aside from natural vs. synthetic, look for indicators such as wool & cotton (as opposed to nylon) used in the covers, and if adhesives are used, what sort of adhesives are they.


-  In the mattress core, if it has multiple layers, check what each layer is.  It is common to have a natural layer on top of a synthetic base, this is a common way of keeping the cost down.  The mattress should have high quality materials used top to bottom, otherwise it will not last as long, nor will it offer as many sleep benefits. 


The Dorsal Difference: The fundamental part of a bed system, a mattress is the support in contact with the body and is therefore subject to greater strain and wear. For this reason Dorsal carries out research into developing mattresses that not only guarantee the right support for the body, but also ensure durability over time, through its 100% Italian craftsmanship and environmental friendliness with raw materials from renewable resources. Dorsal is well-known in Italy as the company that introduced Grand Soleil, an innovative material for a market dominated by springs and latex. Grand Soleil is foam made from sunflower oils and water which has been used to create a special range of natural mattresses that give sure support without sinking and deforming and are non-allergenic and anti-bacterial. How many times do you buy a cheap mattress to equal a good quality mattress this is why Grand Soleil mattress is the best as they feel the same year after year. A cheap mattress loses it comfort in 3 – 6 months.




Your bedroom should feel like a healthy sanctuary. Bring a new sense of comfort and grounding to your sleep haven with these simple tips — no hefty cost required!

 

1. Take out tons of tech: The number one — and easiest— way to make your bedroom healthier tonight? Stop hanging out with your computer and phone in bed. If you can't manage that, make sure you turn off your electronics 20 minutes before bedtime. The blue light emitting from electronics can disrupt your circadian and melatonin rhythms and make your body think it's still daytime.


2. Kick out clutter: Clutter translates to unfinished business. The last thing you should feel is overwhelmed right before you go to bed — or as soon as you wake. It can be a big change for someone who just tosses their clothes on the floor when they arrive back at home, but getting (and staying) organized can help lower your stress levels.


3. Import something green: Bringing a little green into your bedroom helps connect you to nature and warm things up — especially when things seem pretty bleak and cold outside. It's unbelievable what a difference some fresh flowers or a small potted plant can do to give a tired room some fresh life.



Quality Indicators in Foam Mattresses

Friday, 22 March 2013 11:05


There are many foam mattresses on the market at the moment but the increased popularity of this type of mattress has meant the production of many cheap and inferior products.

There are several key factors you should look for when researching, which include:
•    Foam density.  Foam density does not relate to comfort (i.e. soft, medium or firm) it is an indicator of how much of the raw ingredient is in the foam, the more there is, the longer the mattress will last, and the higher its resilience.  Density will be expressed in a figure per kg/m3.

•    Available options/comfort levels/complete “system” of mattress, base and pillows.  A mattress does not do all the work on its own; the best mattress on the market can be let down if it is not paired with a corresponding base & pillow range that enhances the support.  Reputable mattress manufacturers know that a great sleep is gained through a complete sleep system made up of the base, the mattress, comfort layers and pillows.  There will be a science behind their systems that has likely been developed with physiotherapists to offer advanced anatomical support.  When shopping for your mattress, look for a company that has a range of options that are designed to work together to offer different sleep solutions for different people’s needs.  It is not possible for one mattress to meet everyone’s needs, regardless of how good that mattress may be.  A company that has various complete systems on offer will have trained staff to help match you up to your perfect system to suit your body and sleep needs.  They will also be able to advise you on the best solution for you, should you already have a base or pillows by aligning your current base with a new mattress and your specific needs.

•    Workmanship/Manufacturer.  There are so many brands and manufacturers of mattresses that it can be hard to sift through who can be trusted and who is the best.  There is everyone from big name brands through to smaller, boutique companies producing fantastic products, and this is also the case for companies producing lesser quality products.  A great way to narrow it down is to ask questions about how long the brand has been manufacturing, then go deeper and ask about where the raw materials are sourced from and where the manufacturing takes place.  A reputable manufacturer is proud of the manufacturing and history and this information will be available for customers, reputable manufacturer will also ensure well trained sales people are selling their product and they will be able to provide this level of information when asked.

•    Certifications.  As with many products, mattresses will all come with various certifications, many that do not necessarily mean much to the majority of customers who are unfamiliar with standard tests.  Look for certifications of quality testing, reputable mattresses will have passed tests for quality and stability testing; this tests the durability of the mattress.  The results of this will most likely be published on their website or in printed material.  There are many facilities that carry out these test, so the certifications will vary, the results are the best indication and the easiest to understand.  Also look out for certifications from physiotherapist associations; these will most likely be physiotherapists from the mattress’s country of origin, not necessarily Australia.  In addition to this, there may be certifications for the materials used in the mattress.  The testing should have been carried out by third party groups, not the manufacturer; therefore the certifications will be issued by independent testing organisations and will carry their logos.


•    Quality of material used.  In foam mattresses (latex, memory or natural), it is more expensive to use natural materials then petroleum based materials.  The price of the mattress will reflect this.  To be certain ask questions such as ‘what is the foam made from?’, ‘is it one product all the way through the mattress?’, if more than one product is used ask about the composition of each layer (many mattresses will have a natural high quality layer on top of a lesser quality foam on the bottom), also ask about how the layers are stuck together.  What you are looking for is high quality products, (the more natural the better, all should be open cell & breathable & a high density), used through the entire depth of the mattress.  If the mattress has a natural high quality glue this is a good sign that consideration has been given to every element of the structure.
If you want to be sure, ask the see the foam inner core without any covers, you will be able to see the layers, if little or no information has been provided on the lower layers (i.e. they only talk about the comfort layer on top), then there is a chance they have used a lesser quality product on the bottom.  A lower quality bottom layer can mean reduced air circulation and life span of the mattress

•    Warranty offered/Life span.  The Warranty offered is actually not a good indicator of mattress quality.  A reputable mattress manufacturer is unlikely to offer a warranty of 25 years or more as this is unhealthy.  A mattress needs to be replaced every 8-10 years for hygiene reasons and optimal support.  In a decade, most people’s bodies and sleep needs will alter dramatically, and a new sleep system should be purchased to maintain good sleep habits.  For this reason, many top of the range mattresses are likely to have a 10 year warranty.  However, any mattress made from a good quality, high density foam (refer to the first point), will last up to 25 years no problem, it is simply not recommended you use it for this long. 

You may find the lower end of the market producing similar comfort levels but they are producing these with polyurethane/petrochemical based materials that can be detrimental to your health.  Also be on the lookout for products that have a high quality top layer, but lesser quality layers below it, as these products will not offer optimal support and durability, even though they are likely to be very comfortable and promise great features such as good air flow, natural and hygienic.  The best mattresses on the market will feature a holistic approach to its sleep system, there will be coordinating bases and pillows and the entire mattress core will have design consideration from top to bottom and be made from the highest quality materials, not just the surface.

Dorsal stand out from the crowd with the use of renewable/sustainable natural oils to produce breathable open cell foam. This technology has been designed in conjunction with physiotherapists to provide even weight distribution and relieve pressure over the 7 core zones. This is achieved through patented teardrop laser cut in our Duocell and Triocell ranges and via the first ever natural oil based medical grade memory foams. European markets are leading the way in this technology and German engineered/Italian made range offer exceptional quality. 

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