Sniff Your Way to Better Sleep

In order to get a great night’s sleep, all five senses must be taken care of.  We make our rooms dark and close our eyes to shut out the light.  We listen to white noise or the waves of the ocean from a sound machine to relax us.  We brush our teeth before bed so our mouths are fresh and clean.  We are most comfortable using sheets and blankets that are soft to the touch.  What about our sense of smell?  If you’re neglecting your nose, it could be hindering your ability to sleep.  Here are some fragrances that can help us fall asleep faster and get a more restful night’s sleep. 

If your stress level is through the roof and you’re having trouble falling asleep, lavender can help ease your mind.  According to Prevention magazine, a study from the University of Southampton in Britain showed that the scent of lavender helped its participants to sleep 20% better than they did without lavender exposure.  Another sleep study conducted at Wesleyan University found that the scent of lavender acted as a mild sedative and “has practical applications as a… method for promoting deep sleep”.

Another popular sleep inducing scent is chamomile.  Chamomile has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including insomnia.  The National Institute of Health refers to chamomile as a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer.  It soothes your mind, eases your emotions, and even helps to relax your muscles, making it easier to fall asleep.

Can’t remember what you ate for breakfast?  Roses could be the answer.  As reported by the New York Times, a study conducted in Germany found that smelling roses can increase the formation of memories.  In this study, the scent of rose was released into the air while its participants were in a state of deep sleep.  Upon waking up, they were asked to recall cards on a computer screen that they had memorized the day before.  The study found that those who slept in the rose scented air “scored an average of 97 percent on the card game, compared with 86 percent when they played the game and slept without being perfumed”.

Scents can do more than make us sleepy, they can help keep us awake, too.  A study from the University of Cincinnati found that the scent of peppermint made its participants more alert and increased their productivity.  So, before you reach for that 3pm cup of coffee, try using peppermint to keep your mind focused.

Not sure how to incorporate these scents into your bedroom?  Try using essential oils, a concentrated liquid version of your preferred scent.  Put a few drops of oil on a tissue or a cloth and tuck it under your pillow.  You can also use an oil diffuser that will pump the scent into the air.  Another option is to take a warm bath before bed using scented scrubs and lotions, like the ones in this spa kit.  The bath will not only leave your skin smelling great, it will also help you fall asleep faster too.  When in the bath the warm water raises your body temperature, but once out of the bathtub your body temperature falls, causing you to fall asleep more quickly.  Try incorporating a soothing scent into your bedtime routine to keep all five senses satisfied and sleepy.

For more information follow me on Twitter and Instagram @SnoozeDirector, like Sleepy’s on Facebook, and be sure to check back here for more sleep tips, tricks, and Snooze News.


Contributor: Elizabeth Murphy

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Time to Get Some Beauty Sleep

Let’s admit it – we all want to look good.  Americans spent over $50 billion dollars on cosmetics last year alone!  Between all the “miracle creams” and “1-step problem solvers” out there, it’s enough to make your head spin.  What if there was an easier way to look your best?  According to a new study, there is.

We know the benefits sleep has on our minds, bodies, and moods, but a new clinical trial suggests that sleep is good for our skin, too.  Estee Lauder and University Hospitals Case Medical Center teamed up to find out how your sleep, or lack of sleep, affects the way you look.  The result?  More sleep equals younger, better looking skin.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the study consisted of sixty women between the ages of 30 and 49.  The women were then split into two groups, good sleepers and poor sleepers.  Those who qualified as poor sleepers slept less than 5 hours per night.  “The study involved a visual skin evaluation and participation in several non-invasive skin challenge tests including UV light exposure and skin barrier disruption.  Additionally, participants filled out a sleep log for one week to quantify sleep duration”.

As a result, poor sleepers were twice as likely to show signs of natural aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, reduced skin elasticity, and uneven skin tone.  They also found that poor sleepers have more difficulty repairing skin damage from outside influences, such as sunburn.  Poor sleepers also retained water for a longer period of time than those who slept well, causing an increase in inflammation.

So, if you want to look your best, put down the Botox and pull up those bed sheets… it’s time to get some beauty sleep!

Speaking of beauty sleep – Sleepy’s recently donated two Simmons Beautyrest mattresses and beds to the beautiful Hampton Designer Showhouse, which benefits the Southampton Hospital.  Look at these amazing designs by Kemble Interiors, Inc.  For more information and to see more designs visit the Hampton Designer Showhouse.

Photo by Marco Ricca.

Photo by Marco Ricca.

Photo by Marco Ricca.

For more information follow me on Twitter and Instagram @SnoozeDirector, like Sleepy’s on Facebook, and be sure to check back here for more sleep tips, tricks, and snooze news.


Contributor: Elizabeth Murphy

Posted in Snooze Director | 1 Comment

Rain, Rain, Go Away

As I’m sitting at my desk, looking out the large glass windows, I can’t help but yawn.  With a title like “Snooze Director” you might think that this is common practice, but with blogs to write, meetings to attend, and Twitter feeds to follow, there is no time for sleepiness in my day.  I tried to figure out what was making me so abnormally tired today…  I got 8 hours of sleep last night, I ate breakfast this morning, and I haven’t done any strenuous activity yet today.  So what could it be?   As I sat here analyzing my morning routine my eyes were drawn back to the window.  Today is the first day this month that the sun isn’t shining and the thermometer hasn’t hit 80 degrees.  I think we’ve found the root of the problem.

There is a direct link between the weather and your ability to stay awake.  You’ve probably noticed that when it’s sunny and warm, you’re cheerful and awake; but when it’s cloudy and cold, you’re tired and sluggish.  We’ve discussed what the optimal sleeping conditions are for your best night’s sleep – cool, dark, and between 54 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit – so it makes perfect sense that when the weather outside mirrors the conditions of your bedroom, you tend to get sleepy.

Whenever I wake up to a text from my fiancé that says “perfect sleeping weather” I know it’s raining before I even open the curtain.  But that’s not just his opinion, science says it too.  The two main hormones that regulate our sleep/wake cycles are melatonin and serotonin.  Melatonin helps us fall asleep and regulates our sleep cycles throughout the night, while serotonin stimulates wakefulness and lifts our mood.  When our eyes sense darkness, we release melatonin.  So on a cloudy day, although consciously we know that it’s daytime and we have to be awake, subconsciously the chemicals in our brain are telling us it’s time for bed.  On the other hand, when our eyes sense light, serotonin is released and melatonin production decreases.  This is why we are more alert and happier on bright and sunny days, while cloudy days make us want to crawl back into bed.

So, if you find yourself drinking an extra cup of coffee today, blame on it on the weather.  Just make sure you enjoy that cup at least six hours before bed.

For more information follow me on Twitter and Instagram @SnoozeDirector, like Sleepy’s on Facebook, and be sure to check back here for more sleep tips, tricks, and snooze news.


Contributor: Elizabeth Murphy

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Which Came First, the Job or the Sleep Deprivation?

Despite the countless studies and research stating how important sleep is for our overall health and well-being, a good night’s sleep is still not a priority for Americans.  In a world where an 8-hour work day is short and 6-hours of sleep are a lot, it’s no wonder that Americans are sleep deprived.  Shift workers have their own sleep obstacles to overcome, but what about those of us that work a 9-5 shift?  Could the amount of sleep you get be directly affecting your job?

Sleep deprivation causes a myriad of symptoms including an inability to concentrate, morning headaches and memory loss… all of which can negatively affect your job performance.  In a poll from the National Sleep Foundation, 29% of people admitted to falling asleep at work or being overly tired at work, while another 12% said that they have gotten to work late because of a lack of sleep.  Even if you’re not nodding off at your desk, getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night could dramatically affect how well you perform at work.  Getting the proper amount of sleep positively influences your mood, keeps your mind focused and helps to create more positive social interactions, which will all result in a more productive day at the office.

Do you bring your work troubles home with you?  If you have trouble falling asleep at night, stress could be the culprit.  Are you trying to sleep but ideas for next week’s presentation keep running through your head?  Jot them all down.  Nancy Rothstein, The Sleep Ambassador, suggests you “empty your head when you go to bed.  Don’t bring your work worries to sleep with you”.  Keep a pen and a pad of paper on your nightstand to write down any late night ideas or stresses.  Writing down your worries will free your mind to focus about other, more soothing thoughts before bed.

Sleepless in Chicago: A recent study conducted by Sleepy’s revealed the top ten Chicagoans most in need of a good night’s sleep.  Topping the list as the “Sleepiest Chicagoan” is Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who’s high-pressure, high-profile job may attribute to his loss of sleep.  Sleepy’s recently opened 10 stores in the Chicago area, “marking the brand’s first foray outside of the East Coast”.  You can see the full list of sleepy Chicagoans and more information about Sleepy’s expansion here.

Where in the world is Sleepy’s Snooze Director? 

Today, I visited Sleepy’s Syosset showroom where I met Mattress Professional Fred Hall.  Fred was extremely outgoing and very kind.  He told me all about Sleepy’s One Day Sale, going on now!  Today only save up to 75% and every Sealy’s Beautyrest is on sale!  Visit a showroom near you or shop for these great savings!


For more information follow me on Twitter and Instagram @SnoozeDirector, like Sleepy’s on Facebook, and be sure to check back here for more sleep tips, tricks, and snooze news.



Contributor: Elizabeth Murphy

Posted in Sleepy's, Snooze Director | 1 Comment

A Sleepover With Mother Nature

“Of course, not everybody likes camping trips. I do not myself enjoy them much, because I’m not outdoorsy, or at any rate, I’m not outdoorsy overnight-without-a-mattress-wise. There’s a limit to the outdoorsiness to which some academics can be expected to submit.”
― G.A. Cohen

While camping might not be for Mr. Cohen, for others it is a summer tradition not to be missed.  There is much to love about camping… the fresh air, campfires, sleeping under the stars, and of course the s’mores.  But, perhaps Mr. Cohen has a point – there has to be a way that we can get a better night’s sleep while camping, even without our mattress.  For those of you who plan on pitching a tent this summer, here are some tips for getting a good night’s sleep in the great outdoors.

Before you head out on your trip, be sure to do your research.  Check local weather forecasts for any impending heat waves, rain storms, or other inclement weather conditions.  Knowing the weather before you go will help you determine what equipment you’ll need to pack and what you can leave at home.

Just as the conditions of your bedroom effect how well you sleep, the sleeping conditions of your campsite are equally important.  For your best night’s sleep be sure it is dark, cool, and dry.  While nature will take care of the darkness for you, your tent can help you control the other conditions.  If you’re expecting rain, a good quality tent will ensure that you stay dry all night long.  If rain isn’t in the forecast but you’re worried about a heat wave, a screened tent will allow heat to escape from the tent while protecting you from pesky mosquitoes and other bugs.

Sleeping bags are a staple for any camping trip, but they don’t provide much cushioning between you and the earth.  To avoid sleeping on rocks and sticks, elevate your sleeping surface.  Since you can’t transport your mattress to the campsite, use a memory foam mattress topper instead.  Mattress toppers are lightweight and comfortable and it will provide an extra layer of protection between you and the ground.  As an added bonus, memory foam helps to trap heat, keeping you cooler while you sleep.

Forgo using your sound machine to fall asleep and focus on the sounds of nature that surround you.  The singing of crickets, the hooting of an owl and the rush of a flowing stream make up the soundtrack for your outdoor adventure.  These sounds will provide you with natural “white noise”, which can help you to relax and decrease stress, making it easier to drift off to sleep.

Whether you’re venturing into the woods or setting up camp in your own backyard, make sure comfort is your main priority.  Getting a good night’s sleep will help you enjoy your camping trip and give you the energy you need to explore the great outdoors.

For more information follow me on Twitter and Instagram @SnoozeDirector, like Sleepy’s on Facebook, and be sure to check back here for more sleep tips, tricks, and snooze news.



Contributor: Elizabeth Murphy

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Hot Deals on Cool Beds!

Where in the world is Sleepy’s Snooze Director?  It’s almost 100 degrees outside, and inside our showrooms the deals are just as hot!  Today, I visited Sleepy’s New Hyde Park Showroom, where I met Mattress Professional Mike Luyster.  Mike was very patient and extremely knowledgeable, and he showed me some of the great mattresses we have on sale right now.  If you shop now, you’ll get our Hot Deals on Cool Beds special savings!  Save up to 65% on select beds in store and online at!  Whether you’re in need of a Plush, Pillow Top, Foam, or Firm mattress, be sure to stop by a showroom near you for some really hot deals on our coolest mattresses!

For more information follow me on Twitter and Instagram @SnoozeDirector, like Sleepy’s on Facebook, and be sure to check back here for more sleep tips, tricks, and snooze news.


Contributor: Elizabeth Murphy

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BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. Time to Get Up!

There are few sounds in life more irritating than the “beep, beep, beep” of an alarm clock in the morning.  It’s a painful reminder that you need to get out of bed and start your day.  Yet, it’s one of the most common household items, with 89% of Americans waking up next to an alarm clock.

What if we could make the wake-up process more enjoyable?  There is an array of new alarm clock technologies that not only help you wake up more easily, they can make it more fun as well.

How about waking up to the sunrise… or an artificial sunrise, that is.  Progressive alarm clocks make no sound but gradually turn your room from dark to light.  They mimic the actual rising of the sun and slowly add light to your room until it reaches the brightest point – the time you set to wake up.  The artificial light signals to your brain that it’s time to wake up, and is far less jarring than the beeping of an alarm clock or blasting of a radio.

Have you traded in the alarm clock on the nightstand for your cell phone instead?  Well, now there’s an app for that… or several apps for that.  Just type “sleep cycle” into the App Store search and you’ll find over a hundred applications, all claiming to wake you up at the most optimal time.  They claim to set off an alarm at your lightest point of sleep based on what time you fall asleep, an average sleep cycle, and what time you need to wake up. I downloaded one of these apps today, and I’ll be trying it out over the next week.  Check back here for an update to see if the app made waking up any easier or if I felt a difference in the morning.

Are you constantly late in the morning because you don’t hear your alarm?  If you’re a heavy sleeper, there’s an alarm clock for you, too!  How about one that rolls off your nightstand and hides?   Or a clock that forces you to do bicep curls first thing in the morning?  If that won’t wake you up, perhaps the clock that shakes your bed is for you.  If you’re looking for a fun way to start your day, or you need an extra push to get up in the morning, check out these quirky alarms that are sure to get you out of bed!

Now that we’ve discussed some different alarm clock options, it’s time to ditch the snooze button.  It’s so easy to reach over the side of the bed, with your eyes half-open, and hit the snooze button for “just 5 more minutes”.  But these short intervals of shut-eye are making it harder for you to wake up.  As stated on, hitting the snooze button is not giving you quality sleep which is just as detrimental as getting less sleep.  Dr. Edward Stepanski says, “You waste hours and hours a week by hitting the snooze button.  Instead, set your alarm for 20 minutes later—that’s how much sleep you actually get when you abuse the snooze button for an entire hour”.  So, disable the snooze button and set your alarm to go off 20 minutes later than usual, you’ll wake up more refreshed than if you got those “5 more minutes”.

For more information follow me on Twitter and Instagram @SnoozeDirector, like Sleepy’s on Facebook, and be sure to check back here for more sleep tips, tricks, and snooze news.


Contributor: Elizabeth Murphy

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Are You “Out Like a Light” or “Up All Night”?

How long does it take you to fall asleep once your head hits the pillow?  According to the National Sleep Foundation, it should take an average of 10 to 30 minutes to fall asleep.  This time allows you to unwind from the day, relax, and put your mind at ease before falling asleep.

But what if you fall outside of this 10 – 30 minute time frame?  Having difficulty falling asleep or falling asleep too quickly can say a lot about your quality of sleep and overall health.

If it takes you less than 5 minutes to fall asleep, it could be a sign that you’re sleep deprived.  This is very common among shift workers and those with a significant sleep debt.  Sleep deprivation can lead to fatigue, lack of concentration, irritability, decreased immune system, and an increased chance of disease.  If you’re in sleep debt, it’s important to pay it back as quickly as possible.  If you’re not sure what your sleep debt is, use the Sleep Debt Calculator and find out.

Everyone has experienced a night of lying in bed for what seems like hours, staring at the ceiling, waiting for sleep to wash over you.  Between the stress of work, kids, money and everyday life, it’s normal to have an occasional loss of sleep.  However, if it takes you an unusually long time to fall asleep on a regular basis, it could be the sign of a more serious problem.  “Having trouble falling asleep at night” tops the list of symptoms for insomnia.  There are a number of other influences that can also give you trouble when you’re trying to fall asleep including outside distractions, caffeine, anxiety and certain medications.  If you have concerns about insomnia, or any other sleep disorder, talk to your doctor.

If you want to decrease the time it takes you to fall asleep, exercise could be the answer.  According to a 2013 poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, your exercise, or lack thereof, directly correlates to your ability to fall asleep.  24% of people who don’t exercise have difficulty falling asleep every night or almost every night.  On the other hand, over 60% of people who exercise regularly claim to rarely or never have difficulty falling asleep.  If you’re up all night counting sheep, you may benefit from a few extra minutes of exercise each day.  Walk around the block, take an extra flight of stairs, or do 10 more minutes on the treadmill… it could save you a few precious moments when you’re falling asleep.

For more information follow me on Twitter and Instagram @SnoozeDirector, like Sleepy’s on Facebook, and be sure to check back here for more sleep tips, tricks, and snooze news.


Contributor: Elizabeth Murphy

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Pillow Talk

You’ve decided it’s time to replace your old, worn out, pancake-thin pillows.  That’s great!  But where do you begin?  This is where I come in – I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to help you find your perfect pillow.

Have you ever heard the saying, “there’s a lid for every pot?”  Well, now there’s a pillow for every sleeping position.  The most important factor to consider when picking out a pillow is ensuring that your neck and spine stay in their natural alignment while you sleep.  This means that each sleeping position requires a different type of pillow.

If you’re a side sleeper, then you’re not alone.  57% of people fall asleep on their side according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.  While on your side, the fetal position tends to be the most comfortable because it allows your spine to curve naturally.  You’ll need a pillow that supports your neck and spine, while also distributing the weight of your head evenly, like the Bed Gear pillow specifically designed for side sleepers.  For extra comfort, Dr. John Schubbe suggests using a rolled-up towel or smaller pillow under your waist to raise it slightly, making your spine into a straight line.

For back sleepers, extra support under your shoulders is necessary to alleviate pressure on your back and neck.  Using the right pillow is especially important in this position because it can help reduce snoring.  Pillows shaped like a wedge, such as the No-Snore Deluxe Pillow, are ideal for back sleepers because they align your neck and spine, opening up your airways and dissipating any snoring.  Dr. Schubbe also suggests placing a small pillow under your knees for added comfort.  Lifting your knees will mimic the natural C-curve of the spine, similar to the side sleeping fetal position.

Stomach-sleepers tend to have the most difficulty finding a pillow that’s right for them.  You need a pillow that’s thinner so it won’t arch or turn your neck.  The Bed Gear pillow designed for stomach sleepers is ideal because it conforms to your facial features and helps to prevent airway constriction, all while still supporting your neck.  For extra relief from back pressure Dr. Schubbe says, “place another relatively flat pillow under the stomach to help the spine keep its natural alignment”.

So how many pillows should you use?  The number of pillows you sleep on depends entirely on your own personal preference.  Personally, I like two pillows under my head, while my fiancé is comfortable sleeping with only one.  No matter what your number is, just make sure that your neck and spine stay in line and adjust the thickness of your pillows accordingly.

When choosing your new pillow, remember that comfort is the key.  Make sure that you’ll love your pillow for at least a year or two (that’s about how long a pillow will last before you’ll need to replace it).  For a more in-depth explanation of how to determine when it’s time to replace your pillow, check back here for my first Snooze News video, coming soon! 

For more information follow me on Twitter and Instagram @SnoozeDirector, like Sleepy’s on Facebook, and be sure to check back here for more sleep tips, tricks, and Snooze News.


Contributor: Elizabeth Murphy

Posted in Pillows, Sleep, Sleepy's, Snooze Director | 1 Comment

Daisy: A Snooze Director’s Best Friend

When I was interviewing to become Sleepy’s Snooze Director I was asked a simple question, “Do you have any interesting or unusual sleeping habits?”  To which I had to respond honestly, “I sleep with my 50 pound dog”.

Daisy, and her toys, getting comfortable on my bed.

Daisy, my 5 year old Beagle/Yellow Lab mix, has slept at the end of my bed every night since the day I brought her home.  I adopted Daisy when she was 10 weeks old, and after sleeping in a small crate for the majority of her life, my Queen size bed opened up a new world for her.  My family had dogs in the past who were never allowed to sleep on the bed, but Daisy was different.  Daisy was my dog, and I wanted her to sleep wherever she was most comfortable.

Perhaps my answer wasn’t as unusual as I thought.  According to the American College of Veterinary Medicine, 62% of Americans allow their pets to sleep in their bedroom or on their bed.  There are, of course, positives and negatives when allowing your pet to sleep on your bed.  If you allow your four-legged friend to sleep with you, the most important thing to keep in mind is ensuring that your sleep is not disrupted.

Having enough space in the bed can be a serious point of conflict between you and your pet.  Despite obvious issues like the size of your pet and the size of your bed, sleeping position can also play a role in your comfort level.  Similar to humans, there are a variety of different canine sleeping positions.  Being able to share a bed with your pet and still sleep in your preferred sleeping position is very important for a good night’s sleep, for both you and your pet.  Luckily for Daisy and I, I am a side sleeper and she curls up into a ball when she sleeps, so space isn’t an issue for us.

Sleeping near your pet can also cause unwanted wake-ups.  Whether it’s a wagging tail hitting a bedside table, whining because of a nightmare, or a need to go the bathroom in the middle of the night, your pet can prevent you from sleeping soundly through the night.  Over the past 5 years there have been a number of times that Daisy has woken me up in the middle of the night for various reasons, but she needs a good night’s sleep just as much as I do, so those nights are few and far between.

Personally, the positives of having Daisy sleep with me outweigh any of the negatives.  There is a heightened sense of security and safety when she is in the same room as me.  Having her near me allows me to worry less and I sleep more soundly.  According to Dr. Rose from Baylor College of Medicine, there are both psychological and physical benefits to sleeping with your pet.  She says, “pets can create a sense of safety, security and comfort, and the rhythmic beating of their heart as well as the release of bonding hormones such as oxytocin may aid the owner with their own sleep”.

Allowing Daisy to sleep with me was my decision, and although it isn’t right for everyone, it was right for Daisy and I.  If letting your pet sleep in your bed isn’t for you, give them their own place to relax at the end of the day.  Providing your pet with a comfortable pet bed to sleep on can help ensure a great night’s sleep for everyone.  Where you allow your pet to sleep is an individual decision that only you as an owner can make.  Just make sure that whatever your decision may be, you don’t lose sleep over it!

For more information follow me on Twitter and Instagram @SnoozeDirector, like Sleepy’s on Facebook, and be sure to check back here for more sleep tips, tricks, and snooze news.


Contributor: Elizabeth Murphy

Posted in Sleep, Snooze Director | Comments Off