Sleepys on The Dr. Steve Show

I had such a fun time working with “The Dr. Steve Show,” on a segment that was all about sleep!  I love getting together with people to talk about all things sleep, especially since it’s a topic that affects each and every one of us.  I brought my friend, Dr. Robert Oexman of the Sleep to Live Institute, along with me for the show.  I’m letting my sleep geek-ness show a little bit, but I thoroughly enjoyed listening to two doctors discuss sleep topics and how to find the perfect mattress.  In case you missed the segment from “The Dr. Steve Show,” which airs nationally, here is the clip:

I’d like to thank my friends at “The Dr. Steve Show,” and WPIX who reached out to me and made this opportunity possible!

 

Contributor: Emily Barrett, Snooze Director

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Sleep Positions and Your Health

I found a really interesting article on Sleep.com about “How Your Sleeping Position Can Affect Your Health,” and I thought I would share some of the key points with you.  We spend (optimally) eight hours each night in a primary position so there has to be some benefits and some negative effects for remaining in a single position throughout the night.  None of the negative effects are life threatening, they are more so a nuisance.  Here are the three most popular sleep positions and how they affect your health.

  • Fetal Position – While lying on your side with your feet curled up towards your chest and your chin pulled down towards your chest as well, the fetal position is one of the most common sleeping positions.  A benefit to sleeping in the fetal position is when you’re pregnant; sleeping on your left side will increase blood flow to the uterus.  With the increase in circulation, your baby will get plenty of oxygen and nutrients while you sleep.  The downside to the fetal position won’t be felt until the morning.  Spending all night curled up can cause aches and pains in your neck and back.
  • Back Sleepers – Whether you’re a soldier or a log, a back sleeper is more prone to snoring.  Also you may want to avoid sleeping on your back while pregnant because there is more weight stressing your lower back which also affects the veins that carry blood to your legs.  If you have the proper mattress, back sleeping is great for keeping your spine in neutral alignment so you shouldn’t wake up with aches and pains.
  • Stomach Sleepers – Sleeping on your stomach greatly reduces snoring, but if you have to use a CPAP machine every night, it won’t be very comfortable sleeping on your stomach.  Also, while in the early stages of pregnancy you may find it comfortable to sleep on your stomach, as your pregnancy progresses it will become more difficult and more uncomfortable to sleep on your stomach.

I had a great opportunity to make a video for Sleep.com and it was about sleep positions, personalities and how they are related.  There is great content on Sleep.com not just about sleep but also about your health.  There are two really cool features that I love on the site.  One is that you get to share your dreams with other Sleep.com visitors and the other is the Sleep Debt Calculator, which is a really handy tool.  Visit Sleep.com and leave me a comment on this blog on what you thought about the site!

 

Contributor: Emily Barrett

Sleep Is Not a Luxury

It’s almost eight months since I started my journey as the first-ever Sleepy’s Snooze Director.  I have learned so much about sleep and mattresses; I can’t help but reflect on what I’ve learned.  It’s not all too often that you’re able to have a job that is not only professionally rewarding, but also beneficial to your health.  This job was created as a way to express the importance of sleep and how it affects your life, but I still feel like there is much more to be done to make sleep a priority in everyone’s lives.

I think that the main battle we have to overcome as sleep enthusiasts is to define sleep as a necessity, not a luxury.  Our society glorifies (and almost demands) sleep deprivation as a normal thing.  Students are frequently pulling all-nighters to get through their demanding schedules of classes, jobs and coursework (not to mention extracurricular as well).  Also, many people are forced to take on shift work to make ends meet.  Then there are the people with the mantra, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” who make it no easier to believe that sleep is crucial.

I believe there is hope for our cause though.  I’ve been seeing “Sleep” sections on some of the most visited websites, such as Yahoo, The Huffington Post and WebMD.  There is also Sleep.com which is a website entirely devoted to sleep.  This is great because now people have access to sleep information whenever they want.  It’s just a matter of getting people to realize that their sleep troubles are actually problems with real solutions.  All too often I’ll hear someone say, “Oh, I’m just a light sleeper,” and they accept the fact that they don’t sleep well.  To them I say, “Get help!”  When your TV isn’t working, you get it fixed.  When your tooth hurts, you go to the dentist.  If you’re not sleeping well, talk to your doctor!

What are your views on sleep?  Is it a necessity or is it a luxury?  What are you doing to advocate the importance of sleep in everyone’s lives?  Do you ever talk to your doctor about your sleep problems?  I want to hear from you, so make sure to leave a comment below so that we can have a great conversation about this.  It’s in my opinion that if we don’t start to openly talk about sleep and our problems with sleep, then we won’t be able to change the public perception of sleep as a luxury.

 

Contributor: Emily Barrett

Spin it! Flip it! Rotate it! Make it a Game?

We’re talking about flipping/rotating your mattress. The handles on the sides of your bed are not there to just look pretty… they do have a purpose. At least once every 3 months, you should rotate your mattress with a spin, and if you don’t have a fluffy pillow-top then you should flip it top to bottom once every 3 months as well.

To rotate: (for reference: towards the headboard will be referred to as point A, and the footboard will be referred to as point B)

Stand at the foot of your bed– start at point B and pull your mattress away from the headboard – turn it one quarter to the right (your mattress and frame should look like a plus sign) – walk over to the right side and assist point B to the headboard. Point A should now be at your footboard, and your mattress should complete a 180 degree turn.

To flip: (for reference: the top part of your bed will be referred to as side #1 and the underneath part of your bed will be referred to as side #2, the left-side #3 and the right-side #4)

Start at the right side of your bed and use the handles to pull the bed towards you, half-way out. Push the bed towards the ceiling, #4 should be closest to the ceiling and #3 should be the only part of your mattress that is touching any part of the frame. Walk over to the left side of your frame and reach up to pull #4 towards you. Side #1 should now be underneath and #2 should now be your surface area for sleep. This is best done with two people but can still easily and safely be done with just one.

 

**Flipping and rotating regular will increase the longevity of your mattress.

 

Contributor: Cassandra Broadway