Scientifically reviewed by CountingSheep.net Team

Written by

Marijana

She would be a morning person if mornings started at noon. Art historian, taurus, coffee lover, traveler, F1 fan who hates to drive, and well experienced insomniac with one life goal, to sleep like a coala for up to 20 hours per day.

Sleep Clinic Guide

Sleep clinics are probably the best way to learn everything in-depth about your sleep and get an official diagnosis of a specific sleep disorder.

You have tried everything, from tart cherry juice for insomnia, to teas and essential oils, your GP still thinks that you need to change something about your lifestyle, but somehow nothing is working, and you still cannot establish a healthy sleep routine. Well, maybe it is time to check-in into a sleep clinic. Sleep disorders can be tricky, and not so easy to get rid of once they take control over our daily life.

If you are having troubles with excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, falling and staying asleep, and none of the behavioral changes that you made did not provide any results, consult your doctor to refer you to a sleep clinic. However, it is essential to keep in mind that sleep clinics only set diagnose, identify the sleep disorder and recommend proper treatment, they do not cure the problem. Sleep clinics are probably the best way to learn everything in-depth about your sleep and get an official diagnosis of a specific sleep disorder such as insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, etc. Since Americans are having a lot of sleep-related issues, there are hundreds of these clinics in the US at the moment, and their number keeps growing.

Sleep clinics are basically medical labs and diagnostic centers in which patients can spend a night if it is necessary, so they are adjusted for the accommodation and comfort of the patients. Each room is equipped with medical monitoring devices, and the patient can be monitored during the day or at night so that the medical staff can gather enough information about their sleep. The data collected from the sleep study will be used for setting a diagnose and determine whether or not someone has a sleep disorder.

Some sleep clinics are attached to hospitals and function as a part of them, but the majority of them are standalone. Each clinic has to have a supervising physician, but usually, technicians are doing all the work, they are taking tests and monitoring patients, while the doctor analyses the final results and sets a diagnose.

If you are planning to visit a sleep clinic, keep reading to find some useful information and tips that will help you prepare for your sleep study.

How to Prepare for a Sleep Study?

Once you make an appointment, the clinic will probably send you some information and tips to help you prepare yourself better for your sleep study. During the few days before your sleep test, you should not do anything special, but on the day of your sleep study, there are some things that you should not do. Avoid alcohol and caffeine intake, do not take any nap during that day because that way you will fall asleep faster at the clinic, remove nail polish from your index fingers and wash your hair since it will be easier for electrodes to get attached to your scalp if there are no oils or gels. You should eat before going to the clinic and pack everything you need for a one night stay, toiletries, clothes, a book, or medications if you are taking them but you must inform technicians about your therapy. Even though you did not take a nap, it might be hard at first to relax and fall asleep, and that is normal since we are not in sleeping in our bedroom and we are nervous about the test and its outcome.

Many sleep studies need to be taken overnight, and they demand at least 7 hours of sleep testing in a clinic room. Sleep clinics will schedule your arrival during the evening hours so that in the early morning hours patients are free to go and continue with their daily chores, some clinics even have shower rooms. Technicians will welcome the patient and do all the necessary paperwork, then set all the equipment and start monitoring while the patient is sleeping. Sometimes they will leave the patient to wake up naturally, but they can also wake you up at the preselected time.

Do not expect to get your results and diagnose right after; the technicians will forward your results to a doctor, who then analyzes them and goes through your medical history. Within 7 to 10 days from your visit to a sleep clinic, your results will be ready, and the doctor will tell you what the treatment options are and is it really a sleep disorder and which one.

How Does Sleep Study Procedure Look Like?

Once you enter the clinic and fill out all papers, technicians will measure your blood pressure and start applying monitors that will measure the activity in your body while you are sleeping. Wires with small electrodes will be attached to your scalp to measure your brain activity, and from this, technicians will know whether you are sleeping and in which stage of sleep you are. More wire electrodes will be attached to your face, near the eyes and chin to follow the activity of muscles. Electrodes around eyes also provide information about sleep stages, while the ones on the chin can indicate some disorders like nocturnal teeth grinding.

Two elastic belts, one around the chest and the other one around the stomach will measure breathing effort. A monitor will be attached to your nail polish-free index finger to follow the level of oxygen during the study. A nasal cannula and heat monitor will measure all breathing activities, while a small microphone will be placed near the throat to capture snoring. There will also be wire electrodes on each leg to monitor body and muscle movements and two or three EKG monitors to follow and show heart rhythm and rate. All wires are long enough so that they do not hinder your normal movements during sleep.

Once you are all hooked up, the RSPGT machine in the other room will start to follow and collect all the data. If there is a need for communication between the patient and technicians in a different room, it can easily be achieved via intercom which is usually used at the beginning to test the equipment. As if not sleeping in your room is not enough, you know that you are monitored and attached to various devices, and it may seem that it will be impossible to relax and fall asleep. However, a sleep study rarely fails or gets rescheduled because the patient was unable to fall asleep.

Types of Sleep Studies

Sleep clinics today offer various sleep studies, and we are going to briefly represent you a few of the most commonly used ones.

Tips for Choosing the Best Sleep Clinic

Since they are quite popular at the moment, sleep clinics can be found on almost every corner, so how to pick the one that you will trust? Here are some things on which you have to pay attention.

Scientifically reviewed by CountingSheep.net Team

Written by

Iva

Iva is an art historian and an art lover who always had a passion for writing and sleep! When she is not researching and testing new mattresses on the market, you can find her binge-watching TV shows, eating tons of junk food or playing with her dog Bart.

Safe-Sleeping Guide for Parents and Childcare Providers

In order for your infant to develop healthily, you need to provide a safe sleep environment. A safe and healthy environment reduces the risk of Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

In order for your infant to develop healthily, you need to provide a safe sleep environment for him or her, as well as for yourself as parents or guardians. A safe and healthy environment reduces the risk of Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In this article, you will find out everything about SIDS, starting from risk factors to tips for creating a safe sleeping environment for your child.

 

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the term used for the abrupt and unexplained death of an infant of less than one year old. The cause of death is unknown, and it usually occurs during sleep. It is also known as cot death or crib death. The diagnosis is made when no other cause of death can be found from the autopsy or medical investigation. Most common cases have happened between the hours of 00:00 and 09:00, but without any evidence of noise or struggle.

Almost ninety percent of deaths caused by SIDS are for infants younger than six months, and it is the leading cause of death for infants between one and twelve months old. Approximately 1,600 American infants each year die from Sudden infant death syndrome.

Additionally, SIDS can be called SUID. However, the SUID or Sudden Unexpected Infant Death includes all sudden infant deaths, including accidental infant deaths like strangulation or suffocation, homicides and natural causes like neurological conditions, infections, and cardiac disorders. Around 3500 infants a year die from SUID in the United States. While SUID deaths include SIDS, it does not go the other way around.

Causes

The cause of SIDS is still unknown. The dominant theory is that the infant has brain defects in the area that controls breathing and arousal from sleep. Other factors, especially physical and environmental can contribute to SIDS.

Risk factors

Research has shown many environmental and physical factors can impact your infant and increase their risk for SIDS. Among those factors are low birth weight, premature birth, respiratory infections, exposure to passive smoke, brain abnormalities, sleeping on the stomach or side, sleeping with parents or other babies and sleeping on a soft surface.

Physical risk factors

Factors like low birth weight, brain abnormalities, and respiratory infections are physical factors that can lead to Sudden infant death syndrome. These circumstances expose your infant to the risk of not being able to breathe correctly. Low birth weight is common if the mother had multiple babies at once or if the babies were prematurely born. However, twins do not have a higher risk of SIDS than singleton births – both twins dying from SIDS is rare, and both twins dying from SIDS on the same day is extremely rare. Premature infants have a more significant risk of SIDS because their brain has not developed yet, and they might have some brain abnormalities.

Brain abnormalities can destabilize the undeveloped infant’s brain or they may even limit the infant’s capability of arousal and breathing. While the cause of SIDS is unknown, your baby can get these abnormalities from a decrease in oxygen or exposure to a toxic substance like smoking cigarettes during pregnancy. Researchers have found that many babies with SIDS had abnormalities in the arcuate nucleus, which is responsible for breathing and waking during sleep. Babies that have other defects of the brain and body can also be at risk.

The chemical in your brain called serotonin is possibly involved in SIDS. Serotonin is in charge of breathing regulation during sleep. Almost 70% of infants with SIDS had low levels of serotonin before they died. In normal circumstances, a baby’s brain will trigger the infant to wake up and cry if it is not getting enough air. However, babies with an abnormality might not have this protective mechanism.

A respiratory infection also puts your baby at risk, because the infection can cause breathing problems for your infant. This situation might explain the increase of SIDS during colder months when respiratory infections are more common. Many cases with SIDS babies showed that the infants had a respiratory infection before death. And infants that sleep on their stomachs have a higher risk of SIDS as well.

Environmental risk factors

The environment can also be a risk factor for SIDS. Exposing a child to passive smoking at home is a major environmental risk factor for SIDS. Apart from postnatal smoking, exposure to prenatal smoking has a more significant impact on your infant.

The sleeping position of your infant can also make it vulnerable to SIDS. Sleeping on the stomach or side can make it more difficult for the infant to breathe. And if the sleep surface is soft, then it can make it even worse. The same goes for a waterbed, blanket, and soft comforter. All of these cause your infant to sink into the sleep surface and block their airway.

Rebreathing may also occur, which develops when a child breathes back in their own exhaled air because a soft mattress, pillow, toys or bedding are near their face. Rebreathing reduces the oxygen level in the baby’s body, while at the same time, raises the carbon dioxide level. Infants that sleep on their side will probably roll onto their stomachs, and because of that, many different authorities and medical institutions recommend that the child sleeps on the back.

Sleeping in the same room as the infant decreases the risk of SIDS because you are able to oversee your baby. But, putting the baby in the same bed as the parents have the opposite effect. Sharing a sleep surface with anyone (parents, siblings or other babies) increases the risk of suffocation, overheating or overlaying. Of course, the risk is much higher if there is a history of low birth weight, premature birth, cigarette smoking or obesity.

Demographic risk factors

Studies have also found that there are certain demographic factors among children that died from SIDS, but it is not sure if the risks are causative or correlative. If there is a family history of SIDS, infants have a higher risk. Male babies have a more significant chance of dying from SIDS than female infants, and American Indian, Black, and Alaska Native infants are at 2 to 3 times increased risk of dying from SIDS than Caucasian babies. Infants that are 2 to 3 months old have a higher chance, and babies that get colds are at considerable risk of SIDS. That’s why winter months are especially dangerous. Additionally, if the birth mother is younger than 20 years old, uses alcohol, tobacco, drugs or smoke, or if she had poor or late prenatal care, the child would be at a more significant risk of developing SIDS.

 

Guidelines for Reducing the Risk of SIDS

With the rising awareness of SIDS, according to a CDC study, the rates for SIDS have dropped more than 60% over the past 25 years. The latest data from 2015 says that there are 39.4 SIDS deaths per 100,000 live births, while in 1990 it was 154.5 SIDS deaths. The cause of this syndrome is still unknown, but many prevention practices have been beneficial in lowering an infant’s risk of SIDS. Below are the SIDS prevention guidelines you need to follow.

1. Always place your infant on their back to sleep.

As you have previously read, sleeping on the side or stomach can increase the risk of SIDS. These positions allow the mattress to smother and block the child’s airway. You need to place your infant on the back wherever the baby goes to sleep and make sure nothing will interfere with their breathing. If the child falls asleep outside of the bed, for example, in a car seat, baby seat or stroller, you need to get him or her out and put on a flat surface. If you are worried about your child choking when placed on the back, don’t worry because choking is extremely rare in healthy sleeping infants. When children have more than six months, they can turn and roll over by themselves, which is completely fine, but you still need to continue putting them on their backs as their initial position until they are one year old.

2. Don’t use soft bedding and materials in the infant’s sleep environment.

As discussed above, you need to use a firm mattress for the baby’s crib to prevent the smothering and suffocation. You need to avoid memory foam mattresses and mattress toppers, extra blankets, crib bumper pads or toys in the child’s bed. Also, ensure your child has proper and comfortable pajamas.

3. Don’t sleep in the same bed as your infant.

You need to keep your baby close in order to monitor it, but babies must sleep in a separate bed or crib. As you have probably read above, if the baby sleeps in the bed with someone, it increases the chance of suffocation. Sleeping with someone likely includes the use of more pillows and bedding which pose a threat to the baby. Any object or person in the bed can block the child’s airway, so anything you place in the bed is an additional suffocation risk to infants. Not to mention the fact that adults smoke, drink or use medication – all of which interfere with the child’s health in some way.

4. Avoid alcohol, drugs, and tobacco use during pregnancy and after birth.

Mothers who use tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or smoke during pregnancy can have premature births and expose their babies to a higher risk of Sudden infant death syndrome. After birth, exposure of the child to secondhand smoke is linked to higher SIDS risk. Additionally, alcohol and drugs can reduce inhibitions and diminish mental capacity, which can cause parents not to have the best judgment around their child and increase their SIDS risk.

5. Immunize your infant.

Infants who have acted per the recommendations for infant immunizations have a fifty percent less chance for developing SIDS compared to those who have not been immunized.

6. Prevent your infant from overheating.

Overheating during sleep also increases the infant’s risk of SIDS. Put your child in comfortable pajamas and make sure that their bedroom has a comfortably cool temperature. If the temperature suits you, it will very likely suit the child as well. Watch your child in order to see if he or she is sweating, and is hot to the touch or possibly cold. However, do not put any extra blankets in the crib, but instead, put the baby in a wearable blanket sleep sack or dress the baby in warmer onesie pajamas.

7. Receive early and regular prenatal and postnatal care.

Getting proper prenatal will aid the prevention of premature births and SIDS along with it. After the baby is born, you need to get regular postnatal care that keeps your baby safe and raises your awareness of any conditions that can expose the baby to the risk of SIDS.

8. Breastfeed your infant.

Breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS by fifty percent, but it is still not clear why. However, be careful to avoid breastfeeding while sitting down if you are tired, to avoid falling asleep and potentially harming the baby.

9. Avoid products that are claimed to reduce SIDS.

Many manufacturers sell their products with claims that they reduce SIDS. They use this as a marketing ploy to earn money. You should avoid companies that make the claim of keeping your baby safe just to make profits.

10. Use a pacifier to help your infant fall asleep.

The use of a pacifier for sleep can lower the risk of SIDS. When putting your infants to bed, put the pacifier in their mouth and wait once they fall asleep to remove it. However, do not force your baby to use the pacifier if they do not want to use it. You should start using it after your infant has been breastfeeding for at least one month. This way you will avoid nipple confusion or even the preference for the pacifier over the mother. Keep the pacifier clean, without putting any substance over it, and replace it if it gets damaged.

 

Scientifically reviewed by CountingSheep.net Team

Written by

Dusan

Dusan is a biologist, a science enthusiast and a huge nature lover. He loves to keep up to date with all the new research and write accurate science-based articles. When he’s not writing or reading, you can find him in the kitchen, trying out new delicious recipes; out in the wild, enjoying the nature or sleeping in his bed.

Tips for Sleeping Well While Traveling

Crowded transportation, crying babies, people sneezing and talking loudly are just some of the things that can make sleep seem like a dream that never comes true. Luckily, we have a solution! Read on to find how to sleep better while traveling.

Traveling is a favorite activity of most people. Visiting new places and meeting people is one of the most exciting things you’ll experience in your life. Talking to them, learning about their history and culture, as well as trying different kinds of foods and drinks can broaden your horizons, and make you an overall better person. Whether it is a vacation or a business trip, you should always make the best of your travels.

However, sleep is one of the things that can suffer during traveling. Crowded transportation, huge lines at the airport, not enough room for your legs, crying babies, people sneezing and talking loudly are some of the things that can make you anxious and harder to fall asleep. Not to mention that if you are traveling between time zones, jet lag can disrupt your sleeping rhythms completely. But don’t worry, we have a list of tips for you on how to properly prepare for your trip, and what to do to get the most rest possible and avoid sleep deprivation.

How Does Travel Impact Your Sleep?

When you are traveling, you are likely to experience irregular sleep cycles, daytime fatigue, and a weakened immune system at some point. That can lead to an inflammation or infection, or catching a cold which means that it will be even harder to get a night of sound sleep.

Business trips are often associated with busy schedules, lots of work and stress. On top of that, there are always late night gatherings with a considerable amount of alcohol and food, which is not good for your sleep. Due to this, business travelers are the most fatigued ones amongst all travelers.

Missing sleep is bad for you, and the more you do it, the more adverse the consequences, such as worse mood, and you can’t perform as well as your brain didn’t have enough time to restore, which leads to impaired focus and performance. Sleep is also crucial for storing memories and learning new things, so the less rest you have, the more difficult it will be to focus and obtain new knowledge.

Business travelers have been shown to perform 20% worse than what they thought. They also performed best during mid-day, compared to the usual belief that we are most productive in the morning. Half of those who rated their performance highly unintentionally fell asleep during the trip. Many business travelers only sleep for 5 hours a day, meaning that they lost a full night of sleep during a 4-day trip. However, moderate exercise looks like it could help with some of the effects, as those who practiced regularly had a significantly improved overall performance.

Traveling across the time zones can lead to jet lag, which can mess up your sleep patterns. That’s because the area where you end up has a different sunset and sunrise times, and you need to adjust to new conditions. Your brain picks up signals from the environment, and it regulates your internal clock based on that. That’s how you know at what time you should wake up, eat, fall asleep, and do other daily activities.

Sickness is another thing you need to worry about when traveling because you come in contact with a high number and different range of germs than what you are generally facing. The plane is a confined space, and it needs to recycle the air from the cabin, which makes it a perfect place for germs to thrive. Many strangers often use hotel rooms, and no matter how clean they look, they are full of bacteria. A new destination means a new combination of air pollutants and allergens, which can impair your health as well. All of these in addition to sleep deprivation that can weaken your immune system means that you are more likely to get sick and get even less sleep. That’s why you need to take special precautions to protect your health while traveling.

What is Jet Lag?

Basically jet lag is a consequence of traveling too fast across the time zones. “Jet” in the name is there because the plane is currently the fastest way of transport, and it is the cause of this condition in most cases. However, you can still suffer from jet lag even if you’ve used other kinds of transportation and didn’t fly at all.

Your body has an exact time for doing things, depending on your environment. When you move across time zones, your circadian rhythms are disrupted. It means that your internal clock that tells you when the time to go to sleep and wake up is now isn’t in sync with the new environment, because the conditions changed too quickly and you didn’t have time to adjust. Symptoms include poor mood, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, difficulty getting to sleep at the right time, decreased focus and cognitive performance, and they can last up to a few days.

But you don’t have to experience the consequences passively; you can take some action to prevent jet lag from happening or minimize the effects it has on you.

Ultimate Tips to Improve Your Sleep While Traveling

Despite all of the difficulties traveling presents to your sleep, there are some things you can do to make sure you get the best rest possible and don’t experience the effects of sleep deprivation.

Preparing for the trip

The key to sleeping well is proper planning, and you should start adjusting to different conditions even before you leave.

Sleeping better during the trip

There are some tips depending on your transportation, but the general things to remember are:

 

 

Traveling on a plane

 

Sleeping in a car

Sleeping on a train

Sleeping on a bus

What to do once you’ve reached your destination?

If you are experiencing jet lag, and you haven’t prepared for it upfront, gradually adjust your sleep. One hour every day for every time zone you’ve traveled is usually the best equation. Keep in mind that the direction you are moving also affects how quickly you can adapt. Going west is generally more comfortable than traveling east since it is easier to stay up a little later than having to wake up earlier.

 

Scientifically reviewed by CountingSheep.net Team

Written by

Tamara

A fashion designer by profession, writer by choice and bookworm – always.  As a person struggling with anxiety for years and someone who loves to sleep, I can relate to the struggles of getting a good night’s rest. When I'm not doing sleep research, I enjoy reading books, being involved in creative activities and discovering the best use of my Moka pot.

Ultimate Sleep Guide for Pregnancy 

Are you pregnant and having difficulties with your sleep? Check out our pregnancy sleep guide to find some useful advice on how to get better rest.

Every woman who has been pregnant can confirm that pregnancy is the most interesting period of their lifes and not for the reasons you might think. Sure, having kids is a life-changing experience, and it is incredible that you have a growing human inside of you, but also, you’ll experience a different version of yourself.  

Unusual sensations and weird cravings will surprise you. For example, some women have an odd craving for pickles and marshmallows (and here we thought that PMS is strange), but hey my mother ate buttery bread and a lot of sugar on top when she had me, and she doesn’t even have a sweet tooth (maybe that’s why I do).  

So, there are a lot of things to expect when you’re expectingbut we can all agree that sleep problems can be one of the most annoying ones. It’s enough that you have to deal with many changes but not having proper sleep can be too much. That is why it is essential to be informed about what is the role of sleep, what causes lack or too much sleep during pregnancy and best sleeping positions. Having the right information will help you feel a bit more at ease knowing that most of the things you are facing are quite normal. 

Sleep During Pregnancy 

The general role of sleep is to help your body and brain feel rested. In order for your brain cells to function normally, neurons need ninety minutes of sleep that is not interrupted. Also, not only does sleep boost your mood and immune system, but it also increases the growth hormone which is super important for pregnant ladies.  

Growth hormone stimulates the growth of placenta and uterus which ensures that the baby is developing well despite tough and stressful times. The optimal sleep hours for women who are expecting varies (depending on the stage they are in) but less than six hours of sleep can cause their labor to be prolonged compared to women who slept seven or more hours. Lack of sleep can also cause a higher risk of c-section delivery. 

A lot of physical symptoms that cause sleep disruptions are related to hormonal changes. Let’s take a look at some of them. 

Pregnancy also has an impact on other hormones as well. For example, it increases melatonin and prolactin levels that cause deep sleep. Also, the increase of oxytocin can cause sleep disruptions during nighttime contractions. 

The First Trimester 

Trimesters are the three stages of pregnancy. Starting with the first day since the menstrual cycle has ended and finalizing it with child delivery (after forty weeks).  

The first twelve weeks are the beginning of the first trimester. During this time, progesterone will cause you to feel constantly without energy due to lack of sleep, and we can also partly blame the frequent urge to pee for that.
This occurs when the bladder becomes sluggish which can cause you to go to the bathroom during nighttime. In that case, it might be a good idea to refrain from drinking a lot of fluid before bedtime. Although it’s recommended to drink during the day as it prevents swelling and constipation which can cause discomfort during sleep.  

Also, to ensure that you can fall asleep after your bathroom visit, it would be wise to use nightlight as it won’t disrupt the production of melatonin. The pressure of the bladder can also lead to vivid or lucid dreams which can make it harder for you to get a good rest. 

Nausea can rob you of sleep because it can happen at any time be it morning or night. Most women prefer to eat salty snacks like crackers or pretzels, and cereal without milk before getting up in the morning. 

Also, due to the tenderness of the breasts, it might be difficult for you to sleep on your stomach. Having hot flashes is quite common for this trimester. Buying a fan can help you sleep cooler and in peace, because white noise from the fan will mask all unpleasant noise, for example, if your partner is snoring. But, sometimes it is not your partner who is snoring; it is you. This can happen if you are an allergy-prone person or weigh more than average.

Insomnia symptoms in early pregnancy are quite common, and a hormone called progesterone has a big part in it. Progesterone can cause you to feel sleepy during the day, and that can disrupt your rest during the night. This can make you feel exhausted and can lead to some insomnia symptoms. 

Whatever you do, you mustn’t take sleeping pills and supplements without consulting your doctor. The safest choice is to take short naps during the day to feel more rested. 

The Second Trimester  

As you get used to rapid changes during the first trimester, the second one might be easier because the changes of the hormones even out for a while, but they will start to change again in the third trimester (hormonal rollercoaster, I know). 

During this time most women complain that they often feel leg cramps and if your iron levels are low, you might experience restless leg syndrome. This condition will make you feel like you have a burning or crawling sensation in your legs causing discomfort while laying or sitting. 

Heartburn is a common symptom and can be alleviated by sleeping on the left side. Some recommend keeping your head elevated by adding a few extra pillows to prevent acid from going up. 

If you have a higher blood pressure regardless of pregnancy, you might need to be cautious during your second trimester due to possible preeclampsia development. If you notice that you are experiencing constant headaches, nausea and urination decrease, you should consult your doctor for preventive measures.
In addition, if you had experienced lucid dreaming before it might occur again and is usually related to some anxieties regarding pregnancy and the baby itself. Meditation and relaxation can help you feel calmer before bed. 

The Third Trimester 

Brace yourself for the final round. Although you have already accustomed to strange behavior and changes, during this stage, you will probably wake up more often as the baby is bigger and more active. So, find a sleeping position that is the most comfortablebut it is advised to avoid back sleeping which can put you in a high risk of stillbirth.  

Sleeping on the back will put the fetus in a position in which the oxygen is less consumed during sleep. This can cause low heart rate also known as fetal distress. Of course, this doesn’t mean that if you happen to sleep on your back once or twice your baby will automatically be harmed, but it is a disadvantageous position so, it should be avoided. The optimal position is the left side sleeping, putting pillows between your legs and knees. This position will promote better nutrient and blood flow to your baby as well as kidneys and uterus. Using body pillows is an effective way to minimize backpressure and relieve pain.  

Due to nasal congestion and extra weight you might snore more often which can cause the development of sleep apnea. This can become a severe problem for pregnant women because lack of air can cause rush of hormones that can be harmful to baby’s health. CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure is an effective and most importantly safe way to treat sleep apnea during pregnancy. 

Tips for Better Sleep 

Here are some tips on how to get better sleep during pregnancy 

If You Can’t Sleep 

Naturally, there will be times when you won’t be able to sleep. Instead of being annoyed or worried about it you can watch TV, read a book or a magazine, and do whatever else makes you happy (maybe some hobby you haven’t had time for). At some point, you’ll feel tired and sleepy, and you’ll go back to bed. Daytime naps (30 to 60 min) can be helpful to get more energy. 

Don’t ever consider taking sleeping pills and if you are tempted, call your midwife, and she will advise you. 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Scientifically reviewed by CountingSheep.net Team

Written by

countingsheep

Co-founder of Counting Sheep and Sleepaholic

Top 8 Safest US Cities in 2019

The crime rate and relative safety of various cities are something that very few people frequently consider unless they’re trying to move to a new home. We made a ranking list of the safest cities to help you pick the next place to move or visit.

The crime rate and relative safety of various cities are something that very few people frequently consider unless they’re trying to move to a new home. However, the difference between the safest and least safe cities in the country is massive. If your city isn’t safe for whatever reason, it can have numerous adverse effects on your life that prevent you from staying healthy, saving money or sleeping properly. It can also put you in a stressful and anxious state of mind, and one that’s hard to get rid of. Safety can also be a determining factor in where we buy housing, which parts of town we visit for leisure activities and how much money we invest in home security.

Because your sleeping schedule is at risk, we want to make a ranking list of the safest cities to help you pick the next place to move or visit. Most safe cities come with other benefits like a stronger sense of community (the idea that everyone in a small town knows each other isn’t as far-fetched as you’d think), less noise, no excessive brightness and sometimes even less pollution. It makes them ideal places to live even if you’re not super-worried about safety.

How did we make this ranking?

There’s more than one way to get an idea of how much crime there is in various cities. Countless polls and surveys have been conducted over the years, but these methods end up resulting in nothing but subjective opinions and speculation. For us, this wasn’t enough – so we went straight to the hard data.

The best way to find accurate crime rate statistics is to have a look at the FBI’s crime data reports. From these reports, we can summarize the per capita rate of violent and property crimes (the main categories that cause safety concerns) and rank the safest cities out there. Let’s make a quick comparison to show you the difference between the safest and least safe city according to our data. In Cary, NC (the safest place on our list), you roughly have a 1 in 93 chance of being a victim of property crime. Meanwhile in St. Louis, MO – that chance skyrockets to 1 in 30. That’s just over three times as likely and is the cause of a lot of stress for St. Louis residents. Property crime is the more relevant value when it comes to home security since around 19% of all property crime are burglaries. Let’s look into the best possible places to live if you’re concerned about your safety.

 

The Safest Cities in the US

 

Cary, NC

If safety is your primary concern, almost no city in America is as attractive as Cary, NC. It ranks second-to-last in both its violent crime rate (64) and its property crime rate (1074). It makes the likelihood of being the victim of a crime incredibly small. On top of this, the schools are in very high regard among its populace, making Cary the perfect place to raise your kids. The nightlife in this town is not extremely active, but we feel that this adds to the safety and peace you benefit from while living here. If you’re looking to party, there are nearby towns where that’s much easier to find. The town has a very deep suburban feel to it, adding to a sense of community that seniors find particularly attractive. When it comes to food, Cary doesn’t disappoint. There are a lot of restaurant options, letting you sample many kinds of national cuisine. Whether you’re a young professional looking to further your career, or you have a family to raise, Cary is one of your best safety options.

 

Irvine, CA

The police patrols in Irvine are very active and regular, making it one of the safest cities in the US. It has the single lowest violent crime rate in the country, at only 61 per 100 thousand inhabitants. The property crime rate is the 9th lowest overall, at around 1316. Couple this with the cozy suburban aesthetic of the town and you have an incredibly tempting place to move to. As an additional benefit, the education offered in Irvine is top-notch, making this town an ideal place to start and raise a family. Ordinarily, a lot of schools in a given town are underfunded and in a state of mild disarray, but Irvine has incredibly talented people allocating the town’s funds, so every school is well-equipped.

The food selection is a tad more limited than places like Cary, with most of your options being popular, well-established food chains. As long as you’re not looking for exotic cuisine, however, this should be more than adequate. The close proximity to a beach attracts tourists, but the noise doesn’t spread to other parts of town.

 

Naperville, IL

Naperville, IL ranks third on our list as it sports the 6th lowest rate of violent crimes at 91 and the 5th lowest rate of property crimes at 1,159 per 100 thousand residents. It’s a very clean town to live in, and it offers many different types of housing to fit the needs of you or your family. The taxes are considered slightly steeper than average, but that contributes to the surprisingly high educational standard, as all that money goes to school funding. If you’re a shopaholic or you have some gourmet tendencies, Naperville has a lot of places you can visit.

The town has a lot of space for cycling or running, which should satisfy the more athletic readers out there – especially when you see how gorgeous the scenery is. The lack of heavy pollution contributes to the health standard in this town, and if you have sleeping problems, Naperville is a good place to overcome them.

 

Port St. Lucie, FL

Port St. Lucie, FL is an incredibly safe town to live in. It has the third lowest property crime rate at roughly 1,126 per 100 thousand residents. The rate of violent crimes is also in a good spot, ranking in at 9th safest at 98 per 100 thousand inhabitants. Not many cities can boast a higher level of safety than Port St. Lucie, and it has so much more to offer on top of that. If you’re not a fan of public transport (and let’s be honest, who is?), then this town can save you a lot of hassle. Everything you could need is close-by, with the possible exception of entertainment establishments.

On top of that, the town is very clean, with minimal car pollution. You can sleep easy in Port St. Lucie, knowing that you’re as safe from illness as you are from crime. Many of the common stress sources are either not present or much milder than average in towns like this. The suburban, peaceful feel of the town (and its community) also makes it more suitable for seniors and children.

 

Allen, TX

Allen is not only very safe in terms of crime rates; it’s also a great place to invest in real-estate. With 98 violent crimes and 1,245 property crimes per 100 thousand residents, the risk of being a victim is very small. In fact, there is around a 1 in 1020 chance of being a victim of violent crime, which borders on nothing. If you’re looking to raise a family, Allen offers a high-standard school system with lots of opportunities for your child to compete in sports.

Because the city is frequently expanding, the real-estate and job markets are booming, so you can secure your future here. Allen has a lot of restaurant options for your eating pleasure, and the town’s expansion is only going to bring more variety when it comes to food and entertainment. The streets are very clean, so you never get angry at the amount of litter or pollution, and can pursue a healthy lifestyle with ease. Allen is a safe and cozy town, and it can make the perfect home.

 

New York, NY

Given how many crime flicks take place in New York, it’s easy to make the assumption that this city is full of crime, but this isn’t even remotely true. While the violent crime rate is not super small at 573 per 100k people, the property crime rate is very low, at roughly 1,462. The reason we value this city’s safety above a ton of other cities is the notably small burglary rate. There are only 141 per 100k residents, which means burglaries are basically a non-existent issue. Not having to make a massive investment in home security is a huge upside of moving to New York, since you have more starting capital to kickstart (or advance) your career.

It should come as no surprise that New York is teeming with opportunities to have amazing food from many cultures and nations, as well as a plethora of entertainment options. New York is one of the main destinations for popular bands touring the country, among other things. Crime has been on the decline in this city for the past decade and continues to drop thanks to the massive effort of local law enforcement. New York is definitely not just a tourist destination. If you have some method of dealing with potential traffic noise, it is a safe and prosperous place to live.

 

Murrieta, CA

Nothing puts a stop to crime in a suburban town like a strong military and police presence. There is a mere 1 in 71 chance of being the victim of property crime. Violent crimes don’t thrive either – your chances of being a victim of one are around 1 in 1410. If you don’t mind slightly hotter than average summers, this town is a suburban paradise. The combination of excellent schools and helpful family support programs make this town one of the best in the country if you have or plan to have kids to raise.

If you somehow end up being unable to find a specific product or service, major cities like Los Angeles are just over an hour’s drive away. The ability to make a very quick trip to the beach is a massive selling point for any town, and Murrieta is no different. If you’re looking for a healthy, low-pollution environment to live in, this town delivers without fail. The scenery is beautiful – you can treat yourself to some running/cycling trips through all that nature. The only minor downside to living in Murrieta is that you don’t have a crazy amount of options when it comes to entertainment. But honestly, that is an acceptable trade-off if it means everyone can sleep easy and safe.

 

Thousand Oaks, CA

If you’re a fan of outdoors activity, especially hiking, this town is for you. It is super-safe from crime, having a violent crime rate of 133 and a property crime rating of 1305. A statistic like that means you can safely enjoy the proximity to nature that this town boasts. There are many hiking trails you can explore, and the cleanliness of this small town is a massive health benefit. It takes you less than an hour to reach the beach, and bigger cities such as LA are also relatively close-by. Thousand Oaks has a very strong, tight-knit community, as they demonstrated recently when their town went through a series of unfortunate events. It helps to further reduce crime, as the townspeople are all incredibly supportive of one another.

The quality of education is also top-notch, which is excellent for raising a new family. Your child can grow up in an environment closely tied to nature, and get lots of support at school. If you can deal with early store closing times and have a healthy budget, Thousand Oaks is as close to a perfect idyllic town as it gets.

 

Scientifically reviewed by CountingSheep.net Team

Written by

countingsheep

Co-founder of Counting Sheep and Sleepaholic

The Guide to Moving to a New Place

Moving to a new place is an incredibly stressful process, especially for people without prior moving experience. Luckily, a good plan and a detailed checklist can make the moving process smoother and more tolerable.

Moving to a new place is an incredibly stressful process, especially for people without prior moving experience. It is so stressful that it’s commonly ranked just below death or divorce in terms of severity. It’s one thing to be a bystander when you’re a child, but organizing a move yourself is exhausting and difficult. However, when planned properly, moving house is one of the main ways to create a massive positive change in your sleeping conditions and overall lifestyle. In this guide, we will go over advice on how to plan your next move (pun intended), and avoid feeling overwhelmed and stressed out to an unhealthy degree. With a good plan, a detailed checklist and some effort, a move can be made much smoother and more tolerable. So let’s begin.

The Great Moving Checklist

One of the best ways to keep things moving in a controlled and steady fashion is to maintain a checklist that boils down moving into a set of steps. Decide what your moving date is going to be, and then start clearing the checklist at least two or three months in advance. It should give you ample time to find a good moving company if you choose to do so, and a buffer period for dealing with unfortunate events is never a bad thing. We will explain the steps taken during a move, so you don’t feel confused about which activities take priority early on.

Just as with moving companies, rent your truck early in the preparation process. That way, you can snatch up good deals before they become unavailable, and avoid being forced into sub-optimal or overpriced choices. You may encounter special discounts if you’re a student or you’re shopping online, and those discounts can be generous (going as high as 50% or more in some cases).

Packing Advice

If done without preparation or planning, packing is a nightmare of lost items, confusion and stress. It’s very easy to misplace something or have a precious belonging damaged due to negligence and rush. As with everything else when it comes to moving to a new place, planning is key.

An important thing to do when packing and preparing to move is set aside all the things you’re going to need close-by during the whole moving process. For example, you’re going to need a few sets of clothing to switch between while you pack everything else and transport your belongings. These clothes should be kept in a separate suitcase that allows for easy access, and you should treat that suitcase as though you’re on a trip. Everything you use on a day-to-day basis is there, like toiletries and similar items. Once you’re done packing the rest of your things, you can simply close that suitcase and take it with you. This approach prevents you from accidentally packing something crucial for your day-to-day life.

Before packing anything, sort your belongings to make your job easier. A common approach (and one we strongly recommend) is sorting and packing items by room. This makes it very easy to later unpack and distribute those possessions in your new home. While you will typically have to make compromises and sort some things outside of their room-specific boxes, this approach also benefits people you have helping you, when combined with a good labeling habit. If you unload a box labeled “Kitchen – Plates,” you immediately know where to take it and unpack the items inside. It reduces stress and helps you unpack much faster than you normally would.

A lot of homes have some sort of storage room, and in dire situations, a regular room can be repurposed into one. If you have to pack a lot of extra sheets, pillows or similar items, pack them all together, so you’re aware of where you used to keep them, and how urgent it is to unpack them, as well as where they belong in your new home.

As mentioned above, labeling helps save a ton of time, if you are thorough and diligent. We recommend purchasing stickers that allow you to write on them, and marking the following attributes on each box:

The End of the Road – Moving In and Unpacking

It takes time to settle into a new home. The layout of the place is probably entirely different from what you’re used to, and you may not feel completely in charge. Unpacking properly isn’t very difficult if you’ve been following the advice thus far, but we still have some advice we want to share.

 

Scientifically reviewed by CountingSheep.net Team

Written by

Iva

Iva is an art historian and an art lover who always had a passion for writing and sleep! When she is not researching and testing new mattresses on the market, you can find her binge-watching TV shows, eating tons of junk food or playing with her dog Bart.

The Guide to Keeping Your CPAP Machine Clean

The CPAP machines are electronic devices that help you breathe at night without any difficulties and improve your sleep quality.

With the continuous positive airway pressure machines, you can treat your obstructive sleep apnea and other breathing and sleep-related problems. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a temporary loss of breath while sleeping. The CPAP machines are electronic devices that help you breathe at night without any difficulties and improve your sleep quality. They suck in the outside air with a fan inside, humidify the air in the room, pressurize it and release it through a hose into your face mask.

 

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

As we mentioned, sleep apnea is a medical problem that occurs during the night when you have complete or partial obstructions which are blocking your airways and causing you to lose breath. These obstructions cause shallow breathing and temporary breath loss. Because of sleep apnea, you can repeatedly stop breathing for short periods through the night. The word apnea itself refers to the pause in breathing that can last minimally ten seconds.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type people have. It happens when the airway is blocked, which causes you to stop breathing for a brief period, loud snoring, and it may even wake you up. In most cases, you are not aware that you have this problem until somebody who sleeps near you notices and tells you. Because of sleep apnea, you can be chronically sleep deprived, and experience symptoms like poor concentration, slow reflexes, daytime sleepiness, depression, irritability, moodiness, increased risk of accidents, and some serious physical health issues like heart disease, liver problems, weight gain, and diabetes. Some of the factors that cause sleep apnea depend on your anatomy while others are caused by injuries to the nose and nasal passageways.

 

What Does a CPAP Machine Do?

The Continuous positive airway pressure machine is an electronic device that helps you breathe. It is considered the best sleep apnea treatment, especially for the obstructive type. The components of these machines include airflow generator, humidifier, connective hose, filter and a face mask that is sold separately. The airflow generator is located inside a small box with a motorized fan. It pulls the air in, and through the hose and mask, it gives the pressurized air to the person. Inside the machine is also a detachable humidifier that warms the water with which the air is humidified and delivered to the person. Apart from that, there is an intake filter responsible for the prevention of air contamination by allergens. This filter is replaceable when needed. The connective hose is the part that transports the air from the generator to the mask, and it is usually from three to six inches long.

The mask has to be purchased separately but is still a vital part of the machine. Masks are available in different styles and shapes to fit the needs of all users, and you can choose any type of mask. The only requirement is that the hose fits. However, there are four general types of masks – the full face mask that goes around the mouth and nose and three nasal types of masks that either go on the nose, beneath the nose or have seals around nostrils without any contact with the nose.  

 

CPAP Machine Cleaning and Maintenance

As with any machine, the Continuous positive airway pressure machines require cleaning as well. If you do not clean it regularly, it will be covered in dust, pet dander, mold, bacteria, and more. Cleaning the machine can help avoid allergy symptoms, mold exposure, bacteria exposure, mineralization within the equipment, foul odor, and premature equipment breakdown. The mask, tube and the water chamber should be cleaned daily. It might seem excessive, but this is the best way to prevent the risk of any infection, mold exposure oral allergy reactions. For the best hygiene, the entire equipment should be cleaned and maintained weekly.

 

CPAP Machine – How to Clean It?

If you are grossed out just by thinking of bacteria living and growing in the machine, you can easily keep your machine clean and bacteria-free. All you need to do is to regularly sanitize it by getting and using a special CPAP sanitizing machine. However, they can be fairly expensive, but if you follow the tips on how to clean your CPAP machine regularly, you will be able to save money. It’s essential to clean it regularly and wipe down the outside of the device using a damp cloth. We will now go through some tips to keep your machine clean and bacteria-free, which is easy as you need regular cleaning supplies from your house. We will give you information on how to clean a CPAP machine with vinegar or just soap.

Humidifier

The first step is to clean the humidifier in the machine. You should clean your humidifier every morning to prevent risks of allergies, infections or mold exposure. The best way to clean it is to take a bucket and fill it with soap and warm water. Empty water from the chamber of the humidifier, if any, and put it in that water to soak for several minutes. When it dries, you should use distilled water to fill it, and don’t use filtered or tap water as it can contain chemicals that can cause damage to the machine. To dry it you should leave it on a clean cloth and avoid putting it in direct sunlight. Apart from doing this every morning, you also have to give the humidifier a good sterilize by soaking it in a mixture of water and vinegar for 20 minutes once every week. Replace them two times per year at least. Certain humidifier chambers are dishwasher safe, but before cleaning in a dishwasher, you need to check the manual of your CPAP machine to be sure.

The Mask

Another important step is cleaning the mask. They are made from silicone to provide excellent comfort but they adversely affect durability and longevity. Silicone is a material that breaks easily if you don’t take care of it. There are special cleaning fluids that are extra-gentle and made especially for cleaning your CPAP mask. If you want, you can also put it in a mixture of water and mild liquid soap. Just be sure to dry it away from sunlight.  Also, the same as with the humidifier, you should sanitize your mask once every week by putting it in a mixture of water and vinegar for 20-30 minutes. After that, rinse it with distilled water and dry it by leaving it on a clean cloth away from sunlight. The masks need to be replaced at least two to four times a year. However, the cushions need to be replaced once or even twice a month.

Every morning, you can wipe the mask down with delicate CPAP mask wipes that won’t break the silicone. Their price is around 10$, and they will last three months. It is also good to use a disinfectant towel every morning. Additionally, you should clean your face every evening before going to bed without using any moisturizer. Moisturizers can have chemicals that can negatively impact the silicone on the mask. Lastly, we would advise against cleaning your CPAP mask in a dishwasher.

Tubes, Headgear and Chin Straps

Apart from the mask, you should also clean the tubes once a week. Every week, you will need to soak it in a mixture of liquid soap and water, and then clean it with a special brush for cleaning the tubes of CPAP machines. The cost of these brushes ranges from $8 to $12. After finishing all the cleaning, just let them dry in direct sunlight. The headgear and chin straps of the machine need to be cleaned by hand. You can clean them with a mixture of warm water and soap. After that, just let them dry. Never put them in a washing machine or dryer. And never use any chemicals, like bleach, to clean your headgear because the soft material will soak up these chemicals and irritate and harm your skin.

Filters

As for filters, they also need to be cleaned. They have the vital task of purifying the air of the room. When the CPAP machine pulls the air from the room, that air goes into the filters at the back of the machine. Most of these machines have a gray filter that is reusable, and a white disposable filter. The gray filter needs to be cleaned at least once a week. In case you have any pets, smoke or rarely dust the room, they should be cleaned more often. Cleaning is very easy, just rinse it and leave it to fully dry before putting it back into the CPAP machine, and replace it once every six months. White filters can’t be cleaned, but that is not a problem. Everything will be okay if you replace them on a monthly basis.    

 

Replacing Parts

Cleaning the machine and its parts is vital. However, it is crucial to replace all the parts regularly too. How often the parts need to be replaced is determined by your care of them. That’s why you need to clean and maintain your CPAP machine. Regular cleaning will prolong the device’s lifespan and save you money that you would spend on the parts.

Having a cleaning routine is essential. Sticking to the routine will give you a successful therapy with the CPAP and prevent illness or allergies. The additional 5 minutes is all it takes to prepare the cleaning supplies, leave the parts to soak, come back later to take them out and leave them to dry, before putting it back.

 

Scientifically reviewed by CountingSheep.net Team

Written by

countingsheep

Co-founder of Counting Sheep and Sleepaholic

Drowsy Driving – Risks, Regulations, and Prevention

Drowsy driving is responsible for a huge number of injuries and deaths each year. We have compiled a guide that will list off and explain drowsy driving risks and regulations that will help you avoid being caught in a traffic accident.

Drowsy driving is responsible for a huge number of injuries and deaths each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (or NHTSA for short), over 100,000 collisions per year are caused by drowsiness and fatigue, directly or indirectly. This number translates to more than 1,500 deaths and over 40,000 injuries. And this is just in the United States! And yet, drowsy driving is often overlooked as a serious issue, as there is a worrying lack of awareness when it comes to all the risks involved, and the regulations that were put in place to control this problem.

Certain demographics are more susceptible to falling asleep at the wheel, and this puts them at increased risk of injuries, or worse. These include shift workers (these people often cannot maintain a stable sleeping schedule due to the ever-changing nature of their work schedule), young or inexperienced drivers, business travelers and more. There are a plethora of reasons why someone could be suffering from fatigue, but the risks are the same. Roads are not the safest place to be, so we’ve compiled a guide that will list off and explain drowsy driving risks and regulations that, if you’re aware of them, help you avoid being caught in a traffic accident.

 

Drowsy Driving Risks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have estimated that 1 out of 25 drivers above the age of 18 reports falling asleep at the wheel in the last month. Upscale that to how big the population is, and you’ll get a rough idea of how many people have this issue.

Fatigue as a condition has a large variety of possible causes. These range from lack of sleep or an unhealthy diet plan to not enough physical activity (or too much physical activity), jet lag, or more serious health problems like anemia, heart disease or sleep apnea. To make matters worse, the medication used to treat a lot of these conditions can cause fatigue by itself, further complicating things. When you look at all these causes, it may seem like it’s very hard to avoid fatigue reliably – because it is.

When a person is suffering from drowsiness or fatigue, their performance in many aspects of life (including driving) downgrades to a worrying degree. While each person deals with fatigue slightly differently, some risks are consistently present across the board. Here’s a list of downsides that are especially relevant for drivers of any age:

As you can see, the downsides associated with drowsy driving can strengthen each other. All of it comes from fatigue, however, and thus we must put maximum effort into making sure we’re well-rested when we have to drive somewhere, even if it’s a routine trip like going to work.

 

Drowsy Driving-Related Laws and Regulations

Although it’s a slow process, a legislative effort has been made over the last decade to impose punishments and fines for drowsy drivers, often equating the offense to reckless driving or even manslaughter and negligent homicide. Staying awake for 18 hours straight is considered the same as having a blood alcohol content of 0.05 (the legal limit is 0.04 for commercial vehicles and 0.08 otherwise). Staying awake for 24 hours straight is considered the same as having a BAC of 0.10, strictly above legal limits. Drowsy driving is getting more and more acknowledgment over time, so let us examine exactly how severe the punishments for drowsy driving are in various states, and how the government has helped spread awareness about this issue.

Many bills have been proposed within the last decade, and there is no doubt that more are on the way. People are slowly becoming more aware of all the risks that come with fatigued driving, although how much positive change this will bring in is unclear.

 

Drowsy Driving Versus Drunk Driving

We’ve briefly covered this, but drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving. Depending on how long you stay awake before driving, it can legally count as having your performance equal to that of a drunk person. Let us look at what happens to a person while driving drunk. We won’t dwell on the individual points for too long, as this section is mainly here to show how similar the effects of fatigue and alcohol can be.

A drunk driver may suffer from any or all of the following issues:

Notice how similar the symptoms are. Depending on who you consult, they may even be identical. That’s why awareness is being spread about drowsy driving in an increasing number of states. A person driving while intoxicated has the same problems as a person who hasn’t had enough rest, and their punishments in the face of the law are becoming the same as well.

 

Drowsy Driving Prevention

So how do we deal with this issue? It’s virtually impossible to avoid all the pitfalls that can lead to fatigue since the causes are everywhere. The way most of us lead our lives, from work schedule to social activities, to childcare, doesn’t lend itself to having a healthy sleeping schedule. A simple night out or late work shift can single-handedly cause an accident, even if the chance is small. Here are some ways we can stay safer on the road by reducing the amount of fatigue we have to deal with regularly:

 

Scientifically reviewed by CountingSheep.net Team

Written by

Iva

Iva is an art historian and an art lover who always had a passion for writing and sleep! When she is not researching and testing new mattresses on the market, you can find her binge-watching TV shows, eating tons of junk food or playing with her dog Bart.

Mattress Sales and Discounts Guide

Our guide will help you learn how to manage mattress sales and discounts without any difficulties.

Shopping for a mattress is an overwhelming process. You have a wide range of choices with so many different types, various construction options and numerous features. You have many brands, online and offline retailers to choose from, and if you decide what mattress you want, you begin to wonder about the prices and if they will actually fit your budget.

Many choices are available on the market, and it can be hard to determine if you are getting the best value for your money. With this guide, you can find out more about buying a mattress and get tips that will help you with the buying process. You will learn more about the most common misconceptions people have about the sales, prices, discounts, online retailers and store retailers.

Best Time to Buy a Mattress

When shopping for a new mattress, you want to get the best price possible for the model you like. When you find the best deal, you can save a lot of money without any budget cuts or compromises about quality. However, you never know when is the right time for buying, and which models, brands, and sellers have good value. Also, you have to decide where to buy the product, in-store or online.

All of us want to find the desired model for a great price, but not everyone knows what information is genuine and trustworthy. There are too many factors to consider when searching for a new mattress, and because of that, there are many opportunities for shady sellers, retailers, and manufacturers to add confusion and uncertainty. Spotting suspicious and unfounded claims, very superficial differences and unnecessary features can save you a lot of money, and you will not have to make any sacrifices.

Our guide will help you get acquainted with all of these things and navigate through the process. Most importantly, you will know how to manage mattress sales and discounts without any difficulties.

What Determines The Price of a Mattress?

Many of you may be wondering about what determines the mattress price. Even though this is a simple question, the answer is slightly complicated. Many factors influence the price, from the work that companies put into the design and production, the materials and their quality, the popularity of the brand, the operating costs that retailers have, and services like customer support and available shipping. Of course, it also depends on industry trends, such as mattress materials and whether the model is infused with gel or copper, or if it uses organic latex or just natural latex. These may seem like trivial things, but they can influence your comfort and ultimately the price.

Setting Your Budget

The most important thing is to set your budget and your priorities. If you set it to under $400, you may have to make some sacrifices, as mattresses within this price range rarely offer both comfort or durability. Because of that, they are best for temporary or infrequent use, such as for guest rooms or vacation places.

If your budget is between 400$ and 700$, you may still have to choose between comfort and durability. Models with these prices usually have a mixture of both high and low-quality materials. They can be a good option for adults who are living alone for the first time. Within this category, you can also get high-quality mattresses for children.

Budgets between 700$ and 1000$ are considered ideal, and it would be excellent if you could set aside this amount of money for a mattress purchase. Many comfortable mattresses made from high-quality materials and with a long lifespan are available. These may not be top-of-the-line mattresses, but they will give you the necessary support and provide you a good night’s sleep.

If you’re thinking about spending up to 1500$, you can find high-quality hybrid, polyfoam, memory foam, and innerspring mattresses. Apart from these, you can find even quality natural latex models. However, be sure to look out for hyperbolic marketing that offers artificially inflated prices for models that should have lower price ranges based on their quality.

The best models that cost up to 2000$ use expensive materials that justify the price. They can also have special features for sleepers with specific support and comfort needs. For models above 2000$, you would expect for all of their components to come from high-quality material. Mattresses with this price range should be extremely comfortable, durable and functional. Although this is the case for many models that justify their price, there are some that don’t. It is essential to consider secondary costs when planning your mattress budget, such as shipping or delivery, pickup of your old mattress, and any costs associated with returns.

Debunking Certain Misconceptions

As we mentioned, we will debunk some of the misconceptions about buying mattresses. The first is that the price indicates quality. Like with all products, this is not necessarily true. Some models can have a lot of marketing and hype that are based on current trends, which can inflate the price, far beyond what the product is worth.

Longer warranties are better, is also a wrong opinion. Certain mattresses can last up to 10 years, but you should buy a new bed every seven to eight years. You will probably notice that many mattresses have a lifetime or even multiple-decade warranties, way above what we just told you. That is because retailers can use these more extended warranties to increase the price or even justify the already inflated price. Be careful not to fall for that, a warranty of 10 years is quite enough to cover everything. You also need to buy a box spring because many warranties need it. However, when it comes to comfort, with the innovations and technologies, box springs are becoming unnecessary for most current mattresses.

Shopping online or in-store

After setting the budget, the next big decision to make is deciding where to buy your new mattress. The business of online mattress sales is growing rapidly, and there are very few options left for shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. Let’s take a look at all the benefits and drawbacks to both offline and online shopping.

In online stores, you can browse and buy the products from your own home, without having to go anywhere, but if you go to the store, you can feel and try the mattress in-person to see if it fits you or not before buying. With regular stores, you can actively compare beds and find the best value model. Online stores don’t have those pushy salespeople that won’t leave you alone until you make a sale. Representatives online will not force anything on you because they can only answer your questions. However, a real face-to-face conversation with the salesperson can be better for getting answers to all of your questions fast and on the spot. Of course, you also have a chance to negotiate and get a lower price or other perks. However, online stores have available reviews you can read about real experiences that other customers shared. Even though you will have much more confidence if you see and feel the bed yourself, with the sleep trials you can test the product for a period before making a final decision on keeping it. And usually, you can get free shipping and returns. However, both of these offer certain discounts – online stores have exclusive online coupons and discounts, while regular stores have sales events and discounts.

Online Mattress Sales

You have several ways of saving money when shopping online for a new mattress, from the time of the year to some exclusive and specific sites. Knowing these money-saving opportunities is very important.

Coupon codes can save a lot of money for online shopping. They are available only for online shopping. You enter the code during the checkout process while entering your payment information.  Many sellers give these codes on a regular basis and give specific codes for major sales events, holidays and promotions. The coupons can offer discounts or other perks like free sheets pillows, or similar things you can use for your mattress, and they can usually be found in a pop-up window or banner ad on the website, as well as some third party websites.

You can also save money on shipping. Nowadays, almost every company that directly sells mattresses online has free shipping in the U.S, with the possible exceptions of Alaska and Hawaii. After testing the mattress during the sleep trial you can return it. Many companies will either cover the cost of return shipping or pick it up themselves. Not having to pay any shipping or restocking fees that many brick-and-mortar stores charge, is a great way to save money.

Of course, certain holidays and events have huge saving opportunities when buying online. At the start of the year, on President’s Day which falls on February 19th, you can get new coupon codes from almost all of the online sellers. On Memorial Day, you have the whole weekend of significant savings opportunities. Online stores usually provide steep price cuts and special deals to be able to compete with regular stores and their discounts. Labor Day has always been a big day for discounts for mattresses. Black Friday is the biggest day sales event in all stores, both regular and online, that has a tendency to last the whole weekend. After Black Friday deals, you have Cyber Monday sales that last the entire week  with many price reductions.

In-Store Mattress Sales

If you decide to buy your mattress in a store, you have many different ways of saving money. It’s true that the retail price usually is slightly inflated to seem like a steal, but because of these artificially-higher prices, any discount will be misleading. That is why you can generally negotiate a lower price than offered or some additional perks. Not all sellers are willing to cut you a better deal, but it is always worth taking a shot at it.

However, you also have certain in-store sales and promotions, and special circumstances that can result in great prices, such as closeouts. Whenever a store is closing or changing locations, they offer extremely low rates to clear the remaining inventory. Even if they haven’t announced they are closing, they can still lower the prices to try and attract customers. You can have closeout for older models that need to go in order to make room for new models that will arrive. Also, many sales opportunities can be advertised locally, with TV and radio broadcasts that give information about closeouts or special occasions sales. Local stores can also sometimes give coupons as part of their advertisement. You can find these coupons in mailing circulars or the local newspaper.

Additionally, just like online stores have certain times of the year when they offer excellent deals, so do brick-and-mortar stores. Around certain dates, stores will give special discounts and sales. They will compete with other stores by lowering their prices as much as possible. On New Year’s Day, some stores can have excess inventory left after the holiday shopping season, and they will want to get rid of it quickly by offering huge sales. President’s Day sale on February 19th is a significant savings opportunity. The whole weekend typically has markdowns on many name brands and product lines. On Memorial Day, mattress companies release their new models, and stores need to clear out their inventory to make room for them so they offer big sales. Around Independence Day try to attract customers with significant discounts because they will be closed on the actual holiday. These sales can be offered on the 3rd or the 5th of July.

Conclusion

You have many strategies to save money and get a great deal for your new mattress. You can find many of the best bed sales and get the desired model. The right timing can help, but if you know how to find the most significant price discounts and how they work, you can get a mattress that you will love no matter where and when you shop.

Scientifically reviewed by CountingSheep.net Team

Written by

Marijana

She would be a morning person if mornings started at noon. Art historian, taurus, coffee lover, traveler, F1 fan who hates to drive, and well experienced insomniac with one life goal, to sleep like a coala for up to 20 hours per day.

Safe Sleeping Guide for Seniors

Our sleep needs change as we age, and a many seniors struggle with sleep problems. Learn how the elderly can sleep better.

How come seniors always wake up so early even though they do not have to go to work? Since we were kids, we were forced to wake up early for some mandatory daily commitments, go to kindergarten, go to school, university, work, etc. Somehow we could not wait for the weekend to get a chance to sleep a few extra hours and wake up a bit later than usually. So, when people finally reach that stage of their life when they are no longer obligated to wake up early, why do they still do that? Is it a healthy habit, a change in lifestyle or something else?

Seniors still need a proper seven to nine hours of sleep, but their life stage is usually the main trigger for several different causes of sleep disruption. Their fragile sleep pattern is generally treated with medications which are a controversial theme nowadays since there is a lot of pros and cons. The important thing is that sleeping pills are luckily not the only possible solution; there is a specter of things that seniors can do to enhance their sleep. Different lifestyle changes, healthy routines or sleeping products may be very beneficial for senior’s sleep without potential side effects.

Their sleep routine also changes with their age because seniors go to bed early, as they get tired easily during the day, even from doing some simple chores around the house. But, despite going to bed tired, seniors usually wake up more often during the night, their sleep is not so deep, and they need extra time to fall asleep. They also often nap during the day, probably because they were not able to rest properly at night. Sleep deprivation leads to moodiness, depression, problems with memory and attention, etc.

Although it is widely accepted, sleep quality issues are not always tightly connected with age, a lot of elderly people experience them, but that is not the rule. When it comes to prevention, it is hard to tell what one can do to prepare his body and mind to welcome that life stage because it is all very individual.

Why Do Seniors Have Difficulty Sleeping?

As we age, the neurons in charge of sleep pattern start to die off, and because of that, the majority of the elderly has problems with falling or staying asleep. Besides that, many different conditions and diseases are attached to sleep problems, for example, menopause, arthritis, and diabetes. Prescribed medications can also develop sleep disruption problems as a side effect. Older people are less active, they exercise less and get tired quickly because their health condition changes, but it is essential to continue with light exercises and maintain those healthy habits. People who are more physically active usually have a good sleep because their body is tired, so it is recommended for seniors to stay active.

Retirement is one of those things that we dream about while we are younger and just starting to work, but in reality, our mind and body get so used to that work routine that is mostly maintained for years and years, and once it stops it represents a shock. Seniors all of a sudden have no obligations, no 9-to-5 job, their day is suddenly free of any activities and plans, and that can cause anxiety, stress, emotional disbalance which will have an impact on their sleep.

When people go to retirement or get older, they are in that stage of life in which they are confronted with death cases of their close friends, family members or beloved spouse. Death is always a strong emotional event, but seniors are especially sensitive, and loneliness that comes as an outcome is also linked to poor sleep.

Due to their age, seniors are more liable to diseases and different conditions which their body cannot handle very well. Illnesses are also a substantial financial and emotional burden, a stress cause that also can lead to depression. Seniors expect that they are experienced enough and should be able to do everything by themselves, so sometimes it can be hard for them to accept the fact that they need help. Sometimes they would rather struggle on their own than ask for help, and this emotional drain impacts their sleep as well.

Sleep deprivation cannot only aggravate their fragile emotional condition, but it can create more problems during the day. Sleep deprivation affects their sense of balance and reaction time, which is one of the reasons why seniors are more liable to accidental falls.

So as we have seen, a lot of problems can pile up once we enter that phase of our lives, it almost seems like everything is slowly starting to shut down and cause multiple problems which prevent us from enjoying our age fully.

Most Common Sleep Problems That Affect Seniors

An average adult usually achieves 4 to 5 cycles from light to REM sleep phase during the night but spends much more time in REM. On the other side, seniors have problems with reaching that REM sleep; they often wake up during the night or have a feeling that they did not rest properly in the morning.

Lack of sleep during the night causes them to nap a few times during the day, which will make it even harder for them to fall asleep at night, so it is like an enchanted circle.

We are going to list out a few most common disorders that can have a significant impact on seniors sleep.

Safety Risks for Seniors

Sleep deprived people are more prone to accidents, but when it comes to elderly people who wake up often during the night, have dementia or some physical difficulties due to their age, seniors can be at risk even in their own bedroom. When a senior falls down, that can cause some more problems on the long run, their bones are fragile and prone to breaking, they recover slower than the average adult person, so for them, even a small fall can have fatal consequences. The bedroom should be a safe sleep environment, but since for the elders, the most random things can turn into a risk factor, we are going to point out on which things you should pay attention.

Sleeping Tips for Seniors

After we have listed some of the most common danger factors that are in our room, as our first tip or suggestion we want to recommend simplifying the space where you sleep in. Remove everything that is unnecessary, or store it in the drawers, basement, wherever, just make sure to reduce the risk of accidents especially if you are living alone and have nobody to help you immediately. Try keeping up with a specific sleep schedule and go to bed at the exact same time, even on weekends, that should train your mind and body to sleep longer during the night.

Seniors should stress less, but it is easier said than done. Stress can affect seniors’ mood and overall health, and that’s why they should try to control their emotions better. Yoga, meditation, and psychotherapy can help with that. You can also write your worries and emotions in some form of worry journal every night before bed as it will release these worries from your mind and help you sleep better.

Seniors usually have to avoid some types of food due to their health problems, but food also impacts sleep. Sleep deprived seniors should avoid foods that contain a lot of sugar or fat. Also, drinking alcohol or caffeinated drinks will disrupt their sleep. In the end, it all comes down to healthy eating and drinking habits. Physical activity is also highly recommended, and although it will exhaust the body, seniors should avoid naps during the day to get a better night sleep.

A warm shower before the bed will relax the muscles and the body, but it is crucial to carefully get in and out of the tub and watch out for slippery surfaces.

As sleeping pills are a somewhat controversial topic, we are not going to talk about them this time. Instead, we suggest trying out mattresses that are suitable for seniors, wearing sleep masks or listening to white noise to lullaby yourself to sleep tight till the morning.