What is Quality Sleep?

quality sleep banner

When it comes to a good night’s sleep, you should not settle for anything less than quality sleep. While sleep can be achieved by many, one with quality is not necessarily available to everyone. With our hectic schedules and modern lifestyles, a lot of us run on little to no sleep that getting a few hours more feels energizing already.

But what exactly is “quality sleep”? Most define quality sleep as the regular, ample nightly slumber you get which leaves you feeling rested and fully restored by the morning. Technically speaking, though, it means that you’re getting enough sleep cycles, letting your systems do its job in restoring your body to its best shape.

If your goal is to train yourself how to get quality sleep, the very first step is to understand sleep better. What a lot of people don’t know is that sleep is composed of 4 different stages of sleep, which are the following:

Stage 1: Light Sleep

This is the time when your body drifts off to sleep and your muscle activity slows down. Light dreams are also typically experienced during this stage. It is also typically characterized by sudden muscle contractions and that sensation of falling. 5% of your total time asleep is composed of your stage 1 sleep.

Stage 2: Light Sleep Phase 2

By stage 2, your body is already falling into deeper sleep. By this time, your breathing and heart beat slows down, as well as your temperature starts to drop, easing you to a more relaxed slumber. This stage is highly important as it is the time when alertness is being restored. For naps, sleep should only reach stage 2, as it is all you need to bounce back from a midday slump.

50% of your total time asleep is spent in stage 2. It can help make you feel rested and awake, but it is not exactly enough to keep you running for a long time.

Stage 3: Slow Wave Sleep

Also known as the official deep sleep stage, stage 3 is when your body rests as your heart beat slows down and your muscles relax to achieve an engrossed slumber. Your brain also pauses dreaming at this point and all of your energies are focused on restoring, healing, and regenerating your body.

Deep sleep is extremely essential as it is when your immunity is worked on. Protein and enzyme regenerations are also done during this phase, getting your body ready for the next day.

Only 20% of your overall slumber is spent on stage 3, though, making it all the more important. Missing out on this phase could compromise your overall health in the long run, especially since it is your immunity that needs this time of your day to take a break and rebuild itself. However, for naps, entering stage 3 could be a unideal. Getting woken up in stage 3 can leave you groggy and disoriented, making your sleep feel all the more tired and unfulfilling.

Stage 4: REM Sleep

REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep is the most interesting sleep stage. While it is still not fully understood by scientists, research proves it to be a very important phase during our slumber. 25% of our overall slumber is spent in REM sleep, wherein we experience dreaming, our memories committed and stored, as well as our emotions stabilized. It is also an essential for infant’s brain growth, as it is the time of the day when your little one’s brain is being developed.

While our body is immobile during the REM phase, our brains are totally hard at work at this time of the night, making this stage a paradoxical one. This makes the REM phase a completely interesting process.

Woman asleep in bed

According to experts, a complete sleep cycle takes 90 minutes, and to achieve quality sleep, you need to get at least 4 to 5 cycles in. This is why it is recommended to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep nightly, so you can be at your best everyday.

Quality sleep is also all about undisrupted slumber. As sleep stages normally reset once you wake up, getting woken up frequently at night will definitely affect your sleep cycles and prevent you from getting a full night’s rest.

By completing all of these sleep stages and cycles, you can better enjoy the many benefits of quality sleep. With all of the important processes that take place during sleep, getting to know the them is just one simple step in understanding the importance of your slumber. While you will need additional effort in developing a healthy sleeping habit, knowing the seriousness of your nightly shuteye may already be a big step in helping you work on getting some quality zzz’s.

 

Design Highlight: Stencil Walls

stencil walls banner

When you’re starting to get bored with plain solid walls, one great alternative is to introduce some prints and patterns to your interiors. Wallpapers are some of the easiest solutions to this, although finding something that will suit your taste may prove to be challenging at times.

Another solution is to skip the hassle of finding the right wallpaper and by creating the pattern on your own. By using the stencil technique, you can create a unique accent wall for your interiors, allowing your space a one of a kind look.

The great thing about stenciling your walls is that it’s perfectly easy to do it yourself. With the numerous tutorials available online, you won’t find it a problem to get instructions in how to actually do it.

To help you get started, here are some inspirations and tutorials that you can try at home.

stencil walls Centsational Girl
via

For a detailed tutorial at stenciling your walls, this post by the Centsational Girl is definitely useful.

Stencil Walls Jones Design Company
via

Jones Design Company offers an alternative method in stenciling your walls.

Stencil wall A Beautiful Mess
via

Another simple tutorial at stenciling your walls from A Beautiful Mess.

Stencil walls Mermag Blog
via

If you want a less complicated pattern, you can also try this one from the Mermag Blog.

For the more skilled, you can aim for unique looks like these:

stencil walls MMontague
via

stencil wall So Much Better with Age
via

The great thing with stenciling your walls is that you can come up with your own designs and patterns and have a completely one-of-a-kind wall if you’re the creative type. If you’re not really big at designing, you can always purchase stencil patterns.

Product Suggestion: Hybrid Mattresses for the Indecisive

hybrid banner

Sometimes, making a decision can be hard. Especially with the great number of options available nowadays, you’re always having second thoughts and asking yourself whether you’re making the right choice. There’s also the chance of regretting your decision later on, which can weigh heavily in most people’s minds.

If you’re the type of person who just cannot make up your mind in just about anything, mattress shopping can be extra stressful for you. With the vast selection to choose from, picking just one can be a bit overwhelming for the indecisive. So, to help you out, take our hybrid mattresses in consideration.

Salem Beds’ hybrid mattresses are the perfect combinations of spring and foam materials, offering the best of both worlds for sleepers. The Salem Elite collection and the Renascence collection’s Somerset mattress fit the bill perfectly: spring and high grade memory and latex foams in one single comfort-filled package.

Salem Elite

enchantress

Featuring four exquisitely designed mattresses, the Salem Elite collection is all about offering you luxurious comfort. This collection features pocketed spring systems, ensuring excellent back support, minimized sleep disturbance, lessened risks of allergies, and innovative qualities that will guarantee you a series of good night’s sleep. Topped with natural latex foam and new generation memory foam, the Salem Elite collection gives you a chance to enjoy thorough coziness night after night.

For more information about the Salem Elite collection, click here.

Renascence’s Somerset Mattress

SOMERSET ON LUXURY BEDROOM

The Renascence’s Somerset mattress is a lot like the Salem Elite collection as it also offers a great combination of spring and foam goodness. However, as the Renascence line offers memory foam and high grade polyurethane foam, it is a popular choice more mature sleepers. Memory foam is favored by older markets as it follows the body’s contours, providing ample resistance and support to different pressure points. By combining it with a pocketed spring system, extra benefits of better back support and movement isolation are added to the menu.

To read more about the Renascence collection, click here.

Ditta: Your Mid-Range Mattress of Choice

DITTA

With Salem Bed’s wide range of products, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we offer different kinds of mattresses that will suit the various needs of our clients. We take in consideration the distinct preferences and requirements our consumers have, guaranteeing that whatever you’re sleep needs are, we can be of great help to you.

Here in our blog’s Product Suggestions category, we have already featured our low-priced and high-end suggestions, leaving a number of mid-range selections that are perfect for those who want to put a little bit more money in their sleep, but aren’t willing to splurge on a mattress just yet.

The Ditta is one of the classic Salem Bed models that you can opt for. A tried and tested mattress, it has been around for decades, assuring you that this model is one of the most trusted and preferred by numerous households in the country.

Salem bed Top of the Line ditta

What makes the Ditta special is that it has everything you need. It’s simplicity makes it the perfect sleeping surface, as it’s fuss free design will ensure that you will drift off to dreamland without any hassle. With a tight plush top, Bonnel spring, medium density foam layers, and a mattress height of 8.5″, the Ditta feels luxurious without having to shell out as much. It also comes with a 3-year warranty, guaranteeing unparalleled quality that you can only get from Salem Beds.

Buy the Ditta mattress here.

Sticking It Out: How Your Feet Can Help You Sleep Better

feet blanket banner

While summer is technically over, the days continue to be quite balmy, thanks to our country’s tropical climate. Sure, the temperature drops a little during the rainy season, but when the rains aren’t really pouring, you can expect some sweating even at night.

If you find it difficult to doze off when it’s stifling hot, but you really can’t ditch your blanket as early mornings can also get quite chilly, here’s a trick that is tried and tested: stick your feet out. By sticking your foot out of your mattress, you’re helping your body regulate it’s temperature without doing too much that can disturb your sleep or comfort.

How does your feet help in cooling your body down, you might be wondering. According to National Sleep Foundation’s Natalie Dautovitch in an interview for NY Mag, while there isn’t a study conducted about the feet’s participation in a person’s sleep, there are a few theories about it. One of which is the temperature regulation thing, as the soles of our feet (and palm of our hands) have special vascular structures that are designed to help in heat loss. As you know, our soles and palms do not have hair, which makes insulation quite non-existent in these areas. This makes it ideal for heat dissipation, allowing the body to cool down.

As the body needs to cool down to feel sleepy, it is essential to find ways to take down your core temperature at night. Especially here in the Philippines were nights can get unbearably warm at certain parts of the year, finding ways to ease your body from the heat is essential. By sticking your feet outside the covers is an easy technique that you can try.

Of course, this trick also works the other way around. This is why putting on socks when it’s cold can make you feel cozier, as your feet gets extra insulation, allowing your body to warm up a little.

Check out this video from NY Mag telling you more about how your feet can help you sleep:

Sleeping with Your Pets: Pros and Cons

pets banner

Pets are possibly some of the greatest cuddle buddies there are. They’re warm (as their body temperatures are naturally six degrees warmer than humans), they’re cuddly, and they’re typically fluffy, making them all the more huggable. They’re also very affectionate, so cuddling with them will easily make you feel loved.

This is easily why many pet owners are okay with co-sleeping with their pets. This has even become quite a common occurrence in the US, as a survey suggests that about 56% of dog owners let their dogs sleep in their beds with them.

While it is a common practice for a lot of pet owners to co-sleep with their furry friends, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is perfectly okay to do so. Medical experts tend to object to this practice for reasons such as:

1. Allergies that pet dander can cause.

Pet dander is one of the most common causes of allergic reactions among humans. Even if you or your spouse is not exactly allergic to the hair your pets shed, being exposed to it over long periods every night can saturate your system and cause an allergy to develop. This, of course, is harmful to your health, which is why a lot of experts advise against sleeping with your pets.

2. Sleep disturbance caused by your pets.

While some can argue that developing an immunity to pet dander and other allergens that pets cause is an easy solution to point number 1, there are still lots of other things in the list of why medical experts are not too keen on you co-sleeping with your pets. For some, their dogs can be too big to share the bed with. Others get woken up in the middle of the night at least once daily due to their pet’s movements, snoring, or cover hogging among other things. These may sound tolerable to some, but if you’re already put in that position and it happens to you nightly, it will definitely result into sleep deprivation, leaving you like a zombie during the day time.

3. Pets can also bring in lots of other serious infectious illnesses.

There are lots of things that can cause illnesses, and we have to face facts that your pets also pose some risk. You can contract worms, infections, rabies, cat-scratch fever, parasites, and other kinds of infections from them. Dr. Bruno Chomel of the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine notes that keeping them flea-free is just the first step in ensuring that your pet will not put your health at risk, though.

4. Mattress damage from untrained pets.

While there’s no doubt that your pets are more valuable than your possessions, let’s face the fact that for most households, their mattresses are big ticket purchases. They are often times viewed as investments, thus having them ruined should be avoided at all cost.

However, when you have untrained pets, keeping your mattress safe from their harmful whims can be a challenge. Especially if your pet is not yet potty trained, there’s a high chance that they will pee or even defecate on your bed. This, in turn, can easily damage your mattress.

On the other hand, co-sleeping with a pet also has some good effects. In some cases, some insomniacs find snuggling with their pets comforting and calming, allowing them to fall asleep easier.

Despite the many cons co-sleeping with a pet may have, the fact that sleeping with your furry babies feels right may still outweigh expert opinion. So, if you wish to continue sleeping with your pet, it is always best to follow a few precautions at the very least. To get you started, here are some recommendations from specialists like vets and trainers:

1. Make sure that your dog is trained to sleep on his own before letting them sleep in your bed. If they are trained as young puppies to sleep on their own, they will understand their boundaries better and know how to respect your personal space.

2. Keep your pet clean. Indoor cats tend to be a little safer than other kinds of pets when it comes to bed-sharing, as they are not as easily exposed to fleas and other parasites and are less likely to bring bugs home. Other pets, on the other hand, should be cleaned and watched closely, as well as kept in best shape, so you can be sure that they don’t carry any transmittable diseases.

3. Work hard in not letting your dog interfere with your sleep. As sleep is essential, you should never compromise when it comes to your slumber. If your pet disturbs your sleep, reconsider sharing your bed with them and train them to sleep elsewhere.

In the end, it all boils down to your comfort when it comes to co-sleeping with your pet. As long as you’re comfortable, safe from illnesses, and do not get disturbed at night, sharing your bed with a furry friend could prove to be rewarding in the end.

Sleep Information Resources to Check Out Today

Side view of mature couple sleeping in bed together

If your sleeping habit is less than stellar, the best way to deal with it is by learning as much as you can about sleep. To help you get started, you can always read through our blog for some useful information. However, if you want some resources that have come straight from sleep experts, we full understand. There are particularities that

1. Sleep.Org

Created by the National Sleep Foundation, Sleep.Org is an excellent online resource for all of your sleep information needs. It is a treasure trove of all the important data you’ll find useful in understanding sleep.

2. Sleep Quiz

sleeping couple

Do you think you know everything there is about sleep? Take this quiz and find out how much of an expert you are! The best thing about this quiz is that it enumerates the correct answers for every item, letting you know where you’ve answered incorrectly and gives a good elaboration of the correct answer.

3. Different medical journals like JournalSleep.Org, ESRS, and UCLA’s Center for Sleep Research

If you have the patience to read  through medical journals and publications, then you’ll find these links useful. Access to abstracts are easily available in these websites, but if you want to read the papers in their entirety, you may need to request for extra access or pay for subscription.

marilyn monroe
via

By learning more about sleep, you’ll be able to understand it better. With ample information, you can also assess your own sleeping habits better and adjust it for improvement, making these details necessary for those who struggle with catching some zzz’s.