Tag Archives: sleep

“What do you want for Christmas this year?”…

16 Dec

The Holiday’s are fast approaching and you’re still searching for the “perfect” gift?  Maybe you’re out of ideas and frankly, you’re also running out of time.

Who really “needs”:

A “bigger” big screen TV
Another fancy watch
Or the latest and greatest juicer / blender

Have you thought about the gift of sleep this Holiday season?  We know, it sounds silly, but rather than giving the same old presents this year, consider replacing that old uncomfortable mattress of yours.

So, regardless if you’ve been naughty or nice; give yourself or loved one the ultimate gift of  A Great Night’s Sleep.

There are plenty of mattress choices out there, but there’s no better time than the present (pardon our pun) to invest in life-changing sleep with a new Shifman mattress.  We’d like to share these compliments from our customers.

Made in America, our handmade mattresses provide long-lasting comfort and durability.  Did you know they’re two-sided?  It’s not a myth, two-sided mattresses still exist!  Pair your new two-sided mattress with one of our 8-way hand-tied boxsprings and you’ll find it’s the ultimate in comfort, it’s the Shifman Difference.

So, instead of spending your precious free time this year at the mall, or spending hours surfing the web in search of the perfect holiday gift, why not consider making a purchase that will bring you long-lasting comfort and joy every day of your life?

Happy Holidays from all of us at Shifman Mattress Company!

Happy Holidays

The Skinny on Thanksgiving – 5 Tips to Lighten Up Your Holiday Meal

27 Nov
  1. Engage in some sort of exercise early in the day and you’ll sleep better at night.  A brisk 30-minute walk is all you need to burn some quick calories and feel energized.  You’re in luck if it’s a sunny day – soak in some Vitamin D!  If you have a bit more time, hop on a bike or go for a quick hike.  Just thinking about all those delicious “sides” to sample later should be all the motivation you need to get up, out the door and moving.
  2. Don’t deny yourself, dig in and sample everything from the flaky fresh biscuits to the sweet potato pie, but limit your portion sizes.  Check out WebMD®’s Portion Size Plate, an interesting visual take on portion control.  You can even download a handy wallet-size version.
  3. Drink water.  Simple.  Calorie-free.  Don’t fill up on empty calories!  OK, maybe one glass of wine, it is a holiday after all.
  4. Who doesn’t love a heavenly smoked Gouda or a buttery Manchego?  Step away from the cheese plate.  Go for lighter appetizers like the colorful veggie platter or grab a salad.
  5. Or, disregard the four tips above and simply eat “lighter” on Friday.  Feel like having a second helping of homemade stuffing?  Yes, thank you.  It takes 3,500 unburned calories to pack on an extra pound.  Chances are indulging in just one big meal will not prevent you from fitting into your skinny jeans, your boyfriend jeans or your comfy leggings on Friday.

As you begin to digest your Thanksgiving feast, you may feel a bit sleepy.  Especially if you’re the host with a house full of guests, a sink full of dishes and an assortment of leftovers to fit back into your refrigerator.

This is the perfect opportunity to sneak in a quick nap on the couch or better yet, slip away to your Shifman mattress.  We think you’ll have the most restful post-Thanksgiving catnap of your life.  Wake up refreshed, rejoin your guests and dive into that slice of homemade pumpkin pie.  You did save room for pie, right?

Happy Thanksgiving from Shifman  Mattress Company.

happy-thanksgiving

Sleep: Who Needs it More?

8 Mar

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporationDo women need more sleep than men? “Yes!” says  Jim Horne, author of Sleepfaring: A Journey through the Science of Sleep. Horne explains that women need about twenty more minutes of sleep than men each night. “Women tend to multi-task  –  they do lots at once and are flexible  –  and so they use more of their actual brain than men do. Because of that, their sleep need is greater.”

While women are supposed to be getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night, many women are actually chronically sleep-deprived. Aside from the daily grind, there are many other biological factors that affect a woman’s quality of sleep such as:

  •  Pregnancy: Most women experience discomfort from weight gain and the position of the fetus.
  •  Hot flashes due to menopause
  •  Anxiety and stress – (Science Daily reports that women have higher anxiety than men due to cell signals and hormones).

If women have a more difficult time sleeping, but also need more sleep than men, what can be done? The National Sleep Foundation recommends that women combat insomnia by limiting their caffeine and alcohol intake, increasing their daily exercise, and setting a routine sleep schedule.

Also, investing in a comfortable mattress will help improve an individual’s sleep environment, allowing for both comfort and relaxation.

Women of world: take a nap. Statistics show you need it!

Sleep and be well!

Two-Sided Mattresses: The Legend, The Myth.

13 Nov

Two-Sided Shifman Mattress

Having been through the wrath of Superstorm Sandy, I found myself waiting in a 45 minute gas-line one unreasonably cold and dark Friday night. As I finally inched up to the pump, I was met with a police officer directing traffic. We made small talk and he asked where I worked. I told him “Shifman Mattress Company in Newark”.

He smiled and responded, “Ha! I was just talking to somebody about mattresses!” Then stopped and said “Ugh, I can’t remember what it was about… something about why mattresses aren’t made…”

“…with two sides?” I quickly replied.

“EXACTLY!” he exclaimed smiling and pointing at me. At this point, I swiftly took the opportunity to tell him that our mattresses were in fact, two-sided.

“Shifman. S-H-I-F-M-A-N… two-sided and handmade!” He thanked me and I pulled up to the pump.

I loved this experience for three reasons:

  1. The police officer was really friendly which made the long line not a huge waste of time.
  2. I was able to glorify the company I work for (hey, where’s my bonus?!?!).
  3. I realized this man was one out of millions who truly believed that two-sided mattresses were extinct!

THE LEGEND

Once upon a time, manufacturers built products to be better than their competitors. Sure, profit margins and retail price points were given their rightful attention, but competition to create a better product was first and foremost.

The same manufacturing principles went into mattresses as well.

But throughout the last forty years, most manufacturers changed their procedures: new machines replaced hands, solid wood-foundations succeeded boxsprings, and low density polyurethane foam dethroned all-natural cotton. And to top it off, mattresses became one-sided.

So how did manufacturers get away with gutting their mattresses of all the good stuff? Well, great marketing like this: “A MATTRESS YOU DON’T HAVE TO FLIP” suggesting that their one-sided mattress is so skillfully constructed that it outsmarts gravity.

A MATTRESS THAT OUTSMARTS GRAVITY“. Yeah, right.

But really, cheapening a mattress does great things for the corporation and terrible things for the customer. Corporations increase their profit per mattress (by charging more money for less quality) and inevitably sell more mattresses (selling a cheaper mattress with a shorter life-span requires more mattress replacements per consumer). Clearly, these types of corporations are more concerned with manufacturing mattresses for their shareholders rather than their customers.

Are all of these extinct?

THE MYTH

They don’t make a two-sided mattress anymore. I’ve heard this a lot and it is simply false! The big brand names might not be making a flippable mattress, but there are several smaller companies that have maintained their commitment to manufacturing two-sided mattresses. Shifman’s two-sided mattresses, for instance, boast a firmness level and comfort life that lasts at least twice as long as its one-sided counterparts.

Why are two-sides better than one? Well, frankly, two is always better than one. Am I right? I mean, put that into context and it makes a lot of sense.

In the mattress industry,  many customers report experiencing minor sagging and body impressions after they’ve been sleeping on a new mattress for the first few weeks. This is a result of the mattress layers adjusting to the weight and shape of the customer’s body. Shifman recommends flipping the mattress every month side-to-side the first time and head-to-foot the next time for the first six months (and twice a year thereafter) so that the layers normalize as the mattress conforms to the individual’s body contours. A one-sided mattress completely restricts a customer from properly rotating their mattress which usually results in a saggy, worn-out mattress.

The truth of the matter is that too many manufacturers have cheapened their mattresses to make a better profit. You, as the consumer, need to decide what is ultimately better for you and your wallet. Our recommendation is that you invest in a two-sided mattress for the ultimate in comfort and long-lasting durability.

Aaahh!!! Bed Monsters

22 Oct

When I think about bed bugs, The Twilight Zone’s theme song immediately comes to mind.

Here’s why I’m slightly amused: as children we grow up worrying about the monsters under our bed. Our parents, clearly irritated by our “naive” adolescent anxieties, ensure us that there are NO monsters and we are coaxed to sleep. AND THEN ONE DAY in your 20s, you learn there has been a bed bug infestation in your city and you think to yourself: Wait a sec, there’s actually no difference between bed bugs and monsters… and everything you’ve ever learned growing up has been a complete and utter lie. At this point an existential crisis ensues, anxieties form and on top of it all, you might be sleeping with the enemy.

AT ANY RATE, bed bugs are pretty scary, and it is Halloween time, so let’s indulge, shall we?

First of all, if you’ve had a bed-bug outbreak in your home, you might be thinking: “Hey, I’m a CLEAN person. This is bologna.”  My answer to that is #1. Deli meat and bed-bugs have nothing in common. #2. Unless of course you’re feeding your bed-bug infested pet bologna in your bed.

What you need to know about bed-bugs:

  • Bed bugs are nocturnal parasites that feed on blood. (i.e. Vampires)
  • Bed bugs prefer dwellings inhabited by other animals or humans which is why they can be found in homes, vehicles, luggage, hotels, movie theaters, clothing AS WELL AS the nests of bats, birds and rodents.
  • Bed bugs use an adhesive substance to attach themselves to humans, pets, clothing or luggage.
  • Bed bugs are elusive and can sometimes go undetected.
  • Aside from bite symptoms, signs that you might have bed-bugs include fecal spots, blood smears on sheets, and molts.
  • Bed-Bugs were almost completely eradicated in the developed world in the 1940s, but sometime around 1995 they increased in prevalence. (You don’t really NEED to know this fact, I just thought it was really interesting).

What’s the difference between bed bugs and vampires? They’re both nocturnal, blood-sucking mattress dwellers. Except of course that BED-BUGS ARE REAL.

So how can you prevent bed bugs? Well, frankly, it’s not that easy. You certainly can’t live in a bubble your entire life. (Or maybe you could and then get your own reality show on TLC). The United States Environmental Protection Agency notes that although bed-bugs are “successful hitchhikers” a few simple precautions can help prevent a bed bug infestation in your home.

AT HOME:

  • Check secondhand furniture, beds, and couches for any signs of bed-bug infestation
  • Use a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs and eliminates many hiding spots. The light color of the encasement makes bed bugs easier to see. Be sure to purchase a high quality encasement that will resist tearing and check the encasements regularly for holes.
  • Reduce clutter in your home to reduce hiding places for bed bugs.

WHEN TRAVELING:

  • In hotel rooms, use luggage racks to hold your luggage when packing or unpacking rather than setting your luggage on the bed or floor.
  • Check the mattress and headboard before sleeping.
  • Upon returning home, unpack directly into a washing machine and inspect your luggage carefully.

With the Halloween backdrop upon us, it’s easy to make light of bed-bugs and the fear that is often associated with them. But, the reality is that they’re REAL and can be dangerous to your health. Keep in mind that bed-bugs aren’t just a seasonal problem; an infestation can happen at any time of the year. In fact, studies show that bed-bugs can live for an entire year without feeding! So be cautious when you travel and keep your home tidy.

And one day, when your kids are complaining about monsters under the bed, don’t lie to them, advise them: Good night, sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

“Do I Need A Boxspring?” LOL, yes.

7 Aug

Shifman’s eight-way, hand-tied boxspring.

Why are we laughing? As a mattress manufacturer, we understand the importance of boxsprings, but live in a world completely uneducated about them. Is it the world’s fault? Eh, not necessarily.

I often use Wikipedia for daily information and usually find a ton of material. The search term “mattress” for instance, produces a page full of information regarding the history of mattresses, what’s in them, what’s new about them, who makes them, etc..

Try typing “boxspring” into Wikipedia’s search field. The page result is sad. You don’t even have to use the scroll bar to read the entire article, which by the way, doesn’t cite any reliable sources or references. I’m using Wikipedia as an example, but the reality is that boxspring literature is almost non-existent.

And while the internet lacks information about boxsprings, other organizations discredit their importance. Just this month, the highly regarded organization, Consumer Reports released an article that critically undervalued the necessity of boxsprings without any explanation. This is not only confusing to the consumer, but frustrating as well. Especially because many mattress manufacturers require consumers to purchase the boxspring in order to receive a full warranty. And if consumers are reading information about why they shouldn’t buy a boxspring, and yet are still required to buy one, it’s not too suprising when a consumer becomes bitter about their purchase.

Poor ole’ Boxspring: the Eeyore to the Winnie-the-Pooh, the coleslaw to the burger and fries, the kid-brother to the high-school football jock.

For too long, boxsprings have been misunderstood, picked on, put down and forgotten about. Not buying it? According to Google, it took me .18 seconds to find a message-board that posed the question: “Do I need a boxspring?”

Luckily the people-of-the-world stopped living their lives for a few minutes and responded to (what I presume is) the best of their ability.

Below, the first four replies.

“A boxspring is good if you like your bed to squeak, other than that I’m not sure.”

Now, although, I do appreciate the ingenuity of the responses, I can’t say that I blame these Q&A moguls for thinking that way.

Boxspring vs. Foundation: A lot of the reason why people are bewildered by a boxspring’s functionality is because the boxspring has actually devolved over the years.

The boxspring was initially created to provide strong, flexible support and help prolong the life of the mattress. Its coils were designed to respond independently to movement and pressure for optimal weight transfer. Essentially, the boxspring functions as a shock absorber. So it doesn’t quite matter what happens above the mattress (uhem, uhem) because the mattress itself won’t take on all the brunt of the movement. Instead, the boxspring supports the mattress by providing some give so the mattress remains firm and durable.

Now think about what would happen to your mattress if it were only supported by a solid-wood foundation. If there is nothing below the mattress absorbing the shock, then you are likely damaging the inside of the mattress. It would be like driving a car without shock absorbers. Can you imagine what that would do to your tires (and your teeth)??

Unfortunately, modern bedding manufacturers are mostly to blame when it comes to the decline of the boxspring. Not all, but many manufacturers have purposely downgraded the boxspring to save on costs and maximize profits.  Instead of taking the time to create true boxsprings, the manufacturers build solid wood foundations, palm them off as boxsprings and get away with selling inferior products. And let me be clear about something: not all boxsprings are perfect. In the way the mattress manufacturers get away with selling wood-foundations labeled as “boxsprings”, other mattress manufacturers use a lower coil count and steel with little-to-no give. When shopping for a mattress set, don’t forget to ask two important questions: 1. What’s in the mattress? And 2: What’s in the boxspring?

So do you need a boxspring?

The answer is always yes. As long as it’s a true boxspring (and not a solid wood foundation), a boxspring will maximize your comfort by providing proper support and also prolong the life of your mattress, allowing you to achieve a great night’s sleep.

Work and Play AND Sleep?

18 Jul

It’s Friday night and you’re looking forward to going out and letting loose. There’s just one problem: you’re exhausted from working all week. What do you do? Take a quick nap? Drink an energy drink? Forego your night and slip on your jammies?

Work hard, play hard, sleep hard.  Ah, the virtues of hard-work counterbalanced by our focus on play. Of course, nowhere in this phrase does sleep play a role, although, it definitely should.

According to a study conducted by the independent, nonprofit organization, National Sleep Foundation, working too much and sleeping too little takes a serious toll on the professional and personal lives of many people.

The report also found that workdays mean less sleep for a high percentage of individuals.

Polls showed that 33 percent of consumers (the largest percent), are getting anywhere from 6 to less than 7 hours of sleep on workdays, with a similar percentage, 30 percent, getting seven to less than eight hours of sleep. Meanwhile, the average number of hours slept per weekday was 6 hours and 44 minutes!

“Studies show that habitually getting inadequate sleep — less than seven or eight hours of sleep each night –- creates long-lasting changes to one’s ability to think and function well during the day,” said Thomas J. Balkin, PhD, co-chair of the poll task force and NSF vice chair. “These negative effects can accrue slowly over weeks, months, and even years of inadequate sleep habits and cannot simply be reversed by a few nights of good sleep.”

The National Sleep Foundation says that in order to survive in today’s fast-paced world, many people say they use a variety of coping methods when getting an inadequate amount of sleep.

  • 84 percent say that they just accept it and keep going;
  • 58 percent of respondents say they consume caffeinated beverages;
  • 38 percent say they choose foods high in sugar and carbohydrates;
  • 37 percent say they will later take a nap;
  • And, 5 percent take alerting medications.

So what’s the solution? The answer is easy: get more sleep! But for many people, fitting sleep into their busy lives is often a burden.  That’s why it’s important to realign your schedule during the day: running errands on your lunch break, making dinner earlier or just simply organizing yourself are all ways to get to get to sleep earlier. Of course, I should mention that buying a new, comfortable mattress helps, too!

The reality is, you need sleep to be productive. Don’t let your professional and personal life suffer due to bad management skills. Figure it out, get more sleep and enjoy your life.

The Truth About Beauty Sleep

14 Jun

The movie “Sleeping Beauty” left behind a highly romanticized image of what women should look like asleep. Let’s face it… not all of us sleep in beautiful gowns, cuddling a rose with perfect hair and a full face of make-up. (And frankly, it might be a little strange if we did). The reality, however, is that men and women don’t always look so hot when they sleep: snoring, sweating, drooling and sleeping in twisted positions with our mouths open are all agreeably unattractive ways to be caught snoozing, but they’re accurate!

The point I’m trying to make here is that it doesn’t really matter what you look like WHILE you sleep. What actually matters is HOW you sleep.

Swedish researchers say that “beauty sleep” is more than just a flighty phrase, it’s science! The British Medical Journal published a study which found that sleep-deprived individuals appear less healthy, less attractive and more tired than that of their well-rested counterparts. “Sleep is the body’s natural beauty treatment” said John Axelsson, a Swedish researcher from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. “It’s probably more effective than any other treatment you could buy.”

Twenty-three healthy adults ages 18 to 31 were photographed once after eight hours of sleep and photographed again after staying awake for 31 straight hours and sleeping for only five hours.

The photos were judged by 65 individuals in three categories including how healthy, attractive and tired the individuals appeared. The study found that the sleep-deprived participants were less attractive and appeared to have less color, smaller eyes and puffy skin.

Now it’s no surprise that after 31 hours of sleep deprivation and only 5 hours of sleep, study subjects won’t look their best. But according to Axelsson: “It’s possible you get these effects through chronic sleep deprivation.” Meaning, if you happen to be a chronically sleep deprived person (always receiving less than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night) then it’s likely that your physical appearance consistently suffers from an inadequate amount of sleep.

Therefore, although we might not always look like beauties while we sleep, sleeping more can effectively improve our physical attractiveness. Additionally, getting a great night’s sleep also puts us in a better mood, so you’ll not only look better, but you’ll feel better, too!

The Power of the POWER NAP!

23 May

Ever doze off watching TV after work and wake up 20 minutes later feeling completely, and yet, mysteriously rejuvenated?

Oh snap, that’s a POWER NAP!

The first step to getting a great power nap is psychological, meaning you need to stop feeling bad about partaking in a midday snooze! Why? Because napping will ultimately increase your energy and productivity. With a clear head, you’ll be able to complete your tasks faster and make better decisions.

Researchers say that power naps regenerate the brain’s functioning abilities. Response time, creativity skills and muscle reparation all benefit from a 20 minute nap. In addition, a little bit of relaxation (albeit 20 minutes) still helps to lessen the stress an individual might feel at any particular time. A rested mind and body helps us focus on what’s important while negating the tasks that aren’t.

According to Dr. Sara Mednick, author of “Take a Nap! Change Your Life” there are several types of naps.

THE NANO-NAP: 10 to 20 seconds.

  • Sleep studies haven’t yet concluded whether there are benefits to these brief intervals. Unfotunately, these naps usually lead to embarrassing Youtube videos… so be careful!

THE MICRO-NAP: 2 to 5 minutes.

  • Researchers say these naps can be effective at lessening sleepiness.

THE MINI-NAP: 5 to 19 minutes.

  • Increase in alertness, stamina, motor learning, and performance.

THE ORIGINAL POWER NAP: 20 minutes.

  • Includes the benefits of the micro and the mini, but additionally improves muscle memory and clears the brain of useless built-up information, which helps with long-term memory (remembering facts, events, and names).

THE LAZY MAN’S NAP: 50 to 90 minutes.

  • Improves REM sleep, perceptual processing, and is great for repairing bones and muscles. Just be careful about napping too much in the afternoon. The Lazy Man’s Nap can make you feel groggy afterwards and might make it harder to fall asleep later.

Ultimately, power naps can help you achieve the following:

  1. Less Stress
  2. Increased Alertness and Productivity
  3. Improved Memory and Learning
  4. Healthy Heart
  5. Increase Cognitive Functioning
  6. Increased Motivation for Exercise
  7. Boosts Your Creativity
  8. Makes Up for Midnight Tossing and Turning
  9. Helps Prevent Sleepiness for Overnight Shift Workers
  10. Overall Better Health (Heart Functioning, Hormonal Balance & Cell Repair)

Sleep It Off! The Weight, that is.

16 May

It’s getting warmer outside and that means people are starting to feel the looming pressures of summer. If you’re worried about showing your skin, don’t run for cover… run for the covers.

Research shows that people who sleep an average of 7-9 hours a night actually weigh less than people who are sleep deprived. Receiving less than 6 hours of sleep a night can lead to increased hunger and appetite which can affect weight.

According to Susan Zafarlotfi, PhD and clinical director of the Institute for Sleep and Weight Disorders at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, “When you have sleep deprivation and are running low on energy, you automatically go for a bag of potato chips or other comfort foods.”

There are many reasons why we may eat more when we’re tired. One reason is because of our reduced energy. The more tired we are, the less likely we are to work-out. And if we aren’t working-out or sleeping, well then, we might just be eating.

Another shining reason is great marketing. Think about it: there are hundreds of companies in the food industry built on servicing the chronically sleep deprived! A tiring list of energy drinks, protein bars, chocolate and even chewing gum comes to mind. If we just simply allotted enough time for sleep in our schedules, we wouldn’t have to consume these unnecessary calories in the first place.

However, studies indicate that the main reason we eat more when we’re tired is deeper than just good advertising… the biggest culprit is our hormones.

Ghrelin and Leptin are two hormones that are major influences on energy balance. They work together to tell us when we’re hungry and when we are satisified. Ghrelin is a fast acting hormone that tells you when to eat, while Leptin mediates your energy balance and tells you when to stop. Unfortunately, when you’re sleep deprived, not only is your metabolism slower, but you produce more Ghrelin and less Leptin which makes you feel hungrier and can lead to weight gain.

Now don’t get too excited. If you are already sleeping the recommended 7-9 hours a night, sleeping an extra hour won’t help you lose ten pounds. But if you are chronically sleep deprived and add more sleep-time to your schedule, there is a good chance you may lose some weight.

It’s important to continue to eat right and get your heart-rate up, but never overlook your sleep pattern! It could be the extra umph needed to being more healthy and feeling better about yourself.

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