Showing posts with label sleep. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sleep. Show all posts

Friday, October 2, 2020

Reviewing "MyPillow" Mattress Topper

MyPillow Mattress Topper
I previously reviewed our MyPillow pillows, which we still love. Because the pillows were such a hit in our home, we also opted to buy the MyPillow mattress topper. 

I wanted to wait a while to review the mattress topper. For me, it was as important, if not more important, than the pillows. Plus, it is a lot more expensive than pillows, therefore I wanted to make sure it was worthy of my recommendation. Now that we have been sleeping on the topper for 4 months, I believe I can give you a review based on experience, not just first impressions. 

For me, a mattress topper is not just about making a bed more comfortable.  It is about being able to sleep through the night without experiencing discomfort from being too soft or too hard.  Both can result in pain.  My days of sleeping on floors or on the ground, long ago passed.

 

Why I Need a Great Mattress Topper

I have mentioned in past articles that I was born with severe scoliosis (curvature of the spine). Because of the multiple curves in my spine, as well as having a pronounced raised hip on one side, I do experience pain, especially if I do not have good support when sleeping or sitting. My mattress matters a lot to me, as I think it does to everyone, whether they suffer with scoliosis or not.  I'm not quick to embrace any kind of change. However, it was time for a new mattress on our bed. 

When You Hear the Price of a New Mattress
My husband and I started shopping for a new mattress, only to discover many of the current mattresses are made of foam. I wasn't quite sure how I felt about that fact and started testing the mattresses with a great deal of apprehension.  In spite of feeling like we were on display in the store, we tried several mattresses. There was only one that would suit my needs. When the salesman, unapologetically, quoted an astronomical price that exceeded $15,000, I walked.   No, perhaps you could say I ran from the store. I was not about to spend that kind of money on a mattress that may or may not feel great for 8 hours each night, for years to come. I thought our mattress was looking a whole lot better and clearly had at least 15 more good years.  In the car, my husband was saying he would do whatever I needed regardless of price.  My mind was saying, $15,000 for a mattress?  I paid less than that for my first automobile! 

When we got home, I promptly went online and ordered a Memory Foam mattress topper.  The Memory Foam Topper price in 2017 was $116.00, clearly significantly less than $15,000.  I had to wait several days after we received it to put it on the bed.  It smelled awful!  It took a while for it to air out enough to be able to sleep on it, but I felt this was a good compromise.


The MyPillow Mattress Topper

After sleeping on our MyPillow pillows for a month, I decided to try the MyPillow Mattress Topper too.  My Memory Foam mattress topper was now 3 years old.  My husband described its condition as having to sleep in craters.  Okay, so it had clear recesses.  I guess it's "memory" of our body impressions was just a little too good, but I was still not in the mood to spend an automobile price on a new mattress and the Memory Foam mattresses were no longer available.  So, we bought the MyPillow mattress topper.

 MyPillow Three-inch Mattress Bed Topper (King)Check Price

The first week was a real adjustment for me.  It was harder than the Memory Foam, but I was definitely sleeping through the night and waking up pain-free.  After a month, all was still well and I no longer thought it was too firm.  After 4 months, I can say, with certainty, that this mattress topper is the right choice.

Benefits of the MyPillow Mattress Topper 

  • Available in 7 sizes
  • 3" Thick (requires deep pocket sheets to cover existing mattress & topper together)
  • Includes a Removable Zippered Cover made of Phase Change Material (body temperature regulated) which is Machine Wash & Dry
  • 4 Corner Straps that Holds Topper in Place
  • 10 Year Warranty
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Upon receipt, it is necessary to let the mattress topper lay out for a day to regain it's full shape after being wrapped for shipping.  The faint odor will also disappear quickly.





If you would like to read my review of the MyPillow pillows which I mentioned earlier, you can find it by clicking here.



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Friday, May 8, 2020

Reviewing "MyPillow" Pillows

I have found several things that I really like about MyPillow. Wash & Dry, Soft yet Firm, Cool, 10yr warranty, made in USA
My Pooh on My Pillow
When my husband suggested we buy a pair of "My Pillow" pillows, I was hesitant to spend more money on pillows.  After all, we have tried several brands in the last few years and none have been worth the price.  As a matter of fact, I have always gone back to my 20+ year old pillow that I can fold in half and make work for me.  However, I do believe I can now retire that tired old pillow.  Much to my surprise, the MyPillow pillow is exactly what I need.

The MyPillow website has a "find your fill" chart (on this page).  I answered the 4 questions and then rebelled against the recommendation.  I didn't believe for one second that I needed a "more fill" firm pillow (their green product).  I have tried firm pillows in the past and hated them.  I need the support under my head, but I prefer a soft pillow.  After a great deal of speculation and reading the reviews in multiple places, I decided to try the site's pillow choice recommendation.


I am delighted with the results!



Benefits of the MyPillow Pillows


 My Pillow Classic Series [Std/Queen,Medium Fill] Now Available in 4 Loft LevelsI have found several things that I really like about MyPillow

  1. Multiple Loft Levels - Choose the one that is best for you
  2. Comfortable for Side or Back Sleeping
  3. Washable
  4. Dry in Dryer
  5. Soft Feel, Yet Firm Support 
  6. Cooler than a normal pillow
  7. King Size Available
    (I opted for the Standard/Queen size)
  8. 10 year warranty
  9. Made in USA

Upon receipt, I unwrapped our MyPillows pillows and washed them first.  I wanted to ensure they were really washable and able to be dried in my dryer.  I was thrilled with the excellent results.  Now, when either of us is sick, we can still use our preferred, comfortable pillow and simply wash & dry it to remove germs.  That is a huge benefit for a pillow.










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Monday, April 20, 2020

Reviewing Meditation Videos as Sleep Aids

photo courtesy of Pixabay
While some people have suffered from insomnia over the decades, this review is being written during the current pandemic situation. And during an increase in sleep problems. Including my own. I have found that meditation videos and a sleep timer on my television have been very helpful for me. 

Historically, I am generally exhausted. I quickly fall asleep each evening. I would occasionally have some insomnia caused by particularly concerning things happening at work or because I am a light sleeper and I have noisy neighbors. Sleep hygiene is something I'm familiar with but had not been something I've had to be particularly focused on for myself - until now.


Sleep Hygiene


Sleep Hygiene is another way of saying good sleep habits.  It is often the topic of discussion in my work. No matter the age, most humans benefit from getting sleep that is long enough and deep enough.

The CDC gives tips for better sleep here. Not all of those tips work well for everyone. But I've included the list because it is a great place to start thinking about what might work for you. For example, I'm such a light/anxious sleeper that for decades I needed the television to be on as a background noise to cover any outside noises that would wake me and prevent me from falling back to sleep. As a rule, it is recommended to remove electronic devices from the bedroom. Including the television. But in my case a television has been helpful. Not every sleep hygiene tip will work for every person. But that list includes great things to consider.


Major Insomnia


Wow. I've been hit with major insomnia during this stay-at-home time period. I was trying a variety of things with very limited success. Even my trusty television as white noise was suddenly a distraction and it was keeping me awake.

Stretching, doing yoga, and meditation before bed helped. But not enough. 

Then I discovered the sleep timer and meditation videos on my smart tv.

I find a relaxing video on YouTube and start it. These videos are created on loops so the same thing runs for many hours at a time. I then set the television sleep timer for 90 - 120 minutes (which is enough time for the neighbors to settle down). The video lulls me to sleep and the tv eventually turns off. I remain asleep and have noticed that I'm getting a much more restful sleep. I'm waking up refreshed in the mornings.


Types of Relaxing Videos for Sleep



There are many types of meditation and relaxation videos to choose from. Far too many to list here. I tend toward the thunderstorm or rain/wind chimes sounds.  Additional themes are:
  • beaches/waves
  • birds
  • forests
  • meditation chants
  • talk/guided meditation
  • Native American flute music
  • what I generally refer to as "spa music"
  • a crackling fire
  • and much more

Some of the videos have one photograph as the visual. Others have a black/blank screen (which would help if light in the room keeps you awake). And still others have scenes with some movement such as raindrops falling, lightning flashing, or scenes that have some very minimal movement added digitally. I like the videos that show the rain drops.

As examples, I am including my two favorite relaxation videos. You may find that these are not helpful to you. That's okay. There are plenty of others to choose from.

Rain and Wind Chimes:



Rain and Native American Flutes:



Swamp Sounds at Night (in this video, it is the visual that relaxes me. I enjoy the fog and the smoke from the chimney. Others may find this particular video a little on the creepy side):




Related Links:

I am not a tech-nerd. Far from it. I usually do not replace any of my electronics until they are so out-of-date that they no longer work properly. But I purchased a smart tv and LOVED it so much that I bought a second one for the bedroom. The two televisions are different brands, therefore they have different apps. But both allow me to watch Amazon Prime and Youtube. It is the wonderful new technology that allows me to watch these relaxing videos while in bed. You can read my smart tv review here.

Our BarbRad has written about the things that help her get a good night's sleep. Among other things, she finds that a sleep mask is very helpful. Barb gives extremely good tips about finding an effective sleep mask here

Don't have a smart tv? Or a television in the bedroom? There is a large selection of video and audio relaxation selections on Amazon. There are just a few:





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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Review of Products That Help Me Get a Good Nights Sleep


Do You Have Trouble Getting a Good Night's Sleep?




I find it hard to fall asleep. Not only am I very distracted by any sounds that aren’t relaxing, I’m also pretty wound up before I go to bed. I do most of my writing at night, and often the ideas are still buzzing around my head when it hits the pillow. Many times I’m not even sleepy. I’m only going to bed because I know it’s past time. 

A Review of Products That Help Me Get a Good Nights Sleep
My Son Asleep on Floor of Motel Room, © B. Radisavljevic

Some people, like my son in the picture, can  fall asleep almost anywhere, as he did on this motel room floor. My husband is another one who can fall asleep the minute he puts his head on the pillow. Sometimes he even falls asleep in his chair. Not me. 

Here's What I've Done to Start Falling Asleep Faster


Nutritional Supplements that Help Me Fall Asleep

For some time now I've been taking a couple of nutritional supplements that have helped me relax if I take them about half an hour before bed every night. One is Natrol® Melatonin 5 Mg, 250 Fast Dissolve Tablets Strawberry Flavor. It has worked better than any other Melatonin product I've tried, and I've tried a lot of them. I usually buy mine at Costco, but I have linked to Amazon here in case Costco isn't convenient for you. I also take an amino acid, Nature's Plus L-Tyrosine with B-6 500mg/50mg - 60 - Capsule. I'm  not so fussy about the brand for this. This combination helps me relax. 


Noise Blockers


I am also very sensitive to noise, and noises can keep me awake even when I'm relaxed and very tired. Before I moved here, my computer was in my bedroom and I didn’t like to turn off more than the energy- hogging display. If I tried to put it to sleep, it didn’t do any good, because for some reason I haven’t yet figured out, it suddenly woke up anyway. So as I was trying to sleep, I heard my computer working in the background, making those distracting little clicking sounds. Sometimes there were animal noises outside or the neighbor on the hill was having a very late party. Now that I've moved to the city, there are even more outside noises, as well as clicking sounds from my windows when the sun comes up. 

It seems the thing that relaxes and soothes me most when I am lying in bed is the sound of rain on the roof. It doesn’t matter how loud the rain is; it’s like a lullaby to me. I finally got the bright idea that I should look for CDs that make rain sounds. But they were hard to find. Almost all the nature sound tracks I found had more than rain in them. They had orchestral accompaniment, bird song, and other things included that although meant to enhance, only disturbed me and broke the steady sound of the rain falling.

It was only after I’d bought and tried about five other CDs that didn’t work for me that I saw Rain and Relaxation on Amazon and bought it. It’s made a great difference. If I go to bed tense or still full of creative fervor that wants to leap back to the computer and write more, I just play the CD, which I keep loaded in my CD player in my clock radio. All I have to do is press the button in the dark to start the process of calming down enough to sleep.

This also works after my early morning bladder wake-up call. At 6 AM the sun is about to rise or has already risen. The birds start making noise outside my window swamp cooler, and sometimes the neighbor’s dog is barking. Later my husband is in the kitchen making his breakfast or talking on the phone. I want to keep sleeping until about nine after my late night writing, so I play the CD again, loudly enough to block out the other noises.

I highly recommend this solution to others who find it hard to fall asleep at night or who fall back to sleep in the middle of the night after using the bathroom. It’s made a great difference in the quality of my sleep. It’s also made a great difference in my temperament in the morning when I wake up.


When Rain Alone Doesn't Do the Trick

Sometimes I need something a bit different than rain alone to put me to sleep. I have shared some of the other recordings I have used below. Although you may also feel the need for white noise, maybe something different like ocean, night nature sounds, or even electronic relaxation is what you need to do the trick. Check  these out, as well as some others that may be suggested as you look at them. 

One more hint. I have a repeat function on my CD player, but it only repeats one track. It really helps to get a CD with everything on one track. The last suggestion here, Summer Evening Serenade, is the one I currently use, since my rain cd wore out and I haven't remembered to replace it yet. It has everything on one track, and I keep it repeating all night. It used to be when a CD ended, it would wake me back up with its whirring sound as it shut off. When it keeps repeating, it doesn't do that. Some of my suggestions below are also available in digital downloads if that works for you.  

Recently I also decided to buy a white noise machine that does a fantastic job of blocking out louder sounds than the CD's  can cover up. Read my review of the Marpac DOHM-DS. 



If you have a way to watch a video on your computer until you fall asleep, I would suggest this one. When I try to put it on my computer the display goes out and I can't hear it anymore, either, so I need to use the CD's.




If You Need to Sleep During Daylight


If you sometimes need to sleep after the sun is up, I have found another useful product. I have had two  surgeries in the last year that required me to move into a one-story house to heal. Fortunately I inherited one I was mostly using for storage and entertaining from my mother , but it's in a neighborhood in the city limits, unlike our rural home. It is much noisier than in the country, and my CD's have become even more important with noisy vehicles parking outside my window and then leaving before even the roosters wake up.

This house also has lots of windows in my bedroom and they face east. Once the sun is up the room is flooded with light. After many mornings trying to keep my head under the covers to block out the sun, I finally broke down and bought this set of eye shades that comes with ear plugs -- Bedtime Bliss® Contoured & Comfortable Sleep Mask & Ear Plug Set. Includes Carry Pouch for Eye Mask and Ear Plugs - Great for Travel, Shift Work & Meditation.

I could kick myself for not getting it sooner. When I had my second surgery last December, I took them to the hospital, and you know how hard it is to have it dark there. The sleep mask was a great help in keeping light out of my eyes, though it couldn't keep the nurses from waking me up. I wasn't quite as happy with the ear plugs, but I've tried every ear plug I've been able to get my hands on, and none of them do much for me.

Begin Now To Sleep Better and Longer


If you have trouble getting a good night's sleep, I hope one of the ideas or products reviewed above will help you. Before you take any supplement, especially if you are on any prescription medications, it's best to check with your doctor first. Just because something is right for me might not mean it's right for you. The sleep mask and music I believe would help anyone. Why not click some of those links now and begin sleeping better very soon. Believe me, a good night's sleep is worth every penny it takes.  


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