RSSAuthor Archive for Maria Lucidia

Are Screens & Gadgets Stealing our Sleep?

More Screen Time = Less Sleep Time

It would probably be no surprise to anyone that we spend about half of our waking hours staring at a screen. Whether that’s a desktop or laptop computer screen, a cell phone or a tablet, we are completely engaged with our electronic devices for much of our waking hours. It is now believed that this much exposure to the artificial lighting of these screens can adversely affect our sleeping patterns.

As the use of these types of technologies increases, so does the amount of sleep disorders we experience. With so many of us watching TV in bed on our smartphones and checking messages or using our tablets right before bed, we are disrupting our body’s normal and natural sleep routine.

Good Night Tech, Good Night Moon

The lighting used to illuminate these devices may be tricking our bodies into thinking it’s daylight. The natural production of melatonin is affected by the amount of light outside. When the sun goes down our bodies start telling us that it is time to go to sleep. The use of gadgets with artificial lighting sources may be interfering with this natural process which makes it harder for us to fall asleep at night.

As great as technology is and with as many great benefits as the Internet delivers to us on a daily basis, there’s always a tradeoff. In this case, it may mean that checking your e-mail in bed will have you feeling groggy in the morning.

One solution is to rid your bedroom of tech devices, creating a sanctuary for sleep and signaling to your brain and body that your bed is a place meant for resting and sleeping, not tweeting and Instagraming.

The Changing Decor of America’s Bedrooms

American Decor in 6 Decades

The decor of American bedrooms has been in constant change over the past six decades. From the bright pastel colors of the 1950s to the expansive bedrooms of the 21st century, how our bedrooms are decorated says a lot about the times we live in.

In the 1950s, American culture was much more conservative, and so were our home furnishings, especially in the bedroom. Married couples sleeping separately in twin beds was a popular theme on television, even if that idea didn’t quite translate to real life. Siblings did share bedrooms more often in those days, however, as most American houses only featured two bedrooms.

The 1960s saw many radical changes in popular culture and more Americans were taking it upon themselves to design bedrooms that matched the times. With psychedelic designs and far out posters and furniture, bedrooms were becoming an outlet for creative expression as well as comfort.

enter image description here

The 1970s were all about earth tones, but that didn’t mean things weren’t bold as well. Beds got bigger, waterbeds were common, and wood grain paneling and wallpaper was at the height of popularity. The excesses of the ’60s seemed to be welcomed in the ’70s and that was evident in home decor.

enter image description here

American Decor: The 80′s and Onward

Houses got bigger in the 1980s and consequently so did bedrooms. Designs became brighter and more futuristic in look. The number and size of our bedrooms got even bigger and so did the number of gadgets we put in them. TVs, video game systems and VCRs were all welcomed into the bedrooms of America.

In the 1990s, the ‘bigger is better’ theme continued with new homes containing even more bedrooms and more space. Luxury mattresses also gained in popularity, as did silk and satin sheets.

Today, our bedrooms are our own private sanctuaries. They’re big, they are full of technology and they’re quite luxurious when compared to past decades.

ShopBedding is your go-to resource for all modern bedding needs – don’t hesitate to contact us or make a purchase today!

Floral Prints Are Now in Style for Bedding

Floral themed fabric is a London specialty that dates back to the 19th century. These British prints, styled in both cotton and silk, were inspired by eastern motifs and elegance; and were enormously popular with fashionstas in old-time London.
Liberty Bedding

Floral Prints in Bloom for Your Bedroom

Nowadays they’re getting trendy once more, cropping up in everything from clothing to home decorating accessories. Floral print fabrics originate with the London shop of the same name, which was one of the first stores in the western world to carry eastern silks. The shop sells paisley, florals, pastels abstracts and other patterned prints sewn in a variety of ways, from fabulous silk scarves to cotton purses. Another super chic item on the menu is Floral Print bed sets. The Emilia bed set, which comes with sheets, a duvet and a pillowcase, is illustrated with light blue floral motifs, perfect for the spring and summer. Other bed sets exhibit floral patterns with soft pinks, greens, and yellows – great for lightening up just any bedroom in your home. While floral print fabrics are trendy now, they also display a characteristic vintage look that hints back at this fabric’s storied history.

Eiderdown Liberty Bedding

Fall Blankets and Sheets

Fall is coming and it is now the time to focus on the best sheet and blanket options for the season! There are so many options out there that you can choose from to make your bed a haven to cuddle in. There are microfiber, cotton, or flannel bed sheets. There are down comforters, standard comforters, or even bed throws to select from. When deciding on the best sheet or blanket options, you have to take in all of the deciding factors before making the best choice you can.

Sheets

Microfiber

Microfiber sheets are amazing. They are incredibly soft, smooth, and are made from small polyester fibers. The drawback with Microfiber, however, is the tendency to prevent the body from breathing. I personally do not like Microfiber because it makes you sweat a lot during the night. For autumn nights anywhere, you want to be able to breathe!

Cotton

Cotton Sheet SetCotton sheets come in so many varieties and thread counts. In my house, we prefer sateen sheets due to the soft feel. Cotton sheets are probably the best option for fall 2014 due to the fact that it breathes well and is incredibly durable. It comes in every style and color to match whatever decorating style you are going for.

Flannel

For areas where it gets colder in the fall, flannel is a great choice for sheets. It is an incredibly soft fabric that keeps you warm throughout the entire night. It also is really durable and heavy.

Blankets

Down Comforters

Along with flannel, down comforters are great for colder climates. They help hold in the heat from the bodies they cover, keeping everything warmer. We live in an area where it is really warm, so I personally get way too hot under a big down comforter, but they seriously do get incredibly warm and cozy.

Standard Comforters

Standard comforters are exactly that: standard. They are pretty much the most versatile option you can get, which makes them probably the best option for the 2014 fall season. They are great in any climate, go with all decorating schemes, and can be used in any scenario. We use two on our bed because we both like to have our own. It prevents stealing each others.

Bed Throws

Used in warmer climates or for people who tend to get hot quickly, bed throws are thinner blankets used on beds or as decorative accents on couches. I would probably suggest these only for situations like the above as they are shorter, thin, and flimsy blankets.

Regardless of the blanket or sheets you choose, always research before you make your purchase. There are countless options for any decorative or climate situation. Make the educated decision and just pick what is best for you and your family!

Sleep Apnea: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Sleep apnea is a somewhat common condition in which normal breathing actually stops during sleep. These moments of apnea can happen many times while you’re asleep. My doctor informed me that the disruption in my breathing could be a sign of an issue regarding the signals in my brain. Just for a brief moment, the brain can literally ‘forget’ to tell the muscles to breathe.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Photo Courtesy of David Goehring

Photo Courtesy of David Goehring

In many cases, certain underlying health disorders are the culprit of sleep apnea like being overweight. That’s originally why I visited my doctor; but later discovered I had sleep apnea. From what I understand, this is quite common in obese people since excess weight can enlarge the tissues in and around a person’s airways. During an episode of sleep apnea, the brainstem doesn’t properly signal the muscles that tell you to breath. Because the brainstem is connected to the spinal cord, any medical disorders that affect the brainstem, heart, or spinal cord can lead to sleep apnea.

Here are some examples of conditions related to sleep apnea:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Encephalitis (brain inflammation)
  • Radiation treatments or surgery on the spine
  • Cervical spine arthritis
  • Parkinson’s disease (an age-associated deterioration of key nerve systems that impact muscle control, balance, and overall movement)
  • Congestive heart failure

Symptoms

The basic symptoms of sleep apnea include brief periods when your breathing stops during sleep. For some people, they show signs of extreme shallow breathing rather than actually stopping. The lack of air itself is what caused me to frequently wake up through the night. Obviously, this makes me very tired the next day. The sleep apnea episodes cause insomnia. Other symptoms include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Speech pattern changes
  • Changes in the voice
  • Overall weakness throughout the body

Diagnosis

My doctor ordered a polysomnography, which is a sleep study test that’s used to diagnose sleep apnea. During a polysomnography test, your breathing patterns, lung function, heart rate, brain activity, and oxygen levels are monitored.

Treatment

The first step in treating sleep apnea is managing any underlying medical issues that may be causing it in the first place. The regulation of air pressure and oxygen supplementation during sleeping are both effective in treating people who deal with sleep apnea. Some of these treatments include:

ASV (Adaptive Servo-Ventilation)

ASV monitors your breathing patterns while you sleep. The innovative system ‘remembers’ your patterns. The system is pressurized and works to help normalize your breathing patterns in order to prevent any future episodes of sleep apnea.

BPAP (Bi-level Positive Air Pressure)

BPAP regulates the air pressure at a higher level once you inhale and back down to a lower level once you exhale.

CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure)

CPAP provides a continuous source of pressure in the airways when sleeping. While sleeping at night, a mask is worn over your mouth and nose that delivers a continuous stream of pressurized air.

Outlook

For most people struggling with sleep apnea, they respond well to ongoing treatment. The benefits of sleep apnea treatment are varied based on the cause of the condition.