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Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

Simmons Comforpedic Loft Spectrum Plush Review

September 19th, 2010

Well my new birthday present arrived last weekend. I wish I could say that it was like sleeping on a cloud, but the truth is the bed is much more firm than what we tried in the store. I called the Simmons customer support to figure out why there is such a difference in the softness, so much so that I thought they delivered the firm mattress instead of the plush. Apparently the salesperson neglected to mention that all memory foam beds have to go through a break-in process. Not only is your body adjusting to sleeping on the memory foam, but the foam itself begins to soften over time. The floor models in the store have had many people lay on them and have “broken them in” so to speak. My husband also thinks that the foam has decompressed from the mattresses being stacked on top of each other.

Out-Gassing
If you have chemical sensitivity, you will want to make sure you plan on putting your new mattress in your bedroom and opening your windows for a day or two. We made sure that the room was well ventilated and I didn’t have any problems with my chemical sensitivity and was able to sleep on the bed the first night. After a week, I still occasionally smell the foam if the ceiling fan hasn’t been on the room.

Pressure Points
In just a week I have noticed that my hip pain has decreased and I haven’t woken up with the numb pins-and-needles feeling in my arms or feet. I think the foam is working as designed to release pressure points.

Comfort
While I was disappointed the first few nights because the bed wasn’t as soft as the one we tested in the store, I definitely think that the bed is starting to soften. The Simmons customer support specialist I spoke with said that the amount of time it takes to break in the bed varies from person to person. There wasn’t anything that she could recommend to help speed up the process. She said to just keep sleeping on the bed as we normally would. Jumping on the bed will void the warranty, as will driving your car across it as some people have apparently recommended. While I am pretty happy with our purchase, my husband is not impressed. I’m hoping as the bed continues to soften and as he continues to get use to it that he will change his mind. He told me what mattered most was my comfort level. For whatever reason he has been able to crash just about anywhere, but he doesn’t really like this bed. He loves the cheap memory foam topper on our old bed though, so I think he might come around.

UPDATE (10/3/10): I have been sleeping on my Comforpedic for about 3 weeks now and I absolutely love it. My side of the bed has really softened up just from use. My hubby hasn’t been a fan and so has been sleeping in the old bed some, and we can tell that his side is firmer than mine. I was worried when we first got it that I had made a bad decision, but I am glad that I gave it some time for the bed to soften up. Hubby thinks that for a $1000 bed you shouldn’t have to wait for the comfort, but I think it is worth it.

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Sleeping on a Cloud

September 8th, 2010

So today is my birthday, and I just happened to convince my hubby that a worthwhile birthday present would be a new mattress. My current pillow-top is sagging in the middle and the old springs just aren’t doing my Fibromyalgia flares any favors. My birthday just happens to coincide with the biggest week for mattress sales, Labor Day Weekend. I spent two days going around to several stores that were featuring half-price mattresses just to get the best deal.

Bargain shopping for a mattress is tricky. You want to make sure you are getting the best value, which does not equal the cheapest bed. I argued with my loving hubby about a bed being an investment, and he told me that it isn’t really an investment because beds depreciate in value even faster than cars. The Better Sleep Council has this to say about the matter:

Considering that you’ll probably be using your bed more than any other product you own – including your car, TV, computer or cell phone – the mattress you sleep on is one of the best cost-per-day values on the market today.1

While my husband argued that he needed a new car, I argued that I needed a good night’s sleep and that he would benefit from one too. If I tell you I spent $1,200 dollars on a mattress set, that certainly sounds frivolous. My husband could buy another clunker to drive around town with that. But he probably would only spend about an hour or two a day driving his car, when we both will hopefully be getting 8 hours of blissful sleep each night in our new bed. This works out to cost about $3 per day for the next year, which really seems like a drop in the bucket for something we will most likely be using for the next 10 years. However you choose to justify this expense, it really is a worthwhile investment to healing your body. Quality sleep is essential for Fibromyalgia sufferers.

If you have determined that you are ready to invest in your health by purchasing a quality mattress, I’m sure you are wondering by now which bed I chose. With so many different brands on the market, it was mind boggling to do research and exhausting to walk into stores and lay around in beds for two days straight. First let me discuss my research. Before I even stepped foot into a mattress store I searched Google using the keywords, Fibromyalgia and Mattress. Sure enough there are other people out there recommending specific mattresses for people with Fibro and/or Arthritis. What is hard is to discern between someone that is looking to sell you a mattress, versus another Fibromate that is just sharing information.

The Sleep Doctor has a lot to say about mattress shopping. He cautions that people shouldn’t put off buying a replacement mattress just because it is expensive and it isn’t fun. While Tempur-Pedic and Select Comfort are among the top dogs, Dr. Michael J. Breus says that what you feel most comfortable sleeping on is the most important thing.2 You really should take your own pillow and lay on each bed for a minimum of ten minutes on each side, and on your back. If you are a stomach sleeper, make sure you lay that way too. Pay attention to any pressure points and make sure that your lower back is not sagging in the bed.

The most recommended bed for Fibromyalgia was the Tempur-Pedic, or comparable memory foam bed.3 Also mentioned were air beds like the Select Comfort Sleep Number bed. While one of my coworkers said that her specific Sleep Number was difficult to find, but now that her Sleep Number bed is properly adjusted she loves it. I didn’t see any of these out at the stores to try, and I simply wasn’t going to buy a bed without spending some time laying in it. This was simply too expensive of a purchase to buy sight unseen.

I started by laying in a Sealy Posturepedic, because when I went in for my sleep study I slept great and that was the type of bed that they had in the sleep lab. I thought I wanted a pillowtop posturepedic because it was more affordable and it was something that I slept well in when I was actually being monitored for disruptive sleep patterns. I felt like this was a quality bed, but I kind of felt like the Princess and the Pea. Even though the innersprings were covered in foam or fluff, the bed felt uneven and my lower back would droop like I was laying in a hammock.

After trying out a few different brands of pillowtops, including a $3,000 overpriced Sleep to Live bed by Kingsdown, I started truly considering memory foam. I was nervous about foam because of my chemical sensitivity, but my mom has a Tempur-Pedic and I have taken a couple of great naps on her bed. I was afraid to spend that kind of money, but I believe Tempur-Pedic has some type of comfort guarentee. They have a new line called the TEMPUR-Cloud that is almost $3,000 for a King size and I made the mistake of laying in it. It really is like I imagine sleeping in heaven. For someone with Fibromyalgia, it is truly a dream come true. No pressure points and the new foam is suppose to wick away some of the heat. The foam responds really well to your movement. There is still a sinking feeling, but when you shift positions the foam springs back more quickly. One of the biggest complaints of the older Tempur-Pedic model is that it sleeps hot because the foam retains your body heat. My mom loves this feature because it helps keep her warm.

At less than half the price, I ended up choosing the Simmons Comforpedic Loft which has NxG memory foam that is also pretty responsive to your movement and also helps wick away some of your body heat. Rumor has it that a couple of employees of Tempur-Pedic left to work for Simmons and the Comforpedic was born. I actually preferred the Comforpedic to the original Tempur-Pedic. While I won’t be sleeping on a cloud, I will definitely be floating off to dreamland.

My husband had me lay on my stomach with my face in the foam to see if I had a reaction to the chemicals in the foam. I didn’t in the store, but that bed has been sitting on the floor out-gassing for lord knows how long. Hopefully I won’t have a reaction to the foam in a new bed. I’ll definitely post an update after I have slept in the bed for a week. I’m very excited about my purchase, and I can’t wait for my new bed to arrive this weekend. I only wish it could have been delivered today! Happy Birthday to me.

Further Reading

Better Sleep Guide

Buying a Mattress for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Beds

Going to the Mattresses: How to Cut through the Marketing Gimmicks of Sealy, Serta and the Rest

Knowing What to Shop for while Mattress Shopping Will Bring You Sweet Dreams

Tricks of the Trade: Shopping for a Mattress

UPDATE: See my Review of the Simmons Comforpedic

  1. Better Sleep Council []
  2. Huffington Post []
  3. Fibromyalgia Pain Relief and Memory Foam []

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Tart Cherry Juice, Fad or Cure?

May 4th, 2010


Tart Cherry Juice may seem to be a new fad, or to some just an old folk remedy, but science could prove it to be a cure for common ailments like arthritis and possibly Fibromyalgia. The key seems to be in the pigment of the cherries, anthocyanins, which give the cherries their color. According to Dr. Muraleedharan Nair at Michigan State University, lab tests show that these pigments give 10 times the anti-inflammatory relief of aspirin, without irritating the stomach. Plus they are also powerful antioxidants1.

These powerful antioxidants have been shown to decrease oxidative stress in healthy older men and women2. A study published in the British Journal Of Sports Medicine has shown that drinking Tart Cherry Juice decreases strength loss and pain due to exercise3.

I thought that this was most likely just another fad diet, but I picked some up from the store to try it. I drank about 8 ounces an hour before bed and I fell asleep as soon as I hit the pillow those nights. When I ran out of juice, I had a much harder time falling asleep. Sure this could be related to many factors, but maybe it has something to do with melatonin. Cherries are apparently high in melatonin, which is a hormone that helps regulate your sleep 4.

Getting a good nights sleep is often a challenge for individuals suffering from Fibromyalgia and it is important to help restore our bodies. So anything I can do to help myself get a better nights rest can be beneficial. I picked up some more tart cherry juice at the store today. I just drank some and I am getting ready for bed. I’ve had a really hard time sleeping the past two nights, so we will see how the juice helps with my sleep tonight.

  1. Underwood, Anne . “A Prescriptive Palette.” Newsweek, Dec 6, 1999, 91-92. []
  2. Traustadóttir , T. “Tart cherry juice decreases oxidative stress in healthy older men and women.” The Journal Of Nutrition 139, no. 10 (2009): []
  3. Connolly , DA. “Efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in preventing the symptoms of muscle damage.” British Journal Of Sports Medicine 40, no. 8 (2006): 679 []
  4. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/tc/melatonin-overview []

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