Thursday, March 16, 2017

Built for sleep. Built to last...


Read this great article by Nuvo Magazine:

Hästens surveyed families in Sweden and there were thousands who had their beds over 50 years and dozens that had their beds over 100 years.  Built for sleep.  Built to last...


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Creating your sleep sanctuary



We spend a third of our lives sleeping and the other two thirds are affected by how well we slept. Make sleep a priority in your life and turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary.  

From the Better Sleep Council:  “A sleep sanctuary is part of a larger commitment to restful, rejuvenating sleep. You’ll enjoy the better quality of life that results from your efforts as long as you are patient and take note of all the environmental and behavioral factors that play a role in the total sleep experience.”

Click here to read the article

Monday, February 13, 2017

Last week I had the good fortune of stopping by a Good Earth Natural Foods store in Mill Valley, California, just north of San Francisco.  They have been in business since 1969 with the vision of providing the very best quality natural and organic foods they can find, with 95% of groceries currently being organic. I had just had a great visit to Muir Woods and Muir Beach, to visit the redwoods and ocean.

Sunlight streaming through the redwoods

Forest floor lush after heavy rains

My phone battery was nearly dead from taking so many pictures and videos, and I had forgot my car charger on this trip, so I was hungry and didn't know if my phone had enough juice to navigate me back to the hotel.  What a wonderful surprise to discover this store, get a healthy, hot meal, recharge my phone, and finally some groceries to go.

In the cafe area of the store I started reading their newsletter, chock full of good content.  I especially enjoyed reading 7 Affirmations for the New Year by Elson Haas, MD.   Specifically relevant to our store is number five:  "I allow myself enough sleep to rest my body nightly, thus recharging my batteries and supporting my immune strength to protect me from illness."  All seven of the affirmations are excellent and I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read them:
http://www.genatural.com/newsletter-archive/jan-feb-2017/






I happened to be in California for partner meetings with Hästens, who makes the best mattresses in the world for sleep.  http://www.scottsdalebedrooms.com/hastens/

If you're ever in the bay area, consider taking a day trip to Muir Woods and Muir Beach, both named after naturalist John Muir, And drop by Good Earth Natural Foods in Mill Valley on the way to stock up on healthy snacks, foods and groceries to fuel your fun-filled day.



Muir Beach overlook

Sunset at Muir Beach

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Benefits of wool in your mattress



Our store has been carrying Vispring beds since 2010, and we’ve always known some of the benefits of wool, the main natural material used in each Vispring mattress.  But today I am excited because, no matter how much you know, you can always learn more.  I would like to share with you some of the benefits of wool, thanks to a great PDF from the website of the American Sheep Industry Association (source link at bottom)

Wool is durable, resilient and elastic.
Wool fibres are made up of polypeptide chains which are folded back on themselves.   This enables the fibres to act like a spring, elongating when stretched and retracting when released.  This allows wool to be stretched up to 50% when wet and 30% when dry.  The spring action creates elasticity and resilience, which means the wool in your mattress will provide both softness and support.

The flexibility of the wool fibres also make them a very durable material for use in a mattress.   A wool fiber can be bended back upon itself 20,000 times without breaking, as compared to 3,000 times for cotton and 2,000 times for silk.



Wool is nature’s perfect temperature regulator.
Wool is a hygroscopic fiber, which means it can absorb water from the surrounding environment.  Pores in the epicuticle allow water vapor to pass into the heart of the fiber.  Because of the movement of the vapor from outside to inside of the fiber, wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in water without feeling wet.   In addition to keeping you warm if you are wearing wool clothing in cold, wet weather, this property will also allow you to stay cool on your mattress during hot summer nights.  As the body cools itself with the evaporation of perspiration, wool absorbs this moisture and keeps a layer of dry air next to your skin, facilitating the body’s natural cooling process.  When your body’s temperature is properly regulated, this will help maintain your heart rate and allow you to sleep deeper.

In cold weather, air pockets in the wool fibers act as insulation and hold in the heat from your body.   Because of its ability to keep you cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather, wool has long been used as clothing in the desert regions of the world where the days are hot and the nights are cool.

Wool is clean and hygienic. 
If allowed to properly ventilate, any moisture absorbed by the wool in your mattress during the night can evaporate during the day, keeping your mattress fresh and clean inside.  A drier climate inside your mattress will discourage dust mites from making a home there.  Wool also has hypoallergenic properties and is naturally antibacterial, mold and mildew resistant.

Wool is naturally fire retardant.
Wool contains moisture in each fiber, which makes it naturally fire resistant.  When touched by flames, wool chars and then self-extinguishes when the fire source is removed.  Mattresses that contain sufficient wool do not need to be treated with chemical fire retardants.  See what happens to a Hästens mattress versus a conventional mattress when it is subjected to a flame thrower in this video:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G6Bwa9nFEQ


Thank you sheep, and thank you sheep farmers for providing the wool that makes up such a significant component of all the major mattress brands we offer at Scottsdale Bedrooms:  Vispring, Hästens, Open and Aireloom.  

Sources:  www.sheepusa.org


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Greetings from Sweden

Kay and I just returned from a trip to Sweden to visit the Hästens bed factory in Köping.  Our nonstop flight from LA to Stockholm took us north, up over Canada, across Greenland to Norway and then to Stockholm.  We knew there was something special about Sweden the moment we walked off the airplane and were greeted by wood floors in the airport.  Our first day was spent exploring Stockholm, a good way to work out some of the jet lag before our training began.  Sweden is celebrating midsummer and are in their peak of daylight hours, with sunrise before 4 am and sunset just after 10 pm.    


Kay at entrance to Gamla Stan
Changing of guard at Royal Palace
Travis looking like a tourist















Our international training group
After an enjoyable summer day in Stockholm, we took train and bus rides to Köping, the charming small town where the Hästens factory is located.   Our group for training and the factory visit were from all over the world:   California, Michigan, New York, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Spain and Sweden.  It was a special experience to be part of an international group, all coming together as part of the Hästens family with a common goal, to learn more about Hästens and become ambassadors for the company and brand with the ultimate goal of helping people get the best sleep possible.


Hästens store in Köping where training took place
Hästens is a sixth generation family business whose roots go all the way back to 1852, when founder Per Adolf Janson was both a saddle maker and an upholsterer.  Per Adolf's mother passed away in 1839 when he was a young boy.  Poverty reigned in Sweden in the 1800s, and about a third of the population emigrated to the United States in hope of a better future.  Per Adolf’s father decided to stay in Sweden and had these words of advice for his children:  “If you become better than I, if you master a profession of your own choice, one that will let you make the things that people need, then you will always be able to provide for your loved ones.”   Young Per Adolf took these words of advice to heart and on March 22, 1852 was awarded his master saddler certificate by the king of Sweden.  “Be better than I.”  This spirit of excellence has been passed down to each subsequent generation of the Hästens family and has also become part of the values of the craftsmen and women who work in the factory. 


Hästens factory entrance
During our visit to the factory, we could see the pride that the craftsmen and women take in each and every bed that is produced.  Workers often rotate to different parts of the factory so they get the full experience of how each bed is made and produced.  In the smiles on their faces, their gracious hospitality, the ways they shared and explained their jobs, we could tell they both enjoy and take pride in their work.  With Hästens, what makes the product special, is not just the product itself, but the passion, commitment and hard work of the people who produce it.

We left the factory feeling that the Hästens family is warm, inviting and welcoming.   All the workers at the factory and employees around the world are part of the Hästens family.  We, as a new dealer, are invited into the Hästens family.   All the consumers around the world that are fortunate enough to sleep in a Hästens bed are part of the Hästens family.  Would you like to be a part of this family too?   Learn more about Hästens on our website:

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tips for Better Sleep




1. Make sleep a priority in your life.  Americans in general are quite sleep deprived.  Like exercise and diet, getting ample and good quality sleep is essential to maintaining your health, happiness and lots of other factors in your life.  Take good care of yourself – you’re worth it!  And when you take of yourself, everyone around you benefits too. 

2. Avoid electronics before bedtime.   It is best to avoid electronics in the bedroom in general, but if you do like to watch TV, browse your iPad or check emails on your phone, try to quit using electronics in the bedroom at least an hour before bed.  Electronics fluoresce blue, tricking your mind into thinking it is still daytime which inhibits the release of melatonin.  Electronics also tend to stimulate the brain.  Try more soothing activities like reading a book (light reading – nothing too exciting – and read in a chair or couch, not your bed).
     
           3. Reserve your bed for sex and sleeping.  Just in the last year, I have gotten out of the habit of reading in bed before bedtime.  The only time I get in bed now is when I’m ready to go to sleep.  My brain and body are now trained to know that lying down in bed means it’s time to sleep.  I fall asleep much faster now.

            4. Take a shower or bath.  Bathing before bed will slightly raise your body temperature, with a subsequent dip in body temperature when you are done.  This dip mimics the natural drop in body temperature that your brain signals to prepare you for sleep.  Taking a bath or shower in the evening is also a very relaxing activity to add to your night-time routine.

     5. Create a consistent bedtime and waking schedule.   Easier said than done, we all like to stay up later than normal and sleep later than normal.  However, your body will thank you for a consistent routine.

     6. Find out how much sleep you need.  Wake up at your desired time for a few days and your body will tell you when it is tired and ready to go to sleep (if you engage in relaxing activities in the evening to allow your body to wind down).  Eight is a good average, but some people need less and some more.  It can be helpful to place the alarm clock away from the bed so we are forced to get out!

7.  Keep the bedroom as cool as possible.  This is tough in Arizona!

8.  Keep bedroom as dark as possible.  If this is difficult, try using a sleep mask.  Sometimes my partner goes to bed later than me – which means her bedside lamp is on.  I can fall asleep faster if I slip on a mask to block out the light.

9.  Don’t eat too close to bedtime.  Don’t eat a meal too close to bedtime, or eat a very large meal in the evening.  I am sure you, like me, have eaten a big meal before bedtime and went to bed feeling bloated like a ship on the water.  If you are hungry before bed, eat a small, nutritious snack.  However, make sure the reason you are eating is because you are hungry and not to calm your nerves.  This could indicate something in your life or lifestyle that needs addressing. 

     10.  Get regular exercise.  Regular, consistent exercise routines are one of the best ways to manage stress, stay happy and keep us mentally & physically fit.   Exercise will not only help you fall asleep at night, but it will also improve the quality of your sleep.   One caveat:  Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime.  This can be a tough one in the Arizona summers, when it is fun to go out and play in the evening when the sun goes down.  Yes, go out and play – a great way to relieve stress – but keep the intensity level down.  If you are exercising at a high intensity level, make sure to do it early in the evening or in the morning.

     11.  Keep a journal.  If you have something (or lots of things) on your mind that are troubling you and keeping you awake, try writing them down in a journal.   This has a magical way of transferring them from your mind to paper so you can get to sleep.  Be honest with yourself and don’t be shy to share your feelings in the journal, because this is your journal and you don’t have to share it. 

           12.  Consider sleep apnea testing.  If you feel tired even after consistently getting eight hours of sleep, consider getting tested for sleep apnea.  Symptoms may include loud snoring or interruptions in breathing observed by your partner.  Read more here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/basics/definition/con-20020286


     13.  Finally… This goes without saying, but is your mattress comfortable?  There are so many studies now that show the health benefits of sleep.  Make sleep a priority and make sure you have the raw ingredients necessary for sleep – a good pillow and a comfortable, supportive mattress.   If your body is comfortable and properly supported, there will be less tossing and turning during the night, ensuring the quality of your sleep is the best it can be. When quality of sleep improves, so does the whole quality of your life.  


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 Here's to great sleep!  Travis Kroodsma