Protecting Your Mattress and Yourself
So you are buying or have just bought a new mattress. The sales person at the store, customer service rep on the phone, or the website selling the mattress recommends buying a mattress protector, too. "Why," you ask, "do I need a mattress protector?"
Good question. Why or why not? We don't like the idea. For one thing, it's one more thing to buy. For another thing, we may remember the uncomfortable plastic sheets our parents put on mattresses when we...
Silica and Sleep
A popular song recorded in 1954¹ begins with, "Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream." An old nursery rhyme says, "The Sandman's coming in his train of cars / With moonbeam windows and with wheels of stars."
Both of these verses are about the mythical Sandman of folklore in Northern Europe. The imaginary Sandman caused people to sleep, then sprinkled magical sand on them to bring good dreams. The "sand" in the stories refers to grainy particles most people have in...
What Chemicals Are in My Bedding?
The public, not only in America, but in Europe and the rest of the world, has become keenly aware of the use of chemicals in commonly used items. One major industrial firm1 used the slogan, "Better Living Through Chemistry" until dropping it in response to public concerns over the effects of many chemical compounds on health and the environment.
It has become fashionable to deride or hold in suspicion anything labeled "chemical" or "synthetic." But this...
What Are Performance Fabrics?
John is looking for a lightweight jacket, one to keep him dry and cool on a rainy summer day. He finds a Windbreaker online "with performance fabrics."
"Huh?" he thinks, "What's that?"
Mary needs another jogging outfit. She wants to stay cool and dry, not soggy and itchy as in the old running clothes. Aha! Here on Amazon is a top-and-shorts combo made of "high level performance fabric."
"Okay," she mutters, "They're throwing all these new-fangled terms at...
Is It Bamboo or Rayon?
A November 2015 Beds.org review found that most of the top-selling pillows on Amazon featured bamboo. However, on reading the descriptions for individual pillows, some said the covers of the pillows contained "bamboo rayon" (or viscose) or "Rayon from bamboo," while others just said "bamboo." So, what is the distinction? What is the difference between bamboo and rayon from bamboo? And are the ones labeled "bamboo" really rayon?
First, bamboo itself is a natural...
It has been almost 4,000 years since Jacob used a stone for his pillow. Honestly, it was not the pillow that caused him to dream about angels walking up and down a tall ladder, but our pillows can affect how well we sleep, and perhaps whether or how we dream.
What is the primary purpose of a pillow? To support and cushion the head. When a person lies down to sleep, the head needs to be high enough to keep the neck in line with the rest of the spine. Notice how many people who don't have a...
What Are You Sleeping on?
The Ingredients List for Mattress Recipes
What are you sleeping on? A few of the readers of this article may sleep in a sleeping bag or on folded blankets or quilts on a sleeping mat or an air mattress, especially if they are camping at the time and using a smart phone or tablet. Most of us, however, sleep on beds of one sort or another, also including sofas, futons, semi sleepers, and built-in beds.
The most common configuration for a bed in North America is a...
Aloe Vera: The Succulent Ingredient
Aloe is a succulent plant which grows naturally in desert and semi-desert areas. Used for thousands of years as the source of medicinal and cosmetic products, this plant has been so widely cultivated that identifying its place of origin is a matter of educated guessing. It is also known by other Latin names, but the official one is Aloe vera.
The three most active substances in Aloe vera are derived from hydroxyanthrone. Collectively they are called...
Coconut and Coir
Coconuts are not only something you can eat, but something you can sleep on.
Coconuts are the fruit of the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera), a tree naturally found on tropical coasts. The coconut palm has spread by means of its bouyant seed floating on water, following ocean currents and tides. From beaches, it spreads to nearby low areas by dropped seeds. Coconuts are rather large and heavy for seeds, so coconut palms do not naturally range far from the shoreline. However,...
The Stuff of Early and Modern
With just a slip in pronunciation, "sleeping on air" becomes "sleeping on hair," and is not taken as a joke, because even today horsehair is the stuff (or stuffing) of several luxury mattresses. These include some of the most expensive mattresses in the world, made by high-class names such as ES Kluft and Aireloom, Hypnos, WJ Southard, Hastens, and others. Besides filling, horsehair is also used in the covers or quilting of a...