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June 26, 2018

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The importance of maintaining your children's bed time during school holidays

School holiday’s are here again and along with keeping your little one’s occupied with activities and play dates it can be tempting to let them stay up that little bit later. 

And as tempting as it is, remember that whether you are staying at home or going away it is important that you try to maintain a regular sleep pattern for your children.  Without it they will become tired and grumpy, making your days more difficult and when the holiday’s are over you will have to battle to get them back into their bedtime routine.

As recommended by the Sleep Health Organisation “Bed time should not vary by more than an hour between school and non-school nights” and “the same goes for the time your child wakes up”

To help with this in the holiday’s ensure that you give your children time to relax before bed.  Put away toys and turn of screens.  Anything stimulating.  Try reading a favourite book or listening to some calming music.

If you are travelling and away from home, a different environment can make it difficult for them to settle.  Take with you a toy, pillow or blanket that your child associates with sleep.  It will make them more comfortable and assist in them getting to sleep.

When travelling also ensure that where you are staying has Protect-A-Bed® Mattress and Pillow Protectors.  An unprotected mattress or pillow is home to millions of dust mites, mould and bacteria which may cause allergens, asthma and eczema. 

30% of us are allergic to dust mites so chances are if you or your family are sleeping on an unprotected mattress while away asthma and allergies are more likely to occur.  None of us want to get sick, or have sick children, when away on holidays!

And for those of you who have children still bedwetting, consider taking an extra mattress protector or linen protector of your own with you.  Pop it on the bed and if an accident occurs you can easily remove it in the night, getting back to sleep quickly with the knowledge that the mattress your child is sleeping won’t become wet or stained.

With the holiday’s coming to a close, if you have not been able to maintain the consistent bedtime at the start of the holidays, get back to a normal routine before school starts.   If bedtime has become later than usual, slowly push it back by about 15 minutes or so a night until it is where it should be.

A fun holiday activity that encourages children to keep to their bedtime is making a Sleep Clock.   Head to the Sleep Health Foundations website and download a easy to use template created by Professor Kurt Lushington from the University of South Australia.

Everyone deserves the simple pleasure of a good night’s sleep.

June 13, 2018

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10 TIPS for a Better Night's Sleep

Sleep is vital to our health and well-being, affecting how we feel, and how productive we are. 

If you are not getting the 7-9 hours of quality sleep a day that most adults need, you may be among other things, lacking in energy, getting frustrated easily, feeling sleepy during the day and having trouble concentrating.

  1. Establish a routine – try and go to bed at the same time each night. We all have an internal body clock, controlled by a part of our brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). This triggers a hormone called melatonin which makes us feel sleepy at night.  This clock is most effective when one has a regular sleep routine and when working effectively you will feel sleepy at your bedtime.
  1. Avoid caffeine for at least four hours before going to bed. Not just coffee and tea, this also includes soft drinks, energy drinks and chocolate.  Caffeine is one of a number of stimulants that can make it harder to get to sleep, make you sleep more lightly and wake up more during the night, often to go to the bathroom.
  1. Avoid Alcohol for at least 4 hours before bedtime. According to the Sleep Health Foundation  “Although alcohol will make you feel sleepy and may help you fall asleep at night, it actually disrupts your sleep later.  In the second half of the night, sleep after drinking alcohol is associated with more frequent awakenings, night sweats, nightmares, headaches and is much less restful”
  1. Avoid cigarettes all together but if not possible at least 2 hours before bed. Like caffeine these are a stimulant making it harder to fall asleep and to stay asleep.
  1. Avoid going to bed on a full or empty stomach. Your evening meal should ideally be a least 2 hours before bedtime.  Although you don’t want to be hungry if your stomach is too full and uncomfortable it can be difficult to sleep.
  1. Dim your devices screens in the evening and try putting a curfew on your devices of 1-2 hours before bedtime. The longer the better, and no checking email or social media in bed.  The blue light emitted from devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers and the TV can, at night, all reduce the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.  This may result in difficulty sleeping and increased drowsiness during the day.
  1. Ensure you have a comfortable and healthy sleep environment.  There should be no distractions, such as televisions and phones, in the bedroom.  You should be warm but not too hot.  The ideal ambient temperature for falling asleep is in the high teens – between 15°C and 20°C.
  1. Use Protect-A-Bed mattress, pillow and quilt protectors. These will create a healthier sleep environment providing a barrier against dust mites.  Approximately 30% of us are allergic to dust mites, which live in our bedding and are a known trigger of asthma, allergies and eczema.  
  1. Set aside the hour before your bedtime to just relax and wind down. Listen to music or perhaps read a book.  If you find you can’t shut down your mind when you go to bed use this time to think about the day gone by and the day ahead.  Write down any plans so that when you go to bed you have already thought through them.  And if your mind continues to be active in bed, try thinking of something relaxing and calming.  A walk along the beach, a favourite memory....
  1. If you are having trouble nodding off to sleep, after 20-30 minutes get up. Just relax or read a book (no devices!) and go back to bed when you feel sleepy. Sleep is not something you can force and you do not want to associate going to bed with not been able to sleep and feeling frustrated.

Just remember that what works for one person may not work for another and it is not always possible to stick to a set routine.  By adopting these habits however your sleep should improve.  With the right amount of quality sleep you will feel better and be more productive.  If you are not finding anything that works you should consult your GP.

May 31, 2018

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Fighting Flu Season Starts in Bed

Winter has arrived and it is getting colder.  If that is not bad enough, winter also means it’s the cold and flu season.

And for those suffering there’s no shortage of available health information, opinions, and debate about to the spreading of germs, over-the-counter-medicines, vaccines, grandma’s “tried-and-true” cold remedy, and the effectiveness of chicken soup.

What many people don’t talk about, however, is the key to restful sleep and its connection to fighting illness. This is not a subject to gloss over, and here’s why:

The importance of sleep:

Many medical professionals believe sleep helps your immune system produce illness-fighting antibodies.

As outlined in this article published by ABC News, sleep is “…going to help the immune system combat the flu.” In addition, the article says a study of college students showed that “…those who slept eight hours a night on average produced twice as many antibodies against the flu shot as individuals who got only four hours of sleep on average.”

In this article published by Inside Science, a recent study showed a special protein is developed during sleep that researchers believe speeds up recovery. The article adds that “Prior research has shown that sleep keeps the immune system healthy and is vital to the body’s ability to battle all kinds of infections.”

Despite mounting evidence pointing to the value of sleep  and the role it plays in helping the immune system, many of us don’t often put enough thought into it.

 For your best defense against illness, and your quickest path to recovery, restful sleep therefore needs to be at the top your priorities.

Following are our top tips to ensure the time you spend in bed is time spent getting better:

Quality mattress:

A mattress is much more than a big cushion that you sleep on. Especially thanks to a host of new technological advancements, today’s mattresses offer a surprising number of ways to keep you comfortable and pain-free at night. Here are some highlights:

  • Support- prevents the heavier parts of your body from sinking into the mattress, which can lead to poor spine alignment and ultimately discomfort and pain
  • Conformity- shapes itself to the contours of your body to provide uniform support for better comfort
  • Weight dispersion- evenly distributes support to prevent excess pressure on a few areas of the body, helping prevent pain
  • Motion separation- helps prevent you from being disturbed, such as when your bedtime partner moves in his or her sleep
Quality pillow:

A supportive mattress is only half of the battle. To fully achieve proper support and correct alignment of your head and neck, you also need a quality pillow.

 Without a quality pillow, your spine may be aligned but your neck won’t be. This can make you susceptible to neck pain, which will rob you of sleep.

 For the correct support and alignment from head to toe, think of your mattress and pillow as a “system,” and choose a pillow that works with your mattress to offer the right amount of support plus the correct shape for your head and body type and the way you sleep.

CHECK OUT our Perfect Pillows®.  Suiting all sleeping styles – stomach, side or back and all comfort levels – soft, medium or firm they are height customisable.  They also include our Miracle Layer™ ensuring a healthier night’s sleep with protection for allergens.

Proper sleep environment:

Maintaining the correct indoor temperature and humidity is vital for comfortable sleep, regardless how you feel. Typically, you should keep your indoor humidity between 30% and 50%, with the ideal ambient temperature for falling asleep in the high teens – between 15°C and 20°C.

Management of perspiration:

We’ve all experienced the discomfort of breaking into a sweat when we were sick. Thankfully, this is typically good news since it may be the start of your fever subsiding and you getting back to normal. To maintain as much comfort as possible, you can choose sheets that have moisture wicking properties.  We recommend Tencel® sheeting. 

You also don’t want your perspiration seeping through to the mattress or pillows causing yellowing.   

You can ensure this does not occur by using Protect-A-Bed® mattress and pillow protectors with their Miracle Layer® which although breathable for a comfortable night’s sleep ensures perspiration, skin flakes and other spills don’t penetrate your mattress and pillows

Allergen-free bed:

With all the coughing and sneezing you endure when you’re sick, the last thing you need is a bunch of allergens adding insult to injury.

Your bed, if left unprotected, can expose you to a wide range of allergens including dust mites (which is one of the most common causes of asthma and allergies), mould and bacteria.

What lives in an unprotected mattress.

 Also acting as an allergen barrier the Protect-A-Bed® Miracle Layer® will protect you and your family from any dust mite, mould and bacteria present in your mattress or pillows whilst also preventing any flu germs infecting your mattress or pillows.  

 The best news here is that practically all of these improvements can enhance sleep quality when you aren’t sick, helping to prevent illness in the first place.

 We’re confident these tips will help improve the quality of your sleep this winter…giving you a leg up on cold and flu season!

 Article adapted from a Blog by Protect-A-Bed® USA

September 18, 2017

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September Dementia Awareness Month

(Image Alzeheimer's Australia)

September is Dementia Awareness Month, an annual event held in September and organised by  Alzheimer’s Australia with support from the Australian Government. 

Although most Australian's know very little about dementia, which causes a progressive decline in ones cognitive ability including memory, physical functioning, social skills and rationality, it affects 413,000 people of varying ages as well as their families, friends and carers. 

Dementia is the term used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses which cause a progressive decline in a person’s cognitive ability. It is a broad term used to describe a loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and physical functioning. 

Some statistics, as stated in Alzheimer's Australia's  Dementia Awareness Month Media and Communications Toolkit.

  • There are more than 413,106 Australians living with dementia (184,868 (45%) males and 228,238 (55%) females). 
  • Three in ten people over the age of 85 and almost one in ten people over 65 have dementia. 
  • In 2017, there is an estimated 25,938 people with younger onset dementia, expected to rise to 29,375 people by 2025 and 42,252 people by 2056.
  • Dementia is the second leading cause of death of Australians contributing to 5.4% of all deaths in males and 10.6% of all deaths in females each year.
  • Dementia is the single greatest cause of disability in older Australians (aged 65 years or older) and the third leading cause of disability burden overall.
  • People with dementia account for 52% of all residents in residential aged care facilities.
  • In 2017, there is estimated to be 196,490 carers in the community caring for people with dementia, and 94,670 carers working in the cared accommodation sector. 
  • In 2017, dementia is estimated to cost Australia $14.67 billion.

If you, a family member or someone you are caring for has dementia, remember you are not alone. 

Alzheimer’s Australia is there to help with information, support and advice and can be contact on 1800 100 500.   www.fightdementia.org.au

Dementia and Continence

For those providing care to those with dementia, managing continence can be complicated.  There are practical difficulties as the person with dementia may have problems holding on, finding the toilet, or even being aware they need to pass urine or empty their bowels.  

A helpful fact sheet from Alzheimer’s Australia can be found here

The Continence Foundation also has a number of resources that aim to help family members and carers manage bladder and bowel control problems of people affected by dementia. 

National Continence Helpline (1800 33 00 66)  or www.continence.org.au

Our range of waterproof, soft and comfortable mattress protectors ensure that for someone with continence they can sleep easier knowing their bed is protected.  If accidents occur regularly we also recommend layering two on the bed or using a bed pad or linen protector in conjunction with the mattress protector.  If an accident occurs the mattress protector or linen protector on top can easily be removed and one can get back to sleep quickly and with little fuss.

Our sister company, Buddies®  is also a valuable resource for people living with continence as well as family, friends, and professional carers.

Assisting with independence, providing support, comfort and most importantly, peace of mind Buddies®  offer a range of  Australian Made re-usable continence underwear, clothing  protectors, chair and bed pads.

With Buddies®  and Protect-A-Bed's Registered Nurse® , you can also rest assured our information and advice on continence care  comes from a qualified source.

To talk to our nurse or find out more about our range of products contact us today on 1300 857 123 or go to buddies-australia.com.au

 

 

 

September 06, 2017

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Spring Cleaning

 

Spring has sprung, and although it's time to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather, it's also allergy season and time to spring clean!

Did you know that approximately 30% of people are allergic to the common household dust mite which is present throughout our homes and within bedding.  By regularly spring cleaning your bedroom you can alleviate exposure to this common cause of allergies and asthma ensuring a healthier night's sleep for you and your family

 Get Prepared
  • Make sure you have all your cleaning supplies at hand.
  • Have three boxes at hand - one for rubbish, one for things that don’t belong in the bedroom and one for anything, such as old clothes that you might like to donate to charity.
Dust
  • Remove all items from dressers, dust down dressers and return items, dusting as you go. Go from one side of the room to the  other, top to bottom.
  • De-clutter - remove any unused items. Are they rubbish, do they belong in another room or can they go to charity?
Wipe down the walls
  • Clean off any marks. 
  • If you have young artists in the household and are using a cleaning block or another cleaning chemical always test in an inconspicuous area to ensure it does not fade or damage the paint or wallpaper. 
Clean windows and window furnishings
  • Clean your windows, inside and out. You might want to try using a 50:50 water/vinegar mixture with a microfibre cloth. Don’t forget the window frames and tracks. If needed a toothbrush is great for getting into the corners.
  • Take down and wash curtains.
  • Dust and wipe down blinds with warm water.
Clean Flooring
  • Thoroughly vacuum the carpet or floor boards. 
  • If you can, move furniture to get underneath.
  • Mop floor boards. Consider a professional clean for the carpet.
  • Wipe down baseboards.
Strip and clean your bedding
  • Remove and clean all bedding, including blankets, mattresses and pillow protectors. Washing in hot water (above 55°C will kill any dust mites).
  • Cover your mattress and pillows with Protect-A-Bed® dust mite allergy resistant mattress and pillow protectors.  (You will see the National Asthma Council of Australia's Sensitive Choice Program, Blue Butterfly logo proudly displayed on Protect-A-Bed®  packaging.)
  • Don’t forget to wash or have your pillows dry-cleaned.
  • Fold and put into storage any winter bedding no longer needed.
  • Wipe down the bed frame.
  • Flip and rotate your mattress
Clean out the wardrobe and dresser drawers
  • Start by taking everything out.
  • We all have things in our wardrobe and drawers that we no longer wear. 
  • When deciding what to put back ask yourself the following questions. Have I worn it in the last 12 months? Will I wear it again? Does it still fit? Do I like the way it looks? Is it damaged?
  • The things you don't need, if not damaged, consider selling online or donating to charity.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the warmer days but remember if your allergies are triggered by pollen stay indoors on dry windy days and especially after storms as these are peak periods for airborne allergens.   

 

 

And for further tips and advice on how to manage allergies this spring a great resource is the National Asthma Council of Australia's Sensitive Choice Program. 

www.sensitivechoice.com  #sensitivechoice #protectabedau

 


August 28, 2017

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Does someone in your family suffer from eczema or sensitive skin?

Reduce itchiness at night and sleepless nights by using fabrics recognised as sensitive skin tried and tested

One such fabric you may wish to consider is TENCEL®.

TENCEL® made from wood fibres has a smooth, non irritating surface.  Hypoallergenic it is softer than silk, cooler than linen, and more absorbent than cotton.  Thermoregulating wicking moisture away from the skin helping you keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

If you or a family member suffer from sensitive skin look  you should use a Protect-A-Bed® TENCEL® mattress or pillow protector. Endorsed by the Eczema Association they are sensitive skin tried and tested. 

Just like a fitted sheet, the smooth surface of the Protect-A-Bed® TENCEL® mattress protector can be slept on directly with no need for an additional sheet. 

They also have the added benefit of a breathable waterproof Miracle Layer® which you won’t notice it as it is soft and quiet (not like the crinkly noisy waterproofing many of us remember as children).

Protecting your mattress from spills and stains and you and your from dust mite, mould and bacteria allergens in the mattress. Approved by the National Asthma council’s Sensitive Choice Program and recognised as been SIDS & Kids friendly. 

 

 

August 28, 2017

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Don't let the bed bugs bite!

Bed bugs love to hitchhike on luggage and are an increasing problem in Australia.

Although found in carpets, the cracks in wooden floors and walls and the seams of furniture they are most common in mattresses. 

Small in size, they are attracted to warmth, and are most active at night biting areas of exposed skin while one sleeps.  Their bite causing an allergic reaction which is displayed on the skin as itchy red welts usually not felt until some minutes or hours after the bite.

Whether for use in the home or whilst travelling  we therefore recommend using the Protect-A-Bed® Allerzip® Fully Encased Mattress Protector.  Providing complete and permanent  Fit n’ Forget™ protection the patented BugLock® system, combines a dust-proof flap, three-sided  zipper, and a tamper proof Secure Seal™ ensuring it’s bed bug entry, escape and bite proof. 

It also provides protection against dust mites, mould, bacteria and other allergens. 

Layer the Protect-A-Bed®  Allerzip® Fully Encased Mattress Protector under a fitted-sheet style protector, which can be easily removed for regular washing with other linens.

When booking accommodation don’t forget to ask if they have bed bug protection.  A simple question could save some nasty bites!