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May 06, 2019

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World Asthma Day - 7 May 2019

Did you know approximately 30% of people are allergic to dust mite waste, a common cause and trigger of asthma and allergies

Dust mites are everywhere, including in our mattresses and bedding, and despite their tiny size a dust mite produces 10-20 waste particles a day.  Each of which contains a protein known to trigger allergic reactions and asthma from which about 10% of the population suffers from.

Attempts to eradicate dust mites is likely to be unsuccessful, however if allergic there are a number of ways in which you can reduce your exposure.

Among others these may include:

  • Vacuuming carpets and soft furnishings weekly using a good quality vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. 
  • Dusting hard surfaces with a damp or electrostatic cloth.

Keep in mind that these activities may stir up the dust mite allergens.  And although they don’t stay airborne for long, if allergic consider having someone else do these tasks for you if an option.  

  • Clean window coverings regularly. Consider venetian or flat blinds rather than curtains.
  • Wash bedding, weekly in water hotter than 55°C. This will kill the dust mites and wash away any allergens.
  • Cover your mattress and pillows with Protect-A-Bed® dust mite resistant cases and also wash these regularly at 55 °C.   

Best for severe asthma and allergy sufferers, the fully encased Protect-A-Bed® Allerzip® Mattress and Pillow Encasement's feature a unique BugLock® system.

The fully encased BugLock® system has a dust mite proof flap and Secure Seal® which provides total protection.  Preventing dust mite, mould and bacteria allergens entering or escaping through the zipper.

Simply Fit n’ Forget by layering a Protect-A-Bed® Fitted Mattress Protector over the top for regular washing and drying with other linens.

 

You can find out more about Dust Mite allergens and how these can be tested for at the National Asthma Council of Australia’s Sensitive Choice website. https://www.sensitivechoice.com/dust-mites/ 

April 08, 2019

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Do your pets share your bed?

Pets are part of our family and many of them sleep with us in our beds.  Snuggling up to us, providing affection, comfort and security, but is it healthy?

Although an adult cat sleeps for about for 12-16 a day and an adult dog 12-14 hours they can be up and down in the night.  Scratching, washing, having a midnight snack, or wanting to go outside.  All things that may disrupt your sleep leaving you feeling tired the next day.

And while the risks are low, cats and dogs carry bacteria that can be passed to us when in close contact.  They also shed dirt, pollen from running around outside, and pet dander a common cause or trigger of asthma and allergies.

So for a healthier night’s sleep, whilst enjoying the company of your pets here are some tips you may wish to follow:

  • Avoid waking up with them enjoying more of your pillow than you. Train them to sleep at the end of the bed. Perhaps on a blanket of their own.
  • Keep them and any dirt or bacteria they may be carrying above the covers and not under the doona with you.
  • Make a potty run with your pets before bed. This will lessen the likelihood of them waking you in the night to get up and access their kitty litter or want to go outside.
  • Ensure you have Protect-A-Bed® Mattress and Pillow protectors on your beds. The Protect-A-Bed® Miracle Layer™ will stop any drool, bacteria, dander and accidental spills from staining your mattresses and contributing to the growth of mould and bacteria.
  • Associate bedtime with sleep time not play time. Avoid having any kitten or puppy toys in the bedroom. 

If you have a puppy, consider how big it is going to get.  Sleeping with it while it is young might be comfortable but what happens when it gets older and bigger. Training a dog, which is going to outgrow the ability for you to comfortably share a bed, to sleep somewhere else, is much easier when they are a puppy and before habits are formed.

And if you suffer from allergies or asthma which can be triggered by pet dander, consider giving your pet lots of affection before bedtime and keeping your sleep areas separate.   

Always avoid letting pets sleep with babies and young children. 

March 08, 2019

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Healthy Sleep, Healthy Ageing

World Sleep Day - 15 March 2019

Friday the 15th of March is World Sleep Day, an annual event arranged by the World Sleep Society, designed to raise awareness of the importance of sleep and draw attention to sleep related issues, and this years focus is on Healthy Sleep, Healthy Ageing.

As we age, our sleep patterns and the amount of sleep we need to help maintain our physical and mental health changes. 

“As we get older, the hormones that help us sleep are released earlier in the day.  Some older adult’s may feel sleepy earlier than they used to and they may wake up in the early hours of the morning.  Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally in the body at night which promotes sleep.  Older people make less melantonin so they may find it difficult to get off to sleep. Other factors may interfere with sleep and cause awakenings during the night.  These include hot flushes in postmenopausal women and the need to go to the toilet during the night.” – Sleep Health Facts Ageing and Sleep.  Sleep Health Foundation.

The affects of a lack of sleep on our daily lives and functioning can be significant.  A lack of sleep can result in:

  • Reduced alertness
  • Reduced concentration and attention span
  • A loss of motivation
  • Poor judgement and decision making skills
  • A reduced work efficiency
  • Slower reaction times
  • An increased likelihood of moodiness or a bad temper
  • Poor memory

And those who are regularly not getting enough sleep tend to look and feel older than they are and have an increased risk of contracting diseases that are associated with ageing such as diabetes and heart disease.

So if you are not getting enough sleep every night, for your long term health and well being, beginning today, make a conscious effort to make some changes that may assist you in getting a better night’s sleep.  

  • Keep regular sleep hours and strengthen your body clocks sleep-wake rhythm. Go to bed and get up at the same time everyday.
  • Avoid alcohol, coffee and other caffeinated drinks for at least four hours before bedtime.
  • Put down mobile phones and tablets an hour before bedtime, and leading up to bedtime use them in moderation and in night mode where available.
  • If you think you may have a sleep disorder, which may include snoring, sleep apnea or insomnia, or have a medical condition such as arthritis or depression that is interfering with your sleep see your doctor.

www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/older-people-and-sleeping.html

 

 

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