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With the health and safety of both employees and customers our priority, we have been working closely with government agencies and industry bodies to ensure our manufacturing and distribution sites remain within best practice hygiene protocols and in accordance with all state and federal requirements. We are exceptionally thankful and grateful for your support at this time.


Deliveries

Delivery networks across Australia are currently experiencing delays.

Detailed information on delays currently being experienced by our Freight Partner, Australia Post, can be found at: https://auspost.com.au/service-updates/domestic-delivery-times

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Blog

Sleep Debt

Many things can interfere with us getting enough sleep.  A late night movie, completing a work assignment or a night out with friends.

For an adult the recommended amount of sleep for our bodies to function effectively is 7-9 hours a night.  Sleep debt is where there is a difference in the amount of sleep we should be getting versus the amount of sleep we are actually getting.

Short term sleep debt can result in a lack of concentration, irritability and poor judgement, affecting our ability to learn and complete tasks, and increasing the likelihood of accidents or errors to occur.

As sleep is restorative, longer term a chronic lack of sleep can contribute to health problems including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.  You may also be more susceptible to experiencing anxiety and depression.

Naps

If you have had a late night or are feeling tired a nap may help during the day, reducing fatigue, increasing alertness, improving your mood, performance and reaction time. A nap may also help you prepare for and be able to better cope with a late night out, shift work or a long drive.

Ideally a nap should only be 15-30 minutes long.  This will ensure that when you wake you are still in the lightest stage of non-REM sleep.   Any longer, where you enter the deeper stages of sleep you risk waking up with what is known as sleep inertia.  Feeling groggy and perhaps more tired and with less energy than before your nap.

Sleeping in

Many of us enjoy a weekend sleep in, catching up on sleep lost during the week. Whilst it may seem a good idea and make you feel less tired, if you are sleeping in do not sleep for more than 2 hours longer than normal.   Sleeping late into the morning can further disrupt your sleep patterns by making you feel less sleepy when you should be going to bed at night.    

How to avoid sleep debt

Sleeping in or taking naps may make us feel less tired in the short term but they are not a solution for long term chronic sleep debt and the potential long-term effects on your health.

Avoiding sleep debt, and providing your body with the sleep it needs requires a regular sleep routine and good sleep hygiene habits.

  1. Keep to a regular routine. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, ensuring you are getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a day needed.
  2. Wind down before bedtime by reading a book or listening to soothing music.
  3. Resist the urge to check work emails and social media and switch of all screens including the TV at least an hour before bedtime.
  4. Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evenings.
  5. Have a good sleep environment, dark, quiet and cool (between 16°C and 18°C).

It may take time to get into a routine but by following good sleep hygiene and a regular sleep routine you will regain the energy you have been lacking and it will benefit your long term health and wellbeing.

Sleep Well, Live Well

Can't Sleep?

Protect-A-Bed Can't Sleep

Do you find it hard to get to sleep or do you wake up during the night thinking about things?

Frustrated and tired do you begin watching the clock and start worrying about not getting to sleep or not getting enough sleep?

If you are finding that you are having difficulty sleeping, try following these tips.

  1. Mindfulness Meditation

Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit and close your eyes.  Focus your mind on your breath, inhaling and exhaling deeply.  Continue focussing on your breath. Don’t allow your mind to wander to the days activities or the future.  Regularly practicing mindfulness meditation for five minutes or more, can help you relax and let go of your daily stresses.  A technique that at bedtime, you can also undertake to help your mind relax and fall asleep.

  1. Exercise during the day

Exercise has been found to help reduce anxiety and stress.  Although hitting the gym, or participating in group sports is not an option right now, make sure you undertake some form of exercise each day.  Take a walk around the block or try an online workout or yoga class.   It takes as little as 5-10 minutes a day to reduce stress, boost mood and keep the body strong while improving alertness during the day and sleep quality. 

  1. Set-aside ‘Worry Time” in the early evening

Get into a routine of setting aside some time each evening to think about the things that have happened during the day and the things that you need to address tomorrow or in coming days.  Jot down the problem, or what is worrying you and make plans or develop possible solutions.  Writing things down will help you process what you are thinking about and help you free them from your thoughts when it is time to sleep.

  1. Keep an hour before bed as “Wind Down Time”

Have your evening meal at least two hours before bedtime and avoid caffeine and alcohol late in the day.   Allow your mind and body to relax and wind down at least an hour before bed.  Play quiet music, read a book or take a bath.  Avoid, the evening news, social media and using screens, which emit blue light.

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.

By keeping us engaged and stimulated they are also hard to walk away from and make it difficult for our brains to relax and wind down at the end of the day.

  1. Ensure good sleep habits and comfortable sleep environment

Keep a regular bedtime, and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.  This helps create a natural rhythm, and sleep-wake cycle for your body.

Ensure the bedroom is free of distractions.  No televisions, computers, radios and phones.

If your mobile phone is in your room and used as an alarm, ensure it is in do not disturb mode so you are not woken by late night text messages or notifications.

Keep the bedroom dark and ensure the room temperature is not too hot or cold which may make you restless and it difficult to fall asleep.  According to the Sleep Council UK

 “A cool 16-18°C (60-65°F) is thought to be an ideal temperature in a bedroom. Temperatures over 24°C (71°F) are likely to cause restlessness, while a cold room of about 12°C (53°F) will make it difficult to drop off.” 

Make sure your sleep environment is healthy. Dust mites found in bedding are a common cause of asthma, allergies and asthma.  Protect-A-Bed mattress, pillow and quilt protectors will provide an allergy barrier against any dust mites living in your mattress or quilts.

“If you get into bed and cannot fall asleep after 20 minutes, get up and return to another space in the house to do a relaxing activity, such as reading or listening to music. Lying in bed awake can create an unhealthy link between your sleeping environment and wakefulness. Instead, you want your bed to conjure sleepy thoughts and feelings only.”  - sleepfoundation.org

Getting a good night’s sleep is vital to your health, well being and ability to effectively function during the day, so if you find you are having continuous problems getting a good night’s sleep talk to your doctor.

Sleep well, live well

Turn back the clocks this Sunday, and follow these 5 tips to help your body clock adjust

Protect-A-Bed Daylight Savings

It is the first Sunday of April this weekend which means daylight savings is over, and it is time to turn our clocks back an hour at 3am to 2am.

Today, most smartphones and computers will automatically do this for us, but if you have an analog clock you should set yourself a reminder to do this before you go to bed Saturday night.

As the days shorten, by turning our clocks back, it means we are exposed to more bright light in the mornings. 

As quoted in a 7 news article, Sleep and Circadian Researcher at Central Queensland University Amy Reynolds says

“Exposure to bright light in the morning, which happens when we are not on daylight saving time, is more ideal for our systems, as it synchronizes our body clocks to the day, and to the social requirements we have in the world, things like starting work and school in the morning.”

Changing our clocks in either direction changes the principle time cue (which is light) for setting and resetting our 24 hour natural cycle, or circadian rhythm. Therefore, our internal clocks become out of sync.

To help you adapt your circadian rhythm to the new time
remember the following tips:

  1. As an adult, it is advised to get eight hours of sound sleep, fatigue can exacerbate the negative effects of changing the clock so avoid depriving yourself of sleep and go to bed at an appropriate time.
  2.  Avoid alcohol close to going to sleep. Studies show that it reduces rapid eye movement or (REM) sleep, thus impacting on your brains ability to sleep properly.
  3. Limit caffeine intake 6 hours prior to bed, research has shown that caffeine taken 6 hours prior to sleep has significant effects on sleep disturbance. This will impact on your ability to get a restful sleep.
  4. As light suppresses the secretion of the sleep-inducing substance melatonin expose yourself to light during the day, but minimise all light sources when you go to sleep.  Try to avoid the blue light from cell phones and other screens at least two hours before bedtime.
  5. Improve your sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene refers to creating a sleep friendly environment through things such as calming bedtime routines, exercising several hours before sleeping, listening to music, reading a book or having a hot shower before bed.

Turn back your clocks this Sunday and remember that with a good night sleep you will feel and function better. 

Is getting a better night’s sleep one of your New Year’s resolutions?

Protect-A-Bed Blog Make getting a good night's sleep your new years resolution

Sleep is vital to our everyday well being.  Getting the right amount of regular sleep will make you feel more energised and motivated, helping you to achieve other goals that you might have for this year, such as doing more exercise,

Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time.  It will help create a natural rhythm, and sleep-wake cycle for your body. 

Also ensure you are getting the recommended amount of sleep for someone your age.   For an adult this is 7-9 hours a night.  For a guide on the recommended sleep time for different ages check out https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/how-much-sleep-do-you-really-need.html

Look at what can influence the quality of your sleep, and work on making changes where needed.

  • Have your evening meal at least two hours before bedtime. Having a full stomach can make it difficult to sleep.
  • Avoid caffeine late in the day. Caffeine is a stimulant and although it may give us a much needed wake-up or boost during the day, it can also affect our sleep and contribute to us feeling more tired the following day.  Although there are conflicting views most agree that coffee that should be avoided at least 3-7 hours before bedtime.  Learn more in our Blog “Is how much coffee you drink affecting your sleep” from September 19 which can be found below.
  • Likewise try to avoid alcohol at least four hours before bed. Although alcohol may help you get too sleep, it will disrupt your sleep during the night and is associated with more frequent waking up.

“Another reason people get lower-quality sleep following alcohol is that it blocks REM sleep, which is often considered the most restorative type of sleep. With less REM sleep, you’re likely to wake up feeling groggy and unfocused.”  - sleepfoundation.org 

  • Have a set time before bed that you use to wind down and relax. Don’t overstimulate your body or brain. Avoid strenuous exercise, watching a scary or dramatic TV show, stop checking your work emails or social media….. Try a relaxing bath, mediation, reading or listening to soothing music.
  • 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 avoid 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.

Ensure your bedroom offers the best possible sleep environment

  • Keep the bedroom dark at night and ensure the room temperature is not too hot or too cold.

“A cool 16-18°C (60-65°F) is thought to be an ideal temperature in a bedroom. Temperatures over 24°C (71°F) are likely to cause restlessness, while a cold room of about 12°C (53°F) will make it difficult to drop off.”  - Sleep Council UK 

  • Ensure your sleep environment is healthy. Dust mites found in bedding are a common cause of asthma, allergies and asthma.  Protect-A-Bed mattress, pillow and quilt protectors will provide an allergy barrier against any dust mites living in your mattress or quilts.
  • Keep the bedroom for sleep and free of distractions. Where possible no televisions, computers, radio’s and phones.

It may take a little adjustment for you to get into a new routine, but just remember that if you are getting the right amount of sleep regularly you should feel better and have more energy for the things you want to achieve.

Sleep well, live well

 

Combating Jet Lag

Protect-A-Bed Blog - Tips for Combating Jet Lag

What causes Jet Lag?

Jet lag occurs when you fly across one or more time zones.

Daylight plays an important role in our body’s natural biological clock or circadian rhythm, affecting the release of Melatonin which tells us when we should go to sleep and wake up.  Jet lag occurs because our body's circadian rhythm has not had time to synchronise to the change in time zones.

The result, our body is telling us to stay awake when it’s late at night, or telling us it’s time to sleep when it is the only the middle of the afternoon.

Jet lag, affects different people differently, and can happen to anyone regardless of their age or level of fitness.

As recognised by betterhealth.vic.gov.au it is also often worse if you are travelling in an easterly direction

Your circadian rhythm (body clock) is less confused if you travel westward. This is because travelling west ‘prolongs’ the body clock’s experience of its normal day-night cycle (the normal tendency of the body clock in most of us is slightly longer than 24 hours). Travelling eastwards, however, runs in direct opposition to the body clock. If you suffer badly from jet lag, it may be worthwhile considering a westerly travel route if possible.

Symptoms of Jet Lag

The symptoms of Jet Lag vary between people.  They may include:

  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Lack of concentration

Coping with Jet Lag

Jet lag generally lasts for 2-3 days and although there is no cure there are things that you can do before, during and after travel to help.

Before Leaving 

  • Ensure you have had enough sleep leading up to your travel and are not already suffering from a lack of sleep.
  • If possible, begin moving your sleep patterns towards the sleep and wake time at your destination. Go to bed and get up a little earlier or later, gradually adjusting the length of time before your trip.

During the Flight 

  • Change the time on your watch to the time at your destination as soon as possible. The sooner you make the change, the easier it will be.
  • Open the blinds on your flight to allow in sunlight only during the daylight hours at your destination.
  • Try to sleep on the plane during the night time hours at your destination. A sleep mask, headphones or ear plugs may help block out any light and noise.
  • Attempt to eat and sleep on the plane at the same time you will be eating and sleeping at your destination.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol and drinks that contain caffeine that may disturb your sleep cycles.  (see our blog on Coffee and Sleep) 

 After the Flight

  • Adjust your sleeping and eating patterns to the new time zone as soon as possible. Try to stay awake to your usual bedtime and get up when you normally would rather than having a sleep in.
  • The Sleep Health Foundation does recommend that you can take short naps when adapting, which may help you feel more alert if necessary but also state that
“It is important that you sleep for no longer than 30 minutes and that you are awake for at least 4 hours before you go to bed.” 
  • If possible, during the day get outside or expose yourself to as much natural light as possible. Remember that daylight works with our Circadian Rhythm which tells us when it’s time to be awake and sleep.
  • When ready to go to sleep, make sure the room you are staying in is set at the optimal temperature for sleep which is around 18-20 degrees and use ear plugs or headphones to drown out any unfamiliar sounds that may stop you falling asleep or wake you in the night.

Most importantly be prepared to give yourself the time to adjust. It will often take at least 2-3 days.

 

Spring clean your bedroom and help control allergens

Protect-A-Bed Spring Cleaning Blog

Spring has sprung, footy season is nearing an end, the tulips are blooming and the weather is getting warmer, but it is also allergy season. For many of us this means a stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes or skin and lots of sneezing.

Common causes of allergies include:

Pollen

Affecting a lot of people pollen allergies or hayfever are caused by an allergy to the pollen produced by flowers, trees, grasses and weeds.  Pollen gets into the home when you open the doors and windows or travels inside on your clothing or with pets.  It is often further dispersed through the home by cooling and heating systems.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are one of the most common causes of allergies in the home.  Millions of these tiny creatures live in our mattresses, bed linen, carpets and furnishings.  Feeding of our skin cells, and producing waste, studies show that are a known cause or trigger of asthma and eczema. 

Mould

Mould is often found in damp, poorly ventilated areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. Mould and bacteria are also often found in mattresses and pillows with our perspiration, shredded skin cells and everyday spills and stains helping provide the perfect conditions for it to grow.

Pets

Fairly common, pet allergies are triggered by pet dander from animals such as such as cats and dogs.  Pets also often carry inside other allergens such as pollen and dust.

While there is not a lot you can do to control your outdoor environment, there are things you can do when spring cleaning, to help control your indoor environment, and in particular the bedroom, where seasonal allergies can be triggered all year round.

Spring cleaning the Bedroom – Tips

Get Prepared

  • Make sure you have all your cleaning supplies at hand.
  • Have three boxes on 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.

Clear the bedroom of clutter

  • Remember that the bedroom should be a peaceful area, a sanctuary. Remove any items that are not used or are unnecessary. Are they rubbish, do they belong in another room or can they go to charity?
  • Consider removing TVs or Computers. The blue light emitted from screens can reduce the production of the sleep hormone melatonin which may result in difficulty sleeping and increased drowsiness during the day.

Clean out the wardrobe and dresser drawers

  • Start by taking everything out.
  • If possible, store away any winter clothing and shoes.
  • 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.

 Dust

  • Dust all surfaces in the bedroom with a damp or electrostatic cloth.
  • Remove all items from dressers and shelves, returning them as you go.
  • Move from one side of the room to the other so no areas are missed.

 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 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 using a good quality vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter.
  • If you can, move furniture to get underneath.
  • Mop floor boards. Consider a professional clean for the carpet.
  • Wipe down baseboards.

Vacuum soft furnishing

  • Any chairs, couches or soft furnishings should also be vacuumed with a good quality vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter.

Replace Filters  

  • If your heating and cooling system is due for new filters, spring is a great reminder to replace them and preferably with HEPA versions if possible.

Strip and clean your bedding

  • Remove and clean all bedding, including sheets, blankets, mattress and pillow protectors. Washing in hot water (above 55°C will kill any dust mites).
  • Cover your mattress and pillows with Protect-A-Bed® mattress and pillow protectors. Protect-A-Bed®’s Miracle Layer™ acts as a barrier against any dust mite, mould and bacteria allergens that may be present in your mattress or pillows.  They also protect your mattress from yellowing that is caused by your perspiration and everyday spills. Recognised by the National Asthma Council of Australia and the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand’s Sensitive Choice Program you will see the Sensitive Choice Blue Butterfly on Protect-A-Bed® packaging.

If you or someone in your family suffer from severe allergies, asthma or eczema consider using Protect-A-Bed®’s Fully Encased Mattress Protectors. 

The fully encased Protect-A-Bed® Allerzip® Mattress and Pillow Encasement's feature a unique BugLock® system. which has a dust mite proof flap and Secure Seal® providing 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.

  • And as you are most likely putting the flannel sheets away for the year, why not try some sheets and mattress protectors designed to keep you cool and comfortable? Those made from TENCEL™, for example, are hypoallergenic, smooth on the skin, and help manage heat and moisture for better sleep in warmer weather.
  • 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

Finally consider keeping flowers (with pollen) and pets out of the bedroom. 

Sit back, relax and enjoy the warmer days and 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.   

 

Is how much coffee you drink affecting your sleep?

Whether it’s a cup in the morning, to give you that kick start, or one in the afternoon with friends, many of us enjoy our daily coffee or coffees.

A naturally occurring stimulant, caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, chocolate and many other foods and drinks. And whilst it has no nutritional value in our diets, what you may not realise, is that while it may give us a much needed wake-up or boost during the day, it can also affect our sleep and contribute to us feeling more tired the following day.

How caffeine affects our sleep

Caffeine is absorbed quickly into our blood stream and reaches its full potential within 30-60 minutes. It's affects lasting 3-7 hours, it can take up to 24 hours to be fully eliminated from our bodies. 

And as explained by an article from the Caffineinfomer

“Not all caffeine can immediately be broken down by the liver, so some free caffeine remains in general circulation. Some of which makes its way to the brain. The caffeine molecule is similar in shape to the adenosine molecule which is a neurotransmitter. Since these two molecules are so similar, caffeine molecules are able to bind to the brain’s adenosine receptors and therefore block adenosine from binding and doing its job”.

"Adenosine plays a role in the sleep-wake cycle. When adenosine binds to enough receptors, it signals the brain that it is time for rest or sleep. Caffeine doesn’t replace the person’s need for sleep but masks tiredness since adenosine can no longer do what it is intended to do"

"This process also interferes with the dopamine system in the brain.  Dopamine, which is the “feel-good” neurotransmitter becomes more plentiful when adenosine is blocked by caffeine and this causes increased feelings of well-being and happiness. Furthermore, elevated levels of adenosine in the blood cause the adrenal glands to release adrenaline. This stimulating hormone further adds to the feelings of alertness and energy."

But at bedtime, by inhibiting the adenosine receptors, in our brain which play a role in our sleep wake cycle caffeine can mask tiredness, disrupt our sleep and alter our Circadian Rhythm. 

It may also result in the quality of our sleep not been as good as needed.  Not only resulting in a lighter and more restless sleep but causing us to wake up in the night for trips to the bathroom.

The effects varying between individuals as we all have different sensitivity levels and its effects can be affected by other lifestyle choices such as smoking (caffeine is metabolised by the body more rapidly in people who use nicotine) or at different stages of life.  Older people tend to be more sensitive to its effects while I has been shown to be slower among pregnant women.

And as the average adult needs about 8 hours of good quality sleep a night to function effectively if Caffeine is distributing this can cause us to feel tired, unrested and unmotivated in the following days. Often resulting in one reaching for another cup of coffee and repeating the cycle.

So how much coffee or caffeine is too much?

There are no guidelines for the intake of caffeine.

A Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) Expert Working group has however recognised that

“there was evidence of increased anxiety levels in children at doses of about 3 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight per day. The anxiety level for children aged 5-12 equates to a caffeine dose of 95 mg per day (approximately two cans of cola) and about 210 mg per day (approximately three cups of instant coffee) for adults”

They have also identified how much caffeine can be found in some food or drinks as a guide here.

But this is not to say you cannot enjoy your daily coffee or chocolate snacks it may simply require you to think about how much caffeine you are ingesting and when.

If you are drinking or consuming large amounts of caffeine consider cutting back.  Just don’t stop suddenly, gradually cut back. If your body is used to caffeine as stimulant, simply stopping may give you headaches.

And, don’t drink coffee too close to bedtime. And you may need to try having that last one at different times to see what works best for you because as recognised by the Sleep Health Foundation  

“There are different views on how many hours before bed you should have your last caffeine intake. Some say caffeine should be avoided for at least 3 to 7 hours before going to sleep. Others say no caffeine after lunch time if you have sleep problems. Many people find that their sleep improves with less caffeine or only having caffeine earlier in the day.”

And remember when you are sleeping well you are living well