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Blog Image - 6_14_17_Image _Blog _Fathers Day

Sleep Tips for a New Dad

June 14 2017

To all the first-time fathers this Father’s Day—congratulations! And if you almost fell asleep just reading the title of this blog, we understand. While everyone adjusts to parenthood a little differently, there is one constant that seems to rein supreme: sleep deprivation. With new dads in mind, Health Talk sat down with University of Minnesota Physicians sleep expert and father of three Michael Howell, M.D., for his sleep tips for both dad and baby.

Sleep when you can
If your baby is napping and you have some free time in between household chores, errands, etc., take a nap to catch up on sleep. Be opportunistic when it comes to sleep.

Take turns or ask for help
If possible, trade off shifts or nights so at least one parent is getting a few hours of—or a night of—good sleep. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner or support system for help if lack of sleep is becoming a problem area. 

Limit caffeine intake
It’s very tempting (and easy) to overcompensate for lack of sleep by drinking a lot of coffee or energy drinks. Don’t do it! Large amounts of caffeine will disrupt your sleep pattern even more, making good sleep much harder to obtain.

Invest in some me time
New parents have a lot going on, but it’s important to take some personal time to unwind and get your body and mind ready for sleep, even if it’s just for a few hours.

Be supportive
A strong partnership between parents is incredibly important as you make the parental transition. What can you do to help your partner?

Now that you’ve laid a few ground rules for yourself, what about the babe? Howell’s sleep tips for your newborn include:

Don’t wait to establish healthy sleep habits
“For newborns, it’s important to start working on their sleeping habits as soon as they get home from the hospital,” said Howell. “I’ve found through personal experience that by keeping the baby active in the evening, they are more sleepy and ready to go to bed.”

Don’t wake a sleeping baby
If your baby is sleeping, there is no reason to wake him/her up to eat (within reason). They will usually let you know when they’re hungry! 

Evening stimuli
Interactions with parents are like exercise for the baby, helping them to be more alert. Keep the baby active for at least two hours by reading to them, playing music, playing with them, etc.

Tummy time
At least 10-15 minutes of tummy time each night not only strengthens his/her neck muscles, but it’s also the equivalent of going to the gym for the baby.

Full stomach = sleepy baby
After a full night of activities, your baby’s last meal of the day should be at bedtime. This will help keep your newborn satisfied throughout the night and less likely to wake up in the middle of the night hungry. At four months, most babies will be able to sleep throughout the night without a late-night feeding.

Let your baby fall asleep in the crib
Newborns should learn to fall asleep on their own. This helps establish the sleep environment and ensure that your babe won’t wake up scared because you aren’t there.

Give them a sunrise every morning
Help your new babe establish a natural sleep rhythm by keeping their shades open a tad. At least 30 minutes of sunlight (or a light box that mimics the sun) will help adjust your newborn to a 24-hour clock.

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Blog Image - 5_31_17_Image _Blog _Sleep Schedule Suffering

Why Your Sleep Schedule is Suffering

May 31 2017

You’ve worked on your wind-down and listened to all the advice on how to get your quality Zz’s, but try as you might, you just seem to not be getting the slumber you and your body needs. What if some of the truths you hold so dear about tucking-in could be what is actually sabotaging your quality sleep? Take a look at these reasons your sleep schedule could be slacking—your mornings will thank you.

1) If you consume caffeine throughout your day…
When you grab a pick-me-up to power you through your day, there’s a good chance it contains some sources of caffeine. While coffee may be clutch to many, it can turn into a serious crutch. While there are some benefits to a healthy relationship with caffeine, it can negatively affect your sleep cycle.

Consider this instead…
Morning: Start the day by chomping on an apple (or other good-sugar fruits like a banana or an orange). Pair this with a protein, such as yogurt or an oh-so-easy egg recipe, and you have an arsenal for achievement!

Mid-morning: Stretch it out! A quick limbering of your limbs or even a walk around the block can boost not just your energy but your positivity levels, as well.

Mid-afternoon: Step away from your go-to (highly sugar saturated) treat and try something just as yummy. These alternatives provide an energy boost that outlasts a sugar rush and crushes the carb crash.

2) If you set yourself up for disruptive sleep…
Did you know that the ideal room temperature for sleep is between 60-67 degrees? Even if you’ve lowered your bedroom temp, you will wake up sweating throughout the night if you curl up within a fortress of pillows, blankets, and sheets. Your body temperature needs to decrease throughout the night in order to keep your circadian cycle in rhythm. 

Consider this instead…
Utilize technical textiles like FRíO® rapid chill cooling fibers. Our clinically proven PureCare FRíO mattress and pillow protectors provide a unique tunneling effect that keeps heat from accumulating in the material surrounding the body. FRíO fibers help provide a refreshingly cooler sleep surface by dispersing body heat throughout the surface of the protector at a rate five times faster than that of regular polyester, focusing solely on heat reduction along the sleep surface.

3) If you are addicted to technology before bed…
The scroll cycle is real—and you have totally fallen into it. You figure at least you’re in bed; so what if you fall asleep to the web or tv? Keep in mind that your phone isn’t the one that will wake up groggy.

Consider this instead…
Distractions, like blue-light emitting devices, can trick our brain into thinking it is time to be awake, even though you are tucked-in and tuckered out, leading to tossing and turning. Good rule of thumb: turn off your devices one hour before bedtime. Take your battle with blocking out light one step further with a sleep mask to block out visual distractions and light. We promise the emails and apps will be there in the morning

4) If you love that snooze button…
Ahh…who amongst us doesn’t love that extra ten minutes or so of snooze-time. So, you set that clock a little earlier than needed so you know you can pound that pillow a little more. Just a little sleep satisfaction, right? Not so fast.

Consider this instead…
Your body naturally starts waking about two hours prior to rising, so slamming the snooze makes your body think “false alarm!” When that snooze alarm comes inevitably back around, you have set yourself up for groggy and fuzzy-headed mayhem. Bottom line: those extra half-awake snooze minutes aren’t quality sleep and can leave you feeling out of whack for the day to come.

5) If you haven’t updated your sleep sanctuary…
You curl up to your favorite pillow…the same pillow that’s been with you since…well, forever. Sure, you have to slap it in place a bit, but it’s YOUR pillow. Same goes for those sheets you got on sale ages ago. They’re fading, but they’re just sheets, right? 

Consider this instead…
The truth is that pillows are designed to last about two years. TWO years?! Yes, two years. And sheets typically carry a warranty of one year. After that, the supportive materials and fibers start to break down from the repeated use, skin cells, sweat, and drool that has accumulated in your sleep surfaces. Clean, supportive pillows and fresh sheets provide a sleep surface that leads to quality Zz’s.

Breathe new life into your bedroom and start fresh for the season. We suggest our PureCare Body Chemistry Hybrid pillows. Designed with your body in mind, the entire collection features clinically tested Celliant® fibers that absorb energy emitted by the human body and recycle it back into the body, providing additional wellness benefits beyond perfect support. Our PureCare Premium Modal sheets feature a unique blend of long staple cotton and ecologically blended Modal® fibers for a smooth, soft-to-the-touch comfort.

It’s time to wake up refreshed. Which tip will be your first step toward your best sleep yet? Do you have a tip you’d like to share? Comment below or share on our Facebook page.

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