Have You Heard of Weighted Blanket Therapy?

Have You Heard of Weighted Blanket Therapy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The drug-free therapeutic blanket known as weighted blankets have become the at-home treatment for insomnia, anxiety, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention-deficit hyperactive disorders (ADHD), Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), Asperger’s and sensory disorders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many seniors, adults, teenagers and children face psychiatric issues that cause insomnia and severe anxiety. Patients with autism and other psychiatric disorders also face extreme anxiousness and the inability to induce calmness within themselves without the use of sedatives or drugs.

 

The combination of behavioral aberrations, and the lack of sleep among these people, have been known to lead to loss of productivity in their daily lives, irrational emotional behavior and out – of – character actions. It isn’t just the problem of not being able to keep their emotions under control, but the issue of lashing out aggressively due to psychological dysfunctions.

 

The root causes of such behavioral issues are anxiety and insomnia, which is usually treated with pharmacological (drugs) and psychological (therapy) methods. However, now with a breakthrough in the study of sleep medicine and psychiatric disorders, we know that the trick to soothing consternation and inducing sleep is much simpler than once thought.

 

The drug-free therapeutic blanket known as weighted blankets have become the at-home treatment for insomnia, anxiety, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention-deficit hyperactive disorders (ADHD), Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), Asperger’s and sensory disorders.

 

 

Weighted blankets use deep pressure touch simulation (DPTS) to relax the body and make the patient feel safe, guarded and secure, which calms their unease and helps their body go to sleep. The sensory compression methodology facilitates a positive change with the comfort the blanket brings to its user. The weight of the blanket stimulates the receptors on your body which then activates the neurotransmitters in your brain to bring a sense of happiness to the person.

 

 

 

The Poly plastic (Polypropylene) pellets that have been used to fill the compartments of the blanket provide the weightage of the blanket. A quality weighted blanket is quilted, made of either cotton or fleece and weighs about 10% of the user’s body. Using the proper blanket according to the size and the weight of the user will give the optimum calming results.

 

This blanket has shown to be very effective in calming hyperactive children during bedtime, anxious patients in therapy and even adults undergoing chemotherapy. It has also proven to be efficacious in calming people down during anxiety inducing situations.

 

 

Studies Prove the Benefits of Weighted Blankets

 

– A 2008 study showed that weighted blankets are beneficial for anxiety. The study used a 30 lb. blankets on adults. In total, 63% reported a decrease in anxiety, and 78% found it calming.

– A 2015 study used 30 pound blanket on adults during an inpatient mental health hospitalization. 60% of them reported significant decrease in anxiety after use.

– Research on DPTS started as early as the 1950s. One article from 1992 found great benefits of this therapy for patients with autism. It reduces self-harming behaviors in autistic children, as well as produced better sleep. It also relaxes the muscles.

One adult autistic patient has stated, “I need heavy blankets on me to sleep well, or else my muscles won’t calm down.” 

– Weighted blanket were also found to be very calming for babies.

 

 

Therapeutic Benefits of Weighted Blankets

 

 

 

 

1. Weighted Blankets Promote Sleep

 

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that causes habitual sleeplessness. The lack of sleep leads to the over exhaustion of the human body and hampers the psychological well-being of the person. When a person is not able to function well, both physically and mentally, their social well being is affected and they begin to lose productivity in their lives. This leads to depression and other behavioral problems.

An easy solution to this problem is the weighted blanket. The pressure of the weighted blanket reaches deep within the body of the user to provide a comfortable environment for a person to fall asleep in. The sense of being swaddled and the physical connection that the user feels with the blanket makes them feel warm and safe. This helps their mind be at ease and they can be able to relax their body. The state of tranquility will help clear their mind and ensure a good night’s sleep.

According to the ‘Positive effects of a weighted blanket on insomnia’ by the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders 2015 of the SciMed Central, the weighted blankets had improved the sleep quality of people with severe insomnia.

 

 

2. Weighted Blankets Imitate a Warm Hug

 

Research shows that hugs can actually make a person feel at ease. Hugging a person releases the hormone Oxytocin into the blood stream. This chemical reduces your blood pressure, calms your heart rate and provides and overall feeling of relaxation.

Although the blanket does not provide a human connection, your body may perceive the warmth and security the imitation that a hug provides. Both the hug and the blanket use a gentle yet firm pressure that goes deep within the person’s body tissues. This gives the user a sense of repose and allows your body to relax.

 

 

3. Weighted Blankets Provide a Sense of Security

 

Being covered by a weighted and warm blanket will ensure the feeling of calmness in the user. The ‘blanket therapy’ stimulates the receptors present throughout our body, which lessens a person’s discomfort. Once the user feels more comfortable in the blanket, they begin to feel secure as their body begins to relax. The body can only relax when your mind is soothed and your heart rate is calmed. This change in the body will ensure that both your body and mind believes that you are secure and safe.

 

 

4. Weighted Blankets Increase the Production of Serotonin

 

Serotonin is a chemical messenger, also known as a neurotransmitter that your brain and intestines produce for the smooth functioning of your nervous system, which includes the brain and the nerves. This hormone is secreted to promote happiness and the mood of the people. Known as the ‘happy hormone’, this chemical does not only affect a person’s mood but it affects their behavior. The lack of serotonin in the body leads to depression, insomnia and anxiety. That is why the sensory stimulating weighted blankets increase the production of serotonin in the body. The hormone relaxes your body and makes you feel calmer. That sense of calmness leads to pacifying one’s anxiety, which results to inducing sleep in the user.

 

 

5. Weighted Blankets Increase the Production of Melatonin

 

Melatonin, also known as the ‘sleep hormone’ is a chemical that affects a person’s sleep. The hormone is produced with the production of serotonin, as well as the pineal gland in the brain. This chemical is known to ease insomnia and induce sleep, which is possible through the therapeutic benefits of the weighted blankets that provide a gentle yet firm pressure on your body by stimulating your receptors.

 

 

 

6. Weighted Blankets Calm Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder

 

Autism spectrum disorder includes Asperger’s, Autism, Rhett Syndrome and other unspecified Pervasive Development Disorders. Such disorders include behavioral problems that do not necessarily bode well with the norms of society. The patients suffering from such disorders feel aggression and irritation due to the inability to express or convey their thoughts clearly. Such slow cognitive development makes the patient unable to process information quickly and the change in their surroundings.

 

Patients with such disorders are not able to communicate properly, so they use erratic speech, repetitive actions and turbulent behaviors. During a frustrated outburst, the patient’s heart rate increases, their breath becomes shallow and their blood pressure rises – which further increases their irritability.

 

When the patient is going through such tempestuous emotions and tantrums, it is best to drape the weighted blanket around them or have them lay down with the blanket covering them. This will make them feel more relaxed and comfortable. Once they are no longer acting in a hysterical manner, they will be able to think with a clearer mind and a calmer body. Although communicating with their caretakers might still be difficult, there will at least be an opportunity for the patient to gather more patience and attempt to convey their thoughts in a more serene manner.

 

 

7. Weighted Blankets Help Overcome the Oversensitivity to Touch

 

Some psychiatric disorders make people oversensitive to touch. Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders usually face such discomfort with the touch of other people but this can be overcome by introducing the weight of the blanket regularly to the affected patient.

 

The pressure of the blanket provides a similar feeling of human touch at a larger scale without actual connection – which can be a stepping stone in helping patients overcome their fear of touch.

 

During the 1990s, a squeeze machine was used to help patients overcome their oversensitivity to touch. Today, with the inception of the ‘therapy blankets’, patients can use the more accessible and less controversial mechanism to help people become more at ease with touch.

 

 

8. Weighted Blankets Pacify Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD drives a person to think repetitively about a certain incident or an object. Such thoughts constantly play across a person’s mind and lead them to neglect their duties and their personal lives. The patient becomes anxious about a particular event and conducts a certain action over and over again. Their thoughts are occupied and their bodies refuse to break out of an obsessive reverie.

A very effective way to ease an OCD patient’s anxiety, and to treat the inability to calm them down from a mind consuming thought is to use a weighted blanket. This blanket allows the patient to feel safe and secure without worrying about the numerous issues that may be present in their lives. The blanket provides a warm environment for the user by helping to relive stress and allow their mind to release the captivating thoughts.

 

 

9. Weighted Blankets Mimic a Massage

 

Draping the weighted blanket over the user’s body distributes pressure evenly throughout their body. This has similar effects of a deep tissue massage. The pressure of the blanket goes deep within your tissues while you use it to fall asleep. A massage is supposed to help our body and mind relax – which can be easily done at home by using a weighted blanket. The physical factor of a massage might provide it’s own intimate yet soothing aspect, but the weighted blanket is proven to give you similar results to an actual massage in the long run.

 

 

10. Weighted Blankets Improve Cognitive Function

 

Taking a look at the overall therapeutic benefits of weighted blankets, we can see that it relieves stress, reduces tension, induces sleep, calms your mind and relaxes your body. These components are very important if you want to live a healthy and happy life.

 

Raised blood pressure, anxiety and lack of sleep are truly killers of productivity and normal behavior. Sleeping with the weighted blanket promotes the users overall well-being by ensuring that they tackle their daily issues with a clear head and a well-rested body.

 

With a clear mind, a person’s cognitive functions are improved. They are able to perform efficiently and effectively without being burdened by psychological issues and behavioral changes.

 

 

 

Weighted blankets can potentially solve sleep issues, panic attacks, anxiety related disorders, lack of concentration and even aggressive behavioral problems that affect the smooth proceedings of one’s daily life.

Successful results of the weighted blanket  can be had without the high costs of therapy sessions, drugs and sedatives that are traditionally used to pacify more tremulous patients. I recommend giving this effective and inexpensive blanket a try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Use a Weighted Blanket

 

The blanket can be used at night, during naps, or used casually quick calming effect. Studies have used it for as little as 10 minutes and up to 2 hours, but it can stay on as long as you would like. It is the most beneficial to have your whole body covered, but do do not place the blanket on top of the head or face as it can create a suffocating sensation.

 

 

Choosing Your Weighted Blanket’s Weight

 

Use the formula 10% of your weight plus one pound. For example, a 160 lb person should  choose a 16 or 18 lb weighted blanket.

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

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Electric Blanket Buying Guide

 

 

Electric Blanket Buying Guide

 

 

 

 

Features to Look For in Your New Electric Blanket

 

 

 

Heated bedding of all types should meet current Underwriters Laboratories electric bedding safety standards.

It’s also important to read and follow manufacturer guidelines. Special care should be taken — or use avoided altogether — when selecting heated bedding for infants, the elderly, and those that are otherwise less sensitive to heat.

Pet owners are advised to consider low-voltage heated bedding, or a mattress pad that’s under the rest of the bedding so that it can’t be chewed on by a four-footed companion.

 

 

 

Durable, Machine-Washable Electric Blanket Materials

 

Some electric blanket manufacturers specify hand-washing only; however, trying to wrangle a large, wet blanket can be difficult — and it can be hard to rinse it thoroughly as well.

Machine-washable blankets are much easier to clean. When you do wash it, it shouldn’t pill, shed or bleed color. Always be sure to detach the power cords before cleaning.

 

 

 

Easy-to-Use Electric Blanket Temperature Controls

 

Because you might want to adjust the temperature in the middle of the night, you want the controls to be intuitive and within reach.

Many electric blankets and other heated bedding use digital controls, but others use analog dials. User ratings don’t seem to be influenced by the style of the controller, but we see some comments that in some instances, the dial can be easy to jostle. A few electric bedding products offer wireless controls.

 

 

 

 

Range of Electric Blanket Heat Settings, Including Preheating

 

To get the most use out of your electric blanket, throw, or mattress pad, you’ll want to be able to choose settings appropriate for everything from a cool summer evening to a winter blizzard.

Many electric bedding models offer 10 settings, though some, including our top-rated heated throw blanket, offer fewer without receiving very much negative user feedback over that.

 

 

 

Electric Blanket Automatic Shut-Off

 

An automatic shut off allows you to fall asleep safely with the blanket still on.

 

 

 

Electric Blanket Dual Control Options

 

Many couples sleep “differently” with one partner preferring a hotter or colder environment. Dual controls, which are usually found on queen-sized and larger blankets, allow each person to adjust the heat on his or her side of the bed. Some heated bedding take things a bit further by allowing adjustment of individual zones (such as the feet) for either user.

 

 

 

Things to Know Before You Choose an Electric Blanket

 

How often will you use your electric blanket?

If you live in a cold climate or often are cold in the evenings, you may want to outfit your bed with a reliable heated mattress pad. On the other hand, if you will only use the product a few weeks or months per year, a blanket may be more practical.

 

 

Measure your bed and electrical outlet.

Electric blankets and mattress pads are sold in normal bed sizes, such as twin, full, queen and king, but it’s best to be sure.

Most electric blankets have power cords that attach at the foot of the bed, with controls that stretch up to the head of the bed. If the cords aren’t long enough to reach a power outlet, you may need to rearrange your furniture. Most manufactures recommend that, for safety, extension cords not be used.

 

 

Do you have pets that sleep in bed with you?

Heated bedding can pose a hazard to pets if a claw or tooth exposes one of the heating elements. If you do sleep with a pet, experts suggest a low-voltage bedding option to minimize the risk of electric shock. In addition, a heated mattress pad is less likely to become a chew toy than a blanket that sits atop the bed.

 

 

Heated bedding won’t last a lifetime.

Judging from user reviews, all types and brands of heated bedding suffer from so-so durability — with the controls and heated wiring both being trouble spots.

While it’s never a bad idea to buy a model with a good warranty and then keep all packaging, receipts and other documentation of your purchase, user feedback indicates that warranty limitations and the hassle of returning the bedding to the maker lead most to just toss a blanket or mattress pad that has failed and buy a new one.

If durability is a top concern, electric mattress pads seem to enjoy a somewhat better track record according to experts and in user reviews.

 

 

 

What’s in a name?

Most heated bedding sold in the U.S. is made by one of three companies. Perfect Fit industries makes bedding under its own name as well as the Soft Heat, Select Comfort and Chattam & Wells brands. Sunbeam also manufactures the Slumber Rest, Therapedic and Imperial lines. Biddeford Mills makes Cannon, Sealy and Delightful Nights electric bedding.

While color choices, and materials and features (including the style of controller) may vary between brands and models, all heated bedding made by the same manufacturer will use the same core technology and should perform similarly.

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is The SoClean CPAP Cleaner Worth Buying?

 

Is The SoClean CPAP Cleaner Worth Buying?

 

 

The SoClean is a unique machine that disinfects, sanitizes and cleans your CPAP machine, mask, hose, water reservoir and other accessories without having to take your CPAP apart.

 

The SoClean CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizing Machine uses activated oxygen cleaning to eliminate any mold, bacteria, and viruses that may be lingering in your home CPAP Machine.

You put your mask (with the hose and straps still attached) in a black box a bit larger than a toaster, set the timer and bacteria and mold are blasted away in a few minutes by “activated oxygen, ” which the machine pumps through the CPAP reservoir, hose and mask. This is a natural process that kills bacteria, mold and viruses upon contact. SoClean is designed to be an environmentally-safe means of avoiding bacteria build-up that occurs over time even with regular soap and water cleanings.

 

 

Features

 

The SoClean comes packed with quite a bunch of features. This machine was built with a sleek design and small footprint in mind.

Probably the best feature of the SoClean is that it will sanitize your entire CPAP without requiring you to remove the mask, hose or reservoir.

The SoClean destroys 99.9% of CPAP bacteria, viruses, and mold, without the use of chemicals or water.  The machine is FDA registered and independently lab tested.

This is a versatile unit, which can connect to your CPAP, Bi-PAP, VPAP or BPAP.

It has an automatic safety shut-off, and does not require any assembly.

There is also a front display alerting you to when it is done cleaning and allowing you to customize what and how long you want it to stay in the cleaner.  The indicator light will come on when the cleaner hits certain spots of the cleaning cycle.

 

 

 

How It Works

 

Activated oxygen is the formation of an added atom to oxygen (O), this atom is attached to the oxygen we breathe (O2), making it an (O3).  This (O3) is a new molecule that has an stunning ability to destroy germs and organisms through oxidation.  This technology makes the SoClean an effective CPAP cleaner.

 

The SoClean machine produces “activated oxygen” (O3) and pumps it into you CPAP machine’s humidifier.  It is able to connect to your CPAP by fitting its hose into the humidifier reservoir.

 

First, the activated oxygen travels and sanitizes the reservoir and water inside
the humidifier.  The (O3) then passes through the main hose which kills germs as it goes through.

 

Second, the activated oxygen (O3) then travels through your CPAP mask and is released into the compartment that holds the mask.  This ensures that the interior and exterior of the mask comes in contacted with the activated oxygen.

 

Third,  the activated oxygen is then safely trapped within a special closed system.  This ensures that both the outside environment and the delicated wires and electronics of the CPAP are exposed.

The SoClean machine only needs to run for about five minutes but the items should be left inside for about 2 hours to complete the process.

 

 

 

Timothy Leyva, creator of the device, explains in a press release that “the SoClean allows for daily, hands-free sanitizing of CPAP machines. Having a freshly-sanitized CPAP machine will prevent bacteria build-up helping to avoid respiratory infections and make for a significantly better user experience.”

 

Leyva added, “Knowing that the CPAP is always clean, ready, and safe to use increases the likelihood that sleep apnea sufferers will wear it every night.”

 

It is definitely much less labor-intensive than hand-washing everything. In fact, the timer can be set just once for the SoClean to run at the same time each day. Just drop the mask in, close the lid and be on your way.

 

 

The best part is that the cleaning occurs without having to disassemble everything (which CPAP users hate doing). The device hooks into the CPAP unit so the reservoir is being cleaned at the same time as the mask via the hose.

 

 

 

SoClean Drawbacks

 

Though this machine gives you everything you would want out of a CPAP machine cleaner, its price tag leaves more to be desired.  Or should I say less?  The price of this machine is expensive and for some it will break the bank. 

Also, there is a distinct scent that your mask has when it emerges from SoClean. The company describes it as a very mild bleach smell (similar to after a thunderstorm) that can be dissipated by blowing air through the mask for about 15 seconds prior to use.

Read Amazon customer reviews for the SoClean.

 

 

 

Video User Manual for the SoClean 2 CPAP Cleaner & Sanitizer

 


 

 

Final Thoughts

 

The SoClean adds a new level of convenience to CPAP users’ lives by  sanitizing and disinfects your CPAP accessories such as your mask, hose, and water reservoir (including the water inside) without needing to take any pieces apart.

Full and complete sanitizing is accomplished without any messy chemicals or even the use of water. Your equipment remains completely dry, and the SoClean machine uses safe, natural, activated oxygen to thoroughly sanitize your CPAP system.

 

 

 

Remember that the the filter and check valve should be replaced every six months, so you may also want an extra Cartridge Filter Kit for the SoClean. 

The Cartridge Filter Kit includes one replacement filter and one replacement check valve for the SoClean.


This kit is suitable for all SoClean machines with “1200SC” in the serial number. The cartridge filter converts activated oxygen back to regular oxygen as it leaves the SoClean 2 chamber. The check valve prevents water from your CPAP from damaging your CPAP electronics.

 

 

 

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Natural Help for Sadness and Depression

Advice for Caregivers on Natural Options to Relieve Sadness and Depression

 

It’s often difficult to differentiate between sadness and depression. Each has certain qualities that frequently overlap; yet both can impact our lives dramatically.

Sadness can range from a simple momentary unhappiness to a long-term grief or sorrow. Depression is defined as gloominess or dejection, either of which can be debilitating.

 

With the realization or diagnosis of either sadness or depression, there is a tendency for physicians to quickly follow with a prescription for anti-depressant medications to mask and suppress negative feelings. This is not necessarily a bad thing; anti-depressants can be a life saver for some, but certainly aren’t necessary for every case.

 

Typical Symptoms of Depression

First we should define the typical symptoms of depression. This can assist in evaluating whether or not depression is even an issue.

 

There are four key areas to consider:

  • behavior
  • appearance
  • feelings
  • communication

 

With respect to behavior, we generally look for changes in “normal” behavior patterns. A person may show disinterest in their usual surroundings or neglect to perform regular chores.

Signs that a change in usual patterns is occurring are when there seems to be a greater desire to be alone; the person is sleeping more than usual; or they become forgetful about special hobbies. A loss of appetite is also an important sign. This isn’t to say that other factors would not be considered, but given the following additional symptoms, depression would be a primary diagnosis.

 

Appearance is something that is difficult to hide. As caretaker, you should pay attention to uncombed hair, dirty clothes, facial expressions, unusual quietness, skin tone or gestures. Concealing one’s feelings may be easier for some than others, but obvious feelings may be more apparent. Look for recent signs of grief from the loss of a loved one or pet or a sense of hopelessness with unusual anger and impatience. Also look for new or unusual reactions such as self-blame or ongoing criticism of friends and relatives.

Finally, pay attention to the words being used. There are words and phrases that are reflective of suicidal thoughts based on underlying depression. The key is to be aware of unusual behavior or words and take action before they reach a self destructive or suicidal stage. These can include phrases like: “I wish I were dead”, “What’s the point of living”, “I have no joy in my life”, “Things will be better when I’m gone”, or “They won’t have me to kick around much longer”.

As a preliminary response, you might consider counseling or one of the following alternatives. Please bear in mind that depression is difficult to self diagnose, but the feeling that “something is not right”, with a chronic desire to continually sleep, should lead one to consider help.

 

Unless the sadness or depression is severe, I recommend investigating these natural remedies and combining them with added exercise, daylight and communication as your first option.

 

 

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is the most extensively researched herb as an anti-depressant, and for good reason as it is known to show significant improvement in depression, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, and trouble sleeping.  Its nutrient value aids nerves and is thought to provide an alternative to Prozac as an antidepressant.

Remember that when taking any traditional drug or herbal compound, there can be unexpected side effects. In this case, St. John’s Wort can cause anxiety as it increases levels of dopamine in the brain, so avoid it if there is recurring anxiety.  Read reviews.


 

 

 

 

Licorice Root

Nature's Answer Alcohol-Free Licorice Root, 1-Fluid Ounce
Licorice Root tends to replenish the adrenals, allowing a more relaxed state. Though often not thought of as an herb for depression, it really should be.
Licorice is known to have 8 different anti-depressant compounds, known as MOA inhibitors. These inhibitors are capable of potent anti-depressant activity and show significant improvement for all types of depression.

Licorice Root is also very nourishing for burned out adrenals and is best used during times of chronic fatigue and tiredness that usually results in frequent illness.  Read reviews.

 Keep in mind that this herb is not meant for long term use, but is generally safe for use off and on.  This herb should not be used for those with hypertension or high blood pressure.

 

 

Passion Flower

Nature's Answer PassionFlower Vegetarian Capsules, 60-Count

For those who can’t get all of those constantly circulating, unhealthy thoughts out of our minds, Passion Flower would be you herbal ally of choice. While it doesn’t necessarily treat depression itself, it will certainly help quiet an overactive mind, especially when used before sleep.

Passion Flower is a calmative for the nerves, reducing anxiety and high blood pressure while encouraging sleep. Read reviews.

 

 

Valerian

Nature's Way Valerian Root -- 180 Capsules
Valerian, or Valeriana officinalis, as it is officially called, has been in use since the time of Hippocrates. Its other variety is Valeriana dioica. Valerian is an herb that grows mostly in Europe, Asia, and North America. It has been used for centuries for the treatment of various conditions like depression, insomnia and anxiety.

Valerian is known for its calming effect without causing drowsiness. Since Valerian does not affect REM sleep cycles at night, it does not induce any sleepiness but rather produces a natural, mild calm to soothe the anxiety of patients. Studies show that Valerian provides quick and natural relief for people with poor sleep. This is a natural and safe alternative to drugs like benzodiazepines which may cause continuous dependence on the pills.

 

 

 

Scullcap

Swanson Full-Spectrum Chinese Skullcap 400 mg 90 Caps

 

 

Scullcap is another adrenal herb, but also has been very effective for nerves, high blood pressure, worry, restlessness and emotional conflict.  Skullcap is a very effective herb that has a calming yet strengthening effect on the nervous system and will help to relieve certain symptoms of depression such as poor sleep, poor concentration and headaches.

It is particularly useful for depression brought on by prolonged stress, illness or overwork. Skullcap may be taken as an infusion, capsules or tincture.

 

 

 

Rosemary

Nature's Way Rosemary (Leaves) 100 Caps

 Rosemary is believed to be very good for depression. Rosemary was one of the first herbs used in the American south in colonial times to treat women for depression after childbirth.

Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) grows primarily on the Mediterranean seashore. Fittingly, its name means “dew of the sea.” It’s built quite a reputation as a potent, natural remedy for anxiety.

Throughout history, rosemary benefits over the years include relieving depression, improving circulation, memory, digestion and easing muscle pain.

Modern technology has allowed scientists to explore the mechanisms behind rosemary’s benefits. Evidence shows that rosemary boosts blood flow to the brain, and this improves memory and helps you think more clearly.

It appears that rosemary benefits also include breaking down acetylcholine, a chemical found in the brain. This allows nerve cells to communicate with one another more effectively, which contributes to enhanced mental acuity, better memory recognition, increased concentration and a calmer disposition.

 

 

Holy Basil

ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi - Holy Basil Supplement - Made with Certified Organic Herbs (Vegetarian Capsules, 90 Count)

 

Holy basil, known as tulsi (also spelled tulasi) in its native India, is a revered herb in Ayurvedic medicine. Holy basis has been used to treat a variety of health concerns from headaches and stomachaches to inflammatory problems and common colds. This herb is classified as an adaptogen, a substance that increases the body’s resistance to internal and external stress. Therefore, it makes sense that holy basil would relieve panic attacks and depression.  Read reviews.

Holy basil is a relatively well-studied herb, with research that has demonstrated that it can radically and speedily improve anxiety and depression, and reduce stress – both physical and emotional. The exact mechanism of action is yet to be determined although research has shown that holy basil decreases the amount of cortisol released during stress without the adverse side-effects of prescription medications.

In addition, holy basil has the capacity to increase physical and emotional endurance thus increasing the resilience to all stressors. As already mentioned, it lowers blood sugar levels which in turn reduces cravings and stabilises moods, and thus facilitates weight loss.

Holy Basil has been traditionally used to support people through times of stress, working as adaptogen (i.e. substance that balances and protects the body by improving resistance to any type of physiological or mental stress) and anxiolytic (decreasing anxiety). One of the most strongly supported actions of this herb is that of an adaptogen, with current research supporting its traditional use in managing acute and chronic stress and fatigue. Chronic stress has been shown to increase the levels of oxidative stress and free radicals. Holy basil enhances the levels and activities of endogenous antioxidants and antioxidant enzymes including glutathione and superoxide dismutase.

In a recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial researchers evaluated the efficacy of an extract of holy basil in the symptomatic control of general stress (1). They concluded that the effect of holy basil supplementation over placebo on comparison was considerable for all stress parameters measured. The treatment showed 39% improvement in general stress symptoms over and above the placebo. The significant finding in this study was the reduced intensity of forgetfulness, reduced symptom scores of sexual problems (stress-related), and the effective relief from frequent feelings of fatigue and sleep problems.

 

Holy basil has been clinically trialed in treating generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) in a small, controlled 60-day clinical trial (2). The results indicated that taking the herb significantly improved anxiety, stress, depression and attention span in subjects suffering from GAD, with the greatest improvements occurring at the completion of 60 days of treatment.

 

As a bonus, other research has indicated that holy basil has a strong antioxidant action in the brain resulting in improved memory and slower cognition decline. Free radicals have been associated with ischaemic brain lesions, development and progression of degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, and general decline in memory and cognition due to chronic stress. Read reviews.

References

1) Efficacy of an Extract of Ocimum tenuiflorum (OciBest) in the Management of General Stress: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study; Ram Chandra Saxena,1 Rakesh Singh,2 Parveen Kumar,3 Mahendra P. Singh Negi,4 Vinod S. Saxena,5 Periasamy Geetharani,6 Joseph Joshua Allan,6 and Kudiganti Venkateshwarlu6; Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 894509, 7 pages
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/894509/
http://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=rjmp.2012.37.46
2) Controlled programmed trial of Ocimum sanctum leaf on generalized anxiety disorders. Bhattacharyya D1, Sur TK, Jana U, Debnath PK.; Nepal Med Coll J. 2008 Sep;10(3):176-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19253862

 

 

5HTP

 

Natrol 5-HTP TR Time Release, 200mg, 30 Tablets

Generally, a product called 5HTP can be helpful for low serotonin levels, taken with B6 for absorption. Preliminary studies indicate that 5-HTP may work as well as certain antidepressant drugs to treat people with mild-to-moderate depression. Like the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which includes fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft), 5-HTP increases the levels of serotonin in the brain.

One study compared the effects of 5-HTP to fluvoxamine (Luvox) in 63 people and found that those who were given 5-HTP did just as well as those who received Luvox. They also had fewer side effects than the Luvox group.

Read reviews.

 

 

 

 

SAMe

Doctor's Best SAM-e 400, 60-Count

 

SAM-e is short for S-adenosylmethionine. This supplement is designed to act like a synthetic form of the body’s natural mood-boosting chemicals. According to the Mayo Clinic, SAM-e is regarded as a supplement in the United States — the FDA doesn’t consider it a medication. You shouldn’t take SAM-e along with antidepressants. You should also be aware that SAM-e can cause health effects like upset stomach and constipation if you take too much.

Read reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inositol

Jarrow Formulas Inositol Powder, Supports Liver Function, 600 mg, 8 oz
Inositol is an organic, glucose-like compound that facilitates the transmission of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. People ingest about 1 gram of inositol a day from fruits and vegetables, whole grains, meat, and other foods, and it is also sold as a capsule and powder.

The evidence: The brains of people with depression and bipolar disorder have been shown to have below-average levels of inositol, which prompted researchers to investigate whether inositol supplements could help treat depression.

The initial research was promising. A small study published in 1995 found that taking 12 grams of inositol a day — an amount equivalent to a fistful of the capsules sold in health stores — improved depression symptoms more effectively than placebo.  Read reviews.

 

 

 

Folic Acid

Spring Valley - Folic Acid 800 mcg, 250 Tablets

 

Folic Acid is the synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin (B9) found in fruits, leafy vegetables, and other foods, that affects the neurotransmitters known as monoamines. Folic acid is sold in stores as a capsule or tablet.

The evidence: Folate deficiency is common among depressed people, especially those who don’t respond to antidepressants.

Folic acid has never been tested as a stand-alone treatment for depression, but it has been compared with placebo as an addition to Prozac.

In one study, patients who received folic acid responded better than those who received placebo — but only the female patients. Nearly 95 percent of the women who received folic acid responded to the combo treatment, compared to about 60 percent of the women who received the placebo.  Read reviews.

 

 

 

 

Homeopathy

 

Boiron - Aurum Metallicum 200 C Md, 80 pellets

 

Aurum is a remedy used for depression, sadness, insecurity, anger, self-reproach, suicidal thoughts, and fears of failure, worry, tension, stress, bouts of depression from lack of sunlight and heart problems. A potency of 30c should be sufficient to determine its value. Take once, wait 4-5 days and then repeat only if no changes have occurred. Repeat only once more and if there are still no changes, consider another remedy.  Read reviews.

 

 

 

Boiron - Sepia 200 CK - 80 Pellets

 

Sepia is a Homeopathic remedy that helps with bouts of depression from loss of sunlight, but it can be differentiated from Aurum by its grief, fatigue, sarcasm and irritability aspects. The individual needing Sepia can be indifferent, weepy, angry, overwhelmed and exhausted. Read reviews.

 

 

 

All of these herbs, supplements and Homeopathic remedies can be used in conjunction with medications, generally, without causing any harm. But remember; stop dosing if an aggravation occurs, as there is no need to over stimulate depression. Once triggered the body finds its own way of rediscovering balance, even on the emotional level.

 

 

Although herbs and supplements show promise in treating depression, they aren’t a consistent or reliable substitute for treatments when you experience severe depression.

You should call a doctor right away if you have severe depression or thoughts of hurting yourself. Don’t try to rely on supplements as a way to pull you through these severe symptoms. Depression can be a serious disease. If your symptoms are severe, work with your doctor to find a treatment plan that fits for you.

 

 

Recommendation: If you feel that your depression is severe and persistent, I recommend Depression Help Fast 2nd Edition.  One of my family members used this system, and it helped immensely with relief and perspective.

Depression-Help-Fast-ebook-600

 

You may also be interested in:

Are You Programmed for Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Dealing With Caregiver Anxiety

The Drunk Caregiver

Help for Anxiety in the Elderly

Coping With Grief (and what I did)

Caregivers Need Sleep!

Overcommitted and Burned Out

Don’t Ignore Sleep Apnea

The Most Effective Keratosis Pilaris Treatment

Cold Sores – Prevention and Treatment

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

 

 

Please help others by sharing this post. Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest

Electric Blankets – Comfort and Energy Savings

 

 

Electric Blankets – What You Need to Know

 

 

 

 

Electric heated blankets can help you keep warm and cozy on those especially cold winter nights, without raising your heating bill.

Electric blankets come in several forms: blankets, throws and even mattress pads. The best models are safe, comfortable and easy to use, and provide sufficient, even heat.

 

 

Here I’ve sorted through user reviews and expert opinions to create a buyer’s guide to the best electric blankets, mattress pads and throws on the market today. 

 

For my full, detailed reviews, see Electric Blankets – Reviewing the Best

 

 

Electric Blankets are Safe, Soft and Subtly Warm

 

Getting a good night’s sleep on a cold winter’s night can be a challenge, but heated bedding can be a big help.

Electric blankets, electric throws and heated mattress pads offer a lot of appeal for people who would love to crawl between preheated sheets on a chilly night. Those suffering from cold feet in the middle of the night might find them a godsend. Additionally, some claim that an extra warm bed helps alleviate body aches.

Electric blankets, electric throw blankets and electric mattress pads make a warm bed a reality with just a flick of a switch. Many have preheating functions, which allow you to set a desired temperature while getting ready for bed.

Heat controls typically feature up to 10 temperature settings so you can get the level of comfort that’s right for you. Additionally, many queen-sized and larger models may have two controls, one for each side of the blanket. That means one sleeper can stay as cozy and warm as they prefer without giving the other a case of the night sweats or a cold shoulder.

Electric blankets haven’t always enjoyed the best reputation. Older models tended to be thick and scratchy, and sometimes posed a fire hazard with extended use. Modern heated blankets are much improved. They warm you with thin, supple wires sandwiched between layers of ultra-soft fleece, plush, or knitted material.

 

Learning from the past, safety ratings are now paramount, and electric blankets and mattress pads come with automatic shut-off timers and amply rated power adapters to keep the bedding — and you — from overheating.

 

Others, like the Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece Blanket pictured below (Est. $75 and up), use low-voltage electricity, which experts consider safest of all — and are an especially good choice for those with pets.

 

Additionally, most modern electric bedding can be machine-washed and even machine-dried, as long as the manufacturer’s recommendations are observed.

 

 

Heated Bedding Can Take Several Different Forms

 

Electric blankets offer convenience and versatility. They can easily be put on or pulled off a bed, even in the middle of the night if you get too warm and the blanket has yet to cool down. However, since they lay above you on the bed, they lose a little bit of efficiency as heat that’s radiated upwards is lost.

Heated throw blankets are similar, but smaller. They won’t generate as much heat as a full-sized electric blanket, but are great for wrapping around yourself, say while curled up on your couch on a chilly night.

Electric mattress pads sit between you and your mattress. That makes spur-of-the-moment use more difficult (unless you want to strip down the bed to pull it on or off), but improves energy efficiency — you, not the ceiling, are the beneficiary of heat that’s radiated upwards.

The Electric Blanket Institute also holds that heated mattress pads are “inherently safer.” Electric blankets can get bunched up, allowing heat to buildup — and that was a major source of electric blanket fires with older models that lack modern safeguards. Since a heated pad is held tight to the mattress, there’s much less chance of that happening.

While there are a multitude of electric bedding brands offered in the U.S., the Electric Blanket Institute reveals that the vast majority of products are currently made by one of three manufacturers — Biddeford Mills, Sunbeam or Perfect Fit Industries. The Institute adds that, while materials and controllers will vary, all heated bedding made by that manufacturer, regardless of branding, will perform similarly.

 

 

Finding the Best Electric Blankets, Throws and Mattress Pads

 

Electric blankets, heated throws, and heated mattress pads receive little attention from professional reviewers, Good Housekeeping being a notable exception. Its testing is several years old, but most of the electric blankets and heated mattress pads rated there are either still sold, or are offered in nearly identical models. The Electric Blanket Institute does not rate electric blankets or mattress pads, but offers helpful buying guidance and discusses the differences between models offered by the major manufacturers.

Owners fill in the rest of the picture. While not every electric blanket, electric throw or electric heating pad gets tons of feedback, others draw hundreds and sometimes thousands of reviews across sites such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com, ComfortHouse.com and elsewhere.

When analyzing reviews to find the best choices, I look for feedback regarding performance, ease of use, comfort and the overall ownership experience. Not every electric blanket, electric heated throw blanket, or heated mattress pad excels on every point, but the very best ones will outperform the competitors in most regards.

 

 

For my full, detailed reviews, see Electric Blankets – Reviewing the Best

 

 

The Best Electric Blankets Let You Enjoy a Warm Worry-Free Night

 

The best electric blanket warms your bed, holds in the heat, feels soft to the touch, washes well and fits in with your bedroom décor. There are many good heated blankets on the market today, but I find the best to be the Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece Blanket

 

 
One of the most-reviewed heated blankets on Amazon.com, this cozy microfleece has garnered a lot of feedback there.
At ComfortHouse.com, site owner Jeffrey Gornstein notes that the Soft Heat blanket receives the highest ratings and the most reviews of any blanket it carries.

 

 

 

 

 

Made by Perfect Fit Industries, the Soft Heat electric blanket converts the AC used by most electric blankets to safer low-voltage DC. Perfect Fit is the only maker of low-voltage electric blankets in the U.S., and its products are the only electric blankets sold here that meet Underwriters Laboratories standards for “non-hazardous low voltage,” the Electric Blanket Institute reports. However, all the heated bedding in this report meets the latest Underwriters Laboratories standards for electric bedding safety and should be perfectly safe to use as long as manufacturer instructions are followed.

The Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece does take a bit more time to warm up than other electric blankets, but users say the added safety and “soft warmth” from the blanket are worth it.

Additionally, it chews through less electricity over the course of a night’s use than most other models. Speaking of chewing, if a cat or dog often shares your bed, the low-voltage of the Soft Heat electric blanket will minimize the shock hazard in the event of claw or chewing damage — though your pet could still damage the blanket itself. That’s why experts recommend heated mattress pads as the best choice for pet owners.

 

 

Despite the light weight of the Soft Heat blanket, its polyester fabric manages to keep in the heat all night — or at least until the 10-hour auto shut-off kicks in. Note that auto shut-off is a standard safety feature that is included in all of our recommended electric blankets.

 

 

 

The Sunbeam Microplush Heated Blanket (Est. $65 and up) is another strong choice for those looking for the perfect blanket to warm their beds this winter. This is a standard, AC-powered, non-low-voltage electric blanket, though with modern safety features and, as noted above, it meets the latest Underwriters Laboratories electric bedding standards.

Sunbeam Microplush Heated Blanket, Twin, Lagoon, BSM9BTS-R596-16A00

Heating technology aside, this Sunbeam electric blanket has very similar specifications to the Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece: It comes in the same sizes, has the same number of heat settings (10), the same 10 hour shut-off time and the same warranty duration (five years).

However, the Sunbeam Microplush heats faster and, according to some users, feels hotter to the touch while heating than the Soft Heat Micro-fleece. Some versions of the blanket sold at different retailers may have controllers with different features — for example, while most electric blankets have an auto-off feature that will turn off the blanket after 10 hours, the version sold at ComfortHouse.com lets the user change when the blanket will turn off — but core performance will be the same. Both the Soft Heat and Sunbeam blankets win praise from users for their soft fabric.

 

 

 

For those on a tighter budget, Sunbeam Electric Heated Fleece Blanket (Est. $50 and up) looks like a good alternative.  You can find it a Amazon.com, where it earns a  4.2-star score based on more than 850 reviews.

This Sunbeam electric blanket looks to be fairly feature-rich for a budget model. It has a preheating function, a six foot cord, and dual controllers for queen and larger sizes.

The one corner that does look to be cut compared to other Sunbeam electric blankets is that there are only five heating levels, but that doesn’t surface as a concern in user reviews.

Durability also looks good — though like nearly all electric blankets we looked at, complaints about blankets that arrived dead or missing a control, or that failed prematurely are not unheard of. More common are complaints that the quilted fleece blanket was thinner than the owner would have liked or that the material was not soft enough.

 

 

 

For sleepers who prefer the secure feeling of a thick blanket, the Sunbeam Quilted Fleece Heated Blanket (Est. $63 and up) could be an option.

I’ve seen comments that even with the electricity off — or out altogether — it’s warm enough to keep you cozy anyway. As with virtually every electric blanket, reliability is a concern, but its 3.9 star rating is good for this category.

 

 

For more details and options, see my full reviews of electric blankets: Electric Blankets – Reviewing the Best

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Electric Blankets – Reviewing the Best

Adjustable Beds – Benefits and Reviews

Electric Blanket Buying Guide

Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

Top 10 Massage Chairs Reviews

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

 

Please help others by sharing this post. Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest

Electric Blankets – Reviewing the Best

 

Electric Blankets – Reviewing the Best

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve sorted through user reviews and expert opinions to name the best electric blankets, mattress pads and throws on the market today. 

 

For a primer on what to look for and how to use electric blankets, read my previous post, Electric Blankets for Comfort and Energy Savings.

 

 

 

Best Overall Electric Blanket

 

 

Soft Heat Luxury Micro-Fleece Low-Voltage Electric Heated Twin Size Blanket, Beige

The Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece‘s low-voltage heating system provides safe, soothing warmth wrapped in a soft, cozy polyester blanket. Adjusting temperature is simple and dual controls for the queen and king sizes keep couples comfortable all winter long. The thin, unobtrusive interior wires disperse heat evenly and go unnoticed by users.

Pros
  • Safe, low-voltage heating
  • Thin interior wires
  • Easy-to-use controls
Cons
  • Bulky power adaptor
  • Slow to heat up
  • Controls aren’t durable

The Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece Blanket provides low-voltage warming in a soft, well-made electric blanket you’ll want to keep on your bed year-round. The low voltage technology is deemed safer than what’s used in other blankets — though those are safe as well. The downside is slower warming.

 

Performance

Low-voltage heat warms safely but not quickly. The Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece Blanket uses “non-hazardous low voltage,” which is considered to be the least likely to shock the user if the blanket becomes wet or insulation is damaged. It’s also less likely to harm pets if they chew on the blanket (though pet owners might be better served still with an electric mattress pad such as the Best Reviewed Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad, which sits completely under the rest of your bedding).

However, the same low-voltage technology that makes the blanket exceptionally safe also makes it slow to warm up — something Good Housekeeping testers note in their comparative review; the Soft Heat took over an hour to reach 70 degrees and more than 25 minutes to cool down. Users find this blanket provides warmth to the bed without feeling “hot” to the touch.

 

Ease of Use

Intuitive backlit heat controls. The straightforward controls of the Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece Blanket allow users to preheat their beds or fine-tune temperatures with a simple twist of a dial. The control’s backlit display is easily visible at night, users say, and the brightness of the display dims automatically after adjustment. Queen- and king-sized blankets sport dual controls, so couples can set their side of the blanket for their individual heat preferences. For convenience and added safety, the auto-off feature shuts off the blanket after 10 hours.

 

Comfort

Unobtrusive wiring. While users appreciate the low-voltage safety of the Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece, they also love its soft fabric. Made of brushed polyester fleece, the blanket’s top and bottom layers protect the internal heating wires without feeling too heavy or bulky, users say. The wires themselves are thin and flexible and spaced far enough enough that sleepers do not feel them, even when the blanket is sandwiched between a top sheet and a comforter.

 

Ownership

Washes well but control connections are finicky. Users who machine-wash the Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece according to the manufacturer’s instructions say it looks as good as new afterward, without any pilling, pulling or other common issues. However, many owners note the connections linking the bedside controls to the actual blanket are temperamental, despite coming with clips to secure the cord to the blanket. Users also complain the large power adapter takes up too much room under the bed. The product is backed by a five-year warranty, and several users report the customer service department was friendly, though perhaps not always helpful.

 

 

Also Consider (Traditional Style):

Sunbeam Microplush Heated Blanket, Twin, Lagoon, BSM9BTS-R596-16A00

The Sunbeam Microplush Heated Blanket is a favorite with many thanks to its velvety plush fabric, toasty warmth and attractive price point (starts at $75).

It lacks the low-voltage technology of the Soft Heat blanket, and the interior wires are felt more readily, but it heats up faster and is warmer to the touch. It is also safe when the manufacturers’ instructions are followed, and meets UL standards for heated bedding.

 

 

 

Also Consider (Budget-Friendly)

Sunbeam Heated Fleece Electric Blanket, Twin Size, 10 Hour Shut Off with a 6 Foot Cord, Off White

Reviews indicate that the Sunbeam Electric Heated Fleece Blanket is a good quality heated blanket considering its price. Features are good, including dual controls in larger sizes and automatic shut off after 10 hours.

There are only five heating levels, but most users don’t seem to mind — or even notice — the reduced versatility compared to pricier blankets. It meets UL safety standards.

 

 

 

Best Electric Mattress Pad

 

 

 

 

The Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad is made of machine-washable polyester. It meets UL safety standards for heated bedding and has a lot of great features, including a preheat function, 10 heating levels, automatic shut off and independent heating with dual controllers for each side of the bed (in queen sizes and above). Durability isn’t bulletproof, but it scores better in that regard than most heated bedding.

Pros
  • Heats quickly
  • Heating wires are unobtrusive
  • Machine-washable
Cons
  • Cords attach at an awkward location
  • Some complain about the feel of the top fabric
  • Not the best customer support

 

The Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad provides heat from underneath by clinging to your mattress like a fitted sheet. That improves efficiency as heat radiated upwards is absorbed by you instead of diffused into the air in the room. Durability is good — though not perfect — and is helped by the fact that all heated mattress pads are less likely to be tossed or kicked about than other heated bedding.

 

Performance

Warm bed is ready when you are. The Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad‘s preheating function is a hit with users who  say the mattress pad heats their bed to the right temperature in the time it takes them to brush their teeth and switch into pajamas.

The pad warms evenly, reviewers say, and keeps the right temperature up to the 10-hour safety shut-off. If sleepers feel too hot or cool during the night, there are 10 different heat levels so you can adjust the temperature up or down. Dual controls on the king- and queen-sized mattress pads allow couples to independently adjust the temperature on their side of the bed.

 

Ease of Use

Awkward cords. The Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad is ready to use right out of the box. The only difficulty users report is positioning the device’s cords. For safety reasons, the cords cannot be tucked under the frame of the bed or kept within the bed coverings.

Some owners say it’s easier for them to reverse the pad and have the cords attach at the head of the bed — which is also how some also address the issue of being able to feel the cord connection with their feet. Pads with dual controls require two nearby power outlets.

This Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad is machine-washable and can be dried in a home dryer as per manufacturer’s instructions, users say.

 

Comfort

Hides wires well. This Sunbeam Quilted mattress pad feels much like non-electrical mattress toppers, despite the embedded heating wires. Most owners say they could not feel the wires through the pad and their sheet.

The reviewers at Good Housekeeping write that they found the covering fabric “cheap” and recommended topping it with high-quality sheets. Users, on the other hand, don’t typically raise similar objections.

 

Ownership

Customer service could be better. The Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad earns hundreds of positive reviews from users. However, customers who mentioned the after-sales service from Sunbeam in their reviews had little positive to say.

One issue that crops up is that getting Sunbeam to honor the mattress pad’s five year warranty requires shipping a defective item at the owner’s expense back to the company. However, according to our assessment of hundreds of owner reviews, this seems to be a persistent problem across the board for heated bedding.

 

 

 

Best Heated Throw Blanket

Soft, cozy and just the right size for the couch, the Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw offers a comfortable way to keep warm in and out of bed.

Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns to match your living room decor, it folds up neatly when not in your lap.

Pros
  • Convenient size and soft material
  • Heats quickly
  • Three-hour automatic shut-off
Cons
  • Cord is awkwardly placed
  • Durability issues
  • Just three heat levels

 

Owners love snuggling under the plushy Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw while watching TV, reading a book or working on a computer, reviews say. The 3 hour automatic shut-off is both a great convenience and a safety feature.

The three temperature settings are fewer than with other heated bedding products, including other heated throws, but users voice few complaints about it.

 

Performance

Heats quickly with three settings. Users say the Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw warms up quickly and is thick and insulated well enough to maintain its warmth even after the 3 hour safety switch turns the heating elements off. Once the temperature is set, it heats quickly, and then shuts off for safety after three hours.

The Microplush Heated Throw blanket has three heat settings and a digital control. The control is connected to the power cord, which detaches to allow for easy washing.

 

Ease of Use

Simple intuitive controls. Using the Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw is as easy as plugging in the blanket and setting the temperature to high, medium or low. However, many users find the cord placement at the foot of the blanket awkward.

Depending on your furniture’s location in relation to electrical outlets, this may put the control out of easy reach. Additionally, some users report that the controls are very sensitive and that even jostling it a little can turn it on.

 

Comfort

Microplush fabric is soft enough for all-day use. The Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw wins top marks from reviewers looking for something to put over their laps while watching TV or working at a desk.

It’s not a heavy throw, users say, and neatly folds up over the arm of the couch when not in use. Many of those who share feedback on Amazon.com or Walmart.com note they purchased this blanket for friends and family who are recovering from surgery or illness.

 

Ownership

Easy to own, for as long as it lasts. Though the majority of reviewers are pleased with their Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throws, even claiming to use them daily, there are a significant number of owners who have encountered durability issues — even within the manufacturer’s five-year warranty. Many reviewers complain that the blanket either stopped warming, warmed inconsistently, or shut off before the 3 hour timer.

On the positive side, users find that the Sunbeam Microplush keeps its shape and feel after machine-washing. The throw comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

 

You may also be interested in:

Electric Blankets – Comfort and Energy Savings

Electric Blanket Buying Guide

Adjustable Beds – Benefits and Reviews

Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

Top 10 Massage Chairs Reviews

A Guide to Hospital Beds For Home Use

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

Please help others by sharing this post. Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest

Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

 

 

Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

 

 

 

 

 

Waking up in the morning with a pain in the neck is an awful feeling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not only does a kink in the neck make it hard to move, sending stabbing pains down the arms or back, it is often the reason for headaches, ranging from dull to migraine level.

Morning neck pain can last all day, and can even be the reason for back aches, sciatica, arm and leg numbness, and usually leaves people feeling irritable and tired.

 

 

What Causes Nightly Neck Pain?

 

People often blame their mattress when they wake up with neck pain, but it is rarely the fault of the mattress or a person’s sleeping position.

When you wake up with neck pain, it is usually because you slept with the wrong pillow. Having the right pillow to avoid neck pain is a vital necessity for getting a good night’s sleep.

The reason for this is simple. The neck is made of up muscles, tendons, cartilage and just seven tiny bones. What’s more, those seven bones are all a part of one single column of bones—the cervical portion of the spine.

As small as these bones are, not even connected directly to each other, but sitting on a bed of fluid, they are responsible for protecting one of the most vital parts of our anatomy – the central nervous system, as well as supporting the head and allowing us free movement of the head and neck.

Inside the cervical column, nerves run up and down from brain to all parts of the body. While any part of the spine can be compressed or pinched, causing various degrees of pain or numbness, the neck is the most vulnerable, especially during the night when we are asleep.

Keeping the neck in line with our heads and back is one of the best ways to prevent injury, stiffness and pain in the morning, and the best way to keep our neck straight is to have the right support system – a good, solid neck pain support pillow.

 

 

 

Top 10 Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

 

 

This luxurious pillow provides a high level of comfort and support for the back, neck and head as you sleep. The Mediflow’s inner water chamber is completely adjustable to offer you the exact amount of support and thickness you need, no matter what your favorite sleeping position is.

The Mediflow Waterbase pillow was the subject of a clinical study at Johns Hopkins University, one of the leading medical training schools in the country, and participants found that the Mediflow Waterbase pillow was the best in its class, testing at the top of every category possible.

The study included categories such as: how long it took to fall asleep using the Mediflow Water chamber pillow, how many interruptions to readjust the pillow there were, how long it took to get back to sleep, sleep quality and if the pillow helped reduce neck pain. Overwhelmingly, the Mediflow Waterbase pillow ranked at the top, especially in the reduction of neck pain.

The Mediflow works by allowing you to fill an inner chamber with water, making it a soothing waterbed for your head. The outside is made of durable, easily cleaned polyester that is hypoallergenic and soft.

Keeping the Mediflow Waterbase pillow clean is simple. All you have to do is remove the outer cover and machine wash and dry. Then wipe down the inner water chamber with a damp cloth. It takes just minutes and you can have a fresh, clean pillow whenever you need it.

Typical consumer reviews of Mediflow Waterbase Pillow include:

“If I could rank it higher than 5 stars, I would.”

“Highly recommended for anyone who suffers from neck pain.”

“Get it while you can.”

Material: Polyester | My Rating: 5/5

 

 

 

 

Premium Shredded Memory Foam Toddler Pillow - Made in USA - Washable case derived from Bamboo Viscose Rayon Blend

 

The Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow gives you excellent flexibility and superior comfort that cradles your neck as you sleep. The shredded foam lets you position the pillow any way you like, and is perfect for side, stomach or back sleepers alike.

The airflow between the pieces of foam also keeps the pillow cool during the night, and the proprietary blend of polyester and bamboo fabric of the cover won’t absorb moisture and increases the coolness of the pillow for the ultimate in comfort.

All of the materials in this high-tech pillow are hypoallergenic to provide a healthy, clean atmosphere for sleep. The inner foam material is superior to down or cotton filled pillows, because the springy foam will always keep its shape and mold perfectly to your body as you move in the night for complete support.

Down or cotton pillows flatten and give, and do not keep your neck in the proper position, so you are more likely to wake up with neck pain. Sometimes neck pain or pinched nerves in the neck result in migraines, tingling in the hands and feet, shoulder and lower back pain. Other times you just go through the day feeling groggy and weak.

The Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow for neck pain provides advanced ingenuity to create a powerful sleep aid. Coop Home Goods is a company dedicated to producing the very best in bedding comfort, and stands behind the products with excellent warranties to guarantee your satisfaction.

Typical consumer reviews of the Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow include:

“Best pillow I’ve ever used.”

“Stays in place great as I change positions at night.”

“Cool and comfortable, I wake up pain free now for the first time ever.”

Material: Shredded memory Foam |My Rating: 4.9/5

 

 

 

 

Hypoallergenic Bamboo Pillow - Shredded Memory Foam With Kool-Flow Micro-Vented Bamboo Cover - Made in the USA by Xtreme Comforts - Hypoallergenic and Dust Mite Resistant (Queen)

This soft, comfortable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow by Xtreme Comforts is made of the highest quality shredded memory foam right in the USA. The double airflow system including the vented bamboo cover that stays naturally cool thanks to the moisture resistant, ventilated bamboo cover and the shredded foam pieces that allow air to travel through the pillow without restriction stops body heat from building through the night.

The Shredded Memory Foam Pillow by Xtreme Comforts also offers the extra flexibility that isn’t an option with a solid memory foam pillow, so you can shape it to your neck and it maintains its position through the night, no matter how much you toss and turn.

The no questions asked guarantee gives you the optimal security in knowing that no matter what, the Shredded Memory Foam pillow for neck pain by Xtreme Comforts will always provide you the best in sleep luxury. It protects your neck and is easy to care for.

The hypoallergenic cover and mold resistant inner core help you sleep soundly and keeps the atmosphere healthy and clean. The inner core of the Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam pillow is made from 1005 Certipur-US foam and it is vacuum sealed for safe, eco-friendly shipping.

The Shredded Memory Foam pillow is great for any sleep position. Whether you are a side sleeper, a stomach or a back sleeper, you will be able to adjust the pillow to your exact needs thanks to the inner foam maneuverability, and still enjoy the firm, supportive comfort that it provides your head and neck to alleviate any neck pain. The shredded foam is also great for anyone who likes to sleep with their arm under their pillow, the adjustable nature gives you plenty of leeway and the ability to shape the pillow to any angle.

Typical consumer reviews of the Xtreme Comforts pillow include:

“Love the flexibility and support of the Shredded Memory Foam pillow by Xtreme Comforts.”

“Thick and supportive.”

“Came flat and squished in package, but fluffed up like a marshmallow once unwrapped.”

Material: Shredded memory Foam | My Rating: 4.8/5

 

 

 

 

Memory Foam Pillow Contour for Back Pain, Neck and Travel - ON MASSIVE PROMOTION - Reduces Snoring, Aligns Spine, Stays Cool - Also Used As Maternity Pillow, Body Pillow, Seat Cushion, Wedge - Free Bonus Sleep Mask, Ear Plugs, Sleep Ebook - Not Decorative or Pet Pillow

Contoured to be specifically beneficial to people who experience neck pain in the mornings the Memory Foam Pillow from Smarter Rest is a strong, durable and easy to care for sleep aid.

There is no specific position that lends itself more to cramped muscles and neck pain in the morning. Side sleepers, people who sleep on their stomachs, or on their backs, are all equally subject to the pain of a sore neck from improper neck alignment.

Whenever a person sleeps in a position that allows their necks to curve upwards, sideways or down, it is out of alignment with their spine. That causes sensitive nerves inside their spinal column to be compressed or pinched. The end result is pain.

When nerves in the neck are pinched, supporting muscles in surrounding areas bunch up and swell in an effort to support the injured area. That leads people to often believe the pain they are experiencing is coming from those muscles, but in reality, the sore, swollen muscle tissue is simply a result.

The actual cause is in the way the bones of the neck are supported during the night. Pinched nerves in the neck can radiate pain throughout the shoulder girdle, down the arms and into the hands. Pain can also go down the back causing lower back pain, sciatica and numbness or pain in the legs as well. More often, pinched neck muscles from an improper sleeping position causes headaches that last for hours.

The Memory Foam Pillow contoured for neck pain by Smarter Rest is made of toxin free German quality memory foam. It is made to maintain spinal alignment and prevent neck pain, stiffness and even snoring during the night. The granulated fabric is soft and luxurious, while allowing for better airflow. The case is mite and allergen resistant, and is entirely washable so you can have a clean surface easily and quickly.

Typical consumer reviews of the Smarter Rest pillow include:

 

“Woke up feeling better than I have in years.”

“Using the Memory Foam Pillow from Smarter Rest got rid of the constant neck pain and headaches.”

“The perfect combination of soft comfort and firm support.”

 

Material: Memory Foam | My Rating: 4.7/5

 

 

 

MyPillow Premium Series Bed Pillow, Standard/Queen, White Level (Medium)

The MyPillow is uniquely engineered to provide the perfect level of support depending on body size. One of the most difficult parts of finding the right pillow for neck support is that no two people are exactly the same size. The differences are especially noticeable between the sexes and between adults and children.

The MyPillow uses shirt size to determine special needs so you can buy the size that will fit you the best. Available in four different loft levels, My Pillow has created something that isn’t found anywhere else, and is guaranteed to not go flat under use or machine washing.The MyPillow Premium Series bed pillow for neck pain is made in the USA out of a patented blend of poly filling. The open cell construction of the fibers allows air to flow freely through the pillow to keep you comfortably cool during the night, and will not ball up like down or cotton filled pillows. The poly-fill of the MyPillow is better than thick, solid foam pillows because it will mold to your body shape easier, and you can adjust it to any position you need during the night.

The MyPillow is great for back and stomach sleepers as well as side sleepers. It will also help support the back and shoulders for people who like to put their arms under the pillow while they sleep.

Typical consumer reviews of the MyPillow Premium Series bed pillow include:

“Love this pillow! It is soft and comfortable all night long.”

“Great warranty and easy to care for.”

“The MyPillow fits perfectly and feels great. I get up without neck pain for the first time in ages.”

Material: MyPillow’s Patented Interlocking Fill | My Rating: 4.6/5

 

 

 

Sleep Innovations Contour Memory Foam Pillow, Standard Size

 

Sleep Innovations is an industry leader in top-of-the-line support pillows. Their Contour Memory Foam Pillow is excellent for preventing neck pain, because it has a special shape designed to cradle the head and neck, giving it a more comfortable feel no matter what your preferred sleep position is.

The Contour Memory Foam Pillow has a recessed center that allows side sleepers to keep their heads in line with their spine, and also gives stomach sleepers the ability to lay with their face on the pillow without pressure from the filling blocking airways or making their skin hot.

Back sleepers avoid having their neck curved and chin forced downward, a position that is ripe for pain in the morning, because the Contour Memory Foam Pillow has a curve that keeps the head form being pushed up and forward.

Sleep Innovations Contour pillow is made from Sure Temp memory foam, and has a long warranty that guarantees it will not flatten, break up or lose its shape in any way.

Some users report an odor which is a common occurrence with any memory foam product that has been in a package for any amount of time. Simply packing it for shipping can cause a build up that will be easily eliminated by airing out the pillow or using a household odor eliminator such as Febreze.

Memory foam pillows are a great choice for people with neck pain in the morning. The strong foam core is pliable enough to move comfortably with your body as you sleep, allows freedom without ever losing support that is so vital to the neck during the night.

The pillow casing is made of soft, luxurious terry cloth velour fabric that stays cool and comfortable. The cover is simple to remove, and washes in the machine.

Sleeping on the Sleep Innovations Contour Memory Foam Pillow is soothing, and made to give you a peaceful night’s sleep. All of the fabric and materials that comprise the pillow are hypoallergenic and allergy free. The Contour Memory Foam Pillow is made in the USA, and even helps reduce snoring and stress caused by insomnia.

Typical consumer reviews of Sleep Innovations pillow include:

“Everyone in the family loves this pillow from my husband and me, along with all of my children, including my toddler.”

“Best sleep in ages thanks to the Contour Memory Foam Pillow.”

“Fits perfectly, and I can sleep on my back without waking up with a stiff neck.”

Material: Memory Foam | My Rating: 4.5/5

 

 

Core Products Tri-Core Cervical Pillow, FIB-222, Mid-Size, Gentle

 

The Tri-Core Cervical Pillow has a patented design created specifically to support the neck in all sleep positions. The shape of the pillow allows anyone to get a good night’s rest no matter what position they favor.

Side and stomach sleepers can enjoy the thick padding along the edges to support the neck without pushing the padding into their face. Back sleepers rest comfortably with their heads in the center depression, and their necks bolstered by the thick outer rim to keep the spine perfectly aligned with the back during the night.

The Tri-Core pillow comes in three sizes for a perfect way to give everyone in the family from the youngest members to the oldest a comfortable, pain free sleeping surface.

At first, the shape of the Tri-Core pillow may throw you off. It doesn’t look like any pillow people are accustomed to seeing. Not only is there a deep depression at the center, which is perfectly created to offer the best neck support in any sleeping position, it has sides that are a variety of sizes. The different side thickness allows any user to get just the right level of support at all times.

There are also two firmness levels to choose from, standard and gentle. Both offer excellent support, but are geared to offer buyers a choice between extreme fill and soft, plush fill levels.

All Tri-Core Cervical Pillows for neck pain are made from durable, easy to care for materials. The inner fiber provides luxury while letting air flow smoothly throughout the pillow to alleviate heat buildup.

Typical consumer reviews of Tri-Core Cervical Pillow include:

“Best support pillow I’ve used since an auto-injury required neck support at night.”

“I’ve used this pillow for years and it is the best support I’ve ever found.”

“The Tri-Core Cervical Pillow completely relieved my neck pain.”

Material: Fiber | My Rating: 4.5/5

 

 

 

The precisely contoured Arc4life Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow is designed to aid anyone who experiences neck pain when waking up. Neck pain can last all day long, make getting around difficult and is responsible for severe headaches, fatigue, limb pain and numbness and even lower back pain.

This unusual looking pillow is the answer to those problems. It has a recessed center with sculpted sides that vary in shape so you can get the right support in any sleeping position. The Arc4life pillow works great for stomach and side sleepers, back sleepers and people of all shapes and sizes from the oldest in the family to the youngest.

Along with helping alleviate neck pain, the way the Arc4life Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow helps you relax makes it easier to fall asleep better and faster. It also helps promote healthier sleep by making it easier to breathe correctly, and eliminates snoring.

The hand-stuffed, fiber filling is moldable for easy movement during the night, and it allows for complete air flow to keep your sleeping surface cool and comfortable.

Along with the varying side shapes, you can fold the Arc4life Cervical Neck Pillow so that both opposing sides are together for extra thickness when sleeping on your side.

Typical consumer reviews of this neck pillow include:

“Completely got rid of the stiff neck problem I’ve had for years.”

“The Arc4life Pillow is such a relief. My physical therapist credited it for getting rid of my neck curvature.”

“Best pillow for my cervical disc problem.”

Material: Fiber | Our Rating: 4.4/5

 

Chiroflow Professional Waterbase pillow

The Chiroflow Premium Water Pillow offers smooth movement as you sleep without bunching or flattening. It is a great way to get complete support in any sleep position. Because the water core moves with you, it isn’t necessary to get up and reposition the pillow in the middle of the night as you move from side to side, back to front and it makes a great support for pregnant women too.

This luxurious pillow is recommended the most by chiropractors and makes you feel like you’re sleeping at a 5-star resort. Clinical studies show that sleeping on the Premium Water Pillow by Chiroflow helps to reduce neck pain. That is because it has a firm, easy to use support base that you can fill to the desired level of comfort to keep your neck and head cradled all through the night.

You do not need any chemical additives to keep the water clean. Just fill the inner chamber with common tap water, and get ready to experience sleep the way it should be—soothing, peaceful and pain free.

The Chiroflow Pillow is great for side sleepers, stomach and back sleepers alike.

The inner pad is made of a cool, smooth Dacron StaLoft Hollfil fiber fabric for durable, easy care for comfort. The slip cover case is a soft 300 thread count quality, and it is thermal insulated to prevent a buildup of body head. The entire Chiroflow Pillow is machine washable, so you can have a fresh, clean pillow every night.

Typical consumer reviews of the Chiroflow Pillow include:

“Easy to use, comfortable and I have never slept better.”

“Best pillow ever for neck pain.”

“I was skeptical, but slept pain free for the first time in years from the very first time I tried the Chiroflow Premium Water Pillow.”

Material: Polyester | My Rating: 4.3/5

 

 

Classic Brands Conforma Memory Foam Pillow, Queen

Classic Brands is a name that is instantly recognized in the bedding industry. They have a strong reputation for quality pillows that provide complete support, and a great customer service department to ensure complete satisfaction.

Their Conforma Memory Foam Pillow is a solid 5-inch thick foam pad that won’t warp, break down or flatten. It maintains its shape throughout the night no matter how much you move and is a fantastic stomach or back support for side sleepers and pregnant women.

Even though the Conforma is a single pad of memory foam, the finely drilled tunnels that perforate the entire surface provide easy air flow to keep the surface cool and comfortable at all times.Memory foam is great for allergy sufferers as well, because the material is naturally hypoallergenic, and also resists mildew, mites and most of all, maintains the proper neck alignment so you always get a good night’s sleep and awake pain free. Your pillow makes up a large percentage of the sleeping surface your body relies on to be comfortable during the night. Picking the right pillow makes a big difference in the type of sleep you get.

The Classic Brands Conforma Memory Foam Pillow is soft and comfortable, and instantly matches the shape of your head while still being firm enough to make sure your neck is safe from strain and injury.

Typical consumer reviews of Conforma Memory Foam Pillow include:

“Great for everyone in my family. My kids love it and my husband and I love it.”

“Just the right mixture of softness and strength to keep my neck from hurting while being soothing to sleep on.”

“Sturdy and easy to keep clean.”

Material: Memory foam | My Rating: 4.3/5

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

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Adjustable Beds – Benefits and Review

The Medical Benefits of Adjustable Beds

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a reason adjustable beds are associated with hospitals. Simple changes to the way you sleep can have a profound effect on your health.

 

Adjustable beds allow you to get a more restful sleep and, when properly positioned, can alleviate many aches and pains and medical issues, including:

 

  • Lower back pain and sciatica: Adjusting the bed up or down redistributes the pressure across your body, which can help alleviate lower back pain and sciatica nerve pain. Additionally, you can actually stretch your back from bed, by positioning it upright and slowly lowering it down.

 

  • Heartburn & Acid Reflux: Elevating the head while sleeping helps the stomach retain acids that might otherwise travel up the esophagus and cause heartburn.

 

  • Diabetes: While an adjustable bed cannot cure diabetes, it can provide relief from some of the side effects of this disease. For example, diabetes can cause poor circulation, particularly in the legs. Elevating the legs during sleep can alleviate this condition.

 

  • Asthma: Sleeping in a slightly upright position takes stress off of the lungs, which can help those who suffer from asthma, COPD or sleep apnea.

 

  • Arthritis: Painful rheumatoid arthritis can be comforted by regular therapeutic massage. Many adjustable beds are equipped with massage functions that provide relief when you need it.

 

 

The Lifestyle Benefits of

Adjustable Beds

 

 

Health benefits aside, adjustable beds are now associated with luxury.

While they appear like a standard bed (and can be paired with frames and linens to suit your style), they offer so much more.

 

  • Reduce or eliminate snoring: Your sleeping partner will thank you. Raising the head of the bed seven degrees can eliminate snoring by supporting your spine and respiratory system.

 

  • Read, eat, and watch television: Stacking pillows behind your back is a short-term fix when you want to read or watch television in bed, as they constantly have to be fluffed and readjusted for comfort. An adjustable bed allows you to sit upright and offers more spinal support and comfort than pillows.

 

  • Massage: The benefits of regular massage are countless. It reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and relieves tension headaches and eyestrain among many other advantages. With some adjustable beds, you can gain these benefits with a nightly massage that will also prepare you for a more restful night’s sleep. (Also see my TOP 10 Massage Chairs Reviews)

 

  • Zero Gravity: You’ll have to try this feature in-store to fully appreciate it, but most adjustable beds now have a “zero-gravity position” that makes it feel as though you’re sleeping on air.

 

  • Couples Comfort: You want to stay up late into the night, finishing off your latest mystery novel. Your sleeping partner has an early meeting and needs to get some shut-eye. Some adjustable beds let you both have your way with each side operating independently.

 

 

 

How to Buy an

Adjustable Lifestyle Power Base

 

 

An adjustable bed is an investment that can change your life. When you sleep better, you feel better and perform better.

 

There are just a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to upgrade to an Adjustable Lifestyle Power Base.

 

 

  • Choose Your Mattress First
    Adjustable bases pair with a variety of mattresses, including memory foam, latex, and even some traditional coil mattresses. Be sure to find the mattress that will best suit your body type and sleeping style prior to choosing an adjustable base.

 

  • Test the Bed
    It is important to test the adjustable base before making a purchase. Each model offers different capabilities. Talk with a salesperson to find the right one to suit your needs. You’ll also want to make sure the base does not emit any squeaking or other noises during movement.

 

  • Purchase from a Reputable Company
    The more bells and whistles a product has, the more that can break. Do your research and make sure the base you are considering is made from heavy steel and the rollers from an indestructible material such as metal or nylon.

 

  • Read the Warranty
    Make sure you understand the product warranty before purchasing an adjustable base. The warranty should be comprehensive and offer technical support for at least one year. Don’t assume the warranty covers everything. An adjustable bed has a lot of moving parts—they may not all be covered under the warranty. Ask your salesperson to spell it out.

 

 

 

 

 

A Review of the

Leggett & Platt Prodigy Adjustable Bed Base

 

Prodigy 2.0 Adjustable Split King Bed Set Sleep System Leggett & Platt, With Luxury 12-Inch GEL Memory Foam Mattress (manufactured by gelfoambed)

 

The Prodigy adjustable bed completely redefines and modernizes the bedroom for an interactive, customizable comfort solution optimizing smart sleep and bedroom activity from a bed that knows exactly what you want.

 

This is not your grandparent’s adjustable bed. But it is the hottest bed – adjustable or not – on the market.

 

The first bed to break through ordinary technology, Prodigy adjustable beds delivers features that consumers really want. Truly a 21st century adjustable bed, The Prodigy adjustable bed is iPhone compatible and has many features the modern user will enjoy. The Prodigy’s Whisper Quiet DC motor accommodates up to 600 lbs and features a Lifetime Limited Warranty.

 

The Prodigy adjustable bed from Leggett & Platt is an intricate combo of intelligence and beauty and the wealth of features are discussed here…

 

If you are still in the initial research phase, and would like to learn about the best adjustable beds, take a look at this comparison of the Prodigy vs several other Leggett & Platt adjustable bed models.  You can also see a wide variety of adjustable beds made by different manufacturers here at Amazon.

 

 
 

Immerse yourself in intensely gratifying pleasure as you lay on your Leggett and Platt Prodigy bed whose full-body massage will become your new guilty pleasure.

 

You’re not just going to be getting your muscles pampered and intensively soothed with massaging wave technology, but you will also be giving yourself a wholesome treat… Your head section and leg areas are the most vulnerable to exhaustion. It therefore comes as a welcome functionality from your adjustable Prodigy with a dual-action massage for full body relief that targets your upper head and body area, as well as the lower leg and foot areas.

 

Different adjustable positions of the Prodigy adjustable bed

 

Should you come across other Leggett & Platt adjustable beds do remember that only the S-Cape bed, Prodigy bed, and Premier series have the full-body massage feature which is conspicuously missing in the ShipShape adjustable bed whereas the Premier adjustable bed includes an additional pulsing massage action that’s not featured in any of the other 3 lines. That’s why the Premier series is regarded as one of the best adjustable beds in the market.

 

Mechanically, the 4 legs of the Prodigy adjustable base stand in dual-lock casters that make rolling and moving the bed seamless and easy so you don’t have to choke your lungs out.

One of the key features of the Prodigy bed is its superior motor function for adjusting positions of the bed. With this motion control, the Prodigy is capable of lifting up to 600 pounds on its form (a bigger lifting capacity than the ShipShape’s 450 pounds = 204 kilograms).

Further, the Prodigy adjustable bed lifts quietly thanks to its Whisper Quiet HD ™ motor for high performance.

Feel free to flex your adjustable bed through any number of multiple positions from flat-level up to 60 degrees for the upper head section and up to 45 degrees for the lower leg section.

By default, the Prodigy bed ships with in-built settings for bed positions and you could easily give these a try before further customizing your tailor-made positions. The standard “Flat” position is included in the factory settings and it doubles as a safety feature which could quickly be activated with the touch of the dedicated “Flat” button on the remote control.

Bed adjustments are not limited to the lying vertical orientation. You can also conveniently adjust the height level of the bed by either raising it a little more off the ground, or by lowering it closer to the ground.

 

 

BUYER’S TIP: How can you keep the adjustable bed motors fully functional and well-maintained?

Just make sure you do not exceed the lifting capacity by loading the bed with more than 600 pounds when adjusting the bed’s positions as you risk damaging the operating motor. In the case of the Leggett & Platt Premier series, you’ll have an extra 100 pounds of lifting capacity on your adjustable bed.

 

 

The Prodigy bed uses lifting motors to lift the bed base but these motors are not designed for continuous usage. The manufacturer’s recommended use described for reliable motor function and full life expectancy is that the lift motors do not be used for more than 4 minutes within a span of 40 minutes – given as a duty cycle of about 10 percent.

Should you prefer, you could also opt for the other available sizes in leg casters which offer additional lengths for your custom needs, with the option of 3 inch and 7 inch casters that come separately.

The Prodigy bed employs signature Wallhugger® technology which basically ensures that the balance between your bed’s adjusted position and the distance between the bed and wall are kept optimal. So whenever you adjust your bed, it automatically readjusts its placement in your night stand so that there’s no gap between your adjustable base and the wall.

With Leggett & Platt’s Whisper Quiet technology, you can noiselessly shift and adjust positions of your bed even in the middle of the night without causing a rattle.

This is especially important for families with little ones, where the baby shares the room where the adjustable bed is placed. It would be counterproductive to be able to adjust your bed for a better sleep, only to end up waking the baby for no sleep that night! This is the risk with the ShipShape bed and S-Cape adjustable beds which, although not noisy to adjust thanks to their quiet motors, do not feature Whisper Quiet technology. And it’s not just the baby in the room that stands to benefit from not being woken up when adjusting your adjustable Prodigy bed…this includes the partner sharing the bed right next to you – that’s just how sophisticated and noiseless this technology is! Comparable to this technology is the notable Silent Drive ™ technology which is featured in the Serta Motion range of adjustable beds.

Of course the remote control further makes this a deal worth considering…

 

 

 

The Remote Control

 

 

 

The Prodigy bed comes coupled with a wireless two-way remote control whose LCD screen panel and LED backlighting ensure that you can make any bed adjustments with least effort and no trouble even when it’s pitch dark.

 

 

 

 

You will probably most enjoy this remote control feature if you’re upgrading from a ShipShape bed to a Prodigy bed since going from using a wired remote controller to a wireless one, two-way, with an LCD display is convenience stepped up. The chugging wiring for the ShipShape remote control can be a nuisance and even risk tripping over as you maneuver about your resting space. You would simply use the Remote Locator feature of the Prodigy bed to quickly trace the remote controller when you’ve misplaced it.

Perhaps one of the most valuable functionalities of the Prodigy remote controller is its programmability and built-in patented wake-up integrated alarm clock.

The integrated clock doubles as a wake-up timer and alarm clock utility. How nice would it be, if you could replace your conveniently irritating alarm clock with a massage alarm which basically sets off the alarm by giving you a gentle massage (with some nice audio to boot) in the name of waking you up!

Programming your favorite positions on the Prodigy adjustable bed is a simple process you can do via the two-way remote. You’re allowed up to 4 programmable bed positions so you can set a favorite posture for working on your laptop in bed, watching television in bed, and your optimal sleeping positions – the freedom of comfort is all yours!

You should use the Prodigy bed remote with four AAA batteries and be sure to check if a battery replacement is necessary when you notice that the remote control is no longer illuminating.

 

How big is the Leggett & Platt Prodigy adjustable bed?

 

Leggett & Platt’s Prodigy base decently measures 82 inches long by 62 inches wide by 9 inches height (with the specific assembled length, weight and height measuring in at 80 inches by 60 inches by 7.63 inches).

This adjustable base can comfortably fit the big king size mattress, a smaller queen size mattress or the standard full size mattress.

You are not limited with the bed fitting capacity for any of the standard mattress sizes in the market for use with the Prodigy bed base which caters for the following ranges: Twin mattress, XL Twin mattress, Full mattress, XL Full mattress, Queen mattress, Split Queen mattress, Split King mattress and the Split California King mattress.

 

 

Some more features of the Prodigy adjustable base

This ‘smart’ adjustable bed is donned in stylish yet minimalistic grey patterned fabric that makes for universal upholstery… Which means that the clever use of neutral color, and blended pattern enables you to add the furnishing to your room without interfering with the rest of the décor as it matches well in any background.

Who would’ve thought that your bed can automatically intervene when you snore at night? Well, the Prodigy adjustable bed features a Snore Control feature that’s highlighted in the remote control.

With the simple touch of the Snore button, the bed automatically adjusts to the preset optimal button 3 position where the head section is raised 7 degrees and remains in that position for 30 minutes, before the base goes back to preset position 1 thereafter as a trick that should keep the snoring at bay.

The tiered product warranty of the Prodigy adjustable bed is worth noting as you have 3 warranty provisions available for a limited 1 year period, 3 year limited warranty and an extended 20 year limited warranty that comprehensively covers your Leggett & Platt acquisition.

 

Summing up, I recommend the Prodigy adjustable bed for an interactive, customizable comfort solution optimizing smart sleep and bedroom activity from a bed that knows exactly what you want. 

The Prodigy’s Whisper Quiet DC motor accommodates up to 600 lbs and features a Lifetime Limited Warranty.

 

 

The Prodigy adjustable bed is iPhone compatible and has many features the modern user will enjoy.

 

You may also find the following video on the Leggett & Platt Prodigy helpful: nn this video , you’ll learn all about the Leggett and Platt Prodigy adjustable bed base with wireless remote and massage.

 

 

 
 

 

 

MedSlant Acid Reflux Wedge Pillow with Memory Foam, 32 X 30 X 7 - Inch

You may also be interested in wedge pillows, which are shaped to provide support to the upper body or elevation to the legs. 
Wedge pillows can also be very helpful to people with acid reflux, congestion, poor circulation,foot and leg problems (including swollen ankles), hernias, and back pain.
 
 

You may also be interested in:

Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

Easy Home Improvements for Mobility Issues

Heartburn and Acid Reflux Help

Why You Should Use an Infrared Sauna (Often!)

Top 10 Massage Chairs Reviews

What Caregivers Should Know About Sciatica Pain

Prevent Bed Sores

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Caregivers Need Sleep!

 

 

 

Adequate sleep is essential to staying healthy and functioning well. You need sleep to do your daily work safely, to cope with emotional stress, and to carry on giving care.

Yet if you are caring for someone at home or sitting with someone round the clock in a care facility, you likely are not getting enough sleep.

 

Researchers have found that 95% of family members who provide palliative care have serious sleep problems. These problems are becoming better understood, and increased attention is being given to caregivers’ sleep problems, especially in those caring for people with cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or children with illnesses or disabilities.

Family caregivers often minimize their sleep problems and hesitate to talk about them with the health care team. You may feel your sleep is less important than what is happening with the person in your care. You may think you can get by with limited sleep and catch up in the future. Unfortunately, this lack of sleep is more likely to catch up with you.

 

What is sleep disturbance?

 

Sleep disturbance is any change from the way you usually sleep. It may be a change in how long or how well you sleep, and may include one or more of the following:

 

  • difficulty falling asleep
  • difficulty staying asleep through the night
  • waking early in the morning
  • feeling tired in the morning
  • being sleepy during the day

 

 

Factors that contribute to caregiver sleep disturbance

 

Many factors contribute to poor sleep for caregivers. It may be one or a combination of the following factors:

 

Changes in routine
When you care for someone, you have less time for fresh air, exercise or relaxation, which promote sleep, and you may consume more caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, coca cola, chocolate), which inhibits sleep.

 

Change in sleeping environment
You may sleep on a couch or temporary bed to be near the person you are looking after. You may be disturbed by the nighttime noise made by special equipment, such as an oxygen concentrator, alternating pressure mattress, or even a baby monitor you may use to listen for calls for help.

 

Worry
You may have trouble falling asleep or may wake up in the night because your mind is busy thinking about your concerns. Some caregivers talk about wanting a remote control to ‘shut it off’ or ‘change the channel’.

 

 

Lack of help with over-night care
The programs and services in your area may be limited, which makes it difficult to find respite care at night. You may find it hard to hand over responsibility or trust the care provided by others. The person who is ill may not be willing to accept outside help.

 

 

 

Needs of the person who is ill
As the person in your care becomes weaker, he or she will need help during the night as well as during the day. Your sleep may be interrupted because you need to help with toileting, repositioning or medications. The person may have trouble sleeping if symptoms such as pain,  shortness of breath or restlessness are not well controlled. If the person in your care is unable to sleep, chances are you will be unable to sleep as well.

 

Grief
You may have trouble sleeping after the death of a loved one. This may be due to poor sleeping habits developed while caregiving, or it may be part of the mental and emotional sifting that happens during the grieving process.
 

 

Effects of sleep disturbance

 

Regardless of the cause, your lack of sleep has consequences for you and for the person in your care. These are some of the common consequences:

 

  • Your overall physical health may change. Your body may not be able to fight off a cold or flu as usual, or you may experience flare-ups of an existing health problem, such as high blood pressure.
  • Your overall mental health may change. You may feel less able to cope with the emotional ups and downs and stresses of providing care. You may have memory problems, or trouble thinking clearly. Also, sleep disturbance has been linked with depression. 
  • Your lack of sleep may change the way you relate to the person you are caring for, You may be impatient, angry or resentful towards the person who is ill, or act in a way you later regret.

 

http://www.caregiverstress.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/tips_caringyourself_emotionalsigns.jpeg

 

  • You may feel sleepy or exhausted during the day, and question your ability to carry out day-to-day activities or to provide care safely.

 

Managing sleep

 

It is important to talk to the health care team about any sleep difficulties, either yours or those of the person you are caring for. In each case, it is important to ask for the team for help for both your sakes.

Assume that the health care team can control the symptoms of the person you are caring for.

Symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, confusion or restlessness need to be controlled so both of you can sleep. The team needs to hear about difficult symptoms so they can treat them.

 

 

 

 

Also talk to the health care team about the type and amount of sleep you are getting. Try to be as specific as possible about these points:

 

  • how much sleep you are really getting between the time you go to bed in the evening and the time you wake up in the morning,
  • how often you are up in the night as a caregiver,
  • how much you rest during the day.

 

 

Together, you and the health care team can explore ways to promote sleep and rest. It may help to talk to someone. A hospice volunteer, social worker, spiritual care provider or counselor may help you find ways to reduce your worries and link you to services and supports.

 

 

 

Medication

 

 

Many caregivers do not like to take sleep medication, because they worry about not hearing the person they are caring for, or being too sleepy to be provide care in the night.

Talk to a doctor about the possibility of taking a sleep medication if other attempts to promote sleep have failed.

 

 

 

 

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Don’t be afraid to ask for help with caregiving. Asking for help is not a sign of failure. You do not have to do everything on your own. Sometimes it makes a big difference to ask for even a small bit of help. For example, you can ask someone to cover for you while you take a nap or sleep overnight two or three times a week.

 

What You Can Do

 

These are some things that may help you improve your sleep:

 

  • Try to maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule as much as possible.
  • Try to grab even a few minutes every day for exercise and fresh air if at all possible.
  • Cut down on caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, chocolate, coca cola) and nicotine (e.g. smoking) during the day, and especially before bedtime.
  • Nap when you can, but try to avoid the late afternoon and evening, unless you know you will be awake during the night to provide care.
  • Minimize nighttime noise or light around you. Remove clocks also, unless you need to set an alarm.
  • As much as possible, identify, talk about and find ways to address worries and concerns before bedtime. Even small things such as making a list before bed can help clear the mind for sleep.
  • Set up a bedtime routine that lets you unwind a bit before you turn out your light. It may help to have a bath, wash your face and hands, change into pajamas, brush your hair and apply lotion to your face and hands.
  • Notice what helps you relax, and make that part of your routine. You might listen to soft music, read a bit, watch a funny TV show, or pray.
  • Have something warm to drink or eat before bed.
  • Go to bed when you feel drowsy in the evening, rather than making yourself stay up until a set time. This helps you avoid lying awake in bed.

 

If you are having difficulty sleeping due to your role as a caregiver, be proactive. 

Lack of sleep can negatively affect your health and your thinking in many ways.  Try some of the tips listed here, and seek medical advice if necessary. 

I’d love to hear your experience with sleep disturbance due to caregiving stress.  Please share your thoughts and tips below or email me.

 

Recommended: Sleep Secrets


Sleep Secrets is the most comprehensive sleep guide available, drawing from the widest possible range of sources. You can finally design the sleep solution that works best for you.

  • Breakthrough sleep research, practices and techniques.
  • Ancient time-tested sleep wisdom
  • Expert sleep-doctor advice
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See a video explaining how this program works.

 

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Don’t Ignore Sleep Apnea

Don’t Ignore Sleep Apnea

 

 

 

What is Sleep Apnea?

 

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which people have one or more pauses in breathing while they sleep.

Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They often occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.

Sleep apnea usually is a chronic ongoing condition that disrupts your sleep. You often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when your breathing pauses or becomes shallow.

 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

 

 

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This most often means that the airway has collapsed or is blocked during sleep.

The blockage may cause shallow breathing or breathing pauses. When you try to breathe, any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in people who are overweight, but it can affect anyone.

 

Central Sleep Apnea

 

Central sleep apnea (CSA) is caused by irregularities in the brain’s normal signals to breathe. Most people with sleep apnea will have a combination of both types.

Untreated sleep apnea can:

  • Increase the risk of, or worsen, heart attack and heart failure
  • Make arhythmias or irregular heartbeats, which  increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents

 

What Happens if Sleep Apnea Goes Untreated

 

 

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that requires long-term management. Lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery, and/or breathing devices can successfully treat sleep apnea in many people.

Untreated, sleep apnea can be life threatening. Excessive daytime sleepiness can cause people to fall asleep at inappropriate times, such as while driving.

Sleep apnea also appears to put individuals at risk for stroke and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs, also known as “mini-strokes”), and is associated with coronary heart disease, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, and high blood pressure. Although there is no cure for sleep apnea, recent studies show that successful treatment can reduce the risk of heart and blood pressure problems.

 

Treatments for Sleep Apnea

There are a variety of treatments for sleep apnea, depending on an individual’s medical history and the severity of the disorder.

Most treatment regimens begin with lifestyle changes, such as avoiding alcohol and medications that relax the central nervous system (for example, sedatives and muscle relaxants), losing weight, and quitting smoking.

Some people are helped by special pillows or devices that keep them from sleeping on their backs, or oral appliances to keep the airway open during sleep.

 

If Conservative Methods Don’t Work

If these conservative methods are inadequate, doctors often recommend continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, in which a face mask is attached to a tube and a machine that blows pressurized air into the mask and through the airway to keep it open.

 

Also available are machines that offer variable positive airway pressure (VPAP) and automatic positive airway pressure (APAP).

 

 

PR System One BiPAP Pro with Heated Tube Humidifier DS660TS
 

 

 

This is a BiPAP machine – it has settings for both inhaling and exhaling to make it easier for people who have higher pressure settings to exhale. This unit also has a built-in humidifier.

 

 

 

 

 

There are also surgical procedures that can be used to remove tissue and widen the airway. Some individuals may need a combination of therapies to successfully treat their sleep apnea.

 

How to Pick the Right CPAP Machine For Sleep Apnea

 

If your loved one has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, and your doctor has prescribed use of a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine, it can be difficult to decide which one will best suit your needs.

A CPAP is not always covered by insurance, and the elder will need it for a long time, so think of the purchase as an investment.

Do your research and compare the available models before you purchase a CPAP machine. Here are a few factors to consider:

 

Comfort

Because pressurized air requires a closed seal for it to be effective, CPAP machine users are required to wear specialized masks when sleeping.

 

http://www.sleepapnoeablog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Collage-Masks-1024x576.jpg

 

However, an uncomfortable mask or chin strip is usually what causes people to stop wearning their CPAP.

It is absolutely vital that the CPAP chin strap and mask fit properly.

 

ResMed CPAP Chin Strap

If the mask and chin strap don’t fit properly, it can cause:

 

  • Skin irritation, chafing, rashes, sores

 

  • Leaks from a mask that is the wrong size, causing the pressurized air to escape, reducing the effectiveness of your nasal CPAP machine.

 

  • Dry mouth, red, swollen eyes or conjunctivitis from a mask that it too tight, which can increase the pressure on the apnea sufferer’s eyes

 

Look for straps that come in different sizes, to accommodate the user’s head, as well as soft, stretchable straps.

Straps extend around your face and over your head to hold the nasal cushion in place while the breathing tube extends up over your head to allow sleep in any position. Unfortunately, many users find the straps on their face to be uncomfortable, especially when initially trying to fall asleep.

 

Sleep Position

It is difficult to get used to wearing a CPAP mask every night, but there are a variety of CPAP accessory options that can make the machines easier to adjust to.

For example, users can choose between a mask that covers the entire face, or one with tubes that seal inside the nostrils. There are CPAP masks that work best for people who lie on their stomachs and others for people who toss and turn. Experiment with CPAP mask accessories to find the one that is most comfortable for your elderly parent.

 

Portability

If you find yourself frequently traveling for business or pleasure, be sure to choose a model that is portable, compact, and easy to take with you. Some machines are available with an optional DC power supply for you car’s cigarette lighter, or can be run with an optional integrated battery, making it the ideal choice for traveling by airplane.

 

Heated Humidifier

Clinical research has shown that CPAP patients tend to be more compliant with the addition of heated humidity to their CPAP program.

A CPAP humidifier can prevent a dry mouth and the sinus problems caused by the stream of pressurized air.

A CPAP humidifier works by using a fine mist of warm or room-temperature distilled water to keep your nasal passages moist. When choosing a CPAP machine with the heated humidifier, keep in mind how much space the machine will take up with the humidifier attached.

 

Adjustable Ramp and Exhalation Pressure Relief

The ramp is used to temporarily lower the air pressure initially to allow the CPAP machine user to fall asleep more easily. The pressure then gradually increases to the prescribed level.

Adjustable ramp settings allow the user to set the amount of time it takes for the CPAP machine to reach the prescribed level. Some CPAP machines, include a feature the decreases the air flow pressure when you exhale. Exhalation pressure relief is usually not a necessary feature, and most CPAP machines that include it are much more expensive.

 

Sound Level

All newer CPAP machines are very quiet, but some are more quiet than others. Although the majority of noise you hear while using CPAP therapy is the sound of air rushing through the tube, the quietness of the motor is an important factor to consider.

 

APAP or CPAP

Some CPAP users find it more pleasant to breath with APAP than with CPAP because the pressure automatically changes as needed to deliver the minimal pressure needed. With a CPAP, on the other hand, the pressure is set at the highest necessary to keep the airway open, even though the high pressure is needed only a fraction of the time.

The bottom line: Before purchasing a CPAP machine, be sure to look at all of the options and features available.

f someone you care for is suffering from sleep apnea, don’t ignore it;  it’s not likely to go away on it’s own, and it could lead to serious complications.  See your doctor to discuss treatment options, including the use of a CPAP machine.

 

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  • THEY SIMPLY WORK – Premium quality, comfortable fitting, easy to clean with a personal travel case.           Read Reviews.
  • IDEAL IN COMBINATION – With other aids such as Chin Straps or Mouthpieces for easier breathing.
  • MOUTH BREATHERS – Our unique design will help to improve your sleep apnea snoring and for you to wake up to a refreshed, moist mouth and throat in the morning.

 

 

 

 

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