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Archive for 'Healthy Sleeping'

It's the holiday season, and as many are taking out their decorations from their attic and purchasing a Christmas tree, some may be dreading the tasks because their allergies worsen. However, there are things that you can do to avoid a spike in allergy symptoms, as some are allergic to dust mites.

An allergist suggests a couple of tips to keep you breathing free this holiday season including purchasing an artificial tree. Not only can the fragrances from the tree irritate those with allergies, but so do dust mites and other pollutants that live in the trees. Fragrant candles and oils can also trigger an allergy attack, along with fresh flowers. Purchasing a dehumidifier may also be a good idea along with storing decorations in plastic tubs and dusting throughout the year.

In addition, you can also wash and dry your linens in high temperatures to help you sleep at night. Another way to help you sleep can be to purchase allergy free pillows or mattress covers, which can keep dust mites at bay.

People who deal with severe allergies from dust mites or have a bed bug infestation in their home may be interested in fighting a solution – they may want to purchase a mattress encasement.

There are different types of mattress covers that can help any person with a dust mite allergy or those who are trying to prevent bed bugs. There are non membrane and membrane covers that both do the job, but a person may prefer over the other.

Membrane covers are ones with vinyl or urethane fabrics that make up the material in the inside of the cover. The idea is similar to having something comfortable on the outside but the inside is wrapped tightly, and only moisture can break through. However, dust mites and bed bugs cannot penetrate through the membrane.

Covers without membranes are fabrics without any coating and the fabric is used more like a sieve. It allows air and moisture to break through but it does not allow dust mites, as they can't pass through the tightly woven fabric. 

Combating bed bug myths

There are tons of myths that are surrounded around bed bugs, and as these little pests continue to pop up in homes across the country, it becomes more important people are educated and not feeding into the misconceptions.

One of the biggest myths is that you cannot see a bed bug. In reality, adult bed bugs are about a fourth of an inch, reddish brown and are flat. You can even see the nymphs and eggs with the naked eye. Another myth is that bed bugs only live in dirty areas, but they are actually attracted to warmth, blood and carbon dioxide. However, clutter allows more hiding spaces for the insects.

The misconception that pesticides alone will rid of the little creatures is also wrong. The best thing to do is to hire a professional, as they are able to safely use pesticides and can ensure that the bed bugs are gone.

Those who feel as though they have bed bugs should consider mattress covers, which can trap the little critters until professionals arrive and get rid of them properly. 

Halloween is right around the corner, and many families may be digging old costumes and decorations out of storage for the holiday or turning to thrift stores and consignment shops for the perfect disguise.

Old costumes that have been sitting in boxes or bags in storage for the past year will likely have accumulated plenty of dust, which can be bad news for the unsuspecting allergy sufferer. The last thing you want is for your kid to be trick-or-treating with a runny nose or itchy eyes because their dinosaur costume is full of dust and other allergens. Wash cloth costumes before wearing them in hot water to get rid of the dust and dust mites that are lurking in the fabric and wipe down any other accessories that may be dusty as well.

This advice can be used for secondhand costumes as well. Washing costumes and clothing that are purchased at thrift stores can reduce the amount of dust mites and it can eliminate the risk of bed bugs as well. The tiny insects are great at hiding, but they can't avoid the heat from a washer or dryer.

You can also use a mattress cover to create a protective barrier against accumulated particles that could trigger allergic reactions. This way, kids can get a good night's sleep after they get home from haunting the neighborhood. 

Fall will soon be over, much to the relief of people who are allergic to seasonal allergens such as ragweed and mold. The approach of winter means that the outside world will soon be safe for allergy sufferers, but spending time indoors can be even more problematic.

"The cold season can be especially difficult for those who suffer from a combination of indoor allergies and asthma," said Dr. Elizabeth Leef Jacobson, an allergy and immunology specialist at the Women's Health Center at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. "During the winter, families spend more time indoors, exposing them to irritants like dust mites, pet dander, smoke, household sprays and chemicals and gas fumes – any of which can make their lives miserable."

Holiday decorations can also be a source of allergies, according to Dr. David Resnick, the director of Dr. Jacobson's department at the hospital. They should be closely inspected for signs of mold when they're taken out of storage.

Other steps people can take to reduce allergens in their homes this winter include keeping humidity levels below 35 percent, which will discourage mold-growth, and vacuuming or sweeping frequently. This can reduce the amount of dust mites and other allergens that can settle in carpets and floorboards. Putting mattress covers on beds can also protect allergy sufferers from the particles that get trapped inside and can cause allergies to flare up and prevent healthy sleep.

Many pet owners are allergic to their furry friends, but choose to deal with their symptoms rather than live without their four-legged companions. In order to ease some of the allergy symptoms, one step pet owners can take is to ban their animals from the bedroom. It may be difficult to give up sharing the bed with Fluffy or Rover, but getting a good night's rest is important for your health.

If you've let your pets onto your bed in the past, you may want to invest in a mattress cover, such as those sold by Clean Rest, which will provide a protective barrier between you and the accumulated pet dander trapped in your bed.

This can also be useful for pet owners who cannot bear the thought of keeping their animals out of the bedroom. It will significantly reduce the amount of allergens in the room. Washing bedding regularly will remove pet dander, dust and other allergens that can accumulate quickly. You should also wash comforters, especially if your bed is the preferred spot for cat naps.

Dust is one of the most common allergens, and its presence is unavoidable, but there's a lot you can do to lower the amount in your home. Dust comes from many different sources – human skin cells, pet dander, pollen and other outdoor elements that can be carried in through the air and on people when they enter a home – and it settles and accumulates on nearly every surface. By taking steps to remove dust from the home, people can lower their risk of allergy attacks.

Dusting and vacuuming at least once a week can significantly reduce the amount of dust in the home. However, vacuuming can kick a lot of dust particles into the air, especially when the bag is more than half-full. Emptying or changing vacuum bags when they begin to fill up will allow them to work more efficiently and pick more particles up.

For dust in the air, an air purifier can work wonders to remove a large amount of the particles that can cause sneezing, and difficulty breathing. Washing bedding at least once a week can also remove a lot of the particles that settle on the fabric from the air. Clean sheets and a mattress cover can reduce the amount of allergens in a bed so an individual can get a healthy, allergy-free night's rest.

Getting a good night's rest is beneficial to everyone, as it can improve productivity, give you more energy and allow you to wake up feeling rested and ready to face the day. If your sleep is interrupted or affected at all, it can leave you feeling groggy and sluggish during the day. The Daily Athenaeum reports that getting adequate sleep has a positive effect on both physical and mental health.

In the fall, airborne allergens such as ragweed, combined with cooler temperatures that can increase the likelihood of catching colds and other illnesses, can make it difficult for individuals to get a healthy night's rest. Allergy sufferers may find that they have added difficulty breathing due to ragweed, dust and other particles. This is when a mattress cover would be a wise purchase, as the tightly-woven material can provide a protective barrier between the sleeper and any allergens and dust that may be in the mattress.

There are many other ways to improve quality of sleep, such as washing bedding weekly in high temperatures to kill any dust mites and remove any other allergens that may be present in the fabric. You should also abstain from eating within an hour before your bedtime, and create a quiet environment with no TVs or music so you can fall asleep peacefully.

A few tips to reduce snoring

Snoring is a common issue that occurs when an individual's airway is restricted or blocked while sleeping. There are a number of actions that you can take to reduce snoring so you and your spouse can get a better night's rest.

One of the main contributing factors of snoring is lifestyle. If you are overweight, have an unhealthy diet, drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or don't get enough exercise, you are more likely to snore, according to Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. Sleeping on your back, poor sleeping habits and allergens can also contribute to snoring. The news source recommends sleeping on your side to avoid having your tongue slide back and block your airway.

Dust mites can cause allergic reactions that restrict airways and make it difficult to breathe, which directly contributes to snoring. In order to reduce the allergens, you should keep your bedroom clean and wash your bedding weekly in high temperatures to get rid of dust mites and their eggs. You can also use pillow covers and mattress covers to reduce the amount of contact you have with dust mites and other allergens in your bedding.

If these steps do not relieve your snoring, you should talk to your doctor. The National Institute on Health reports that snoring may also be indicative of sleep apnea, a treatable disorder that causes you to stop breathing for brief periods when you sleep.

The general rule of thumb for replacing mattresses is to do so every five to seven years. However, this can vary depending on how often you use it, the quality of the mattress itself and the level of comfort it offers. Over time, skin cells, sweat and dust mites can practically double the weight of a mattress.

If it is not quite time to replace a mattress, but you are concerned with the contents of your mattress, you can consider purchasing a mattress cover, such as those offered by Clean Brands. These covers are designed to provide a protective barrier between you and the bacteria and bugs that reside in your mattress. The fabric is woven so tightly that nothing can escape, but there are still pores that make it breathable so laying on your bed won't be uncomfortable.

People who find traces of bed bugs in their mattresses may think that they need to toss out their beds immediately, but this is not necessarily the case. Replacement can be pricey, but a mattress encasement can trap the bed bugs. You need to leave the cover on for at least a year, as bed bugs can survive that long without feeding.