Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Bedtime Ritual for Better Sleep?

Can a bedtime ritual actually give you better sleep?  Studies show that Americans are sleep deprived, working harder and longer hours than ever before.  That cuts into our sleep time - or more specifically, cuts into our restful sleep time.  Here are some ideas to help prepare for a good nights sleep before you head under the blankets.

1.  Take a hot bath.  Put a few drops of lavender or sweet marjoram essential oil in the bathwater to help relax and calm your body and mind.

2.  Drink a cup of hot chamomile tea.

3  Spend time meditating on comforting scriptures, thinking good thoughts or dwelling on good things that have happened that day.  Avoid thinking about plans for tomorrow.

Now you can slide in bed under your comforter all prepped and ready for a peaceful sleep all night long.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

What is Jacquard Fabric?

Jacquard fabrics are produced using a unique weave that creates elegant looking designs. Where a printed cloth is fabric that has a design printed on the surface of the material, a jacquard weave is different. The design is woven into the fabric and is visible on the back as well as the front side.

This type of weave was used for generations back and was initially very time consuming and detailed. Then a man named Joseph Marie Jacquard invented a loom in 1801 that used paper punch-cards for weaving the design. This early loom gave the fabric its name. Since then looms have been perfected to weave larger size fabrics and which have cut back significantly on production time.

Brocade is a child product of the jacquard fabric. This is a cloth woven with more than one color threads. Where a normal weave creates a smooth fabric, the design of the brocade is raised. You will find brocade in elegant fashion clothing as well as upholstery. It is often a heavier material.

Another type of Jacquard fabric is the damask. This is a thinner and more sheer version of the brocade and the design is normally woven from a single colored thread. Fabric blends are often used for weaving the damask fabric.

Another form of the jacquard weave is the matelass√©. This is a raised design as well, with a quilt like appearance.  Unlike the brocade and damask, the matelass√© has stretchy characteristics. It is woven with silk, rayon or cotton. Bedspreads are commonly found with the matelass√© weave.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

How Often Should You Clean Your Bed?

What's the standard to go by for clean bedding?

For a healthy sleep environment and to kill bacteria, it's normally adequate to wash your sheets and pillow cases once a week in warm/hot water. You may want to launder more often in warmer weather where perspiration is an issue.

Wash your bed pillows in hot water 2 to 4 times a year. Check the washing instructions first for best results and dry according to the label instructions. Wash quilts, duvet covers and comforters 2 to 4 times a year as well. And again, be sure to follow the instructions on the label. If the item is too snug to launder properly in your washer at home, wash it in a large commercial-size washer at your local laundromat.

Your mattress should be vacuumed thoroughly every 6 months to remove any dust mites and dead skin that has settled in there. If not regularly vacuumed, dust mites can create symptoms of allergies such as sneezing, coughing or a runny nose. A clean bed lends to a much better night's sleep.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Are Dogs Allowed in the Bedroom?

Are dogs allowed in the bedroom? Do they
hinder sleep if they are? We Americans are fond of our dogs and many consider their house dogs as part of the family. But what effect do they have on your sleep when you share your bedroom with them?

A study was done on this very subject by the Mayo Clinic in 2015. In this study, TheEffect of Dogs on Human Sleep in the Home Sleep Environment, 40 healthy adults with normal sleep patterns and their dogs over 6 months old were evaluated for a 5 month period. An accelerometer was worn by each of the participants as well as their dog in order to monitor their sleeping habits.

What they discovered was that with a single dog sharing the bedroom, the participants evaluated did show healthy sleep efficiency. The only factor altering that finding was if the dog was in the bed with them instead of on the floor. A dog sleeping under the blankets actually disrupted their sleep efficiency throughout the night.

Possibly healthy sleep patterns with a dog by the bedside would stem from the comfort in believing that their dog is protecting them. So then yes, snuggle under the blankets and enjoy the comfort of your dog by your bedside if you want to - and sleep well. Just be sure to keep your dog on the floor and off your bed - if you want to sleep soundly all night.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Use All Five Physical Senses to Make Guests Feel at Home

Providing guests with pleasurable surroundings helps to enhance a good night's sleep.  Appealing to all five senses will lean toward that end.  Here are a couple ideas.

1. Place a lavender plant somewhere in the room.  It provides a
pleasant aroma as well as releasing the natural properties found in the lavender plant that encourage restful sleep.

2. Update your bedding.  For a full night of comfort, choose soft, luxurious bedding like a cotton duvet cover set to make your guests
feel pampered.  Provide down alternative bed pillows to avoid any allergies.  If you have wood floors, lay a throw rug beside the bed so that they don't step out on a cold, hard floor.

Duvet Cover Queen Reversible Sheets Set Zakynthos by Dolce Mela Bedding
3. Remove any unsightly clutter.  A guest room can end up to be a catch-all for the items we will take care of later.  Box up what you don't use and donate them, or have a garage sale.  Resist the impulse to just shove it in the guest room and close the door.  Then decorate your guest room beautifully so as to offer to your guest what appeals to the eye.

4. Minimize outside noise by hanging lined drapes at the windows.  This will also lower the light that will create a better atmosphere for sleep. 

5. And the last.  Provide your guests with the option to drink hot chamomile tea.  This will help to relax the body naturally in preparation for a full night of restful sleep.

While we may not think of appealing to all 5 senses in relation to guest comfort, and while it may not have that much effect on the quality of sleep, it's deserves our consideration.  It is, after all, the goal to provide optimal comfort for our guests.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Body Pillow? Why? Aren't Normal Pillows Adequate?

20 X 54
Pillows are everywhere. They're on the bed, on the floor, on the couch, chairs – everywhere. So why would you want another one, and bigger at that?

Body pillows are long pillows that can easily replace the normal size pillows, making less clutter on your made bed. They also stay put as you sleep. If you toss a lot in your sleep, it can
Total Body Pillow
be a welcome solution to rearranging the old pillows as you move. This can be especially welcome if you have had surgery or other back ailments where excess movement can be painful and each time your position changes, the pillows slip out from the desired spot. Take back surgery for instance. Your doctor tells you to place a pillow between your legs to avoid problems. More than likely you would need at least 2 of the regular pillows. Not so with a body pillow. It will stay in place all the way down.

J Shaped Pillow
You can use a body pillow by placing it in front of you and wrapping your leg over it. You could hug it or just lay your hand or arm over it. Or you could use it for back support to lean against.

They come in various sizes and shapes. The 20X54 inch is the most popular size. But we have one for people 5' 10” and taller that measures 20X60 inches. Both of these are the long straight pillows. Another kind of body pillow is the u-shaped oversized total body pillow that gives full support to the front and back side while sleeping on your side as well as support for the head. It measures a whopping 19X130 inches. A different option that expectant mothers especially like is the j-shaped pillow that supports the head and back and yet wraps around to give additional support for the tummy area.

What we want most when we lay down to sleep is to be comfortable all night long, getting the highest quality sleep, whether we have back issues, are pregnant or just want the most comfort.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Quilts with a Unique Twist

There are many types of quilts, bed quilts, quilted throw blankets, table runners and coasters to name a few.  But there is another type recently emerged that are unique to American culture in recent years.  The creative and beautiful barn quilt provides an interesting take on the age-old art. Displaying a quilted pattern painted on plywood, the design is mounted to the side of a barn, garage, or where ever it can fit. Quilt trails consist of multiple barn quilts in a neighborhood and in the country which create unique scenic routes. While the first barn quilt was recently
made in 2001 for a community celebration in Ohio, the first trail started when Donna Sue Groves built and designed a barn quilt to honor her quilting mother. Groves placed it near the recently made community quilt and the trails continued to expand. See the full story here.  Currently 43 states contain quilt trails, while they sustain ongoing growth throughout the U.S. Many quilting varieties exist, though none are quite as unique as the barn quilt.

The beautiful art of quilting has undergone many alterations, while it is unceasingly passed down from generation to generation. Quilting began by hand.  Since its warm beginnings, charming and comfortable quilts are also now used for outdoor decoration, and painted designs on plywood and barn quilts are displayed and enjoyed for everyone to view. Essentially, quilting has, and will continue to change, however its many forms will be cherished for years to come.