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Identifying Your Sleeping Disorder: OSAS – Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

( OSAS Clinical Manifestations - Image Courtesy of jtd.amegroups.com )
( OSAS Clinical Manifestations - Image Courtesy of jtd.amegroups.com )


Considered to be more prevalent in men than in women, Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome shortened OSAS affects about 4% of men in the age bracket from 30 to 60 years old, and about 2% of women within the same age group.But as scientific research would have it, the age and gender are not the only key factors with a strong correlation to the OSAS sleeping disorder which is also linked to weight and obesity.


( Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea OSA - Image Courtesy of www.nycva.org )
( Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea OSA – Image Courtesy of www.nycva.org )


How gender sensitive is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome?

The prevalence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome is much higher in older male persons over the age of 40, and its prevalence in female persons is commonly noted to be higher after the onset of their menopause stage which also comes around their 40’s and 50’s.

With regards to gender sensitivity, research clearly shows that a whooping 85% of OSAS patients are actually male, leaving only about 15% of the OSAS patients being female.


( Men with OSAS and Snoring - Image Courtesy of www.qmedicine.co.in )
( Men with OSAS and Snoring – Image Courtesy of www.qmedicine.co.in )


Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

There has been shown to be a clear link between OSAS and weight or obesity. Scientific research has since confirmed that a majority of patients suffering from OSAS also have weight problems which are identified upon further physical examination; more specifically, a generous 70% of OSAS patients also concurrently have obesity weight issues.


( OSAS and Upper Airways - Image Courtesy of obstructive-sleep-apnea.info )
( OSAS and Upper Airways – Image Courtesy of obstructive-sleep-apnea.info )


Further, physical examination of OSAS patients has also been shown to reveal some anatomic anomalies present within the upper respiratory airways in some patients.

( Obstructive Sleep Apnea OSAS and Upper Airways in Respiratory Tract - Image Courtesy of www.docsopinion.com )
( Obstructive Sleep Apnea OSAS and Upper Airways in Respiratory Tract – Image Courtesy of www.docsopinion.com )


Hypertension and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Various longitudinal scientific studies have drawn up a clear link relating systemic hypertension with OSAS. The results revealed a concurrent incidence of systemic hypertension in patients also suffering from OSAS. On the other hand, approximately 30% of OSAS patients were also found to have essential hypertension. Additionally, round about 15% to 20% of OSAS patients were also confirmed to have a diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension.


( Pulmonary Hypertension in OSAS - Image Courtesy of www.phaonlineuniv.org )
( Pulmonary Hypertension in OSAS – Image Courtesy of www.phaonlineuniv.org )



( Pulmonary Function Analysis - Image Courtesy of err.ersjournals.com )
( Pulmonary Function Analysis – Image Courtesy of err.ersjournals.com )


In hypertensive patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome, it was shown that effective treatment of OSAS together with CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) Titration had a positive impact on the hypertension. The observation made is that there was an overall improvement of the condition and relief from hypertensive symptoms, or that there was a reduced need for use of antihypertensive drugs.


( CPAP Titration in OSAS Treatment - Image Courtesy of www.alamy.com )
( CPAP Titration in OSAS Treatment – Image Courtesy of www.alamy.com )


Another key correlation worth mentioning in connection to this is the link between OSAS and metabolism dysfunction, particularly metabolic syndrome which is a concoction of the following medical conditions: hypertension, obesity, insulin resistance, Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, and hypertriglyceridaemia.


( Metabolic Syndrome - Image Courtesy of www.livefitlean.com )
( Metabolic Syndrome – Image Courtesy of www.livefitlean.com )


Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

To identify the symptomatic manifestations of OSAS, two classes of symptoms are first categorized: OSAS symptoms which present themselves during the patient’s sleeping phase, and OSAS symptoms which occur while the patient is not asleep in the waking phase.


( Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms - Image Courtesy of orthodonticreviews.blogspot.com )
( Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms – Image Courtesy of orthodonticreviews.blogspot.com )


OSAS symptoms during sleep phase:

  • Snoring which occurs frequently and loudly
  • Sitting up amid sleep to fight for one’s breath
  • Breathing cessation (which is also witnessed by the bed fellow or pexcessive sweating artner in bed)
  • Episodes of choking while asleep
  • Heartburn due to GER (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux)
  • Anomalous nocturnal motor activity such as: jerking and shaking movements, thrashing motions in bed, arousals with confusion, walking while asleep (sleep-walking)
  • Intense disruptions of sleep
  • Increased and excessive sweating during the night (observed in some OSAS patients)
  • Enuresis that’s nocturnal and Nocturia (particularly observed in child patients)


( OSAS Sleep Attack at Steering Wheel - Image Courtesy of www.webmd.com )
( OSAS Sleep Attack at Steering Wheel – Image Courtesy of www.webmd.com )


OSAS symptoms during wakeful phase:

  • EDS – Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
  • Extended Sleep Attacks which may last from 30 minutes to 2 hours (These sleep attacks mostly affect the patient while they are in a relaxed state such as when seated, rested, while watching TV. There is however a key distinction between the Sleep attacks associated with OSAS from those that occur due to Narcolepsy in that OSAS Sleep Attacks are both prolonged with regards to the duration of the Sleep Attack, and are also non-refreshing)
  • Dryness of the mouth upon waking up
  • Decreased sexual function and libido in male patients
  • Hyperactive behavior in child patients
  • Forgetfulness, memory issues, as well as impaired cognitive function
  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Impaired hearing (observed in some OSAS cases)
  • Headaches occuring in the morning (observed in some OSAS patients)


( Upper Airway Obstruction in OSAS - Image Courtesy of advan.physiology.org )
( Upper Airway Obstruction in OSAS – Image Courtesy of advan.physiology.org )


Symptoms presented in Severe Cases of OSAS:

  • Impotence in men (this is especially noted in male patients who have suffered from chronic, persistent OSAS)
  • Heart problems: pulmonary valve hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia (sinus pausing, ventricular tachycardia, ventricular premature contraction, third degree cardiac blockages), myocardial infarction, heart failure (systolic cardiac failure and diastolic cardiac failure), sudden cardiac death
  • Polycethemia
  • Stroke


( OSAS and COPD - Image Courtesy of www.researchgate.net )
( OSAS and COPD – Image Courtesy of www.researchgate.net )


It follows suit that Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome is linked to in increase in mortality rates and higher morbidity due to the symptoms presented in short term basis (such as accidents at work, road accidents, lowered quality of life), and also due to symptoms presented in the long haul (such as heart problems and stroke).


Diagnosing Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Besides analysis of the typical symptoms of OSAS being constant and frequent awakenings amidst one’s sleep all through the night, breathing cessations, snoring, Excessive Daytime Somnolence (EDS), and fatigue during the day; a background check into the patient’s family history is also necessary since OSAS is also genetically linked and therefore may run in the family.


( OSAS Analysis - Image Courtesy of emedicine.medscape.com )
( OSAS Analysis – Image Courtesy of emedicine.medscape.com )


Detection of OSAS may be effectively achieved using Polysomnography (PSG) tests which analyze various key physiological aspects such as the flow of air in the mouse, flow of air in the nose, respiration effort, saturation of oxygen; and using medical instruments such as the EEG, EOG, EMG, and EKG.


( Polysomnogram Test Results in OSAS - Image Courtesy of advan.physiology.org )
( Polysomnogram Test Results in OSAS – Image Courtesy of advan.physiology.org )


Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome involves titration of the optimal and ideal pressure levels for CPAP Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.


( OSAS Treatment with CPAP Titration - Image Courtesy of www.webmd.com )
( OSAS Treatment with CPAP Titration – Image Courtesy of www.webmd.com )


Physical examinations of the body are also key in revealing underlying symptoms associated with OSAS such as weight-related complications in overweight and obese patient cases, as well as obstructions and other anomalies present in the upper respiratory airways (which affects breathing during sleep, and may cause blockages, snoring, and choking among other symptomatic complications associated with OSAS). There is also the likelihood of comorbidity with other sleeping disorders in the diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome.


( OSAS Upper Airway Obstruction - Image Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org )
( OSAS Upper Airway Obstruction – Image Courtesy of
en.wikipedia.org )



Behind The Scenes: What Changes Occur While You Sleep?

Other than assuming a temporary “dead” state, one in which you’re predominantly immobile, unresponsive, unaware and disconnected from your usual conscious state, much much more happens beyond the visible, even from the perspective of an onlooker observing someone who’s asleep. Physical activity may be limited and inhibited but the physiological activity in your body certainly does not stop when you do fall asleep and graduate from one stage of sleep to the next… There’s more than meets the eye and here’s some deeper insights into what goes on behind the scenes when you’re sleeping…


( While You Sleep - Image Courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com )
( While You Sleep – Image Courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com )


What are the physiological bodily changes that occur during sleep?

Science has taken to great lengths to investigate the depths and heights of the great mystery called sleep and has come to prove various facts about your sleep, which includes both behavioral and physiological changes that differ from those present in your wakeful state.

( Nervous System - Image Courtesy of faculty.washington.edu )
( Nervous System – Image Courtesy of faculty.washington.edu )


Both the ANS (Autonomic Nervous System) and the CNS (Central Nervous System) undergo a series of changes while you sleep. The same goes for your cardiovascular system, your endocrine, sexual, renal, respiratory, gastrointestinal and metabolic systems.


( Nervous System - Image Courtesy of climatereview.net )
( Nervous System – Image Courtesy of climatereview.net )


ANS Changes During Sleep

In the first stage of your sleep, NREM sleep, key changes that affect your Autonomic Nervous System are a decrease in the sympathetic nervous activity, and an increase in the parasympathetic nervous tone.

In the consequent stage of your sleep, REM sleep, the main changes entail even more increase in the parasympathetic nervous tone, with an accompanying decrease in the sympathetic nervous activity. There is however a variation in the REM changes in that the activity of the sympathetic nerve is seen to be irregular whereby it increases sporadically.


( ANS Autonomous Nervous System - www.brainresearchfund.org )
( ANS Autonomous Nervous System – www.brainresearchfund.org )


Respiratory System Changes During Sleep

The respiratory system is highly vulnerable during episodes of normal sleep (hence the higher risk of upper airway obstruction and occlusion) as is elicited by the physiological changes that occur therein…

( Respiratory System Anatomy - Image Courtesy of anatomy-medicine.com )
( Respiratory System Anatomy – Image Courtesy of anatomy-medicine.com )


Neurons in the respiratory system are shown to exhibit a diminished firing rate for both stages of sleep, NREM and REM sleep. Even in the muscular tones present in the upper respiratory airways exhibit changes, whereby in NREM sleep there is a slight decrease but a significant decrease and consequently vanish in the REM sleep. This ultimately leads to higher resistance within the upper respiratory airways.

Ventilation responses are mildly diminished in your NREM sleep but more significantly reduced in your REM sleep. Ventilation in the alveoli as well as tension of the oxygen in the arteries is also diminished while tension of the carbon dioxide in the arteries is mildly increased in both your NREM sleep and REM sleep.

These respiratory changes further explain why asthmatic attacks are more prevalent, and their severity exacerbated while one sleeps due to the physiological changes that affect the constriction and ventilation of the bronchial airways.

Blood Circulation System Changes During Sleep

There is a marked decrease in your blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac output, and even resistance at the vascular periphery throughout the NREM sleep and this progresses onto the REM sleep where a further decrease is seen.

Blood flow to your brain as well as the cerebral metabolism of both oxygen and glucose is seen to diminish during NREM sleep; but the inverse happens in REM sleep whereby the levels ascend above those exhibited while one is awake.

( Blood Circulation System - Image Courtesy of creationwiki.org )
( Blood Circulation System – Image Courtesy of creationwiki.org )


These profound blood circulatory changes (erratic heart rates and blood pressure, continually diminishing cardiac output and the consequent maximum desaturation of oxygen, and intermittent breathing) go to explain why there is a higher incidence of early morning mortality cases (due to strokes and heart attacks) – particularly in patients with cardiac diseases.

( Human Circulatory System - Image Courtesy of www.teachpe.com )
( Human Circulatory System – Image Courtesy of www.teachpe.com )


Endocrine System Changes During Sleep

When you fall asleep, several paramount changes occur in your endocrine hormone system. Secretion of the growth hormone goes up in a pulsatile manner within the first third of your sleep which is NREM.


( Endocrine System - Image Courtesy of medlineplus.gov )
( Endocrine System – Image Courtesy of medlineplus.gov )


The hormone Prolactin is also shown to go up within the first 30 minutes to 90 minutes from the onset of your sleep.

In men, levels of the hormone Testosterone are seen to go up markedly from about 8:00 PM when they are lowest, to 8:00 AM when they are highest.

For the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), the inverse happens whereby levels are at a peak high in the evening but gradually go down overnight.

On the other hand, secretion of the stress hormone Cortisol is shown to be inhibited altogether by the onset of sleep (that’s why sleep is good for dealing with stress).

From around 3:00 AM to 5:00 AM, secretion of the hormone Melatonin by the pineal gland attains peak levels, and then the hormone level gradually goes down over daytime hours.


( Endocrine Hormones - Image Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org )
( Endocrine Hormones – Image Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org )


Metabolism Changes during Sleep

As you fall asleep, the temperature of your body starts to drop with the onset of your sleep state, and it continues to drop till you attain the third portion of your sleep cycle when your body temperature is lowest.

Your body’s thermoregulation processes are active during your NREM sleep phase but however become inactive during your REM sleep phase when they are non-existent.


Sexual Reproductive System Changes during Sleep

It has been shown that erection of the male sexual organ (penis) is shown to take place during the REM stage of sleep, and the same goes for the female sexual organ, clitoris, whose tumescence also takes place in REM sleep.


( Male Reproductive Organs - Image Courtesy of www.austincc.edu )
( Male Reproductive Organs – Image Courtesy of www.austincc.edu )





( Female Reproductive Organs - Image Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org )
( Female Reproductive Organs – Image Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org )


Gastrointestinal System Changes during Sleep

While secretion of stomach acids, is normal and active during the day, it occurs variably when you’re asleep during both NREM and REM sleep. In addition, during the day, secretion of saliva in your mouth, as well as swallowing reflexes typically operate normally during the day, but these processes exhibit decreased activity during your NREM and REM phases of sleep.

( GastroIntestinal System - Image Courtesy of www.austincc.edu )
( GastroIntestinal System – Image Courtesy of www.austincc.edu )


In conclusion, it is more than evident that many physiological changes affect your body while you’re asleep. The master biological clock, the Circadian Rhythm, governs the sleep-wake cycles, working behind the scenes while you sleep. If one or more of the multiple organ systems ‘fail’ to any extent, your sleep is bound to get affected in a bad way leading to various types of sleeping disorders. We discuss several types of such disorders like sleep paralysis, bruxism, nocturia, narcolepsy, insomnia and RLS. These educational articles are bound to be useful to anyone suffering from such sleep disorders.



The Significance Of Dreams In Your Sleep

( Dreams and Sleep - Image Courtesy of askdrernst.com )
( Dreams and Sleep - Image Courtesy of askdrernst.com )


Yes, “dreams can come true” as the song goes, those in your waking life when building castles in the air and also those in your sleep–which is the subject matter of another write-up altogether… But where do dreams in your sleep come from?

( Dreams Activation Synthesis Theory - Image Courtesy of www.macalester.edu )
( Dreams Activation Synthesis Theory – Image Courtesy of www.macalester.edu )


When do Dreams Happen?

There are 2 stages of your sleep, NREM (Non Rapid Eye Movement) and REM (Rapid Eye Movement), which occur in that succession. REM sleep takes up just about 25% of your sleep as an adult, and a whooping 80% of your dreams actually take place in this stage (which is incident in the last third of your sleep). NREM sleep (which has 3 levels: N1, N2, N3) takes up a good 75% of the sleep in adults, but only about 20% of your dreams will occur in the NREM stage.


( Wakefulness and Sleep - Image Courtesy of slideplayer.com )
( Wakefulness and Sleep – Image Courtesy of slideplayer.com )


Dream Recollection: How to Remember your Dreams

And the plot thickens… It has been shown that it is much easier and more likely for you to remember the dreams that occur in your REM sleep compared to the dreams that occur in your NREM sleep. Further, should you be woken up suddenly while you’re still in your REM sleep, you will also find it easier to recollect your dreams, even so, more than you would recall were you to make an effort to remember your dreams when waking up in the morning while leaving your bed.


Comparing REM dreams with NREM dreams

REM dreams:

Dreams in your REM sleep are notably usually rather lucid, intense, or vivid; delusory, unreal, or illogical; unusual, incongruous, bizarre.

NREM dreams:

Though you’re more likely to remember your REM sleep dreams compared to NREM sleep dreams, your dream recollection of NREM dreams upon suddenly waking up (while in NREM sleep) is bound to be more lifelike, vivid, graphic, realistic.

( Dream Activation - Image Courtesy of www.macalester.edu )
( Dream Activation – Image Courtesy of www.macalester.edu )


Painting a Picture of your Dreams: Characteristics of Dreams

Do you dream in color, monochrome…what is the color scheme of your dreams? It should come as no surprise that most dreams typically occur in the natural colors, and are generally not monochrome or black and white; in fact, some dreams may be rather colorful and dazzling.

It goes further than just color, in that you do use all your 5 senses (vision, auditory, olfactory, palate and haptic) in your dreams. Just like some senses are used more often in real waking life (that is, visual and auditory more than tactile, smell then taste) so is the prevalence of usage in the dream life.


( Dreaming Asleep - Image Courtesy of www.thespiritualindian.com )
( Dreaming Asleep – Image Courtesy of www.thespiritualindian.com )


Those Bad Dreams called Nightmares…

Nightmares occur in some people, more frequently than in others, and with more severity or intensity of the Dream Anxiety Attack as they are otherwise referred to as. Just as the name suggests, nightmares — their intensity and incidence — tends to be greatly influenced by real life events that provoke worry and anxiety.


( Nightmares - Image Courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk )
( Nightmares – Image Courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk )


With regards to the correlation between age and nightmares, it is shown that nightmares are more common in children (highly prevalent at a young age) and typically set off from about 3 to 5 years of age when the child begins to experience bad dreams and even react fearfully in waking life through manifestations like fear of the dark, not wanting to sleep in their room alone, crying and screaming at night.


( Nightmares and Sleep Psychiatry - Image Courtesy of  www.slideshare.net )
( Nightmares and Sleep Psychiatry – Image Courtesy of www.slideshare.net )


Nonetheless, nightmares, their severity, intensity and frequency do tend to gradually decrease with increase in age so that they’re more common in children than in the elderly.


( Child Nightmare Dreams - Image Courtesy of loudwire.com )
( Child Nightmare Dreams – Image Courtesy of loudwire.com )



Designing Your Bedroom For Vacation in Slumberland

(Image Courtesy of https://commons.wikimedia.org )
(Image Courtesy of https://commons.wikimedia.org )

Your bedroom should feel like the consummate haven, an inviting restful place where you take shelter (or refuge) away from the bustling world outside; an escape where you can switch off completely and focus on nothing, a place to fully relax and catch some quality R&R…A fully loaded Leggett and Platt Prodigy 2.0 adjustable bed would be the ideal solution, but for many, even catching a siesta is a bonus if it happens! Beyond health reasons and environmental disturbance, the bedroom atmosphere could be robbing you of a good night’s sleep and curtailing your much needed vacation in Slumberland! Designing your bedroom to be suit your relaxation needs could be fun — or painstaking, but worth the effort, else your other option is to keep enduring sleeping in a sleep-free zone.


( Romantic Bedroom - Image Courtesy of www.glubdubs.com )
( Romantic Bedroom – Image Courtesy of www.glubdubs.com )


Basics of Designing your Bedroom

Your bedroom decor should blend in a harmonic structure of shapes and colors that complement each other and compliment the bedroom space. The outcome of such meticulous decor is a positive influence that impacts your mood and imparts harmony in what you feel which will be nothing short of a sense of inner peace and calm…

It is obviously imperative to have your bedroom space being a reflection of the different aspects that significantly define your personality, your lifestyle, your likes – a picture of your character, depicting your tastes and exhibiting your passions. We don’t have to be artists to have an aesthetic eye or artistic value, and this too would be the icing on your bedroom cake.

en.wikipedia.org Bedroom_Mitcham

(Image courtesy of Wikipedia.org )

Key things to have in mind are the profound and inevitable need for not just utmost comfort, but for practical functionality as well. Just like you could be visionary or even philosophical about your bedroom design, so should you be keen on ensuring that your bedroom does indeed boost the quality of your life – aesthetically, restfully, comfortably, and otherwise.

www.flickr.com 4587654971_fa46d02d19

(Image courtesy of Flickr)

Everything in your bedroom space will dictate on how comfortable, harmonious, inviting, and sophisticated your sleeping haven will be…including: the furnishings, furniture accessories, lighting and lamps, fabrics and drapery, rugs and carpeting, among other objects. While some bedroom design aspects will be conspicuous and statement elements, others will still add value in subtle and moderated capacities; nothing should seem to be competing for the bedroom space. For instance, stylistic design features could be subtly and intricately merged with technology without clouding or crowding the bedroom atmosphere.


Planning and Budgeting for your Interior Bedroom Design

Melding your comfort, well-being and pleasure all rolled up into one package between the four walls of your bedroom could be a personal D-I-Y project, or the assignment of an interior designer. All this, depending on your bedroom design budget; the available time (whether you’ll be living there while the bedroom is being redesigned, or if you’ll have to temporarily move out of the bedroom for some renovation works.


( Bedroom Design - Image Courtesy of twevy.com )
( Bedroom Design – Image Courtesy of twevy.com )


Hoarding and Bedroom Design

Designing your bedroom also goes further than just the aesthetic appeal and artistic effects…it also and often necessitates the need for some (if not a great deal of) de-cluttering which will involve: some replacements – say with modern furnishings or new beddings and drapery; and disposing off of items that no longer serve their purpose, or, are much worse, killing the zen in your bedroom space and therefore ruining your vacation in slumberland.


pixabay.com wall-panel-416041_960_720

(Image courtesy of pixabay.com)


Diagnosing Your Sleeping Position: How Do You Sleep?

How many sleeping positions do you know, rather and more importantly, what’s your dominant sleep position? Not to venture into the wealth of literature you’ve read on the topic at hand, but scientifically speaking, there are only just 3 sleep positions: Sleeping on your stomach, sleeping on you back, or sleeping on your side. Then begs the next question: what good does your reflexive sleep position do you?


Benefits of the different sleep positions

1. Sleeping on your Side:

This touted to be extremely beneficial for anyone with sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep loss and sleep impairment. How so? Scientific research has shown that you’ll easily catch more rest while sleeping on your side; and in this position you’re much less likely to experience sleep disruption. Aside from the nocturnal ones with sleep disorders, other groups of people for whom sleeping on the side is highly recommended include people with:

  • Hip dislocation or hip pain
  • Weak joints and painful joints (inflamed joints)
  • Backache and sore shoulders
  • Expectant women


www.publicdomainpictures.net_sleeping street

(Image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net)

It is appreciated that sleeping on your side alleviates the pressure and pain imposed on the body’s pressure points and aforementioned key common body complaints. Side-sleeping does not even necessitate the use of a pillow or to use your lower arm as a pillow: this is because your neck will be naturally supported while your lower shoulder is completely hunched (your neck tends to obey gravity by reflexively deviating to grounding).


www.telegraph.co.uk Untitled-1_2372461b

(Image courtesy of Telegraph.co.uk)

Sleeping on your side can be enacted in several variations of the position, but you’re sure to be most comfortable with your knees curled up towards your chest area while lying on your side. There may be a minor traction formed in the lower back area (about the cervical spine).


2. Sleeping on your Back:

Otherwise called the Supine sleeping position, lying on your back has been known to be counterproductive to sleep by inducing :

  • Phases of intermittent sleep apnea
  • Sleep deprivation due to sleep loss and sleep disruption – causing an overall lower quality of sleep due to the impact on the normal sleep-cycle
  • Agitation of the sleeper leading to restlessness – the supine sleeper may wake up feeling sore or tired especially in the shoulders and back area

Not to rule out sleeping on the back.. A recommended remedy to counter the potential risks of the supine position is by anchoring the knees so that they’re a little elevated; and this could be by placing a rolled towel or soft pillow right beneath the knees. This should naturally align the body, inclining the body’s spine to its natural curvature.


en.wikipedia.org_sleeping supine and prone

(Image courtesy of en.wikipedia.org)

3. Sleeping on your Stomach:

So far this may very well be the least favored of the aforementioned sleeping positions, lying on your stomach, also known as the Prone sleeping position. Sleeping prone is not recommended by medical professionals, more so sleep experts…They warn that sleeping on the stomach poses the following risks:
Prone sleepers experience constant tossing and turning in bed in a bid to settle in a comfortable sleeping position

  • Has been reported to promote restlessness
  • Sleeping on your tummy may lead to sore upper shoulders and neck pain
  • It leads to strain and tension in the lower back are
  • It causes discomfort and compression of your precious internal organ
  • Is generally strenuous on your neck and spine

Persons suffering from sleeping disorders are altogether advised against the Prone-position which only further complicates their sleeping disturbances.

deviantart.com sleepy

(Image courtesy of DeviantArt.com)

Nonetheless, the prone sleeper is advised to keep most complications at bay by simply doing without a pillow, or, if absolutely necessary, to get by with a very soft pillow. The cushioning of a pillow is deemed unnecessary in this sleeping position so as to avoid having the sleeper’s neck anchored in awkward uncomfortable angles relative to the spine. On our review of the best memory foam mattress brands, we recommend firm mattresses for stomach sleepers.

(Video courtesy of: Yahoo.com)

Consensus on Most Favorable Sleeping Position

There is to no surprise, a faction of sleep scientists who insist that sleeping on the back (Supine-position) is actually the most recommended way to sleep. Perhaps this has a lot to do with how parents are advised to lay their infant babies in supine positioning, or why inpatients admitted in hospital wards are made to lie down this way by default on their hospital beds. Supporting supine as the healthiest sleeping position is a number of reasons advocating sleeping on your back:

  • The supine position posited to promote optimal blood flow to the brain and eliminates the risk of congestion
  • Facilitates for easier breathing eliminating the risk of suffocation or obstructed breathing obstruction


(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

The ultimate supine sleeping position is specified as lying on your back with your head inclined with an elevation of about 10 – 30% for optimal comfort and rest. Case in point, for instance, is lying in a hammock… Even in historical native tradition, the default lying position was inevitably lying on the back in supine position, with that elevation for the natural curvature of the spine — as opposed to lying down on flat level spaces.


Practical Approach to Supine Sleeping Position

It may take a while before you can literally train yourself into a sleeping position that is different from the sleeping posture you naturally and automatically take on when you fall asleep.


www.dummies.com 443180.image0

(Image courtesy of: Dummies.com)

To enact the proper and supposedly healthiest sleeping position, consider grabbing a couple of pillows, a mattress foam wedge, using block chips to raise the bed at the headboard side, or alternatively using an adjustable bed instead. Ideally, you should have both the head area and leg area elevated, as in an adjustable bed, but only to an optimal comfortable positioning. The wedge foam will go under the leg area to take care of the slight inclination of the legs. Your resultant sleeping position will be almost akin to resting on a reclining chair while leaning your back. It shouldn’t feel unnatural or strained but rather, relaxing, accommodating to the shoulders and back, aligning with the spine, and just right for perfect slumber.



Sleep Personalities: What Does Your Sleeping Position Say About You?

You didn’t know what was ailing your aching back and sore joints until you read about the diagnostics of sleeping positions–more importantly, the diagnosis of your own typically default sleep posture. Now you’re just about to find out how your sleeping position speaks volumes about you, and that one only needs to watch you sleeping to figure out the kind of a person you really are during waking hours.


How many sleeping positions are there?

First things first, how about going through the sleeping positions and finding out how many ways you could “pose in slumber”…that is, how many different sleeping positions Classifications vary, and some consider alternative complexities like sleeping positions for couples, the physically challenged; or by sleeping space: sleeping positions in a train/vehicle, in a small space, on a hard surface, just to dart a few examples.

One classification, the one used here is based on a scientific study that assessed how test subjects slept and whether their sleeping positions had any indications to their personality traits.

Here 6 sleeping positions are analyzed accordingly with research study results:


www.flatseats.com sleep-types

(Image courtesy of flatseats.com )

1. Fetus sleeping position

In the study, a great number of test subjects were found to sleep in the fetal position, precisely, 41% of the study group. The Fetal sleeping position typically entails sleeping in a curled up fashion just like a fetus in the pregnant mother’s womb.
Fetal sleepers are usually women among whom the prevalence is twice more probable and even favorable especially when they are pregnant (it is also the ideal sleeping position for expectant women).


www.thesun.co.uk 1447005.main_image

(Image courtesy of www.thesun.co.uk)

Variations to the Fetus sleeping position are:

1.1.   Full-Fetal sleeping position

Here the sleeper simply sleeps completely hunched up exactly like a curled up fetus in the womb.Fetal sleepers sleep on their sides, all curled up, knees very close to the chest, while the head is inclined forward.

Full-Fetal Personality Profile:

Full-fetal sleepers are said to be extremely emotional and sensitive beings, and therefore have intense, highly-charged relationships that are personal and one-to-one. Another interesting observation that was made is that women who are naturally inclined to sleeping in the full-fetal sleeping position have great potential to experience multiple orgasms during sexual intercourse.

www.telegraph.co.uk best-sleeping-posi_3321371b

(Image courtesy of: Telegraph.co.uk)

1.2.   Semi-Fetal sleeping position

The semi-fetal position may very well be the most prevalent sleeping position of all with the majority of people naturally falling asleep while in this position. Sleep experts also vouch for the semi-fetal sleeping position as the ideal and optimal positioning. It entails sleeping on your side while your knees are slightly hunched up towards the belly; and one arm may be stretched out above your head while the other arm comfortably rests above the other and cradling your head in a suitable angle.

Semi-Fetal Personality Profile:

Semi-fetal sleepers are seen to be very compromising and even have a conciliatory nature. They are peacable, pose no threats, and also seen to be non-shakers.


modernhealthmonk.com Proper-Fetal-Position

(Image courtesy of: modernhealthmonk.com)

Fetal Position General Personality Profile:

Fetal sleepers are touted to have a tough outer personality but are softies and very sensitive, even shy. They are however very personable and can easily warm up to others.


2.  Soldier sleeping position

The Soldier position entails lying on the back with one’s arms comfortably positioned beside the lying body. About 8% of the study subjects were found to sleep in this position. It is also noted that this position tends to present higher chances of snoring and this is because of the supine sleep position (lying on the back). While snoring may not necessarily cause sleep loss or sleep deprivation, it may lower the quality of sleep so that the Soldier sleeper is not well/fully rested when they wake up.

Soldier Position Personality Profile:

Soldier sleepers are considered to be less outwardly and are more internal characters, having a cool-calm-collected personality, without much fuss. Although a regular platform bed would work just fine, the Leggett and Prodigy 2.0, one of the best adjustable bed models of 2017, can be highly recommended for soldier personality sleepers.

www.thesun.co.uk 1447008.main_image

(Image courtesy of www.thesun.co.uk)

3.  Log sleeping position

Turns out sleeping like a log is not just a metaphorical expression… In fact Log sleepers accounted for 15% of the test subjects. It entails lying on the side while both your arms are also rested down as shown in the illustration.

Log Position Personality Profile:

Sleeping like a log implies that you are a sociable person that’s easy-going and one who trusts others with the tendency of gullibility.

www.thesun.co.uk 1447003.main_image

(Image courtesy of www.thesun.co.uk)

4.  Starfish sleeping position

The Starfish position is simply the Supine sleeping position (lying on the back) but with one’s arms “flinging up” just about the pillow or near the head. Some 5% of the test subjects were found to sleep in this way. Just like the Soldier sleeping position, the Starfish position also poses the risk of snoring while asleep due to the inclination when lying on your back. This further implies that the Starfish sleeper may not catch sufficient rest thus a good night’s sleep may become a constant desire due to restlessness.

Starfish Position Personality Profile:

Starfish sleepers are nice to talk to as they are good listeners. You shouldn’t have trouble starting a conversation with them or asking for assistance as they are also usually willing to help out.

www.thesun.co.uk 1447006.main_image

(Image courtesy of www.thesun.co.uk)

5.  Freefall sleeping position

To lie in freefall is simply an enactment of the Prone sleeping position, that is: Lying on the stomach, the head is turned over to either side, with one’s arms tucked underneath or snugly hugging a pillow. About 7% of the participants were found to sleep in freefall position.

Freefall Position Personality Profile:

Freefall sleepers have a extrovert personality, they are outgoing and can be brash. They also don’t take criticism too nicely and may be unnerved by it.

www.thesun.co.uk 1447007.main_image

(Image courtesy of www.thesun.co.uk)

6.   Yearner sleeping position

The Yearner sleeper lies on their side with their arms outstretched (as if beckoning with the arms or “yearning”). Study subjects who slept in this position were 13% of the test group.


Yearner Position Personality Profile:

Yearner sleepers have the tendency to be open-minded yet cynical. They can be obstinate and may harbor suspicions; they are rather rigid once a decision is made they cannot change their minds.

www.thesun.co.uk 1447004.main_image

(Image courtesy of www.thesun.co.uk)

The Science of Sleep – Know What Defines Your Sleep

How can you tell if you’re sleeping enough? And are you suffering from Fatigue, or Sleepiness? And what is the difference, if any? Fatigue or extreme tiredness, exhaustion and weariness may be a secondary or direct consequence of sleep loss or sleep deprivation which is easily identified in constant sleepiness better known as Excessive Daytime Sleepiness.

(EEG Image courtesy of en.wikipedia.org)
(EEG Image courtesy of en.wikipedia.org)

Measuring Sleep Patterns

Physiological analysis of your sleep using EEG Electro-encephalography, EOG Electro-oculography, and EMG Electro-myography further depict your sleep as having two key individual stages:

  1. the NREM stage (Non Rapid Eye Movement) and,
  2. the REM stage (Rapid Eye Movement).

These two sleep stages operate cyclically in alternating turns; they are independently controlled, and therefore function independently as well.


REM NREM Image Courtesy of faculty.washington.edu
(REM NREM Image Courtesy of faculty.washington.edu )

Read our review of the Top 10 Best Adjustable Beds and see if that can help regularize your sleeping cycle.

In adult humans, their sleeping cycle exhibits 4 to 6 cycles, each of which averages anything from 110 to 90 minutes. NREM stage dominates about 75-80% of the total sleeping time and has 3 more sub-levels (N1, N2 and N3) , while the REM stage takes up about 20-25% of the total sleeping time and dominates the last third portion of the sleep (slow-wave sleep accounts for most of the first third of the sleeping time).

REM sleep in infant newborn babies takes up about 50% of the sleep. This however changes by the time they get to 6 years old when their REM sleep reduces to the normal average REM sleep of an adult which takes up about 25% of the sleep. It only takes about 3 months for a newborn baby to achieve the NREM/REM sleep cycling patterns of adult’s sleep.

Accordingly, the progression of sleep states goes from the wakeful state, to the onset of the sleeping state, which graduates to NREM sleep stage and finally the REM sleep stage.


( Sleep NREM and REM - Image Courtesy of www.habitot.org )
( Sleep NREM and REM – Image Courtesy of www.habitot.org )


The EEG is most instrumental in understanding sleep disorders. EEG also helps in observing and analyzing the two main stages of sleep, NREM and REM, nonetheless, the EMG and EOG are equally important in sleep analysis. Some of the key observations made include:


( EEG of NREM sleep and REM sleep - Image Courtesy of cnx.org )
( EEG of NREM sleep and REM sleep – Image Courtesy of cnx.org )


(For the REM – Rapid Eye Movement stage)

  • REM sleep consists of rapid rhythms, rapid EEG activity at low voltage
  • REM brainwaves are Theta waves,
  • REM waves have a saw-tooth plotting
  • REM bears rapid eye movements that are multi-directional
  • REM indicates diminished muscle activity within the chin area via an EMG
  • REM presents phased vacillation in the cardiac activity and blood pressure
  • REM features phased tongue motions
  • REM elicits irregular rates of respiration
  • REM sleep is absent of muscle tone contractions
  • REM sleep also highlights even lower responsiveness to external stimulation
( Sleep Spindles and K-Complexes Image Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org )
( Sleep Spindles and K-Complexes Image Courtesy of  en.wikipedia.org )

(For the NREM – None Rapid Eye Movement stage)

  • NREM is represented by progression into a state of diminished responsiveness to external or environmental stimuli;
  • NREM is characterized by slow movements of the eyes (unlike REM which has rapid eye movements)
  • NREM shows via EEG slow brainwave activity
  • NREM plotting shows waveforms with K complexes and spindles
  • NREM typically bears minimal muscle contractions and movements
(EEG of REM sleep and NREM sleep - Image Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org)
(EEG of REM sleep and NREM sleep – Image Courtesy of  commons.wikimedia.org)


Your Sleep Requirements by Age

The amount of sleep required varies progressively with age, from the fetus, to the infant, early childhood to teenage years and finally adulthood and senior years. Sleep requirements also depend on the growth, development and maturation state of the CNS (Central Nervous System). Certain other factors are bound to affect the changes in sleep patterns and these include: environmental aspects, neurological factors, genetic background, and any other co-morbid medical disorders of the neurological system and other body systems.


( Sleep Requirements - Image Courtesy of academic.pgcc.edu )

( Sleep Requirements – Image Courtesy of academic.pgcc.edu )

The bottom line remains: That one’s sleep patterns and sleeping requirements do change rather drastically from their infant years to the latter time in older age.

In newborn babies, the sleeping patterns are found to be polyphasic (meaning they need several sessions of sleeping time) whereby infants require at good 16 hours of sleeping time each day. However, this gradually decreases to about 11 hours of sleep per day as they grow older at around 3 to 5 years old. By the time they get to the pre-pubertal years of 9 to 10 years old, they only require about 10 hours of sleep per day.

Once they’ve grown into adulthood, the average requirement for adults in sleeping time is about 7 to 8 hours of sleep for a night’s sleep. Sleep in adults is monophasic meaning they only require one session of sleep (one phase, say overnight or daytime for night shift workers); this however later changes in the elderly whose sleep patterns are biphasic (which means two separate sleeping sessions, say the main sleeping time at night, plus an afternoon siesta), just like in infant babies and pre-schoolers who require biphasic sleeping sessions.


Circadian Rhythm of Sleep-Wake Patterns

The primary role of the Circadian Rhythm is to keep the physiological, behavioral and humoral body systems coordinated so as to modulate the sleep-wake patterns. Notably, there are two distinct and opposite components:

1. The homeostatic desire to sleep
2. The circadian rhythm of arousal

( Sleep Urge and Circadian Rhythm - Image Courtesy of rebrn.com )
( Sleep Urge and Circadian Rhythm – Image Courtesy of rebrn.com )


To distinguish these two key components:
>> In the precedence homeostatic drive, the person experiences an increased need for sleep (a propensity or inclination to sleep) which is indicated by sleepiness; it comes after a prolonged period of being in the wakeful state.

>> In the precedence of the circadian rhythm, the person experiences alternations in the alertness of their physiological processes and this affects various aspects of their sleepiness or need for sleep (including the duration of sleep, timing of sleep, among other factors); these changes are experienced as they occur depending on the time of the day as they are cyclical alternations.


( SCN - Image Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org )
( SCN – Image Courtesy of  en.wikipedia.org )


When one wakes up in the morning after coming from deep sleep overnight, the body’s homeostatic desire for sleep is pretty much null; and the output of the SCN (Supra Chiasmatic Nuclei) is low. This may be seen by recording the firing rates of the intra-cerebral neurons.


( Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Homeostasis - Image Courtesy of www.medscape.org )
( Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Homeostasis – Image Courtesy of  www.medscape.org )


Gradually, with the progression of the day (during daytime), the homeostatic desire for sleep is seen to gain with time; and this is further counteracted by an increased output of the SCN. Towards the onset of the dusk as the day ends, the output of the SCN is however seen to diminish as the homeostatic desire which is at its peak leads to the onset of the sleeping state.

Early at dawn (during daybreak), the homeostatic desire for sleep is little to none, while the circadian rhythm is seen to take charge causing arousal that triggers one to wake up, and thus beckoning the onset of a wakeful state.



Sleep Disorders – Know What’s Killing Your Sleep

(Sleep and Sleeping Disorders - Image Courtesy of en.paperblog.com )
(Sleep and Sleeping Disorders - Image Courtesy of en.paperblog.com )


You may have noticed that you’re more likely to feel sleepy at certain times of the day… Scientifically, there are two time periods when you’re very likely to feel sleepy and thus most vulnerable to falling asleep, and they are: the period from 2:00 AM to 6:00 AM; and the period from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM. It is further noted that the earlier time capsule in the early morning hours (2:00 – 6:00 AM) bears a much stronger desire to sleep than the latter one in the afternoon.


( Drowsy Driving Graph - Image Courtesy of www.cdc.gov )
( Drowsy Driving Graph – Image Courtesy of www.cdc.gov )


It therefore comes as no surprise that the greatest incidence of accidents due to sleepiness are found to occur at this very same time period in the early morning hours.


( Time of Road Accident Occurrence - Drowsy Driving - Image Courtesy of www.nhtsa.gov )
( Time of Road Accident Occurrence – Drowsy Driving – Image Courtesy of www.nhtsa.gov )

READ: What’s the best memory foam mattress type to prevent sleep disorders?

Biological Factors Affecting Your Sleep

Aside from the homeostatic condition and circadian rhythm factors that contribute to sleep patterns in humans, certain other factors like proteins (called Cytokines, produced by Leukocytes) among other cells that act as mediators in the intra-cerebral cells also have a key role in the regulation of both sleep and immunity. Particularly, the Cytokines have a great impact on the pathogenesis and incidence of EDSExcessive Daytime Sleepiness which is associated with sleep deprivation and various sleep disorders.


Further, there are certain sleep enhancing substances otherwise known as sleep factors that promote sleep. After long periods of being in the wakeful state, or when the person is suffering from illness due to inflammation (rheumatoid arthritis, HIV) or infection (viral, bacterial), the concentration of these sleep factors increases markedly thus inducing sleep.

( Cytokines and Sleep Loss - Image Courtesy of www.researchgate.net )
( Cytokines and Sleep Loss – Image Courtesy of www.researchgate.net )

What is the Function of Sleep?

The true function of sleep is seen to be one of the greatest mysteries in science. Nonetheless, there’s no doubting the essential necessity of sleep given that sleep deprivation has been shown to result in dire consequences in both the long-term and short-term. Sleep deprivation typically results from modern lifestyles as well as sleeping disorders such as Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, neurological, psychiatric and psychological (personality) disorders, and may also be a side-effect of medication.

(Sleep Deprivation Image Courtesy of - www.lifehack.org )
(Sleep Deprivation Image Courtesy of – www.lifehack.org )


Short-term effects of sleep deprivation:

  • Low attention span
  • Diminished concentration
  • Lowered quality of life
  • Reduced productivity
  • Accidents and mishaps on the road, at home and other environs
  • Absenteeism from work or school

Long-term effects of sleep deprivation:

  • Obesity
  • Impaired memory
  • Depression
  • Cardiac disease (coronary artery disease, heart failure)
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes (especially Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus)
  • Increased mortality and morbidity (due to accidents and sleep-related chronic diseases)


( Sleep Deprivation - Image Courtesy of healthpromotion.caltech.edu )
( Sleep Deprivation – Image Courtesy of healthpromotion.caltech.edu )


Undebatable is the fact that quality sleep is known to be conservative and restorative to one’s health, adaptive to one’s ideal physiological state, consolidating to one’s memory and cognitive functioning, thermoregulative in the body temperature. For instance, scientific studies have confirmed that adequate sleep before study and learning is vital to memory consolidation.


Prevalence of Sleep Complaints in the US population

In the final report from the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research, it was shown that over 40 million citizens of the US actually suffer from chronic sleep disorders that affect their sleep and wakeful states; the same is seen across the globe as prevalence of sleep complaints is very rampant especially with modern lifestyles and current demands. It was shown that about 35% of the US population has trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep, or waking up early in the morning, or experience non-restorative sleep. For many of them (about 10%) the insomnia persists to affect their normal functioning during the day; while millions others (3-4%) suffer from Sleep Apnea. Every 1 in 5 adults is shown to complain of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS).


( Sleep Deprivation - Image Courtesy www.bbc.com )
( Sleep Deprivation – Image Courtesy www.bbc.com )


There were 4 main sleep-related complaints that people mostly seek medical attention for, namely:

  1. Insomnia
  2. EDS – Excessive Daytime Somnolence
  3. Inability to fall asleep
  4. Abnormal behavior and movement during sleep


Clinical Evaluation of your Sleeping Disorder

When you seek medical attention for your suspected sleeping disorder, several factors will be assessed even before lab tests can be carried out; you will first undergo an analysis of your medical history, as well as a physical examination of your body.

Your medical history evaluation will be as detailed as possible, assessing factors such as: your sleeping habits and patterns; medical history of any medication previously or currently being taken; any underlying neurological, psychological and psychiatric disorders; whether one is using any drugs and substances like alcohol; the family history – any genetic disorders (cardiovascular, endocrinological, respiratory, neurological) and general family background.

The medical assessment of your sleeping condition will not just focus on the symptoms presented in the tight time frame at the onset of sleep or the duration of your sleeping phase, but rather, an entire analysis of the 24 hours in your day will be under the microscope. Your sleeping pattern will be evaluated based on: time of sleep onset, frequency of sleep, type of symptoms presented and at what time.


( Pediatric PSG - Image Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org )
( Pediatric PSG Testing – Image Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org )


Some of the common symptoms typically assessed occur in the early evening (at night), or at various stages of sleep and they include:

  • RLS – Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Leg jerking during the night
  • RBD – REM Behavior Disorder
  • Abnormal NREM behavior and movements
  • Transition disorders of the Sleep-Wake cycle
  • Arousal disorders
  • Snoring
  • Repetitive awakening (sleep disruption)
  • Breathing disorders during one’s sleep (e.g. Breathing cessation while asleep)
  • Constant inevitable desire to fall asleep
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep walking
  • Lab Testing in Diagnosing Sleep Disorders


After the extensive evaluation of the patient’s medical history and their physical examination, laboratory testing follows suit. The ab testing should entail a build up of the primary sleeping condition that leads up to other secondary symptoms and conditions which are co-morbid to the sleep disorder.

There are 2 key lab tests in analyzing and testing a sleep disorder, and they are:

  • PSG – Polysomnography
  • MSLT – Multiple Sleep Latency Test


( PSG Test Image Courtesy of - www.chicagosleepapneasnoring.com )
( PSG Test Image Courtesy of – www.chicagosleepapneasnoring.com )


The PSG Test concurrently assesses several physiological aspects including: airflow in the nose, airflow in the mouth, repiratory (breathing) effort), saturation of oxygen, positioning of the body, snore analysis, EEG (Electro-Encephalography), EMG (Electro-Myography), EOG (Electro-Oculography), EKG (Electro-Cardiography).


(MSLT Image Courtesy of - www.medscape.org )
(MSLT Image Courtesy of – www.medscape.org )


Contrary to common assumptions, sleep analysis of sleep disorders is not only relevant and dynamic, but also complicated yet necessary — especially considering how important sufficient restful sleep is to your overall well-being.



Pros and Cons of Adjustable Beds

Split-king adjustable bed

Everything under the sun has a bright side AND a dark side. Adjustable beds are no exception to this rule. While there’s plenty of good about them, there are also a couple of noteworthy drawbacks about them. Let’s discuss all of them below.

After you finish here, don’t forget to check out our 10 BEST Adjustable Beds – Reviews, PROS, CONS

Adjustable Beds – PROS

  1. Relief from pain – users of adjustable beds consistently report relief from pain resulting from back problems, arthritis, neck problems, frozen shoulder, and cramping. People with spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, and degenerative spondylolisthesis have found adjustable beds particularly beneficial. In addition, adjustable beds are also known to relieve people from insomnia, breathing/sinus/allergy problems , snoring, swollen legs, asthma, heartburn/reflux, heart/circulation problems, and restless leg syndrome (RLS).
  2. More comfortable than conventional beds – inclines of no more than 30 – 45 degrees (semi-Fowler’s position) are most popular. Best rated models nowadays have programmable memory positions as well. That way you can reach that favorite sweet spot with the touch of a single-button! Conventional beds will not
  3. Convenience factor – lets you sit-up in bed at any incline/angle you want (infinite number of ergonomic rest positions). This makes watching TV, playing video games, reading a newspaper/book, typing on a laptop, having breakfast in bed, nursing/breast feeding, and even jumping in and out of bed a whole lot more convenient compared to a conventional bed
  4. High ‘intimacy factor’ – we’ll not go into details here and let your imagination run riot
  5. Independence – move without disturbing your sleep partner. Especially with split-queen and split-king type of adjustable beds
  6. Built-in massage – many adjustable beds come with a built-in massage feature nowadays. Higher-end ones come with advanced features like different modes of massaging, timers etc.
  7. Low maintenance
  8. Up to 25 years of limited warranty (full warranty generally <5 years)
  9. USB chargers for phones, tablets – don’t make your purchasing decision based on USB chargers, however, if you can get one without having to spend extra, it’s certainly worth it because you’re likely to use them on a daily basis
  10. Lumbar Support: Some models of adjustable beds like this one has something known as Lumbar support. As the name suggests, these beds have a separate bar jotting out to support your lumbar area; can be very helpful to those of you with lower back pain

Adjustable Beds – CONS

  1. Your current mattresses may not work – this type of adjustable mattress works best with adjustable beds while spring mattresses don’t
  2. More expensive than conventional beds
  3. Time consuming – there isn’t a pre-set miracle position that is the perfect sweet spot for every person. You’ll need to play with it a few days (or nights) to find those custom angles that soothe you (and your partner) the best. With these adjustable beds, the angles matter more than the size! In contrast, conventional beds are ‘plug and play’
  4. Mechanical failures – whenever there are motors/electronics involved, there’s always the possibility of them failing. TVs, radios, cars, KitchenAid mixers, air conditioners, you name it… all of above can have mechanical failures at some point. Adjustable beds are no exception. However, the popular consensus is that, if they fail, they fail within a short period of you starting to use it. Because most adjustable bed manufacturers provide at least 1 year of comprehensive warranty, those defective units that are bound to fail, will likely fail within the warranty period. So, even though adjustable beds are not fail-proof like conventional beds, you have little to worry about because of the warranties offered by their manufacturers.
  5. A touch of danger – if you poke your hand between the bed foundation and the frame while it’s being lowered, potentially, your hand can get injured. This won’t happen with a conventional platform bed. However, many modern adjustable beds have built-in safety features to prevent your hands getting caught.

Attractive features you shouldn’t be fooled by

  1. Fancy fabric cover – be it fabric, leather, rexin, or wooden, DO NOT make your purchasing decision based on ‘outer looks’
  2. Sleek legs – legs can be seductive whether they’re of women or otherwise
  3. Elegant remote controls
  4. Better mattress – you don’t have to buy a bed + mattress combo. You can buy just an adjustable bed base and shop for that perfect mattress elsewhere

The most important features to look for

  1. The plywood deck should be no less than 5/8” to ¾” thick
  2. Motors should be UL (Underwriters Laboratories) listed and rated
  3. Modular systems that let you remove and replace a part ‘gone bad’: e.g. motor, hinge, wiring etc.
  4. BIG, backlit remote – Why BIG? Don’t we go for smaller and slimmer gadgets these days? The simple answer is that smaller remotes can get easily lost among those pillows, bed sheets, and comforters. Yes, they do get lost quite a bit, that’s why most remotes come with the ‘locate remote’ feature these days. Why backlit? Because you won’t have to turn on your night lamp every time you want to play with your remote
  5. Wall hugging feature – so that you’re always lined up with the night-stand
  6. Lifting capacity – while some beds can lift up to 600 pounds (in addition to the mattress), others cannot ‘lift’ over 400 pounds. For a queen bed holding two persons, this can be a problem. Pay close attention to this feature
  7. Steel legs – steel legs are always recommended over aluminum legs when it comes to adjustable beds
  8. Battery backup in case of power failure – can come in handy especially if you live in an area with frequent power failures
  9. Quiet motor – some motors are loud and must be avoided by all means
  10. Compatibility with your existing bed frame – why spend for another frame if the base is compatible with your current frame?
  11. Customer support – not every adjustable bed manufacturer stands by their word. Given that this is a relatively delicate piece of equipment, it’s wise to go with a company that is tested and proven

Bedroom Design Tips for the Master Bedroom

If your master bedroom does not feel like a honeymoon retreat, then you’re in the right place for some great bedroom design tips for couples’ bedroom.


Yin-Yang Balance: His and Hers Retreat

Strike a yin-yang balance through the dominant colors and hues, for his and hers, this including the wallpaper shades, eye-level dominant colors, and the overall color scheme. Though an ancient pre-historic Chinese medicinal concept, Yin-Yang energy balance is just as important today as it was back then.


( Bedroom Designs - Image Courtesy of twevy.com )
( Bedroom Designs – Image Courtesy of twevy.com )


Yin (female) energy balance in the room will be highlighted in the softer effeminate colors (favorite colors of hers), and in artistic bedroom accessories like embellished wallpaper; decorative embossed ceilings with sophisticated chandeliers; beautiful flower vases, lamp shades; fine drapery with thick matching rugs and carpeting; silky bedding sheets and velvety linen with enough throws and pillows neatly littered about the bedroom space…just to touch on a few of the master bedroom design tips that will channel the feminine energy.

Yang (male) energy balance in the master bedroom should easily channel through bold colors and masculine hues (or favorite colors of his); brilliant dazzling lights–assorted types strategically positioned about the bedroom space, and this includes lamps and portable spotlights; customized statement head-boards and foot-boards accompanied with macho chests and bedside tables, just to highlight a few bedroom tips for his

 pixabay.com Beautiful bedroom(Image courtesy of pixabay.com)

Themed Master Bedroom Designs

Feel free to get all creative here in finding your desired master bedroom theme, there’s no limit to just how customized to a Tee or bizarrely unique your bedroom theme can be.


Default bedroom design themes you could kick off with include options of:

Modern vs. Rustic Bedroom themes

An apartment bedroom on a Condo overlooking busy New York City is more likely to feature a modern-themed decor, while a suburban villa home in Seattle is more likely to sell furnished with a Rustic-bedroom theme. Rustic would call for polished wood finishing and furnishing, carvings and sculptures, antique pieces like vintage wall clocks and ancient art, to name but a few touches.


wikimedia Victorian bedroom

(Image courtesy of Wikimedia.org)

Cozy vs. Minimalist Bedroom themes

The Minimalist route is a pretty good way to strike the balance for a modern couple using just that: Simplicity through inviting minimalism. Fine lines without the frills, astute unique colors without the fanfare, functional furniture additions and elegantly blended interior decor…It’s not meant to be an obstruction, but instead, subjection to your modern lifestyle. None of the pieces in a truly modern minimalist bedroom space should be “in the way of anything”, rather, chic clever pieces should be obscurely available; creative Inlays, concealed wardrobes and tucked shelves will win the bedroom space… They key is in adding onto the entire bedroom ambiance without standing out too much yet without which, making all the difference.



(Image courtesy of: DeviantArt.com)


Should you settle for the Cozy-themed master bedroom, not only will you get away with plenty of D-I-Y, but further, the alternate to Minimalism generally applies: The more the merrier! Apparently, this also usurps the available bedroom space and could very easily become counterproductive for the Zen in your master bedroom.


pixabay.com cozy bedroom

(Image courtesy of: Pixabay.com)


“Cooling” vs. “Warming” Bedroom themes

These two themes are mainly expressed in the color schemes and in the bedroom lighting used. However, the design concepts go beyond just the use of cooling colors like pale blues, purple violets and white; or warming colors like gold, red, yellow and orange.


www.iha.com Oriental bedroom

(Image courtesy of: iha.com)

Futuristic vs. Oriental Bedroom themes

Be careful not to cross over to converting your master bedroom feel to “museum-like” in a bid to channel the Futuristic-themed bedroom design…it’s not too easy falling asleep in a jewelry store! Artistic, timeless accessories like canvas paintings from the East, exotic Persian rugs, traditional patterned wallpaper, giant Asiatic fans and vases are sure to bring out the Oriental-themed bedroom very nicely if any interior designer should say so! On the other hand, a tapestry from the 19th century and an Leggett & Platt Prodigy 2.0 adjustable bed are very unlikely to go together in the same bedroom. This is where you really need to make sure you either pick a modern, futuristic theme or a traditional, country theme. Mixing the two in one form or the other can spell disaster to your master bedroom.