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Is Sleeping Outside Good For You? 4 Tips for Good Sleep in the Great Outdoors0

Summer is approaching, and that means the weather’s getting warmer and people are spending more time outside. This means activities like barbecues, gardening, swimming, and camping. Camping can be an especially wonderful way to pass the time— getting away from the hustle and bustle of regular life, getting back to nature, and sleeping under the stars.

Spending time outside can be a great way to get a good night’s sleep too, but is sleeping outside good for you? 

It is! 

But if you’re not a seasoned camper or have never slept outside before, it may seem pretty daunting. Don’t worry. With the right preparations, getting a good night’s sleep outside may soon become your favorite thing to do!

The Health Benefits of the Great Outdoors

According to a study sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans spend, on average, nearly 90 percent of their time indoors. Yikes! This has likely gotten worse in the last year from quarantine restrictions— but now that those restrictions are lifting, we can once again return to enjoying the great outdoors, all that fresh air, and their wonderful benefits.

Sunlight and Vitamin D

I always tell my patients that Light is Medicine. Sunlight is some of the best medicine you can get, as it helps your body produce Vitamin D.

Vitamin D helps keep your body and your immune system healthy. Sunlight is also the best way to help your body and brain wake up in the morning. It doesn’t take very long either— just 30 minutes of blue light exposure in the morning, especially sunlight, can help supply your body with all the Vitamin D it needs as well as contribute to better cognitive performance.

Being Outside Encourages Exercise

Any physical activity outside makes you more likely to exercise. Factors like the wind or uneven ground can help add variety to your workouts and burn more calories. So if you’re looking to get a little more fit, getting outside is a great place to start!

It Gives You a Mental Health Boost

Relaxing, low-stress activities like walking outside or enjoying the sunshine can help boost your mood and decrease anxiety. Sunlight raises your natural serotonin levels, which helps keep you happy, calm, and focused.

Similarly, spending time in a forest can do wonders for your mental health and your physical health. In what’s known as “forest bathing—” from the Japanese term shinrin-yoku (forest bath)— people can reap amazing health and relaxation benefits just by slowing down and spending time in nature. 

Forest bathing isn’t as odd as it sounds, and yes, you can keep your clothes on! It also isn’t like hiking or exercising. Instead of focusing on the physical aspect of the trek, you want to root yourself in the mental aspect of it. Once you are in nature, there is no planned physical destination, so really take your time and let yourself wander. Allow your senses to fully take in the environment, and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, smells, and tactile sensations of this serene environment. Make sure to leave your phone in your pocket or bag, and turn it off or to airplane mode before you begin though. You don’t want any distractions here.

Making these connections with the natural world around you helps promote relaxation and wellbeing, which can do wonders for your mental health and happiness.

It’s Great for Your Sleep

A person’s circadian rhythm is directly influenced by light exposure, mainly that of the sun. Prior to the invention of our electronic devices and artificial light, our circadian rhythms were influenced entirely by the sun. This is why we rise in the morning with the sun, and wind down in the evening as it sets.

Our exposure to artificial light delays our natural circadian clocks, and exposure to artificial blue light at night inhibits our melatonin production, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. However, spending time outside more closely aligns our circadian clock to the sun’s schedule, which helps our brain produce enough melatonin to get us to sleep on time and get the quality REM sleep we need to feel refreshed in the morning.

What are the Benefits of Sleeping Outside?

We already established how simply being outside can help you sleep better. So by extension, should spending more time outside create more restful sleep? Actually, yes.

In a study published by Current Biology, participants embarked on backcountry camping trips without the use of technology— this includes their electronic devices and even flashlights. Prior to the trips, participants tended to stay up past midnight each night and wake up around 8 AM due to their work, school, and social schedules.

Following the camping trips, researchers found that increased exposure to sunlight and reduced exposure to artificial light had a positive effect on the participants’ circadian rhythms. This resulted in a two-hour backwards shift, and the participants going to bed about two hours earlier each night.

Our typical modern environments cause an approximately two-hour delay in our circadian clocks, which was reset when the participants spent a few days in the woods away from factors that could negatively affect their circadian clocks.

This suggests that more exposure to sunlight during the day and less exposure to artificial light at night can help people reset their internal clocks and find the most productive sleep schedule for their own lives.

Does Napping in the Backyard have the Same Benefits as Camping?

A few hours of napping under a tree won’t have as drastic an effect on your circadian rhythm as a technology-free weekend in the woods, but it can help.

Just like I said above, spending time outside can help realign our internal clocks to the sun’s schedule. When our bodies are functioning according to the sun’s schedule, our brains will produce the right amount of melatonin to make sure you fall asleep on time and get your ideal rest each night.

So go ahead and make yourself comfortable while you’re outside! Just make sure you’re not napping too late in the day, or for too long— that can make it harder for you to fall asleep when you need to.

Tips for Sleeping Outside Comfortably

Whether you’re winding down for an outdoor nap or preparing for a few nights in the woods, the right preparations can be the difference between restful sleep and poor sleep with a change of scenery. Consider these options when you’re planning to sleep outdoors.

1: Use the Right Equipment

If you’re napping in the backyard, you won’t need much more than a comfy chair or a hammock, and a quiet spot to rest. If you’re camping out in nature though, you’ll probably need a few more items to help you get comfortable rest. Some of these items may include:

  • A sleeping bag— It’s especially important to select one based on what kind of temperature or weather you’re expecting. You don’t want to be caught off-guard if cold weather hits.
  • A sleeping pad, to keep yourself off the hard ground and give yourself a softer place to sleep.
  • A good pillow. If you don’t have any space limitations, bringing a pillow from home can help you sleep more comfortably. Otherwise, small camp pillows are a good option.

Even the right tent— or lack thereof if you choose to sleep right under the stars— can make a big difference in your sleep quality. Be sure to consider your options according to your specific situation and pack what you need.

And of course, if you are napping in the sun, don’t forget your sunscreen.

2: Make Good Use of Earplugs and Eye Masks

The sounds from the great outdoors are common inclusions on white noise machines and similar apps— and for good reason! The stillness of nature at night when combined with crickets chirping or the sounds of water nearby can paint a beautiful and peaceful picture.

However, the nighttime noise can be a little overwhelming for some people when they’re camping.

Earplugs are a very inexpensive and accessible way to block out extra noise so you can sleep soundly. Similarly, an eye mask is great for blocking out extra light and helping you sleep, whether it’s from neighboring campfires, flashlights, or other light sources. The darkness provided by eye masks is great for helping your brain produce melatonin too.

3: Follow Your Normal Sleep Schedule and Routine— Unless You’re Trying to Reset

It can be tempting to stay up all night stargazing, eating s’mores, drinking an extra beer or two, or just telling scary stories around the campfire, but your sleep will thank you if you stay consistent with your regular sleep routine and bedtime.

Just like at home, it’s also important to avoid eating too close to bedtime. Roasting s’mores at night is a lot of fun, but not if it’s going to keep you up all night.

While camping, be sure to plan your days and evenings in anticipation of your normal bedtime. When setting up camp, be sure to give yourself plenty of time during the day to do so, so you’re not still pitching your tent when you should be resting.

If you’re working to reset your circadian clock, try to align your day’s schedule with the sun. Rise when it does, and get ready for bed as it sets. Adjust your nightly routine accordingly to make sure you’re ready for bed once it starts getting dark outside. It might take a little time to adjust, but the end result is definitely worth it!

4: Sleep in the Right Spot

On a similar note, make sure the spot you’ve chosen to rest at is ideal for quality sleep. If you’re napping outside, it can be as easy as finding a quiet, shady spot and setting up your hammock. If you’re on a camping trip though, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind.

  • Make sure the chosen spot for your tent or sleeping area is level, dry, and clear of any rocks or objects that can interfere with sleep. Soft grass is a good spot as long as it’s not wet.
  • Take any potential noises into consideration as well; would it disturb your rest if your partner or friend got up in the middle of the night to relieve themselves? Are there other campers nearby? Are you in a busy area with a lot of foot traffic?
  • Are there restroom facilities nearby in case you need to use them during the night?

Getting restful sleep in the great outdoors may seem really different from sleeping inside, but it really isn’t. As long as you’re able to find a quiet, comfortable place and create an ideal sleep environment for yourself, you may find it easier than you originally thought.

Whether you are an avid fan of the outdoors or are still learning to enjoy it, it’s impossible to ignore the health benefits that being outside can provide. Even a few minutes’ time can make a big difference in your physical health, your mental health, and your sleep health.

Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy all the wonders nature has to offer. So why not get outside and give outdoor sleep a try? You might be surprised at what a little extra fresh air and Vitamin D can do for your rest.

Sweet Dreams,

Michael J. Breus, PhD, FAASM

The Sleep Doctor

The post Is Sleeping Outside Good For You? 4 Tips for Good Sleep in the Great Outdoors appeared first on Your Guide to Better Sleep.

The Best Foods for Sleep0

We know that diet is a pillar of health. Our diets also are an important foundation of healthy sleep. Cultivating eating habits that are right for you, and support your nightly rest, is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. There is no one “diet” that is right for sleep, and there are a broad range of foods that fit well in a sleep-promoting diet.

The “Mediterranean Diet,” with its abundance of unprocessed whole foods, emphasis on vegetables, fruits, moderate whole grain consumption, and healthy fat and protein sources, has been associated with higher sleep quality, including in this 2020 study of adult women in the US

But the short- and long-term impact of foods on sleep, and sleep-quality, is actually a pretty under-researched area of sleep and nutrition science. There’s a lot more to learn about how macronutrients—proteins, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, amino acids—as well as vitamins and minerals affect sleep patterns and the quality of our nightly rest.  That said, there is a growing body of scientific data that indicates what types of food can protect and enhance sleep—and what foods can undermine sleep. 

Protein: Protein is a natural sleep aid. Among their benefits for sleep, protein-rich foods can be a source of tryptophan, an amino acid that the body uses to make the sleep-facilitating hormone melatonin. And consuming a larger share of calories from protein may help with nighttime satiety, keeping hunger hormones suppressed and allowing for more sustained rest overnight.

A 2020 review of recent sleep-nutrition research found that higher sleep quality is associated with consuming a greater share of daily calories from protein, and a lower share of calories from carbohydrates and fat. And a 2016 study from Columbia University found that participants who ate meals high in protein and fiber, and low in saturated fats, sugar and carbohydrates, experienced higher sleep quality and more time in deep sleep.

The broad spectrum of sleep-friendly protein sources includes eggs, fish, chicken breast, broccoli, spinach, quinoa, and almonds.

Fiber: High-fiber diets may help us achieve deeper, more restorative rest. Fiber-rich diets have been associated with less time spent in light sleep and more time spent in slow-wave sleep, the deep, highly restorative sleep stage during which the body undertakes significant cellular rejuvenation and repair. The 2016 study from Columbia University found that a single day of low-fiber dietary consumption can have a negative impact on sleep that night

Avocadoes, pears, chickpeas, lentils, oats, and dark chocolate are among the high-fiber foods that can contribute to a sleep-promoting diet.

Magnesium: This essential mineral has powerful benefits for sleep. Magnesium calms the nervous system and relaxes muscles. It’s involved in regulating the “sleep hormone” melatonin, and in helping the body maintain healthy levels of Vitamin D, which facilitates more restful, high-quality sleep. Magnesium also maintains healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. Many people lack sufficient magnesium, and low magnesium is linked to insomnia. Since magnesium isn’t produced inside the body, it’s critical we add foods to our diet that provide it.

Good dietary sources of magnesium include bananas, spinach, and avocados, brown rice, tofu, and cashews.

Potassium:  Potassium promotes healthy circulation and digestion, while also helping to relax muscles, all factors that contribute to better sleep. Research has shown that elevating potassium levels (through supplementation, in this study), is linked to fewer nighttime awakenings

Potassium-rich foods include leafy greens, potatoes, bananas, mushrooms, and legumes.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps to regulate the circadian clock that controls daily sleep-wake cycles and may promote longer and more restful sleep. Lack of sufficient Vitamin D has been linked to short sleep duration and to more restless sleep. Research also suggests that Vitamin D deficiency may elevate the risk for obstructive sleep apnea

Sunlight is the very best source of Vitamin D. Our bodies produce Vitamin D in response to sun exposure. Dietary sources of Vitamin D include fatty fish, fish oil, egg yolks, dairy, and D-fortified foods. 

Omega-3 fatty acids: These polyunsaturated fatty acids are what’s known as essential fats. Our bodies do not produce omega 3s, we must get them from dietary sources, which can include supplements. Research shows that omega 3 fatty acids are linked to higher sleep quality, and may help us fall asleep more quickly. Some research in animals has found that a deficiency of DHA, one of the three main types of omega-3 fatty acids, may interfere with the production of nighttime melatonin

Many types of fish are rich sources of omega 3s DHA and EPA, including anchovies, bluefish, mackerel, wild-caught salmon, and tuna. Nuts and oils are potent sources of the omega 3 ALA, including walnuts, flax seed and flax seed oil, canola oil and soybean oil. 

Water: It’s important not to overlook hydration when it comes to fueling healthy sleep.  Water is a macronutrient and staying hydrated is throughout the day is important to sleeping well at night. There’s a two-way street at work here: dehydration can have a negative impact on sleep—and sleeping poorly can make us more dehydrated.

Even sleeping well, we lose about a liter of water overnight. I recommend drinking 12-16 ounces of room temperature water first thing upon waking, to help replenish overnight water loss. And hold off on caffeine for 90 minutes in the morning. Caffeine is a diuretic and drinking it immediately after waking is counterproductive to morning hydration

What are the foods to limit in our diets, to protect our sleep? 

Sugar tops this list. A sugar-laden diet creates several problems for sleepSugar consumption is linked to restless sleeping, and more frequent nighttime awakenings. Sugar stimulates appetite, which can lead to more late-night eating that disrupts the soundness of our rest. Sugar contributes to inflammation, and inflammation interferes with sleep. And sugar is harmful to gut health. Our gut microbiome plays a role in regulating sleep that we’re just beginning to understand, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that protecting the health of our guts can have a powerful benefit on sleep. 

Saturated and trans fats. Diets higher in saturated fats have been linked to lighter sleep that’s accompanied by more frequent awakenings throughout the night. Saturated and the trans fats often found in highly processed foods are linked to weight gain and inflammation, which can undermine sleep. Fats play an important role in a healthful diet and a restful night’s sleep, but the type of fat in our diets matters a great deal. 

A healthful diet is an essential contributor to the consistent quality of your sleep. Together with a healthy sleep schedule, regular exercise, and a sleep-promoting bedroom, your varied, whole-food diet can enhance your nightly rest. 

The post The Best Foods for Sleep appeared first on Your Guide to Better Sleep.

Stop Bang Questionaire0

Today, we will look at how STOP-Bang can help identify sleep apnea patterns and problems. When the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much, they do not allow for normal breathing. The muscles support your mouth roof (soft palate), the hanging tissue from the soft palate (uvula), the tongue, and the tonsils.

When these muscles are relaxed, the airway narrows as you breathe which lowers the level of oxygen in your blood causing a buildup of carbon dioxide. Your brain is triggered by the impairment in breathing which rouses you from sleep. Snorting, choking, or gasping is correcting the problem with a few deep breaths.

“This pattern can repeat itself five to 30 times or more each hour, all night long. These disruptions impair your ability to reach the desired deep, restful phases of sleep, and you’ll probably feel sleepy during your waking hours.”

Healthy Fat Impacted by Change in Diet & Circadian Clock0

Changing your eating habits or altering your circadian clock can impact healthy fat tissue throughout your lifespan, according to a preclinical study published in Nature by researchers with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Healthy fat tissue helps provide energy, supports cell growth, protects organs, and keeps the body warm. A good quality diet and one that is consumed in a rhythmic manner (that is, during our active cycle) is important in maintaining healthy fat, the researchers found.

Adipocyte progenitor cells mature into adipocytes—the healthy fat cells that make up our adipose tissue, which stores energy as fat. Researchers discovered that adipocyte progenitors undergo rhythmic daily proliferation throughout the 24-hour cycle under normal patterns of energy intake.

However, when investigators introduced a high fat diet, or changed the temporal patterns of food consumption so that mice ate equal increments of food during both the sleep and the wake phase, this 24-hour pattern of pre-adipocyte proliferation was destroyed.

[RECOMMENDED: How Does Nutrition Impact Sleep Disorders?]

“We found that when we fed mice a high-fat diet, it increased the proliferation of preadipocytes and destroyed its rhythmic pattern,” says Kristin Eckel-Mahan, PhD, assistant professor with the Center for Metabolic and Degenerative Diseases at the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases at UTHealth and lead author on the study, in a release. “What we project is that over the course of our lifetime, these 24-hour variations in the proliferation of these cells is really important in maintaining healthy fat.”

Throwing off the circadian rhythm and eating a high-fat diet over time will deplete healthy fat cells, and the study suggests that this disruption may be difficult to reverse. Depletion of adipocyte progenitor cells will not allow for healthy new adipocytes to be made within the tissue, ultimately causing defects in fat storage and excess lipid spilling over into other organs, such as the liver and muscle. Eckel-Mahan says having fat in these areas can lead to Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.

“In an ideal world, everyone would maintain a normal sleep-wake cycle, and not eat during the wrong hours of the day, so not too late before bed or into the early morning. You should also steer away from high-fat diets, which we have now shown destroys the rhythmic proliferation of our preadipocytes. The 24-hour clock we have is important when it comes to our healthy fat, and we need to protect it as much as we can,” says first author Aleix Ribas-Latre, PhD, with the Helmholtz Institute for Metabolic, Obesity and Vascular Research (HI-MAG) of the Helmholtz Zentrum München at the University of Leipzig and University Hospital Leipzig in Germany, in a release.

Photo 96341602 © Elnur | Dreamstime.com

AASM Congratulates 2021 Trainee Investigator Award Recipients0

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) congratulates the recipient of the 2021 Trainee Investigator Award, Omonigho Bubu, MD, MPH, PhD, and the three individuals who received the honorable mention designation. They were recognized during the AASM annual membership meeting, which was held as a webcast on Monday, June 14.

The award program is open to AASM members who are students, postdoctoral fellows, and residents, and who present an abstract at the SLEEP annual meeting. Each applicant’s abstract was reviewed by the AASM Education Committee, and the abstracts with the highest scores were selected for recognition. The 2021 recipients were determined from among 61 applicants.

The winner received a $1,000 award, and an award of $500 was given to each of the honorable mention recipients. Their abstracts are available in the SLEEP 2021 abstract supplement. SLEEP 2021, the 35th annual meeting of the APSS, was held as a virtual meeting June 10-13.

Trainee Investigator Award Recipient

Omonigho Bubu, MD, MPH, PhD
NYU Grossman School of Medicine

“Association of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Severity and Novel Plasma Biomarkers of Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology”

Omonigho Bubu, MD, MPH, PhD

Bubu is an assistant professor and physician scientist at in the departments of psychiatry and population health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. His research focus on sleep, aging, and Alzheimer’s disease in Blacks, and he examines how age-related and age-dependent sleep changes and vascular risk impact cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s risk, and how they drive related disparities. He has collaborated with experts in the field on intramural, foundation, and NIH grants, with significant contributions that have improved the understanding of the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and Alzheimer’s disease.

Honorable Mentions

Christina Chick, PhD
Stanford University

“A School-Based Health and Mindfulness Curriculum Improves Children’s Objectively Measured Sleep”

Christina Chick, PhD

Chick has a doctorate in developmental and cognitive psychology and is a postdoctoral research fellow in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Her research examines the mechanistic contributions of sleep and cognition regarding the onset and course of psychiatric disorders. She is interested in adolescence as a period during which changes in circadian rhythm, sleep architecture, and sleep behavior co-occur with neuroendocrine development, psychosocial changes, and the onset of many psychiatric disorders. Chick believes increasing our understanding of the specific contributions of sleep to psychiatric symptom onset may facilitate the development of targeted interventions to mitigate the course of illness.

Andrew Tubbs
University of Arizona

“Insomnia precedes suicidal ideation in a national longitudinal study of sleep continuity (NITES)”

Andrew Tubbs

Tubbs is an MD/PhD candidate completing his doctorate in psychiatry at the University of Arizona. His translational neuroscience research focuses on how sleep and circadian rhythms influence mental health. He uses inferential modeling and machine learning to leverage community and national datasets to understand how the timing of wakefulness influences suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Tubbs is also trained in cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, which he provided to patients with psychosis and other serious mental illnesses at the Early Psychosis Intervention Center.

Jeremy Chan, MD
University of Washington

“A Surface Electrode Adjacent to Vagal Nerve Stimulator Lead Can Aid in Characterizing VNS Mediated Sleep Disordered Breathing”

Jeremy Chan, MD

Chan is a sleep medicine fellow in the pediatric track at the University of Washington. He completed his residency training in pediatric neurology at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and he plans to return there next year to begin his career practicing pediatric sleep medicine as a faculty member. Chan’s main academic interest is promoting better sleep in children with developmental disabilities. He is interested in expanding the use of neurostimulation in the pediatric population to treat sleep-disordered breathing.

Photo 118931808 © Oleg Dudko | Dreamstime.com

The Best Dog Beds by Your Favorite Mattress Brands0

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Dogs are more than just companions––they’re family. And just like human sleepers who need to be paired with the right mattress for their sleep needs, dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages require the same. The best dog beds nowadays are made by leading mattress brands like Casper and Purple, incorporating the same features as their human mattress counterparts. From orthopedic memory foam to cooling materials, it’s time to upgrade your pup to the same level of comfort.

Board-certified sleep specialist Michael Breus, Ph.D., otherwise known as The Sleep Doctor™, and his French bulldog, Hugo teamed up with Mattress Advisor experts to decipher who really leads the pack when it comes to the best dog beds.

The 7 Best Dog Beds

Our Top Picks for the Best Dog Bed 

Best Overall Dog Bed – Purple 

From puppies, senior dogs, Great Danes, to smaller pups (like Hugo, The Sleep Doctor’s resident dog bed expert), all dogs can benefit from sleeping on the Purple dog bed. Incorporating in the flexible Purple polymer grid, the Purple dog bed will softly hug your pup’s pressure points to keep weight off. This pet bed also uses an odor-resistant, antimicrobial mattress protector and machine washable cover to stay durable and fresh for the long haul. Similar to the Purple mattress, the internal grid also helps keep dogs cool with air channels that direct away body heat. So no matter their size, breed, or age, this dog bed will serve as a safe haven after a long day.

 Purple Dog Bed, Starting at $149, purple.com

Best Dog Bed for Large Dogs – Casper

According to the American Kennel Club, large dog breeds usually rank in at 50 pounds and up––meaning they require a larger, more supportive dog bed. Since large and extra-large breeds are more prone to conditions like hip dysplasia, large dog beds need to include pressure relieving features. Casper conducted an 11 month dog sleep study with 460 hours of lab research to create their version of the best dog bed. Their research uncovered various patterns that dogs exhibit as they prepare to hunker down, such as scratching and pawing the ground like their wolf ancestors did. Just like their mattresses, the Casper dog bed uses memory foam, with some more canine-friendly aspects. From a durable, scratch-resistant cover, pressure-relief top layer to a support bottom layer, it is designed to keep big dogs fully supported and comfortable. 

Casper Dog Bed, Starting at $129, casper.com

Best Chew Proof Dog Bed – Nectar

For pet parents with a teething puppy or a fur child that just loves to chew for fun, the Nectar dog bed’s claim to fame is staying “indestructible” against chewy dogs. But just because it’s built to be tough as nails doesn’t mean it’s uncomfortable for your dog to snuggle into. A soft memory foam base with non-slip fabric keeps the bed stable as your dog moves around. The removable cover is both chewing, odor, and water-resistant but you can pop it in the washing machine anytime for freshening up. Let your pooch have at it, and tucker themselves out. 

Nectar Dog Bed, Starting at $119, nectarsleep.com

Best Dog Bed for Older Dogs – Layla

Senior dogs need more cushioning and pressure relief to help them snooze without any joint pain in their golden years. Using the exact design as the Layla foam mattress, this dog bed can be flipped to either a soft and firm side. It’s also infused with copper to keep the bed cool and germ-free. Firm, dense foam serves as the base and bolsters while the removable, flippable cushion is placed in the hollowed out center. Both sides of this foam cushion help with pressure relief and cushioning, which can be helpful for aging dogs who have joint pain, arthritis, or hip dysplasia.

Layla Dog Bed, Starting at $149, laylasleep.com

Best Memory Foam Dog Bed – Tuft & Needle

The Tuft & Needle dog bed is highly versatile, doubling as a dog crate pad and a bed. Using the same porous memory foam that’s in the regular mattress, its outer frame links to the inner cushion via parachute cord to stay put. To use the inner cushion as a crate pad, simply unlatch the cord and remove the cushion. The foam is designed to help your dog sleep cool, while feeling cushiony and weightless. Bolster dog beds are also highly recommended for dogs that like to curl up against their beds, just like their ancestors did while resting in packs. While your pooch may not be experiencing anything like “Call of the Wild,” they will be able to enjoy the best possible sleep experience. 

Tuft & Needle Dog Bed, Starting at $108, tuftandneedle.com

Best Orthopedic Dog Bed – Sealy Cushy Comfy

If you’ve ever noticed that your pup gravitates towards soft couches, pillows, or anything that surrounds them in weightless comfort, then this is the dog bed for them. Wrapped in a washable Sherpa cover, the Sealy Cushy Comfy’s bed insert also has pieces of orthopedic and memory foams that contour around your dog’s body for total soft support, inside and out. Whether you have a growing puppy, an active dog, or a senior pup, this bed provides pressure relief around their joints to keep them comfortable. 

Sealy Cushy Comfy Dog Bed, Starting at $79.99, sealydogbeds.com

Best Dog Bed for Puppies – Puffy

Just like babies, puppies need sleep to help their bodies develop and grow. According to the American Kennel Club, puppies can sleep anywhere from 18 to 20 hours per day––so it’s important to find a dog bed that they’ll be comfortable in. The Puffy memory foam dog bed can help. The soft, durable bed cover can be removed and washed if there’s any accidents, while cooling memory foam creates a soft sleep surface for smaller dogs. 

Puffy Dog Bed, Starting at $129, puffy.com

Picking The Best Dog Bed for Your Pup

Dogs actually spend 12 to 14 hours a day sleeping, because sleep plays a major role in their health and happiness. If you have a cuddler on your hands that likes to share your mattress with you, it’s actually a healthier choice to each have your own sleeping quarters. Luckily, the mattress brands that help you achieve healthier sleep produce high-quality, supportive beds for your furry friend too. But there are a couple things to keep in mind when selecting a dog bed that’s right for your companion.

Dog Size and Weight

A great dane will have different needs than a teacup chihuahua, so evaluate your dog’s size and weight to determine what size bed they’ll need (all of the brands listed here offer small, medium, and large) plus any extra bells and whistles. 

Durability

Since you’re investing into your pet’s sleep and health, you want to be sure their bed is going to last a long time. A waterproof dog bed, chew proof covers, scratch-resistant materials, and washable components are all handy features that will make sure your dog’s bed won’t have to be quickly replaced.

Age

As your dog ages, bed features like pressure relief and soft cushioning become that much more important in keeping your dog comfortable. Hip dysplasia and arthritis can be an issue, commonly found in larger dogs as they age. A medium-firm dog bed will be the right fit for your senior dog, feeling soft enough to lay on while still remaining supportive for their joints and overall frame. Orthopedic mattresses and memory foam are a good starting point in your search.

The post The Best Dog Beds by Your Favorite Mattress Brands appeared first on Your Guide to Better Sleep.

The Importance of Beauty Sleep in Teens: What You Need to Know0

How Sleep Quality and Quantity Affects an Employee's Performance0

7 Daily Activities to Make You Sleep Better0

Sleep is an important, yet often overlooked, part of everyone’s general health and well-being. Sleep is essential because it allows the body to restore itself and prepare for the next day. Getting enough sleep can also help you avoid gaining weight, developing heart disease, and help against prolonging sickness.

Is caffeine affecting your sleep?0

Caffeine is the most popular drug in the world, and is found in many different plants and is commonly found in many different drinks and medicines; so we likely consume caffeine on a daily basis – and aren’t even aware of it. Caffeine is amazing if you need that boost of energy to help you kick start your morning. There are  many health benefits of this beverage; but can it affect you negatively?