Connect with us

Lifestyle & Culture

16 Tips for buying a new mattress

Keep reading to learn 16 tips for buying a new mattress to make the whole process as easy as possible.

Published

on

Buying a new mattress is an important task. After all, the one you select will affect your sleep for the next five to ten years. Mattresses are also reasonably expensive products, and you need to invest your money in the right option for you. How can you be sure you’re purchasing the right one?

Keep reading to learn 16 tips for buying a new mattress to make the whole process as easy as possible.

Don’t wait until the last minute.

Mattresses typically do not last longer than ten years. If your mattress is getting older, your quality of sleep can start to suffer. It is not necessary to wait until your mattress wears out and causes issues for your rest or spine. When your mattress is about five years old, start paying attention to the quality of sleep and comfort it provides. You should also take this time to begin your search for a new mattress.

Evaluate your sleep with your current mattress.

What do you love about your current mattress, and what do you wish was different about it? These observations can help you narrow your search for a new mattress. You should also evaluate how your spine feels with your current mattress and take note of the quality of your sleep.

Consult your doctor.

Sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality can significantly affect your health. Consult your doctor to check your blood pressure and other factors to gauge how your current mattress is affecting your body. Lack of sleep can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

Your mattress is essential to your sleep quality and overall health. This product is a significant investment that will be in your home for the next several years.

Learn about the different types of mattresses.

The options seem endless when it comes to the available types of mattresses. Learn about each type and what sets them apart. Research the following mattress types for a better understanding of your options.

  • Air mattresses.
  • Innerspring.
  • Gel-infused foam.
  • Hybrid mattresses.
  • Pocket coils.
  • Latex.
  • Memory foam
  • Pillow-top
  • Waterbeds

Choose the right size.

Your mattress should be big enough for you to sleep comfortably, and the proper size for your room. If you are considering changing the size of your bed, measure your available space.

Standard mattress sizes include:

  • Twin: 39″ x 75″
  • Twin XL: 39″ x 80″
  • Full: 54″ x 75″
  • Queen: 60″ x 80″
  • King: 76″ x 80″
  • California King: 72″ x 84″

Be mindful of allergies.

If you suffer from chronic or seasonal allergies, you should consider investing in a hypoallergenic mattress. The material used for these beds prevents pollen dust, and other allergens from entering your mattress and aggravating your allergies. Memory foam and latex are two popular materials for a hypoallergenic mattress.

The options seem endless when it comes to the available types of mattresses. Learn about each type and what sets them apart.

Test out different mattresses in stores.

Online shopping is increasingly popular for mattresses. Even if you plan to purchase your product online, you should visit home or mattress stores to see your options in person. You cannot touch and feel a mattress through your computer, and seeing them up close will help you decide which type is the best for your needs.

Bring your partner with you.

If someone else will be sharing the mattress with you, make sure you include them in the selection process. Consider your partner’s health needs, quality of sleep, and mattress type preferences when reviewing your options. You both need to be satisfied with the bed you select.

Understand the warranty.

Your mattress warranty covers a variety of defects and issues for your product. It is essential to understand precisely what is included with your warranty to get the most of your mattress.

Defects may be included, but normal wear and tear are typically not covered.

Find a good return policy.

If you purchase a mattress only to realize it causes pain or the firmness isn’t correct, you may want to return it. Review the return policy for your mattress, including the minimum and maximum amount of time you have to request a refund. The money-back policy and exchange policy are also important features to note.

Don’t overspend on a box spring.

Box springs are not necessary for all mattresses, but they can help support them and help absorb shock. However, you can focus your budget on a quality mattress instead of overspending on a box spring. A standard box spring should work just fine for most beds.

You cannot touch and feel a mattress through your computer, and seeing them up close will help you decide which type is the best for your needs.

Stick to your budget.

When shopping for a mattress, you should set your budget and stick to it. Looking at products outside of your price range can lead to anxiety and frustration. Also, be clear about your budget to any salespeople you speak with, and only see options that fall within your limit.

Don’t fall for gimmicks.

Mattresses that promise miracles are just selling you something. Seals of approval from various organizations are often meaningless, and “manager picks” usually equal markups. You should also be wary of promotions that offer free items because they are not worth overpaying for your mattress.

Don’t make a rash decision.

Take your time when selecting a mattress. Even if you have a warranty or return policy, it can be challenging to replace your bed after you take it home. Do not rush into a decision or feel pressured by a sale.

Read reviews.

There are countless reviews available online for almost every mattress type and brand. Research what customers say about their product after using it for a while. You can learn about the most common complaints as well as possible defects before making a purchase.

Avoid pushy salespeople and shop online.

If you are looking at mattresses in a store, you can quickly become overwhelmed by pushy salespeople. They may try to offer you a deal to pressure you to make a purchase. This whole experience is unnecessary. Once you know the type of mattress you want, purchase it online for a smooth buying process.

If someone else will be sharing the mattress with you, make sure you include them in the selection process.

Your mattress is essential to your sleep quality and overall health. This product is a significant investment that will be in your home for the next several years. Do your research to determine the right type of mattress for you, and shop online to have a pleasant shopping experience. You can always find high-quality mattresses at Inofia website, including memory foam and hybrid mattresses.

Health & Wellness

Trans women can safely maintain estrogen treatments during gender affirming surgery

The practice of withholding estrogen prior to gender affirming surgery was not necessary. Most transgender women can now safely remain on their estrogen therapy throughout surgery.

Published

on

Photo by @kylewilliamurban from Unsplash.com

There was no difference in blood clots when estrogen hormone therapy was maintained during gender affirming surgery.

This is according to a study (titled, “No Venous Thromboembolism Increase Among Transgender Female Patients Remaining on Estrogen for Gender Affirming Surgery”) helmed by John Henry Pang with Aki Kozato from Mount Sinai, and was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Historically, the lack of published data contributed to heterogeneity in the practice of whether doctors and surgeons advised transgender women to withhold their estrogen therapy before surgery. The sudden loss of estrogen in the blood was sometimes very uncomfortable with symptoms that amounted to a sudden, severe menopause.

So the researchers tapped 919 transgender patients who underwent gender affirming surgery at Mount Sinai’s Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery between November 2015 and August 2019. Notably, including 407 cases of transgender women who underwent primary vaginoplasty surgery.

This study found that the practice of withholding estrogen prior to gender affirming surgery was not necessary. Most transgender women can now safely remain on their estrogen therapy throughout surgery.

The bottom line: This study found that most transgender women can  safely maintain their estrogen hormone treatments during gender affirming surgery.

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

Facebook posts help facilitate belief that HPV vaccine is dangerous to health

Nearly 40% of Facebook posts about the HPV vaccine amplified a perceived risk, and the data suggests these posts had momentum over time.

Published

on

Photo by @nordwood from Unsplash.com

The human papillomavirus infection, or HPV, is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HPV is associated with health problems including genital warts and cancers, but a vaccine has been available since 2006 to help stop the virus. The CDC reports more than 12 years of data supports the HPV vaccine is safe and effective, yet HPV vaccination rates still remain low.

Social media has a history of being a popular place for sexual health discussions, and the HPV vaccine is one of the most discussed vaccines on the internet. Monique Luisi, an assistant professor in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, has studied more than 6,500 public HPV vaccine-related posts on Facebook from 2006 to 2016. In a previous study, Luisi used these Facebook posts to identify a negative trend on Facebook related to how people perceive the HPV vaccine.

Now, she suggests this negative trend on Facebook may also cause people to develop a false perception of the health risk of the vaccine. After looking at the percentage of posts that made the vaccine seem more dangerous, less dangerous or neither, Luisi found nearly 40% of Facebook posts about the HPV vaccine amplified a perceived risk, and the data suggests these posts had momentum over time.

“We should not assume that only the disease is perceived as a risk, but when research supports it, that medical treatments and interventions might unfortunately also be perceived as risks,” she said. “It’s more likely that people are going to see things on social media, particularly on Facebook, that are not only negative about the HPV vaccine, but will also suggest the HPV vaccine could be harmful. It amplifies the fear that people may have about the vaccine, and we see that posts that amplify fear are more likely to trend than those that don’t.”

Luisi suggests the spread of this negative information may lead people to have a false perception of the vaccine, so people should consult their doctor or health care provider before making an informed decision.

“Facebook remains a very popular social media platform for adult audiences, which necessitates action to address HPV vaccine risk messages,” she said. “People are going to see what they are going to see on social media, so it’s important to not only take what you see on social media, but also talk to a doctor or health care provider. Just because it’s trending doesn’t mean it’s true.”

Luisi notes research must continue to address the perception of vaccine safety where the vaccine is perceived as a greater health threat than the virus or disease it prevents, and her study could also inform officials for the ongoing COVID-19 vaccine roll out and distribution.

“As the COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out, people are likely going to see a lot of negative information, and that negative information will be what trends on social media,” she said. “But, if the public can anticipate this negative information, it will be interesting to see if that will that make them less sensitive to the perceived risk of the vaccine.”

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

Depression and stress could dampen efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines

Even though rigorous testing has shown that the COVID-19 vaccines approved for distribution are highly effective at producing a robust immune response, not everyone will immediately gain their full benefit. Environmental factors, as well as an individual’s genetics and physical and mental health, can weaken the body’s immune system, slowing the response to a vaccine.

Published

on

Photo by Nick Bolton from Unsplash.com

Decades of research show that depression, stress, loneliness, and poor health behaviors can weaken the body’s immune system and lower the effectiveness of certain vaccines.

A new report accepted for publication in Perspectives on Psychological Science suggests that the same may be true for the new COVID-19 vaccines that are in development and the early stages of global distribution. Fortunately, it may be possible to reduce these negative effects with simple steps like exercise and sleep.

Vaccines are among the safest and most effective advances in medical history, protecting society from a wide range of otherwise devastating diseases, including smallpox and polio. The key to their success, however, is ensuring that a critical percentage of the population is effectively vaccinated to achieve so-called herd immunity.

Even though rigorous testing has shown that the COVID-19 vaccines approved for distribution are highly effective at producing a robust immune response, not everyone will immediately gain their full benefit. Environmental factors, as well as an individual’s genetics and physical and mental health, can weaken the body’s immune system, slowing the response to a vaccine.

This is particularly troubling as the novel coronavirus continues to rage across the world, trigging a concurrent mental health crisis as people deal with isolation, economic stressors, and uncertainty about the future. These challenges are the same factors that have been previously shown to weaken vaccine efficacy, particularly among the elderly.

“In addition to the physical toll of COVID-19, the pandemic has an equally troubling mental health component, causing anxiety and depression, among many other related problems. Emotional stressors like these can affect a person’s immune system, impairing their ability to ward off infections,” said Annelise Madison, a researcher at The Ohio State University and lead author on the paper. “Our new study sheds light on vaccine efficacy and how health behaviors and emotional stressors can alter the body’s ability to develop an immune response. The trouble is that the pandemic in and of itself could be amplifying these risk factors.”

Vaccines work by challenging the immune system. Within hours of a vaccination, there is an innate, general immune response on the cellular level as the body begins to recognize a potential biological threat. This frontline response by the immune system is eventually aided by the production of antibodies, which target specific pathogens. It is the continued production of antibodies that helps to determine how effective a vaccine is at conferring long-term protection.

The good news, according to the researchers, is that the COVID-19 vaccines already in circulation are approximately 95% effective. Even so, these psychological and behavioral factors can lengthen the amount of time it takes to develop immunity and can shorten the duration of immunity.

“The thing that excites me is that some of these factors are modifiable,” said Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at The Ohio State University and senior author on the paper. “It’s possible to do some simple things to maximize the vaccine’s initial effectiveness.”

Based on prior research, one strategy the researchers suggest is to engage in vigorous exercise and get a good night’s sleep in the 24 hours before vaccination so that your immune system is operating at peak performance. This may help ensure that the best and strongest immune response happens as quickly as possible.

“Prior research suggests that psychological and behavioral interventions can improve vaccine responsiveness. Even shorter-term interventions can be effective,” said Madison. “Therefore, now is the time to identify those at risk for a poor immune response and intervene on these risk factors.”

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

Bisexual men more prone to eating disorders than gay or straight men – study

80% of bisexual men reported that they “felt fat”, and 77% had a strong desire to lose weight, both figures higher than the 79% and 75% for gay men, respectively.

Published

on

Photo by Nicholas Swatz from Pexels.com

Bisexual men are more likely to experience eating disorders than either heterosexual or gay men. This is according to a report from the University of California San Francisco, published in the journal Eating and Weight Disorders.

A handful of studies have actually indicated that gay men are at increased risk for disordered eating, including fasting, excessive exercise and preoccupation with weight and body shape. This newer study, however, suggest that bisexual men are even more susceptible to some unhealthy habits.

For this study, the researchers surveyed over 4,500 LGBTQ adults, and a quarter of the bisexual male participants reported having fasted for more than eight hours to influence their weight or appearance. This is higher when compared to 20% for gay men.

The research also found that 80% of bisexual men reported that they “felt fat”, and 77% had a strong desire to lose weight, both figures higher than the 79% and 75% for gay men, respectively.

Now this is worth stressing: According to study co-author Dr. Jason Nagata, not everyone who diets or feels fat has an eating disorder. “It’s a spectrum — from some amount of concern to a tipping point where it becomes a pathological obsession about body weight and appearance,”Nagata was quoted as saying by NBC News.

For Nagata, several factors may be at play here, including “minority stress” (the concept that the heightened anxiety faced by marginalized groups can manifest as poor mental and physical health outcomes).

“LGBTQ people experience stigma and discrimination, and stressors can definitely lead to disordered eating,” Nagata was also quoted as saying. “For bi men, they’re not just facing stigma from the straight community but from the gay community, as well.”

Of all the respondents, 3.2% of bisexual males were clinically diagnosed with eating disorders (compared to 2.9% of gay men). For heterosexual men, it’s only 0.6%.

For the researchers, there is a need to conduct eating disorder research on various sexual identities independently. This is also to raise awareness on this issue (and how it affects different people of various SOGIESCs).

Continue Reading

Love Affairs

Dating apps don’t destroy love

Contrary to earlier concerns, a UNIGE study has shown that people who met their partners on dating applications have often stronger long-term relationship goals, and that these new ways of meeting people encourage socio-educational and geographical mixing.

Published

on

Photo by Neil Soni from Unsplash.com

As dating apps escalated in popularity, so has criticism about them encouraging casual dating only, threatening the existence of long-term commitment, and possibly damaging the quality of intimacy. There is no scientific evidence, however, to validate these claims.

Now a study by the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland – and which was published in the journal PLOS ONE – indicates that app-formed couples have stronger cohabitation intentions than couples who meet in a non-digital environment.

What is more, women who found their partner through a dating app have stronger desires and intentions to have children than those who found their partner offline. Despite fears concerning a deterioration in the quality of relationships, partners who met on dating apps express the same level of satisfaction about their relationship as others.

Last but not least, the study shows that these apps play an important role in modifying the composition of couples by allowing for more educationally diverse and geographically distant couples.

“The Internet is profoundly transforming the dynamics of how people meet,” confirms Gina Potarca, a researcher at the Institute of Demography and Socioeconomics in UNIGE’s Faculty of Social Sciences. “It provides an unprecedented abundance of meeting opportunities, and involves minimal effort and no third-party intervention.”

These new dating technologies include the smartphone apps like Tinder or Grindr, where users select partners by browsing and swiping on pictures. These apps, however, have raised fears: “Large parts of the media claim they have a negative impact on the quality of relationships since they render people incapable of investing in an exclusive or long-term relationship. Up to now, though, there has been no evidence to prove this is the case,” continues Dr. Potarca.

Facilitated encounters

The Geneva-based researcher decided to investigate couples’ intentions to start a family, their relationship satisfaction and individual well-being, as well as to assess couple composition. Dr. Potarca used a 2018 family survey by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office. The analysis presented in this study looks at a sub-sample of 3,235 people over the age of 18 who were in a relationship and who had met their partner in the last decade.

Dr. Potarca found that dating websites – the digital tools for meeting partners that preceded apps – mainly attracted people over the age of 40 and / or divorcees who are looking for romance.

“By eliminating lengthy questionnaires, self-descriptions, and personality tests that users of dating websites typically need to fill in to create a profile, dating apps are much easier to use. This normalized the act of dating online, and opened up use among younger categories of the population.”

Searching for a lasting relationship

Dr. Potarca sought to find out whether couples who met on dating apps had different intentions to form a family. The results show that couples that formed after meeting on an app were more motivated by the idea of cohabiting than others.

“The study doesn’t say whether their final intention was to live together for the long- or short-term, but given that there’s no difference in the intention to marry, and that marriage is still a central institution in Switzerland, some of these couples likely see cohabitation as a trial period prior to marriage. It’s a pragmatic approach in a country where the divorce rate is consistently around 40%.”

In addition, women in couples that formed through dating apps mentioned wanting and planning to have a child in the near future, more so than with any other way of meeting.

But what do couples who met in this way think about the quality of their relationship? The study shows that, regardless of meeting context, couples are equally satisfied with their lives and the quality of their relationship.

Couples with a diverse socio-educational profile

The study highlights a final aspect. Dating apps encourage a mixing of different levels of education, especially between high-educated women and lower educated men. Partners having more diversified socio-educational profiles “may have to do with selection methods that focus mainly on the visual,” says the researcher. Since users can easily connect with partners in their immediate region (but also in other spaces as they move around), the apps make it easier to meet people more than 30 minutes away – leading to an increase in long-distance relationships.

“Knowing that dating apps have likely become even more popular during this year’s periods of lockdown and social distancing, it is reassuring to dismiss alarming concerns about the long-term effects of using these tools,” concludes Dr. Potarca.

Continue Reading

Lifestyle & Culture

Ways to stay fit and fabulous over 40

Keep reading to discover how you can keep yourself mentally and physically strong as you hit the big 4-0.

Published

on

40 is the new 30! Or is it 50 is the new 40?! Either way, it has never been more socially acceptable to be entering into your middle-aged years.

That being said, as you hit 40 and beyond, you are likely to notice certain changes to your body, even if you pride yourself on staying in shape. 

Fortunately, if you are worried about the signs of aging, there are several techniques that you can adopt to keep yourself feeling fit and fabulous for longer. 

Interested to know more?

Keep reading to discover how you can keep yourself mentally and physically strong as you hit the big 4-0. 

Cut back on cardio

Have you heard of runner’s face? If not, now is the time to find out. Although cardio is a great fat burner and can help keep your heart healthy, it is not the best choice when it comes to your skin. Prolonged periods of running as you age can lead to “runner’s face”, a condition where your skin starts to droop and sag. Not what you want as you come into your 40s.

Instead, focus on strength training exercises such as yoga, weight lifting, or swimming if you have issues with your joints. 

Focus on follicles

Hair loss is a frequent problem in men aged 40 and over and can manifest itself in thinning or bald patches. Now, unless you think you can rock the shaven look a la Bruce Willis, you may want to look into hair loss prevention and hair loss treatments. 

Hair transplantation is one of the most effective hair loss treatments on the market, especially given new developments in technology, making hair transplantation even quicker and more successful. If you choose this option, look to hshairclinic.co.uk for expert advice and for the latest in hair transplant innovation. 

Move more 

Just because you are cutting back on your cardio doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be trying to hit your recommended 10,000 steps a day. Take regular walks in the fresh air, try running up and down the stairs in your home, getting off public transport a few stops early, or simply trying to lead a less sedentary lifestyle

If you don’t want to be counting all day long, you may want to invest in a pedometer or smartwatch that will do all the tracking for you. You can find fitness watches that will count your steps and calculate calories burned and monitor your heart rate.

Schedule sleep 

Although you might have been able to get away with only a few hours of shut eye in your 20s and maybe even into your 30s, once you hit 40, your body needs the recommended 7-8 hours’ sleep per night. 

A lack of sleep can make you feel irritable and tired, but it can also make you crave sugar, which in turn can lead to weight gain and lackluster skin. Focus on creating a good sleep routine, and don’t be afraid to take an afternoon nap if you feel like it and your lifestyle allows it. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

Most Popular