The Most Important Info About Sleep
Sleep takes place in different phases. The brain frequencies are different for each phase.
It starts with the falling asleep phase (also called alpha phase / meditative phase) during which the brain reaches a vibration frequency of about 12-14 Hz. At this point we are on the verge of moving over to light sleep and from there straight to a deep sleep with a vibration frequency of ca. 4 Hz and with repeating REM phases. In the beginning of the night more deep sleep (1-2 hours), later in the night more REM (1-2 hours), but for the most time light sleep (3-4 hours). At night or when starting to rest, the glands secrete large amounts of growth hormones which allow for cellular regeneration. These work best during sleep, because then most organs are hardly active. As a result, a big part of vital and vital energy producing processes take place during deep sleep. At least for those who are bedded in a way that such processes can take place, whose sleeping cushion is so stable and elastic that the body can maintain a safe position while allowing for movement without having to activate the full musculature at the same time. Movements primarily occur during the REM phase, when bad experiences of the day unload themselves and of course during light sleep, so that all body parts can evenly lie in different positions and fluids can run smoothly. At an average, 30-60 movements occur during a natural sleeping process; another reason the sleeping base requires good elasticity.
Similarly interesting as it is unexplored is the alpha phase - the gate to sleep - during which we float inbetween consciousness and unconsciousness and make contact with others energetically. This is also the phase that marks the newly discovered microsleep during daytime.
This is only a very short snippet of a very complex process which we as humans are still far from understanding fully. Even today there are only hypotheses about the purpose and function of sleep. But what is clear is that it is essential for Homo sapiens and is done preferably when it's dark because then we are producing more melatonin - the endogenous sleeping aid. We as mattress experts would like to help you to the best possible and most comfortable sleep by providing you with the right natural mattress / the right sleeping system.
Many people turn to us for acute problems. That's unfortunately normal, because they let too much time pass before allowing themselves to get a new mattress or rather lie on a bad, cheap mattress that doesn't suit their needs. The latter is mostly a result of bad marketing promises of big vendors who don't have any connection to the products.
We can solve most of these problems rather easily by providing good quality products and fair consultation.
We can't give any medical advice; we can only take care of general problems we encounter every day and refer to the general, helpful methods and products that are part of our field of action.
Sleep disturbances or back pain can have many reasons. Most of the time, it is the result of the indivudal physiognomy of a person and their (perhaps unfavorable) lifestyle. There are also spatial related problems which we can't judge from a distance. If our recommendations are no help to your problems, please see a osteopath, physiotherapist, doctor or alternative practitioner.
Sweating, Freezing, Restlessness, Pressure Pain
Nightly sweating is primarily a problem of men (80% of the time when not considering the climacteric of women). It can be an indicator for bad nutrition or metabolism problems, but most of the time it is simply the result of a bad bed climate.
Those who sweat a lot during the night should use both a mattress and a duvet made of well diffusing (i.e. allowing moisture to pass through) materials. Natural mattresses do this quite well, just like duvets with natural fiber filling. To be plain: Poly fiber filling are a no-go because they don't allow moisture to pass through, neither do feathers because the problem is a result of moisture build-up. Plastic protects against moisture, because it can't pass through; ducks swim so well, because their feathers protect against water. Light down duvets of best quality work when the room temperature is cool. Merino, cotton, silk and camel hair solve - among others - usually solve the problem immediately, because the fibers let moisture through while keeping warmth - the more fine the fibers, the better the warming effect. Bedding made of cotton (or half-linen) goes without saying. Not only because of its skin friendly effect but also because of its climate properties.
If you are still sweating when on a natural mattress* and underneath a light natural fiber duvets with the window open, you should consider looking for medical advice.
Not drinking enough can also add to the problem: around 1/4 liters of water a day for every 10 kg of body weight should be sufficient for an adult (coffee, Cola, etc. don't count), but best not shortly before going to sleep.
* Mind the exact declaration. There are many pseudo natural mattresses that contain poly material in the cover or fleece.
Nightly freezing is mainly (around 70% of the time) a problem for women that starts at the age of 40, for men 5-10 years later. For the most, it is caused by the decrease of skin resistance. Dehydration can reinforce the issue - around 1/4 liters of water a day for every 10 kg of body weight should be sufficient for an adult (coffee, Cola, etc. don't count), but best not shortly before going to sleep.
Freezing can be caused by mattresses, sheets and covers made of synthetic materials: they don’t retain warmth. In this case we advise our double duvet made of natural materials. Duvets filled with camel hair or cashmere will help people who freeze at night, because both materials diffuse moisture and retain warmth very well, resulting in a nice bed climate.
Going to bed too late can also have negative effects because the organism lowers the temperature at night (after midnight), the lowest point being at around 2-3 am. A few carbohydrates in the evening can help keep the energy levels high during the falling asleep phase.
Restlessness when trying to fall asleep or even during the night can be treated in various ways: going to sleep when you're tired, not going to bed hungry (especially carbohydrates help, but no sugar), keeping thoughts of the daily grind away and instead thinking of something nice and calming ... a little dream journey, meditation, calm music in the evening, not watching TV or being on the computer shortly before going to bed, putting on soothing music in acute phases or reading a poem, etc.
Even the bed itself has an enormous influence. Synthetic materials - especially the cheap ones - create electric tension. The negative effect of a springy mattress doesn't even have to be explained, same as the springy slatted frame. Both together turn falling asleep easily into an adventure. A common example are spring core mattresses with one-piece spring wood slatted frames in 140 cm width; it's a no go, and the heavier you are, the worse the trampoline effect. Restless people need more of a firm or at least a stable mattress instead, one that doesn't contain springy materials but with a soft surface and a non-springy slatted frame.
The darkness is helpful as well - the darker it is, the better. If you can't fall asleep in the dark, put on a little tea light that only burns for 1-2 hours after which the room is dark and the sleep undisturbed.
And: Clear your bedroom from garbage, meaning everything that isn't needed for sleep but stands/lies around visibly.
Pressure pain occurs mostly for side sleepers in the hip area and / or the shoulder area and is the easiest problem to solve. The most probable cause is your mattress being too firm or unelastic. Change to a mattress that can adjust better and / or add a topper. That's an additional light and soft pad ... for example like this Topper.
Side sleepers have a smaller contact surface, meaning the body weight is being put on only a few points which are in turn strained more. Especially at the surface you need soft, adaptable material that adjusts to your contours. The heavier you are, the bigger the volume of your mattress should be.
The sleep duration can't be named exactly seeing that some people are fine with only 6 hours of sleep while others need 9 - that's something everybody should know for themselves. The sleep duration is also changed a bit depending on the season, a lot depending on the age and also with the quality of sleep. In order to fall asleep properly it is important to go to bed at the same time every day, no matter whether that time is early or late.
Tensions in the Neck and Shoulder Area
If the mattress is too unelastic or too firm, the shoulder area is bruised. Flexible people aren't affect by this much, but less flexible people suffer. When an unelastic mattress comes together with an unsuited pillow the effect is reinforced accordingly.
Tensions in the morning in the cervical spine area, the neck, the shoulders (if they are traced back to the sleeping place) almost always occur with side sleepers and are usually the result of a too firm / unelastic mattress and / or the wrong pillow. For side sleepers, the pillow should even out the distance between the head and shoulder and be rather narrrow (40x80).
If the pillow is too tight, too much pressure is put on the head when on the back and promotes lying with a bent neck when on the side (embryo position). If the pillow is too soft or too thin, the head sinks in too far. In both cases, tension of muscles and tendons occurs in that area. The old pillow form of 80x80 cm is unfavorable for side sleepers because the head and shoulder are on the same level.
Back and stomach sleepers with this scenario have a mattress that is too soft and a pillow that is too firm. They have a big contact area and spread their weight well. Therefore, they need a firm mattress and flat pillows (at least stomach sleepers). Back sleepers often need a soft surface on top of their firm mattress or a softer mattress, depending on the lordosis / bend of their spine (hollow back effect).
Tensions in the hip and pelvis area are often the result of a mattress that is too soft or unstable, sometimes one that is too firm. In either case stable adaption is lacking, something especially natural latex mattresses are good at - particularly at around 80 kg / cbm density. People below 65 kg body weight can also have it a little softer, above 85 kg a bit harder.
— still being created --
Cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, general
Solid Wood Bed, Natural Mattress, Natural Fiber Bedding.
The advantages are clear and convincing:
- High breathability (dry, hygienic)
- Good bed climate (warmth/cold balance)
- Better room climate (filtering effect)
- No electrostatic charge (cotton)
- No egological pollution (renewable resources)
- No chemical evaporation (natural material)
Natural fibers diffuse, i.e. they let moisture through but retain warmth. As a result, the bed stays dry, hygienic, skin friendly, pleasant - in shirt: healthy and comfortable.
Aside of the bed climate the whole room climate is improved, because the big amount of natural materials lead to a filtering effect - in short: it smells better.
Electrostatic charge is prevented for the most part by the use of cotton. This soothes your skin.
The ecological rating of a natural bed place is also good seeing that the materials barely produce any negative effects, the duration of use is very long and the disposal is no problem. In short: suited for the 21st century.
If you are switching from a conventional bed mostly made out of synthetic material to a (good) natural bed, you will notice the positive properties quite quickly.
How Hard or Soft Do I Lie Best?
First off: Soft is something different than most people think, especially those who sleep on saggy mattresses. Soft is something different than spongy, saggy, unstable. A soft surface can be stable and supportive. A firm surface is not necessarily stable when it's hard without contour as a result of unadaptable materials like a Bonell spring core mattress.
A good natural latex mattress is always stable due to the high material density. On the other hand, the enormous elasticity feels quite soft even when it's relatively firm, something you only feel after some time has past. When the product description of a natural latex mattress points out it is a soft variant, then it is actually soft, which means that a lighter person can sink in with all contours (hips, shoulders) and a heavier person sinks in very deep.
Lying soft is neither good nor bad - it's a matter of personal taste and comfort.
The important part is that the mattress is stable and strong enough to carry you long and safe. This is - among other factors - dependent on the density. A good mattress is always heavy, because density (= carrying capacity) causes weight. There is no light mattress of high quality and durability known to us.
And then there is the differentiation between soft in the core and soft on the surface. Side sleepers can / want to lie softer because of the smaller contact area and the resulting increase in pressure on those contact points. Due to that, they can have a mattress with a softer core (at least at a low body weight). Back and stomach sleepers need a firm core at least.
A few initial approaches to the subject:
Do you like it when the mattress nestles against you? In that case you can look out for softer variations while making sure that the surface is soft.
Do you feel pressure on the hip or feel like you don't know where to put your shoulder? In that case you shouldn't lie too hard - a medium firm natural latex mattress if you weigh above 70 kg (below that you can also choose something softer). Please also make sure to pick a suitable pillow: 40x80 cm, as thick as your shoulder is wide.
If you always sleep on the side and have the urge to pull in your knees a lot?
Your surface doesn't provide any elastic support, natural latex improves that.
Do you have a feeling of a hollow back on the back?
You need a (at least on the surface) softer mattress.
Even heavier people can use soft mattresses if they are made from good, stable material.
Women tend toward firmer mattresses more, but with a softer surface - men usually like it the other way around. This is partly due to the difference in physiognomy and partly due to the difference in heating needs. That's why in many cases the same mattress can be used despite a difference in weight.
Stomach and back sleepers need firmer mattresses, especially on the surface. They have a bigger contact area with the mattress, meaning their weight is spread out across a bigger area. Stomach sleepers need more firmness than back sleepers, because for back sleepers the lordosis (S form of the spine) plays a role. The bigger it is, the softer the mattress should be on the surface.
Side sleepers need softer, elastic mattresses as they feel more pressure as a result of the smaller contact area. At least on the surface more adaption is required.
Which Bed / Mattress Size Suits Me?
Of course this is primarily an individual decision. Single persons don't need more than a width of 100 cm and lie very comfortable on a width of 120 - 140 cm. For couples, usually a width of 160 cm is sufficient - depending on the body height either 20 cm more or less. Couples who are used to springy mattresses often resort to big dimensions to counter the mutual impairment, but only a good, still mattress can solve this and therefore even be narrower. The mattress should be 20 cm longer than your body to cause relaxation.
The same applies to the duvet, because when the duvet isn't long enough, your body will constantly contract and won't relax properly. Starting at a a height of 185 cm, we recommend a 220 cm long duvet.
Excess length: Most people are used to sleeping in 200 cm long beds even when they are too tall for them. A suitable bed is around 20 cm longer than the person. If you are 190 cm or taller, get past the force of habit and treat yourself with a 210 cm or rather a 220 cm long mattress. This will allow you to stretch out properly and get into the position that you should be in.
The Zonal Mattress
The term zonal mattress has nothing to do with the past DDR in Eastern Germany, but refers to the different so-called lying zones on which you are meant to put your different body parts ... mostly available in variations with 7 zones. Go ahead and try to put a 190 cm tall person and a 160 cm tall person on the same zones and see for yourself what kind of tensions will occur for the one and the other. These lying zones were solely made for the purpose of fooling consumers. A good, elastic and stable material doesn't need any zones. An exception applies to the shoulder zone which can be interesting for some, mostly male sleepers so that his wide and less mobile shoulders sink in properly to prevent tensions or pressure pain in a side position. Even the highly elastic natural latex needs this in some cases. When a shoulder zone is added at the top as well as at the bottom of the mattress - so that you can also turn it around - you get 5 zones.
The initial reason for inventing multi zone mattresses was solely to make up better arguments for low quality foam mattresses.
A good, pure natural latex mattress doesn't need zones for 90% of the users, because the materials adjust to the person naturally.
Why Are There so Many Bad Mattresses on the Market?
There are many answers to this question: the lack of interest for mattresses is one of them. Who cares about them anyway? But why is that? What and where do we learn about our bodies and how to treat them? We learn how to be pretty, make us fit, etc. and even orthopedists don't have much useful to say on the subject of sleep and mattresses (often recommend visco-elastic mattresses like Tempur ?!). In short: We get to know the mattress as something we need but that doesn't have much of a meaning. As if people want to spend as little money as possible for this product without meaning.
On the other hand there is the vendors' side, consisting of the industry with often unmotivated employees who produce whatever it is that sells best - i.e. whatever costs the least. There is a lack of enthusiastic young trainees in the development and management because the subject doesn't seem very interesting.
Adding to that is the pressure of the big vendors who focus on special offers that sell easy (and are usually still way too expensive). In the furniture and mattress stores of today it's all about low personnel costs (instead of trained specialists) and simple return of investment. The customer gets what they wants, and if what they want is a cheap product because they don't know better, then that's what they will get. The material is as bad as the price suggests.
It's a tragedy, which is why there is a lot to be done for those looking for good quality.
It's similar to cooking: the quality of the resources (materials) dictates the result.
But there is hope: the next health care reform or the one after that records the connection between bad sleeping culture and orthopedic treatment costs (!) - meaning that's when a good mattress will become an obligation. There will be more information on this topic and an informed consumer becomes an interested customer.
The Difference Between FUTON and Mattress
We are often asked about the difference between futon - which, of course, is also a natural mattress - and a (natural latex) mattress. The main difference is in the structure. A mattress consists of a core and a filled cover; the cover with its sewn in fleece handles the climate and the core the lying properties. The futon is filled with a variety of layers which are only connected at a few points. Seeing that some (or even all) of those layers consist of natural fibers, the climate function is pretty much integrated into the core. The natural fibers are pressed by our weight, resulting in a high base firmness of the futon. The more latex we add to it, the better the comfort in terms of adjustment to the body.
Mattresses - when they consist of such good materials - usually have a softer lying feel. Of course we can't compare apples and oranges but only products of similar material quality. Spring core or cheap foam mattresses point out a high firmness or hardness but don't have sufficient adjustment to the body and no long durability. A similar issue also applies to futons that are very simple, thin and often purely made of cotton, which are comfortable at first but turn uncomfortably hard very quickly. In general, a mattress - even when it is of good quality - a volume that suits the body weight. That's why we always add weight details to our products to allow for a basic orientation as to what might fit to provide decent sleeping comfort.
A futon almost always provides the better climate properties, i.e.: moisture that we give off at night as well as room density can easily pass through the material without causing moisture build-up (a clammy feeling) which results in sweating. A good futon is always dry and has a comfy temperature. A natural latex mattress on the other hand offers more elasticity which is especially interesting for those who are sensitive in the shoulder and hip area; it regulates the sleeping climate by using quilted in wool (climate layer). (Compared to wool, synthetic quilt-fleece that is usually found in foam mattresses is inferior and creates an electrostatic charge.)
In the end it comes down to the individual to decide whether they prefer this or that mattress type. There are good products that provide decent sleep in either area. Especially the quality of materials as well as the right volume is significant - and, of course, your good feeling toward the sleeping pad.
Test & Certificate
This is a difficult topic to which I know many stories and anecdotes. We will limit ourselves to presenting why we attach no importance to test products and certificates.
As for the test / product-test, there are, as everyone knows two organizations controlling this issue. Stiftung Warentest, a parastatal organization that is in principle serious, because of their status, but whose test results reliability are still limited, at the end they dread two things, the damage to legitimate businesses and the possible, resulting process / cost risk.
In the field of mattresses tests it is striking that the test criteria are partly so slack that even 'weak' products achieve passable results. Consumers looking for quality have no clear decision aid; the much larger group of those who want to spend little is met half way and thereby enhances quality deterioration. The other establishment 'Ökotest' is a private enterprise company from the get go and cannot ensure the safe separation of advertisers and Test aspirant.
There are both positive and reliable tests and test results from both sides, as well as those in which as a serious professional you can only bang your head or chocke on laughter when you are affected.
For example, in the field of natural mattresses there are cases where one competitor that uses the same certified QuL materials as others, was rated a grade worse, because slightly different results were obtained in the test batch; hence, the result could have just as well been the other way around, something easily recognized by the one with the worse grade. There are also double standards, since a fully synthetic (and price / service miserable) Tempur mattress is suddenly found as ‘good’ in the 2nd try (!), while respectable natural mattresses are written down to 'satisfactory' (principle), if they contain plastic For consumers, this is not recognizable.
Stiftung Warentest is known to (similar to Ökotest) preferentially take up certain manufacturers' products in the test, while other, just as relevant products do not show up. If manufacturers do no corresponding 'lobbying', they only have a small chance to be in it.
As a result, one must conclude that this testing is too much of a marketing-technical instrument that is hard fought for by the industry, but offers quality-orientated consumers no satisfactory support - especially as quality products often come from small producers and - because of their small market importance – do not occur in the test.
Over time, we have made enough experiences on the subject, even with predominantly positive tests and test results of Stiftung Warentest and Ökotest, to come to the conclusion that we would rather not work with it. We want to present true quality appropriately.
The situation is similar with the certificates. The certification criteria for the consumers are rarely transparent and require trust to the respective authority.
The manufacturer must obtain the certificate, it must meet certain conditions, although not necessarily considered secure or verifiable, but it is assumed that they are respected. Thus you trust a company and ultimately, in return, the certificate receives a marketing-technical alibi. For example, if the material purity of cotton from certified organic cultivation organic cotton (certified organic) is ensured by the fact that the producers send in a sample 1x per year to a laboratory, you ultimately trust this producer or the clothing manufacturer that processes these goods. When, for example, the textile product is decorated with an eco-label - which indicates the test of 200 pollutants - it makes a good impression and entices us to buy it. But whether it was made in dubious manner somewhere in Central Asia, is even less clear than the other aspect that it is really made from certified organic cultivation.
There are also many examples and stories that in the end make it clear that it is about trust; we want to build on the greatest possible openness in product representation and advice, instead of a seal. To make it clear that there is no lack of access to the issue of certification it should be mentioned that the writer of this co-founded and helped building up the QuL, but distanced himself from it due disagreements as a result of having a different mentality regarding the subject. Today, we are member of the IVN.