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roomplanners SEPTEMBER 2010

www.roomplanners.com

are you

sleep deprived? … take our quiz to find out!

our annual sleep issue

… including our favorite new sleep products!

how to...   

fall asleep faster! create a bedroom with 5-star comfort! fight bed bugs!

eat, drink and be sleepy?

foods that help you sleep


a good night’s sleep… takes a little preparation!

Our ancestors... of the cavemen and campfire variety, really had it right. Sitting around the fire at night with little to do tell a few stories, their lives had a natural rhythm. They simply followed the sun and moon, letting the sky dictate when it was time to call it a day or rise and shine. Since then, Thomas Edison brought us the light bulb, making it possible to stay active all night. Our TV sets brought us a 24/7 schedule of entertainment and the Blackberry lets us stay connected to everyone and everything. Sitting around a campfire—doing nothing before bedtime—sounds positively medieval today. It‟s even hard to fathom, considering our more usual practice of falling headfirst into bed at night, uneasily aware of how few hours we left for sleep.

Loreen Epp

Most of us have accepted our chronically over-tired state as the way things are. But even just a little more attention to where we sleep, what we sleep on and what we do before we sleep can make a big difference to our well-being. President, RoomPlanners Inc.

In this issue, we share our favorite new sleep products, invite you to test your sleep deprivation quotient (!) or to check out some easy ways to fall asleep faster, create a 5-star bedroom and keep bed bugs away! Enjoy!

on the cover If you regularly try to catch more zzz‟s between the blaring of your snooze alarm, you‟re not alone. We‟re more sleep deprived than ever before. But if you‟re up for taking control of your sleep habits, read on… our September issue is devoted to the right sleep habits… and products!

about roomplanners RoomPlanners.com is committed to making professional quality interior design easier and more affordable. We invite you to visit our web site to browse hundreds of rooms for ideas, rate your own rooms or to take our survey to identify your environmental personality profile. We offer a variety of free home decorating articles, a no-fail paint color selection system and an array of RoomCues™... concise, practical guides to help you pull together a look you love. Find us online at: www.roomplanners.com. www.twitter.com/ roomplanners

All written information herein is copyright ©2010 Room Planners Incorporated. All rights reserved. No part of the material protected by this copyright may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means without written permission from Room Planners Inc..

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THIS MONTH

new bedrooms offer high ROI A depressed housing market may not be the ideal time to sell a house… but it‟s the ideal time to improve it! So how does a „bedroom re-do‟ rank on the latest Return On Investment (ROI) data for home improvement projects? (ROI is the amount of money you‟ll recoup on a home improvement project when you sell your home). Converting a 15‟ x 15‟ attic space to a functional bedroom (with closet and full bathroom) will bring an 83% ROI, according to Remodeling magazine. Adding a 400 square foot bedroom suite and spa-like bath on the main floor will bring as much as a 73% ROI (… the large aging population is less interested in climbing stairs to get to their bedroom!). Want an even higher return? Make sure the laundry room is on the same level… and build a private deck or patio off that bedroom! In comparison to a bedroom addition, an outdoor deck will bring as much as a 92% ROI; a kitchen will bring a 75%-85% ROI.

how do you measure up? How much sleep do we really need? # of hours Age

Min

Max

1—3

12

14

3—5

11

13

5—13

10

11

9

10

7.5

9

13—19 20+

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Curious if you‟re getting too little or too much sleep at night? Check the sleep chart to the left; it shows the minimum and maximum sleep quota recommendations by age. Kids need a lot of sleep during their growth years, since sleep activates growth hormones. Adults need less sleep, but a lot more than many of them get! And yes, there is a maximum! Too much sleep makes us lethargic.

did you know? According to those who are buying them, a new bed is apt to be better than the old one. A full 72% of respondents in a Consumer Reports study said their new mattress improved their sleep. Those who spent at least 10 minutes lying on a bed before buying it were more likely to be satisfied with their choice than those who didn‟t.

kids need sleep! According to Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, teens are averaging 6.5 to 7.5 hours of sleep a night. That‟s well below the 9-10 hours generally recommended by sleep and health experts. Inadequate sleep doesn‟t just make kids sluggish or tired. Kids need enough REM sleep to secrete their hGH, or human growth hormone. Without this hormone, they‟ll be less able to remember what they‟re learning, grow, focus, drive or fight obesity. Here are 3 ways to improve your child’s sleep! 

Cut caffeine intake at least 5 hours before bed. (Some experts recommend cutting caffeine intake by 2:30 pm). That includes soft drinks, coffee and some energy drinks.

Shut down the computer an hour before bedtime. Research indicates the light of computers may delay secretion of the hGH hormone (tricking the brain into thinking its still daytime and slowing the rate of falling asleep)! Help kids use their hour before bedtime for reading, relaxing, praying, listening to music, quiet conversation, going for a walk or family time.

Model the behavior and habits you wan your children to have. Shut off all TVs and computers by 10 pm, or enforce a quiet hour for everyone. Kids pick up on parents habits; going to bed late or watching TV makes them want to do the same!

For more tips on improving kids‟ sleep, click here: www.RoomsToRaveAbout.wordpress.com 3


how to

fall asleep

faster!

We‟re getting less sleep than ever before.

Sleep prescriptions are on the rise as we spend less time in bed... and more time awake once we get there!

But before we blame the counting sheep for poor leadership from #1... #8 being out of sequence... or #86 too depressed to even think about jumping fences tonight, it behooves us to at least consider what the flock is facing. They know we‟re sleeping fewer hours.. and so tired we don‟t always need them. But they‟re also up

against a growing trend toward insomnia, with more of us lying awake with plenty on our mind besides them. The ups and downs of the economy alone are enough to keep us wide awake. That‟s not to mention fears of losing our job or house, or other personal issues competing with our time to dream. Those late nights trysts with our computers aren‟t helping either. Stimulating our minds and illuminating our brains isn‟t exactly a good thing to do at night. Studies are suggesting that being up close and personal with a highly lit computer screen may decrease our production of melatonin the hormone that goes into high gear when the sun goes down, sprinkling sleep dust on us in the dark.

The bottom line? Recent stats say 70% of us have sleep issues (up from 60% just 10 years ago!). Still others just have really bad nocturnal habits. The good news is that 50% of us with sleep disorders (and 100% of us with really bad nocturnal habits) don‟t need medication. We can cure ourselves. But it will mean getting 7.5-9 hours of sleep every night. In exchange, we‟ll feel better, be healthier, smarter, thinner and even better looking (more sleep can make us look 3 years younger!). We may even let the sheep take the credit. Sleeping on a comfortable mattress is the best way to fall asleep faster. But we‟ve got plenty more good ideas on the next page!

will counting sheep help us fall asleep? Counting a line of sheep jumping a picket fence is believed to be such a mundane, mind-numbing activity that our bodies will choose to sleep instead. Or so the theory goes. The practice is surprisingly widespread and embedded, so to speak, in American, European and Japanese cultures. So much so that it‟s synonymous with insomnia.

Serta® and the Counting Sheep are registered trademarks of Serta, Inc.

So does it work? Some (including the wooly herd itself) insist that the simplicity and repetition of this mental activity will indeed lull us to sleep. It may even tire our eyes, fueling the much-coveted rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. But others believe it‟s too much mental work for nighttime. Stimulating the mind, they argue, will stimulate the body and envisioning, say, a waterfall is a better choice. Still others, including sleep experts, say that a comfortable, supportive mattress will reduce the need to do either. But by now, we know better than to expect #1 and his flock to take that idea lying down. So expect the counting sheep to keep insisting they be the last thing we think about at night.

Get full sheep bios at http://www.serta.com/#/Serta-Sheep-Counting-Sheep-Buy-a-Serta-mattress-Count-Sheep-No-More

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want to doze off sooner? (and dream deeper?)

www.serta.com

… do this!

… not this!

Get plenty of exercise during the day; the earlier in the day, the better.

Eat a heavy bedtime snack. Some sleep experts even suggest stopping eating 3 hours before bedtime.

Do muscle relaxation or mind relaxation exercises to cue your body that it‟s time to power down.

Eat heavy or spicy foods before sleeping. They‟ll stay with you, causing indigestion, stomach acid and discomfort.

Go to bed as soon after it gets dark as possible. Our oldest ancestors did this. Animals do this. Our body naturally goes into repair mode when the sun goes down.

Consume nicotine or caffeine; they‟re stimulants.

Establish a relaxing routine before bedtime; include some quiet time in your bedroom before turning out the lights. Listen to 30 minutes of music; it‟s been shown to produce same effect as 10mg of Valium! Gentle classical music is best. New age, soft jazz or pop ballades, also good. Save Led Zeppelin for the a.m. Eat melatonin-rich foods. (More about this on page 17). Meditate or pray before you sleep; it‟s calming and can help take your mind off our worries. Block unwanted noise in your bedroom. Complete silence is best for deep sleep, but party animals or street sounds can be dulled with white noise machines or quiet music.

Consume sugar, including alcohol. Alcohol will make you feel drowsy, but you‟ll wake up wide-eyed and bushy tailed a few hours later. Drink a lot of fluids within 2 hours of bedtime. Unless you enjoy trekking to the bathroom in the dark; not a good idea. Read books or watch late movies that are very suspenseful or scary. Our minds will dream up their own wacky stuff; we don‟t need to fuel the surreal or work up our imaginations! Watch the news after 7 pm. Ditto the point above. Watch the early news, then give current events a rest. Stay up when you feel tired; getting a second wind to work or watch TV may seem like a windfall, but it ignores natural body cues that help us sleep.

Play soothing sounds of waves or wind from a CD, nature sound machine, sound pillow or sound eye mask.

Sleep with light. Even small LED lights can be distracting. Use light-blocking blinds, turn clocks away from your bed or wear an eye mask for complete darkness.

Turn down the thermostat. The cooler your bedroom, the better you‟ll sleep. Seventy degrees is maximum, less is better.

Exercise strenuously within 2-3 hours before bedtime; a good work-out also gets us worked up.

Invest in a top quality pillow, mattress and bed linens. If there‟s one place you should pay more than you ever thought you would, it‟s on this troika of support and comfort.

Sleep on a mattress with lumps, crevices or old sleep technology.. Mattresses older than 7-10 years really do need to be replaced. Really.

Sleep on a Perfect Sleeper™ or Perfect Day™ mattress; their advanced sleep materials and technology will support your spine, alleviate pressure points, conform to your body and dissipate heat and moisture.

Sleep on a bed that’s too small. Bumping into a partner, elbowing the wall or dangling your feet off the end of your bed really does a number on REM sleep.

Use more than one pillow per person on your bed; extra head or body pillows create a cocoon of comfort.

Argue or have upsetting conversations after dinner. People, situations or issues that press your buttons can wait until the morning.

Layer extra blankets on your bed; if you get too hot or cold in the night, you can add or delete without getting out of bed.

Pay taxes or balance your checkbook right before you sleep. We don‟t think we need to explain why this is a bad idea.

Make your bed in the morning; it‟ll be much easier to align your sheets and get comfortable when you go to bed.

Use the computer late at night. The light emitted may delay or suppress that shot of melatonin you need.

Wear clothes that fit loosely and comfortably; choose nonallergenic, non-restrictive fabrics. Less is usually more.

Think about how badly you need to sleep; unfortunately it‟ll just cause more worry and less sleep.

Wear socks in bed. They can compensate for poor circulation and reduce wake-ups from cold feet... your‟s or your partners.

Take a lot of medications. Some drugs interfere with natural sleep patterns in the body. The fewer you take, the better.

Use a drop of scented oil or spray on your pillow. Vanilla, lavender, peppermint, jasmine are among the most calming.

Go to bed at a different time each night. Establish a routine and stick with it, even on weekends!

roomplanners + www.roomplanners.com

= ideas you can use

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don’t let the

bed bugs bite! Better yet, don’t let them anywhere near your home. It‟s near epidemic. Bed bugs are infesting hotels, offices, stores and theaters. The ultimate hitchhikers, bed bugs can cross your threshold many ways… along with overnight guests who‟ve spent a night in a hotel, inside your luggage after you’ve spent a night in a hotel, on your clothes after a few hours shopping or at the movie theater... or even through the walls of a neighboring suite. Books and articles on these stealthy critters reads like a vampire novel. Their eggs are invisible... they can live up to a year without a blood meal… their bites look different on different people (making a bed bug problem hard to diagnose) … they live anywhere we www.roomplanners.com

do and especially like burrowing deep into our mattress... a single bug can lay 4 or 5 eggs a day (300500 eggs in a lifetime!)... they‟re good at hiding; their flat shape lets them squeeze in and out of tight hiding places… they don‟t need a nest, just a place to hide… they head for the bed when we do, but may hang out elsewhere between meals… and a safe pesticide to eradicate these thirsty predators isn‟t available yet. The widespread use of DDT all but eradicated the common bed bug in the 1940s and '50s. But DDT was banned in 1972 as too toxic to wildlife. By the late 1990s, bed bugs had developed resistance to the chemicals that replaced

DDT. In addition, a 1996 law that required older pesticides to be re-evaluated based on more stringent health standards left exterminators with fewer pesticides available to fight these strong, stealthy pests. More of a nuisance than a health hazard, bed bugs are nonetheless stressful and their bites remarkably itchy. An exterminator can rid your home of them (never spray your mattress with insecticides yourself!). But that can get expensive fast. Keeping bed bugs out of your house is always your first course of action. And if you do get them? Address the problem right away. 6


9 ways

to avoid bed bugs! Once bed bugs are in your home, it’s stressful and expensive to get ride of them. Stave off these creatures by taking preventative action! 1. Wash new or used sheets or clothes in very hot water before placing in closets or drawers. 2. Wash clothes in very hot water after being in public places (theaters, hotels) or in other people‟s homes. If you work in other people‟s homes for a living, leave clothing or uniforms in a sealed bag. 3. Avoid buying used furniture; bed bugs can hide anywhere. Never bring a used mattress into your home, unless it‟s from your previous home. 4. Carry a small flashlight to inspect your hotel room’s bed, headboard and sheets. Wrap suitcases in sealed plastic garbage bags during your stay. 5. Shake out suitcases over the bathtub when you get home from hotels, or leave empty suitcases in a hot car for a day or two to kill bugs and eggs. 6. Wrap your mattress in a mattress protector that‟s been vigorously tested to resist and kill bed bugs. 7. Avoid a cluttered home; it gives bed bugs more places to hide and makes them hard to find.

Left to right: a bed bug / bed bugs infesting a mattress seam / bed bug bites. www.MedicineNet.com

8. Watch regularly for bed bugs (and their signs) in your home. Early detection saves money and a lot of stress.

how to know if you have bed bugs! Determining if you have a bed bug infestation can be a challenge. Bed bugs are very small (about the size of an apple seed), they like to hide and only make an appearance for a brief period. Here are the top ways to tell if your room is infested: 

look for dark blood marks, usually small streaks on sheets.

look for the bugs or their shells where they like to hide... between mattress crevices, seams and handles, inside bed linens, curtains, furniture, behind headboards, picture frames, outlets or screw heads.

lay double-sided carpet tape in strips around the perimeter of your room. If you have bed bugs, you‟ll likely see one or more of them stuck to the tape after a few days.

inspect your arms and legs for close-together bites; often in a row.

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are you...

sleep deprived? “When we sleep, our brains are active - their activity is essential… to the consolidation of memories, to learning, to cognitive development, to psychiatric health and to a healthy immune system.” Henry J. Kaiser Foundation Report

8 www.roomplanners.com


take our quiz to find out... If you need to place the alarm clock across the room to wake you, you may be one of a growing number of us who are chronically over-tired. See for yourself how your sleep habits stack up! Many people think that 5 or 6 hours of sleep every night is all they need. After all, they get through the day without falling asleep at their desks or behind the wheel; that must mean they‟re getting enough sleep.

ALWAYS

NEVER

1. I need an alarm clock to wake me at the right time.

1

2

3

4

5

2. I hit the snooze button at least once or twice.

1

2

3

4

5

3. I need more than one cup of coffee to get me going in the morning.

1

2

3

4

5

4. I easily forget things, including names of people or places.

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2

3

4

5

5. I eat sugar to feel more energetic.

1

2

3

4

5

6. I feel irritable or impatient.

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2

3

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5

7. I have a hard time being creative.

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5

8. I fantasize about sleeping in.

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5

9. When I wake up, I’m already looking forward to going to bed that evening.

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2

3

4

5

10. I take medication to help me sleep.

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2

3

4

5

“REM sleep occurs about every 90 minutes,” says Dr. James Maas, MD and sleep expert. He explains that periods of REM sleep get longer as the night progresses. “If you‟re a sixhour sleeper, you‟re missing the last important opportunity to repair and to prepare for the coming day.”

11. I fall asleep right after dinner.

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2

3

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5

12. I feel drowsy when driving.

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5

13. On weekends, I sleep 2 hours or more later than my weekday wake-up time.

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5

14. People tell me that I look tired or have dark circles under my eyes.

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5

15. I have nightmares or wake up suddenly.

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5

16. I wake up 2 or more times during the night.

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5

17. I drool when I sleep.

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3

4

5

To make matters worse, sleeping pills suppress REM sleep. Natural sleep (...and plenty of it) is what the doctor orders!

18. I get twitches in one eye.

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5

19. I fall asleep reading a book or studying.

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5

20. I doze off during quiet movies, lectures, classes or concerts, even ones I enjoy.

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But according to sleep experts, we get almost all of our rapid eye movement (REM) sleep between the 7th and 8th consecutive hour of sleep. REM sleep is that deep sleep when our mind repairs and restores itself… and us!

SCORING YOUR RESULTS 85 points of higher. Congratulations! You‟ve got above average sleep habits! You may occasionally crave more sleep than you get, but you‟re doing more right than wrong. 65-70 points. Some simple adjustments in your sleep habits will increase your focus, energy, memory and overall well-being. 50-65 points. You may be suffering from a sleep disorder… or just poor nocturnal habits. Try simple changes to your routine or consult a sleep expert. Under 50 points. You may be dozing off as you read this! If you can‟t get more sleep using the tips in this sleep issue, consult a sleep expert or a medical doctor. www.roomplanners.com

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your bedroom... as relaxing as a first class hotel room? Ever walked into a hotel room that you wanted to take home with you? Or been at a world-class spa that that you didn‟t ever want to leave? Ever? What if we could feel as relaxed in our own home as we do in these places professionally designed to relax us? Is it possible? Could we leave behind the personal clutter and realworld limitations that deny us such an oasis of calm? Is it possible? Even without those big budgets and those hip designers resorts have access to? In a word, yes. But it does mean paying very close attention to the finer points of relaxation! Bedrooms are about the body. But designing a room for the body is as much bout designing it for the mind. Relaxed minds become relaxed bodies! The right sights, sounds, smells and textures do so much more than give luxurious rooms their 5-star rating. It also makes them feel as good as they look. www.roomplanners.com

But before you hit the mattress store or haul out the drop cloth, there‟s just one more thing. To really recreate a 5-star ambiance, it‟s worth knowing that 5-star ambiance isn‟t about a beautiful room. (Well, it is too. You wouldn‟t want to be in a room that wasn‟t fabulous to look at.) But it‟s about much, much more.

World-class hotels know that a room designed to relax you is as much about making you feel healthy as it is about impressing you with thread counts, mini bars and views of the city (or the very fancy ensuite!) Without a healthy rest, you‟re not coming back… no matter how pretty the bedspread or how swellsmelling the shampoo.

More than ever before, we‟re valuing the benefits of a good night‟s sleep to our health. A beautiful bedroom means nothing if it doesn‟t also help us sleep. But with the right product choices, beauty and health can go hand-inhand. On that front, we‟ve got some ideas to get you inspired. Read on! 10


5-star comfort

http://www.sealy.com

here’s how!

Want hotel-inspired décor in your own bedroom? Find out what hotel designers spend their time and money on! 1. Indulgences Today, luxurious hotels are more about making us feel pampered than surrounding us with glamour. What‟s too fancy doesn‟t relax us; it makes us nervous to touch anything! Look for ways to surround yourself with creature comforts—bottled water next to the bed, a coffee maker, plush bathrobes on a hook or in the closet, a large floor mirror or comfortable chair. Think of yourself as a guest in your own room! 2. High-touch materials Our bedrooms let us get up close and personal with touchable textures—from luxurious silk sheets to nubby area rugs. Use fabrics that beg to be touched! 3. Banning clutter

a 5-star bedroom

There‟s a reason why we feel relaxed and rejuvenated in chic hotels. For once, we don‟t come face to face with all of our stuff! A slightly depersonalized, clutter-free room is surprisingly calming: we feel less weighed down or attached to our problems. Dispense with paperwork, stacked clothes, cords or ornaments in favor of an open view. It‟s not just the universal appeal of contemporary, sleek design that makes it the style of choice in most resort hotels. Clean lines, tailored shapes and understated design prepares us for rest. With less for our eyes and minds to look at, we feel more relaxed. Japanese-inspired décor is a favorite inspiration, not just because it goes along with

our top tips Put yourself at easy with these hotel designer tricks!

Asian hot stone therapies and Zen gardens! The Japanese are known for their contemplative, calming ways. They don‟t make a big statement with bright colors or fancy features. Simplicity makes a much more powerful one! 4. Breathability Even more important than a bedroom that takes our breath away is one that gives it back to us! Good ventilation, a ceiling fan or cross breeze from windows will help put us to sleep. We breathe deeply when we relax and sleep, making it critical to breathe in healthy air, free of odors. Sleeping surfaces should be free of formaldehyde and ozonedepleting chemicals.

Its modern design is very chic! But the new Embody, by Sealy, is also the first mattress to integrate Polartec® into the top layer! This breathable fabric wicks away moisture while you sleep, complimenting layers of memory foam or latex with anti-microbial properties. Translation? It looks and feels as good as it is for you.

roomplanners + www.roomplanners.com

We need a sleep surface that breathes too; it helps regulate our body temperature. A breathable mattress, such as Sealy‟s new Embody, will reduce clammy moisture at night for a drier, healthier sleep.

Use a monochromatic scheme, or the same color on the wall, ceiling and floor for an enveloping, „cocoon‟ effect.

Use neutral colors for large areas and accents. Without jarring color contrasts, we feel calmer. Choose chic (cool) or organic (warm) neutrals.

Choose contemporary furniture; it takes less effort to clean, or look at!

Eliminate clutter and put away knickknacks. Large accents are more quieting.

Add a comfortable place to sit that‟s not the bed.

Lean an oversized floor mirror on a wall next to a window. It reflects relaxing daylight into the room.

Invest in high-threadcount white sheets; you‟ll notice the difference in the quality... and white always feels indulgent!

make your bed the way hotels do…. pull the comforter halfway back and stack (instead of propping up) a double set of pillows.

invest in sights, sounds and scents that detox and decompress… a water fountain or aromatherapy.

create long, low horizontal lines; they simulate the horizon line - relaxing and stabilizing us.

= ideas you can use 11


looking for the perfect

bedroom style? 2 sleep-inspiring looks for your personal place

Like a recipe for your room, our 24-pg RoomCues™ will help you pull together the furniture, accessories, paint colors and much more for your favorite style.

Hotel-style bedrooms are luxurious, quiet and self-contained. They offer a complete retreat from the world, especially if fitted with everything needed for a night… and day of sleep and relaxation. Hotel-style rooms blend chic and organic personalities… and look inspired by chic, 5-star urban hotels and luxurious spas. Download our 24-pg Hotel-style RoomCue for advice on how to pull together this urban, sophisticated style.

RoomCue: Hotel style / 24-pg / $12.95 Click here to find out more: http://store.roomplanners.simplehelix.com/room-cues/hotel-ep-9-3.html

Zen-style bedrooms are low-key, natural and organic. They offer calming sights and soothing sounds that quiet body and mind. Nothing distracts us here; these rooms are as conducive to meditation and relaxation as they are to sleep. Zenstyled rooms are 100% organic and look inspired by Japanese gardens and world-class spas. Download our 24-pg Hotel-style RoomCue for advice on how to pull together this natureinspired, organic style.

RoomCue: Zen style / 24-pg / $12.95 Click here to find out more: http://store.roomplanners.simplehelix.com/room-cues/zen-ep-9.html www.roomplanners.com

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9

our favorite new

sleep

products ...they’ll help you bring on the zzz’s The first of its kind, as far as we know, Our Favorite New Sleep Products list includes a range of new ideas and solutions for our most private of places and activities. But one thing runs through all our top picks… a belief in better sleep and relaxation through innovation and good design. So how do you pick the best new sleep products from the many, many new bedding products introduced each year? It‟s not easy. Our plan of attack? Use three criteria to pick our favorites. www.roomplanners.com

First, each top pick had to have a story… something that made it relevant to today… a solution to a common sleep problem, the best example of a changing sleep trend, a commitment to preserving the environment or a way to save money or space.

Finally, we wanted to be caught off-guard with something really fresh and different… something that would make more of us get excited about replacing that old, worn-down mattress and about making our bedroom a favorite place to spend more time!

Second, our favorite new sleep products had to be durable. More of us want to surround ourselves with the best quality at the best price. And none of us buys new sleep products often enough to merit trendy purchases, so we insisted on finding new products with longevity.

A lot of new mattresses come to market every year. And a lot of them look and seem much the same. But with more attention on our national sleep debt, suppliers of sleep products outdid themselves this year. We really think you‟ll love what you see. Read on! 13


1

new sleep products!

the perfect night… the perfect next day

If you‟re up for a mattress that‟s beautiful, inside and out, this one might be your perfect choice. Using the most advanced comfort and support technologies to date, Perfect Day, by Serta, is a top-ofthe-line mattress designed to address common sleep problems—from tossing and turning to temperature swings. It combines temperature regulating latex foam and fibers that regulate the sleep surface temperature….with a flexible, pillow-soft coil core. This smart, medically proven

sleep technology ensures a good night‟s sleep… and next day. But all that good stuff aside, this is one pretty mattress. The clean, diamond-quilted finish, white crystal fabric along the mattress edges and sophisticated, charcoal-colored box spring looks luxurious and sophisticated. We also think you‟ll like the perfectly positioned handles near the top and bottom of the mattress for ease of handling.

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a bed for a tight spot This lower-priced, compact alternative to a Murphy bed… ideal for small homes or guest rooms! The unique ZzZ cabinet bed, by Arason holds a standard-sized mattress. The sleeping platform is made by folding down the front panel onto feltcovered extension runners.

don‟t have to move what‟s up there to use the bed. The ZzZ cabinet is available in twin, full or queen sizes. The queen and full sizes have a center support runner so the platform can support up to 500 pounds! Five styles and a variety of finishes are available…

A couple of things we liked about this innovative idea. It‟s a free standing cabinet so there‟s no installation required and you can take it with you when you move. It‟s got drawers at the base of the footboard— big enough to hold pillows, extra sheets or guest towels. The unit is easy to open and a lot nicer than sleeping on an air mattress on the floor! The shorter cabinet creates usable storage space on the shelf above... and you Perfect Day, by Serta www.roomplanners.com

http://www.serta.com

ZzZ Chest Cabinet

http://www.Fu-Chest.com 14


3

breathe easy with Polartec™ A new line of progressive latex and memory foam mattresses offer a sleek, contemporary design that looks and feels as good as it is for you.

also constructed with antimicrobial fabrics to resist dust mites and allergens, while providing a natural shield against microbes. We also liked the stream-

Embody, by Sealy, is also the first mattress to use Polartec® in its top layer for extra air circulation and breathability (…five times more breathable than leading foam mattresses, Sealy executives told us). This miracle fabric is already well-known for its ability to circulate air. That makes it as ideal for a mattress as for apparel; it‟ll help regulate body temperature all night long and wick away moisture to ensure a dry, healthy sleep.

4

This new mattress was

lined, modern design; a refreshing change to plush pillow top mattresses. The upholstery-like fabric cover looks sleek and feels durable, and the darkcolored box-spring is a nice

Embody, by Sealy

contrast. There‟s also a few unexpected extras… a side pocket in the foundation is handy for storing a magazine, book or other bedside essentials.

http:// www.sealy.com

wax candles... without the house fire! Want to enjoy warm candlelight in your bedroom without worrying about burning down the house down if you fall asleep, knock the candles over or place them too close to curtains? We recently came across Enjoy Lighting candles: they‟re flameless but remarkably lifelike because they‟re made of wax. But instead of embedded wicks for burning, there‟s 3 LED bulbs… programmed to create a realistic flickering effect. The bulbs simulate the kind of dancing shadwww.roomplanners.com

ows that a real flame would. The company cites over 15,000 house fires each year caused by wicked candles. But apart from eliminating the fire risk, wickless candles are 100% safe around children and pets, save on replacement candle costs, eliminate soot on walls and melted wax on furniture or carpets. Their LED bulbs will last over 100,000 hours. The web site displays an impressive variety of styles, colors, textures and scents to choose from.

Enjoy Candles

http://www.enjoycandles.com 15


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the first adjustable mattress Watching TV or surfing the Internet aren‟t things sleep experts recommend we do in bed. But we‟re doing it anyway… so why not be comfortable! The latest adjustable bed to hit the market is the best we‟ve seen to date. Most adjustable beds are really adjustable bases with a regular mattress on top. But the new Vivon Life Positional Mattress is actually an adjustable mattress. In other words, the frame and the mattress work together to adjust positions. A variety of

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positions allow the feet to be elevated and the back angled, making laptop work, reading or watching TV easier. No more bunching pillows behind you to

Vivon adjustable mattress

create a more comfortable sitting position! The mattress unit also includes a vibrating massage. Available in stores soon.

http://www.Vivon.com

a pillow with comfort and support

For those who like memory foam pillows, but miss the cushy comfort of a soft down pillow, your wait is over. The new BioSense™ Better Than Down pillow, from Brookstone, has been re-engineered to combine the support of a memory foam pillow with

the softness of a down pillow. Essentially, a memory foam core sits inside a sleeping bag-like cover filled with a plush, downlike microfiber that‟s 100% hypo-allergenic. The fabric shell can be removed for washing. Well-known for its ability to relieve pressure points by conforming to the exact

contours of our body shape, memory foam also resets itself once we get up, leaving no permanent indentations. We liked that the pillow‟s memory foam is perforated with small holes. This ventilated design allows air to flow through the pillow so it adjusts to your body temperature. The foam itself is made with green tea, charcoal and seed oil for natural odor resistance. The new pillow collection features a neck pillow (rolled surface) for back sleepers, a contoured neck pillow (one side cut in a concave shape) for side sleepers or in a classic shape (standard pillow shape).

BioSense™ Better Than Down pillow, by Brookstone http://www.Brookstone.com www.roomplanners.com

a bug-proof bed cover

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The right mattress cover will protect your mattress from dust mites, bacteria, mold… and bed bugs!

By encasing your mattress completely, bed bugs will die in 12-18 months. While even the best mattress cover won‟t keep bed bugs out of your room, it‟ll keep them from ruining it. It also forces them to move to more places where you can spot them.

Total Mattress Encasement, by Mattress Safe, is waterproof, fire retardant and welltested (Certified) against bed bugs. While some mattress covers allow bed bugs to escape through zipper teeth and zipper endings, Mattress Safe is one of few brands that will not. Their „zipper with a hook‟ technology won‟t let these stealthy critters through. The cover is breathable and will stretch to fit up to a 22” mattress. The encasement must stay on to kill bed bugs, but the company‟s Duo System includes a simple overlay that can be washed.

removable overlay

Total Mattress Encasement, by Mattress Safe http:www.MattressSafe.com 16


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sheets that stay put… even on deep mattresses Today‟s mattresses are getting deeper and more luxurious. Even those of us not buying new mattresses may be adding comfortable toppers to our mattresses. The result? Standard-sized sheet sets are problematic. Even ‟deep pocket‟ sheets can be too shallow for the most luxurious, specialty foam beds. If you‟re having problems keeping sheets on the bed, we found a solution.

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DreamFit™ Luxury Sheets are designed to stay on

your mattress, whatever it‟s depth. The company is so sure about that, in fact, that they‟re even trademarking their guarantee under Guaranteed to Fit™ and Guaranteed to Stay On™ names.

dard elastic) sewn around the entire sheet.

The sheet sets combine high quality materials with a patented technology and a choice of seven luxury and comfort levels. The company‟s patented strap design includes a high performance elastic (four times wider and 20 times stronger than stan-

DreamFit™ Luxury Sheets http: www.dreamfit .com

a mattress for the other half of us! For the fully half of U.S. consumers who prefer a softer feeling mattress… but don‟t want to sacrifice support, TempurPedic now offers their TEMPURCloud™ mattress. And this blend of soft and firm has quickly become the company‟s best seller, according to company executives. TempurPedic developed the mattress for consumers who want a softer mattress, but their goal was to eliminate problems often associated with softer mattresses, including bunching, sagging and pre-mature wear. Mattresses in the Cloud Collection include an extra thick layer of a new www.roomplanners.com

TEMPUR-ES™ material designed to create the softest, most responsive sleep surface in the company‟s history. But this new pillow-like material works in combination with the TEMPUR Support layer… famous for conforming to the contours of the body, supporting and aligning the spine, relieving pressure points and reducing movement disturbances between partners. TEMPUR-Cloud™ mattresses include a removable, washable cover with a stretchable top, MicroSuede sides and accent piping. TEMPURCloud™, by TempurPedic

http://www.TempurPedic.com 17


eat... drink...

and be

sleepy? Warm milk and cookies sound like a soothing bedtime snack. But can what and when you eat affect how well you sleep?

Serta® and the Counting Sheep are registered trademarks of Serta, Inc.

might make you feel sleepy, but you may not be able to achieve a really deep sleep.

Many sleep experts and nutritionists advise choosing your supper meal and evening snack with care. 

Eat dinner/supper earlier rather than later in the evening to give your stomach time to digest the food.

Consume too many liquids during the evening and you will be waking frequently to make trips to the bathroom throughout the night.

Make the last meal of the day a light one. If portions are too large, your digestive system will have to work over time. Eating a large meal may initially make you feel drowsy, but you likely won‟t enjoy a restful sleep.

Avoid caffeine. It‟s a stimulant, and increases the activity of various body systems including the nervous system. It can take 8 to 10 hours to eliminate the effects of caffeine from your body.

Eat a small snack an hour or two before you go to bed. Going to bed hungry will just keep you awake or even wake you up.

The following diet-related tips will have you snoozing soon after your head hits the pillow.  

Choose foods that won‟t cause discomfort while you sleep. Heavy, rich and fatty foods can be hard to digest. Spicy, highly seasoned or acidic foods can cause heartburn and stomach discomfort. Limit your alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol

www.roomplanners.com

Try the Nutri Cookie recipe on the next page. Served with warm or cold milk, it really will help you sleep. And don‟t let Number 7 (or any of his Serta® counting sheep friends) convince you otherwise. 18


FOODS THAT HELP US SLEEP When planning what to eat close to bedtime, opt for foods that contain tryptophan, especially for nighttime snacking. An important amino acid, tryptophan is needed to produce serotonin and melatonin in our brain, two chemicals that help us sleep. Tryptophan-rich foods include:         

dairy products fish & seafood meat & poultry eggs soy products beans whole grains & rice lentils nuts and seeds

Combining carbohydraterich foods with a small amount of protein food that contains tryptophan helps make tryptophan available to our brains. Try these combinations:      

oatmeal cookies & milk whole grain cereal & milk half a peanut butter or tuna sandwich crackers & cheese bagel chips & a hardcooked egg yogurt & granola

nutri cookies (Makes 5 dozen cookies) ½ cup (125 mL) butter or margarine, softened ½ cup (125 mL) peanut butter 1 cup (250 mL) liquid honey 2 large eggs 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour 3 cups (750 mL) quick-cooking rolled oats (not instant) 1 cup (250 mL) medium unsweetened coconut ¾ cup (175 mL) natural bran ½ cup (125 mL) sunflower seeds or wheat germ 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda 1 tsp (5 mL) salt 1 cup (250 mL) raisins ½ cup (125 mL) chopped nuts Beat butter and peanut butter in a large bowl until blended. Add honey, eggs and vanilla. Beat slowly until blended. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. For each cookie, scoop a heaping tablespoon (about 20 mL) batter onto a cookie sheet. Flatten slightly. Bake in a preheated 375F (190C) oven until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes on cookie sheet before removing cookies to a cooling rack. Recipe Source: Adapted from Timeless Recipes for All Occasions by Jean Pare, Company’s Coming Publishing Limited, 2006

cooking quarters

Wendi Hiebert is a home economist and food writer, living in Kitchener, Ontario. For more of her recipes, visit www.CookingQuarters. wordpress.com www.roomplanners.com

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RoomPlanners magazine - Sept '10  

Interior design ideas, home decor, new products, style trends and recipes. This month... tips for better sleep, hotel-style bedroom design i...

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