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The White Stripes have released a new documentary chronicling their 2007 Canadian tour.

The film, entitled “Under Great White Northern Lights,” is a mixture of interviews and concert footage and is showing in limited release across Canada.

Meg and Jack White left the comfort of their own beds to travel to every province and territory in our great nation to play small intimate venues in areas where few rock acts venture. As a bonus to their fans, the Stripes played a short free show at each of the cities they stopped in. Locations ranged from a bowling alley to a fishing vessel.

These moments and more were all caught on camera by Emmett Malloy, back in 2007.

Malloy edited hours and hours of footage into an hour and a quarter length film.

The final product is a fusion of raw live material, candid commentary (mostly by Jack) and interactions with locals.

This is an absolute must if you are a fan of the White Stripes. If you are indifferent to there music, the film is still worthwhile as a showcase of Canadian culture and the landscape from which it sprung.

Enjoy with large helpings of peppermint candy.

Under Great White Northern Lights

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A recent study, reported in “New Scientist,” is claiming that having too much or too little sleep can have a serious impact on your waistline.

Researchers at Wake Forest University conducted the study. The scientists monitored African American and Hispanic citizens, deemed to be at the highest risk for obesity, for five years.

The test groups that slept more than eight hours and less than five experienced the greatest weight gain.

In addition, after performing CAT scans, the researchers found the same individuals were more likely to have an increase in visceral fat. This is the most dangerous fat because of its attachment to internal organs.

These findings prove what many of us already knew: receiving eight hours of sleep at night is one of the most important things you can do for your body.

A good night’s sleep leaves you physically rested and mentally aware. Denying your body sleep or over indulging is a disservice to your health.

You may hit the gym more than three times a week, but if you’re not getting the rest you need, you may lose out on seeing the results.

So make the time and call it an early one. Your body will thank you.

What does the most stylish man in the world wear to work: the same thing he wears to bed – his blue striped pajamas.

Johnny Depp was recently spotted on the streets of Venice wearing nothing but his nightwear.

Known for his ultra-cool style, the 2009 “People” magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive,’ looked a little out of place in his pjs on the Venetian cobblestones.

Depp was shooting a scene for his new movie “The Tourist,” due out in 2011. The film stars Depp and Angelina Jolie and is directed by Florian Henckel-Donnersmarck, the German director responsible for the Academy Award winning film, “The Lives of Others.”

The scene involved Depp’s character leaping from a balcony onto a produce cart. A stuntman, in matching pajamas, was there to make the fall, but Depp quickly resumed the action once the character’s two feet were firmly on the ground.

The film is a thriller about an American tourist in Italy who has made the trip to divert his attention from a failed romance at home. Depp’s character becomes involved with an Interpol agent, Angelina, who takes an interest in the innocent American.

The two stars are rumoured to have more than one romantic scene in the film. The ladies are probably secretly hoping Depp will be revealing a little more skin than what’s visible under the full-length pajamas.

Vancouver's Famous Cherry Blossoms

How do we know spring is here in British Columbia?

The rain is incessant, the cherry blossoms are out and we are forced to lose an hour of sleep to daylight savings.

That hour missed could still be haunting you five days later and often it is a week before our body catches up with the lost time.

It is a similar experience to jet-lag, when we make the ‘unnatural’ motion to cross the globe in an airplane and touchdown in a different time zone. We often feel groggy and out of touch for at least two or three days.

There have actually been studies done that show a spike in traffic accidents the Monday after daylight savings.

So how do we get back on schedule?

The most direct way is to go to sleep an hour earlier, for at least the first two days.

Another method is to improve your sleeping conditions for the week after daylight savings. This could be as simple as limiting your morning sleep distractions. One way to accomplish this is by ensuring that the blinds or curtains in your bedroom block out the most amount of morning sunlight.

If you’re getting up before dawn, try to set your clock at the maximum snooze count, so you receive the most undisturbed rest possible.

Still not satisfied?

Maybe it’s time for a new mattress.

Spring is all about starting fresh. Rid yourself of your old bed and discover the comfort of a Simmons mattress.

A Simmons can’t give you your hour back, but it can offer you the finest in pocket-coil technology.

Try one today at Simmons Mattress Gallery and feel the ‘spring’ return to your step.

I’m thinking of a number right now. Can you guess it?

Let me offer a few hints.

It’s between zero and a thousand.

Too large a range?

It’s a number that could change your morning disposition.

But it has nothing to do with coffee.

It’s a number that represents all that separates you from your tossing partner.

No, it’s not one.

It’s a number that you will never forget once you’ve come to feel its significance.

No, not that number either.

It’s the number that denotes the potential comfort you could be enjoying if you purchase a Simmons Beautyrest.

Give up?

The number is . . . (drum roll please)

800

For the 800 patented non-flip pocket coils that cradle you in each Simmons mattress. 800 individual coils that work to give you the most comfortable, undisturbed sleep possible. 800 coils that are specifically made so you will never have to flip your mattress again. 800 tiny metal hands wrapped in soft yet strong fabric to cradle you to sleep.

The way you sleep at night may speak volumes about your personality.

This is a theory put forward by Professor Chris Idzikowski, a sleep research specialist for both the US and the European Sleep Research Societies.

Of the many positions you assume in the night, Idzikowski has identified six common poses as being indicative of certain personality traits.

1. The Fetus Position (curled up with your knees towards your chest)

  • Idzikowski found that individuals who would appear tough in public, but had a softer, gentler side beneath the surface normally adopted this position. His research showed that of all the positions available, this position was favoured most by his test subjects.

2. The Log (lying on your side with your arms and legs pointing towards the end of the bed)

  • Individuals who were often easy-going assumed this position. Idzikowski also found that people who lie like logs are often successful in social settings.

3. The Soldier (lying on your back in a pose that looks like a soldier at attention)

  • The ‘soldier’ sleepers were generally found to be quiet and reserved. He also noted that many of these individuals had high standards of themselves and others.

4. The Yearner (lying on your side with your arms straight out and your legs pointed down)

  • These individuals often had firm beliefs that were unlikely to change.

5. The Freefall (lying on your front, arms around your pillow, with your head to one side)

  • Idzikowski found that his subjects who struck this pose would often object to criticism. They were also wary of extreme conditions.

6. Starfish (lying on your back with your arms back behind your head holding the pillow)

  • This was the least common position adopted by Idzikowski’s volunteers. The traits that were similar with these individuals were compassionate listening and an avoidance of attention.

So take this little list and as you and your partner fall asleep on your new Simmons Beautyrest, take a second to see what position they assume. Does their personality it match their pose?

Share your answers with us and receive two free pillows with your next purchase of a Simmons mattress at Simmons Mattress Gallery.

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up a new mattress at up to 60% off, then you had better hurry, the final days are upon us.

Come on down to Simmons Mattress Gallery at our Broadway, Coquitlam or Victoria locations to take advantage of this fantastic offer.

Ends Sunday March 14th

After a four and a half year relationship, your man finally popped the question. It took you less than five seconds (he’ll say it was more like the longest minute of his life) to give him an answer.

Now you’ve set the date, you’ve widdled down the guest list, you’ve hired a wedding planner and you rented the hall.

Your next task is creating a gift list.

Our recommendation, “Suggest a new bed.” It will be the most useful gift you receive.

The truth is, you’ve slept on your tired out mattress for too many years. A new marriage is a fresh start to a relationship. Ditch the old has been and embrace a sleeping foundation that will provide years of comfort, fun, pain relief and hours, upon hours of undisturbed sleep.

Your intimate moments are poised to climb to new levels, so enjoy them in comfort. You also may be expecting a little one in the not-so-distant future. Finding significant rest will now become priority number one.

And finally, we probably don’t need to mention it, but just in case-choose the largest size mattress that fits comfortably into your bedroom. There is nothing romantic about squeezing onto a twin. You both need your space. Trust us.

So go with the mattress professionals and suggest Simmons Mattress Gallery. Feel free to visit us beforehand and test-drive the models you are considering. It will be a nice break from licking envelopes.

Since the beginning of time, human beings have always sought out a comfortable place to sleep. This may have been the dry area of a cave or a sheltered nook under a large tree. To increase their comfort, early humans would lie on a pile of leaves, grass or straw. They often covered these materials with a layer of animal skins.

Most of these early peoples were nomadic, so their beds needed to be portable.

When farming developed and families settled in one given area, humans began to create more permanent dwellings.

The word mattress itself is actually an Arabic word meaning ‘a mat that was thrown in a certain area.

As early as 3000 B.C. humans were forming beds made of stuffed sacs. These bags were filled with straw or wool.

In ancient Egypt, your bed actually defined your social ranking.

When the first bed frames were being made, their original design consisted of rope stretched tightly across a wooden frame.

By the early 18th Century, mattress covers were developed. These were made from either linen or cotten. The mattresses themselves were then filled with either straw or wool.

In the late 1800’s iron and steel replaced the initial wooden frames and in 1871 Heinrich Westphal developed the first spring mattress.

Today, Simmons Mattresses use another revolution, the pocket coil. These individual coils produce an undisturbed sleep that offers a comfort level far beyond the early spring prototypes.

We’ve certainly come along way from straw and animal skins.

The mighty Vancouver Canucks are now two games away from completing the longest road trip in NHL history. It all started with a 5-3 win over the dismal Toronto Maple Leafs on the 30th of January. Since then, the club has been able to hold on to an impressive road-trip record, slightly over 500.

The 14 games away have been spread out over 40 days and three different months. That’s more than 39 nights that the boys have been away from their beds. They have probably slept in over ten different hotels.

This Wednesday, they return to Vancouver after their final road game against Phoenix. They are leading their division and looked poised for a strong stretch run.

But come Wednesday night, I doubt the Canucks will be thinking about their impressive record or the resurgence of Kyle Wellwood. No, the boys will have one thing on their mind: sleep.

It’s what every athlete requires to perform at a top level and for over a month the Canucks have been asked to find their rest in foreign settings.

On Wednesday, each player will sink into his bed after arriving on the red-eye from Phoenix.  There may be a short physical moment with their significant other, but then it’s lights out.

“Congratulations team on an excellent road-trip. You don’t work again till Saturday, so enjoy your rest. Hopefully you’re finding it on a Simmons, the ultimate mattress for comfort and an undisturbed sleep.”

In an earlier post, we listed the ten most common sleeping settings, other than your own mattress. Our list outlined the deficiencies that each of these locations regrettably provided. Our conclusion was that nothing could replace the contentment provided by your own bed.

But that’s assuming your bed is a Simmons. . .

What if your bed is a less than superior brand, possibly a hand-me-down? Maybe you have been sleeping on a saggy, springy mattress for years. What if you were to spend a romantic night at a luxury hotel and were spoiled by Beautyrest NxG series mattress? How could you ever return to your old bed without an insistent longing for the comfort level that only a Simmons can provide?

It would be like traveling to a foreign city and driving a rented Lexus for a week. Upon your return, cruising in your Suzuki Swift might seem like a heinous punishment for some unknown crime.

Trust us, you don’t need to punish yourself, especially not with a tired, beat-up old mattress.

Stop into a Simmons Mattress Gallery and explore your options for a comfort-laden sleep. It won’t break your bank account and your body will be forever thankful.

We have three locations for your convenience:

  • Vancouver: 1001 West Broadway
  • Coquitlam: 101 Schoolhouse Street
  • Victoria: 3510 Blanshard Street

Hope to see you soon.

For ridding yourself of your old sleeping partner, read our blog on mattress disposal.

Have you ever gotten up to use the washroom at five in the morning and looked across the street to see your elderly neighbours making breakfast? They are both retired, but there they are, at five in the morning, preparing for a new day.

From observations like these, many people hold the misconception that senior citizens require less sleep than younger people. Sean Drummond, a sleep researcher for the University of California, recently disproved this urban myth.

Mr. Drummond conducted tests with two groups; one had an average age of 67, the other 29. His tests involved memory recall and required his subjects to remember a list of random words. The subjects were tested with varying sleep lengths and quality.

Drummond found that both age groups performed better when they were allowed to sleep longer. Interestingly, the younger group was affected more by the quality of rest. Quality did not seem to play a part in the performance of the senior group. Individuals from the senior group could have a fitful sleep, but if it were of appropriate length, there performance would not be affected.

This means that senior citizens need just as much sleep as their younger counterparts, but they also have the unusual ability to break up their sleeping schedule into smaller parts. As a result, seniors are more suited for mid-day napping, while young people need their sleep in a substantial block.

So that elderly neighbour across the street may be up at five, but chances are, they’re also down and out sometime in the afternoon for a quick siesta.

Isn’t retirement grand!

Everyone enjoys the comfort of his or her own bed. It’s what you long for after you’ve been away traveling. It’s what you dream about at your job when the paperwork seems never-ending. It’s the bed you picked out for yourself, with the perfect firmness and the ideal dimensions. It’s home.

But then there are those other times, when you have to sleep where you can. It is those times when you appreciate what you have.

Here is a list of ten places that may be less than ideal for catching some shuteye:

10. At a park

-It’s a beautiful summer day and you’re lying on the grass watching the clouds. Your eyes begin to shut and soon you’re asleep. You wake up with ants crawling under your shirt and a twig lodged in your back.

9. On public transit

-You’ve finished a long day at work and you are catching the bus back home. You fall asleep and wake up five stops past your destination with an old man staring at you. His drool is worse then yours.

8. At the airport

-Your flight has been delayed for a second time, but the airport staff has insured you that the flight will depart sometime that night. You can’t leave the terminal, so you attempt to sleep on the benches left over from the Spanish Inquisition.

7. At school or the office

-The professor’s monotone voice has been carrying on about statistical probability for the last hour and 43 minutes. You lasted about 18 minutes. You wake up with the lecture hall empty and a note on your binder: “You will not be passing my course. I suggest you withdraw.”

6. The beach or a tanning bed

-Sand. In everything. You also have a terrible burn. In three weeks it may resemble a one-sided tan.

5. In your car

-You’ve been locked out and it’s late. There doesn’t seem to be another option. You sit in the back seat with your legs extended diagonally to the front passenger seat. You rest your head against the cold damp window; the essence of comfort.

4. Camping

-No one sleeps well in a tent; it doesn’t matter how thick your thermarest is. There is also a soggy dampness in the morning that makes your sleeping bag feel as comforting as a cold wet mitten.

3. On the couch

-House ended three hours ago, but you still can’t find the will to get up and walk to your bedroom. You settle for infomercials and 12 minute sleep cycles.

2. On a plane

-You are in the middle isle in the middle seat. To your left is a businessman who ate Mexican before he boarded. To your right is a mother with her newborn. Silent pockets of gas are mixed with a baby’s bawling. You look to the stewardess for sympathy and she raises eight fingers. Her devilish smile makes you wish you had never heard of Tokyo.

1. At a friends

-You were invited over for dinner and after two bottles of wine and three hours of deep conversation, you’ve made the choice to stay over. Things progress and soon it looks like you have moved beyond ‘just friends.’ The physical act takes less than ten minutes and afterwards, you both find yourselves staring at the ceiling, contemplating the consequences. Add to this awkwardness a mattress that belongs in a museum. Even with the wine, there will be no rest. You yearn for your Simmons Beautyrest Black mattress and all the guilt-free comfort it offers. In the words of Dorothy Gale, “there’s no place like home.”

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