Mother’s Day Buying Guide

It’s time to start planning for Mother’s Day! Finding that perfect gift for your mother or grandmother can be a daunting task. If you are tired of sending flowers year after year, bedding is a soft and cozy alternative. Not sure what she might like? Not to worry! This bedding guide will walk you through the different options of bedding, and provide links to products that might delight your mother on her special day.

Pillows

Give your mother the gift of a peaceful night’s sleep with pillows that support and cradle her head. In this section, we’ll break down our pillows on Pillows.com by fill. Each fill offers its own set of support levels.

Feather/Down

Feather and down pillows are probably some of our best selling pillows. These pillows have a cloud-like feel and compress under the head. If your mother is a little “old-fashioned”, she might prefer a feather and down option. They are offered in varying support levels as well. Generally, a good rule of thumb for determining the support level of a feather and down pillow is to look at the ratio of feathers to down. A 100% down pillow is going to be the softest and most compressible pillow you can get, whereas the firmest is a 95% feather/5% down or 100% feather pillow. Below are some pillows under each support level category:

Soft: Pacific Coast Feather Company Natural Down Pillow (Good for stomach sleepers)

Medium-Soft: Phoenix Down 50% White Goose Feather/50% White Goose Down Pillow (Good for stomach and back sleepers)

Medium: Manchester Mills Down Dreams Pillow (Good for side back, and some stomach sleepers)

Medium-Firm: Pillowtex Triple Core Pillow (Good for side and back sleepers)

Firm: Down Dream Classic Firm Pillow (Good for side sleepers)

 

 

Photo by Ted Gotwals

Polyester

 

Polyester pillows have several advantages over the traditional feather and down pillows. The first is that they are great for people who suffer from allergies. Many people are allergic to the dust particles that tend to cling to feathers, and polyester doesn’t retain dust.  The second reason why polyester is a good option is that it doesn’t need frequent fluffing like its feather/down counterparts. Polyester has a more springy quality to it, so it helps the pillow maintain it’s loft and form. Below are some pillows under each support level category:

Soft: Pillowtex Down Alternative Pillow  (Good for stomach sleepers)

Medium-Soft: Restful Nights Conformance Supreme Pillow   (Good for stomach and back sleepers)

Medium: Down Alternative Eco Pillow (Good side, back, and some stomach sleepers)

Medium-Firm: Dream Surrender Pillow (Good for side and back sleepers)

Firm: Dream Surrender Firm (Good for side sleepers)

Extra Firm:  Infinity Pillow (Good for side sleepers with a wider shoulder width)

Memory Foam

Memory Foam is certainly an acquired taste for many sleepers. These pillows tend to be firmer and a little warmer than the traditional pillows. Of course, memory foam technology has come far in recent years. Many manufacturers are making memory foam more dough-like, and some introduce cooling gel to combat the heating qualities of this material. Below are some of our favorites:

Soft to Medium-Soft: Malouf Zoned Dough Low Loft Plush Memory Foam Pillow (Good for stomach and back sleepers) This pillow is also offered in High Loft Plush, Low Loft Firm, and High Loft Firm)

Medium: Technogel Deluxe Pillow (Side and back sleepers)

Firm: RemFit 400 Series Pillow (This pillow is adjustable, so it can potentially be good for all sleep positions)

 

Comforters

Another excellent Mother’s Day gift is a new comforter! Depending on where you mother or grandmother lives, she may need a comforter to fit the climate. Below are some great comforters for summer, winter, and fall:

Summer

These comforters are very lightweight and feel more like a blanket or throw. They are excellent for summertime sleeping or for areas that stay warmer for longer during the year.

Down Comforter: Phoenix Down Brussels Comforter

Polyester Comforter: Tempo Duvet Insert

All Season/Fall

These comforters are very versatile and are great for the fall, or climates that generally stay in the mid-range temperatures.

Feather and Down Comforter: Pillowtex Classic Weight Feather and Down Comforter

Polyester Comforter: Malouf Down Alternative Microfiber Comforter

Winter

These are the heaviest comforters that keep you warm, even in the dead of winter.

Down: Down Lite Premium White Goose Down Comforter

Feather and Down: Pillowtex Arctic Weight Feather and Down Comforter

Although we carry many different pillows and comforters, these are some of our favorites. Hopefully, this guide can lead you to find the perfect gift for your mother or grandmother! Happy Mother’s Day!

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Relax With Natural Sleep Products

Over the last couple of weeks, the Pillows.com team tested out several new natural sleep products that are currently on the market; the Dream Bar™, Dirty Lemon’s™  Sleep Drink, and Emergen-ZZZZ™. If you don’t like taking pharmaceuticals to help you sleep, these sleep supplements might be right up your alley! Read below to see how each helped us sleep.

Dream Bar™ 

These beautifully packaged bars hail from Colorado and are developed to improve sleep patterns. They come in 3 delectable flavors; Banana Lavender, Apple Chamomile, and Tart Cherry Lemon Balm (our favorite!).  These bars are made with organic ingredients and nervine herbs (Lavender, Chamomile, and Lemon Balm) that affect neurotransmitters to help the body and mind relax naturally. They are also “Beegan”, gluten-free, and contain no GMOs.

One tester tracked her sleep through a sleep app on her phone and found that she had far fewer periods of restlessness throughout the night. On average, she has about 12-15 times in the night where she experiences restlessness, but with the Dream Bar™, she only had 3.

Overall, it does take about an hour to kick in, but once it did take effect, our testers experienced the most restful night out of the three products that we tried. There was also no groggy feeling in the morning because no melatonin or other hormone is used to create these bars.

We highly recommend you try these bars! They are available in these locations across the United States, or you can purchase them directly from their website. Dream Bar™ has also provided our Pillow Fans with a 15% off coupon code (pillowtalk) if you order directly from them. Enjoy a happy tummy and peaceful dreams with the Dream Bar™!

Score: 9/10

 

Dirty Lemon™ Sleep

The Dirty Lemon™ Sleep drink is the next sleep-enhancing product that we tried.  This drink is made with filtered water, naturally relaxing herbs, Magnesium, rose water, and lemon juice. There are no added sweeteners, so it just has a very light hint of lemon and rose.

The ordering process is certainly unique as well. Firstly, a case of 6 bottles of Sleep will set you back $65. Once you’ve made your profile on their website, you receive a text message confirming your order. Everything from receiving tracking to re-placing an order goes through text message. Definitely a first for us!

Our testers did experience more frequent periods of restlessness than with the Dream Bar™, and one had to get up to use the restroom in the middle of the night. Each bottle contains 16 oz. of liquid, so it’s a lot to drink right before bed.

When you open the bottle you are immediately hit with the soothing smell of rose and lemon, but once you take a sip, it just tastes like lemon water with maybe just a hint of rose. All of our testers were a little disappointed by the taste.

For the price, the volume that you have to drink, and the less-than-robust taste, we personally wouldn’t use this sleep aid on a regular basis. That being said, every sleeper is different, and this drink might be just the ticket to soothe you to sleep!

4/10

 

Emergen-ZZZZ®

Emergen-ZZZZ® is the last sleep-aid that we tried. This product is part of the popular Emergen-C® brand.  If you’ve never tried Emergen-C® before, they come in 0.27 oz packets and are in powdered form. You mix the powder in with as little or as much water as you’d like, depending on how strong you want the drink to taste. I personally like it to be really diluted, but one of our other testers only used about 4 oz of water, so she experienced the full flavor of it. We decided to go with the Berry PM, but you can also get it in Peach PM and Mellow Berry.

Out of the products that we tested, this is the only one to receive mixed reviews. One of the primary ingredients of the powder is Melatonin, which is a hormone that the brain naturally produces to regulate sleep. According, to “The Dark Side and Downsides of Melatonin,” although this is a naturally occurring hormone, using the synthesized version in supplement form, can throw off your normal sleep patterns. With that being said, 2 of our testers experienced grogginess when they woke up in the morning and had more frequent periods of restlessness. I personally slept like a rock throughout the night and was wide awake the next morning.

In terms of price and taste, the Emergen-ZZZZ® was certainly one of our favorites. We liked the way it put us to sleep almost immediately, but the unfortunate feeling of grogginess in the morning certainly knocked off a couple points. Also, if you are a smaller person or are sensitive to melatonin, we recommend taking half of the packet to prevent any morning drowsiness.

Score: 7/10

 

In Conclusion

This has certainly been a restful few weeks for us. We hope these reviews helped you and inspired you to try natural sleep remedies. We’re hooked!

Syam, Piyali. “The Dark Side and Downsides of Melatonin.” Van Winkle’s. Van Winkle’s, 16 Dec. 2015. Web. 14 Apr. 2017. <https://vanwinkles.com/the-dark-side-downsides-side-effects-of-melatonin>.

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How to Deal with Stress at Work

We all feel stress from time to time, especially during our working lives. There is always a deadline that has to be met or a fire that has to be put out. Luckily, there are some habits that we can adopt to help us cope.

In honor of Stress Awareness Monthhere are some tips that can help you relieve stress and get you through the work week.

Get Some Rest

Although you’ve probably heard this a million times before, getting 7-9 hours of sleep is essential for starting your day off right. One hour before you go to sleep, power down all of your devices (besides your alarm clock, of course), and make sure that the room is dark. This will help you fall asleep faster and maintain your REM cycle for a longer stretch throughout the night.

Prioritize

Making a daily to-do list and budgeting your time can help you maintain achievable goals. Organize your list in order of priority, that way you get the most important projects accomplished first.

Delegate

Remember, you don’t have to hold the entire company on your shoulders. Trying to be a Yes-person constantly can be a drain you and will ultimately make your productivity suffer. Make sure that you have a great support system to help you with tasks. 

Keep Your Work Life and Personal Life Separate

When you are at home, make sure that you unplug your “work brain.” Oftentimes when we get home from work, we feel compelled to check our emails or social media channels to ensure that nothing is going wrong while we are away from our desks. Constantly being on alert can increase stress levels and lower productivity during the hours that we are at work. If you must check your email while you are at home, try to limit yourself to looking only once.

Keep Your Desk Clean

Now, this might not work for everyone. Some people thrive in “organized chaos,” but if you see yourself taking a large chunk of your day trying to locate something on your desk, you might need to reorganize.

Write Down What Stresses You Out

Identifying what actually triggers your stress is paramount to reducing it. Every few days write down two things that you feel are causing you the most stress. After you have a few items recorded, study it. If you see a pattern, then brainstorm ways that you can change your habits to relieve, or at least lessen, your stress levels.

Take A Full Lunch

No matter how much time your company gives you for lunch, use that time wisely. We often want to inhale our lunches in a few minutes so we can get back to our tasks, but if you just take your time and refocus your energy, you can find that your productivity will rise and stress levels will fall.

In Conclusion

These are just a couple of ways that stress can be eliminated at work. Finding your own combination of stress relief techniques can greatly help you both physically and mentally. So take some time for yourself, take a deep breath, and relax.

 

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