Which Mattress Will Help You Sleep at Night? (Guest Post)

When it comes to shopping for a new mattress, all the different types that are available to choose from can be quite overwhelming. Of course, each manufacturer will claim that theirs will give you the best night’s rest you have ever had. But with such a large investment and something that you will spend a large portion of your life on, you want to be sure to get it right. This article explains each type of mattress available along with the pros and cons of each. So stop losing sleep over your next mattress purchase and read on.

The first thing you need to know about mattresses is that there are three types of mattress construction: innerspring, memory foam, and latex foam. Each has different support properties, lifespan, price point, and maintenance required.


This is the standard, tried-and-true mattress construction. The main mattress support is provided by metal springs that are contained inside the mattress. These springs spread your weight over the surface of the mattress to provide support. There are many variations of spring design and firmnesses but they all use this same basic principal. A properly cared for quality innerspring mattress should last between seven and ten years


Least expensive mattress option

Many brands and constructions to choose from

Lightest type of mattress

A memory foam pad can be added to get the feel of a more expensive memory foam mattress


May require periodic rotation and/or flipping

Coils may break or poke through the mattress as it ages

Mattress may begin to sag in the middle or wear unevenly as it ages

Memory Foam

Memory foam is a high-density visco-elastic polyurethane foam that was developed by NASA as a cushioning material. Memory foam gets its name from its ability to mold to pressure applied to it and then return to its original form once the pressure is removed. The foam responds to body heat by giving way to cradle the sleeper’s body. A properly cared for memory foam mattress should last between ten and twenty years.


Conforms to body shape to provide support

Lasts up to twenty years

More resistant to bed bugs and dust mites that innerspring mattresses

Reduced motion transfer across the mattress


Expensive compared to innerspring mattresses

Holds heat and may make the sleeper uncomfortably hot

Eventually loses some spring-back as it becomes compressed over time

Mattresses are very heavy

May give off an odor when new

Latex Foam

Latex foam mattresses use a latex foam core for support. Latex foam is created by whipping latex with air to create a open cell foam that is durable and supportive. There are two latex foam manufacturing processes: Dunlop and Talalay. Dunlop is the older process and features a firmer support with increasing rigidity from top to bottom. Talalay is the newest process, which is slightly softer, more durable, has an even consistency throughout, and is more expensive than Dunlop mattresses. A properly cared for latex foam mattress will last between ten and twenty years.


Up to three times more durable than memory foam

Open cell construction allows airflow and prevents heat build up

Dust mite resistant, hypoallergenic, and naturally mold and mildew proof


Latex foam mattresses are the most expensive option

Mattresses are very heavy

Less conforming than memory foam mattresses

May give off an odor when new


So keep all this in mind when deciding which type of mattress is right for you and your budget. The best way to determine the best mattress for you is to test it out. Also, many retailers will let you return a mattress after several weeks if you end up not liking it. So shop with confidence and you will be sleeping better before you know it.

This is a guest post written by Michelle Gordon:

Bio: +Michelle Gordon is a sleep expert who researches and writes about sleep, and is an online publisher for Latexmattress.org

The Sleep Blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Instead, this website provides general information for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions or concerns regarding any medical condition or treatment.

Napping During the Day Can Benefit Children’s Vocabulary.

Taking naps during the day allows kids to memorize abstract information. Children less than a year-and a half old organize the structure of language and other information supplied by their everyday environment during nap time.

Regular naps at a young age are no waste of time claims psychologist Dr. Almut Hupbach, co-author of research conducted at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Children who take naps soon after learning are able to better grasp the essence of language structure.

In the first phase of the study researchers visited the homes of 24 healthy 15 month old babies. The experimenter played a 15-minute recording of a woman reading sentences in an artificially created, non-existent language while interacting with the infant. The recording contained 48 sequences requiring the child to track sequential dependencies between first and third word in the three word sentences (e.g. Pel-wadim-jic, vot-kicey rud, pel-deecha-jic). All children were then put to bed 4 hours after the visit. The next day, parents brought the infants to the lab and sat them in front of two speakers that alternatively played familiar and new sequences. The children clearly remembered, listen attentively and responded more vigurosly to the structure of the entire sequence from an earlier session than at the single word of the new sequence.

The second phase of the experiment also included 24 healthy 15 month old infants that listed to the same recording of the artificial language but did not fall asleep in the next 4 hours. Tested the next day the children showed no differences in behavior, regardless of weather the recording was already known to them, or completely new.

The team, which in addition to Dr. Hupbach included Professor Lynn Nadel, Dr. Rebbeca L. Gomez, and Dr. Richard R. Bootzin, concluded that sleep plays a beneficial role for a variety of cognitive functions during infancy. Taking naps contributes to the development of learning ability and memory in infants.

To read the full study on Nap-dependent learning in infants, click on the link below






The Sleep Blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Instead, this website provides general information for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions or concerns regarding any medical condition or treatment.

The History and Meaning of Dreams in Ancient Cultures

“(…) Science of understanding our dreams is like learning a language of our hearts.”

– Ann Faraday

The meaning of dreams has been one the most fascinating topics of discussion around the world. The answer to the question “Where do dreams come from?” depends on who you ask. Some people believe dreams are just a byproduct of brain wave activity, and that they don’t have any psychologically significant meaning at all, some argue that our dreams are a reflection of our deepest desires, and others believe that dreams connect us to God. People have been fascinated by dreams for thousands of years and cultures around the world have developed their own traditions for interpreting dreams.


Early information about the analysis of dreams comes from Mesopotamia (the land between the Tigris and Euphrates – part of what is now Iraq). The civilization that existed there around 5,000 BC left behind what is believed to be the world’s first book of dreams — a compilation of dream symbols and their meanings. Sumerians viewed their dreams as signs sent from gods. People had their dreams translated by “dream priests” who foretold the dreamer’s future. It is speculated that the process of incubating dreams and summoning them by means of special rituals was invented during this period. These practices then spread throughout the ancient world and survived in various forms until the twentieth century. Some believe that the Mesopotamian model of dream interpretation had an impact on the cultural beliefs of the Egyptians and gave rise to the Hebrew, Arabic and Greek traditions of dream interpretation.

Ancient Egypt

The Egyptians took many ideas from the Sumerians; they also viewed dreams as messages from gods and created their own Dream Book (currently part of the archives at the British Museum in London). In temples dedicated to Serapis (a Hellenistic-Egyptian god), where special dream interpreters lived, Egyptians celebrated rituals, gave sacrifices and recited prayers in hopes that their dreams would reveal fragments of the future. The dreams of the Pharaohs attracted the most attention, because they were seen as gods themselves. Given their status, it seemed perfectly natural that the gods wanted to deliver important messages in the Pharaohs’ dreams.

Ancient Greece

Around 335 BC Greek philosopher Aristotle said that human beings are capable of achieving the pure form of wisdom only during sleep, when our minds are liberated. At that time Greece was the most powerful civilization on earth. The source of the wisdom of Greeks was the oracle at Delphi, who had an impact on even the most important decisions in the country. Not everyone realized that the oracle’s prophecies were created based on dreams. Dreams played a significant role in military decisions as well as family life and impacted the development of the ancient world. The Greek system of dream interpretation wasn’t concerned only with predicting the future; it was also used to ensure prosperity in one’s life.

Hippocrates (regarded by many as the father of modern medicine) saw dreams as important indicators of physical and mental health. Perhaps this was the first time a man came to realize that dreams do not have a divine source, and may come from human thoughts. The ancient Greeks created one of the most significant books about dreams that have ever been written. Oneirocritica (Interpretation of Dreams), was written by Artemidorus in ancient Greece; today, this book is the basis for many contemporary books about dreams.

Ancient Rome

The Roman tradition of dream interpretation was largely drawn from the Greeks. It has been said that Augustus, the successor of Julius Cesar, believed so strongly in the prophetic nature of dreams that he created a law requiring every citizen who had a dream about the empire, to talk about it on the market in their town.

Moreover, the existence of unfair or unpopular laws was justified by the fact that they were suggested in dreams. In Rome, the importance of dreams was a topic widely discussed among scholars who openly proclaimed that dreams are inspired by our own passions, emotions and experiences of everyday life and do not come from gods.

Closing Thoughts

For millennia, people have sought help with understanding and interpreting dreams; it is believed that by doing so we could gain wisdom and find solutions to our problems.

Where do you think dreams come from? Do they have any significant meaning to you?

Share your comments below.

The Sleep Blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Instead, this website provides general information for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions or concerns regarding any medical condition or treatment.