Common Reasons You’re Waking Up in the Middle of the Night

Waking up in the middle of the night is pretty common — and very annoying. Interrupted sleep can affect your memory and cognitive abilities, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) explains, not to mention making you grumpy as heck. So why might you be waking up in the middle of the night in the first place? Here are a few possible reasons.

You’re overheated.

Rachata Teyparsit/Shutterstock

Your body temperature changes while you sleep. And according to the NSF, during REM sleep, your body actually switches off the temperature-regulating cells in your brain — so how warm or cold your room is can dictate your body temperature. If you regularly wake up feeling overheated, try sleeping under lighter blankets, cracking a window, or using a fan.

Related: 5 Tips For Hot Sleepers

You’re stressed about work.

A recent survey of 2,800 employees found that a whopping 44 percent of them lose sleep “somewhat often” or “very often” because they are worried about work. If you find yourself regularly waking up due to these worries, it may be time to confide in someone about your stress and look for productive ways to fix the situation.

You’re thirsty.


Waking up thirsty usually means you’re dehydrated — try having some water before bed, and keeping a full glass on your nightstand just in case. If this happens super regularly, it might be worth mentioning to your doctor.

You had a nightmare.

Bad dreams are common — about 80 to 90 percent of people will experience them at some point — but that doesn’t make them any less pleasant. It’s normal to wake up after a nightmare, which can affect your sleep: “You may… feel anxious and scared when you wake up from a nightmare and be unable to fall back to sleep,’ the AASM’s Sleep Education website explains. If you are regularly waking up due to nightmares and struggling to sleep afterward, start keeping a sleep diary to see if you can figure out any patterns.

Featured image: Realstock/Shutterstock

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International Pillow Fight Day Is April 7: How To Join The Battle

There’s something so freeing about a pillow fight. It brings back those carefree days of slumber parties and adolescent tomfoolery. No bills, no responsibilities; just full-on pillow warfare.

For those of you anxious to reclaim the fun of your youth, we’ve got some great news for you.

April 7 is International Pillow Fight Day.

From Atlanta to Vienna,  the young at heart will get out that stored up aggression in one of the healthiest way possible: a good old pillow fight.

What began as disparate flash mobs were soon combined into World Pillow Fight Day in 2008. Since then, the event has grown significantly as more and more participants realize the therapeutic nature of smacking someone with a pillow.

Sergei Bachlakov/Shutterstock – International Pillow Fight Day 2012 in Vancouver, Canada

This year, even Mattress Firm is getting in on the fun for the New York City event. For those of you in the area, you can pick up a pillow from their NoHo location. Five dollars is all it will cost you and all proceeds go to support foster charities.

Related: Our Picks For Best Memory Foam Pillows 

If you’re not in New York, a full list of participating cities can be found at the event’s official Facebook page. Participating cities include Chicago, Orlando, Fla., and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, among many others. If you don’t find your city on the list, you can start an event for your city here.

anderm/Shutterstock  –  International Pillow Fight Day 2015 in Budapest, Hungary

It’s not too late to join the battle, but there are a few things to know before you start swinging:

  • Swing softly. Injuries are no fun.
  • Make sure you only use soft pillows.
  • Leave people without pillows out of the fight. They may just be there to watch.
  • If someone has a camera, don’t swing at them. No property destruction, please.
  • Some events may not allow feather pillows because of animal welfare. Check your city’s event information for specific rules.
  • Clean up your mess.

You can read the official how-to guide here if you need more information.

So, just be safe, and join in all the pillow bashing fun.

Featured Image:  Sergei Bachlakov/Shutterstock – International Pillow Fight Day 2012 in Vancouver, BC

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Here’s Why Chronic Sleep Deprivation Is Linked To Car Crashes

It makes sense that you’re more likely to get in a car accident when you are tired. Sleepy drivers might struggle to keep their eyes open, miss turns or ignore traffic signs, react more slowly to sudden pedestrians, and have issues maintaining their speed.

All of these things can cause crashes, which is why the National Sleep Foundation advises against drowsy driving. But something else to consider: Some people who are chronically sleep deprived don’t even realize how tired they are. As such, they may not realize that they are at risk for drowsy driving.


A team of researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital recently investigated the relationship between car crashes and two potential contributing causes: not getting enough sleep, or experiencing sleep apnea. (Sleep apnea is a common condition where your breathing slows or stops during the night).

Related: New Data Suggests Drowsy Driving Is A Bigger Issue Than We Thought

They analyzed data collected from 1,745 men and 1,456 women between the ages of 40 and 89 and found that people with severe sleep apnea had a 123 percent increased risk of being in a motor vehicle crash.

“We found that chronically sleep-deprived individuals don’t perceive themselves as being excessively sleepy and thus don’t perceive themselves as impaired,” lead author Dr. Daniel J. Gottlieb said in a press release. “This resulted in an increased risk of motor vehicle crashes in sleep-deprived individuals.”


According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a doctor can diagnose you with sleep apnea based on “your medical history, a physical exam, and results from a sleep study.”

Common treatment options include making healthy lifestyle changes or using breathing apparatus while you sleep. And the researchers from this study believe that treating people for sleep apnea may decrease the likelihood that they get in a car crash—though the relationship between the two isn’t cause-and-effect.

“To help reduce these crash risks we need to identify individuals with sleep apnea and ensure they are properly treated for their apnea,” Gottleib said. “We also need to increase public awareness of the importance of a good night’s sleep to reduce the percentage of the population with insufficient sleep duration. Ultimately, we would like to be able to identify a biomarker for cognitive impairments due to excessive sleepiness.”

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Pacific Coast Down Comforter Review

Pacific Coast is a major online retailer of down and feather bedding. I reviewed the Pacific Coast King Luxury Comforter with 650 Fill Power Pyrenees Down. At $130, is this a good deal for a “luxury” comforter? Read on for my full review.

You Will Like This Comforter If:

  • You Want A Luxury Comforter At An Affordable Price– $130 is a good price for this well constructed, higher fill power comforter.
  • You Want That True Down Feeling But Struggle With Allergies– Pacific Coast cleans its down up to eight times, lowering the risk of allergic reactions to dust mites and other adherents. If you do experience allergies, Pacific Coast does offer a 30 Day Allergy-Free Warranty.
  • You Prefer A Nice Overhang With Your Comforter– The comforter is over-sized, draping over your bed, adding extra comfort.

You May Not Like This Comforter If:

  • You Are A Hot Sleeper– This comforter may be too warm for some climates. I found it to be comfortable, but it may be too heavy for hotter sleepers.
  • You Want A Super Fluffy Comforter– The Pacific Coast does have nice fluff but it is light to medium weight. If you want something fluffier, you may want to look for a comforter with higher fill power.
  • You Want Something Easier To Wash– Because it is stuffed with natural down, it is recommended you have it professionally cleaned.


  • The shell is made from 100% Egyptian Cotton with a thread count of 420.
  • It is a Barrier Weave Fabric, designed for softness and to trap the feathers and down within the shell.
  • The fill is 40.5 ounces of 650 Fill Power Pyrenees Down. Pyrenees down is rarer, fluffier, goose down from the Pyrenees Mountain Region.
  • During, the Hyperclean® process, the goose down is washed up to eight times, removing dust and allergens.
  • A Comfort Lock Border surrounds three sides of the comforter. This border helps keep the down even distributed and makes the entire comforter more fluffy.
  • The comforter features a Baffle Box Design. Unlike sewn-through stitching, Baffle Boxes are three dimensional box squares that allow the filling to fully expand. This design is usually found on more luxury comforters, as it is more expensive to construct.
  • The dimensions are 108” x 98”, fairly large for a King. The comforter features great overhang and drape.
    It is Made in the USA from imported materials.


The Pacific Coast had a nice softness to it. I sleep with a top sheet, but the outer shell was soft against my arms and face.

I could really feel that Egyptian Cotton and Barrier Weave Fabric at work.

Loft and Body

I found the comforter to be fairly lofty. The 650 fill power and Baffle Box design add up to some nice fluff.

However, considering these qualifications, I thought the comforter would have more body. I did find it to be very comfortable, but a little thin.

Related:  Tips To Getting Your Comforter Fluffy Again

Breathability and Warmth

Natural down is usually going to make for a more breathable comforter. That is definitely the case with the Pacific Coast.

Sleeping under this comforter, I felt a great balance of warmth and breathability. I always felt covered and warmed without it getting too stuffy or sweaty.


Pacific Coast recommends that you wash this comforter only at a dry cleaner or professional cleaner.

Down is very difficult to clean correctly, so definitely follow these instructions to the letter.

Related:  Caring For Your Down Comforter

Final Recommendation

The Pacific Coast Luxury King Comforter is a great value for what you are getting,   It was comfortable and could be a good match for the right person.

Still, some aspects left me wanting.   Specifically, it felt thin considering the Baffle Boxes and higher fill power.  If you are seeking a fluffier comforter, I would consider one with more fill power.

Pacific Coast also offers a 30 Night Comfort and Allergy Guarantee as well as a 10 Year Limited Warranty.

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Understanding Fill Power

When you’re shopping for a down comforter, you see many terms and numbers thrown around. One of the most confusing is “fill power.”

What are the numbers associated with the fill power when it comes to bedding and what do they mean when it comes to your comfort?  Take a look at our guide to fill power.

What Is Fill Power And How Is It Measured?

Down creates warmth by trapping heat in its air pockets. The loftier the down, the more heat the down can hold.

Germanova Antonina/Shutterstock

Fill power is a measure of loft. Specifically, it refers to the amount of space one ounce of down fills at its maximum expansion.

To get the fill power for a particular down, one ounce of that filling is placed within a calibrated chamber. If the down, at the full loft, takes up 650 cubic inches, the fill power will be 650.

What Is Good Fill Power?

One ounce of higher fill power down is going to have more space to trap heat. So, with less weight, higher fill power down will give you more warmth.

  • The 400-450 range is going to be medium quality fill power
  • 500-550 is good
  • 550-750 is very good
  • Any fill power of 750 or above is excellent

How Does This Interact With Fill Weight?

However, just because you have a comforter with high fill power doesn’t mean that it is going to be warmer than a comforter with low fill power.


The weight of the fill must also be taken into account. So, a comforter with 30 ounces of 700 fill power down may not be as warm as a comforter with 60 ounces of 550 fill power down.

What Does Fill Power Mean For Down Alternative Comforters?

Even though most down-alternative comforters advertise their fill power, their synthetic fill cannot really be measured by the same criteria as natural down.

In addition, each synthetic fill is different, so it is impossible to compare the fill power of two kinds of synthetic fills.

Related:  Pinzon Down-Alternative Down Comforter Review


More likely than not, you will pay more for down with a high fill power. However, just because the fill power is higher, doesn’t mean it is the right down comforter for you. Consider the fill power, fill weight, and what kind of sleeper you are when considering comforters.

Featured image: lightmood/Shutterstock

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New Study On Infant Death Finds Unsafe Sleep Practices By Relatives, Babysitters, Others

Researchers from the Universtiy of Virginia studying Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) found that infants who died under the supervision of people other than their parents were more likely to be placed in unsafe sleep positions and environments not recommended by pediatric health and safety experts.

The results, which were published in The Journal of Pediatrics, revealed that of the more than 10,000 infant deaths examined, just over 13 percent occurred when a parent was not present. Among that 13 percent, the study determined that the babies were less likely to be placed on their backs to sleep and more likely to be put down to sleep in an environment with potentially hazardous objects, like blankets or toys. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be placed on their back to sleep in a crib with no bedding, toys or sleep bumpers.

“If someone else — a babysitter, relative, or friend — is taking care of your baby, please make sure that they know to place your baby on the back in a crib and without any bedding,” said Dr. Rachel Moon of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, the UVA Children’s Hospital and UVA’s Child Health Research Center in a release from the university.

Other key findings from the review included:

  • 72.5 percent of licensed childcare providers placed the babies in a crib or bassinet and 54.1 percent of childcare providers put them in the recommended supine position (on the back). Researchers from the University of Virginia noted that in past studies, many licensed childcare providers placed infants on their stomachs but that same group was now, “the most likely non-parental supervisor to place babies in the recommended sleep position and in cribs.”
  • Data found that 49.1 percent of babysitters, 29.4 percent of relatives and 27.1 percent of friends had placed the infants in a recommended crib or bassinet.
  • Only 38.4 percent of relatives, 38.6 percent of friends and 37.8 percent of babysitters had placed infants on their back to sleep.
  • Results from the examination revealed that in the deaths under the supervision of friends and relatives were most likely to occur while the babies were held or placed on an adult bed.

“A lot of relatives and friends may not be aware that babies are safest on their backs,” said researcher Dr. Jeffrey Colvin, of Children’s Mercy Kansas City, in the release. “They may have raised children before we knew that this was safest.”

SIDS is a term used to describe the sudden and unexpected death of a baby less than 1-year-old in which the cause was not obvious before an investigation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC says about 3,500 babies die in the U.S. unexpectedly each year.

Parents and caregivers can help reduce the risk of SIDS by following the safety guidelines and practices recommended by pediatric experts. These guidelines include:

  • Placing your baby on his or her back for all sleep times—for naps and at night.
  • Using a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered by a fitted sheet.
  • Having the baby share your room, not your bed. The CDC says your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else.
  • Keeping soft objects, such as pillows and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area.

Related: Crib Mattress Buying Guide: What You Should Know Before Buying

“It’s always best to discuss where and how your baby should sleep,” Moon said. “You can’t make assumptions that the person with whom your baby is staying will know what is safest.”

Featured image: Kazzland Inc/Shutterstock

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What Do Young Adults Think About Sleep?

If you believe the headlines, young adults and Millennials are ruining everything from golf to gold prices. But how do they feel about sleep?

Technology company Royal Philips just released the findings from their annual sleep survey, where they asked over 15,000 adults in 13 countries (United States, the U.K., Germany, Poland, France, India, China, Australia, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Japan) about their sleep habits.

The survey showed that 77 percent of respondents tried to improve their sleep in some way, through things like listening to soothing music, meditating, improving the air quality in their bedroom, using special bedding, or instituting a regular bedtime and wake-up time.

According to the results, young adults aged 18-24 had a different approach to sleep than many older people. Only 38 percent of young adults were likely to follow a set bedtime, compared to 47 percent of people over age 25. Despite this, young adults got more sleep than their older counterparts — an average of 7.2 hours per night, compared to an average of 6.9 hours for people over 25.

Young adults also felt guiltier about bad sleep habits than older generations (35 percent versus 26 percent) and were more likely to have taken steps to improve their sleep than older generations (86 percent versus 75 percent).

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that young adults aged 18-25 aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. But many young adults — especially students in college — don’t regularly reach that amount. Regular sleep deprivation can cause irritability, impaired decision-making, problems with concentration, and memory issues. Plus, sleep deprivation can cause accidents at work and drowsy driving accidents.

Related: 5 Ways To Sleep Better In College

“Sleep is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. On a day to day basis, how well and how long we slept the night before is the single most important variable dictating how we feel,” said Dr. David White, the Chief Medical Officer at Philips, said in a press release.

“Thus inadequate sleep can have an immediate impact on our wellbeing, unlike exercise or diet. This survey shows that despite knowing sleep is important to overall health, people are still struggling to address it in the same way they would exercise or nutrition,” said White. “The more we understand how sleep impacts everything we do, the better we can adjust our lifestyle and find solutions that help us get better sleep.”

Featured image: Syda Productions/Shutterstock

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Are New Doctors Sleeping Enough? New Study Highlights Concerns

It’s important to be well-rested and alert at work — especially when your job involves decision-making, operating any kind of machinery, or being responsible for people’s health. That’s why a new study suggesting that new doctors might not be getting enough sleep is a bit worrying.

For a paper published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, researchers studied 33 first-year medical residents (also known as interns) for eight months — two months before they started their residency, and for the first six months of it. The medical residents wore activity trackers that collected data about their activity and sleep habits and regularly rated their moods on a scale of 1-10.

On average, the participants lost 2 hours and 48 minutes of sleep each week once they began their medical residencies. Their physical activity decreased by 11.5 percent, and their mood scores also decreased by 7.5 percent.


The researchers also found a link between mood and sleep — participants who didn’t sleep well, or for long enough, were more likely to rate their mood as low the next day. Furthermore, they found that when interns’ schedules changed, requiring them to be at work earlier, they were often not going to bed earlier to compensate for their lost sleep.

“Interns’ schedules change day to day and month to month as they rotate through different shift times and settings, and with recent national changes in their work-hour limits, these dramatic changes in work and sleep time have become more profound,” researcher Srijan Sen told Sleep Review Mag. “We hope this research will help inform residency programs as they design their interns’ schedules.”

We all know that being a doctor is an incredibly stressful, time-consuming job. These researchers plan to study more new doctors to gather more data on their sleep, activity levels, and moods, to get a better picture of what’s going on and recommend ways to ensure doctors get enough sleep.

Related: 4 Sleep Tips For People Who Work At Night

“We’re learning more and more that sleep and circadian timing play a role in our mental and physical health,” researcher Sen told ScienceDaily. “We need to see this as a national priority, not just for physicians in training but even for those in practice — for instance, those who stay up late to finish entering information and orders into electronic health record systems at home, or have other administrative burdens outside of clinical care hours.”

Featured image: megaflopp/Shutterstock

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DreamCloud Vs Casper- Which Should You Choose?

Casper and DreamCloud are both mattresses sold online. Other than that similarity, the two mattresses are pretty different. This post will compare the two options so that you can better decide which is a better fit for you.

Key Similarities

  • Both are a little firmer than average.
  • Both incorporate memory foam.
  • Both offer free shipping.

Key Differences

  • Casper has 4 layers, DreamCloud has 8.
  • Casper is all foam, DreamCloud incorporates coils.
  • DreamCloud is thicker at 15 inches, to Casper’s 10 inches.
  • DreamCloud is more expensive. ($550-$1,150 for Casper, about $1,000-$1,700 for DreamCloud)
  • DreamCloud offers a longer trial period of 365 days, compared to Casper’s 100 days.
  • DreamCloud is firmer than the Casper

DreamCloud Construction

  • DreamCloud has more layers than most mattresses, and many of those layers are of relatively narrow thickness.
  • DreamCloud is topped by a True Tufted Cashmere Top, which features hand-sewn tufts that give it a Eurotop feel.
  • The top layer is .39 inches (1 centimeter) of gel-infused memory foam.
  • Below that is 1.77 inches (4.5 centimeters) of quilted memory foam. The foam is actually split into two layers of 2 centimeters and 2.5 centimeters.
  • A .39-inch (1 centimeter) layer of natural latex contributes to the springiness of DreamCloud.
  • Next is 1.97 inches (5 centimeters) of “Dreamplush” supporting memory foam.
  • A .59 inch-layer (1.5 centimeters) of super dense, super soft memory foam comes before the thick layer of pocketed coils.
  • The thickest layer is a 7.87-inch (20 centimeters) layer of individually pocketed “BestRest” coils. The coils come in two levels of resistance and are placed in different ways in five comfort zones to ensure the right kind of support for the right part of your body.
  • The base layer is 1.6 inches (5 centimeters) of high density super soft memory foam base.

Read Our Full DreamCloud Review Here

Casper Construction

  • Casper consists of 4 layers comprised of different foams.
  • The cover uses a lightweight premium fabric makes for a stretchy, breathable cover.
  • On top is a 1.5-inch layer of bouncy, latex-like specialty polyfoam with small holes for breathability. Casper describes the material as “open-cell.”
  • The next layer is 1.5 inches of 3.5 lb. density memory foam, which helps the mattress conform well to the curves of your body. This layer provides pressure relief.
  • The third layer is a 1.5-inch polyfoam transition layer. This purpose of this layer is to ensure even weight distribution.
  • The base layer is 5 inches of polyfoam with a 1.8 lb. density, the same used in many other bed-in-a-box mattresses.

Read Our Full Casper Review Here

Construction Differences/Notes

  • DreamCloud has more layers.
  • DreamCloud uses coils, while Casper is all foam.
  • Both mattresses are springy.
  • DreamCloud is thicker.
  • DreamCloud can probably support heavier people a little better

Firmness/Feel Differences

While both mattresses are springy, DreamCloud returns to shape a little faster than Casper.

Motion Transfer Differences

Both mattresses isolate motion well and would be good options for couples.

Pick DreamCloud If:

  • You sleep on your stomach or back– DreamCloud is just a little firmer than Casper, making it a more appropriate pick for stomach or back sleepers
  • You are looking for luxury– DreamCloud’s cashmere cover with hand-sewn tufts give it a luxurious feel.  Overall it definitely has the feel of a luxury mattress.

Pick Casper If:

  • You sleep on your side– Casper is a little softer and will conform better to the contours of your body.
  • You are on a budget– Casper is less expensive than DreamCloud.  If you just can’t decide, you can at least save some money with the Casper.

See Our Top Mattress Picks Overall Here


I hope this comparison helped you with your mattress search. Please leave any specific questions about DreamCloud or Casper in the comments.

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What’s The Deal With Free Running Sleep Disorder (FRD)?

Have you ever heard of a non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder, also known as Free Running Disorder (FRD)? Basically, it’s a rare sleep disorder caused by an issue with your circadian rhythms (circadian rhythms are essentially your internal “body clock,” telling you when it’s time to go to bed and wake up). According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), FRD “occurs when a person has a variable sleep-wake cycle that shifts later every day. It results most often when the brain receives no lighting cues from the surrounding environment.”

Essentially, people with FRD have a circadian rhythm longer than the typical 24 hours. So for example, if someone has a 26-hour circadian rhythm, if they go to bed at midnight one night, they may not feel sleepy until 2 a.m. the following night, then 4 a.m. the night after that, and so on. This can make it very difficult to stick to work, school, and social schedules.


According to the Circadian Sleep Disorders Network, a nonprofit that raises awareness about circadian sleep disorders and offers support for people who have them, FRD can be incredibly stressful. No matter how much people with FRD may want to fall asleep at a regular time, their body clocks simply won’t allow them to.

“The stress of living with [FRD] can lead to psychological problems including depression,” the Circadian Sleep Disorders Network explains. “This is compounded by the lack of understanding from family, friends, employers and even some doctors. It is difficult for most people to understand that abnormal sleep hours may be inflexible and out of a person’s control.”

Because the disorder is connected to cues of light and darkness, the AASM says, around half of people who are totally blind suffer from it. And researchers say that the best treatment plan for FRD depends on whether the sufferer is sighted or blind. For people who are sighted, experts recommend “planned sleep schedules, timed bright light exposure, and melatonin administration” to help them keep their sleep schedules on track. For people with blindness, taking melatonin supplements may help (melatonin is a hormone that helps your body know when it’s time to go to sleep).

Related: New Research Pinpoints Why It’s Harder To Sleep As We Age

According to the Circadian Sleep Disorders Network, treatment is not always successful. As such, people who suffer from FRD may simply have to live with their disorder and try their best to work around it.

“For many [people with FRD], sleeping on a normal schedule may be difficult or impossible and trying to do so only results in sleep deprivation and stress, with all the harmful health effects that can cause,” the site explains. “They find they can be much more productive and much happier living on the rotating schedule to which their body naturally reverts. For people with severe cases, this may be the only realistic option.”

Featured image: inLite studio/Shutterstock

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