Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know how to sleep better, naturally?  Please browse the following topics to find answers to your natural sleep enquiries. Read to understand more about products we stock and general questions you may have around sleep or natural approaches to sleeping better. If you can't find what you are looking for, please contact us.

Why Invest in Natural Products To Improve Sleep

Are ‘green’ products more expensive?

It may seem more expensive to buy green, and sometimes it’s difficult to justify paying a premium for a natural product.  However you are buying a genuine product – not something that has been diluted with cheap fillers or synthetic, unhealthy agents just to make it look better on the outside and making you think you are getting more for your money. 

Secondly, once you experience the benefits of natural fibres – nature’s clever natural insulators, fire retardancy with numerous other properties - you will never revert to buying synthetic products again.

Read our Top Tips to Sleep Naturally

Why is natural sleep important?

We sleep for one third of our lives.  Like food and water, sleep is vital for good health. Our bodies and brains need time to rest and recover after what we put them through during the day.  Great sleep happens when we naturally go through all the different phases of sleep each night, where our bodies relax, and a complex set of hormonal exchanges and chemical reactions occur in our brains to repair and restore a natural healthy mind, body and spirit.

Read our Top Tips for the Best Natural Sleep

How can I take control of my sleeping habits?

Firstly, become aware of what you are doing every day and early evening as you prepare for sleep.  Compare your activities to our Top Tips for Natural Sleep  to try and identify some areas you could improve. 

Secondly, challenge your thoughts and take responsibility for your routines. A sign of insanity is to keep doing the same thing, expecting a different result! Something has to change!  Let go of entrenched thoughts and habits and replace with them healthier, natural alternatives.   

Sleep may not happen overnight.  You may need to address a combination of factors.  Keep your expectations realistic but keep practicing to get closer to your vision of brilliant sleep!  Small changes can make a big difference.  One size does not fit all.  On average it takes about 21 days to create a habit.

Why is it so important to get a natural mattress for my baby or child?

One of the most important decisions you can make for the care, comfort and health of your baby is your choice in mattress.  Babies and toddlers spend 10-14 hours a day sleeping and playing on a bassinette or cot mattress. A child’s every breath inhales air no more than six inches away from it.  As such, for the first few years of a child’s life, the mattress is the single most prominent object in the child’s environment.

Conventional synthetic mattresses (foam and innerspring) are made using an array of toxic chemicals and more parents are becoming aware of the negative effects these chemicals are having on the health of their children.

Polyurethane foam, for example, is made from a base of petrochemicals combined with a staggering array of additional chemical ingredients used as stabilizers, catalysts, surfactants, and blowing agents.  Each of these chemicals is associated with a host of environmental problems as well as numerous health hazards. 

For example, polyurethane foam is extremely flammable. To combat this hazard, toxic industrial fire retardants are added.  The most common chemical fire retardant used to treat polyurethane foam has been pentaBDE, a toxin asociated with hyperactivity and neurobehavioural alterations. PentaBDE is not bound to the foam, so it leaches out into the surrounding air.  It has recently been banned in Europe, and by the State of California as of 2006.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the surface material used in nearly all baby mattresses, is widely considered to be one of the most toxic and environmentally unfriendly plastics in use today.  Phthalates, associated with asthma, reproductive effects, and cancer, make up 30% by weight of the PVC surface of a typical baby mattress.

The FDA and Consumer Product Safety Commission have issued general warnings regarding the use of phthalates, yet the PVC surfaces of baby mattresses still contain phthalates.  The PVC surface of a typical baby mattress is also often treated with toxic fire-retardant chemicals such as antimony, arsenic and phosphorous.

Our natural cot and bassinet mattresses are free from all synthetic and unhealthy chemicals. The materials we use have been specially chosen because they allow good air circulation and provide the best comfort and support for a young child.  A baby’s lungs, nervous and digestive systems are still developing and a natural mattress is the healthiest choice for young children who deserve the best start in life.

What is a healthy bed?

Healthy sleep = healthy life.  Look for non-toxic materials including untreated timber and a natural finish, organic cotton, hemp, eco wool, coconut fibre and chemical-free pure latex.

Your bed should also provide excellent support and correct spine alignment and pressure point relief.   Coupled with natural underlays, pillows and bedding, you will sleep better, naturally!

Latex mattresses are made to order according to your specific needs.  Please browse the information provided and complete this short questionnaire, submit it to us and we will contact you to discuss your requirements and arrange a sampling.

Buckwheat Pillows

Why an Organic Buckwheat pillow?

Buckwheat is commonly mistaken for a grain, but it is actually a fruit, related to the rhubarb family.  Buckwheat pillows are stuffed with hulls of buckwheat, the husks that protect the kernels. Buckwheat hulls are roasted to remove dust from the growing fields, before before being placed into a pillowslip. 

Buckwheat is a natural, inexpensive and renewable resource, unlike the petroleum-based foam used in many pillows. In addition to environmental bonuses, buckwheat pillows provide excellent support for the head, neck and back because the hulls contour to the weight and shape of the body during sleep. Buckwheat pillows and body pillows also provide natural air circulation between individual hulls, resulting in ideal temperatures for peaceful sleeping. Buckwheat is resistant to any dust mite infestation.

For centuries people throughout Asia have praised the value of Buckwheat Hull pillows. With care (no pillow fights!), these pillows can last upwards to 20 years.   They have a scrunchy, grainy texture and are lightweight and airy.

See range of organic Buckwheat pillows and buckwheat body pillow.

How do I clean a Buckwheat pillow?

Buckwheat pillows contain hulls that are fully cleaned to ensure they are free from dust and debris.  Since it is almost impossible to dry soaked buckwheat hulls, we do not recommend cleaning the hulls.
We advise the use of an organic cotton pillowcase with our pillows. If you suffer with allergies, or find you perspire a great deal while you sleep,  we also recommend a tencel pillow protector. For the ultimate dust mite allergy protection we highly recommend the MiteGuard pillow covers.
 

Dust Mite Allergies

How do MiteGuard Dust Mite Barrier Covers work?
Scientifically proven allergen barrier fabric
All MiteGuard® covers are made with 100% cotton precision microweave fabric. The MiteGuard® fabric and construction methods have been independently tested by a leading NZ microbiologist.
  • Proven to block dust mite allergen particles to below detectable levels
  • Breathable - allows 86% of the air-flow that passes through a standard poly/cotton sheet.
Complete encasement for optimum protection
The MiteGuard® covers are designed to fully encase your mattress, duvet or pillow – forming an effective allergen barrier between the dust mites and the sleeper.  
  • Extra strong taped seams, high quality YKK zips
  • Internal flap closures provide a secure barrier
  • Easy to use and comfortable

Zip your Mattress, Duvet or Pillow directly into your MiteGuard® Cover, and place your regular bed linen over the top.

Easy to care for
Wash your MiteGuard® Covers in hot water (60°C) every 2-3 months. You can also vacuum or wipe with a damp cloth, between washes to keep allergen levels down.
Your regular bed linen should be washed in hot water every week. (60°C is required to kill dust mites - A plumber may be able to by-pass the ‘Tempering Valve’ or you could use a front-loading washing machine.)

The MiteGuard® range is recommended by Asthma NZ and Allergy NZ.

For optimum Dust Mite protection it is recommended to get a Mattress Cover, Duvet Cover and Pillow Cover.

Custom made is available on request.

 

What is a Dust Mite Allergy?

House dust mites are tiny creatures - no more than 1/3 of a millimetre in length when fully grown. The bodies of the mites and in particular their faecal droppings contain potent allergenic proteins which can trigger allergic disorders. The most common allergic reactions to the Dust Mite Allergen are rhinitis (inflamed, runny nose) and asthma. But it may surprise you to find out that Dust Mite Allergens can irritate the skin, resulting in Eczema.

How and where do they thrive?

To survive, dust mites need humidity of more than 50% year round and temperatures that don't fall below freezing. The ideal conditions for their growth are 25°C and 75% relative humidity - making most of New Zealand and Auckland in particular a perfect environment for dust mites to flourish.

The main source of food for the House Dust Mite is the flakes of dead skin we (and our pets) are constantly shedding – each of us can shed as much as 600,000 dead skin cells per hour. Home furnishings - such as beds, carpets and sofas - become reservoirs of dead skin cells and other edible material, enabling the House Dust Mite to thrive.

Bedtime is of particular concern for many allergy sufferers, and it is easy to see why. During the night not only do we continue to shed skin but our bodies also produce sweat and warmth in bed, thus creating the ideal warm and humid environment for the house dust mite to live in.

Many people don't realise the link between sneezing at bedtime (or upon waking), wheezing, itchy skin and dust mites. If any of these sound familiar then you may have a Dust Mite Allergy and would benefit from an Allergen Barrier solution at bedtime.

MiteGuard's range of bedding products have been proven to block the dust mite allergen to below detectable levels and is recommended by Allergy NZ and Asthma NZ.

Essential Oils

How do I use essential oils?

Often the effects of essential oils are more potent when two or three are blended together rather than using an oil by itself.  The ‘ideal’ blend consists of a base, middle and top note (please see details under specific oils as to whether it is a base, middle or top note before you blend). As long as you have two of the three levels it is generally considered an appropriate blend (i.e. effective and smells balanced).  Please see recipes for blends to assist natural sleep. 

Essential oils can be applied  in many different ways, depending on where you are and what you need them for. 

  • Vapourise - 5-10 drops as required into water if using a candle burner, or neat if using an electric vapourisers.  Inhalation is the quickest method by which essential oils enter the body and take effect. The surrounding warm air carries the tiny molecules up the nose as we breath. When these pass over minute hairs called cilia a signal is transmitted from the receptor cells to the olfactory bulb and then to the limbic system in the brain. Various chemicals (including important hormones) are then released by the brain which effect the body mentally and/or physically. See recipes
  • Bath - one of the easiest and most therapeutic ways to enjoy aromatherapy. The heat from the water releases the essential oil molecules as well as opening the pores on your skin so the oils are easily absorbed.  Aromatic baths can provide relief from stress and anxiety, assist with muscle pains, or offer a sensual introduction to a romantic evening with your partner. For a wonderfully relaxing experience at the end of a busy day choose from any of the relaxing oils such as Chamomile, Clary Sage, Lavender.
    • Use 10 drops of essential oil per 10mls carrier oil (or even milk) to ensure the essential oils are dispersed throughout the water to make your own bath blend. See recipes
    •  
  • Massage – if making your own massage oil blend 10 drops of essential oil into 10mls carrier oil. See recipes.  
  • Compress - This is a highly effective method of pain relief and first aid.  A hot compress is for relieving chronic pain such as tired and overworked muscles, rheumatic pain, menstrual cramp, etc. A cold compress is for acute pain such as sprains, bruising, swelling, etc.  Put 6-10 drops of the essential oil(s) into very hot or icy cold water.   Using a flannel soak up the oil and water mixture, wring out excess and apply to the affected area.  Cover the area with a towel and/or wrap with plastic wrap. Leave on for a couple of hours.
  • Direct Inhalation - for instant relief simply put 3 or 4 drops of essential oil onto a tissue or handkerchief and gently inhale. Alternatively inhale direct from the bottle. 
How do I massage effectively?

There are many different forms of massage and different people have different preferences.  Use smooth even strokes, always massaging towards the heart.  Use fingers and/or your entire palm – with gliding strokes, kneading, tapping, and circular friction movements. Breathe and enjoy

Recipes for Essential Oil blends

Essentail oils can be blended as follows to promote restful sleep:

For restful sleep - Use for massage, bath or vapouriser

  • 3 drops Clary Sage, 4 drops Lavender, 3 drops Neroli, or
  • 3 drops Chamomile, 4 drops Lavender, 3 drops Marjoram, or
  • 3 drops Lavender, 4 drops Marjoram, 3 drops Neroli

For premenstrual tension - Use for massage, bath or vapouriser

  • 4 drops Bergamot, 3 drops Clary Sage, 2 drops Neroil.

For rashes - Use in bath or compress,

  • 3 drops Chamomile, 3 drops Lavender, 4 drops Tea Tree OR 4 drops Lavender, and 6 drops Tea Tree.

For relaxation Use for massage, bath or vapouriser

  • 4 drops Bergamot, 3 drops Clary Sage, 3 drops Neroli. 

For stress – stress can be caused by any number of things, and can lead to any number of symptoms. It is a serious condition and should not go un-treated.  The chosen oil will depend on what is causing the stress.  Choose an oil that you like the smell of. Vapourise, bath, massage, inhale direct.

How do I use Essential Oils safely?

When used properly essential oils and aromatherapy products are safe and effective for the entire family.  Like all therapeutic treatments you need to apply common sense and follow a few simple precautions to ensure your safety and to get the desired effect.

  • Dilution -  Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and in most cases should not be applied directly to the skin. As a general rule dilute essential oils in a carrier oil in a ratio of 5 drops of essential oil per 10mls of carrier oil.  You can see more information on dilution and application of essential oils by clicking here.
  • Babies and Young Children - never use essential oils topically on babies under 3 months old (except under the guidance of a qualified therapist).  Always use in a more diluted form than the recommended adult dilution. As a general rule dilute the essential oils 2 drops per 10mls carrier oil.  Avoid continual repetitive use. Not more than 4-5 days in any week, unless in severe circumstances or under guidance of a healthcare professional.
  • Pregnancy  - avoid the following essential oils for the entire pregnancy:  Aniseed, Basil, Bay Laurel, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Citronella, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Coriander, Cypress, Fennel, Geranium, Jasmine, Juniper, Marjoram, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme.  Avoid the following essential oils during the first trimester: Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Lavender , Lemongrass, Pepper – Black, Pine and Rose. 
    Enjoy other essential oils and massage oils throughout the entire pregnancy with caution.  You can use any carrier or healing oil safely throughout the entire pregnancy.
  • Epilepsy and High Blood Pressure - avoid the following essential oils:  Fennel, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme
  • Internal Use - we do not recommend any essential oils are taken internally.  It is much more effective for the essential oils to enter your blood stream through the skin than via your internal digestion which can sometimes destroy the therapeutic constituent(s) of the oil.
  • Photosensitivity -   Some essential oils are mildly photosensitising and should be avoided prior to sunbathing, using sun beds or high exposure to sun light.  These include Bergamot Orange, Lemon and Lime.
  • Burner -  Please use burners and candles with care. Never leave an open flame within reach of a child or unattended.  Take care when lifting the burner after it’s been used as it may be hot. We suggest an electric vapouriser  for safer, convenient inhalation.

Help Me To Sleep

What is wrong with taking medication (sleeping tablets) to sleep?

Taking sleeping tablets under the guidance of a medical professional can help to ‘reboot’ your sleep pattern. However, the effectiveness often wears off fairly quickly requiring one to increase the dosage.  Many medicated sleeping tablets contain substances which are addictive and may cause unpleasant side effects such as nausea, dry mouth and dizziness.

When we sleep naturally, our brains have time to process the information from the day in a normal and healthy way. Often taking a prescribed medication to help you sleep can have a significant impact on this natural process. It effectively putts you into a ‘semi-coma’ and ‘duming down’ state, ignoring these natural, important processes which help us to maintain optimal mental and physical health. 

If you are taking medication do seek medical advice before coming off it.

Read Top Tips to Sleep Better Naturally

How do I come off sleeping pills?

The best way to overcome any problem is to address the underlying cause. If you have to use prescription medication to sleep, the best way is to use it temporarily to help you re-establish a good sleep pattern then discard it as you are able to address what is causing you sleepless nights.

Sleep induced by medical intervention is not the same as natural sleep.  Drugs suppress REM and deep sleep which are important for mental and physical health.  The drugs’ effectiveness is likely to lessen after 2-4 weeks and you may become dependent on them.  You may then be tempted to increase the dosage to improve your chances of sleep. 

Some people experience terrible side effects from taking medication to help them sleep such as daytime drowsiness and dizziness.

If you are taking medication do seek medical advice before coming off it. You can start to integrate natural products and new habits and sleep routines (sleep hygiene) into your life at any stage to help you achieve better sleep, naturally.

What is meditation?

Meditation is the ancient discipline of training the mind. It is exercise for the brain and mind and it allows us to increase our gray matter, improve our immune systems, develop humanistic positive attitudes, and probably sharpen our capacity to better understand this world. 

While meditating, people sit quietly and concentrate on their breathing. As air swooshes in and out of their nostrils, they attend to each sensation. As unbidden thoughts flutter to mind, they let them go. Breathe. Let go. Breathe. Let go.

How does meditation help me to sleep better?

Meditation can be an effective way to calm the mind before bedtime and to alleviate sleep disorders. Practicing meditation helps to control worrying or upsetting thoughts and is a safe and simple way to balance your physical, emotional, and mental states.  It can help you pull your mind away from concerns about the past or future and focus on the present moment.

During meditation, the pulse rate slows, blood pressure falls, blood supply to the arms and legs increases, levels of stress hormones drop, and brain waves resemble a state of relaxation found in the early stages of sleep. These are all physical changes that can be brought about by learning to clear your mind of clutter and focus your thoughts.  You can use meditation to clear and refresh your mind during the day or help you relax at night in preparation for sleep.

One of the first things people realize when they begin meditating is how fast and furious their thoughts bombard them when they try to be still.  Although meditation sounds easy, it takes some practice to be most effective   You're also likely to discover that sleep comes much more easily to a quiet, relaxed mind.

Read Breathing Techniques for Relaxation and Sleep

How do I meditate?

There are many types of meditation.  This simple meditation on the breath will get you started.

When you first meditate it can be helpful to set an alarm for 15 minutes unless you are happy to drift off to sleep at the end of your meditation.  (If you are sleep deprived you probably will fall asleep while meditating in the early stages of learning to meditate.)

Find a quiet place where you won't be distracted or disturbed.  Sit or lie comfortably.  If you choose to sit, keep your spine straight but your shoulders relaxed.

Once you are comfortable, close your eyes and breathe slowly, feeling the air enter your lungs. Next, exhale slowly, feeling the air leave your body through your nostrils. Keep the focus on your breathing. If your mind wanders off, gently bring your focus back to your breathing. You want your attention to remain on your breathing to keep you in the present moment. This way you won't be distracted by past or future events that may carry your mind away and possibly bring anxiety. 

Practice this for 15 minutes each day.

It can be especially helpful right before bed if you notice your mind is racing.

How does massage improve sleep and overall health?

Massage is considered one of the most important methods of applying essential oils. The warmth and friction created during the massage ensures rapid absorption of the oils.  It is used in most aromatherapy treatments when targeting a particular ailment.  Depending on the essential oils chosen massage may have some or all of the following benefits:

PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS

PHYSICAL BENEFITS

  • gives pleasure and promotes a feeling of well-being
  • Aids relaxation and hence sleep
  • Increases our ability to cope with stress
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Reduces depression
  • Improves concentration
  • Improves skin tone
  • Nourishes the skin
  • Increases blood circulation
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Aids the lymphatic system, improving the elimination of waste/toxins from the body
  • Relieves sore muscles and reduces swelling
  • Promotes faster healing of muscular injuries

 

Why should I avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester in my sleepwear?

Aside from the many benefits that having natural fibres against your skin brings, there are clear disadvantages to using synthetic fabrics – particularly for sleepwear. 

Synthetic fibres like polyester disrupt the normal function of your body due to their low breathability, hygroscopy (water absorption), and thermal regulation qualities. This in turn can lead to overheating or getting too cold, which can result in illness. 

Synthetic fibres create an inferior micro-climate for healthy and hygienic sleep because they create a "greenhouse" effect.  Increased moisture against your skin promotes bacterial growth which can worsen skin disorders and exacerbate allergies.

Jet Lag

What causes jet lag?

The greatest cause of jet lag is rapid transit across world time zones. The time difference disrupts our body clock (circadian rhythm). This in turn affects body temperature, heartbeat, blood pressure and physiological patterns, leading to disorientation and mental and physical fatigue.

Sitting still for long periods in flight causes discomfort and possible swelling of the legs and feet, and the dry atmosphere in airliner cabins can cause body dehydration. Altitude and pressure changes at each landing and takeoff also upset body systems, and although airliner cabins are pressurized, these changes are a significant cause of jet lag.

The effects of jet lag may be made worse by excessive eating and consumption of alcohol in flight, by loss of sleep, and also by being tired or not in good condition before the flight, although these are not specifically causes of jet lag.

Read Top Tips for Natural Sleep While Travelling

How else can I relieve jet lag symptoms?

No-Jet-Lag does not counter the effects of alcohol, lack of sleep, or pre-existing medical conditions.

It is recommended that in addition to taking No-Jet-Lag, passengers adopt other sensible measures to help arrive at their destination in the best possible shape. These include not overeating in flight, limiting alcohol consumption, drinking plenty of spring water or other non alcoholic fluids, putting feet up if there is room, and taking any opportunity in flight or during layovers to walk and do stretching exercises. Being in good shape before starting out will also help.

Read Top Tips for Natural Sleep While Travelling

Who can take No- Jet- Lag homeopathic pills?

No-Jet-Lag can be used with all other types of medication.  It can be taken by travellers of all ages.

Like all homeopathic remedies, it is most effective if taken separately from meals, but this is not essential. It is recognized that long-haul passengers often sleep for long periods in flight and wake only for meals and layovers, so No-Jet-Lag has been formulated to ensure it will be effective even if taken with meals, including coffee.

Because of the very small concentration of ingredients in No-Jet-Lag it is safe to use while pregnant when flying internationally.

Children under three years do not suffer from jet lag, but they need plenty of fluid frequently to reduce dehydration. Irritability is one of the leading symptoms of jet lag and for children aged between 4-12 years one tablet every four hours is suitable. (Compared with the adult dose of one tablet every two hours.)

Read Top Tips for Natural Sleep While Travelling

Directions for Taking No-Jet-Lag Homeopathic pills

Taking No-Jet-Lag is easy and convenient. Chew one tablet each time your plane takes off and each time it lands, even if you are not disembarking, to counter the effects of pressure changes, and one every two hours while flying to counter the effects of long-haul flight. However, intervals of up to four hours between tablets are acceptable if sleeping in flight. No-Jet-Lag is best taken separately from meals, but this is not essential.

It can be taken with other types of medication. Each pack of No-Jet-Lag contains 32 tablets, enough for over 50 hours of flying (equivalent to an around-the-world trip).

Manufactured according to the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS).

Warning & Precautions:  No-Jet-Lag can be used by travellers of all ages. If a user already suffers from a major medical problem, normal caution should be exercised in flying on long journeys. If after arrival the symptoms of jet lag continue, professional help should be sought. No-Jet-Lag does not counter the effects of existing medical disorders when travelling by air, or the effects of alcohol or general exhaustion.

If possible flying while pregnant should be avoided. Pregnancy creates extra fluid and changes to this extra fluid while flying can make the pregnant traveler uncomfortable. Reports from pregnant travelers suggest these changes can be so severe they think something major is wrong and sometimes it is.

Interactions:  No Jet-Lag may be taken with any other medication. Like other homeopathic remedies, No-Jet-Lag is most effective when taken separately from food and drink, but has been specially formulated so that it may if necessary be taken in association with food and/or drink, i.e. coffee.

Adverse effects:  With the minute doses involved there is little possibility of adverse effects. There has never been any recorded adverse effect from homeopathic remedies above 12C. All remedies used in No-Jet-Lag are 30C, well above the 12C limit.

Overdosage:  Should you take more No-Jet-Lag than recommended, no harmful side effects should be expected, owing to the minute dilutions of active ingredients employed in homeopathic preparations.

Read Top Tips for Natural Sleep While Travelling

 

Will No-Jet-Lag homeopathic pills be affected by X ray machines, coffee, mint and other homeopathic products?

Some poorly manufactured homeopathic products are harmed by exposure to x-rays, coffee or aromatic products like mint. No-Jet-Lag does not fit into this category. It has been robustly manufactured to ensure that it is effective when exposed to either x-rays or coffee or mint. This was proven during the scientific trial which showed No-Jet-Lag effective in combating jet lag. No-Jet-Lag was exposed to x-rays during the trip and the trialists drank coffee while flying during the trial.

Read Top Tips for Natural Sleep While Travelling

Natural Mattresses

Why is it so important to get a natural mattress for my baby or child?

One of the most important decisions you can make for the care, comfort and health of your baby is your choice in mattress. Babies and toddlers spend 10-14 hours a day sleeping and playing on a bassinette or cot mattress. A child’s every breath inhales air no more than six inches away from it. As such, for the first few years of a child’s life, the mattress is the single most prominent object in the child’s environment. Conventional synthetic mattresses (foam and innerspring) are made using an array of toxic chemicals and more parents are becoming aware of the negative effects these chemicals are having on the health of their children. Polyurethane foam, for example, is made from a base of petrochemicals combined with a staggering array of additional chemical ingredients used as stabilizers, catalysts, surfactants, and blowing agents. Each of these chemicals is associated with a host of environmental problems as well as numerous health hazards. For example, Polyurethane foam is extremely flammable. To combat this hazard, toxic industrial fire retardants are added. The most common chemical fire retardant used to treat polyurethane foam has been pentaBDE, a toxin asociated with hyperactivity and neurobehavioural alterations. PentaBDE is not bound to the foam, so it leaches out into the surrounding air. It has recently been banned in Europe, and by the State of California as of 2006. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the surface material used in nearly all baby mattresses, is widely considered to be one of the most toxic and environmentally unfriendly plastics in use today. Phthalates, associated with asthma, reproductive effects, and cancer, make up 30% by weight of the PVC surface of a typical baby mattress. The FDA and Consumer Product Safety Commission have issued general warnings regarding the use of phthalates, yet the PVC surfaces of baby mattresses still contain phthalates. The PVC surface of a typical baby mattress is also often treated with toxic fire-retardant chemicals such as antimony, arsenicand phosphorous. Our natural cot and bassinet mattresses are free from all synthetic and unhealthy chemicals. The materials we use have been specially chosen because they allow good air circulation and provide the best comfort and support for a young child. A baby’s lungs, nervous and digestive systems are still developing and a natural mattress is the healthiest choice for young children who deserve the best start in life.

How do I clean my natural mattress?

A natural mattress can be spot cleaned using a gentle, eco friendly detergent and left to dry naturally.  We strongly recommend you purchase a mattress protector/underlay to protect your mattress.  This can be removed and washed separately using eco wool detergent.  Sun dry or dry clean.  During toilet training phases we suggest using a protective sheet over your mattress to preserve it’s condition!

Can I use this natural mattress for more than one child?

Obviously, only one child should sleep in a cot or bed at a time.  When your baby outgrows their cot, you can definitely re-use this natural mattress for additional children. The materials these mattresses are made from are very durable and a child’s mattress can sustain a weight of up to 70kg comfortably. 

When the next child comes along, simply replace the eco wool cover which encloses your mattress with a new cover. Contact us if you require assistance.

What is the difference between a natural mattress and a conventional mattress?

Many conventional mattresses are filled with synthetic materials such as polyurethane foam. Polyurethane foam constantly breaks down and releases chemicals, which is called off-gassing. Polyurethane foam is made from chemicals that are known carcinogens.

Other toxic chemicals that can be found in conventional mattresses are PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) or boric acid. These are used in mattresses as a flame retardant.  PBDEs have been shown to have health effects in animals and are so toxic that Europe is phasing out the use of them completely!  Boric acid is extremely toxic and is used to eradicate cockroaches.  The EPA and CDC warn of reproductive, developmental, and neurological damage and there are many known health risks from inhalation of boric acid.  These include inflammation of the upper respiratory tract (including dry throat and cough), eye irritation, and reproductive damage in men (including low sperm count).

Why is a natural mattress healthier than a conventional mattress?

Many modern mattress factories put toxic chemicals, plastics, adhesives, solvents, flame-retardants, or formaldehyde into their products in order to create an ‘affordable’ mattress. Whilst these may appear comfortable, they are produced with production efficiencies in mind, rather than healthy customers!  Inner sprung and synthetic mattresseses are commonly associated with higher levels of electromagnetic stress.  Long term exposure to harmful electromagnetic fields may exacerbate existing health problems and has been associated with fatigue, irritability, sleep disorders, hyperactivity and emotional disorders.

Our natural mattresses are handmade and free from toxic chemicals and materials.  We offer a firmer and less resilient bed than a conventional mattress and box spring system. By varying the thickness and density of latex and coconut fibre at the middle of the core, we offer a choice of firm through medium soft options, all providing the excellent postural support. Natural latex dynamically conforms to the body’s movement throughout the night, adjusting to the contours of your body while providing gentle postural support in any sleep position, free of the disturbance of “roll-together”.

Latex, coconut fibre and wool are hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial and dust-mite resistant. These fibres are breathable and allow perspiration disperse, keeping you warmer in winter, and cooler in summer.  Some people do experience a reaction to natural latex. We suggest you test for latex allergies prior to considering purchasing a latex mattress.

What are overall benefits of choosing a natural mattresses?

Since we spent one third of our lives asleep we should ensure it’s the healthiest and best sleep we can get!  Latex, wool, coconut fibre, cotton, hemp and bamboo are renewable resources. Their use presents little or no risk to the environment when compared with synthetic or chemically processed materials which are used to make conventional mattresses. At the end of a natural mattress’s life, they are 100 percent biodegradable. Choosing to purchase natural sleeping products is better sustainable practice and leaves gentle footprints for next generations.

Natural mattresses are made only from nature’s best, most ingenious materials which provide the safest, healthiest and most comfortable sleeping environment. These natural elements as they occur in nature have phenomenal benefits for healthy, safe and optimum sleep – 100% naturally.  They insulate, allow fantastic air circulation (breathable), are hygroscopic, (absorb and attract moisture from the air), fire retardant, low allergenic, anti-bacterial, mildew resistant, durable, supportive and ultimately practical and renewable!

Natural mattresses are no more expensive than conventional mattresses and provide the same (if not more) level of comfort and durability than conventional mattresses.

Are natural mattresses less comfortable than conventional mattresses?

Most people will say the most important criteria when shopping for a mattress is comfort.  Comfort is not at all compromised by choosing a mattress which is made of healthy, safer natural materials.  As a bonus, natural mattresses have a far better long term benefit on your health and happiness since you will sleep safer and healthier when you choose only nature’s best.  Ensure you select the right firmness for your age, sleeping position and surface-softness preference.

Mattress firmness

Ideally suited to:

Soft

Older people generally need a softer mattress due to the body not being as elastic and having reduced blood circulation

Side sleepers generally need a softer mattress as they have the weight of their hips and shoulders directly on the mattress.  This creates a pressure zone which can limit circulation and cause pain and discomfort if a firmer mattress is used.

Firm

People who are predominantly stomach and back sleepers need a firmer mattress due to their weight being distributed evenly over the mattress

How long do natural mattresses last?

Our natural mattresses are guaranteed for 7 years but should last around 12-15 years. Factors which influence a mattress’ life include weight of the sleeper(s) and correct rotating & care.  Natural Latex mattresses can last longer up to 20 years with care and attention.

Why is latex a wonderful fibre for a mattress?

Natural rubber latex foam is produced from the rubber tree (Hevea Brazilensis). The trees are sustainably harvested and grown in plantations throughout Malaysia.  This natural latex is biodegradable and contains no fillers or additives, compared to about 30% inert fillers contained in other foams. 

Latex is known for it’s therapeutic properties and its ability to provide orthopedic support.  It naturally adjusts to the contours of your body, providing gentle support that maintains proper spinal alignment without restricting capillary blood flow. This reduces tossing and turning and allows a deeper, more restful sleep.  It is durable, hypoallergenic, and has thermal qualities. It is porous and therefore breathable, keeping the body cool in summer and warm in winter. Bacteria, mildew, mold and bed bugs hate latex!  Latex in a mattress can last for up to 20 years.

A small percentage of people have an allergic reaction to natural latex which is caused by the natural proteins found in the Hevea Brazilensis tree.  We advise you to test for possible allergy before considering natural latex mattresses.  However, please note that we have never experienced any reaction to our mattresses as the latex in our products never actually comes into direct contact with skin.

 

Why is Coco fibre a wonderful material for a mattress?

Coconut fibre is obtained from the fibrous husk of the coconut from the coconut palm. It has a high lignin content and thus a low cellulose content, which makes it resilient, strong and highly durable, and a great material to provide the support the body needs whilst asleep.

Coco fibre has many healing properties, is non allergenic and has excellent moisture and air permeability properties which keeps the mattress internally dry.  Despite it’s durability it’s also extremely elastic, making it a great addition to a mattress to provide firm support for the spinal column.   The combination of latex and coconut husk fibre in our mattresses offers optimal posture and lumbar support whilst keeping free of pressure points.   The fibres are compressed together with natural latex glue giving it a rubbery texture.  This combination reduces tossing and turning and allows a deeper, more restful sleep. 

Why is pure wool a wonderful fibre for a mattress?

Wool is a ‘super fibre’ in our minds!  The properties of real wool make it a perfect material to provide a dry and safe sleep.  Wool fibres:

  • Are hygroscopic. This means wool has the power to readily absorb and give off moisture. It can absorb moisture up to one-third of its own weight (synthetic fibers can only absorb 2-3 per cent of moisture before they begin to feel wet).  Since a human body can relieve up to 1 litre of perspiration while asleep, wool’s ability to release moisture makes it a unique material in providing healthy, comfortable sleep
  • Naturally regulate temperature and insulate.  Since it supports rapid evaporation of moisture– a woolen bed is considered the warmest and driest one.
  • naturally fire retardant – harder to ignite than most synthetic and cotton fibres used in equivalent products making it excellent for safe sleep
  • Uncoloured, unprocessed wool has also been known to provide wonderful relief for muscles, joints, and backbone and to stimulate circulation. 

Our mattresses are made from 100% pure New Zealand wool from the South Island, bonded to 500gsm density.

Why is bamboo a wonderful fibre for a mattress?

Bamboo is the ‘newest, old thing’ around!  Bamboo’s tight cellulose molecular structure, helps keep bacteria at bay.  This amazing fibre also has strong anti-bacterial properties which make it very durable and protect it from being eaten by pests or infected by pathogens.  Free from chemical additives, it’s completely biodegradable but also breathable and cool because the cross-section of a bamboo fibre is filled with various micro gaps.  This ensures excellent ventilation when compared to other fibres.

Why are unbleached cotton and hemp fabric used in these mattresses and not pure organic cotton?

Innature uses 45% unbleached organic cotton and 55% hemp fabric to make natural mattress covers.  This combination of organic cotton and hemp is specially chosen for its robustness, anti-bacterial and mold resistance qualities which make it perfect for sleep products.

Are natural mattresses more expensive than conventional mattresses?

A healthy mattress does not cost any more than the big name brand ‘therapeutic’, ‘lumbar support’, ‘sprung’ and ‘no roll together’ mattresses on the market.  Natural mattresses are filled only with the best nature has to offer - there are no synthetic substitutes bulking out your mattress which make you feel like you are getting more for your money, but in reality, you’re not.  The peace of mind you gain from knowing you and your family sleep on the healthiest bedding alternatives is priceless.

If you aren’t getting a good and thorough nights’ sleep every night, if you are sick regularly, physically and mentally drained, taking time off work, and having long term health issues – then consider what impact poor sleep is having on your life and calculate the cost of a new mattress in light of what these other problems may be costing you.

The life expectancy of an Innature mattress is 15-20 years which means that over this time your initial investment would work out to as little as 30 cents a day.  We believe that when you sleep better, you love life more so this is certainly a great investment to make.

How do I know if I need a new mattress?

You know better than anyone when you need a new mattress.  Here are some questions to help you ascertain whether it’s time to invest in a new natural mattress for wonderful sleep! 

 

YES

NO

Is your mattress more than 8 years old?

 

 

Do you feel comfortable when you sleep on your mattress?

 

 

Do you wake up feeling all kinds of aches and pain in your body?

 

 

Do you wake up tired, rather than rejuvenated?

 

 

Do you suffer any numbness in the shoulder area when you wake up?

 

 

Do you have trouble getting to sleep because of too much fidgeting in bed?

 

 

Does your mattress have lumps? Uneven surface? Holes? Torn stitching?

 

 

Are you becoming more and more allergic?

 

 

Are you bothered when your partner moves on the bed?

 

 

If you answered YES to three or more questions, please contact us to discuss your options. 

Can I get a mattress custom made to my specifications?

Absolutely!  If you are not on your feet, you are on your back and just as a shoe needs to fit well, so does your mattress.  We custom make according to your requirements.  Please complete this short questionnaire and we will contact you to discuss your personal requirements, or contact us.

What is the 14 day customer comfort exchange policy on natural mattresses?

If you purchase a mattress from us without having tried it first, we offer a 14 day comfort exchange.  If you are not happy with the firmness you selected and can explain your reasons we are happy to exchange the mattress core to a different design,  that we both agree will be more suitable for you.
If you select a more expensive firmness you will need to cover the difference. If it is cheaper, we will offer you additional items to compensate the difference (e.g natural pillows or mattress protector).

How long will I wait for my mattress if it is made to order?

If we have a mattress of your choice in stock we can freight it or deliver it to you as soon as we receive your payment.  Otherwise it takes 3-4 working days to manufacture.  When we freight our goods Nationwide we use a furniture removal company (not a courier) to avoid any damages.  Please, allow additional 1 week for North Island delivery and 2 weeks for South Island delivery.

Which sizes of mattresses do you make?

We make to order but standard sizes are available in the sizes and pricing chart.  Contact us to discuss your requirements.

What is the disadvantage of a sprung mattress?

Some people prefer a sprung mattress for comfort and support. However, there is an argument that the air between the springs inside a sprung mattress is a perfect habitat for dust, microorganisms and insects since they are beyond the reach of cleaning. For anyone who suffers allergies a latex mattress is preferable since dust mites and other organisms will not survive the inner mattress.  Additionally, the springs of a sprung mattress will wear out, allowing your backbone to sag, creating tension in your muscles and disturbing your sleep.

Since buying a mattress is such a personal choice, all our mattresses are made to order.  Please contact us if you require more explanation.

How healthy is memory foam in a mattress or pillow?

You may have noticed a strong smell being emitted from memory foam? This is the off-gassing of toxic chemicals and can be noticed for months in some cases.  These emissions have been associated with headaches and other severe health reactions in people who sleep on them.  You can learn more about the health effects of memory foam and conventional mattresses from http://www.chem-tox.com/guest/guestbook.html

Natural Products

Why buy organic cotton sheets?

It takes about 500 grams of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers to grow the cotton needed to make just one sheet. Organic cotton sheets are free from the toxic dyes and insecticides used in conventional cotton production.  Our bodies are constantly fighting the toxins found in the products around us. With organic cotton sheets, you help create environments in your home that allow the body’s defence systems a chance to recuperate.

  • good for you and your family, as well as the environment
  • hypoallergenic & safe
  • durable and long lasting - organic fibres grow stronger. When cared for properly, organic cotton linens last longer than conventional products
  • certified organic by SKAL International which means you are guaranteed that this product is 100% organic cotton

See range of organic cotton sheets

Sleep Apnoea

What is sleep apnoea?

Sleep apnoea is a breathing disorder – a common complication of snoring.  It happens when the snorer stops breathing for short periods of time while asleep. It is caused by narrowing or a blockage of the airway when the throat muscles are relaxed.  In severe cases this can occur every 1-2 minutes.   This narrowing may be caused by:

  • Obesity (greater fat stores around the neck)
  • Obstruction (large tonsils)
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of muscle tone (part of the natural aging process)
  • Excessive alcohol consumption (which relaxes muscles)
  • Smoking (may narrow your airways).

This short pause in natural breathing may happen hundreds of times during the night and the snorer may not even be conscious of it happening.  However, it can severely affect the quality of his/her sleep and definitely that of a bed mate. 

If you experience any of the above symptoms, first experiment with our top tips to stop snoring naturally to see if you can reduce or alleviate the problem as not all snoring indicates sleep apnoea.  With mild cases of sleep apnoea you can help yourself by

  • losing weight,
  • reducing alcohol intake,
  • reducing sinus issues
  • stopping sleeping pills,
  • stopping smoking
What are the symptoms of sleep apnoea?

Common symptoms of sleep disturbance arising from apnoea include:

  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Requiring toilet once or more at night
  • Chocking/gasping during snoring
  • Weight gain
  • Reduced sexual function
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease

If you suffer from sleep apnoea taking sleeping pills is potentially dangerous.  Please discuss this with your medical professional at your earliest convenience.

Read our top tips for reducing or stopping snorning naturally.

How do I know if I have sleep apnoea?

You can purchase a ‘sleep strip’ to detect each breath-hold as it occurs and record the results so you can see how often you stop breathing during the night.

Alternatively, download our free sleep diary and track your sleep pattern for a fortnight. Then visit your doctor with the results for further referals.

Read our top tips on how to stop or reduce snoring naturally.

Sleep Drops Products

How do I know which products in the Sleep Drops range will be best for me?

If you have trouble going to sleep (only) then take Sleep Drops to turn off your busy mind.  If your inability to "turn off" and go to sleep was caused by a stressful event or on going stress then please also get some Essential Sleep Nutrients.

If you have trouble staying asleep then you need to take Essential Sleep Nutrients AND Sleep Drops. The Essential Sleep Nutrients will support your nervous system and reprogramme you to stop you waking but this may take up to 4 weeks depending on your body so having some Sleep Drops to get you back to sleep more quickly will be helpful!

If you know stress is the major reason you are not sleeping Day Drops will help you. You take them during the day to balance your mood, energy and nervous system, so you don't get "wound up".  By the evening, you will be in a better state of mind and more receptive to sleep! You may even find you don't need to take anything at night if your day is calmer.

Long term insomniacs need the full 24 hour support to break poor sleep habits and establish new patters. We suggest Day Drops (during the day) and Essential Sleep Nutrients and Sleep Drops at night.
We also encourage you to check out other tips for the best natural sleep - just a small change can make a big difference.

Can I Take Sleep Drops while Pregnant or Breast Feeding?

Yes you can. We have many customers taking Sleep Drops while Pregnant and breastfeeding without it impacting on their milk. However every person is different so if you have reason to believe you are sensitive to herbal or energetic medicines perhaps taking Essential Sleep Nutrients would be a more conservative approach and still get you an improved sleep.

Can I take Sleep Drops with other supplements, homeopathics or pharmaceutical medicines?

You can take Sleep Drops with your other health products. There is 0.005grams of dried herb equivalent per 5 drops dose so herb/drug interactions are impossible. If you are concerned about this possibility please follow the advice of your medical practitioner.

With Sleep Drops, is more better?

More is not better with this product. Taking 20 or 30 drops at a time will not make you sleep faster. You can take more but you will just be wasting it.

Frequency is the key, taking it more often can help so if you have a particularly active mind and you can't seem to switch off, you can use the Sleep Drops to help support this.

You could take 1 or 2 drops every minute for 10 minutes.

Will I need to take Sleep Drops forever?

Our clients find it best to start taking the product at the full recommended dose. We expect sleep patterns to change for the better, and this is when the dose and frequency of the doses can be dropped.

It is common for people to stop taking them all together, others continue to take a few drops a night before bed.

You will not become physically addicted to Sleep Drops!

Sleep Drop's are even safe to give to your pet but not more than 3 drops at a time!

How Many Nights Does it Take for Sleep Drops To Start Working?

It’s almost impossible to answer this question!

There are 80 different sleep disorders and everyone's sleep can change on a nighly basis. 

Some people report a dramatic difference from the first night, some the second or third and some the next week or sometime in the first month.

Sometimes it takes time for the magnesium levels to build up in the body…

If you don't notice an improvement within a week, please contact us for support.

Snoring

What causes snoring?

Have you ever sneezed one day from allergies then sneezed another day from a bad cold? Snoring is like that. In other words, not all snoring is the same. Everyone snores for different reasons. When we get to the bottom of why we snore, then we can find the right solutions to a quieter, deeper sleep.

People who snore often have too much throat and nasal tissue, or “floppy” tissue that is more prone to vibrate. The position of your tongue can also get in the way of smooth breathing. Evaluating how and when you snore will help you pinpoint whether the cause of your snoring is within your control or not. The good news is that no matter how and when you snore, there are solutions to making it better.

Common causes of snoring:

  • Age. As you reach middle age and beyond, your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases.
  • The way you’re built. Men have narrower air passages than women and are more likely to snore. A narrow throat, a cleft palate, enlarged adenoids, and other physical attributes (which contribute to snoring) can be hereditary.
  • Nasal and sinus problems. Blocked airways make inhalation difficult and create a vacuum in the throat, leading to snoring.
  • Being overweight or out of shape. Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone contribute to snoring.
  • Alcohol, smoking, and medications. Alcohol intake, smoking (or second-hand smoke), and certain medications, increase muscle relaxation leading to more snoring.
  • Sleep posture. Sleeping flat on your back causes the flesh of your throat to relax and block the airway.

Read Top Tips to Stop Snoring Naturally

Where does the snore sound come from?

Snoring is caused by a narrowing of your airway, either from poor sleep posture or abnormalities of the soft tissues in your throat. A narrow airway gets in the way of smooth breathing and creates the sound of snoring.

Read Top Tips to Stop Snoring Naturally

What is the relationship between snoring and sleep apnoea?

Snoring could indicate sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening condition that requires medical attention. Sleep apnoea is a breathing obstruction, causing the sleeper to awaken to begin breathing again. A person with sleep apnoea wakes up many times a night to regain breathing, but usually doesn’t remember it.

Serious risks of sleep apnoea include sleep deprivation, oxygen deprivation, and depression. Heavy snoring is an indicator that a person may have sleep apnoea.

How do I communicate with a partner who snores about his/her snoring?

If you are losing sleep because your partner is snoring you will be tired, frustrated and probably angry.  Take a deep breath and tackle it sensitively – your partner may feel embarrassed, vulnerable or isolated, and you will have a better outcome if he/she feels supported.  The following tips can help you approach your partner about his or her snoring.

  • Time your talk carefully. Avoid middle of the night or early morning discussions when you’re feeling exhausted.
  • Keep in mind it’s not intentional. Although it’s easy to feel like a victim when you lose sleep, remember that your partner isn’t keeping you awake on purpose.
  • Avoid lashing out. Sure sleep deprivation is aggravating and can be damaging to your health, but try your best to approach the problem in a non-confrontational way.
  • Beware of bitterness. Make sure that latching onto snoring is not an outlet for other hidden resentments you’re harboring.
  • Use humor and playfulness to bring up the subject without hurting your partner’s feelings. Laughing about it can ease tension. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into too much teasing.

View more on this topic:  Top tips to stop snoring naturally

How to deal with complaints about your snoring?

It’s understandable to feel embarrassed about your snoring, especially if you don’t realise you are doing it.   However your partner is probably feeling exasperated and exhausted.  If you are dismissive and refuse to try to solve the problem, you’re sending a clear message to your partner that you don’t care about their needs.or sending him/her to sleep elsewhere.

Keep the following in mind as you and your partner work together to beat snoring.

  • Snoring is a physical issue. Typically, snorers feel a little embarrassed about their problem. Try to keep in mind that snoring is a physical issue. Like a pulled muscle or a common cold, improving the condition is in your hands.
  • Avoid taking it personally. Try not to take your partner’s frustration as a personal critique or attack. Your partner loves you, just not the snoring!
  • Take your partner seriously. Avoid minimising complaints. Lack of sleep is a health hazard and can make you feel miserable all day.
  • Make it clear that you prioritise the relationship. If you and your partner have this understanding, you’ll both do what it takes to make the snoring better.
  • Address inappropriate behaviour - although sleep deprivation can lead to moodiness and irritability, let your partner know that it’s not okay for them to throw an elbow jab or snap at you when you’re snoring.

Read more on this topic:  Top Tips to Stop Snoring Naturally

When should we see a doctor about snoring?

There are lots of things you can do to stop or improve snoring, naturally. However some snoring indicates a serious warning sign. Call your doctor if your sleep partner shows any of the following red flags.

  • Snores loudly and heavily and is tired during the day
  • Stops breathing, gasps, or chokes during sleep
  • Falls asleep at inappropriate times, such as during a conversation or a meal

Read about Tips to Stop Snoring Naturally

What medical cures are available to stop snoring?

If your self-help attempts aren’t silencing your noisy bedroom, don’t abandon hope. Medical treatments could make all the difference and advances are being made in this field all the time.  Consult a doctor when your own efforts to stop snoring have come to no avail.  You may be referred to an ENT (Ear, nose, and throat specialist).  Alternatively you may seek dental advice from your dentist.  The following medical approaches are available to prevent snoring:

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). To keep your airway open during sleep, a machine at your bedside blows pressurized air into a mask that you wear over your nose or face.
  • Dental appliances, oral devices, and lower jaw-positioners often resemble an athlete’s mouth guard. They help open your airway by bringing your lower jaw or your tongue forward during sleep.
  • Traditional surgery such as Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty (TAP), tonsillectomy, and adenoidectomy, increase the size of your airway by surgically removing tissues or correcting abnormalities. The Pillar procedure is also an effective surgery in which small plastic implants are inserted into the soft palate. Scar tissue grows around the implants, stiffening the soft palate, which stops vibrations that cause snoring.
  • New developments. Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) and somnoplasty remove parts of the soft palate to reduce snoring using lasers or radiofrequency signals. These newer remedies may require further study.

Read Top Tips to Stop Snoring Naturally

Can I exercise my throat muscles to help me stop snoring?

Yes!  Done 30 minutes a day, throat exercises can be a cost-effective snore-reducer for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea. Studies show that by pronouncing certain vowel sounds and curling the tongue in specific ways, muscles in the upper respiratory tract are strengthened and therefore reduce snoring.

Try the following exercises to stop snoring. Start slow and gradually increase the number of sets you do every few days.

  • Repeat each vowel (a-e-i-o-u) out loud for three minutes throughout day.
  • Place the tip of your tongue behind your top front teeth. Slide your tongue backwards for 3 minutes a day
  • Close your mouth and purse your lips. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • With mouth open, move jaw to the right and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on left side
  • With mouth open, contract the muscle at the back of your throat repeatedly for 30 seconds. Tip: Look in the mirror to see the uvula (“the hanging ball”) move up and down.
  • Singing - Singing can increase muscle control in the throat and soft palate, reducing snoring caused by lax muscles.
  • Playing the didgeridoo - Thinking of taking up a new instrument? Studies show that learning to play a didgeridoo can strengthen the soft palate and throat, reducing snoring.

Read Top Tips to Stop Snoring Naturally

Tencel Questions

What is Tencel® and how is it made?

The key ingredient of Tencel® is Eucalyptus bark.  Eco-friendly and earth friendly, it can be grown on marginal land without pesticides and chemicals and has a high yield compared to cotton (it needs a tenth of the water cotton does to grow). This product is made from renewable plantation grown trees.

Also known as Lyocell, Tencel® is a regenerated cellulose fiber made from dissolving Eucalyptus wood pulp.  Tencel® is created through a process called solvent spinning. The wood pulp is dissolved in N-methylmorpholine N-oxide, creating a solution called "dope," which is then pushed through a spinneret to form the individual fibers. After the dope has been spun into lyocell fibers, the fibers are washed and the chemicals retrieved from the water are purified and recycled. (Kadolph, Sara, and Anna Langford. Textiles:Ninth Edition. Prentice Hall. 2002.) Since there is little waste product, this process is relatively eco-friendly. We stock these  Tencel® products:

Tencel® Pillow & or Protector

Tencel® Underlay

Tencel® Duvet inner

Why is a Tencel® duvet inner or underlay great for sleep?

Tencel® has excellent moisture absorption and dissipation – up to 50% more effective than cotton, enabling a drier, more comfortable, healthier sleep.  Since we spend almost a third of a 24 hour day asleep, and can lose up to 1 litre of water every night having bedding which naturally removes moisture ensures your sleep is more comfortable, healthier and hygienic.

A Tencel® underlay or duvet inner is also:

  • naturally breathable so will prevent the formation of bacteria since air moves freely through the fibres
  • naturally insulates - keeping you cool when it's warm and warm when it's cold
  • naturally anti-allergenic – ideal for sensitive skins and allergy sufferers
  • odour free  – perfect for those who have are sensitive to aromas
  • luxurious to touch with excellent drape so extremely comfortable to sleep with
  • easy to care for – machine washable /tumble dry

We stock these  Tencel® products:

Tencel® Pillow & or Protector

Tencel® Underlay

Tencel® Duvet inner

Understanding More About Sleep

What happens when sleep is poor quality or not enough?

Insomnia has many unappealing side effects.  Mental tiredness can slow reaction time, impair decision making, reduce work effectiveness/performance and cause irritability and mood swings.  A lack of sleep can increase the risk of illness as our immune systems become compromised.  When you sleep your heart has a chance to rest, so poor or too little sleep increases your chances of heart disease.  Your metabolism is also disrupted by exhaustion.  Production of the hormone Leptin (which tells the body how much energy you have to use) peaks during the night, so if you are not sleeping well, this can be miscalculated – the result is you end up storing fat instead of burning it. 

A lack of sleep can also reduce the effectiveness of exercise. While you are in your cell repair phase of sleep, 70% of your daily Growth Hormone gets released.  This hormone is required to maximise the effects of exercise and complete the biological process of weight loss.  Testosterone levels also plummet when you don't get enough sleep - that's means a lack of motivation and a low libido which can affect your sex life.

Read our top tips on how to sleep better, naturally.

How much sleep do I need?

Most adults need 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  However, the amount of sleep we need varies from person to person and will also change during the course of people’s lives.  Elderly people sleep less and teenagers need more (approximately 9 hours), while newborn babies can sleep up to 17 hours a day.  Some studies suggest that woman need more than men, particularly if they are pregnant. 
What is equally important is the quality of your sleep.  These two factors are intertwined.

Read Top Tips for the Best Natural Sleep to improve the quality of your sleep.

What happens when we sleep?

We have daily rhythms of waking and sleeping called Circadian rhythms.  While we sleep there are distinct phases of sleep which repeat in a cycle/pattern every 100 minutes, so we may pass through these phases a number of times each night depending on how long we sleep.

Sleep is an active process and during each of these phases there is a complex exchange of hormones and chemical messengers affecting our nervous systems.   Brilliant sleep requires this to be a balanced system. The best sleep happens when all these phases occur naturally - if they are broken/interrupted the quality of sleep may be affected.

What affect do caffeine, alcohol and nicotine have on sleep?

Caffeine – acts like adrenaline. It stimulates the nervous system and increases the noise of REM sleep and can make you nervous and jittery. Caffeine takes 5 hours to leave your body, and stops the liver from breaking down adrenaline, so actually adds to feeling of being tired.  It delays sleep onset, shortens overall sleep time and reduces your depth of sleep.  Try to avoid it after 2pm and limit your intake to no more than 3 cups of tea and or coffee a day.

Alcohol – is a relaxant and a stimulant.  It may help you to fall asleep quickly but will affect your sleep quality negatively because it affects the neurotransmitters needed for peaceful sleep. Alcohol consumed 6 hours before sleeping can disturb the sleep cycle so avoid it if you have trouble sleeping at night. It also exacerbates sleep apnoea because it relaxes the throat muscles and affects brain’s breathing centre by masking the levels of oxygen levels in the blood.  Hangover symptoms are often partially due to disrupted sleep as well as dehydration.

Nicotine – is a stimulant and enhances effect of adrenaline.  Stopping smoking can have major impact on the quality of your sleep.

What is the fatigue cycle?

Insomniacs sometimes resort to alcohol, drugs or stimulants like caffeine and energy drinks to either help them to sleep or stay awake and function normally.  These substances actually exacerbate the problem and one can become stuck in a fatigue cycle which is hard to break. 

Too much caffeine in your blood stimulates your nervous system and can make you jittery.  It stops the liver from breaking down adrenaline so actually adds to feeling of being tired, whilst also delaying sleep onset and shortening overall sleep time and depth. 

Alcohol – is a relaxant and a stimulant.  It may help you to fall asleep quickly but will adversely affect your sleep quality as it affects the neurotransmitters needed for peaceful sleep. Alcohol consumed 6 hours before sleeping can disturb the sleep cycle so avoid it if you have trouble sleeping at night. It also exacerbates sleep apnoea because it relaxes the throat muscles and affects the brain’s breathing centre by masking the levels of oxygen levels in the blood.  Hangover symptoms are often partially due to disrupted sleep as well as dehydration.

Nicotine – is a stimulant and which enhances the effect of adrenaline.  Whilst you may find it relaxing to smoke it is actually stimulating your nervous system and delaying sleep onset.

So, all of these substances may be consumed to relax one but their use actually creates a worse state of insomnia, which leaves us reaching for more of these substances. This is a fatigue cycle.  Top tips for natural sleep will provide some thoughts for you to consider on how to break this cycle.

How can I treat sleep apnoea?

We strongly suggest trying to break poor sleep/lifestyle habits you may have developed over time before seeking medical intervention.  Follow these suggestions to see what works for you.  Losing weight, reducing alcohol intake before bedtime, quitting smoking, changing your sleeping position, reducing sinus issues, changing your pillows and or bedding which may be aggravating your snoring will help. 

Some moderate suffers use a mouth splint to hold their jaw in place and maintain open airways.  Severe snorers with diagnosed sleep apnoea use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines.  The CPAP machine is a mechanical device consisting of face mask with a generator which constantly pumps air into your mouth and nose to prevent collapse of your upper airways muscles.  Sleeping with these machines for the rest of one’s life is obviously an adjustment for both yourself and your partner but many report success using these machines.  Finally surgery may also be required to enlarge your throat or clear your nasal passages.

What Are Common Sleep Disorders?

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) – ‘Can’t stop moving’ – people who suffer this condition complain of a creeping, crawling, tingling sensation in their legs which make them jump around to relieve discomfort and delaying them from falling asleep.  Pregnant women may suffer from this condition.  It is believed to be an imbalance in the nervous system.  We suggest a visit to your doctor to check your iron levels and kidneys, but this can also be a side effect of some medications. Up your magnesium intake.

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) – involuntary limb movements either whilst asleep or awake. Often the sufferer is unaware of this whilst asleep but their bed mate isn’t!  We suggest a blood test at your doctors to check your iron levels is a good idea.

Paradoxical Insomnia – when you think you are not sleeping but you really are – several times a night we may be in the 5th phase of sleep and we feel as though we are semi conscious. We  feel awake but in reality we are still asleep. Clock watching is the biggest issue here – try not to! Turn it away from you and use all your will power not to monitor the time through the night!

Hyper somnia /over sleeping- getting to bed too late and oversleeping the next morning can shift the circadian pattern – often seen with teenagers. Get to bed earlier and pay attention to nutrition and exercise.

Nightmares – These unpleasant dreams occur during REM sleep. As a result you are likely to remember the graphic details.  Caffeine and alcohol can exacerbate nightmares so try to reduce the intake of these substances close to bedtime.  Pay attention to creative pursuits as this may provide a much needed release and allow you to sleep in peace. Some report success with art therapy to relieve terrible nightmares.

Night terrors - Happen whilst asleep and the sufferer is mostly unaware they are happening although they appear awake and alert.  The often won’t remember although they can be distressing for those who are awake. 

Teeth grinding  - Can be the manifestation of deep seated anxiety or tension.  Some use a gum guard to prevent grinding their teeth as it can cause facial pain, neck pain, headaches, ground down/fractured teeth and in extreme cases can also affect gums, bone and jaw mechanisms.  Learning to deal with stress and encouraging expression through art, singing, drama, music or martial arts helps to relieve tension. 

Wool Duvet Inners and Underlays

Why should I purchase a mattress protector/underlay?

We strongly recommend that you purchase a mattress protector (wool underlay) for a cot or child’s mattress. Toddlers and young children can be quite active sleepers and leaks and accidents do occur! A natural mattress protector preserves your child’s mattress and is easier to clean than the actual mattress. It also adds an extra layer of wool and hence comfort and hygiene for your little one.

Do I need an wool underlay/mattress protector, even if I have a new mattress?

Since we spend almost a third of our lives in bed, it’s important to be comfortable.  Wool:

  • is naturally warm so helps keep muscles relaxed and relieves arthritic pain.  A wool underlay can also relieve pressure points, spreading our body weight more evenly on the mattress,
  • helps regulate body temperature and provides better air circulation, keeping you warmer in winter and cooler and dryer in summer and generally improving sleep hygiene by creating a healthier, drier sleeping environment,
  • is dust mite resistant and naturally hypoallergenic and improve the quality of sleep for sensitive skin owners.

Independent tests prove that sleeping with wool helps maintain a lower, more consistent heart rate so you sleep more soundly and more comfortably.  Underlays also help to protect and prolong the life of your mattresses and will provide additional warmth, comfort and insulation even if you already have a natural mattress.

If your mattress contains synthetic or manmade products, a woollen underlay will provide significant health and hygiene benefits.  It will provide a buffer you from any synthetic and processed materials in your mattress and greatly improve the quality of your sleep because of it’s unique features. 

Can I use an electric blanket with a wool underlay/mattress protector?

Yes, although you probably won't need one, because of the great insulation properties of our wool. If you do choose to use an electric blanket, place it UNDERNEATH your wool underlay, directly over your mattress. This allows the heat to rise into the wool above and still gives you maximum comfort from the cushioning in the underlay. You will probably find you only need it switched on for a short while before getting into bed, as the excellent insulation properties of your underlay will keep you warm and comfortable the rest of the night.

Care instructions for wool underlays/mattress protectors

Spot clean your organic wool underlay with an environmentally friendly wool detergent.  Do not soak.  Hand wash and dry flat away from direct sunlight.  Do not iron.

Washing machines are not recommended.

We recommend you hang your underlay in the sun for a few hours every six months to rejuvenate.

Where does the wool organic duvets come from?

All wool in our SleepFROG® organic wool duvet inners come from New Zealand are are certified organic.

Why is wool the perfect fibre for a duvet inner in summer and winter?

Wool is a wonder fibre than has evolved over a million years and provides an incredible base to create the perfect natural sleeping environment.  It has an incomparable ability to maintain a perfect microclimate between your body and bedding. Unlike synthetics, natural wool breathes and controls moisture meaning that it has a natural ability to respond to changes in temperature.

This unique property helps to keep us warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot because it absorbs moisture from our skin and releases it into the air.  Since the humidity level between your skin and bedding is lowered, you will not feel clammy.  It’s perfect for summer and winter!

Wool has numerous natural attributes that make it one of the most comfortable of fabrics to sleep with.  It is non-allergenic, soft and easy to care for.  Wool contains natural fire retardants without having to have any synthetic chemicals added so provides a safe and secure sleep.

View range of wool duvet inners

Isn’t a woollen duvet too heavy?

Our wool duvets are warm without being heavy because the quality of wool used has a high level of natural crimp which traps tiny pockets of air, providing excellent insulation.  Wool naturally 'breathes', absorbing body moisture and dispersing it into the atmosphere.

This creates a totally natural comfort zone of dry warm air that circulates around your body, and, most of all, that unique feeling of 'sleeping on a cloud' - being warm and cosy without being weighed down. Our standard stock is available in 500 grams per square meter. 

This is our recommended year-round weight for most conditions.

Since wool can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in moisture, it can make a considerable difference to the measured weight of a duvet if the place it is being weighed is very humid. For this reason it’s difficult to state an exact weight for wool duvets as they vary depending on humidity levels.

See range of wool duvets

Is a woollen duvet itchy?

The wool duvets we stock will not itch your skin. Wool above a certain micron rating (measurement of the coarseness of the fibre) may feel itchy to sensitive skin. This level, 35 microns, is known as the prickle factor and has been confirmed through tests conducted by the Woolmark Company and the CSIRO. This level of coarser wool is often found in furnishings, carpets or cheaper imported clothing.

It is the reaction to such coarse wool that often leads people to mistakenly believe they are allergic to wool. In fact, there have been no reported cases of anyone being allergic to the wool fibre itself.

The wool used to make our duvets and underlays is much finer and softer than the prickle level. This means they are also too soft to push through our finely woven casings and the cotton casings that cover wool underlays and duvets.

Will my wool duvet go ‘flat’ as it gets older?

All wool duvet inners or wool underlays (mattress protectors) will flatten to some degree with age.  Our wool duvets are individually made and specifically quilted by a computerised multi-needle process which helps to preserve the natural bounce of pure wool.  The wool is not compressed when sewn, retaining its natural resilience and 'bounce' so the natural ‘flattening’ is minimised.

We recommend you hang your duvet in the sun for a few hours every six months to rejuvenate.

Care instructions for wool underlays and duvets

Spot clean with an environmentally friendly wool detergent.  Do not soak.  Hand wash and dry flat away from direct sunlight.  Do not iron. Washing machines are not recommended. Can be drycleaned without fear of damage or shrinkage.  All organic wool duvets and organic wool underlays are specially sanitized for the ultimate in hygiene.

Why are wool duvets better than synthetic duvets?

Wool has numerous unique properties which make it the ideal fibre to sleep in. These include natural fire retardancy, temperature regulation, thermal insulation, superior breathability and more. Wool provides the healthiest, driest, and most comfortable sleep.

In addition to this, wool is a natural fibre that grows on grass and water, not a plastic fibre made from petro-chemicals.  It is biodegradable and environmentally friendly and should be the choice we make for a brighter future.

See range of organic and NZ wool duvet inners

Why is wool better than feather and down for a duvet?

Feather and down fillers move around inside the duvet liner as you change position. This causes variation in temperature throughout the night as you sleep and may be disruptive.  Our one piece wool fillings are carefully quilted to keep the wool in place.  This ensures an even distribution of warmth and no cold spots. Additionally, wool naturally regulates temperature by absorbing excess moisture away from your body so you remain at a comfortable and at a more even temperature throughout the night. 

Wool is a naturally non-allergenic which makes our duvets a perfect choice for people with asthma or allergies. It is also naturally fire retardant so ensures the safest sleep.

Wool duvets also provide a more comfortable environment when two people, who have different body temperatures (i.e. one hot and the other cold) sleep in the same bed. This is due to wools unique ability to adjust individual body temperatures naturally.

Read more here Why is A Wool Duvet Better Than Down Duvet?

Are wool duvets suitable for people with allergies?

Most household allergies are caused by the common dust mite.  Our organic wool and NZ wool duvets are resistant to dust mites.   We have many reports from customers suffering allergies or respiratory problems who are delighted with the comfort they experience using our products. Pure organic wool, unlike feathers, is naturally non-allergenic.

All the natural goodness from the sheep’s back is retained in this organic duvet. Unlike other brands, our organic pure New Zealand Wool retains all the unique qualities and benefits of nature’s wonder fibre.  This wool has not been stripped by chemical cleaning processes which cheaper wool duvets have so retains it’s natural goodness and quality.

How warm is a wool duvet compared to blankets?

It is difficult to give a woollen duvet a blanket warmth rating, which relates directly to the weight and type of fibre used.  In winter, a wool duvet insulates you effectively, keeping you warm and cosy.  This can be the equivalent of three quality blankets.

In summer, the same wool duvet absorbs excess moisture (and excess heat) away from your body, keeping you cool and dry. This can be more similar to 1-2 blankets. For some people this is perfect, but we find that many others still prefer a lighter weight option for Summer.

Our 200+300gsm Duvet Combo is two duvets that are individually are perfect for Summer, Spring and Autumn. For Winter they tie together to create a 500gsm duvet that will keep you cosy and warm.

How can we overcome the problem of two people sleeping at different temperatures?

This is very common with one person sleeping hot and the other sleeping cold. Pure wool's ability to absorb and dissipate excess heat away from your body helps maintain an even temperature throughout the comforter. This takes away that clammy feeling sometimes associated with feather or synthetic fillings, keeping the cooler sleeper warm and cosy while the warmer sleeper stays dry and comfortable.

See our range or Organic NZ Wool and Standard NZ Wool Duvet Inners.

 

Do you use any chemicals to manufacture duvets and underlays?

Our organic duvet inners (doonas/comforters) and underlays are certified organic. They are not treated with chemicals. The wool is scoured and put through a carding machine to produce a wool batt.  This process cleans the wool of dirt, dust and vegetable matter (VM). It is then quilted and bound.  The wool and cotton casing are certified organic.

Will my wool duvet shed wool fibres?

Our organic duvet inners are all encased in finely woven cotton covers that do not allow fibres from the wool filling to migrate out. In the initial stages you may find a few loose fibres are dislodged from the pile but this will stop after a week or so.