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Ensure Back to Campus Success with Quality Sleep

Before we know it, the days will get cooler, the leaves will turn, and it’ll be time for the kids to head back to campus.

When outfitting your favorite student’s room, you want to do everything you can to ensure a positive and successful experience. For this to happen, quality rest is crucial. That’s because studies show sleep plays a vital role in memory retention and critical thinking, both necessary contributors to scholastic achievement. In fact, according to Harvard Magazine “…(when) you have to synthesize connections between facts, then missing that night of sleep can be disastrous. Your ability to do critical thinking takes a massive hit—just as with alcohol, you’re knocking out the frontal-cortex functions.”

Unfortunately, in addition to noisy dorm room neighbors, there can be a lot of factors preventing your budding Einstein from getting the sleep he or she needs.

Common Sleep Inhibitors

Dorms and off-campus apartments can be messy. With a new world of experiences, friends, and classes, often cleaning takes a back seat to student life. Dirty mattresses and beds can lead to allergy-like symptoms, making many itchy, sneezy, and not well rested. And since you have no control over their environment, the best thing you can do is set your favorite student up for sleep success. Here’s a look at some of the factors that can impact sleep quality:

  1. Bedroom allergens and irritants. Dust is all around us. And what is dust? One speck of dust might contain tiny bits of dead cockroaches, pet dander, human skin cells, and mold spores. Over time, dust particles can collect and accumulate in our mattresses and pillows. Particularly if your child is an allergy sufferer, this can lead to many uncomfortable nights when he or she isn’t getting the sleep necessary to succeed.
  2. Dust mites. Dust mites feed on dead skin cells and pet dander. If that’s not gross enough, they leave feces all over our beds and pillows which contain a powerful allergen. People who are allergic to dust mite feces can feel like they have a never-ending cold, asthma-like symptoms, a runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing. Needless to say, this isn’t conducive to quality sleep.
  3. Bed Bugs. The nasty big brothers to dust mites are bed bugs. They are much larger (about the size of an apple seed), and instead of eating our dead, discarded skin cells, they come out and eat us (our blood, specifically), leaving itchy welts. It should go without saying that bed bugs won’t help your kid get a good night’s rest.
  4. Other mattress contaminants. As stated in our blog article “Your Mattress is Gaining Weight…Really,” we discuss how over time, all the irritants mentioned above, plus sweat, spills, mold, and mildew, can cause your mattress to become up to 90 pounds heavier over a 10-year period. Not only does this make the mattress harder to lift, but also makes it a haven for sleep depriving allergens.

Sleep Solutions

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to prevent common sleep inhibitors, and in turn, ensure restful nights (and higher grades). Here are some tips on how to create a healthy sleep environment:

  1. Install mattress protection.  An effective way to minimize allergens is to put a protective barrier around your mattress that prevents allergens and insects from getting in or out. A mattress encasement, depending on its features, can also guard against spills, which in turn prevents allergy-inducing mold and mildew from growing inside the mattress. Thanks to high-tech fabrics, these products offer the soft feel and breathability of cotton and don’t make a crunchy sound when you move around.
  2. Install pillow protection.  For a comprehensive solution, you can also place your pillows in protective encasements. These will offer all the same benefits of your mattress encasement.
  3. Regularly clean and dust.  Impress upon students the importance of routinely washing their bedding and using the hottest permissible dryer temperature. making sure your bedding dries for at least 30 minutes. Also, regularly vacuum carpets (preferably using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter), dust the furniture, plus sweep and mop hardwood floors.
  4. Maintain ideal temperature and humidity.  Dust mites, mold, and mildew thrive in warm and humid environments. Not only does keeping a cooler temperature and lower humidity make it harder for those allergens to survive, it’s more comfortable students too. Typically, many suggest a temperature around 65 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity between 30 and 50%.
  5. Buy new pillows.  Since typical polyester pillows are relatively inexpensive, many recommend replacing them every six months. Along with tossing worn pillow with compacted padding, you’re discarding half a year’s worth of accumulated allergens. If your student is using a memory foam pillow and/or are putting the pillow in a protective encasement, it can last a lot longer…up to 18 months.

The following Protect-A-Bed products offer proven protection from allergens, helping ensure better rest for dorm and off-campus dwellers alike. These are a great way to set your student up for healthy, clean and restful sleep.

  1. AllerZip Mattress Encasement - Twin XL 9" - $89.99 – Stops allergens, dust mites, bed bugs and more.
  2. AllerZip Pillow Protectors - Standard 2-pack $25.99 Shields your pillow from sweat, liquids, allergens, bed bugs and dust mites
  3. Allergen Proof Mattress - $599.99 SALE $399.99 - Built in protection from allergens and spills, plus premium support and comfort
  4. SNOW Pillow - $89.99 - Dissipates heat up to 10 times faster than cotton, keeping you cool and comfortable
  5. Student Kit - Twin XL $119.99 – Protects mattress, pillows and stops allergens in one kit
  6. Premium Mattress Protector - Twin XL $65.99 – Spill protection and a dust mite barrier with terry cloth comfort

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