Through our years of studying the science of sleep we here at Millbrook Contract Beds have come to understand that one of the major hindrances to a good night’s sleep is stress.
It’s very easy these days to become overwhelmed by the stresses and burdens of daily living from life at work to life at home, from managing finances to meeting obligations, and so forth. Surveys conducted last year revealed that people were more stressed and worried about their living situations than ever before, in part because of the recession and poor economic outlook while the cost of living slowly rises around them.
Stress is essentially triggered by a biochemical reaction in the brain releasing hormones that provoke a call to action to the body (much in the same way how fear is experienced) leading to increased heart rate, adrenaline flow and muscle tension. Stress inhibits the ability to be ready for sleep. If you are not relaxed, you cannot fall asleep. It’s as simple as that.
Here are some of the best tips for how to de-stress yourself before sleep:
The first thing to understand is that medications are not the answer to the problem. People seem to think that if they take pills to unburden their pressures and stresses that it will do the trick. Medication can be an inhibitor for anxiety and depression but it does not prevent nor cure the causes behind them.
Are you stressed about work? Money? Relationships? Do you feel pressures from those around you? Are you worried about your future? Do you have concerns for your own health?
Once you establish the root causes of your worry and stress you can do something about it. The struggle is to identify what it is that is making you unhappy. It’s not always obvious or easy.
Start tasking breathing exercises for yourself in the lead-up to bedtime. Regulating your breathing patterns go a long way to easing tension in your body. Your breathing cycles eventually take on a slower exhalation pattern making sleep more viable. Fast breathing raises alertness in the body and makes sleeping a difficult proposition while breathing too slow the brain becomes restless because it is not getting enough oxygen. Breathe in and out with deep inhalation and exhalation and you will feel your stress levels reduce almost immediately. Try to count the seconds as you breathe in and out so you can focus your mind on the timing between each breath. It takes a while to regulate your breathing so do this for at least 10-15 minutes.
Other techniques to relax yourself for sleep include progressive relaxation where you work your way up your body to relax starting from the feet along the legs and then the torso and arms reaching the neck and shoulders until you reach your head.
There are other de-stressing methods that involve warm baths and exercises that help to stretch the body and relax the muscles. Try out one of these techniques to see if it helps.
The important thing is getting the sleep you need for the day ahead. Millbrook Contract Beds believes that the beds themselves make a big difference too. Quality beds are designed (or at least should be) to relax the sleeper and put them in a state of peace and comfort so they may fall into a deep sleep.
Millbrook Contract Beds isn’t just about comfortable, quality beds. The Millbrook team is obsessed with dreaming and sleeping – never on the job! – and we love exploring the nature of those weird and wonderful things. They are so alluring, mysterious and surreal that they capture our imaginations. We dream every night and yet we barely understand the phenomenon of dreaming.
Dreams represent the ultimate mystery for many of us. They have the power to excite and terrify us and they subconsciously shape the way that we live our lives. Dreams are amazing things and one of the most amazing things about dreams has to be lucid dreaming. Whether you’re lucidly dreaming from a contract bed in a hotel or a cosy bed in your own home, the concept is extraordinary.
Lucid dreaming is the ability to consciously take control of your dream as it happens. Taking control of your dream like this allows you to sculpt the world of your dream and make it work for you. Imagine an Inception-style adventure where you’re growing a world around you, raising skyscrapers, giant canyons and mountains or even transforming purple skies. That’s not just an exciting concept for Millbrook Contract Beds, it’s irresistibly tempting for everyone who has ever woken up wanting more from their dreams.
In a lucid dream, you become completely and consciously aware that you are asleep and dreaming. This awareness leads your mind to realise that the dream is no longer an abstract collection of impulses and thought-processes. From that point of realisation, providing nothing wakes you up, you know that you are dreaming and you can turn the dream into a fantasy playground.
People use lucid dreams to achieve their deepest desires. A popular theme in lucid dreaming is the power of flight. As people realise that they are dreaming, they take to the skies like Superman and fly through vast cities. Flying is the ultimate freedom and being able to achieve it in your dreams is nothing short of miraculous. From the comfort of your Millbrook bed, you can fly across vast oceans, fly through canyons or soar up to the top of the tallest buildings. The exhilaration of flight is a popular and basic desire in millions of people all over the world, especially the comic book fan-boys and girls that idolise airborne superheroes.
Not everyone uses lucid dreaming to realise their childhood dreams. A far greater proportion of lucid dreamers use lucid dreams to indulge in the ultimate fantasy behaviour. Sexual lucid dreams are a place to innocently act out your ultimate fantasies without harming anyone. These types of dreams are more common in younger men and decrease with age; the opposite is true in women, where women experience more of these dreams as they get older. If you do start to indulge in these lucid dreams, don’t blame Millbrook Contract Beds when your partner finds out!
This is a very interesting article on how to start to practice lucid dreaming using mental exercises. Give them a go and you could be lucidly dreaming like the best of them. The Contract Beds team at Millbrook is already practicing…
When you go through the process of replacing your contract beds, or perhaps your contract bed mattress, it is easy to get someone to remove your old mattresses to make way for the new ones, but what happens to the ones you’ve thrown out?
The sad fact is, unless you care, you will find that many old mattresses become part of landfills and in a society that is increasingly concerned with the environment and looking after it, it’s probably time to consider the more positive effects of recycling and ensuring that whoever removes your old mattresses will recycle them.
As well as being more ecologically aware as a hotelier, there is also something to be said for the impact and positive image this might create for your hotel and brand as well. If your clients care about the environment and they see that you do too – then loyalty will not be far away which in turn will obviously have a positive effect on your business.
Landfills – Your old mattress and it’s new home
The downside of a mattress in a landfill is mostly associated with how they might absorb chemicals that can harm the earth around them, but perhaps more crucially the fact that many mattresses are not biodegradable means that slowly over time, they take up a lot of space and never go away.
Imagine a world in the future where all these old contract bed mattresses are still taking up space and damaging the ecology of an area? If you have children you may well want to consider the impact on their future too.
So let’s assume we choose to recycle
Recycling any mattress will always be a better option to putting it in a landfill. Mattresses sadly aren’t easy to recycle but it is possible. With the right tools then a mattress can be stripped back to the core parts and then bailed. Once this is done then the mattress can be reprocessed and end up back in a supply chain. The end result being that none of it ends up in a landfill, we recycle the materials in a positive way and most importantly protect the environment for now and in the future.
If you’re thinking of changing your contract beds or contract bed mattresses, think twice before assuming they will end up recycled, as a question now could save the world later on – making you feel good and of course giving you something to shout about when you promote your hotel’s unique selling points!
As a company that takes sleep very seriously, it’s important to note that we’re now in to week three of the Sleep Council’s National Bed Month. If you’re a contract bed owner, then you may be interested to know what it means and what you can do to make the most of it as an opportunity for you to see how you can benefit from it.
National Bed Month has been running for over 20 years now and was created by the Sleep Council in order to promote the benefits and of course health implications of a comfortable bed.
So, just like a spring clean, if you’re a hotel owner, a healthcare establishment or even a university, now is the time to see if your contract beds are up to scratch!
We’ve written many blogs before on upkeep and care of your contract bed, but here’s a few of the essentials inspired by the wonderful Sleep Council that you can be doing to ensure your beds are as comfortable as they can be.
1. How old are your contract beds? If you can’t remember and they’re over seven years old, then it’s probably time to look at updating them.
2. Can you look at your contract bed mattress and say it looks good without the sheets? If you have a mattress that’s looking tired or even dirty, there’s no point trying to clean it if it’s old. It’s much better to change it.
3. How are the springs and filling in the mattress? Does it feel like a comfortable cushion or can your guests feel the springs when they lay on it?
4. Do you have guests complaining of bad sleep at the moment? If you’re getting regular comments it’s unlikely to be the guests but your contract bed!
5. How does the contract bed frame / divan look? Is it looking fresh or worn?
6. Can you hear the springs move when you put pressure on it? Again, if you’re hearing something then it’s time to change your contract bed!
These are a few of the essentials that can guide you towards finding the best night’s sleep for your guests and you should not ignore the signs if you see them.
A good contract bed will enhance your guest’s comfort and if they’re happy when they’re sleeping they’ll be much happier when they wake.
Many hoteliers in particular forget or perhaps even choose to forget the affect their beds have on their guests, but if you want to check out why you should look at your beds during National Bed Month, do a simple search in Google for ‘hotel reviews beds’ or ‘hotel reviews sleep’.
You will see an array of reviews that all focus on how good or bad a guest’s sleep has been which should indicate just how important it is to ensure your contract beds are beautiful, comfortable and perfect for your guests!
When it comes to guests sleeping in hotels you’ll find that they often wonder who slept on their beds before they got there. It’s just one of those little niggles that lingers in the back of their minds which cannot necessarily ever be quashed. Millbrook Contract Beds take a closer look at the state of hotel guestrooms and the contract bedroom furniture within.
Did you know that the bedding and pillows on these beds have been identified as sources for bacteria build-up? This happens over the course of time (years even) especially if the bedding is never changed for new bedding on a month-by-month basis. Fresh bedding is a key starting place to address hygiene standards.
This is of course something that you might see implemented in high-end hotels because it is within their budget to do so. For small boutique hotels it might not be financially feasible to buy new bedding every month or two. However, you can’t really put a price on exemplary guest service. Well, you can to some extent, but to people staying at a hotel they expect certain standards to be met – and this means those demands need to be met if business is to continue being fruitful.
Providing hotel contract beds and rooms that live-up to these standards make all the difference. The goal is to give guests a healthy sleep and try to elate their worries about hygiene and sanitation. Keeping the room clean should be a priority and attended to on a regular basis. This is the mainstay of many hotels in terms of their quality and consistency.
Hotels tend to employ cleaning crews/maid services for vacuuming and disinfecting but on the grand scale of things most hotels only actually perform deep cleaning routines roughly four times a year on average. Most unsuspecting hotel guests aren’t prepared for the invisible problems that can be found in a hotel.
Although experts and studies say the risk of getting sick from hotel germs is relatively low hotels should still do their utmost to reduce these problems as much as possible…
—Hotel bedspreads are typically the most germ-laden items in a hotel room. These need to be cleaned after each guests.
—The use of sanitary wipes and disinfectant sprays should be used every day t wipe down surfaces and areas that come into a lot of human contact (phones, remotes, handles).
—Make sure your staff are fully prepared and are wearing suitable attire including sanitary gloves.
—Look for rust-coloured stains on sheets and bedspreads. It can be a sign that bedbugs are present.
This is all easily doable for a hotel to achieve; all it requires is a degree of tender love and care. Your guests will appreciate the efforts.
The fact that Millbrook offers contract beds that are comfortable is all down to the mattress but if you opened one up, what would you find?
In a contract bed mattress you will have interior springs which come in two types. The open coil mattress and the pocket spring mattress. Both offer comfort and luxury at different levels though.
An open coil mattress on a Millbrook Contract Bed is comprised of lots of individual springs that are specially joined together with wire. As a general guide, you can expect there to be between two hundred and eighty and three hundred and twenty five springs in a five foot mattress.
For lighter use, this is ideal and offers a good amount of support and of course value for any contract bed buyer.
With a Millbrook pocket sprung mattress you will find even more luxury and comfort as this form of manufacture is generally considered to be the very best. Each spring in the mattress is actually contained within a singular fabric pocket and therefore, will move independently to the other springs inside. This is particularly comfortable because it means excellent support for the spine and longevity in terms of shelf life.
The spring counts within a mattress on a Millbrook Contract Bed will range between eight hundred through to three thousand and of course, as you would expect, the highest quality spring units are joined in two tiers, which tends to offer the very best support and comfort for the sleeper.
Of course there’s a lot more to a contract bed from Millbrook than this, such as traditional hand-side stitching, which essentially joins the outside springs to the border at the bottom and top, which is an excellent way to prevent what we call ‘roll-out’. This is by far one of the most skilled and intensive parts of the manufacturing process, but it is most certainly worth it as it means the sleeping area of the bed goes right to the edge.
As always, we’re proud to offer over sixty years of experience in the supply of contract beds and mattresses so if you’re looking for some impartial advice on your next contract bed do contact us.
We’ve all been there at one time or another… a pair of long days with not much time between the two of them to get some shuteye. Many of us have even gone without sleep for a day or two, for some reason or another, before it catches up with us. But how long is it possible to go without the comfort of sleep for? And just what happens to us when we lose our sleep? Millbrook investigates…
The amount of sleep recommended for a restful night varies between age groups and between sources; most, however, agree that between 7 and 7.5 hours is a general optimum outside of childhood. This means we spend over a third of a 24 hour day asleep… think of everything you could get done in that extra 7 hours if you didn’t need to sleep! It isn’t as simple as that, though – for regular sleepless nights, there are some hefty prices to pay.
There are a few fairly obvious results of not sleeping – drowsiness being the most. Sleep-deprived individuals also have impaired motor functionality and reaction speeds, making complex or risky activities such as driving more and more unsafe. Still think it’s fine to miss a sleep and get behind the wheel? In one study, sleep-deprived drivers were put through the same testing course as drunk drivers and were outperformed. Driving while tired is really that dangerous.
In 1959 an American DJ called Peter Tripp stayed awake for 201 hours, breaking the then-record for wakefulness. That’s more than 8 days of no sleep! He did, however, feel quite a few unfortunate and adverse effects during this event. Not only did he go through all of the above, but towards the last few days he started to experience hallucinations and delusions of paranoia – he saw cobwebs, mice and kittens that weren’t there… he searched through his drawers for money that never existed… he even accused a technician of dropping a hot electrode in his shoe! His frankly scary experience showed the world how bad things can really get if you don’t get your 40 winks!
It’s not just extreme doses of wakefulness that can take their toll though. A perhaps less obvious – although equally logical – symptom of long-term sleeplessness is obesity. While you sleep, your body is using a lot less energy than if you were awake; for a start, you’re less likely to walk around while asleep! Thinking processes and movement all require energy, and this comes from the food you eat. People who sleep less use energy for a greater portion of the day than those who sleep more – therefore they need to eat more to keep those energy levels up. This is less likely to happen from a single sitting, though, but if those long days are maintained you might well find yourself piling on some unnecessary pounds.
Either way, sleep is one of the necessities of life. Regardless of whether you think you need it or not, your body and mind just don’t function the same way without it.
As usual, Millbrook Contract Beds is always happy to help you find the best beds for your guests – whether you’re a hotel or an academic institution. We are about sleep and your satisfaction!
As the competition for Britain’s Worst Bed 2012 comes to an end at Millbrook Beds, we take a look back over the entries and the very nature of what made so many of these beds bad!
It all started when we wondered just how bad people’s beds could get if gone un-flipped, unmaintained and unchanged for years and years. The shelf-life for any bed should be no longer than 7-10 years maximum. Almost a decade of comfort is a pretty impressive thing to get from any purchase. We’re particularly proud of our ranges too.
But we still wanted to know about how bad people have let their beds get! To encourage people to let us into their bedrooms and under their covers (so to speak) we thought of giving away an amazing prize for the person we found to have the very worst; a £2000 bed from one of our collections.
We asked the question last year: Are you the unlucky Brit who wakes up on the wrong side of the UK’s worst bed every single morning? All we required people to do was to share a picture of their nightmare beds on the Millbrook Facebook Page or email us a photo at: email@example.com telling us why they deserved a new bed.
We wanted to see the worst of the worst – from broken bunks to mouldy mattresses. And we got ‘em!
Paula Evans won Britain’s Worst Bed 2011 with this entry:
So for the 2012 edition of Britain’s Worst Bed we thought; why not get our Twitter friends involved with this competition too?
And so it began; three long months of entries coming from all over the UK across Facebook and Twitter. Some of the entries were truly awful (in the best way) and reminded of us just how much this competition was needed!
These are some of the beds we were sent over the past few months that have caught our eye for all the right and wrong reasons:
This is a deflating sight – a blow-up bed as the main bed in the house! Poor Helen Jarvis:
Jo Marie’s bed entry proved to be a bit of an ugly sight for sore eyes:
Katy Benet gave us all angles on her bed that looks like it is falling apart from every corner:
Then again Sandy Shaheen Yousef could give many of the contenders a run for their money with this entry. How many times do we have to say “slat base beds are useless!”
There were of course many other entries submitted but we could only list a few of them here. The winner of Britain’s Worst Bed was indeed Carla Maloney, who we felt really deserved a new Millbrook Bed and we’re currently making it right now. Her entry was a bit of a shocker:
Read more from Millbrook Contract Beds on our blog or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for industry information and some thought provoking topics, designed to help you navigate your business through 2012.
For many hoteliers, having the very best in terms of star classification ratings is extremely important. And during what is a tough economic time for many businesses, it is now more important than ever for you to maintain your level of customer service and comfort to guests.
The star rating system is an extremely effective way of telling potential guests about the standards that you have as a hotelier and can be the difference between what is considered ‘okay’ to what is deemed as ‘luxurious’.
Of course décor is extremely important along with the very best service and food, but the contract beds will also be important as that’s where your guests will be sleeping and indeed, any reviewer will be getting some shut-eye.
In terms of comfort, you can opt for lower budget contract beds, which will offer a quality of sleep that will be welcomed and certainly with Millbrook Contract Beds you will find the quality at this level to be extremely good. But for superior levels of ratings and luxurious guest comfort, you will need to invest to get the best.
The good news is that should you be thinking of improving your contract beds in your rooms, a mid to high range contract bed from Millbrook has longevity and is therefore a very good investment if you’re seriously looking at improving your star rating.
Ratings look at pretty much every aspect of what you do and how you do it, right down to the type of towels that you use, but surprisingly perhaps while many hoteliers maintain a high level of service across most aspects of their hotel, they often forget about the beds.
It seems that there is an assumption that a new bed and mattress (especially if it’s really cheap) is going to suffice. However, there are safety implications between using commercial beds and the types of beds purchased by the general public. It is these tiny details that hoteliers at times can get lost with, but that does not mean they should be ignored.
So, if you’re in the market for a contract bed, try not to opt for the cheapest if you’re serious about getting rated during 2012. Go for real comfort as an investment in your establishment’s future and you will be surprised at the difference it will make to what you achieve.
We all like a good night’s sleep and expect it when we stay in a hotel, as every little detail is important to us. We do not expect a bad back or neck ache, from an old contract bed and mattress that is past its use by date.
This will be even more important as we head towards the Olympics this year, when you can really optimise on people visiting the UK to watch the events, especially if you see it as a chance to really prove what you are and how you really excel against your competitors.
If you want advice on contract beds or you are preparing for updates in readiness to the Olympics or a star rating, do contact us for some impartial advice.
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