Sunday, 24 January 2016

Best beds and bedroom tips for starting up a backpacker's lodge

At some point most of us have stayed in a backpacker’s lodge during our adventurous youth. In the past, backpacker’s lodges were synonymous with hippies and dreadlocked travellers. This is not the case today however. Backpacker’s lodges are now expected to be clean, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. There is a fine line between what makes a place somewhere you’d return to and recommend to your friends, and somewhere you’d rather sleep on the streets than ever step foot in again.

Here are some tips to consider for backpacker’s lodges to keep your guests coming back….

Wherever I lay my head, that’s my home
There is nothing better than a good night’s sleep, and very few things worse than a bad night’s sleep, especially when you are far from home. Make sure you kit your backpacker’s lodge out with good quality, comfortable beds. It is also essential to have decent quality bedding - linen, pillows and duvets or blankets. These seemingly unimportant things could be the difference between return customers and those who move on very quickly.

Size isn’t everything
Smaller rooms with fewer beds are much more inviting than massive dormitories. Huge rooms with lots of beds/guests can be very intimidating and quite off-putting. Offer guests a more intimate experience where they feel comfortable, as opposed to replicating boarding school conditions.

Bunking Up
While bunk beds are definitely a bonus when it comes to space saving, it is better to have single beds if you can. If bunk beds are the only option in terms of space, the best ones to go for are sturdy and made up of two separate pieces. This way the person on the bottom is not disturbed every time the person on the top bunk rolls over in his or her sleep. Also try to stay away from bunk beds with metal mesh bases as these are noisy and uncomfortable, and are also reminiscent of institutional sleeping aparatus.

Being cheap can cost more
If you opt for cheap mattresses, be aware that you will need to replace them more often, especially if you are expecting a high turnover of guests. It is a much better idea to buy a good quality mattress that will last longer, and will also give your guests a better night’s sleep.

Home away from home
Just because it’s a backpacker’s lodge it doesn’t mean that it has to be a hostel environment. Whether a dormitory or private room, try to create a pleasant, comfortable environment. Simple aesthetics don’t have to cost a fortune and add great value when it comes to atmosphere and ambience.

Lock it Down
All bedrooms, whether dorm rooms or private rooms should lock from the inside with a key - if there is a fire at night you want your guest to be able to get out easily without fiddling with a key.

Next to each bed there should also be a locker where guests can keep their valuables safe. Ideally the lockers should be big enough to fit a backpack in, but this is not always possible in the bedrooms as space becomes a valuable commodity. Make sure there are small lockers by each bed, and bigger lockers elsewhere.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Why You Should Be Massaging Your Feet Before Bed

Think ‘bedrooms’ and you think ‘sleep’! No point in having a beautiful bedroom and sleep is elusive, right? So Sleep is also a topic close to our hearts. We share this article below for some good advice.
Just about everybody all over the world has own set of bed time rituals – I know I do, and chances are you do too. People vary in terms of what exactly it is they have to do before they can comfortably lay down for the night, with some choosing to unwind with a soothing mug of camomile tea whilst others like to tire themselves out with a quick workout – sit-ups, push-ups and the like – before they switch off
Regardless of how you choose to spend those twilight hours, however, there is some compelling evidence that suggests you’d be doing yourself a favour to make a little extra room for a new activity – massaging your feet. Indeed, there are some who believe that setting aside 10-15 minutes every night to show your aching feet some love can be hugely beneficial, and they certainly make a pretty strong case.
The general benefits offered by massage have been established for some time now, and it is (quite rightly) considered by many to be one of the most effective forms of relaxation out there, if not the the most effective. Not only can a good massage induce feelings of significant comfort, but it also causes a whole host of nice things to happen to your insides. First and foremost, they can improve your metabolism, which is a huge factor in promoting healthy weight loss.
Not only that, but some proponents of massage therapy maintain that regular massage can be instrumental in the reduction of your body fat. They are also capable of stimulating the secretion of sweat, which is a vital process for removing waste products from the body and keeping everything under the hood running smoothly, as well as helping to keep up a healthy level of circulation by directing blood flow to the area being massaged.
Massage can also hugely benefit your body’s muscles, which are doubtlessly going to be in need of a little bit of TLC after a long and strenuous day. As well as bringing about a general feeling of relaxation, a properly-administered massage can also diffuse the acid build-up which causes muscle cramp and discomfort, and can even go so far as stimulating digestion to help settle your stomach before you lay down to go to sleep.
We’re sure you’ll agree, it’s an incredibly exhaustive list of benefits, and we feel it should be ample evidence to convince even the most staunchly anti-massage individuals to squeeze one in at the end of the day. After all, when it’s such a simple task that can easily be performed in the comfort of your own home, why would you not? If, for some reason, you remain unconvinced, the case becomes even more of a no-brainer when you consider some interesting facts about your feet.
Massage can be a powerful healing process, and there are few – if, indeed, any – parts of your body that need healing at the end of the day than your feet. If you work a job that requires you to be standing all day, or one that involves a lot of moving around, odds are your feet will be positively screaming out for some respite when nighttime rolls around.
It’s a little-known fact that your feet actually contain the most sensitive nerve endings and sweat glands per square centimetre, and many of these nerve endings actually extend all the way through your body to some of the major organs. It stands to reason, therefore, that by gently massaging these nerve endings you are indirectly benefiting the organs that they are associated with – so not only does massaging your aching feet feel great, but it’s also a time saving way to give your entire body a little TLC. With all that in mind, you shouldn’t be second-guessing whether regularly massaging your feet before bed is a good idea, and are now probably wondering how best to go about it. Well, that’s actually pretty simple too – all you need to do is firmly apply pressure to a spot on your sole with your thumb and rotate, moving intermittently to different spots over a 10-15 minute period. Easy!
Image sources are below each image.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Sleeping Positions To Stay Healthy: Ten Best And Worst Ways To Sleep During The Night

By: Gwen

10 - Sleeping on your back
Sleeping on your back keeps your neck, head, and spine in a neutral position without exerting any pressure on the back. This is a good sleeping position as recommended by doctors. Not only does it have a positive effect on the person’s spiritual being, but many doctors also agree that sleeping in savasana pose is good for neck and spine health. Sleeping Positions To Stay Healthy: Ten Best And Worst Ways To Sleep During The Night

This is because you have to keep your back straight and not force it into any contortions. In addition, back sleeping on an orthopaedic mattress gives your spine extra support. In fact, if you want to avoid waking up with a strained neck, you should sleep in this position every night, with or without a pillow. What’s more, spending all night with your face out will also lead to fewer wrinkles. Just make sure you don’t use too many pillows as your breathing may get affected.

9 - Sleeping on your side

Patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea or those who are prone to snoring should consider sleeping on their side.. Lying on the bed on your side is helpful as it aligns the spine and prevents backache. The downside to side-sleeping is that it can cause unwanted facial wrinkles. Pressing half of body on the mattress will also lead to saggy breasts so it’s not recommended to stay in this position all night. Sleeping Positions To Stay Healthy: Ten Best And Worst Ways To Sleep During The Night

Physicians encourage pregnant women to sleep on their left side for better blood flow to the heart, which is beneficial for both mother and baby. If you’re suffering from heartburn or indigestion, this side-sleeping will ease your conditions. At the same time, extra pressure can be put on the lungs and stomach and cause organ strain. Almost all side-sleepers wake up with numbness in their arms as this is one of the most common sleep positions. Only heavily pregnant women are also recommended to sleep in this position.

8 - Sleeping on your stomach
Sleeping on your stomach is to be avoided as it puts a lot of strain on your spine. The pressure it puts on your muscles and joints will lead to numbness as if you have pins and needles in your hands and legs. Sleeping Positions To Stay Healthy: Ten Best And Worst Ways To Sleep During The Night

Further strain is placed on your neck as it’s forced to be in a tight position and therefore, restricts breathing. When you’re sleeping in this position, your organs’ movements slow down or totally stop due to the pressure that’s exerted on them. Stomach-sleeping is only beneficial for heavy snorers as it helps them keep their upper airways open.

7 - Foetal position

Foetal position is when you’re curled up into a ball hugging your drawn-up knees. This is probably one of the worst positions to sleep as it can cause a number of problems with your neck and back. Sleeping like a foetus restricts breathing, especially if you’re a snorer or pregnant. In fact, the quality of your sleep will be severely affected due to breathing restriction. According to psychologists, foetal sleepers are more likely to worry and stress about their lives
. Sleeping Positions To Stay Healthy: Ten Best And Worst Ways To Sleep During The Night

During sleep, the back area has no compression, which leads to wear and tear in the discs. If you have to sleep in this position, take care not to misalign your neck and check that your pillow isn’t too high or low as it can further strain the muscles. The constant pressure on the base of the skull can radiate pain to the top of the head all the way down the back. You’ll only end up waking up with a sore neck and a tension headache in the morning.

6 - Pillow-supplemented position

To get a better rest with less spinal pain, consider the pillow-supplemented position. Even if you prefer sleeping on your back, you can easily place a pillow between your knees without straining your spine. Stomach sleepers should place the pillow under the hips for extra support to the joints. Whichever position you’re most comfortable with, you can easily use extra pillows for support.

. Sleeping Positions To Stay Healthy: Ten Best And Worst Ways To Sleep During The Night

This will result in improved sleep and much less discomfort. Placing extra pillows at either of your sides will provide hip support, especially if you lie on your back. For complete and painless relaxation, consider placing a pillow under your feet whilst you’re in this position. The main thing is to be able to fall asleep comfortably for at least 6 hours. By maintaining a comfortable position, your body will gain numerous health benefits and your sleep quality will surely improve.

5 - On your back with your arms up

This position is better known as “starfish” and is considered to be good for the back. Sleeping on your back with your arms up prevents facial wrinkles, but when you’re in an arms-down position, you’ll end up snoring or experiencing acid reflux. The other downside to starfish position is that it can put pressure on your shoulders so it’s best to use extra pillows in order to prevent discomfort.

. Sleeping Positions To Stay Healthy: Ten Best And Worst Ways To Sleep During The Night

Starfish sleepers who lie on their backs tend to be good listeners and always want to help people, but they’re uncomfortable with being the centre of attention. A recent clinical trial that involved 50 participants revealed that starfish sleepers are more likely to suffer from poor night’s sleep. However, the quality of these people’s sleep improved once a pillow was placed under each arm.

4 - Couples sleeping on the edge of the bed, facing in opposite directions

This is known as a pre-divorce position where estranged couples leave lots of space between themselves during sleep. Psychologists state that only 3 per cent of couples sleep over 40 inches apart, but this doesn’t mean the relationship is over. If there are only a couple of inches between you, it can simply mean that you need less body temperature and don’t wish to be touched, especially in the heat of the summer.

Sleeping Positions To Stay Healthy: Ten Best And Worst Ways To Sleep During The Night

The important thing is not so much about how far apart you’re both sleeping but how often you’re touching during the night. Up to 90 per cent of couples who sleep on the edge of the bed, facing away from each other are happy and content in their relationship, however, if this habit continues; you may need to re-think your relationship!

3 - Spooning

Spooning is perfect for reducing stress, but the downside is that it can cause aches and pains. A study conducted by psychologist James Hardwick revealed that physical touch, even while sleeping, minimises stress in both women and men. Spooning means you’re forcing your body into a position that increases aches and pains in the muscles.

Sleeping Positions To Stay Healthy: Ten Best And Worst Ways To Sleep During The Night

Lying on your side, facing away from your partner, can cause shoulder and back strain, while sleeping in your loved one’s arm may lead to misalignment of the neck and spine area. The next time you’re sharing your bed with your wife or husband, avoid spooning even if it means putting some distance between the two of you. Purchase two single-sized mattresses that are zipped together and make sure they’re not too firm or too soft.

2 - Couples facing each other

Sleeping next to your partner with your bodies facing each other allows for two of you to have some physical contact. You get full access to your partner’s chest, legs, and feet. This position also allows couples to keep an eye on one another or cuddle up and rest the chest or shoulder on each other.
Sleeping Positions To Stay Healthy: Ten Best And Worst Ways To Sleep During The Night

This particular position is obviously very intimate as it allows you to place your arms around your partner in a protective manner. It’s a healthy sleeping position due to its high level of intimacy. Sleeping face-to-face is a good opportunity to narrow the distance and connect with your loved one, so it’s comes highly recommended to try this position.

1 - You sleep back to back without touching

Sleeping back to back is the most popular position (55 per cent of couples prefer sleeping this way). Psychological studies state that it’s much more comfortable to sleep on your own than back to back with someone you love. Back to back sleepers are likely to be in good shape and affectionate but they can be afraid of intimacy. To lessen the distance between the two people, it’s best to keep less than an inch away from each other.

Sleeping Positions To Stay Healthy: Ten Best And Worst Ways To Sleep During The Night

A recent survey suggested that up to 80 per cent of couples who slept less than an inch away were content in their relationships. Those who have no physical contact whatsoever while sleeping may face problems. According to professor Richard Wiseman, 90 per cent of couples who maintained some sort of contact with one another led happy lives, compared to just 10 per cent of those that didn’t. People’s sleeping positions and habits allow psychologists to gain an insight into the state of their relationship and personality. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that if you sleep in a back to back position your relationship is in trouble. Sometimes after a hard day’s work, couples just want to fall into a deep sleep without any distractions.

Article source:
Image sources are below each image.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Pick The Best Sheets To Keep You Cool This Summer

Many of us don't swap out our bedding on our beds each season, but to prevent tossing and turning in the summer heat, it may be best to consider changing out your sheets for a set that won't make a hot night even worse. So ditch your flannel bedding, and read our tips below for choosing the best sheets to keep you cool and comfortable.
Choose Natural Fibers. Fabrics made from natural materials are the most breathable and will wick away perspiration, keeping you cool and dry, versus synthetic fabrics which don't allow ventilation. (Studies suggest that the average person sweats one pint of perspiration throughout the night. Ick!) Cotton or cotton blends, including percale, sateen, and jersey are affordable, comfortable and durable. The best quality cotton sheets are made from Egyptian cotton, which describes the smooth yarns that they're woven from, which are grown in Egypt. Of course silk sheets regulate temperature well and feel great on the skin, but often come with a high price tag. Linen breathes well and has a natural cooling effect, but be careful because it wrinkles very easily.
Consider The Weight. Although sateen and silk sheets are light in weight they tend to be insulating and trap heat because they drape closely to your body. While percale are heavier and crisper, this may be preferable in the summer months as they allow for more circulation. Also, heavy weight sheets are more durable over time.
Don't Get Caught Up In The Thread Count Hype. While most people think that the higher the thread count, the more decadent the sheets are, this is not always the truth. Also, sheets with a very high thread count don't let air pass as freely, trapping heat underneath. We suggest choosing a set with a 300-400 thread count for the summer. Also, if possible, it's best to feel the fabric first-hand, as this is the best test to how they will feel against your skin all night long.
Pick A Light Color. For the summer months, choose light colored sheets for your beds that reflect rather than absorb the light that comes in through your bedroom windows during the day. White or light colored sheets are easy to bleach as well. But remember when laundering your sheets use lukewarm water and avoid drying on high heat to keep them in the best condition. Better yet, dry your sheets on a line outdoors for that amazing sunshine smell.