I was provided a Big Fig Mattress to conduct a review and share with all of you. All opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure policy for more information on gifted/sponsored posts.
Do you ever notice how much of a difference a great night’s sleep can make on almost every aspect of your life? Personally, when I don’t get a good night’s sleep, my body doesn’t function properly. From performing better on my work, to being in a better mood, to just feeling better (adios, aches and pains). Over the past year or so, I have been sucked into learning more about sleep, how I sleep, what this means for my body – all of it.
After doing a ton of research, lots of trial and error, I wanted to share some of the tips I have found worked best for me in hopes that they help you to live the best and healthiest life.
#1 – Limit technology in the bedroom
I’ll be honest, saying this is a lot easier said than done. But, it sure makes a difference to remove technology from your sleeping haven. The blue light that is admitted from computers, televisions, iPads, or the biggest culprit, cell phones, can have a huge impact on your circadian rhythm (aka. the cycle that helps to regulate your body’s impulse to fall asleep). By limiting the amount of blue light that hits your eyes, the better resting your eyes will feel.
#2 – Pick the perfect mattress
I cannot tell you how important this is. After sleeping on tons of hotel beds, there is nothing like going back home and sleeping in my own bed. There are a lot of reasons being in my bed is wonderful, but mostly it’s because I notice a huge shift in how refreshed I feel the next morning.
In September, my Big Fig Mattress arrived and I cannot begin to tell you what a difference this mattress has made on my sleep. This mattress was designed with a bigger figure in mind (although I think anyone at any size would absolutely love to sleep on it because of it’s high-quality design).
Gone are the days of having the mattress sag from sleeping in the same spot (seriously, my bed for this had a nice indentation from where I frequently slept. I guess we can say I have a routine there?!? :P) Since sagging is one of the biggest complaints, Big Fig took extra care to design a mattress with extra tufts, layers of padding and so much more to prevent it from occurring and they ran extensive testing to prove it.
According to Big Fig’s testing, the mattress showed little signs of change to the height, comfort or appearance after simulating a 350lb person sleeping on it for 20 years. Most mattress companies only test for 240lbs over 10 years.
The ordering process and delivery could not have been easier. After deciding on what size I needed for my room, I placed the order with White Glove Delivery service. While Big Fig has Free Shipping & Returns, I chose to go with the White Glove Delivery service they offer since I live in the back of a large apartment complex and would not be able to get it from the front door of the building to my apartment by myself. Within a few days, I received a call from the Big Fig team to schedule my delivery. Honestly, it was one of the easiest and most pleasant phone conversations to schedule something for my apartment.
Given my crazy travel schedule, it took a couple of weeks for us to find a date that worked. I was getting more and more excited for it to arrive and then, finally, it was delivery day eve. The day before, the team had called to confirm the delivery and let me know that it would be arriving within a certain timeframe which made planning my day so much easier. About 15 minutes before that delivery window was supposed to start, I received a phone call from the guys delivering it. They let me know that they would be at my apartment in about 45 minutes. I really appreciated being notified they were on their way, so I could start moving my old mattress and bed frame out of the way for them to put the new one in the perfect spot.
The delivery team was super pleasant and experienced in moving the mattress into my apartment. The mattress and foundation arrived in great packaging which kept them in pristine condition for when they arrived. The mattress itself was in a green canvas bag with handles. (Total insider tip – be sure to keep the green bag if you are planning to move anytime soon. Because it has a zipper, you can reuse it to keep your mattress clean and make it a bit easier when you move).
As soon as they finished setting it up (all of about 10 minutes), I immediately jumped right on to experience it for myself for the first time. And I immediately knew this mattress was so different from the ones I’ve had in the past – it was definitely heavier and more sturdy.
Since it wasn’t even 10AM yet, I had to wait a full 12 hours until it was time for bed to go to sleep for the first time (although looking back, I maybe should have considered taking a nap that day…). After my first night’s sleep on the mattress, I was extremely surprised at how much more refreshed I woke up feeling and how my knee (where I usually have pain from a previous injury) was not as stiff as it usually was when I first wake up in the morning.
The only thing I wished was different was the how soft the top of mattress was, but I think a lot of this has to do with my previous sleeping habits. My previous mattresses have always been on the softer side (cue, the sagging) – I like to feel like I am being absorbed into my bed and so this was an adjustment to the Big Fig mattress since it’s on the firmer side (and for good reason – Big Fig placed 50% more coiled springs in this mattress than traditional ones to ensures that it won’t sag). After a few nights, I decided to add a mattress pad on top of it to give me that familiar feeling without sacrificing the support and great night sleep that my new Big Fig mattress was giving me. Who knows – over time, I may be more comfortable sleeping directly on Big Fig without the mattress pad? And with a 20 year repair and warranty, I have plenty of time to find out.
Overall, I am so happy with my Big Fig Mattress and truly believe that one of the main contributing factors to having a great night’s sleep is having a mattress that keeps you cool, supported and more comfortable. Over the past few months, I firmly believe that I have slept deeper, dreamed more and had more energy throughout the day. While I started doing some of the other things on this list at the same time, I firmly believe that my Big Fig mattress has contributed the most to my more delightful personality first thing in the morning.
If you are interested in getting your own Big Fig mattress, be sure to use the promo code, EMILYSGSB to save at least $100 off your purchase!
#3 – Monitor your sleeping patterns
While this may contradict with exactly what I said above since it mainly involves using technology, this has absolutely changed how I understand how other tips on this list have impacted my sleep. These technologies track everything from how long you were asleep to your breath rate throughout the night to how long you are in REM (aka, dream) sleep. Some apps and technology devices even have an analytic capability to provide recommendations on how to improve your sleep.
#4 – Utilize calming essential oils to relax
Essential oils have become a staple in my life. I am using them to cure everything. Remember the scenes in my Big Fat Greek Wedding where the Dad uses Windex to treat absolutely everything under the sun – that’s totally me and essential oils. Personally, I believe essential oils are far more therapeutic than Windex and just putting a few drops of lavender oil in a diffuser or on the back of my neck helps to trigger my mind that it is time to slow down and unwind.
#5 – Clear your mind
Spending just 5 minutes to sit down and clear my head at night has done wonders for my sleep. It helps me to breathe away the worries from the day and keep it blank as I rest my head. I practice meditation through the Calm app. They have fantastic mediations for any sort of struggle you are going through, even relaxing to go to sleep.
Most of the time, mediation is just what I need, but sometimes I need something extra to help clear my mind. If mediation didn’t work, I sit down and write all of my worries for the evening and document my to do list for the next day. For some reason, the act of writing these stressors down and getting them out of my head is just what I need to have a great night’s sleep.
#6 – Read or listen to a bed time story
Reading has always been something that I enjoy. It gives me an escape from reality to focus on this world that I get to imagine in my head. By reading right before bed, I find myself focusing more on the story and less of the stressors in my life.
Another great thing about the Calm app is that they have bedtime stories which are extremely soothing and makes me feel like I am a kid again. Some of the stories are narrated by celebrities, others by comforting voices, but all of them will have you asleep before you get to the happy ending.
#7 – Get a good workout in
Not only does getting a strong workout in help keep my heart strong, but it also helps me to have more energy throughout the day because I am sleeping better. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to fall asleep after going to yoga or how the night seemed to just fly by after a sweat-filled spin class? I’m sure there is a ton of science that explains all of this, but I have no idea what most of them mean, so I’m just speaking from experience.
#8 – Rest your head on the right pillow
Not all pillows are equal. And what works for me will not always work for you. Depending on how you sleep – on your back, stomach, side – and your pillow preference, the perfect pillow is out there for you. Personally, I am a side sleeper and like to have a firmer and more supported pillow, so I use a thick foam one. There are a couple of companies out there that offer quizzes which help you figure out which one is right for you or customize the pillow that will meet all of your sleeping needs.
#9 – Drink something warm
Hot (decaffeinated) tea, warm milk, whatever your poison is, drinking a warm beverage an hour before bedtime can be extremely soothing. Whenever I have a few sips of hot water, I immediately start yawning. Again, I’m sure there is a scientific reason for to occur, but I can’t help out much in that arena…
#10 – Chill the room + heat your body
You may have heard that chilling the room will help to lower your body temperature which helps you to fall asleep and stay asleep longer. While I am a firm believer in having a cool room to sleep in because I love snuggling underneath a blanket, I also have found that using a heating pad or hot compress on sore muscles (personally, it’s my lower back or neck/shoulder) as I start to unwind. By doing this, I feel more relaxed, my muscles feel like butter and there is nothing holding me back from dreaming about sunshine and rainbows.
What are your tips for catching those zzzz’s without having to count sheep? Let me know in the comments below – I love to try them out!