Say yes to the rest: A new mattress may help you sleep better

I’m not getting older. I just need a new mattress. That’s my story anyway, and I’m sticking to it as I wait and wait, for the mattress I ordered several weeks ago to land in my bedroom and transform my cranky back into the one I took for granted as a teenager.

I’ve been looking for some hard evidence to support my impetuous act, based solely on a recent two-night stay in a nice hotel (read about that experience here),

I grilled some experts and looked at a couple studies to try to get some solid facts in a notoriously squishy business.

If you can believe the few small studies, which are dubiously sponsored by groups like the International Sleep Products Association and the Sleep to Live Institute, a new mattress can do a lot to relieve back pain and provide a better night’s sleep.

One study out of the University of Oklahoma had 59 healthy men and women with “minor musculoskeletal sleep-related pain and compromised sleep” record their sleep quality after spending 28 nights on their old mattresses (average mattress age was 9.5 years) and 28 nights on a new medium-firm mattress.

The new bedding system reduced back pain 48 percent and improved sleep quality 55 percent, according to the study. However, the promise of getting to keep the mattress set might have caused participants to overstate the benefits, researchers noted.

In another study, researchers at Duke University had folks sleep test seven mattresses of varying firmness. They used sensors to measure how much sleepers tossed and turned, a sign of sleep quality. (Less movement is better.) They concluded that different mattresses suited different people better, and that when folks found the one that best fit them, they woke up with less pain and said they slept better.

“A bad mattress won’t damage your back, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


What is the most popular theme park ride in America?

What’s the most popular theme park attraction in America?

How can anyone tell? The trouble with determining which theme park ride or show is the most “popular” is that the word “popular” can mean different things to different people. Is the most popular attraction the one that the most people ride on a given day? Or is it the one that people enjoyed the most?

Or is the most popular attraction the one that draws the greatest number of people to visit the park?

At Disneyland, the high-capacity boat rides It’s A Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean put through the largest numbers of guests on any given day. But I don’t know anyone who goes to Disneyland for the express purpose of riding Small World anymore. For most Disneyland visitors, that’s just a cool, dark break in the middle of the day, even if you are taking the risk that your 15 minutes of relief will leave you with ride’s theme song stuck in your head for hours.

So, to me, calling Small World one of Disneyland’s most popular rides is too much of a stretch. Heck, by the “number of riders” standard, the most popular ride at Disneyland actually might be the tram ride from the parking garages, as more people go on that in any given day than either of the park’s big boat rides.

So what about enjoyment? Disneyland officials have been insisting that the park’s new Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction has been scoring some of the highest marks ever on the park’s guest satisfaction surveys. But my readers on have been rating Pirates, Indiana Jones Adventure and Haunted Mansion as Disneyland’s top rides for years now. The new Millennium Falcon ride doesn’t even crack the park’s top 10 for them.

But I also don’t …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


Sponsored: This spacious, gracious Monte Sereno estate ensures a tranquil lifestyle close to Los Gatos

This masterfully crafted Mediterranean-inspired estate showcases unparalleled luxury and style inside and out with classic West Hollywood sophistication and Bel-Air lavishness.

Spanning over an acre of land, the gated estate at 18510 Beck Ave. includes nearly 7,000 square feet of living space that has been extensively updated and remodeled twice since it was built by the Auzerais family in 1922. De Mattei Construction completed about $700,000 in work earlier this year. The owners have taken great care to preserve the integrity of the estate’s original design.

This five-bedroom, four bathroom Monte Sereno estate could be your beautiful oasis.

The prime location of this exquisite estate is also a great part of its appeal. Located in an exclusive enclave of distinguishable estates at 18510 Beck Ave. in Monte Sereno, it has the advantage of a private and tranquil setting that also happens to be only about 1 mile from charming downtown Los Gatos.

The home is drenched in natural light and features 10-foot ceilings, arched room entries, exposed beams and millwork including crown molding, newly installed wide-plank oak floors, palladian-style windows, and custom tile staircase risers.

The Auzerais family crest is carved into the fireplace mantel that anchors the formal living room designed with an exposed beam ceiling. A trio of French doors opens onto a tiled terrace creating a quintessential California indoor-outdoor living and entertaining venue.

A refinished coffered ceiling is featured in the formal dining room with a nearby butler’s pantry equipped with wine storage, warming drawer and granite counter wet bar. Open the glass French door to a breakfast/tea room to extend the dining room/entertaining space.

A gourmet kitchen is designed for today’s chef with all the modern conveniences.

Granite counters and an island/breakfast bar adorn the kitchen that features custom cabinetry and stainless appliances that include a professional Russell gas range with a custom …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


Sponsored: Timeless and exquisite Branagh-built Alamo home

Level land that sprawls across more than an acre creates an idyllic setting for an extraordinary home nestled along an exclusive Alamo cul-de-sac.

Formality and comfort make this five-bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom property a wondrous place to call home.

This Branagh-built home has a timeless beauty and appeal with its stately deep setback, an attention to detail, and exceptional features inside and out. It is California living at its best, mixing a level of formality with all the comforts that today’s lifestyle desires.

The spacious front porch invites you to sit and linger while viewing the lush front gardens.

You can’t help but feel a warm welcome at 320 Kimberwicke Court. Its spacious front porch beckons and invites you to sit a spell and linger with a refreshing glass of something cool to drink while viewing the lush parklike front gardens.

The grand entryway includes exquisite millwork with crown molding and herringbone hardwood floors.

A two-story foyer with Herringbone patterned hardwood floors and natural light pouring through the sidelights and oversize transom create a grand entry into the 6,085-square-foot home. Exquisite millwork including wainscot, crown molding and fluted cabinetry detail flows throughout the home on both levels accessible from a front and back staircase.

There are five bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, formal living and dining rooms, executive wood-paneled office, updated chef’s kitchen, fabulous family room, and 800-plus-bottle wine cellar. Upstairs is the ideally designed bonus room and private bedroom suites.

The backyard is a perfect fit for soccer players, swimmers and loungers.

The backyard retreat offers a private park setting bordered by towering redwoods and foliage, and a seasonal creek. Throw open numerous French doors to seamlessly connect to this amazing outdoor space that includes a loggia, sprawling patios, soccer-field-size lawn, pool with a slide plus a spa, fire pit, 48-inch built-in DCS barbecue with counter seating, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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