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Articles of Interest
How your pillow is the perfect breeding ground for gruesome array of pests and diseases
Bustling hotels, stretched for time, quickly change the pillow cover. Previous guests have sweated, drooled, and had other bodily fluids seep into the pillow's core. Traditional pillows (down, memory foam, kapok, etc) are "spot clean only" which means their pillow cores are never washed. According to British scientists, from NHS London, up to a third of the weight of a shared pillow could be made up of bugs, dead skin, dust mites & mites feces.
Hospital pillows found to harbour millions of life-threatening germs
"If you had to come up with a medium to cultivate bacteria,
besides a Petri dish with agar, a pillow is pretty much as good as you can get. It is a wet sponge that absorbs bodily fluids of various kinds providing nutrients and it is kept at the idea temperature by the warm body lying on top of it."
Dr. Tucker added: "People put a clean pillow case on and it looks and smells nice and fresh, but you are wrapping up something really nasty underneath."
More Sleep = Improved Performance
Athletes work hard from cardio training to weightlifting to video work to diet. In order to recover and perform, getting 8-10 hours/night of SLEEP is crucial. Studies from Stanford Medical School show that good sleep can improve speed, accuracy, and reaction time. Unfortunately, travel and hotels are disruptive when it comes to sleep.
Sleep & Exercise Relationship
Sleep enhances recovery from exercise by repairing and rebuilding muscle, optimizing hormone release, reducing inflammation, restoring energy, & refreshing the brain. Adequate sleep also helps us feel good, reduces fatigue, & makes us more motivated to exercise.
LeBron, Tom Brady, & Verlander all opt for more sleep
Sleep—not training or working for another hour—is when your body gets stronger and your mind gets sharper. You break down your muscles in training, but rest is when the fibers repair themselves and become more powerful. Tom Brady, aims to be in bed by 8:30 p.m. LeBron James nabs ten hours of shut-eye & reportedly relies on white noise (Rain on Leaves in the Calm app) to block out distractions.
Sleep Habits of Elite Athletes
While there is considerable data available related to the amount of sleep obtained by adults in the general population, there are few published data related to the amount of sleep obtained by elite athletes. This appears to be a considerable oversight given that sleep has been recognized as an essential component of preparation for, and recovery from high-intensity training.
Apple AirPods and EMF – how bad are they?
An independent test revealed that Apple AirPods emit approximately 10X the EMF when on a phone call VS. holding an iPhone next to your ear. You also may not realize that the AirPods are transmitting EMF all the time – even when you are not listening to music! Of course, you would expect them to transmit Bluetooth EMF when you are speaking on a phone call, but EMF is also transmitted non-stop while you listen to music and even when you are not doing anything! Most concerning is the no buffer zone between the AirPods/earbuds & the brain when they are jammed into the ear canal.
The SUND pillow lets you listen to your favorite music, audiobook, & meditation apps in Airplane Mode. This eliminates UHF, Bluetooth, WiFi and greatly lessens EMF.
Note: wireless headphones, earbuds, AirPods, & sleep headbands can NOT be put into Airplane Mode.
Bluetooth Headphones >>> EMF
Bluetooth radiation is one of the least discussed forms of
electromagnetic fields. The lack of any formal studies has led industry “experts” to conclude that they are safe. Bluetooth headsets are earbuds that mimic miniature Wi-Fi routers. These hands-free devices use radio waves (RF) instead of cables to connect to a smartphone, cell phone, or PC. These RF frequencies are classified as low-energy emissions. But, a lot of recent research proves that even at these low levels, RF radiation is still capable of inducing a host of adverse effects on human biological systems. Some of these include neurological damage and DNA fragmentation, which can lead to headaches, ADHD, biological effects, Tinnitus, etc.
Most importantly, consider where Bluetooth headphones are most of the time. You place them directly in/on your ear. This means that even if Bluetooth devices operate at lower radiation intensities, the contact time between the EMF and your brain tissue is elevated. ALSO have you ever stopped to think about the contents of your head? It makes for the perfect antenna since it is filled with lots of salty fluid and conductive tissue, which are ideal for sending and receiving electrochemical signals.
Effects of blue light and sleep
While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light, at night does so more powerfully. Blue light suppresses melatonin for about twice as long and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours).
Reduce screen time to improve sleep
Blue light, from TVs, smartphones and laptop screens inhibits your body's ability to prepare for sleep. Blue light, more than any other light, blocks the hormone
"melatonin" that makes you sleepy. Bottom line: You’re less
drowsy than usual at night, and it takes you longer to fall asleep.
The 30-minute Power Nap
Researchers found that athletes who napped for 30 minutes performed better in 20-meter sprints. Studies have also found that short naps reduced athletes’ feeling of sleepiness, improving alertness and cognitive functioning. These findings are significant for athletes of any type — mental acuity and sharpness can provide an edge in competition across the board.
12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation
The popularity of meditation is increasing as more people discover its many health benefits. You can use it to increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Many people think of it as a way to reduce stress and develop concentration. People also use the practice to develop other beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep
patterns, and even increased pain tolerance.
Sound is Subjective
One partner might love the gentle hum of a white noise
machine filling the bedroom the other can’t sleep without the soothing symphony of sirens and car horns. Or maybe one person likes pure silence while the other enjoys drifting off to the sweet sounds of “This American Life” because Ira Glass’s voice is basically Excedrin PM. SUND pillow solves this age-old problem for couples and roommates.
Danger of Earbuds While Sleeping
Earbuds are rupturing eardrums at an alarming rate when people use them at bedtime. Headphones and their cords can also be dangerous when going to sleep. Now you can avoid this pain and danger with the SUND pillow.
SUND is Cleaner
SUND pillow is 100% machine washable, hypoallergenic, and bacteria/mildew resistant. It will stay light, springy, clean, and soften over time, so you can rest comfortably. Most pillows can get 33% heavier after a year. They are constructed to accumulate dust mites, dead skin, and allergens, YUCK! Many memory foams, kapok, down-filled pillows are not completely washable and suggest spot cleaning.
Side Sleeping is Healthier
We recommend side-sleeping with the SUND pillow under your head, arms, or legs. Here are the benefits and drawbacks:
Methods to Improve Sleep in Hotels
Researchers have observed sleep problems in people occurring during their first night adapting to a new environment, a phenomenon called the “first night effect” (FNE). The FNE is characterized by difficulty falling asleep, as well as shorter overall sleep time and REM sleep time while staying in hotels.
Power Naps vs Meditation
Though they’re quite different, napping and meditation seem to have several overlapping effects & benefits. While those who meditate are conscious and those who nap are unconscious, both groups enjoy an improved mental state afterward, accompanied by reductions in blood pressure, stress, & anxiety.
Meditation or a Pill?
A mindfulness meditation course may be as effective at reducing anxiety as a common medication, according to a new study.
Sleep Guide: Sound Machine + Less Screen Time
White noise provides a steady, balanced sound that can help put the mind at ease. As an added benefit, white noise can block out bothersome external noise. Blue light from screens throws the body’s system off for inducing sleep.
White Noise Apps
White noise is any steady background hum, such as a babbling brook, falling rain, crashing waves, etc. Many people find that listening to soothing sounds helps them relax and fall asleep. The free SUND app has over a dozen soothing sounds to choose from.
Gentle Vibrations Help with Sleep
Whether you’re a baby being rocked to sleep or an adult dozing in a long car ride, it turns out everyone enjoys a few good vibrations when it’s time for bed. The free SUND app provides over a dozen vibrations that are great with your SUND body pillow.
Time Zone Travel effects on Athletes
Another aspect of sleep quality athletes need to consider is the effects of jet lag. When traveling to different time zones, athletes can get out of their natural circadian phase. This means athletes may experience fatigue or the inability to perform their best. For example, West Coast American football teams play significantly better during evening home games than the visiting East Coast teams.
How Music Affects the Nervous System
Vibrational sounds stimulate the vagus nerve, which in turn activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). Our PNS helps us regulate stress. The PNS is the part of our nervous system which brings us down to a calmer place where we can relax and fall asleep. When you lay your head down on a SUND pillow, you receive a gentle vibration from soothing sounds and sleep music that activates a calming response within your nervous system.
Breaking down the big numbers behind USC and UCLA’s Big Ten travel itineraries
Time for all USC and UCLA student-athletes to add the SUND travel pillow, pack their phone charger and prepare for marathon trips across t the country to Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The Many Colors of Noise
In audio engineering, there’s a whole rainbow of noise colors, each
with its own unique properties, that are used to produce music, help relaxation, and describe natural rhythms like the human heartbeat.
Cyclic Sighing the new stress hack.
Recent research, from Stanford Medicine, demonstrates that the Cyclic Sighing style of controlled breathing (performed by taking one deep inhale, immediately followed by another sharp inhale, and a long, slow, sighing exhale) for five minutes can lower your
anxiety, improve mood, and even result in decreased rates of breathing at rest, which is a sign of overall body calmness.
You can find Cyclic Sighing on the SUND app. Add some light vibrations to your palms, & breath along to quickly melt stress away.
Why birds and their songs are good for our mental health.
Two studies published last year in Scientific Reports said hearing birds could be good for our mental well-being. Research has consistently shown that more contact & interaction with nature are associated with better body & brain health. Birds appear to be a specific source of these healing benefits. We recommend you try “Morning Birds” on the SUND app and see if that helps.
The Pomodoro Technique: reduce stress & increase productivity at work.
The Pomodoro Technique has a lot going for it. It’s low cost, commitment is minimal and it’s easy to give it a go in your day to day. Also – it genuinely works!
Here is the basic Technique, select a task:
1. Work on the task for 25 minutes (a “Pomodoro”)
2. Take a short break of five minutes
3. Repeat three times
4. Once the fourth Pomodoro is over (100 mins of work time, 15 mins of break time) take a longer 15-20 minute break. Time for a brisk walk?
5. Reset and restart!
During those 5-minute breaks, we recommend using SUND’s “meditative sensations” (sound + vibration) in the Palm Sleeve.
Tired at the Office? Take a Quick Break. Your Work Will Benefit.
A five-minute break can be golden if you take it at the right time. An NC State study shows that it is in a company’s best interest to give employees autonomy in terms of taking micro breaks when they are needed – it helps employees effectively manage their energy and engage in their work throughout the day.
Short breaks can increase workers' mood and improve productivity.
Analysis showed that relaxation, socialization, and cognitive micro breaks were related to increased positive affect at work which, in turn, predicted greater sales performance. However, breaks for nutrition-intake (having snacks and drinks) did not show significant effects.
Research shows your brain needs micro breaks during the day.
Microsoft research shows micro breaks improve our ability to focus and engage. “In today’s world of remote and hybrid work, it’s not sufficient to only encourage self-care. We need to
innovate and leverage echnology to help employees operationalize much-needed breaks into their daily routines.”
-Kathleen Hogan, Chief People Officer at Microsoft
1. The antidote to meeting fatigue is simple: taking short breaks.
2. Breaks are not only good for wellbeing, they also improve our ability to do our best work.
3. Breaks, even short ones, are important to make the transitions between meetings feel less stressful.
AFLAC: Worker burnout is real & effects performance.
More than half (59%) of all American workers are experiencing at least moderate levels of burnout.
The overwhelming majority (86%) of employees who report high levels of burnout also have suffered other mental health challenges in the past year — most commonly anxiety, depression and trouble sleeping.
The Good News: More than half (57%) of employees believe their organizations care about their overall well-being at least a moderate amount, which is a strong foundation of goodwill for employers to build upon.
10-minute ‘micro-breaks’ may help prevent worker burnout.
The activity engaged in during the micro-break was an important factor in how helpful it was. For example, helping out a co-worker or doing something else work-related led to negative emotions associated with the break.
The Stress of Constantly Checking Your Phone.
According to a survey from the American Psychological Association (APA), constantly checking your smartphone has been linked with stress. The rise in use of social media has led to many people habitually checking their phones for texts, email, and social media posts.