Thursday, January 29, 2015

Customer Reviews: the Kabooti Orthopedic Cushion

Known as “the better donut” cushion, Contour Living is proud to offer the Kabooti, a seated support like no other. Not only does it host a coccyx cutout and supportive foam that’s specifically designed to place and cradle the spine, it remains one of our best sellers. Among those with coccyx pains and anyone just looking for some added seat help alike. 

But don’t take our word for it. See what some of our customers have to say about Contour’s own Orthopedic Coccyx Seat Cushion: 

It's the very best product made for this purpose, I was in total agony before,” D. Harrison, December 2014

“I recently changed to a desk job and have to sit for hours on end. I bought two of these to help with coccyx pain and sensitivity. I use one at work and one in my chair at home. It has made a huge difference in my pain level.” Lisa, November 2014

“My husband just returned home after bi-lateral knee joint replacement. His butt was hurting and could not get comfortable. I ordered the Kabooti and as soon as it was received he tried and immediately felt relief. He takes it everywhere.” Betty, October 2014

“I have a desk job but hate sitting. I've only had the Kabooti a few days but can already feel the difference. It is really comfortable, and it helps keep your posture in check so you don't slouch. It's the perfect size for me. I highly recommend it!” Gina, September 2014

“Very comfortable. Well designed.” July 2014

“I just received this a couple of days ago and replaced the cushions I have been using and immediately felt a huge difference. I am very happy that I finally found something to keep the seat comfy all day.” Trevor, June 2014

To find out more about the Kabooti, or to read additional reviews, head to our product page today.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Did you Know? Sleep Position Affects Quality

Everyone has a favorite way they love to sleep. Positions they find more comfortable than others, and that allow them to rest more easily. This might be due to routine – the body knows when it sits a certain way, it’s time to get serious about sleep. However, recent research also shows that sleep position itself effects how well we’re able to sleep. Not only on an individual basis, but by evaluating the alignment of the body on the inside and out. 

What makes finding the perfect spot tricky, is that said alignment might change for each person. We will all find something slightly different a little more comfortable – whether due to preference, body type, or some additional factor. In this instance, it can help to adjust and see what works best. Try sleeping on your side a few nights (not necessarily in a row) and then see how deeply you rest. Do the same for your back and stomach for an overall comprehensive understanding of what allows you to sleep your best. 

However, there are a few instances that can help make this research process easier. Such as those with sleep apnea, who should never lay on their back – it only increases snoring and reduces the lungs ability to deeply breathe. Additionally, pregnant women shouldn’t sleep on their stomach (unless recommended by a doctor), and those with back or neck problems should compensate rather than leaving the body to fend for itself. This can mean leg pillows or other supportive features that work to enhance resting abilities. Side sleeping might be your favorite, but without help, ongoing pains can still occur. No matter how deeply you sleep. 

To gain access to better sleep, remember that positions can make all the difference. Adjust as needed and find what works for your body to achieve the best sleeping pattern possible. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What Causes Cricks in the Neck?

No one likes starting their day with a crick in their neck. It’s painful, makes it hard to turn one’s head, and more often than not, lasts most of the day. Painful and practically incurable, it’s one of the worst ways to roll out of bed. But is still done by thousands of Americans each and every day. However, by working to identify these initial causes, we can eliminate their symptoms. From first waking up each morning to the very end of the workday. 

Cricks in the neck are most often caused by:

Straining the Neck 

If you work at a desk, or need to stretch and strain throughout the day, you’re more likely to irritate the muscles. Make sure monitors are at eye level. Also, any reading or driving should be done in a neck-friendly position.

Sleeping “Wrong”

If you have too many pillows, or sleep on a surface that’s too soft, you can cause ongoing pains by stretching or reducing support for the muscles. Instead, opt for a foam pillow that cradles the head, allowing the neck to relax along with the rest of the body.

Pulled Muscles

Generally, muscles that get the least amount of attention are pulled most often. By working out different parts of the body (or just stretching them), you can help strengthen muscles, eliminating the chance at injury. Even just from sleeping. 

Bad Posture

Slouching or sitting in a hunched over position can put pressure on the wrong parts of the neck (and those areas that are most sensitive). Remember to sit up straight and avoid leaning forward for long periods of time. 

To avoid getting a crick in the neck, avoid these dangerous tactics and look to their proven cures instead. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

4 Tips to Get Through Winter with Acid Reflux

Suffering from sleep apnea is never a welcome event. But when triggers are upped, those side effects can become increasingly worse. Especially when factors can’t be controlled, such as with winter allergens, or spices you didn’t know would keep you from getting quality sleep. No matter the cause however, or even if you might know what the cause may be, there are plenty of simple adjustments to help get you through the winter months.

When the temperature drops, gain better sleep by:

4. Eating Lighter … or Earlier

Winter is often cause for heartier and heavier meals. Which, unfortunately, can trigger some serious acid reflux. Go light on the second helping, or eat at earlier dinner and give the body more time to digest your favorite winter dishes. 

3. Layer an Extra Blanket

Keep the thermostat down a degree or two, then add an extra blanket to your bed in order to stay warm. This simple change will help you sleep deeper, while also providing for better digestion practices. This will work to keep stomach acid where it belongs: in the stomach. 

2. Go to Bed Early

It’s dark early anyway – why not gain a few extra Zs? Set your bedtime 30 minutes or so earlier than normal (or even more if you’re feeling especially efficient) to gain more sleep. This will allow the body to “set” its time to drift off, which naturally allows you to ease into a deeper layer of rest. 

1. Cool Down the Shower

Showering right before bed might be a great way to relax from the cold, especially when there’s plenty of steam involved. But it’s also a practice that can raise your core body temp, making it more difficult to fall or stay asleep. Take showers earlier in the evening or cool down the temp to avoid this side effect.

Stick to these simple tips to gain better, more restful sleep all winter long. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Get a Jump on Spring Allergies

Spring may be a few months away, but with unpredictable weather patterns, it’s hard to know exactly when it will show up. And, it’s symptoms and side effects along with it. For those who suffer from allergies, however, there’s no need to worry about dates, instead, get a jumpstart and fight off allergens even before they become a threat. That way you can eliminate pollens, insects, danders, and more before they ever have a chance to enter your home. Or worse, your bedroom, keeping you from getting some much-needed sleep. 

To Deter Allergens

Consider a multi-faceted approach. For instance, protecting pillows and your mattress (maybe even blankets) with specialty covers. These hypoallergenic fabrics create a surface in which bugs, molds, etc. can’t adhere. Leaving you to sleep free and clear from all of your allergens. To get the most out of your efforts, cover both your mattress and each of your pillows in such materials. 

Blankets, pajamas, and more (essentially anything that can be washed in the machine) with a specialty soap or additive to remove allergens. Because these items can often survive a wash, this extra step will ensure they’re removed directly from the fibers on which you sleep. 

Before the nicer weather hits, it’s also a good idea to get your spring cleaning done. Yes it’s called spring cleaning for a reason, but waiting for warm weather can also invite mites and dust directly into your home. Instead, deep clean now before they even get the chance. Wash curtains, vacuum furniture, shampoo carpets, etc. If it can be cleaned (and has the potential to cause allergies), clean it and clean it now. 

Come spring, these efforts will offer you some much needed allergy relief. Consider taking a few extra minutes now – along with the help of some specialty products – to earn better results later this year. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

5 Ways to Stick to your Workout Routine

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is that of getting in shape. With it, though, comes one of the least-made goals: staying in shape. Though folks of all ages and sizes vow to start eating better and going to the gym, it’s often an empty promise. Months later, the majority will be back to their old habits and eating (and acting) just as unhealthy as ever.

To avoid the odds in 2015, check out these tips to help yourself make better routines. And to stick to your resolution for the entire year.

5. Create Manageable Goals

Don’t try and start out too lofty or you’ll never stay on board. Look to a diet that encompasses nutrition, but doesn’t cut out everything you love. While it might sound like a compromise, it’s a way to ensure you’re eating better, but won’t eliminate so much that you’re unhappy (and therefore more likely to “cheat”).

4. Mark Milestones

Write your achievements down. Then, write down achievements you want to make happen. Whatever form helps you keep track of what progress has been made, and what’s on the way, do it. It works as a measurable way to look at real-time progress. 

3. Tell Friends

Whether they’re joining you or just acting as encouragement, telling others what you wish to do is a great way to stay on track. Others can help hold you accountable and remind you when you’re doing a good job. 

2. Eliminate Temptation

Throw out the junk food, remind yourself couch lounging is not an option (at least for too long at a time), and more. By getting rid of the habits you don’t want, you can help reduce them once and for all. 

1. Reward Yourself

After all that hard work, you’re going to need some continual motivation. Take yourself shopping, buy that new car accessory, or have a cheat day (just one!) and eat something you’ve been craving.

Just by giving yourself a little slack, you’re far more likely to stay healthy for the long haul, increasing your chances at staying on task throughout 2015.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Lower the Thermostat for Deeper Sleep

There’s no denying that, this time of year, the heater is working overtime in order to keep up. Between freezing temperatures and wind that inevitably leaks through even the tightest of window seals, our homes are just plain chilly. Meaning heaters are kicking on several times per hour just to keep up. 

When sleeping, however, it just may be better to turn down the temp. Not only for a more budget-friendly way to keep your house warm, but to gain better sleep. By lowering the temperature just a few degrees, the body is able to rest and relax into an even deeper level of sleep. (Need proof? When was the last time you got incredible sleep in a balmy or too-warm environment?) It’s simply a natural way to coax the body into deep REM levels of sleep. 

How to Keep Warm

In order to gain these benefits without freezing, be sure to layer on the blankets. Or, choose warmer materials to avoid being weighted down by multiple layers. Flannel sheets and warm PJs will also work to keep you plenty warm when heading to bed. While socks – especially wool ones (or another material that’s designed to keep in heat) – will prevent warmth from leaving the body. After all, no one likes waking up cold, especially when it prevents them from falling back asleep. 

If you generally sleep with a fan on, consider getting a corner fan that won’t be pointed in your direction. Or, choose a noise machine that can provide similar soothing effects but without lowering the temperature too low. 

This winter, don’t be afraid to embrace the cold. Rather than avoiding it at all costs, lower the thermostat a few degrees and start earning some of the best sleep you’ll receive all season long. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What’s your Ideal Sitting Surface?

How often do you sit? As in really sit – where your weight is down and you’re off your feet. Is it most of the day? In between work sessions? Hardly at all? No matter the frequency, sitting offers a way to rest the legs and readjust one’s weight pattern. 

But did you know how you sit – and what you sit upon – can also affect your habits? While it might not seem like a big change, the more one sits, the bigger adjustment these types of variables will have. For instance, sitting on a too-plush surface, which can cause back alignment issues. Or perching on something hard, such as a wooden bench, which can keep you alert, but at the cost of an uncomfortable rear.

When weighing all the options, however, what’s the best surface on which to sit? Personal comfort preferences aside, some materials have far more health benefits than others. Such as foams or sturdy cushions which cradle the rear without allowing it to sink and settle. Not only are these surfaces comfortable, they keep the spine straight. An aspect that increases back health, especially when used on a consistent basis. (And if your regular seat doesn’t offer these perks, opt for a portable cushion.)

In contrast, seats that are too firm can also jar bones and muscles. Creating excess or displaced weight, bringing on further back and rear problems. 

For the best health results possible, choose an in-between. A surface that’s not too hard, but not too soft. It’s the best way to ensure you’re seated in a way that will properly displace weight, while still being comfortable. You can also talk to your doctor about which materials offer the best options for any specific back issues, including pain.

Friday, January 2, 2015

One Month With My Contour Pillow: A Review

A little over a month ago I ordered myself a Contour Cloud Pillow. And I love it. Like 100% obsessed – more than I thought was possible to love a pillow – obsessed.

I’d known about them for quite some time. But for whatever reason, hadn’t taken the leap into head-supported sleeping. (I’ve been sitting on a Kabooti for over a year – and have yet to be disappointed in even the slightest, so really, there’s zero excuses for my procrastination.) 

Once it arrived, however, I was almost instantly hooked. (Almost just because it came at 10 am, which is well before my normal bedtime.) That night, I used it in lieu of my flatter, regular pillow, and noticed immediate results. My neck was comfortable and cushioned. My lower back earned a sense of weightlessness and relief that I didn’t even know it needed. As for the rest of my back, it felt like I’d come fresh off a chiropractor appointment – free of stress and perfectly aligned. All from about 30 seconds with my new pillow.

If my bed hadn’t been comfortable before, with the Contour pillow it received the largest of upgrades – turning it into a cozy and cushioned fortress that pretty much makes it impossible to stay awake.

Testing Out the Sleeping Rounds

Resting on my back wasn’t the only place that was comfortable; I’m a side sleeper. Once I’d rolled and gotten into my normal position, I couldn’t move. It was that comfortable. Infinitely more comfortable than with my previous pillow. The smoke detector could have been blaring and I’d have been waving it off, wishing for “just a few more minutes.” 

Now, just over a month later, the pillow’s my go-to model. Every night. I have other pillows on the bed, but they’ve all been demoted to reading and/or TV watching supports only. Because with the Contour pillow, not only do I know I’m going to be cozy, any back pains are taken care of before they even have the chance to form. It’s seriously comfortable, helps me gently drift into sleep, and relaxes my spine and neck with zero effort on my part. 

It’s a dream of a pillow, really. I think I’ll keep it.