Dec 16

Sleeping Tips to Have You In Bed Earlier

It can be tempting to go out with the fellas or the gals and enjoy a few nightcaps after a strong day of work on the Wyoming land. The next thing you know though it’s approaching daybreak and you know you’re going to be miserable for not only the next 24 hours, but the next 48 as your body gets caught up on sleep. This isn’t just indicative of somebody who likes to throw back a few though as many people suffer from insomnia or just being able to turn off their thinking caps at night. If you need to wake up early the next day, it can behoove you to sleep well the night before and here’s how you do it:

Avoid Caffeine

We all like some coffee with our grits in the morning and a jolt of caffeine is somewhat of a necessity to get on with our days. Unfortunately though drinking the black later on in the evening can affect the quality of your sleep either from the failure to fall asleep or constantly getting up at night and tripping over the dog on your way to the restroom. Switch off the cup of joe well before bedtime if you and your dog want a sound night of sleep.

Make the Bedroom a Sleep Haven

In a small Wyoming ranch home the rooms often have to be multi-functional. A living room might also be a home office while a kitchen table is a great spot to set car parts. One area that should be a haven for sleep and relaxation only though is the bedroom. Even if you work out, go on the computer, or watch TV in the bedroom it disassociates your brain from sleep and will affect you at bedtime.

Strive For a Consistent Schedule

Doc recommends 6-8 hours of sleep a night for muscle and body health. What he or she sometimes fails to mention though is that the best way to get that amount of rest is to do it at the same time consistently. Your circadian rhythms are going to get all thrown out of whack if you sleep noon to 8 one day and 10 PM to 6 AM the next. Sometimes our work schedules differ but strive for consistency as much as possible.

Trick Your Body Into a Sleep Routine

In many ways you have to treat your body like your faithful dog Rusty and teach it. Rusty knows it’s time to go outside when you grab your robe or shake his leash and you can let your body know it’s time to shut down by doing a pre-sleep ritual each night. This could be having a warm glass of milk, throwing on your flannel PJ’s, and watching the news but once again make it consistent and regular.

Snap That Nap

To some farmers, stay at home moms, and other people with flexible schedules there’s no better way of knowing ‘you’ve made it’ than a rewarding afternoon nap. True a power nap after lunch is a great method to recharge the burners for the rest of the day’s work day but too long of one can affect going to sleep that night. A 3-4 hour snooze isn’t a cat nap, that’s a full on lion nap so be careful with them.

Work Hard During the Day

The best way to fall asleep at night is to be tired. The best way to be tired is to work hard during the day. Therefore make it a point to get some physical exertion during your waking hours whether that involves roping cows, chasing Rusty the dog, or at least just going for a walk or jog around the ranch.

Get Organized Before Sleep (Reduce Stress)

One of the biggest hindrances to sleep besides a partner delivering flying elbows and knee kicks all night is an overactive brain. Money problems, work stress, and family issues can all keep the noggin sliding like a toboggan so it’s important to get organized and relax before laying down for the night. Breathing exercises and meditation can help accomplish this as can doing your nightly work earlier instead of procrastinating.

Sleep is essential but mostly only if it’s good sleep. The best way to get good sleep is to try it earlier in the night so good luck!

Nov 16

The Magnificent 7 Factors to Look for in a Quality Bedding

The word ‘premium’ is thrown around way to much in this day and age. Whether it’s a ‘premium’ horse, a ‘premium’ gasoline, or a ‘premium’ sock it seems like sometimes all we’re doing is paying the extra graphic printing costs to put ‘premium’ on the package. There’s definitely a ‘premium’ class mattress market out there and if the bed wants to truly be fit for royalty it needs to have these features:

7. Plenty of Coils

The coils are the supporting core of the mattress and they have an important job to perform. Coils provide spring to ease stress on pressure points and also help to disperse movement so a rustling cowboy won’t bother his missus on the other side. Coil thickness plays a factor but the main thing to look for is the number – the more the merrier.

6. Breathable Materials

There’s nothing worse than sweating your way through a hot Wyoming night while just trying to get some hard-earned quality sleep. This is why it’s important to have the inner part of the mattress built with breathable materials that wick away moisture and stay cool in the Summer but warm in the Winter.

great western bedding

5. Natural (Hypoallergenic) Materials

A mattress can be a haven for dust mites and dander which could leave an allergy sufferer coughing and wheezing when they’re supposed to be ZZZZZ-ing. Hypoallergenic materials fend off these dust mites and make for a much healthier night’s sleep.

4. Padding

Even if you’re the type of sleeper that lives by the credo, “the firmer the better” it’s important for a bed to have some sort of padding. Remember that padding doesn’t necessarily have to be soft and items such as polyester pad can create a buffer between the springs and your body while also making the bed firmer. Those who like a soft sleep will want as much foam, cotton, and latex on the inside of the mattress as possible.

3. A Comfort Guarantee

The mattress you buy is highly unlikely to feel like the one in the showroom since it’s been tossed around upon by a herd of people. Therefore a quality bed should have a comfort guarantee that allows you one adjustment within around a month of purchase.

2. A Reasonable Warranty

If your bed lasts 3 of an expected 7 years of life the company should replace the mattress. On the other hand if you never rotate your bed and let your 1,500 pound horse sleep in there that onus of failure falls on you. A quality bed will have some sort of ‘reasonable’ replacement plan.

1. Buy Comfort Not Brand

The last thing to look for in a quality bed is comfort instead of just buying a brand. Just because a horse was sired by Seattle Slew doesn’t mean it won’t be a grungy ride.

Oct 16

Pre-Sleep Exercises to Ease the Saddle Sores

It doesn’t take a full day of bucking around the ranch to make your body sore right before bedtime. In fact many people have a hard time hitting the hay even if they didn’t literally hit the hay over the course of that day. There are a few ways to help with a better night’s sleep including going to bed earlier and getting physical activity during the day. Interestingly enough there are also a few exercises that can be done shortly before bedtime to lengthen the gap between pillow time and rooster calls.

8-10 Minute Yoga Routine

The first inclination might be that no good-hearted Wyoming boy should be caught dead doing Yoga even in the comfort of his own bedroom as that’s more something for those New York or L.A city slickers. The truth is yoga is extremely beneficial to strengthening and stretching out the core – both women and men alike. Yoga focuses on deep breathing in mid to long term poses and it has a profound effect on relaxing and decompressing during the day. Yoga also builds strength in the core so when somebody asks the secret to your 19 second ride on the mechanical bull just tell them, “Namaste”.

Simple Stretching

Even if a yoga circuit isn’t your thing, it’s good to stretch out the body in even the most simplest of manners before getting some shut eye. A head to toe stretch loosens and uncoils the muscles so they won’t get constricted earlier in the evening causing tossing and turning. A 5-10 minute routine can even be incorporated into the morning to ease the compression of sleep and get you started on your day.


While abdominal crunches will boost your metabolism and help build muscles in your core, doing them before bed has more of a placebo effect. Since you’re not moving around much during sleep most people just assume that the food you ate during the day is sitting there turning into fat. For those worried about their weight this can be a big stress builder and many people have found out that saying, “I’m good, I did my crunches” will help them sleep easier…I for one won’t tell them otherwise.

Go For a Walk Outside

A walk at night is the package deal of exercise before bed. It allows fresh air, physical exertion, relaxation and decompression, as well as the time to bond and converse with a family member or friend. Even a short walk has positive mood inducing effects and is in general a calming experience that lets you sleep better.

The true way to better sleep is a regular, more extensive exercise plan as well as a healthy diet. Even so, incorporated with these pre-sleep “workouts” you’ll be sleeping like a baby dog in no time.

Consider Sleep Supplements

If you have a quality mattress, completed some pre-sleep exercises, and still can’t fall asleep, consider using a sleep aid or sleep supplement to take the edge off.  To find a sleep supplement that works for you, check out the Supplement Your Sleep Twitter or Tumblr.

Sep 12

The Best Tricks For a Good Night’s Sleep At a Foreign Ranch

When it comes to traveling most folks either fall under one of two camps – 1) take it or 2) leave it. On one hand traveling offers the opportunity to experience new things away from one’s own ranch while leaving the cares of their everyday lives (chores, job, annoying neighbors) behind. To those who look down their noses on traveling the reasons are also evident as it involves packing up, being crammed while traveling, having to deal with people and most importantly trying to get a good night’s sleep in a strange bedroll. While we don’t have much advise for dealing with strangers or feeling like a sardine while traveling, here are some tips to sleep better on your journeys.

Bring Headphones / Ear Plugs / Eye Mask

At home you have created a sleep haven that might feature a sound-proof room, heavily drawn dark shades, and just the familiarity of being comfortable. On the road though who knows what you’re going to encounter from a night owl with an affinity for rock music to a bright yellow “Kenny Rogers Roasters” neon sign outside your window. Therefore pack as many sleep-friendly items as possible specifically a mask for darkness and ear plugs / headphones to drown out the screams and gunshots from the street below.

Bring a Comforter From Home

There are two main reasons for bringing along your own bedding while traveling – one for the familiarity of sleeping in your own bed and also for safety from bed bugs and God knows what else. Some people might look at sheets, a comforter, and pillows as just an extra nuisance to pack but at least they have your smell on them and not that of a lonely business traveler who eats Chinese food in bed.

Get a Pre-Sleep Routine Down

Another thing to do if anxiety from sleeping on the road presents itself is to prepare your body for sleep. This could involve light exercise, deep meditation, or just getting organized and muting all the sounds and stresses in your head.

If Tossing and Turning Do a Reset

Finally it’s important to remember that turning in for the night doesn’t have to be a steadfast commitment, especially if you’re traveling. If you find yourself laying in bed staring at the wall, watching each tick of the clock, and are into the 1000’s on sheep that you’ve counted simply get up and stretch or take a little walk around the room. Reset your body and hopefully it will fall into a better sleep pattern.

Watch this video for more sleep meditation sounds

Aug 16

Why You Should Buy Mattresses From Outlaws Like Us

There are times when it’s good to take chances while shopping and there are other times it’s best to go with a proven brand name. For example, a new saddle company might just be looking for their big break with a quality product whereas with a discount, rookie knee surgeon it might be best to shop around. We consider ourselves somewhat of outlaws in the mattress industry trying to give Wyoming folks a comfortable sleep while competing with the Sealy’s and Serta’s of the world. While some might consider a small scale mattress company a risk – the real risk is with the big box brands:

Guarantee of Materials

When your bed is built 1000’s of miles away and shipped across the country with hundreds of other beds, who knows if what you’re actually getting is in fact high end materials and construction like you were promised? With ‘ma and pa’ mattress companies your bed is built to order and you can actually see it being constructed and feel the materials going inside with your own two hands.

Keep Our Community Unique

Part of what makes Wyoming unique is our ability to hold onto the past while still evolving. I don’t think we need franchises on every block whether it be restaurants, hotels, stores, or mattress shops. For every Buffalo Wild Wings or Motel 6 I’d rather have a Jim & Edna’s Cafe or Carlin Bed & Breakfast.

Guarantee Local Jobs

Many times when a big box mattress store moves into town they ship with it sales managers and other employees from their corporate headquarters. These fly-by-night workers follow scripted sales sheets and must adhere to strict company policies. Wouldn’t you much rather support an all-local mattress builder and buy a bed from a neighbor, nephew, or friend? The more people who purchase local beds instead of name brand ones the busier the business will be and the more (local) employees needed.

Keep Money In Community

A name brand mattress manufacturer doesn’t need to advertise in local newspapers because people already know the name. Likewise when they need construction done it’s usually from their own corporate contractors who know how to build following their franchise specifications. Buying a name brand bed does more than take money out of the local bed builders pocket, it has a trickle down effect that takes money out of many more services in the community.

Something to think about the next time you’re bed shopping….

Jul 28

Why Some Mattresses Are Cold-Backed, But Break in Over Time

Out here on the ranch we take in new horses every now and then. When they’re as stubborn as all get up from day one we call them cold-backed. I’ve never met a horse I couldn’t break and in many ways a mattress is very similar. You may get your new bed and at first it might feel like sleeping on flint stones or the hard Wyoming Earth. Just like that one-time bangtail who eventually becomes the star of the stable, have faith that your mattress will break in and give you a great sleep as well.

The Cotton Needs to Settle
Cotton is a soft material good enough for our britches, socks, and other items we hold near and dear to our bodies. It is also used as the main softening agent inside of a mattress. When the cotton is first laid in the bed it’s soft and fluffy like the sheep down on the back nine of the farm. Of course as you sleep on the bed over time that cotton will settle in and provide relaxing comfort. It’s important to note you should rotate your crumb incubator on a regular basis so that cotton doesn’t develop pockets.

Your Body Needs to Adjust
If you’re up before the roosters because you can’t sleep on your new bed, don’t be so anxious to jump the mattress manufacturer. In fact there’s likely nothing wrong with the mattress itself, it could just be your hard-working bones adjusting to sleeping on something that isn’t as hard as the marble Earth. You need to give your body some time to recalibrate your bones and the first few weeks on a new mattress are like a gestation period.

You May Need a New Boxspring
One of the main reasons your new mattress might not feel like the one in the showroom is because you’ve kept your old box springs. It’s tempting to save a few shills by replacing only the mattress but all you’re really doing is increasing the wear of the bed. The mattress will start to contort to the boxspring like a dog running with the pack so it’s important to get the whole kit and caboodle when buying a mattress set.

Showroom Mattresses are Softer
One thing you’ve gotta remember about showroom beds you’ve been trying out is that folks have been climbing all over them for months. The beds on display are used and abused more than a wolfer recovering from a whiskey binge and thus will feel softer than your new bed. The good thing is, your new bed will conform to that feel after using it a couple weeks so be patient.

If It Doesn’t Improve, Get a Comfort Exchange
One of the nice fallbacks of buying from a trusted mattress company is the ability to have a comfort exchange on your bed. If after three weeks or so you’d like the bed made firmer or softer, manufacturers can open her up for surgery and either add more cotton and foam for softness or firming pads for a harder bed.

Jul 11

5 Reasons Why Cowboys Need Their Sleep

They say that a cowboy is only as good as his previous night’s sleep and there’s no better evidence than trying to get some work out of a man who was full as a tick in the lush-crib the night before. The truth is sleep is very important and if you don’t get enough shut-eye the animals rule the roost and you’ll be a fortnight behind in chores and other tasks. Here’s why cowboys need to hit the velvet couch earlier on in the night:

Lack of Sleep Leads to Weight Gain

Your trusty horse has noticed a little bit of weight gain and he might just make a run for the Canadian border if your sleep depravity leads to packing on even more pounds. The connection between weight gain and lack of sleep is definitely there. For example how many extra cups of joe do you have in the morning when fighting off sluggishness – not to mention all the other ‘comfort foods’ your body turns to when tuckered out. There are actual hormones known as ghrelin which tells you to eat and leptin which says stop eating and when you’re sleep deprived these and your metabolism get all out of whack.

Lack of Sleep Leads to Sickness

They need you out on the ranch not in bed fighting a whooping cough but that’s exactly where you’ll be with only 3-4 hours of shut eye per night. Studies show that T-cells go down when you’re sleep deprived which leads to a poorly functioning immune system which results in, you guessed it, more illnesses. The next thing you know you’ll be getting the whole darn ranch sick and they’ll be coming after you with a branding iron…so get some sleep!

sleeping cowboy

Sleep Helps Improve Your Memory

You’re going to look pretty dumb yelling out for your Golden Retriever, “Jimmy?, Carl?, Rick?” when his real name is Ace. That’s because lack of sleep also has adverse effects on your memory. Sleep enhances the memory whereas lack of rest causes them to decay as if they’ve been gotten to by buzzards. Experts also say it’s not just the hours of sleep, but the quality as frequent disruptions during the night can be harmful.

Sleep Helps You Perform During the Day

We work hard in Wyoming and deserve a good night’s rest in the evening. Therein lies a slippery slope because if you don’t get sleep then you won’t be able to perform your duties during the day. A good night’s sleep helps recharge the batteries and tackle each day with bright eyes and a bushy tail.

Lack of Sleep Makes You Irritable

When you’re tired, cranky, and irritable from a lack of sleep the littlest things can set you off for no reason. You might find yourself out on the prairie angrily yelling for your dog Jimmy to come running while the whole time Ace is staring at you dumbfounded.

The bottom line, get a good night’s sleep as it will make life easier all the way around and if you aren’t resting sound look into purchasing a new mattress.

Jun 30

How To Know Your Old Faithful Bed Is Ready to Be Put Down

There’s two things you can say about us Wyoming citizens – 1) we’re loyal and 2) we respect our money. These are two qualities that are great to have but it can also get us into trouble sometimes. Take for example when it’s time to replace a mattress. We’re fond of our old beds and don’t trust a salesman to try and swindle us out of hard earned shills for some ‘new technology’ that he’s peddling. Well, the truth is as hard as it may be there is a time when we have to buck up and go out with the old and in with the new.

You Wake Up Sore
The hard Wyoming lifestyle of rolling over bumpy plains and tending to hard labor could be making you sore in the morning – or it could be your croaker of a mattress that should have been replaced years ago. When a bed gets old the materials inside of it become compressed, broken apart, and flat which results in a poor night’s sleep. This reduces the amount of padding between your spine and the hard surface which beckons back to night’s slept under the stars during a cattle rustle.

You Sleep Great Elsewhere
One great indicator of whether a defunct mattress is causing your pain or more serious health problems is if you wake up spry as a baby kitten when sleeping elsewhere. Whether it be a hotel, a jail cell, or just your couch feeling different when sleeping in other areas is a sign that your mattress has probably seen better days.

outdated bed

You Can See Visible Wear and Tear
Your bed is ready to be sent to pasture (not literally, make sure to dispose of old beds properly) if you can look at it and see noticeable lumps and clots. If these are visible to the naked eye, just imagine how they feel on the naked body? A bed that is sagging or God forbid has springs sticking out of it is what we refer to as a Code Blue – as in you blew it by not replacing this mattress a decade ago.

Your Bed Is Old
There’s an unfortunate fact of life that your mattress only has so many sleeps in it before it kicks the bucket. Of course you can try and preserve the life span by sleeping on the floor every so often but we do that enough on accident after a batch of deadshot. The truth is once a mattress hits 10-12 years or older the end is probably sooner rather than later.

Your Partner Wakes Up Aching
Your bed partner is probably mad at you enough for stealing the covers, kicking them, and delivering flying elbows during a nightmare fit so you don’t need an old mattress to compound those problems. When a bed is new the springs and material work together to avoid disrupting the person or pet on the other half of the bed. As those materials break down every little movement seems like a bucking bull is in the bed with you. If indeed there is no bull, it’s time to upgrade the mattress.

Jun 13

Different Ways a Mattress Whisperer Can Make Your Bed Feel Just Right

Any experienced cowboy has probably been dusted by an outlaw horse at least a few times in his life. While we rarely meet a hoss we can’t break, sometimes we just have to buck down and call the horse whisperer to help get the bronc’s head right. Well, believe it or not there’s an industry professional that can give you a better night’s sleep in much of the same way and it’s not a shrink. A so-called ‘mattress surgeon’ can open up your bed and make it feel just right.

Adding Firming Agents

When a hearty craftsperson goes to work on your new mattress, the first layer of material on top the springs is a polyester padding. This padding serves a couple purposes, mostly to keep cotton and foam from getting caught up in the springs but also to add a core level of firmness to the bed. Another process called button tufting involves lacing a fabric through one side of the bed, between the springs, and pulling the other end on the other side of the bed. This method helps connect the material on both sides of the bed so it doesn’t pull apart but also makes the bed feel firmer.

Add Softer Materials

If you find that your sleeproll is too firm, then the obvious answer is to add more softening materials to it – kinda like when your sleeping under the stars and use more hay because the ground is so hard. An extra layer of cotton on both sides of the bed or the addition of extra foam pieces can really make a bed much more soft if that’s what trips your trigger finger.

Attach Edge Supports

Perhaps the most uncomfortable sleep ever is the one where you constantly feel like you’re going to roll off the bed on top of Old Rusty your Golden Retriever. This is due either to a buildup of materials in the middle of the bed or the lack of any supports on the edge of the mattress. Luckily the mattress Doc can open up the bed and add additional edge supports, for Old Rusty’s sake at least.

Use a Pillowtop Covering

There is an adjustment period associated with buying any new mattress but that sense of newness should subside after about a fortnight of sleep. One thing you may still experience after that time period is joint pain because of constant force on pressure points. One solution we’ve found to work is the implementation of a pillow top covering that provides more plush resistance and an extra layer of cushion for shoulders, knees, and hips.

Change Boxspring Type

If every possible mattress surgical procedure has been attempted, another area to provide a comfort change is with a different boxspring type. Depending on what’s in place now the switch can be made to a split boxspring to limit partner disturbance, a solid foundation for more firmness, or actual springs for more cushion and bounce back.

May 29

What’s the Best Way to Put an Old Bed Out to Pasture

We had an old horse Rusty who served our ranch well for over 20 years. As ol’ Rusty got to be a tired soft horse in unbearable pain, we put him out to pasture with honor. There’s a similar undertaking that we have to do ever so often with a lumpy old mattress. The big bulky objects don’t make for good fires to cook your pork n’ beans over and in fact, proper disposal of them is an important manner to keep our Wyoming land beautiful.

disposing of mattresses

Give Away

If you’ve just decided to upgrade to a better feeling mattress and not because of the bed’s age, see if one of your Wyoming neighbors could use a new bed. It can be a touchy subject but many times a person down to the blanket will greatly appreciate a new place to lay their head provided the bed is in good condition. Some thrift shops take old mattresses while others do not so just give a holler.

Recycle Components

If your bed is too old and crusty to give away, you can still break down the materials for better disposal. Up to 90% of the cotton, foam, and other fixings of a mattress can be recycled and springs and coils can actually make you some money at the salvage center.

What Not to Do

Old mattresses must be disposed of with care, so here’s what not to do:

  • Take to Landfill Whole – A mattress can take up to 40 cubic feet in a landfill which is a shame.
  • Sell Back to a Store – Companies selling old beds as new is a serious problem in the industry and is a health issue. In fact, it’s illegal through much of our great land.

Don’t shed a tear over your old bed going to meet its maker, it’s just an opportunity for a great new sleep.

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