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Don't lose sleep over holiday gift buying

(BPT) - Is holiday gift buying causing you stress? Searching for a gift that is practical, yet personal? You are not alone in the struggle to find the “perfect gift.”

The National Retail Federation estimates that holiday sales will reach $586 billion this season, with the average consumer spending around $550 on gifts. The NRF also reports that eight out of 10 Americans will purchase gift cards as gifts this holiday season, and that gift cards remain the most requested holiday gift item – statistics that clearly reflect America’s desire to give gifts that recipients will actually utilize.

But what if you are looking to be more creative and personal this holiday season? Before you run out and purchase an ironic T-shirt or a novelty beer can party hat, consider this: If the average person spends one third (approximately eight hours daily) of his life asleep, this only leaves 16 hours each day for activities outside of sleeping. Those 16 hours are shared between tasks such as work, eating, cleaning, traveling, family and leisure – to name a few. Following this logic, sleeping by far surpasses every other activity in people’s lives.

So why not give a gift that enhances the activity we spend the most time enjoying? And what can be more cozy and intimate than something you sleep with every night?

Between 50 and 70 million adults in the United States have chronic sleep and wakefulness disorders, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Studies have linked sleep deprivation to sickness, disease, mental health issues, reduced attention span, poor job performance and weight gain. This makes a good night’s sleep truly invaluable.

You can help your friends and family rest easy by giving sleep-friendly gifts this holiday season.

Noises at levels as low as 40 decibels or as high as 70 decibels can keep us awake, the National Sleep Foundation reports. Help loved ones block out unwanted sounds with a gift of noise cancelling earbuds, filtered earplugs or a white noise machine. Most sleep experts agree that the ideal temperature for sleep is around 60 to 68 F. Temperatures in this range help facilitate a decrease in core body temperature that in turn induces sleepiness. Temperature regulating sheets or pajamas, which wick excessive heat or moisture away from the body accordingly, make great gifts and help facilitate temperature control.

Pillows and mattresses that don’t provide the proper support for your back or neck can hinder you from getting the sleep you need and leave you feeling sore and sleep-deprived the next day, according to the National Sleep Foundation. While choosing the right pillow can be a personalized task, giving loved ones a pillow that is adjustable satisfies all types of sleepers. Waterbase pillows, for example, can be filled according to the user’s preference, therefore always providing the “perfect fit” and ideal neck support.

Think sleep products make odd gifts? Maurice Bard, founder and CEO of Mediflow Inc., a company that makes waterbase cervical pillows, disagrees. “Poor sleep quality affects all aspects of your life. If you could give someone something that could potentially improve their quality of life, wouldn’t that be the best gift your money could buy?” asks Bard.

This holiday season, as you run down your shopping lists, consider the benefits of giving sleep-friendly gifts that will be used every single night by those you love. Your loved ones will quickly discover that a good night’s sleep is truly a gift that keeps giving.

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