Posted by: thefutonshoppaloalto | March 17, 2011

Spring Season

The first day of Spring starts March 20th, 2011. The seasons come and go so fast it seems. Such is the way of life. For those of you lolly-gagging, Winter has already passed pretty much and you know what that means! Spring cleaning! It is always good practice to get rid of junk, and nowadays even better to find ones you can reuse or recycle. Think of composting your organic waste such as banana peels, or tree leaves from your yard.

Don’t forget, if you haven’t already, start being a little more Green and purchasing earth friendly products. Waste less this Spring, so you will have a more beautiful summer! Sustainability means we will have more of these products in availability, and organic means less dependence on chemicals harmful to your living environment.

www.thefutonshop.com/organic-futons

-Vinh

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Posted by: thefutonshoppaloalto | March 17, 2011

Earthquake, Tsunami, Japan

March 11th marked one of the most dangerous natural disasters to inflict a growing industrial nation. If you have never experienced Japanese culture, they are very polite, courteous, hard working, and respectful people. They also have a moral compass, to help each other when in need. Ask someone you know who has spent time in Japan. Most people come back with a culture shock of what is a polar opposite of what we experience here in America.

There lifestyle is based on the practical, complex but simplistic approach. Did you know, one of the ways they teach people their language, is to attach a animal or scene to a character. For example, the character “he,” pronouced “heh,” would resemble a hill, or “heh-ill.” It’s easy to learn that way.

Another simplistic and practical approach coming from the Japanese, is the futon. The traditional bedding they use to sleep in does not require a box spring, convulated foam, nor fluffy polyester lined toppers with a fancy brand name. They use the futon on tatami mats, which are usually filled with rice straw. The tatami was used to cover the floor, and the futon could be stored away when not in use so they room can be used for other purposes during the day.

Character for the Hiragana “He”: Tatami covering a Japanese home:

Another product of Japanese culture that is growing in more popularity these days is sushi:

A lot of the sushi you see in American and European restaurants are not the type you would find in Japan. Most of them are catered to public’s perception of what sushi should taste like. Here’s something you won’t see in most Americanized sushi joints:

It’s called Kani-Miso and consists of: Crab brains and internal organs… mashed into a salty paste.

One big practice I’ve noticed from the Japanese culture is they take care in doing things carefully, and putting thought into what ever they do, eat, or say. It would be wise to take in some of their ways. I think it’s probably one of the best thing you can do for yourself when it comes to finding they best way to get a good night’s rest!

If you haven’t already and you have enjoyed some of the Japanese culture that has already seeped into your lives, donate some money or help towards the disaster effort. Magnitude 9.0 earthquakes are no joke if you have lived in California or earthquake prone areas most of your life.

You can find some information for that here: www.thefutonshop.com

A portion of your purchase will go towards Japanese relief efforts.

-Vinh

Posted by: thefutonshoppaloalto | March 13, 2011

Easiest way to sleep

I wonder what some people do to help themselves go to sleep. I have definitely heard of some long talked-about techniques that sound a little strange. Take for example counting sheep. You imagine sheep jumping over a fence until you get tired and drowsy. This obviously only works for some people, if ever. You can read a bed time story, and I guessing the story should be boring as well. So some techniques require boring yourself to sleep.

There are some ways I think that help, but do not require boring yourself to bed. Shouldn’t you go to bed happy?

1) Try sleeping with the least amount of light in the room, making it as dark as you can. A night light should you get scared.

2) Starting an hour before you intend to sleep. If you want to sleep at 10pm, start at 9pm.

3) Get some exercise during the day to relieve the stress you can build up and hold till, you guessed it, bed time.

4) Do not eat, but do not go feeling empty in the stomach right before bed. Try having a glass of warm milk.

5) Try not to think too much. Rest assured that this time is, and will be, your time to rest. Any problems you carry to the bed, will get in the way of the bed, so to speak. Tell yourself sleep comes first, and you can solve any problems later.

6) Make sure you are sleeping on something supportive and comfortable. You should enjoy your bedding arrangement. If you think not, would you sleep in a cardboard box?

-Vinh

www.thefutonshop.com/organic-bed-sets

Posted by: thefutonshoppaloalto | March 12, 2011

How good is sleep?

When I lose sleep, I get drowsy, irritable, and less able to concentrate on tasks during the day. Sleep consists of a couple stages, and the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) portion of the sleep phase should be included in your sleep cycle. REM sleep is considered to be the deep sleep period when most dreams occur. Quite possibly, poor rest would be the interruption of these various cycles while we are sleeping. Here is a illustration of the effects of sleep deprivation:

So to prevent these occurrences, get some good sleep starting today. Make sure you’re uninterrupted as well.

Find some sleep furniture here: www.thefutonshop.com/platform-beds

-Vinh

Posted by: thefutonshoppaloalto | March 10, 2011

Sleep study groups

Just uncovered a poll done recently by the National Sleep Foundation and found an interesting discovery. One of the most important parts of getting a good sleep was voted by most people in their opinion to be, you guess it: Mattresses and pillows. Easy to understand, but now we can say there are people out there who would agree, and they voted the majority of their opinions into bedding!

Taken from: www.sleepfoundation.org
“Almost Half of Americans Are “Great Sleepers”. While most Americans believe their bedrooms are important to good sleep, only about four in ten Americans (42%) are “great sleepers” who say they get a good night’s sleep every night or almost every night.

Americans Love Their Bedrooms. The vast majority of Americans, more than nine out of ten, say that mattresses and pillows are important to getting a good night’s sleep, and more than three-quarters of Americans also believe that the comfortable feel of sheets and bedding are important.”

I think it’s time to start finding a comfortable and supportive futon mattress now if you haven’t already. Conventional mattress not working? Won’t hurt to find something that might, won’t it?

-Vinh

Find some bed sets here that include free shipping!

www.thefutonshop.com/organic-bed-sets

Posted by: thefutonshoppaloalto | March 10, 2011

Experiment with sleep

Here’s a cool idea: Try experimenting with your sleep. See how affected you are by your “circadian rhythm.” People generally have a habit of sleeping early and waking up early or sleeping late, then waking up in the afternoon. The early bird gets the worm they say. Is it as simple as just getting a worm though? The worm is purely anecdotal and symbolic of what you acquire in the morning. You can get a good start on your day, maybe look forward to seeing someone in the morning, getting the Eggo waffle before someone else does, or having a head start memorizing the key points for your presentation. One important thing to remember is to sleep well of course, whether you start early or late. Don’t think these things make a difference?

Try this experiment: Find the right mattress to sleep on that will leave you waking up rested and invigorated. Sleep early and wake up early.

You can now vary the control in your experiment: Go to sleep late and wake up late, but with a mattress that gives you the right support and comfort.

Find the one that makes you feel the best each day you wake up!

Time for bed?

If not, check out our selection of different futon mattresses: they can be used for everyday sleeping! www.thefutonshop.com/futon-mattresses

-Vinh

Posted by: thefutonshoppaloalto | March 9, 2011

Women’s History Month

Present day has been a great way ahead of women’s role in society. Reading back, women were always taking on the roles of being the caretaker of children (which is great position to take whether you are woman or man). It was not long ago that they barely got to vote! This was in from our parent’s time, only one generation before! Since then, you will notice many female friends, family, and acquaintances taking on different positions in society and being greater contributers than solely the home maker.

Percentages of women earning doctorates in specific fields: (statistics from NSF)

Physical sciences – 1958: 3.5%, 2006: 29.0%
Mathematics – 1958: 5.9%, 2006: 29.6%
Life Sciences – 1958: 10%, 2006: 51.8%
Engineering – 1958: 0.5%, 2006: 20.2%
Computer Sciences: 1978: 9.1%, 2006: 21.3%

Personally, I know of friends who are specifically excellent in fields that were generally male dominated previously. They are very skilled in math and sciences, with a good amount of them going into professional careers of being eye doctors, pharmacists, teachers, biochemists in the food industry, and solar energy entrepreneurs. These are a few of the very important paths to improve living conditions of society, and they also become “bread winners” in their immediate families.

Another women who I think deserves great recognition for her bravery and compassion in discovering animal behavior: Jane Goodall.

If you don’t know about her now, you should definitely find some literature on her adventures. No longer is taking risky expeditions for Tarzan, Jane Goodall, good too.

Women’s sports are also slowly becoming more present in society, maybe not as watched as Men’s sport, but it is still something that wasn’t there before. There were people in society before that believed women couldn’t or shouldn’t play sports. This belief would have hindered women from believing if they could play or not themselves!

At the local level, you can see more women making headlines within sports, it is a pretty normal occurrence in this day in time. Michael Phelps watch out, here comes Jasmine Tosky and Maddy Schaefer! They recently won team title at the Southern Zone-Speedo Champions Series at Texas A&M University in College Station for the Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics team.

Now check out a futon business owned by a woman: www.thefutonshop.com

Posted by: thefutonshoppaloalto | March 3, 2011

The Red Cross

Did you know The Futon Shop donated $1,500 to the Red Cross for Haiti earthquake disaster in 2010? Another $11,000 was also donated for the family of the fire fighters from the September 11th terrorist attacks. Everyday we can make a difference to the quality of our lives by doing something for others. Living organic may not seem like a big deal, but for action is a outcome, good or bad. Why not make a difference in the communities you live in by purchasing locally grown organic and sustainable products? They help ensure that we have renewable resources to use again later, and it gives back to the local people who grow it for us.

The energy you put into the world, will ultimately be put back or returned…thus is the concept of karma. Regardless, you reap what you sow, and that is the same when putting energy and effort into your surroundings. Consider it an investment into your community.

See contributions made from The Futon Shop here: www.thefutonshop.com/suzienurse

Posted by: thefutonshoppaloalto | February 26, 2011

Natural housing?

If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a new environmental structure in Palo Alto that depicts art in housing design. It does make me think, could one day, humans live in structures such as these again? Early Indians lived in Tee-pees and there are still indigenous tribes that live in straw huts today.

I guess when it comes to organic living these types of structure, even if only for artistic purposes, would require a bit more science, or we would be rebuilding houses every year. The environmental impact of these all twig and branch houses would pollute the earth at a rate of: o%.

So, if you haven’t seen this artistic “tree house” yet, you should definitely check it out before mother nature does.

We got wooden stuff too: www.thefutonshop.com/hardwood-frames

Posted by: thefutonshoppaloalto | February 26, 2011

The importance of organic living

A recent story further implicates the dire consequences of living in an environment that is more and more augmented towards un-natural products. The use of chemicals create less value in our living standards as shown in this piece of Monsanto: http://www.truth-out.org/monsanto-shifts-all-liability-farmers68009

The damage is imminent and they are putting all liability of their altered GMO (genetically modfied organism) plant seeds onto the farmers who purchase the seedlings from them. The key here is to understand where these practices are going: Consumers are buying cheaper products that cheapen their livelihood and eventually the money flows to the ones making these products, giving them more opportunities to give you exactly what you got before. The time to purchase organic goods is now.

If we don’t do it now, the spread of altered products will spread as fast as these seeds can grow (to put it in a metaphor that’s easy to imagine).

-Vinh

Start organic today: www.thefutonshop.com/organic

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