In search of a good night’s sleep
Who amongst us has never had a time when they found it hard to get a good night’s sleep? A quick Google search of the phrase will turn up over 24 million hits in one half second.
Many of those articles will discuss everything from the person who has an occasional sleepless night to the unfortunate soul that suffers from a lifetime of insomnia. Many pages will discuss causes and cures. In fact, there is enough reading material on sleeplessness to literally keep you up all night.
For most of my life, I considered myself a night owl. I often could not sleep until after midnight. Once asleep, I had no trouble, though it was often hard to get up early in the morning.
About four years ago, my body clock suddenly changed and all of a sudden I could drop off to sleep shortly after the sun went down. Along with that change, my body began waking up before dawn every day with or without an alarm clock.
I do have arthritis in my hip and back that often causes sleep to be fitful. As that condition advanced so did my search for the perfect mattress. A search for a new mattress this past weekend showed me just how complicated that search has become.
There are 18 listings for businesses that sell mattresses in the Auburn area. Many of them sell nothing but mattresses. Most of them are in new buildings often located on prime real estate. How do they pay the rent? I was about to find out.
The sign plastered on the front door advertised 0 percent interest for six years. Six years! Most of their offerings, and there were many, were more costly than my first new car. In fact, by the time you finally pay for the mattress you might not have any money left to hide under it.
Mattresses come in firm, soft and everything in between. If you and your spouse cannot agree on the firmness level, there are mattresses that allow you to adjust each side of the bed.
Mattresses can absorb the excess heat from your body, or even add heat to it. That is important to Mary Lou and me since one of us is hot natured and the other is cold natured.
Some come with coils and some come with memory foam. If you cannot decide, then there are hybrids that come with both. Since I often cannot remember what I had for lunch the previous day, I would suggest that a mattress that can remember the contours of my body is pretty amazing.
Mattresses can vibrate at your head, your feet, or all over. You can vibrate one part while your spouse is vibrating another part. I don’t know how the thing manages to hold together with all that shaking going on.
In the first store, we spent an hour determining our own personal “Sleep Number”. This bed can be controlled by your phone. Just what I need is one more reason to be on my phone, especially at bedtime.
The next store was like a field of mattresses. There seemed to be beds as far as the eye could see. We tried most of them until my own memory foam seemed to give out. The difference between some mattresses was so small that even a trained expert could not tell them apart.
Not to worry, though, because at that point the patient salesperson will bring out the visual aids that show the seven levels of different types of foam on top of the thousand individual chambers.
We never made it to the third store. The thought of visiting all 18 mattress establishments was more than we could bear. We took a nap on our old mattress and then made our decision. That afternoon we paid an amount of money for a mattress that I would be ashamed to disclose in public or in private.
Now if I can just figure out what all these buttons mean on the mattress remote, perhaps I can finally get a good night’s sleep.
Dan Ponder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org