About a year ago now, my wife and I decided to spend a not inconsiderable amount of money on a new mattress. It’s not that there was anything majorly wrong with our old mattress, we can’t have had it for more than 3 years. I’m sure that for some people they would have happily carried on using it for a few more still. Looking online I’m informed that a mattress can live a wonderful life for about 8 to 10 years before it has to go to the big bed showroom in the sky!
For us, however, this mattress had never quite felt right since the time we’d purchased it along with a new bed frame. Sure, we could fall asleep on it without much issue, but we always had this little feeling that if we’d chosen differently, our sleep would be much deeper, less tossing and turning. Generally, we’d feel better in the morning.
Despite all I’ve just written, being a Yorkshireman with some stereotypical attributes, I was determined that whatever issues we faced with that old mattress, we were going to use it until we’d squeezed every last spring out of it. I don’t recall how much we originally paid for it, it wasn’t cheap, it wasn’t overly expensive either. But the money had been spent, so we were going to accept our sleepy fate. Except … when I got caught up with the new wave of mattress makers, promising us sleep like we’d never slept before!
I’m not quite sure where I began to see the adverts for mattresses. It was probably on social media, and if you ever click those ad-links, all of a sudden, the internet presumes you love those slabs of sleepy heaven and will keep showing you more and more. The difference with these new breeds of mattress makers is that they are very good at showing you the technical trickery behind their wares. If you know me at all, you’ll know that I love tech, and I’m easily persuaded to try the next big thing if it’s got all the fancy bells and whistles.
So these mattress vendors didn’t just show me how strangers were enjoying their sleep, they showed me why. With all the layers and the sorcerer’s foam, I was pretty quickly sold into the idea of taking our naps to the next level.
So I did it, one day I just went for it, and I clicked buy on the most expensive mattress we’ve ever purchased. It helped that it had a sale on – a Yorkshireman remember? You might be wondering which one did I buy? Well, I don’t want to give away too much free advertising, but suffice to say it was one of those with the girl’s names.
One year one from that click, what do I think? I think it’s one of the best things I have ever bought. The company I purchased it from gives customers 100 nights to try it out and return it free of charge, no quibble, if it’s not for them. Those 100 nights went sailing by, in about 4 months of blissful sleep.
Buying quality evidently does pay. But so does investing in something that will help with your quality of life. All the somnologists agree that consecutive good nights sleep reduces stress, maintains good mental health and emotional well being. It even helps the immune system stay in good order. The list goes on, check it out for yourself. (Oh, and somnologists are sleep doctors, yeah, I had to look that up.)
All this got me thinking, what else is good for us that we don’t pay enough attention to, or make time to work through?
I’ll give you just one that came to mind, probably because I’m writing about mattresses and sleep, and it’s this: Finding somewhere to inhabit, even it’s just for a few minutes, ideally a few hours, where we can find silence and peace.
This might mean disconnecting yourself from your smartphone for a short while, or, if you’re able, going for a long walk, somewhere away from busy roads. For parents, and being one I’m speaking from experience, this might seem tricky. But give it your best shot, take that long bath, disappear to your room (and lay on that new mattress that’s named after the lead character of The Lion King), even for a few precious minutes. It’s crucial you do. Just like we might take our sleep state for granted, we can take peace for granted. We assume we’ll have it just as soon as we deal with this or that, only to find it never comes because we never take the time to manufacture it.
The Christian Bible has many verses that encourage us to slow down, take a deep breath, and open ourselves up to God, and as we do, we are rewarded with peace. We can take that peace into our interactions and amazingly find that it multiplies. Jesus Himself declared, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” We are to make peace as we fulfil the desires of Jesus, not try and keep the peace at all costs.
Where might you find moments of peace? How might you make this peace? What other areas are you aware need changing, but you just keep kicking the can down the road? You’re simply hoping it’ll get better, rather than taking some affirmative action and doing what you can make the difference?
Take some time to consider what might need to change, it won’t be time wasted, I promise. And maybe you could consider this challenge as you close your eyes on that nice new memory pillow to go with that lovely new mattress … oh, I bought a couple of those too!