However, every night for those eight years (and even before, now that I think of it) M has complained about aches and pains about 10 minutes after getting in bed. I always thought that he mentioned them then because all was quiet and he realized that he had some pain. Some nights he needed Tylenol, some nights he didn't. He still slept okay, though. I, on the other hand, didn't have any pains when I got in bed, but often had lower back pain in the morning. When we both got up, we were like an old couple, hobbling around for awhile before we really got going. If M went upstairs to get the boys, he took the stairs very slowly.
We realized that we are too young to be acting like old folks, so M researched different beds for us and had it down to two kinds: the NASA created temperpedic foam beds and the air-mattress-like sleep number bed. We were always skeptical that the foam beds would last very long with heavy people like us, but we heard great things about them. The sleep number also got rave reviews by friends that had them.
So, last February when we were visiting my sister in California, M and I went to the Sleep Number store at the local outside, beautiful, I-wish-we-had-one-here-and-the-great-weather-to-go-with-it mall. All of the sales people were wearing pajamas in the store -- strange, but kind of cute. They have this process to determine your number.
M went first and layed down on the test bed (with a paper towel placed carefully under his head to protect him (and others) from germs, bugs, and whatnot.) The salesperson took him "all the way down to One" and then "brought him back up slowly" to where it seemed comfortable. M's number was 50 and he was in heaven. He didn't want to get up. Now, he had been in the bed long enough for the pain to set in, so I was pretty happy that he was so happy. Then it was my turn. She asked me how I slept, and I showed her how I sleep on my side. She took me all the way down to one. Going down to one felt like I was sinking into the bed. It was strange! Then she brought me back up to where I felt like the small of my back was supported enough (since that was my problem spot.) My number was 55. I was surprised that our numbers were so close together because generally M likes softer beds than I do. His number is firmer than mine, but not by much. The sales lady explained that even if we had the same number, it wouldn't feel the same to both of us because you set the number while you're in the bed and his body density is different than mine. I kind of get that.
Anyway, while the found our numbers, they took "pictures" of the pressure points of our bodies in the bed and compared a "before" (at the 100 number) to the "after" (at our sleep number). You could tell that the "before" had heavier pressure points and the sleep number "after" dispersed the pressure across our whole bodies. These "pictures" looked like a heat sensor-type picture.
So, we left the store and discussed it and slept on it a night (pun intended!) and decided to go for it (especially since it comes with a 30-day free trial). We ordered went back to the store and placed the order. "So you need any pillows?" she said, "Nope, we're set." we replied. We were able to order it in Cal and have the bed delivered to our house in the Midwest from the local dealer in the next town over. We were so excited to get our new bed. M's pain worsened on our old mattress, probably because he knew he'd be getting a better bed.
It arrived and we slept on it that first night. M was in heaven and I was just okay. After the third night on the bed, M woke up and bounded up the stairs (really) and was as happy as a clam in the morning, exclaiming that he felt more rested than he has in a decade.
I, on the other had stil had a bit of back pain and now even had some neck pain. We remembered that the sales person said to lower the number by five if we needed more support, so I lowered my number to 45 in the hopes that I would be as happy as M. OHMYGOODNESS I WAS NOT HAPPY. I woke up throughout the night in pain -- my knees hurt, my neck hurt, my shoulders hurt, my arms hurt, and my lower back hurt. How could all of this hurt from one night in a bed???? For goodness sakes, how can my arms hurt?? I couldn't believe the pain I was in and how tired I was. I did realized that I'm more of a stomach sleeper than a side sleeper and thought maybe this had something to do with it. M was distraught -- he was truly a new man and wanted me to be just as happy with the bed as he was. I wanted to be just as happy with the bed as he was! So, M got on the phone and called our salesperson, who was very helpful. She agreed that the problem was that I was a "cross side stomach sleeper" and we are the hardest to fit in the bed. (Great!) But, she did recommend a new pillow for me -- one that had to be purchased at a Sleep Number store because they're made especially for the way I sleep. She also suggested that we call the 800# and get our 30 days extended to 60 days of free trial, which M did.
Off we went to the store 20 miles away to buy a pillow -- a $50 pillow, mind you. A $50 pillow that is made out of hard foam and is flat -- totally different from my squishy, soft, down pillow that I scrunch up into a ball to fit right under my neck. I tried eight different pillows. They even measured my neck (very short) and shoulder width (not too wide) to find the pillow that would fit my body with my sleep position. Mind you, I was in tons of neck and shoulder pain from that fateful #45 night two nights before. But, this one pillow (that was recommended by this fancy little cardboard wheel thing that the salesperson spun around) did seem to be the most comfortable, even though I didn't really like it that much. We bought it (also with a 30-day free trial). I had some trepidations at using that pillow because it doesn't squish at all. I sleep on my stomach with my left arm under the pillow and my head on the pillow on top of my arm. It didn't feel any better the next day. It didn't feel any better the second morning. On the third morning it didn't hurt quite so much and on the fourth morning it was a little better. Finally, on the fifth morning, I was a new woman (oh, how I waited for that day!) No pain, lots of good sleep, and I jumped out of bed. Yahoo. Alleluia!
Now we're both sleeping great, but there's one thing that kind of bothers us about the bed -- it's made of two big airchambers that are connected in the middle by foam. Sometimes it feels like you're climbing up over a mountain to get to the other side. So, things like snuggling and spooning are a bit tricky. We have to get on one side or the other or else one of us is on the foam (these are the things that you don't get to try out in a store.)
On Saturday morning, M and I were discussing the bed. We had 10 more days of our 60 day free-trial and that darn NASA foam bed was teasing M in his head. He really wanted to give that bed a try. I thought it made sense too, if there was a way to do it over night. And there is. There are a bunch of hotels that feature the temperpedic beds and we found one near an outlet mall that I've been wanting to go back to so I could buy shoes. M jumped up and booked a room for Saturday night, I called the kennel and they could take Mackinac, and we told the boys to pack their swim suits and pjs -- we were going on a mini-vacation. The boys were psyched!
We went to the mall and got me three pairs of shoes, and everybody else in the family got a pair too. We spent $32 on "snacks" at the Harry and David store (I got wayyyy carried away there!) and we drooled over the LeCruset cookware and gasped at the extorbernant "outlet" prices.
Then, off to the hotel. By the way, the hotel also had a really cool pool area that we had a blast in. We go into the room and lay on the beds (the boys had twin temperpedic beds too) and they felt pretty comfy. Then I laid down next to the boys and read to them for half an hour and my back started to hurt. Hmmmm, that's no good.
M and I both had a rough night. We both woke up like old people, with pains here and there. We looked at each other with a big grin...we love our bed at home! We're both so glad that we crossed that NASA bed off of our list -- we made the right purchase decision and have no regrets. Thank goodness!
Now, as a reward for reading that long story, here are some pictures of the kids playing in the fun pool at the hotel: