Friday, March 27, 2009

Shopping for ZZZ's

Every so often I get an email from someone who suggests a particular subject matter for my blogs. They usually will contain not only the idea, but a product that they happen to sell and, of course, would love a plug from me. I don't mind these emails too much because I used to work in retail management for eighteen years and I know what it's like to have to sell a quota.

I also know what it's like when a boss wants you to think "outside the box" and surf the internet for the next way to sell that gem of a product. Selling is a hard job, and at times, customer service is a thankless one too.

But the hardest thing today is to try and sell yourself and your product to a perfect stranger via email, because, frankly, most people won't give it a second thought when they hit the spam button.

An email sent to me today from a gal by the name of Kirsten, caught my attention, though. It had nothing to do with the actual product, or even her introduction that made this email special, in fact, I've never had a need for her product in my almost 9 years of marriage and I had never heard of her. I know of her product, which is a bed, but I've never tried that brand before.

So, you might be wondering why I'm even bringing all of this up. Well, what struck me was the fact that Kirsten added a very interesting article and youtube video to look at and research. The article is about a study done on sleep and how doing something as simple as changing your mattress could make you sleep a whole lot better. The video also talks about this same study and shows you how pressure points in your body could make sleeping difficult and have you wake up with back pain.

Now, what Kirsten doesn't know, and what all of you all are about to, is that one of the many things that I used to sell was mattresses when I worked in retail management. They can be the hardest thing to sell to someone because you want to make sure that the customer doesn't feel foolish when lying on one in the showroom.

That may sound funny to any of you who have never worked retail, but it's really very true. Just go back to the last time you were shopping for a mattress and think back to how long you did the Charmin test when you felt the thickness of each mattress. If you actually laid on it, how long did you do that before you said, "I'll take it." Chances are, you didn't spend that long. You may have even purchased the same brand that you've had for years because it seemed like a good one.

Mattresses are a long time investment, that is a very true statement. And you do spend about a third of your life on one. Having said that, you may be wondering which mattress I think is the best, or you may even wonder what I sleep on. And the answer to that is simple, I don't have a preference. I have what is comfortable for me. I don't suggest anything in particular to anyone because everyone is different.

I've owned only two beds in my almost 36 years of life. The first was a very flat and very firm twin mattress that I had during my childhood and early adult years. The second is the one I sleep on now which is a full size pillow top from one of those discount mattress places. I didn't pick out either of these because they were gifts to me. The first was from my mother who purchased the best one she could find so I could start out my big girl life with a good bed. The second was from my mother in-law who purchased the best she could find so Scott and I could start out our married life with a good bed. I liked each of these beds because of their comfort level-- at least the full was comfortable before kids and cats. Now, it's a bit crowded lol!

I really can't tell you if a Sleep Number is the way to go. I've never had one, I don't work for that company, and as I stated before, everyone is different.

But what I can give you is some good information on how to shop for a mattress the next time you need one. Picking the wrong mattress can spell trouble for anyone with fibro and that is certainly not how one can feel fabulous, so let's get to the tips, shall we?

Tip number one: If a fire hazard is of any concern to you because of children or smokers, the best mattress to purchase is a pillow top. You'd think that it wouldn't be, but the thickness actually helps in this case because it takes much longer to burn one. A flat firm is the absolute worst in this case and a plush didn't fair much better. The actual test was done on a television show several years back. It was a show dedicated to testing out products to see which ones really held up.

Tip number two: When shopping for a mattress, lie on each type, a flat firm, a plush, and a pillow top for at least 10 minutes at a time BEFORE you decide which one to get. And if you sleep with a partner, make sure they do the same so you can better decide. Mattresses today are much more sophisticated and they have actually split the comfort levels for each sleeper. You can purchase a mattress that has firm on one side and plush on the other if that's to your liking.

Tip number three: Make sure you lie on the mattress the same way you do when you sleep so you can get the best idea for your comfort.  So if you are a stomach sleeper that means you should sleep face down.  Now, that may help you to decide on a mattress, but I can't guarantee you'll feel good about germs that way.

If you follow these tips, you should be able to find the best mattress for yourself. These tips won't do you much good, however, if you don't know when you should start to shop for a new mattress.

The answer to that, is that you should start shopping for one if yours is around 10 years old or older and if yours is starting to show significant wear. Most mattresses will start to get big dips in the middle when they wear out. So if your cat, dog, or small child tends to disappear in the middle of your mattress, it might be time for a new one.

Small impressions are body impressions and those are a normal occurrence on a mattress. These may make the mattress look "lumpy" when you put a flat fitted sheet on the bed, but they are fine and are not signs that it's time for a new one.

Another big reason to start looking when your mattress hits it's 10th birthday, is dust mites. Dust mites are inevitable, they are hard to get rid of, but not impossible. You can kill some of them off by deodorizing your mattress from time to time with a bit of baking soda or Borax. Just follow the labeling directions. Once they die, they can, however, stay trapped inside a mattress and cause it to become very heavy throughout the years. This is why it is suggested to shop every 10 years for a new one.

For any further information, you can check out the youtube video that Kirsten from Select Comfort passed along to me. It will give you a few other ideas about shopping for a mattress.

You might also want to take a look at the contest Select Comfort is doing between now and April 2. You can register to win a mattress from them which is pretty cool. I'm not sure if you have to become one of their mailing list members, but, to enter for a possible chance to win, that might not be so bad. I'll leave that up to you all.

Also, don't forget about the contest I'm running for a chance to win an autographed copy of Fibromyalgia and Sex Can Be a Pain In the Neck...and back and shoulders or The Fibro Hand. The 25th commenter (which is coming up very soon) will be the first lucky winner!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley
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