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The Adventures of Mattman: Chowdy from Andy

The word is Chowdy.

Ciao and Howdy slammed together like tiny atoms smashing into each other in a particle accelerator. The definition of Chowdy is hello and goodbye. It’s my own personal North Carolina “Aloha!” Chowdy, chowdy folks!

My name is Andy Schlesser. I took off the cape and toast-like mattress suit for today’s episode. I give salutations to my friends and colleagues as Chowdy. It’s my sign of endearment. I felt the need to invent the word Chowdy because I love and admire how efficient Hawaiians have it. One word.

Anyways, I’m here as myself to chat about my sleep sources that come up in the episodes of the show. Each book has given me its own effective tidbit or five. I think any one of them together is great but I started seeing overlaps and intricacies. Instead of using the information each as a string, I wound them together to make a rope that is much stronger.

To some extent, this rope was a lifeline. Last year with the national shut down and all the internet noise, I, like many out there, struggled with my stress levels. There was a six-month time between April and October where Mattman didn’t even exist.

I somehow lost all my pink sunglasses. I had the suits in my trunk but it just didn’t feel right. Things felt too serious to be joking around on Facebook while friends in our local community and in our industry were struggling. And on top of that, I got hurt. I hadn’t followed any kind of plan or schedule of my own. I gained weight and got sloppy.

Anybody who works with mattresses and furniture ought to know moving heavy stuff can have a real cost. Here I am a year later and I’m still healing from a lower back injury. At some point when I felt the most down and out, I leaned into the fundamentals to help me begin to fight back. Hence, you are listening to my personal journey with the sleep sources I quote on the show.

My back injury prevented me from working out and from doing most forms of cardio. My only avenue for weight loss was diet and that isn’t fast or easy. Everybody who knows me knows I love to ask what they like to eat for lunch! My back pain was greater than my need for delicious food. With a foundation of sleep, I lost a lot of weight but that wasn’t enough to be fully healed  So I sought more help from professionals with my injury and I’m slowly on a track of healing. 

Since I started this, I learned I don’t want my goal to be “healed up and go back to my old ways.” When I’m well again, I need to have the habits of a healthy person or I’m going to get hurt again. And maybe next time I won’t get lucky and find my way back to 100 percent. 

In developing my own mindset of enjoying things that I don’t love doing, these sleep sources have been my mentors. I need them not only to get well but to maintain wellness. If you are a person who seeks a similar path in life, I write these episodes for you.

I may be presenting the information in a Weird Al over-tuned parody, but the information itself is real. It comes not only from sources but from a guinea pig. In gaming lingo, I’m going to play the game I developed before I offer it on pre-order (this is a stab at AAA game developers). 

Last year, I genuinely felt like my life was straight out of the comics. In February, I wrote and produced a short film for Facebook and it came out pre-shutdown. Mattman vs. Sleeping Bandit. Pause this and watch if you haven’t. There’s a spoiler around this corner.

At the time, I left it to be continued. I’ll make the announcement here. The Sleeping Bandit kicked Mattman’s untufted underside. Big time! The Sleeping Bandit, if you weren’t aware, is Mattman’s arch-nemesis who gets massive kickbacks from big pharma. Sleeping pills are an enormous industry in America. And last year while I was without my source of superpowers, he recruited even more pesky villains to rob people of their sleep cycles pushing them closer and closer to the convenience of sleeping pills. 

That episode came out, then came the shutdown, then the election, and if you weren’t careful, you’re caught up in that giant avalanche of information and drama. My six months spent as a benched superhero were like any of the heroes fallen from grace. Bruce, Peter, Tony, all of them would try hanging up the suit to be normal, but eventually, we all have that moment.

And mine came when I finished these sleep sources and built my own game plan for better sleep. The cherry on top is that out of the blue a networking friend of mine also brought me a pair of pink glasses. Thanks, Christian! Your timing was beyond cosmic. There was a point I thought the Sleeping Bandit truly did win. But I possessed self-discipline all along. It started with myself and my sleep habits.

From the sleep science, sleep habits, and all things supernatural, I have been referencing four different sleep sources for the past eleven episodes. 

Matthew Walker’s Master Class “The Science of Sleep”

The first sleep source is Matthew Walker and his Master Class “The Science of Sleep.” If your team enjoys visual learning, this is a great subscription to have at the office. It covers a lot of great information and aspects of sleep.

I watched a class every few days, took some notes, and let it all marinate. I think other sleep sources are actually quoting Matthew Walker’s information than the other way around. Many of the analogies I make come from Dr. Walker’s own light and relatable personality. I will watch this again this year.

Atomic Habits

Another sleep source I’ve mentioned less directly is called Atomic Habits. One percent a day adds up! You can read Atomic Habits, or there is an audio version if your team prefers to listen. If your team members have a lot of heart but don’t seem organized, this can help! It helped teach me about adopting better habits and waiting for the delayed satisfaction. For the folks who have read it, you will be sure to find Easter eggs all over the show. Habit stacking and making the goal to create habits, the list will go on!

I enjoyed an anecdote about how your actions reinforce your character. You might feel like a stranger at first but just keep going. It mirrored Mark Kinsley’s comment as he got me to agree to do a podcast. “Actions will be the deciding factor of the future.”

I’ve never done podcasting before, but the more I write, the more I feel like I am a writer of a podcast! I took these strands and wound them tight. Do the thing and keep doing it. You reinforce your character with the action itself. Eventually, you will get to a point you are no longer a stranger. 

Here’s another example of making the goal to have good habits and not to have a traditional goal. Let’s say you’re known to be a bit messy around the office. Most folks will just make it a goal to clean up.

Atomic Habits says make it your goal to have the habits of a clean person. Do the habits you think they do. I’ve kept my workspace in the office and at home cleaner and I didn’t have to do that big two-hour ordeal. One percent each day adds up. Keep doing it and you’ll rewrite what you’re known for and when that changes, the delayed satisfaction will taste sweeter than any ice cream sandwich you could ever imagine.

Forbes Top Books: Come Back to Bed

The third sleep source is currently atop a Forbes list of books to read and it’s called “Come Back to Bed.” I used the HATCH method for my writing process to make these podcast episodes.

Again, I have zero experience writing podcast episodes. A little inside baseball here; Mark Kinsley of Dos Marcos called me in December 2020 and asked me to write as Mattman for The FAM. I got excited and said I would have six episodes finished by the end of December. Ten days went by and I didn’t have a single one done. I had outlined my sleep sources but not much else got done. I tried a few times to start the episodes and it wasn’t going great.

But I kept at it. I kept thinking about how Dos Marcos wrote about failure and being way out there in uncharted space. And there is treasure in uncharted space! So instead of giving up, I employed the HATCH method they discussed in their book Come Back to Bed. Brainstorming wasn’t the problem for me.

I can toss around some crazy ideas. It was picking the right ideas and forming them into a story that is the hard part. So I started doing my brainstorming sessions right before bed. Then I would wake up, make a cup of coffee, do some stretching, and start writing! Here I am 14 episodes later with my sea legs under me and I see more blue ocean on the horizon. I wouldn’t have come this far if not for the Come Back to Bed influence on the creative process. And that’s not all you’ll find in there. 

Shawn Stephenson’s Sleep Smarter

Last but not least, Shawn Stephenson’s “Sleep Smarter.” The OG Sweet Dreams sleep source. This was my third time through. A lot of the sleep habits I talk about can sound mom and dad-ish in nature, but the reason I suggest them is because the positive impacts can be life-changing and health-altering.

Shawn was diagnosed with an incurable bone disease in high school after he broke his hip during running practice. He was told by many doctors there was nothing he could do. After learning everything he could about his condition, he changed his diet and exercise habits that would lead to a healthier life.

And when he also learned to maximize his sleep, that’s when he reversed the disease’s grip on his body and now he is in incredible shape. Sleep was the bedrock on which he built his house of health. Rereading his story and then using his sleep tips gives me hope that with awareness, empathy, and dedication I will also be healed well enough to run 5Ks again. Control what you can control. And buckle up because he argues your body can do some super science fiction stuff. He himself is the proof.  

These four sleep sources are great material for any sales team. And over time, I also hope to become one of them. Since reading these books earlier this year, I’ve formed new habits of my own and as a result, the Adventures of Mattman podcast is getting a tiny upgrade. I’ll be moving from under the umbrella of to my own Spotify and iTunes channel. While it was a slow start, I made my goal to form the habits I imagine of a successful podcaster. The result is this is little mile marker episode and there are plenty more in the hopper. 

I have episodes on the horizon where I spend five minutes debunking Mark Quinn’s Napacinno sleep tip from a recent Dos Marcos episode. I also want to highlight important moments from Brent Thornton’s interviews on the FAM. And Mike it Up, too, with Mike and Jeff!  We go back a few years, me and the Goodbed Boys.

There is one thing I’m setting out to do in the grand scheme of things. If I can help one group of sleep-deprived people out there, it’s gamers. We are generally known to have poor sleep habits due to the nature of binge gaming along with other misconceptions that come with the label.

I personally have hyper-focused on gaming a time or two in my decades of adulthood. I don’t want to stop people from gaming, quite the opposite. Better sleep habits mean better quality gaming and better performance while gaming, not necessarily less time spent doing it. And if I can help parents bridge this gap to their gamer kids sooner than the time it took me to learn it, I’ll have paid it forward in years of high-quality gaming. Sounds like a sweet deal to me!

So I hope you’ll consider subbing the podcast and following along! I’m excited to continue on! It gives me an extra reason to stick to my sleep schedule. I have to get a good night’s sleep because I want to keep up with tomorrow. Chowdy chowdy!

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