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The Adventures of Mattman: Power of the Pillow

Hello, Superpower Seekers! I come to you from my office which I dub Sleep Source One— the amazing place I have maximized, much like my sleep, for high levels of productivity and entertainment! 

Today is going to be a fantastic day and I wanted to tell you about one of the most important aspects of sleep I have yet to discuss in depth. It’s so important, it’s the start of my creedo. The power of the pillow!

To my fellow sleep associates out there, a percentage of your customers that purchase a mattress from you immediately go to one of the big box stores or perhaps a retail chain that rhymes with “head math and freeyond” to purchase a pillow. 

That statistic is relevant because there’s a need for the product. And oftentimes they’re shopping on price alone because they’ve already spent a lot of money on the mattress and box spring and don’t necessarily want to keep spending just to solve a problem. 

However, I’ve been doing this a long time, and the one thing that I realized is that the wrong pillow has a dramatic effect on my customers’ experience. It’s even worse when it’s on that custom fit mattress we picked out.  

Have you ever had somebody who you worked with for a long time choosing the right mattress? They took it home and called you saying they’re not happy with it because their neck hurts? And did that person take a pillow from their old bed or perhaps just a random pillow off a shelf from somewhere with no expert guidance? 

When it comes to mattress comfort exchanges, the pillow is always in the forefront of my mind. Where’d they get that pillow? Was that causing the issue on their old bed to begin with?  

Science tells us for every inch of your neck that is pushed out of a natural posture, it creates 10 lb of pressure on it. You know there’s this little bone up in your neck that your spinal cord goes through and attaches to your brain. It’s called the atlas.  

In my video game, the atlas is a map to the world in which I can smash monsters for loot. Without it I wouldn’t know where the monsters are to smash or can’t make a plan, I might just wander around aimlessly for hours doing nothing.  

All the information coming from your brain going through the atlas bone in your neck is exactly the same way. It’s a really important part of your body and the pillow is directly related to its posture and comfort while you sleep.

You have to study up! You have to make sure the pillows that you have at your store are suited for the needs of your community. Go shopping and find options that fit your market. Try products. Make sure your employees try them and get their feedback. 

Ever go to a restaurant where the waiter hasn’t tried anything on the menu and offers no advice on what to eat? 

We’re looking for neutral spine alignment. When people lay on the bed, you want to make sure their head is not pushed up too far or sagging too low. And different sleep positions need different pillow thicknesses. 

You might have expensive pillows as a result of your research but that doesn’t mean the customer isn’t willing to buy it. Quite the opposite, we find that when we custom fit a person for a pillow and a mattress together there’s overall satisfaction of our products.  Our comfort guarantee rate goes down. And we offer money back guarantees on the pillows because we want to make sure they don’t regret their decision if it doesn’t meet their expectations.   

So when your guests come into the store looking for a mattress, it is really important that you also figure out which pillow will work best for them. And give it to them to use during their shopping experience. This way when they go home and grab that ragged old pile of rags to put under their head, they have context. They may not realize that the nine-year-old pillow that they’ve hung on to because that’s the only one that was comfortable at the time is worn out.

The power of the pillow is significant because of how important everything you’re storing in your brain is for your body. Some people scoff or shun away my suggestion at the expensive pillows and I’m okay with that. I at least have to try because I believe that with the right pillow and the right mattress and the right sheets, your sleep experience can be so awesome that it unlocks super powers inside your body. 

When my customers are excited to tuck themselves in every night, I know they’re going to maximize their sleep. Try to have a mattress, adjustable base, sheets, and a pillow that give me the best chance of maximizing their sleep. Now they can focus on sleep habits that help them sleep one percent better every night.

By the power of the pillow! 

Speaking of pillows, I want to tell you a quick story about the Cannon of Mattman and his sidekick Pillow Pupper. 

My wife and I rescue animals. We have had many rescue pets over the years. When I met her she had a Pomeranian and he got to be like, 17 human years old. We rescued two other smaller younger pups to give him some company in his senior years. Eventually it was his time to cross that rainbow bridge. 

My wife was in really bad shape because she loved that dog. It was her companion before I even met her. Two weeks later a very similar looking Pomeranian popped up on Facebook needing a home and we drove three hours to go pick him up in Tryon, North Carolina.  

This is one of those decisions when your wife has made it, as her husband, it’s your job to make sure that she gets there and back safely, so you’re going with. You do not let her ask. Guys, you better be offering that help. Our partners deserve that level of commitment. 

So we picked up that pupper and his teeth were gnarly. He was in awful shape. He was covered in fleas and smelled really bad. We got him cleaned up and we got his teeth removed and he turned out to be a wonderful pup. 

He was a guestimated 13 human years old. He didn’t come with a name, so we shouted names for several hours. We had to shout because he was somewhat deaf. He didn’t respond to any of the three hundred names we called out so we named him Red Dog because he was redder than the previous Pomeranian, Jesse.  He became known to me as Old Man Red.

Fast forward to the pandemic and the shutdown. My wife was furloughed and at home for a while. He had a habit of sleeping on her feet. And when she moved, he barked and snarled because he was scared he was going to get stepped on. 

It was his fault for sleeping there, but that’s just how he was. So my wife asked me to take him to work. She needed a break. That was the best suggestion she ever made. Red Dog loved the showroom and he was great with people. He loved our customers and our employees.  We even had this extra pillowcase with a Sweet Dreams logo on it and Greg’s mom, Sharon Jean, fashioned it in such a way that he could wear it as a cape!  

During the shutdown, life wasn’t fun and I wasn’t suiting up as a sleep superhero. But Red Dog with a cape was in a different zone of social etiquette. Me parading around as a sleep superhero didn’t fit the national dialogue. But Red Dog prancing around in a cape was welcomed universally. People lit up when they saw his cute costume. And thus he became a pillow pupper.  

Pillow pupper unfortunately is no longer with us. His time came to cross that rainbow bridge in April 2021. That was a hard weekend and work has never felt the same. 

We used to have to make sure all our doors were closed or he would run outside. Everytime I see a door propped open, I think about him and his drive to explore. I felt I needed to tell his story. I learned a valuable lesson from Old Man Red. He helped me cope in a time of extreme stress and pressure. He helped bring me back to a fun zone with new engagement and ideas. 

You see, that dog lived for up to 13 years with another family and we don’t know what his quality of life was like day to day. We assumed it was not that great because of how he looked when we first got him.  

We improved his quality of life and in the last leg of his journey he became a superhero. He didn’t know he was bound for greatness. But it happened right at the end! It was the last thing he did in his doggy dog life. That made it all worth it. 

While I was slumping around and had given up on my diet and gotten hurt, I felt like greatness was impossible to achieve. But just because I hadn’t achieved it yet doesn’t mean I stop trying. I learned I have to keep trying because it could happen in a year, in ten years, or right before I die of old age on my bed when I’m 90. But if greatness is the last thing I achieve, then it would be worth it!  

Red Dog, you helped me tremendously over the two and half years when we slept in the same bed. I encourage anybody who has stress issues or deals with emotional mismanagement that you should rescue a dog. They need our help just as much as we need theirs. The right furry friend can help set you on a path that is better tomorrow than today.  

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