How I was introduced to
Memory Foam Mattresses...
and how it changed my life.
SLEEP DEPRIVATION, ANYONE?
All of us, at some point on our life, suffered from sleep related problems. Mostly, it could have been due to stress at school, home, or work. Sometimes, there is just no explanation to why we wake up tired, or don’t feel right when asleep and/or tend to wake up multiple times during the night; depriving ourselves from that much needed deep-sleep state.
I went through such a phase in my life and tried everything possible – exercises, shower before bed, warm water, warm milk, eat a full stomach, don’t eat a full stomach, so-called meditation, catharsis, and many, many techniques to try and fall asleep so as I wake up refresh the next morning. There’s no points for guessing how it went. It is pretty obvious to everyone, since everyone of us has already tried all or some of these methods out, and mostly, or more or less, not to much avail.
HOTEL ROOMS HELD THE KEY (OR NOT?)
And yet, somehow, when I went away from home, work, and away from the mundane existence of ‘life’, I always slept like a baby in plush hotel rooms. So, I figured, it probably is the push bed, or the cold temperature in those cozy rooms. So, the next project I took up was converted my room to mimic a hotel room, from the bed and the sheets, to the air conditioning and the plush mattress.
I started sleeping better. Not completely satisfactory but way better. Perhaps, it was all factors out together and the change in everything. Perhaps, it was my mindset that I had moved away from older things to a new lifestyle.
Whatever the reasons were, it didn’t last much longer. And slowly, I was slipping back into my 4-5 hours of daily sleep. I started convincing myself that it was how I was built, it was how I was wired and that things are otherwise perfectly normal and healthy for me.
A CHANCE MEETING
One fine evening, I was catching up with a few friends from my university and we were just having a chilled-out time, away from our work, families, and everything that was NOT us. Jasdev, my roommate from college, who was hosting us, remarked that somehow, I looked tired. Although I behaved fine and was healthy, he thought that some kind of stress was taking its toll on me.
As the evening progressed, drinks flowed and food feasts were served, we all decided it was best that we sleepover at his house since his family was out of town and none of us were sober enough to return to our homes, at least not without the risk of being frowned at by our families.
A few friends left nonetheless, and a few of us decided it best to stay over. Luckily, for me, I got the guest room all to myself as some decided to kip on the couch, others felt more adventurous and wanted to take their beds to the terrace.
I woke up the next morning, and I had no hangover whatsoever. Not just that, I felt refreshed. I wondered to myself as this was something new, I felt elevated, felt fresh, felt not tired, felt something I had not in a long time – satisfaction from a good night’s sleep!
SEARCH FOR AN ANSWER
What was it that I slept so well? I wasn’t far from home or work, being in the same city a few kilometres away is definitely NOT a big change. I was seated at the table, sipping my morning chai (or chai tea as many people like to call it nowadays), and Jasdev walked in and exclaimed “Whoa, hadn’t you slept in the last few days before coming around here last evening?” I couldn’t understand what he even meant. Not until he explained that I had a tired look on my face the evening before, whereas I looked and sounded like a new person that morning.
I explained to him how I battle with sleep deprivation and how, somehow, I slept like a baby that night. He had a smirk on his face, the same taunting smirk we all had seen for years when he knew an answer we didn’t know in university. He hadn’t grown up, at all. Whether some of us others had was, at best, deplorable.
Typically, I had to plead, promise that the next round of drinks and food was on me, even to keep some of his secrets, well secrets. Finally, he relented, and said in a matter-of-obvious-fact style, “It’s the new mattress.”
A MATTRESS WAS THE ANSWER TO ME SLEEPING WELL?
Of course, I didn’t believe him. I had, after all, tried a very expensive mattress which was ordered from the hotel itself where I had the best sleep. So, I decided to assess his theory that it was the mattress that played a major part in me sleeping well the other night.
A few weeks passed, and my family was going to be out of town for a day again, so I called him up and spoke to him and his wife that if they were ok, “I’d like to sleep over at yours tonight, and I want THAT guest room.” I’m sure Ankur, his wife, must have thought “How weird” but hey, curiosity always gets the better of us.
There I was, having dinner with them (yes, I have polite and kind friends). We chatted about our mundane lives and how we get along with it. And as I had expected, the conversation moved to my weird request of wanting to sleep in their guest room, despite having a house nearby. I explained to her what transpired the other day, and they both couldn’t stop laughing at my plight.
To my surprise, Ankur concurred with Jasdev, that it was probably the very comfortable mattress in the guest room. She said they had used it at first but then they found it a bit too plush for their sleeping preference and wanted a mattress that was a bit firmer. So, they got a slightly different one and put their plush mattress into the guest room.
They both remarked how when they had first got that memory foam mattress, their sleep pattern had changed for the better and they felt much more relaxed overall. But then over time, with a change in their lifestyle they wanted a firmer mattress which supported their active lifestyle (unlike my sloth-like lifestyle).
I slept in that guest room again that night and woke up feeling refreshed again the next morning.
This time around, I knew what I had to do. As soon as the lady of the house came into the dining, I blurted out “Ankur, do you have any guests coming around in the next few days?”, and before she could say anything, I added “Nope, I am not staying here, I JUST need to borrow your guest-room mattress for a few days.”
Did I mention that their daughter, Samaira, just kept giggling through the whole conversation?
MY FIRST MATTRESS TRIAL
It took a few “You’re odd”, “What?!”, “But Why?” faces but finally, I got what I wanted (I have kind friends, remember?). And I was finally ready to sleep on that ‘magical’ mattress in my own room.
This was going to be the litmus test now. I decided to be objective about this and try this new mattress for at least 7 days before coming to any conclusions.
And so I did. After a week of sleeping on that mattress, I could finally say “Whew, that was some week.” I was finally feeling relaxed and for a change, not sleep deprived.
I could not believe that such a small change could bring about so much betterment in my sleep pattern. And so, I went to my friend’s house after a week, unannounced of course, and flatly refused to give them back their mattress! It was so simply done.
We couldn’t stop laughing and Jasdev and Ankur suggested that they could order me a new mattress, same as the one I had borrowed, but I wouldn’t have any proposal from their side. I was happy with that mattress and no way was I giving it back to them (Ok, I did remind Jasdev that I still hold some of his secrets, but we digress with this). Finally, we settled on him buying a similar mattress, me paying for it, and them taking the delivery of it for their guest room.
MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS
The best thing since sliced bread. Debatable, but, maybe.
Now, I come to the subtle hero of the story, the mattress. It was not a mattress, which you would take a look at, and say “Wow, I want that.”
It was a multi-layered foam mattress, with the base being a firm foam, called High Resilience (or HR as the industry calls it), it was topped by what is referred to as Super Soft foam, which is oddly, not all that soft, but still softer than HR foam. Finally, the topmost layer was Memory Foam. This was the game changer.
Wikipedia says the following about Memory Foam:
Memory foam consists mainly of polyurethane as well as additional chemicals increasing its viscosity and density. It is often referred to as “viscoelastic” polyurethane foam, or low-resilience polyurethane foam (LRPu). The foam bubbles or ‘cells’ are open, effectively creating a matrix through which air can move. Higher-density memory foam softens in reaction to body heat, allowing it to mold to a warm body in a few minutes. Newer foams may recover more quickly to their original shape.
Memory foam was developed in 1966 under a contract by NASA’s Ames Research Center to improve the safety of aircraft cushions. The temperature-sensitive memory foam was initially referred to as “slow spring back foam”; most called it “temper foam”
Now, I know it doesn’t make much sense to a person not technically interested in this subject. Let me rephrase it in a way that it makes it straight forward for us to understand how Memory Foam benefits us:
- Memory Foam is a modified version of the PU foam we see so often being used everywhere – sofas, couches, car seats, stadium seats, bus seats, you-name-it seats.
- Memory Foam reacts to heat and weight and responds accordingly, hence it’s also called responsive foam.
- Memory Foam, under our weight and body heat, take the shape of the contours of our body, enabling what is commonly called as pressure-point relief.
Basically, memory foam responds to our body weight and heat and sags accordingly – the mattress with a memory foam top-layer will depress more where there is more weight and heat, and it will depress less where there is less weight and heat. As a result, it cradles the body and takes the body’s shape in such a manner that our spine remains straight through the night and it provides the right balance between firm and soft, enabling us to sleep much, much better.
So, now, I was set and happy with my mattress and my comfortable sleep patterns. But, I didn’t want to stop there. I couldn’t stop there. Not now, knowing that there are many people whose sleep patterns were probably like mine (after all, I’m a commoner, just like everyone else), and that I could potentially help them.
HOW DO I SHARE THIS EFFECTIVELY WITH PEOPLE?
I had discovered a gem hidden in plain sight. And now, I wanted to share this with people. And as the age old saying goes “Put your money where your mouth is”, I decided the real effective way to do this was invest in the idea, let people see the benefits for themselves, and heck, if it can become a source of livelihood, even better. At worst, I would have shared my idea with people without guilt, and with my weight behind the idea.
I contacted a few manufacturers and finally zeroed in upon a reputed foam manufacturer, M/s Pyarelal Group. I met their dynamic director, Mr. Sagar Goel, and after hours of interaction with him, ordered a lot of mattresses, different styles to suit different body types.
Armed with these mattresses, I wrote a few articles in the local press, passed around a few flyers, posted on social media, offering people with sleep deprivation a chance, a trial to fight their nightly battles. That’s how we started the free trial concept. It was not a business idea, not a fad, not an industry thing for us. We wanted people to genuinely try these mattresses and decide for themselves if they slept better after buying one or not.
Most felt a rather big difference, and retained the mattresses (much like I did my friend’s mattress). Some chose to try a different style, some chose to return, and we were fine with all the outcomes. We were finally sharing.
OUR ONLINE EFFORT
Not to be stopped in our tracks locally, we have now gone online with our webiste http://impereal.in and are providing these mattresses to be ordered online and offer people a chance to sleep on these mattresses. To try them out, give it time to adjust, and if they feel good about it, retain it. If not, bring it back to us, and we issue a refund.
ARE WE DIFFERENT?
Nothing in this world is really different. For a moment, yes, maybe, till someone has a similar idea or product or a better one for that matter. But, everyone is unique – each and everyone of us, as individuals or as a group of people, are unique and we have a set of values, a work-ethic, a passion, a zeal to share that drives us. Mine has brought me here.
What’s yours? And how are you going to take it forward?