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Here's a novel idea: Let's sell sleep - and happiness
In my ongoing pursuit of happiness, I recently happened upon Time magazine's summer double issue and its catchy cover story: "The Pursuit of Happiness." And I learned that poor sleep is hampering our happiness. Alas...
This is a very big deal. Our right to pursue happiness is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, as we all know, written into history by Thomas Jefferson. But Mr. Jefferson offered no sleep recommendations in that regard. I wonder how much sleep he got?
Time's happiness coverage included a statement that caught me off guard: "Only 35% of Americans get the advised seven hours of sleep." The advised seven hours? What happened to the eight-hour recommendation?
I asked my go-to sleep expert, Michael Breus, to help me clear up the confusion.
"Depending on who you talk to, you will hear recommendations varying from seven hours to eight hours, plus or minus," said Breus, a widely quoted authority on sleep who has a number of licensed sleep products on the market, including the Dr. Breus Bed line with King Koil. "Most people will fall somewhere between 6.5 and 8.5 hours, if they really allow themselves to get what they need, consistently, every night. The key word there is consistently."
Breus also reviewed some data he shared with the attendees at our Bedding Conference earlier this year: "From a pure science perspective we know that the average sleep cycle is about 90 minutes and the average person has five. That equals 450 minutes or 7.5 hours."
Those are helpful insights for all of us in the mattress business - or the sleep business, as that's what we are really selling. And talking about sleep is a great way to emphasize its importance.
The Time coverage had other insights that deserve mention: "People who say they sleep poorly are more likely to have symptoms of depression - and less likely to say they're happy. Not getting enough sleep may leave more time for work and play, but it puts health and productivity at risk."
Breus made some of those same points as he wrapped up his well-received Bedding Conference talk. Sleeping makes you slimmer, smarter, sexier, happier and healthier, he said. Those are precisely the kinds of messages that we need to be delivering to consumers when they visit our stores. They are so much more powerful than our feeble attempts to sing the glories of a $399 bed. (Note: Insert any price you want. And don't forget to offer free pillows with purchase, and a free TV, too, if you are feeling generous.)