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Bed Basics
Bed Basics

Get Matched With KD Houseman

KD Houseman's headshot against a blue background. Text reads: Get Matched with KD Houseman
Leo Medrano

There’s a lot that goes into getting a good night’s sleep. Bedding, pillows, your sleep environment, and, of course, the mattress you sleep on. With all these factors to keep in mind, you may wonder how exactly the Sleep Experts® at Mattress Firm ensure they’re helping you get the best sleep yet.

We asked Rocklin, CA, Sleep Expert® KD Houseman for a behind-the-scenes look into how she tackles the matching process and offers personalized recommendations from sleeper to sleeper.

What Is Your Sleep Philosophy?

My sleep philosophy is that sleep, as a whole, is a reminder of our ultimate helplessness, as we are not conscious while we sleep. The prep work done before allowing our bodies to sleep will make or break the quality and efficiency of the sleep that follows. This sleep ultimately allows our body and mind to be rested for the next day.

What Is the Value of Getting Matched?

The value of getting matched to your ideal sleep solution is that you can improve the quality of your sleep, which in return allows you to have more energy and a higher quality of life because when you sleep well, you live well.

How Important Is Coming to a Store in Person When Shopping for a Mattress?

Although in this day and age, a lot of folks buy online, coming into a store to try a mattress and talk with a Sleep Expert® is the best thing to do. Online research and quizzes like MattressMatcher® can set you in the right direction, but just because the science backing the quiz results says you would like a specific firm model doesn't mean that your body will like that feel once you lay on it and have the ability to verify your comfort needs.

This is when a Sleep Expert® comes in handy. With our 200+ hours of training, we know all the nuances of sleep and what questions to ask to help match you with your perfect mattress.I’ve actually had several clients either reach out to me after the matching process, and even recommend their friend or family to come in and be fitted because of how their mattress fitting has helped improve their sleep.

If You Could Give People One Piece of Advice When Mattress Shopping, What Would It Be?

One piece of advice I’d tell people to keep in mind when they are mattress shopping is to try the mattress in the position(s) they normally sleep in each night, ideally with a pillow. You'll be surprised how many mattresses you do the "CPR test" to that don't feel as squishy as you thought. This is because mattresses are two entities: The bottom is the support, and the top is padding, so naturally, the top will give.

What Are Some of The Most Common Sleep Issues People Are Trying To Fix?

In my just-shy-of-five years, the most common sleep issues folks come in looking to resolve are pain, snoring and sleeping hot.

In my five years with Mattress Firm, to help customers solve their sleep disruptors, I start by asking questions that are asked not only in the MattressMatcher® quiz, but also questions that lean into my medical training in radiological science. This is to ensure that the sleep disruptors that have been discussed with my clients are taken into consideration for their sleep solution recommendations of mattress, foundation, pillow and bedding items.

What’s a Product People Often Overlook or Underestimate, and Why Is It Underrated?

Most folks underestimate how much your overall sleep system will affect your day-to-day life. It's more than just the rectangle with bedding that you crawl into at the end of your day to sleep in. It's a system that allows you to get the best sleep you can get in order to sleep well to live well!

Each component of your sleep system can impact your health. The mattress you sleep on affects the pressure and temperature regulation of your body. The foundation can affect the support as well as health concerns like acid reflux, snoring and sleep apnea. The pillow, or as I call it, the bed for your head, affects 25% of your body's alignment and even temperature regulation. Lastly, the bedding (sheets and mattress protectors) can affect the overall feel of the mattress and temperature regulation.

The specific product that surprises folks the most when they come in-store is the TEMPUR-Ergo® ProSmart® adjustable base. While some know about adjustable bases, a lot of folks are surprised to find out that there is an adjustable base model that has Bluetooth technology to allow you to play music from your base and even pair it with your other smart home items like Alexa or Google Home.

How Worth It Is a Pillow Fitting and How Often Should You Get One?

It is beyond worth your time to have a pillow fitting as it truly is the bed for your head. Due to everyone having different sleeping habits, just like a mattress, a pillow is not a one-size-fits-all item. Due to this, a fitting will allow the pillow to properly support your head by keeping the position you have your arm at night and the length of your collar bone in mind, not to mention ensuring that the material of the pillow is the correct firmness and the cooling/breathability features are the one that works best for your unique sleeping needs.

Keeping in mind the type of pillow material, you would want to get a new pillow every one to three years and it would not hurt to complete another pillow fitting if you feel any discomfort develop over the pillow's lifespan.

What’s the Best Improvement Someone Could Make to Their Sleep Space To Get Better Sleep?

Besides coming in and getting matched for a proper-fitting mattress, one of the best improvements someone could make to their sleeping environment to get better sleep is eliminating as many, if not all, blue light items. Blue light from our cell phones, tablets, and TVs reduces the natural melatonin production and the habits folks have with using technology before bed. Eliminating blue light in the bedroom or other sleeping environments can greatly improve your sleep.

What Are Your Favorite Mattresses, Pillows or Bases To Recommend?

My recommendations are always changing depending on the person and their sleep needs. However, there are a couple of products I’m always thrilled to sing praises for. I love TEMPUR-Material™ and the benefits it provides for a variety of sleep concerns, so I will always recommend trying it out when it fits the sleep needs and price range a client has discussed with me.

For pillows, my personal favorite is the TEMPUR-Adapt® Cloud + Cooling, and I have noticed many (but not all!) of my clients like a low-loft, cooling and softer-feel pillow.

For adjustable bases, I am a huge fan of sleep tracking, and due to this, the Tempur-Ergo® Smart is my personal favorite adjustable base and is the adjustable base that I sleep on every night. The Ergo Smart offers sleep tracking features using the sensors at the head of the base to provide a report card in the morning in the Sleeptracker-AI® app about the quality of your sleep and sleep environment, and has smart features like automatic snore detection, in addition to elevation of head/foot/lumbar, and vibration settings.

Do You Have Any Sleep Tips You Love Sharing? What Are They?

I am a huge sleep nerd who has personally struggled with insomnia, so over the last five years, I have learned a lot about how to improve my own sleep and have shared that information. My personal favorite sleep tip is to know your chronotype and track your sleep. By understanding your chronotype, you will be able to work better while maintaining your circadian rhythm and tracking your sleep will allow you to see what is and is not working for the best quality sleep.

What’s Your Bedtime Routine?

My normal bedtime routine consists of coming home from work around 8:30 p.m., taking my nighttime supplements with some tart cherry juice, and then heading to the bathroom off of my bedroom to take my nightly shower and brush my teeth. Once I have completed my nighttime personal care, I set my alarms for the morning and then get into bed to read a few chapters until around 11 p.m. so that way I can get eight hours of sleep before waking up for work at 8:30 a.m.

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