As a chronic stomach sleeper with constant back and neck pain and a habit of intermittently waking through the night, I had nothing to lose when I was presented with the offer to test a new adjustable bed frame and mattress from DreamCloud—a bed that offers a “zero gravity” feature supposedly simulating the sleep position of astronauts in space. Space nerd aside, I couldn’t have kicked my hand-me-down IKEA mattress to the curb faster for the Faustian exchange of a decent night’s sleep. And thus began my next three weeks of sleep on a bed frame and mattress that promised to take me to the “future of sleep.”
The full-size mattress and frame arrived in a cardboard box—like a Casper—and two delivery men came to put it together for me. (I should mention here that, no, this is not an ad, but white-glove delivery service might just be the way to my heart.) Altogether, the bed was no bulkier than my old bed frame and actually had a surprising amount of storage beneath the frame.
After it was all set up and made, I plugged it in—yes, it plugs into an outlet in the wall—so that I could adjust the incline of the head and foot areas of the bed with the remote (it’s the future, people). My sleep experiment was officially ready for liftoff.
The first change I noticed almost immediately was that I was could read at night without giving myself a serious neck crick. In addition to my day job, I’m getting an MBA part-time, so the majority of my bedtime routine consists of catching up on school reading. With a textbook on my lap, I used the remote to incline the top of the bed just enough to sit up in a comfy reading position, then lower it back down when the dense paragraphs on marginal cost curves started to blur together. I’d never really thought about how reading in bed affected my sleep before, but the smooth transition from sleepy reading to bedtime was actually really relaxing—as opposed to adjusting a bajillion times before dozing off.
The second thing I realized after a couple weeks of the ZG setting (zero gravity, for you non-astronauts) was that the bed was actually helping me sleep through the night. The ZG position, which inclines both the head and feet, is not only comfortable but also good for you. Before, I often tossed and turned and woke myself up at least twice a night. But with this mattress, I would wake up to my alarm and think: “How did seven hours go by so fast?” Eerie (but great). Also, is this how astronauts really sleep? Asking for a friend.
The next thing I noticed by the end of my trial was that I had truly changed from a stomach sleeper to a back sleeper. Before the new bed, I had tried everything (including a customized pillow) to correct my stomach-sleeping habits, which left me with back and neck pain that wouldn’t go away. But, the ZG position forced me to sleep on my back. Since both my head and feet were raised a few inches, it was impossible—or just really awkward—to try and sleep face-down.
While I (fortunately) did not have to sell my soul to the devil to sleep through the night, I did mind that the DreamCloud plug took up one of the rare outlets in my tiny room. I also had to get used to the bed’s little motor whirring underneath me while it adjusts—bring on the hospital bed vibes. I got used to it, but I could see it bugging anyone with a little more noise sensitivity than me…which brings to mind co-sleeping. If you sleep next to a finicky sleeper, it’s probably not the best solution since there’s only one setting, aka you both have to be in the same position at the same time. Finally, there is a pretty hefty price tag attached. You’ll have to shell out a cool $700 for a frame and $1,000 for the mattress (full size).
So, is the DreamCloud Adjustable Bed Frame really the future of sleep it promises? With its price tag, I have to say, “Houston, we have a problem.” But if sleep is your number one priority, you’ve got the cash and co-sleeping is a non-issue, I’d say go for it.
For me, I’ve the seen the future, and it involves more REM and less body pain.