Joy comes in the morning
Jan. 25, 2010
by Ivan Raconteur

On a recent Saturday morning, I sprang from my new bed with a song in my heart and a glad cry proceeding from my lips, after which I strode around the bachelor pad like the vital young man that I am, rather than like some 90-year-old arthritic invalid.

Perhaps I should start at the beginning.

The bed I had been using was one that I took out of my mother’s apartment after her death.

I don’t believe it was an especially good bed to start with, but I can say with certainty that its best days were behind it. Sleeping on it had become rather like some cruel form of torture dreamed up during the Spanish Inquisition.

I frequently awoke feeling worse than I had before I turned in for the night, and my hours of repose were limited by the length of time I could put up with the misery.

When I could tolerate it no longer, I began my quest for a new bed.

Buying a bed isn’t as simple as it sounds.

There are more choices than ever when it comes to mattresses and box springs, or what the industry likes to call “sleep systems.”

I began by doing some research.

Water beds, which were once as common as excuses in the legislature, seem to have fallen out of favor.

Traditional innerspring mattresses are still the most popular, and perhaps the least expensive.

There are beds made of high-density foam, which people either really like or really hate.

I am not a fan of foam mattresses, which seem to reflect heat. This is the last thing I need, since I operate at a high temperature to begin with.

I also find it more difficult to move around on a foam bed, and frankly, I just don’t like the feel of them.

One of the latest trends in sleep technology is air beds.

Despite the huge marketing budget the makers of these beds seem to have, I am not impressed.

I have slept on such a bed, and, despite the adjustable design, I found that it did not give me the support of a traditional bed.

Deciding what type of bed I wanted was fairly easy. Deciding which specific bed to buy was far from simple.

The bedding industry seems determined to make it impossible to compare models.

Even mattresses made by the same manufacturer are marketed differently at different stores and sold under different names, many of which are specific to a particular retailer.

The only way to really compare mattresses is to lay on a several of them, and even this isn’t as simple as it sounds.

Most of us don’t sleep in our street clothes. On the other hand, people tend to stare and point if one appears in a retail establishment in one’s night attire. It is difficult to get a good read on how a particular mattress will perform under real-world conditions.

After spending weeks studying ads and doing research online, I spent part of a Saturday bed-hopping, looking for a winner.

I ended up making my purchase at Macy’s, which offered free delivery of the new bed, and free removal of the old backbreaker. Some retailers charge for these things.

I tried several models. Each was available in both a plush and a firm style, which added to the number of variables.

I selected a model with very firm springs and a comfortable top. It provides excellent support and a cozy sleep experience.

The individual springs on this mattress are separate and enclosed in fabric pockets that are sewn together.

Lying on this mattress, one can feel the support, as if the fingers of some strong masseuse were supporting one and gently working the knots out of one’s tired muscles.

To say this is an improvement over its predecessor would be a gross understatement of the facts.

One of the unexpected results of purchasing the new bed was that it left me in a state of mind that can only be described as uncharacteristically giddy.

It is, perhaps, a good thing that I am single and currently unaccompanied in the bedchamber. For several days after purchasing the new bed, I found myself smiling uncontrollably and even giggling a bit every time I got into bed, and one can see how it might make some people a trifle self-conscious if their partner smiled and laughed every time he got into bed.

Despite its many benefits, there is a drawback to the new bed.

Since the obstacle of physical pain has been removed, and there are no longer sprung springs prodding me in the short ribs and driving me out of bed, there is a temptation to linger.

I have no trouble waking up in the mornings, and I haven’t needed an alarm clock in years, but the decadent comfort of the new bed makes me want to remain in its warm embrace.

I must confess that there have been a couple of weekend mornings since the new bed arrived when I have loafed around in bed until well after 7 a.m. This would have been impossible with the previous model.

The new bed is worth its weight in beer, and has given me a whole new outlook and proved that while weeping may endure for a night, joy does come in the morning.