• The Sharing Collective

Mary Pat Wallace Asks, What's a Good Night's Sleep Worth to You?

Sleep is the foundation of better well-being and health. More than diet and exercise, if you are not sleeping well, it profoundly affects all aspects of your life. Some startling new research has recently been published that will have you seriously questioning what a good night sleep is worth.

Mary Pat Wallace, Founder of The Luxury Bed Collection and Chicago Luxury Beds

Mary Pat Wallace, Founder, The Luxury Bed Collection

According to new research, experts say we now spend half of our lives lying in bed, thanks in part to working from home and Netflix. This jaw-dropping new statistic emerged in a recent study conducted by OnePoll. However, they also found that even though we spend so much time in our beds, most are not getting enough sleep, and 75% think their beds are not comfortable enough.

The survey asked participants: if you had an extra hour every day, how would you prefer to spend it? The top answer: sleeping. But the real issue is not (the) time spent sleeping but the quality of sleep.

Considering the importance of sleep to our well-being and productivity, why would anyone put up with an uncomfortable bed?

But more importantly, we discovered alarming new research about the hidden toxins in mattresses.

Even if these chemicals don't do immediate harm, there is concern that exposure will increase their lifelong risk of cancer.

- Dr. Yael Dubowski

'Clean' is the big buzzword, and many are focused on eating clean and organic and using non-toxic products. But have you ever stopped to think about what your mattress is made of? After all, you are spending half of your life on one.

Most mattresses use synthetic foam, glue, and toxic chemicals. A recent study by the Israel Institute of Technology (IIT) found that mattresses "release minute amounts of gaseous chemicals called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)."

These VOCs come mainly from the polyurethane used in the mattress and other chemicals used in flame retardants and plastics.

According to tests conducted on various mattresses, your body heat increases VOC emissions from your mattress. Dr. Yael Dubowski, a senior researcher with the IIT, who lead the research, stated, "Even if these chemicals don't do immediate harm, there is concern that exposure will increase their lifelong risk of cancer."

Mary Pat Wallace is known as the 'Sleep Whisperer' and for the last 15 years has been on a mission to educate people about the importance of a good night's sleep and the importance of natural materials in mattresses. She is the Founder of The Luxury Bed Collection, with stores in Chicago, Dallas, and Naples.

You only sell mattresses that are free of chemicals and toxins. Can you tell us more?

What are Hasten Beds made out of?

Our beds are all-natural, organic, and handcrafted from the finest natural materials, including; cotton, wool, raw silk, cashmere, mohair, angora, horsetail, and supple bamboo. These materials are sustainably sourced and biodegradable.

Furthermore, these natural fibers and materials breathe and are naturally resistant to dust mites, unlike the blends and synthetic latex found in conventional mattresses.

Despite the many benefits of sleep on our well-being and the benefits of natural and organic materials, it is a wonder why more people are not investing in the highest quality mattress. Some would argue it is the steep price tag; What do you say?

The average mattress guarantee is 8 years, with the average wear at 10 years. Thanks to superior craftsmanship and materials, not only are luxury mattresses much more comfortable and supportive than mass-market options, they're far more durable, offering anywhere from 25-year to lifetime guarantees.

If your sleep quality improves, you are more productive, creative, focused, patient, and happier; what is that worth?

Yes, a premium brand mattress is more expensive, but when you look at the value per use, $2.00 a day for 20 years is $14,600. That would be the best $2.00 a day you could ever spend. Most people spend more than that on a cup coffee a day, and the coffee is gone in 20 minutes.

People have been spending more on organic food, personal trainers, chiropractors—everything for the daytime—and then they go to sleep on a crappy mattress and wonder why their back and shoulders hurt and never think 'Maybe it's the bed'.

So how did you get into the mattress business?

I began my career in the design world, working with Holly Hunt. Her name is synonymous with high-quality design and the luxury market, so working with her was an outstanding education in the workings of the design universe.

As so often happens in life, my business training intersected with life circumstances — I became a sleep-deprived new mother. So I began researching better sleep strategies as a sort of self-preservation tactic; when a friend mentioned Hästens, a Swedish mattress manufacturer making some of the highest quality mattresses in the world (for generations). I had to learn more, so I took a trip to Sweden, visited the manufacturing facility, and bought a bed.

That bed changed my life profoundly: first, I reclaimed my ability to sleep and be well-rested, which had an enormous impact on my health and well-being.

Second, the experience inspired me to share my passion for achieving great sleep by becoming a Hastens retailer, and in 2005 I opened the first Hastens concept store in the U.S.

Lack of sleep is worse than a bad hangover. When you don't sleep well, and you have to perform the next day, it's a disaster.

I was a casualty of the first retail apocalypse; people started shopping online, and now, everyone is shopping online. What has helped you survive in luxury retail, and what do you think the fate of retail is going forward?

Competing with online retailers is a very real challenge for us. And now there are many more natural mattresses on the market than there were 10 years ago.

But, our business is not just a retail business; it's a mission designed to help people live better lives — that's a purpose we lean into every day.

Our business has been built on a physical store concept simply because we have invested in selling not just our products, but the personalized service and professional expertise of our highly trained staff.

A mattress should always be a product you should touch and feel before purchasing — it's a big investment, and it's important to get it right.

What's in the future for The Luxury Bed Collection?

My goal is to continue educating people on the value of a great night's sleep. Sleep is the foundation of a long and healthy life. More than diet and exercise, if you are not sleeping, the rest of what we do does not matter. This is not only for our physical health but our mental health.

In Europe, people invest in high-quality mattresses, pillows, and linens. Europeans will finance mattresses like we do with cars because they understand that it's the most essential piece of furniture in their home.

In America, we have more of a disposable culture. People here don't usually think about what a difference their mattress makes in their quality of sleep. They look to other things like sleeping pills, meditation, or other 'fixes' instead of considering that the mattress could be the problem.

What tips would you offer women to help them thrive during these challenging times?

Many people are mentally and emotionally struggling during this challenging time, and if one is not sleeping, no medication or therapy will work. Sleep comes first, and the rest follows.

What is the best advice for women in business?

Networking is key. Build your network. Cultivate your network and work with each other. Having a connection with someone can make all the difference. Also, No means not now but maybe tomorrow or the next day.

What advice would you give your 25-year-old self?

Don't be afraid. And invest in your relationships!

Who are the five people- living or dead- you would invite to your dream dinner party?

Tina Fay

Barbara Walters

Warren Buffet

Ron Howard

Jamie Dimon

What is your motto?

Life is a marathon, and It takes a village!

Find out more about The Luxury Bed Collection.

Schedule an appointment to visit the showroom and mention The Sharing Collective and receive a Free Silk Eye Mask.