Johnny Weissmuller, What Is Your Sleep Number?

I have addressed many things as well as the effects of those same things on me and/or my family. Such topics include (but are not limited to) the following: mall shopping, higher education, communicable diseases, and libraries. For the purpose of this writing, I’d like to focus on an issue that has become very important to my wife and me after 17 years of marriage – sleep.
Before your mind begins to wander (or wonder), let me be clear. I am not going to address the marital perspective of our sleeping quarters. After all, this is a family show. I am here to talk about the rapid-eye-moving, excessive-pillow-drooling, Metallica-stops-recording-their-new-album-because-your-snoring -is-too loud state of sleep. I am talking about that state of rest between the point where your head hits the pillow and the palm of your hand slaps the alarm clock with the force of a Hank Aaron homer. There are two entities that greatly assist my wife and/or me with getting a good nights sleep: a CPAP machine and a sleep number bed.
The CPAP machine, though a blessing to both of us, is primarily for my benefit. I have a condition that many people suffer call sleep apnea. To describe this as succinctly as possible, without the benefit of my CPAP machine, I will literally stop breathing (multiple times) during my sleep. This can result in many less than restful nights, extreme fatigue, and horrendous snoring that has threatened the structural integrity of the windows in my house. Needless to say, we LOVE having this machine in our lives. Mind you, the machine also requires me to be tethered by a nasal mask connecting me to the machine. This forces air into my airway while I sleep so that I don’t stop breathing. I am of the opinion that breathing while sleeping is good. I may look like an alien SCUBA diver but I’ll take breathing over vanity any day.
The sleep number bed, though a blessing to us both, is primarily for my wife due to a back injury she suffered some time ago. The mattress is essentially two long bladders of air (one for each side of the bed). We each have a hand controller that allows us to set the pressure for our side of the bed to a specific number (ranging from 0 – 100). We each have our own sweet spot, or sleep number, to have a comfortable night’s sleep. My wife sleeps comfortably with much less aggravation to her back injury. Needless to say, we LOVE having this bed in our lives.
However, having two different sleep numbers has proven to be problematic every now and again. My sleep number ranges from around 55 – 80. My wife’s sleep number is considerably lower. Part of the problem is my wife’s sense of humor is similar to my own. If I get out of bed and leave the room for more than five minutes, she inflates my bed to 100. This means that she gets to watch me come back into our room and plop myself into the equivalent of an eight foot long brick. She then giggles while I am now reaching for an ice pack. The other problem occurs when one of us leaves the bed while the other is sleeping. If I am out of bed and my wife rolls over toward my side, she ends up with her nose firmly pressed against a wall of air mattress. This gives her the sensation that can only be compare to those stuffed kittens you see on the window of a station wagon. On the other hand, if my wife is out of bed and I roll to her side, the end result is quite different. I fall into the deep chasm that is my wife’s side of the bed. Since I am tethered to my CPAP machine, I look something like Tarzan trying to pull himself out of quicksand. There are two key differences: a) since I have forced air blowing into my lungs, I will not suffocate and b) no one is likely to confuse me with Johnny Weissmuller.
I pull myself back up by my CPAP tubing back onto my side of the bed sweaty and hyperventilating (with forced air pouring into my lungs). My wife comes in shortly thereafter. She notices my perspiration and heavy breathing and asks me if I am feeling OK. I beat my chest and tell her the lord of the jungle is fine. She giggles at me with confused oblivion. She then rolls over and falls back asleep like a newborn child. Like I said, we LOVE having this bed in our lives.