Life Without a Mattress… Steinhafels Teams Up With Meriter

It all started with a phone call… and has translated into a better night’s sleep for some of Madison’s poorest residents.

Steinhafels is proud to be a part of many community organizations across southeast and central Wisconsin, in addition to the Fox Valley. We especially love it when a cause we’re supporting also relates to our slogan: Relax. In this case, we look at some Madison residents who haven’t had a relaxing night’s sleep in years.

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Lisa Bell, Community Relations Manager at UnityPoint Health-Meriter, reached out to our Steinhafels West Superstore Zone Manager Joe Heins, who specializes in Mattresses. Meriter was looking to donate some mattresses to low income residents–some of whom are veterans. They asked us for a price quote… and we were able to offer them a very deep discount on mattresses and frames. 

Delivery Day was this Tuesday, May 9. The Steinhafels crew was ready to make some beds!

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Bell explains, “I am so pleased that Steinhafels has stepped in to help us make this project a reality. We are committed over the next couple of years to continuing to provide beds to the residents of the Triangle Neighborhood. This neighborhood houses some of our most vulnerable, medically and emotionally, fragile adults.”

The Triangle is a neighborhood of condos and apartments managed by the city, and houses some of Madison’s poorest, highest-risk residents (average yearly income is approximately $10,000).

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Heins says he likes to put an emphasis on helping local charities, and that it was bittersweet watching the residents receive their mattresses on Tuesday. “It was an amazing opportunity, but also heartbreaking. Listening to their personal stories, the challenges these people have faced and what they were sleeping on before, almost brought us to tears. It makes you take a look at the little things, that some of us often take for granted, and how it can be life changing.”  

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One of the recipients was an older woman, who was just released from the hospital a few weeks earlier after surgery.

THIS is what she was sleeping on before the delivery–a makeshift bed of pillows on the cold, hard floor:

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As you can imagine, Heins says she was so happy, almost in tears, when the Steinhafels delivery crew arrived with this bed, donated by Meriter!

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She’s not alone. Several of the resident were literally SLEEPING ON THE FLOOR. Heins admits that something like this truly brings to light just how important a good night’s sleep is.

“A good night’s sleep is so important for your health and quality of life. Things that we take for granted nightly are things they don’t have the luxury of. It’s a decision between food or rent, so buying a mattress isn’t even an option.”

We are so proud of our employees like Joe, who go the extra mile to help others… and we’re glad he appreciates us as well. Joe says, “I always love being able to talk about how great the company I work for is. Seeing the good that Steinhafels does for the community is why I am always trying to recruit my friends and family.”

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It’s just a small step to combat the nationwide issue of poverty and poor living conditions, but even if it brings just a tiny bit of awareness that we all may have a neighbor in need… that’s something.

You can learn more about this project, on various local media!

WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL FRONT PAGE ARTICLE

CHANNEL 27 TV NEWS STORY

AWESOME Behind the Scenes VIDEO!

Also, check out a full photo gallery HERE!

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Steinhafels and a play about a bed!

Steinhafels is excited to sponsor a unique theatrical experience playing at the Alchemist Theatre in Bay View over the next few weekends.

The show is called Strange Bedfellows–an evening of short film + theater. It includes 8 international short films, and the world premiere of the short play, The Bed. The play is an introspective look at a man’s existence from birth to death, and the significance his bed plays throughout his life.MAIN POSTER 11x 17 poster.jpg with RISHI TEA LOGO.jpg SAME ROW

When the show’s director and playwright, Jeff Ircink, approached us to be a possible sponsor, it surprisingly turned out to be a perfect fit!

At Steinhafels, we pride ourselves on selling high quality beds and mattresses that promote a good night’s sleep. Check out our past blog about the importance of sleep HERE.

As part of the sponsorship, Steinhafels donated and delivered this bed, which will sit in the center of the stage. Talk about a starring role!! Delivery Operations Manager Kevin Riley says it was a unique and fun delivery.

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We asked Jeff to tell us a little bit more about the play, and why he’s so inspired by beds and sleep.

STEINHAFELS:  Briefly tell us about The Bed, and why people should come out to see it?

JEFF:  I wrote this short play as an homage to my father, who loved to sleep. His entire life he loved to sleep. Sleeping is a universal condition. Everybody sleeps. The storyline is really the story of each of our lives. And – there are very few plays with no actor dialogue. We have a pre-recorded voiceover narration with a music bed and the actors play out the narration on stage. It’s quite lovely, I must say.

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They should also come because we’re giving away the bed from The Bed at the end of the run, as well as four other grand prizes. And we’re giving away stuff throughout the run. I mean when was the last time you left the theater with one of the set pieces?

STEINHAFELS:  Why did you approach Steinhafels? Why is this a community-based partnership that makes sense?

JEFF:  When I moved back to Wisconsin, I immediately went to Steinhafels and purchased a sleigh bed. I’ve been in a state of bliss ever since–I am not kidding! I know people who work and have worked for Steinhafels and the name is synonymous with quality furniture. It was the first place I thought of, and the first place I approached with our show concept. I think local business ties to the arts help enhance the retailer’s community spirit. It’s not just “come buy furniture from us,” but it’s “our customers also like to be educated, inspired and entertained and here’s how we can support that.”

STEINHAFELS:  You came out to the store to pick a bed for the play.  What did you think… and what do you think of the bed you chose?

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JEFF:  Huge selection! We were there for an hour, maybe? But we did find one bed that works with our set, is functional, and is a style that any patron would love to have in their home.

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STEINHAFELS:  A bed is something we often take for granted. Why is a bed and sleep so important?

JEFF:  My sleeping accommodations (as far as my bed) were horrendous while living in Los Angeles for 12 years. I promised myself that when I moved back to Wisconsin, if there wasn’t a stitch of furniture in my home, I’d splurge and treat myself to a quality bed – mattress, box spring, head & footboard. Which I did, thanks to Steinhafels. I wanted to write a play that paid tribute to a piece of furniture that is taken for granted in film, television, and theater. It’s set dressing – that’s all. I thought it needed its Cecile B. DeMille moment.

STEINHAFELS:  How do you want audience members to feel when you leave the show?

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JEFF:  Two questions are addressed in The Bed:  “What have I accomplished in my life?” and “What do I want to accomplish before I leave this earth?” Everyone asks themselves these two questions at some point in their lives. The play and eight films will strike a nerve with everyone. They’ll laugh and reminisce, and perhaps view their bed and sleeping in a different light. They may even become a bit introspective when it comes to their own lives.

Strange Bedfellows runs April 21-22, 28-29, May 5-6, 12-13 at the Alchemist. Two shows each night at 7 and 9:00 p.m. We hope to see you at the theater for this introspective and touching show!

Shut It Down and Get to Sleep!

The National Sleep Foundation is celebrating its annual Sleep Awareness Week March 6-13.  We’ve been wanting to write a blog about the importance of sleep for awhile, and this seems like the perfect time.  Mattresses are a huge part of our business at Steinhafels, but we want to take a step back and really think about just how important a quality night’s sleep is to our overall health.

So we decided to go right to the experts.  Dr. Louella Amos is a Sleep Physician. She specializes in Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the Medical College.  She works with patients to make sure the entire family, especially children, are getting a good night’s sleep.

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Our first question for Dr. Amos was pretty simple:  What does sleep really do for our bodies?  We all know that if we don’t get enough sleep we tend to be drowsy, cranky, and lazy… but is there more to it than that?  The answer is yes!  Dr. Amos explains, “Nighttime sleep is really important for the body to recover from whatever happened during the day.  Another function of sleep is really going back to the information we obtain during the day, the learning that goes on during the day–you need to process that.  Certain stages of sleep are really important for memory, cognitive development, and processing information–that’s really important for children.”

Dr. Amos says the last main function of sleep is fighting off illness.  “When we’re sick, you’ll notice you might want to sleep more, and that’s a normal response, because your body is saying it needs to relax and recover, and when you don’t sleep you’ll find you’re not going to recover as quickly.”

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Now we know it’s not always realistic to get that glorious 8 hours of sleep (for adults) and 9+ hours for kids and adolescents.  Schedules these days are packed with work, school, extra curricular activities, sports, evening events, etc.  Often our kids are more busy than we are!!  However, there are some ways to practice good ‘Sleep Hygiene’ as Dr. Amos calls it. (Adults–these are for you too!!)

1.) Turn off all electronic devices one hour before bed.  This should give your mind time to wind down.  Our brains produce Melatonin as it gets dark outside, so if we are exposed to extra light in the evening, our brain may not think it’s dark out, and that can delay Melatonin production.

2.) Set a bedtime and stick to it.  Once you set a time, try to avoid caffeine 8 hours before that time.

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3.) Exercise at the peak time to promote Restorative Sleep.  Exercise is good in general for health, but we’re looking at timing.  After school or right after work is ideal.  Usually any time from 3 to 6 p.m. is a good time for moderate to vigorous intensity exercise.  This will help tire your body so you sleep better and longer come bedtime.  This is called ‘Restorative Sleep.’  But if you exercise too close to bedtime, it may take a little longer to fall asleep.  If you exercise in the morning that’s fine, but it won’t really have that extra calming effect on your sleep later.

4.) Don’t go to bed hungry!  This is especially important for kids.  Hunger at night may wake them from their sleep.  A small snack at night is fine, but clearly nothing with caffeine or too much sugar right before bedtime.

5.) Use the bed only for sleep.  If you read before bed do it the old fashioned way–with a paperback book, and sit in a chair near your bed.  This helps you only associate the bed with sleep.  This is especially important for kids.

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6.) Follow a Family Sleep Routine.  Even if the adults and older kids stay up a little later, it’s important to sort of ‘shut down’ the house when the young kiddos go to sleep–turn off the music, lower the volume on the TV, dim the lights, etc.

The mattress staff at Steinhafels is dedicated to making sure we provide the highest quality at the best value.  LeeJean Williams is the lead buyer for Mattresses and Bedding.  We asked Williams what her number one priority is when selecting the mattresses to sell at our stores.   She replied, “Comfort and to ensure a customer’s sleep system (pillow, mattress, and foundation) is providing the right support and spinal alignment.”

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The good news is that, like everything, sleep ‘technology’ has vastly improved over the years.  As Williams explains, “There is technology to help customers sleep cooler, provide the right amount of body support, and foundations that allow a customer to position the mattress to help reduce snoring, acid reflux, and pressure in the lower back.”

Sleep is such a personal thing.  We all have different routines and techniques.  That’s why there is such a wide variety of mattresses in the Steinhafels showroom and on our website.  Dr. Amos admits she is no expert when it comes to sleep products and mattresses, but acknowledges that a good mattress and overall sleep environment is very important for overall wellness.

Dr. Amos suggests involving your child in the mattress selection process.  She explains, “I’ve had children or adolescents who have developed a bad relationship with their current bed, or current surface.  I think the children should sort of play a role in determining what they’re going to sleep on, so I’ve told parents to kinda make a clean slate.  Try to take them when you buy a bed for them.  Have them play a role in that.  First of all, they’ll appreciate it and enjoy it, and then it’s kinda a new beginning.”

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Of course there are some serious sleep issues that require more than just a good mattress:  Sleep Apnea, Night Terrors, and Narcolepsy–just to name a few.  In these cases you may need to see a doctor for yourself or your child.

The big takeaways we hope you get from this post:  Sleep truly is important, shut down your technology at night, and try to follow a routine.  Even if you sleep like a baby, we hope you got something out of reading this.  Sleep is a vital component of overall health and wellness, and it’s a lot easier to have sweet dreams on a comfortable mattress.

Williams said it best when asked how she hopes customers react when they lie on their new Steinhafels mattresses for the first time.  She says, “I hope they sleep like they have never slept before, and they wake up feeling like they just had the best night’s sleep of their lives.”

So get off your computer or mobile device, get in bed, and enjoy #SleepAwarenessWeek!!

Do you have any Sleep Tips you’d like to share?  We’d love to hear them!!  Please post them in the Comments section below.