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Mattress Firm Partners with Vox Creative to launch a new podcast about our shared struggle to sleep

Hosted by Kate Berlant, “Are You Sleeping?” invites listeners to learn more about why sleep matters and the effects of sleep on the quality of our lives

In celebration of World Sleep Day, Mattress Firm – a company dedicated to changing people’s lives through better sleep – today unveils the trailer of its first-ever podcast series in partnership with Vox Media’s award-winning brand studio Vox Creative titled, “Are You Sleeping?” The 10-episode podcast series launches its first episode on April 1 and will showcase unique stories and community-sourced questions to better understand why sleep matters. We dive deep into diverse sleep experiences with extraordinary people and provide context with expert medical and cultural commentators.

In a culture obsessed with peak performance, rest is all too often the first thing we sacrifice. Tens of millions of adults struggle to sleep well each night. While many feel alone in their experiences, poor sleep quality is something humans experience collectively. The pace and demands of our work productivity have increased just as economic, health and climate uncertainty have also increased. Is it any wonder we’ve lost the ability to get the rest we need?

Award-winning stand-up comedian, actress and writer Kate Berlant is the host of “Are You Sleeping?,” bringing her fascination and curiosity about the mysteries of our unconscious hours to each episode, with equal parts humor and heart in exploration of sleep. She spends each episode in conversation with guests who have surprising and never-before-heard sleep stories. The show also features commentary from leading experts, like Dr. Shelby Harris and Psy.D., C.BSM, as they help listeners gain an understanding of how sleep makes and shapes who we are, and how our unconscious hours greatly impact our waking life.

“Unlike other people, sleep is a cornerstone of my life. I’ve always been obsessed with getting it and have been dreaming since the late 80s. It’s been a blast to host this podcast where I get to talk to many fascinating people about their sleeping lives and how sleep defines them,” said Kate Berlant.

​​The stories of guests range from sisters with a rare short-sleep gene who only need 4-5 hours of sleep per night, to dreamers whose artistic and musical creativity are fully activated in their sleep. We meet an Olympic Bobsledder who unpacks the relationship between sleep and peak performance and a neuroscientist who has spent his life studying sleep and supernatural experiences. We also meet two guests who have had to sleep in their vehicles in order to move forward in their lives. In this series of “Are You Sleeping?” we meet:

  • Lauren Gibbs: As an Olympic athlete, Lauren had to adjust her sleep to meet the demanding needs of being an athlete under the never-ending pressure to perform.
  • Joanne Osmond & Jane Evans with Dr. Ying-Hui Fu, professor at UCSF: Sisters Joanne and Jane knew something was different about their sleep habits, so they signed up for a study with Dr. Fu to examine them as short sleepers, a fascinating sleep-gene that allows certain people to unlock another level of productivity in their waking hours.
  • Baland Jalal: Baland shares how his sleep paralysis, and the supernatural experiences that he found himself trapped in, drove him to become a PhD scientific researcher studying narcolepsy and the impact of sleep and dreams on our brains.
  • Brian Badgette: Brian talks about lucid dreaming, what it is, and how it runs in his family – he discovered as an adult that his father is also a lucid dreamer.
  • Amy Scurria: As a composer, Amy shares how her compositions come to her in her sleep when she has a creative block, allowing her to become a better artist and performer.
  • Antoinette McIntosh: As a truck driver working alongside her significant other, Antoinette shares how she struggled to make her big rig feel like a home and adapt to an abnormal sleep cycle.
  • Kameron Schmid: Due to a series of traumatic and unfortunate circumstances while also facing the challenges of being a student, Kameron was faced with living in his car for two years and reflects on how his sleeping habits have recovered since then.

“At Mattress Firm, we are committed to helping all people sleep well so they live well,” said John Eck, President and CEO of Mattress Firm. “Sleep is extremely personal, yet a universal part of the human experience. We are excited to connect our passion for sleep with the power of storytelling through this compelling 10-part podcast series. We hope to reach millions who struggle to sleep each night but need more insight to better understand why sleep matters.”

“Are You Sleeping?” is free for listeners to stream on their favorite podcast app, beginning April 1. Listeners can also learn more here.

About Mattress Firm

For the past 90 years, Mattress Firm has made it easy to get a great night’s sleep by providing our customers an expertly curated collection of quality mattresses from the best brands. Today, with more than 2,300 neighborhood stores, we strive to match every customer with their perfect mattress at the perfect price. Our Sleep Experts™ help more than 3 million people a year find the right solution for their sleep needs. Our selection of mattresses and bedding accessories include leading brands such as Beautyrest®, Nectar®, Sealy®, Serta®, Simmons®, Sleepy’s® Stearns & Foster®, Tempur-Pedic®, Tuft & Needle®, tulo®, and Purple®. We also offer customers Sleep.com as a go-to resource for learning how to sleep better and feel better. Committed to serving our communities, the Mattress Firm Foster Kids program, in partnership with the Ticket to Dream Foundation, joined forces with local foster care non-profit partners to help children in foster care get better sleep so they can shape a better future. For more information, visit http://www.mattressfirm.com.

About Vox Creative

Vox Creative is Vox Media’s award-winning brand studio. Vox Creative’s team of strategists, writers, storytellers, and analysts create original content and experiences that connect brands with influential audiences across Vox Media’s editorial networks and beyond. Vox Creative’s work spans short and long-form video, podcasts, explainers, experiential, shoppable content and more. They’ve built houses, invented cocktails, produced documentaries, traveled inside companies to uncover untold stories, and, on rare occasions, have gone to the moon.