Tag: Sleep

I Sleep on an Avocado Every Night, and It’s Magical

This article was created in partnership with Avocado Green Mattress.

Somewhere between midnight and 1 a.m., I feel myself hovering in that all-too-familiar, awake-but-still-asleep state. The stakes are high: If I focus hard enough on how tired I am, I can fall back asleep and continue peacefully ticking off those precious hours of rest. But if I give in to the urge to stretch my aching back or check my phone or (delicately) shove my partner because of his lumberjack sawing, it’s over. I’ll be awake with nothing to do but stare at the ceiling.

I’m typically not someone who struggles to fall asleep—my Polish blood was built for hibernating through long dark winter nights. The problem is simple: My mattress sucks. At least it did, before I saw the light and upgraded to an Avocado Green Mattress.

I could go on and on about how my old bed’s cheap foam and stabby springs resulted in aching muscles and sleeping limbs. I often lie on my side and woke up countless nights to tingling arms that were limp as a dead fish. And after just a few short years of use, my mattress had two hollowed-out, body-shaped dents from where my partner and I slept.

Then there were the problems you can’t see: sketchy materials and chemical flame retardants sourced from pollution-spouting factories. According to the EPA, the fumes from glues and flame retardants hiding in furniture, combined with household cleaners, perfumes, and other smelly stuff, can make indoor air quality anywhere from two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. For people with allergies and chemical sensitivities, that can trigger a lot of discomfort. And, you know, no one wants to huff their mattress every night while they sleep. Now when I look at the sad heap of a mattress stored in the corner of my basement, I wonder how I let our relationship go on for so long.

Avocado Green Mattress Organic

I wasn’t looking for Avocado, but it found me.

Fate is funny sometimes, and our meet-cute was long overdue. The words natural, organic, and sustainable feel so important when it comes to our food, but shouldn’t they also apply to the place we spend one-third of our lives?

The husband-and-wife duo behind Avocado Green Mattress think so. Long story short: While shopping for a bed for their son, the pair discovered all the gross stuff hiding in traditional foam mattresses and decided to take matters into their own hands. Their goal? Create beds that were good for people and the planet by using only organic, natural, and sustainably sourced materials.

Did they succeed?

Y’all, they sure did. They set up shop in sunny California where all Avocado mattresses and pillows are handmade in Greenguard Gold-certified factories using materials like 100 percent natural, sustainably sourced latex and Global Organic Textile Standard-certified organic cotton and wool. Avocado also supports 1% for the Planet, a group of businesses that contribute 1 percent of all profits to environmental groups. And because buying a bed is one of those big-deal purchases, like leasing a car or an apartment, the mattresses come with a 25-year warranty and free shipping. Plus, Avocado lets you try any bed for 100 days. If you don’t love it, send it back for a full refund.

But listen, you will love it.

Sleeping on an Avocado every night isn’t like sleeping on a pallet of unsupportive fluff or a rigid brick of memory foam—it’s the kind of comfortable that feels right, and that’s without any of the artificial nonsense other brands use. It’s just Mother Earth in mattress form, cradling you in her cottony soft arms (I should know, I’m writing this in bed right now).

But because sleeping is believing, Avocado is giving Greatist readers $ 175 off any mattress (that includes green and vegan options!). Just use code GREATIST175 at checkout. It’s the kind of purchase that’ll have you sleeping like a baby—because it’s comfortable (obv) and because your money isn’t vanishing into the black hole of an environment-destroying corporation’s wallet. Saving the planet has never been so easy.

Greatist RSS

Scientists Found the Number of Extra Calories You Eat When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

We know we eat more when we don’t get enough sleep, and a new study finally pinned down how much extra food we chow down on during those days when we struggle to keep our eyes open. Participants who slept fewer than five-and-a-half hours ate an average of 385 more calories than people who got enough shut-eye.

To make matters worse, if you’re exhausted, you’re more likely to skip protein and eat foods high in fat. Need a better idea of what much 385 calories looks like? Here are some examples:

How Much We Eat When Sleep Deprived

Eating a couple extra slices of pizza or an order of fries once in a while isn’t a problem. But if you’re chronically sleep deprived, the extra calories add up and become a seriously unhealthy habit.

Greatist RSS

Consenting In Hindsight: Why I Continued to Sleep With My Rapist

Trigger warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual assualt.

I.

“Did he penetrate you without your consent?” my psychologist asked. “Because that’s rape.”

I had just described my weekend to him. I had a weird hook-up, I said. I explained that I had sex with a friend of mine—a beautiful, curly-haired boy with long eyelashes and a gentle demeanor. But after I fell asleep, I woke up to the feeling of his penis inside me.

My psychologist looked at me with concern. I shook my head. “I wasn’t raped. I’ve been raped before. If that was rape I’d feel traumatized, and I don’t,” I said.

You’re wrong, said a voice inside me. I knew what rape was: I was sexually assaulted when I was younger, and I’d been doing anti-rape activism and writing for years. I knew my psychologist was right. You’re a hypocrite, the voice continued.

But admitting that I was raped meant I’d have to go back to square one and start healing again. I didn’t want to do that.

II.

As soon as I got up and left my rapist’s bed, he realized what he had done. “I’m so sorry,” he said, as realization crept into the lines across his forehead. “Sian, I’m so sorry.”

It was the beginning of what would be months of apologies. He texted me an hour later to apologize, and an hour after that to tell me he’d stop texting me if that’s what I wanted. I didn’t respond.

Later that week, he texted that he needed to see me. “I need to know how to fix things,” the text read.

I allowed him to come to my residence to speak to me. While I waited for him to arrive, I frantically Googled “what to do if your rapist apologizes.” No good results turned up; I was completely without a blueprint on how to act and feel.

I frantically Googled ‘what to do if your rapist apologizes.’ No good results turned up.

He sat at my desk in my dorm room and started crying. He apologized to me profusely, and he told me he’d never do it again. He knew what he did wrong. He didn’t mean to hurt me. What more could I ask for? I thought.

As he tearily begged for forgiveness, my heart broke. None of my other rapists had ever asked for forgiveness. This means he’s different, right? This means it’s OK.

I hugged him to comfort him. That hug became a kiss. We ended up having sex for the next six hours.

It wasn’t that bad, I told myself as his face disappeared between my thighs. If it was that bad, I wouldn’t be able to sleep with him now.

I closed my eyes and found myself halfway between pleasure and confusion. I always thought of orgasms like a hurricane, with all my nerves twisting and turning and rising up out of my body. This time, I found myself in the eye of the storm, calm and numb, while my body twisted and turned around me.

Hands Clasped

III.

When I was 12 years old, I was raped. Like many others, I self-harmed to deal with the trauma. I was self-destructive. I was full of anger and self-loathing. I cut into my thighs, took painfully hot showers, and scratched my skin open.

This time around, I thought I was doing well because I wasn’t doing those things. Looking back, I realize that choosing to sleep with my rapist was a part of another self-destructive pattern.

IV.

We’re taught that rapists are monsters.

Maybe this is why I didn’t expect to feel human feelings for my rapist. In some ways, those feelings were a form of denial. When I scrubbed away my memories of the assault, what remained was the attraction I felt toward him before.

The month that followed, I was all over him, my hands running through his corkscrew curls. I could’ve nearly told him I loved him. We were tangled and sweaty. The way he looked at me made me feel like I was worthy of everyone’s love, including my own.

I constantly thought to myself: What if I could relive the first night? If I went back in time and consented, it would have been a great story instead of a tragedy. Every time I said yes, I was trying to consent retroactively. For me, sleeping with him was the ultimate denial that he ever raped me.

A few weeks after our last sexual encounter, he started dating someone.

Sleeping with him was the ultimate denial that he ever raped me.

There was a part of me that felt rejected. Another part of me felt relieved—I didn’t have to sleep with him anymore. Our fling had ended without any pain or grand gestures. The relationship had disintegrated and disappeared from memory as if it never happened.

I wish the assault would do the same.

V.

Every single person experiences rape differently. Some of us hate our rapists and some of us can’t. Sometimes people sleep with their rapists. Sometimes we date them. Sometimes we even marry them.

We seek healing in myriad ways. We don’t always find it, but we always, always deserve it.

We deserve it even when we try to heal by hurting ourselves, and no matter what kind of hurt it is. Self-harm can be in the form of cuts on your thighs or orgasms on your rapist’s futon.

You can’t consent in hindsight, and no amount of sex—consensual, amazing, mind-blowing sex—you have with your rapist will erase your sexual assault. You could carve the letters Y-E-S into their back a billion times; it won’t make you forget that you once didn’t get a chance to say yes.

Writer Nayyirah Waheed once wrote, “Apologize to your body. Maybe that’s where healing begins.” I try to apologize to myself for willingly entering such a confusing and harmful situation. Maybe one day I’ll stop apologizing and begin healing again.

Greatist RSS