Jodelle Fitzwater: 100 Nights on a Bear Mattress
Bear Mattress Brand Ambassador Jodelle Fitzwater knows what it means to push her body to its limits. As an ASCM certified personal trainer, E-RYT 200 yoga instructor, certified nutrition coach and food psychology coach. When we first began speaking with Jodelle, she was very skeptical of our claims that the Bear Mattress would help her recover faster and sleep sounder. We told her what we tell all our customers -- try it out for 100 nights and if you don’t like it, or if you simply don’t see any improvements, send it back! What follows is a painstaking delve into Jodelle’s fitness routine (yes, it’s intense… paddle boarding, tabata, HIIT workouts, running and taking care of a small child) over 100 days. Did the Bear Mattress live up to her expectations? Spoiler alert: it surpassed them… big time. Follow along with Jodelle over her 100 days of workouts, travel and even some broken air conditioning to see how the Bear Mattress changed both her sleeping and waking life!
Written by: Jodelle Fitzwater
I am not ashamed to admit it is something I do, and can't seem to stop. I can't sit still, I'm a knee-bouncer, I stand when I eat, I actually "run" errands. I love anything active, and sitting is almost mind-numbing. And like most over-trainers (and you know who you are), I don't sleep well. So when I saw that there was a mattress out there to help us active zealots relax and recover, I was intrigued to say the least.
"Try it for 100 nights," the email said, "and if you don't love it, we will come get it." So I gave the go ahead to ship the bed. But only in the hopes of using it to prove that there is a mattress out there for all those energy enthusiasts like myself. A mattress that can actually help you recover and rest from the fact that like myself, you are not about to stop over-training.
Allow me to take you on a fun, fit and active 100 days (or nights should I say) of just what I discovered about my Bear Mattress. Will they come get it at the end? Keep reading to find out....
Day 1: I purposefully overdid it. My workout of the day was a brutal total body HIIT workout, but I wanted to see what difference I would feel when I crawled into my bear mattress. To my delight, my muscles seem to spread apart inside my skin and melt when I first laid down. I couldn't help but fall asleep easily. That never happens. I awoke with a very bound-y refreshed feeling.
Day 2: Didn't sleep well but that was not due to the mattress. Rather, it was due to my 19 month old who insisted on waking us up every hour on the hour. I did find that I easily fell back to sleep and normally it takes me much longer. I did a killer glute workout today and sprint workout so curious to see how my body feels tomorrow.
Day 3: Glutes were sore but honestly I thought I would feel it more... I'm beginning to believe there is something to this bed! I feel boundless energy! I'm normally always at 95% energy on a regular basis but I should note that I am also coffee free for the next few weeks as I am trying an experiment and even feel perhaps at 100% energy without coffee and changing nothing but my bed! Today was Tabata kickboxing...yeehaw!
Day 4: Rest day! No workouts but lots of spring cleaning so I guess I wouldn't call it rest. It's nice to crash into bed last night with no worry of dust mites and chemicals and sleep soundly. Not as sore today as normally would have been after kickboxing....odd.
Day 5: Last night was lovely. It was honestly one of the first nights my husband didn’t seem to snore very much. Actually for the first time, I am noticing that I haven’t noticed him snoring. Could that be due to the bed too?
Day 6: After a grueling first day of training new instructors, my body needed my bed, but sadly I had to stay in a hotel in the town I was training in, and I could definitely tell a difference in my sleep as I woke up about 4x as opposed to 1 or 2 which was I have been doing lately.
Day 7: Felt good to be back in my bed last night after day 2 of training. Every muscle in my body was wracked, and although I thought I would be taking a rest day today and healing, after last night’s really rejuvenating sleep, no rest day required today!
Day 8: Dreams, crazy but good dreams last night, more so than normal. I wonder if that meant I slept more deeply than I normally have been. I feel like each night is getting deeper and deeper. I feel like my body is really benefiting from solid sleep and recovery.
Day 9: My leg workout had so much energy today! I pushed myself harder than I have in weeks. When you got it, use it! And had had energy so between sprints, squats, lunges, kettle bell work and more, I feel like I really was able to exhaust my legs without exhausting myself.
Day 10: Sleepy snuggles with my little girl this morning. Apparently she likes the bed too. Barely awake, I heard her making noise so I went and brought her back into bed with me, and she fell back asleep which she doesn’t normally do. She then slept in the bed for another hour. I even got up and left her there because after resting for about 20 minutes. I was energized to get up so I began my productivity and she snoozed until she woke up her happy-go-lucky self!
Day 11: Another morning where I brought my little mermaid into bed with me as the sun came up. We snuggled and fell back to sleep and this is not like either of us. Could this bed be too restful and comfortable and for the first time in my active life, I don’t want to get up? It’s almost scary.
Day 12: Did a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am-total-body workout with my bestie yesterday and today I don’t feel a thing! I have done this particular workout a few months back and I remember it tearing me up, but for whatever reason (that being this mattress is all I can imagine) I am NOT sore one bit. The downside to how well this mattress is helping me recover, is that I’m now going to have to step up my game and push harder to see more gains! Or do I? Perhaps it’s allowing me to progress without pain.
Day 13: Rest day today. Spent the night last night at my cousin’s house for a weekend night hanging with family. At my cousin’s house, I got up to pee 3x and woke up about 4x. Way more than I had been lately. Something definitely to be said for this mattress now, I believe.
Day 14: Back in my own bed last night and more baby snuggles and sleeping in this morning. She seems to welcome this new habit of coming in bed at daybreak and snuggling. She is sleeping longer now than normal which is great, as she has always been an early riser and hard to wind down.
Day 15: Got up early to go for a 2 hour paddle. I feel exhilarated. It’s cute that now my husband had to go in and get baby and bring her in bed with him, and they are snuggled in. Update 5 hours later: I got home after paddle and hubs said he and baby slept till 8:45am...she never sleeps that late!! Bear mattress to the baby-sleep-pattern rescue! (And hey, don’t knock “co-sleeping” until you try it.)
Day 16: My body is so sore from my paddle, not to mention I worked with my Vasa Trainer SUP erg after my paddle, and my back feels like hamburger meat! I love it! It’s a good hamburger-meat feeling. Slept awesome as usual... and one thing I realized is that in my old bed is that my increased DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) in the night would cause me to wake and feel my body getting progressively more and more sore. Today I didn’t feel the soreness until I woke in the morning and started moving around. I think I sleep so much more deeply that I don’t roll around and notice my muscles getting tighter!
Day 17: Jumping back into running to prep for the Forest Gump Half Marathon in September, I went for a run in the heat of the day, and got a little overheated, channeling my inner Gloria Estefan, ya know, “feelin hot hot hot” ...but once I relaxed into bed, it seemed to calm me down and cool me down.
Day 18: Once again, I’m outta town sleeping in a guest room that is stuffy. I don't sleep well in a room that is more than 68 degrees and this one was a balmy 74! All I can think is there is no place like home...in bed.
Day 19: Sweet dreams and sweet recovered muscles from a weekend of training on the Juvo board. Nothing compares to a Bear.
Day 20: Thunderstorms at night just make me cuddle in deeper, yet they usually keep me awake. This night, I drifted back off easily in my Bear.
Day 21: Baby was up but I didn't want to be. Maybe her crib needs a bear mattress. Do these things come in teacup human size?
Day 22: Fell asleep while reading on the couch, then stumbled to my bed...and smiled.
Day 23: Heavy workouts today took me to bed early. I awoke like I hadn't done anything the day before. I’m not going to lie. I kind of miss being sore!
Day 24-34: Out of town on business and visiting family.....thankfully, my Aunt’s guest room is quite comfy, and even the bed quite cozy. As I worked out during the week though, my muscles felt tired and I was sore more than I have been lately. I take back what I said about missing being sore.
Day 35: Back in my “Bear den” last night and something very cool has been brought to my attention: No jet lag. I normally always do after a couple time zone changes.
Day 36: Still no jet lag even though I normally experience it for a couple days ......but I could tell the baby had it. Better snuggle with her in the bed as therapy.
Day 37: Baby and I took a nap in the bed today. I'm not a napper but the bed was calling to me in sweet nothings when I went to lay baby down for one.
Day 38: Bad dreams but good restful sleep. Note to self: coconut butter with a side of scrambled eggs might not be the best choice as a pre-bed snack after my evening run.
Day 39: Paddled 4 miles and ran 4 miles today. Felt strong and could have gone all day! Don’t think I would have felt that way without a good night’s rest. Thank you once, again Bear!
Day 40: Every time my hubs eats gluten he snores like a lawnmower inside a hurricane so I was forced to go the couch tonight, but it doesn't mean I liked it!
Day 41: Spent the night with family, and felt like I had a workout in the night with all my tossing and turning. Wish my Bear mattress was portable.
Day 42: After a long and arduous afternoon hike I sunk into my bear mattress like blueberry into heavy cream!
Day 43: Is more mental clarity a symptom of a good mattress? It is now!
Day 44: Couldn't sleep but it wasn't the mattress. I'm guessing it may have been the 5 cups of coffee I had today. I fell off the wagon of going without coffee. It’s not the energy I’m after, it’s the warm mug of chocolately goodness. Still, I need to put a lid on my coffee consumption, so to speak.
Day 45: Headed out of town this weekend for work and my company hooked me up with a posh hotel. Still their so called “dream bed” were no match for my Bear. I slept horribly.
Day 46: Trained my students and myself hard today… and slept on the couch in my suite. I didn’t even give the hotel bed another chance.
Day 47: Felt so wonderful to rest my aching body in my own bed. And after an intense weekend of physical training on the Juvo Board (www.juvoboard.com), I woke surprisingly not sore like I normally am after all that work. I’m still not used to that!
Day 48: Was able to get back into my routine of Tabata training in addition to going for a paddle and slept well, without feeling like I couldn’t wind down from overtraining… because let’s face it: We ARE going to overtrain when you love what you do.
Day 49: Recorded a new podcast workout for iTunes, check it out here. Then I snuggled into my Bear mattress and it felt like my muscles took a sedative.
Day 50: Long, hot, and windy photo shoot today for BiC SUP took it out of me so me and baby couldn’t wait for a nap in the bed. What is about the sun and the wind that zaps your energy and yet at the same time gives you energy when you are out in it?
Day 51: It’s getting hot here, but at least at night I’m cool and calm, and so are my muscles.
Day 52: I take magnesium at night, and I have for years to help me relax. Magnesium is our calming mineral, and I have now realized Bear Mattress is my calming mattress.
Day 53: 1st annual SUP and a CUP went great and ended up being about a 3 hour paddle corralling 8 people on the lake. Fun but I was worn out. So my mattress must have taken all the exhaustion for me last night because I feel 100% today!
Day 54: A paddle out with friends started great until it turned into a day of thunderstorms, so instead of being a standing lightning rod, we paddled back in. Went for a long run on my treadmill instead. Love that “Forest Gump” go forever feeling. Halfway through 100 day trial and my runs are evident that I have no plans of returning it as of yet.
Day 55: Another long run and lower body tabata blast. Ow. My legs waved a little white flag. As tight as they felt when I went to bed, I woke up almost discouraged that I wasn’t as sore as I thought I would be. But that, I suppose, is good for me.
Day 56: Upper body work and another run...and does running after a toddler count too? Didn’t sleep as good. It’s getting really hot outside and I think its messing with our room temp inside. Still, I was comfortable nonetheless.
Day 57: Lately I am getting sleepy at around 9, yawning like crazy. Which is usual for me. It usually takes me a long time to wind down at night. I think my brain wants her Bear.
Day 58: My brother gets married this weekend!!! I’m so excited I can’t sleep! It’s okay, I’ll just lay here and envision how awesome it’s going to be to watch him marry his soul mate!
Day 59: During a lesson yesterday, I had a snake pop out from under my board. In my 8 years of SUP, that’s a first! Dreamed about snakes because of it. Still slept okay since Bears don’t like snakes and my Bear calmed me down.
Day 60: Stayed out of town after we watched my beloved brother get married. I slept on the couch in the hotel because the bed was a joke. Thanks Bear. Now I’m spoiled.
Day 61: Just call me “Goldilocks”. Back in my own cuddly den with my Bear, ....well all three of my Bears. My Bear mattress of course, Papa Bear which would be my husband (and who snores like a grizzly), and my little snuggly baby bear. I was “just right.”
Day 62” This weekend must have worn me out. Hiking and weddings, and visiting family. I took an hour and half nap in my bed. THAT JUST HAPPENED. When I do nap, it’s normally for a full 9 minutes at the most. Yep, 9 minutes.
Day 63: Fantastic 6.5 mile run yesterday, but our mini split a/c unit in our bedroom starting going out due to soaring temps outside. I couldn’t take the heat in my bedroom last night so I made do on the couch. I pretty much didn't sleep.
Day 64: A/C still out and technician can’t figure it out. Oh good. I am sore after my run without sleeping on my Bear and I can feel it! That’s crazy.
Day 65: Still hot, no a/c, and unable to sleep in hot bedroom. Even the baby sleeps with no clothes or covers on! I feel sticky. I can see my bed from the couch calling to me, but with this heat, I may be sleeping in the freezer drawer of my refrigerator tonight.
Day 66: Still haven’t slept in bed until A/C is fixed. Technician supposed to come back out today but with all the extensive heat waves we have had, apparently he’s kind of busy. At least I’ll get on my paddle board to cool off and get a workout!
Day 67: It’s hot, and I’m a hot mess and sore! Now even my a/c is going out on my car. I miss my mattress. I’m still sleeping on the couch, but sometimes I just go in there and lay on it with the fan on me. Still hot, but my body feels so much better laying on it, even just for a moment.
Day 68-75: NO A/C still!!! I'm melting!!! Our room is stuffy. The weather man taunts me with damming forecasts of more of the same. Will my Bear and I ever reunite?
Day 76: The heat doesn’t effect my husband. From the couch I could hear him in there sawing logs. No fair.
Day 78: The heat and air guy comes tomorrow! EUREKA! Visions of me and my Bear mattress floating on clouds with angels singing choruses all around us dance through my head. In the meantime, it’s not too hot in there for my mother-in-law. Caught her napping on the bed with my daughter when I arrived home today. She had a hard time leaving that bed. I don’t blame her.
Day 79: Back in my Bear with AIR!! Slept incredibly deep, and felt the effects once again this morning of a better sleep and more recovery from yesterday's chest and back workout.
Day 80: You know those nights where you wake up with your mouth hanging open? Those nights where you wake up and wonder what day and month and year it was? Those nights you wake up wondering where you are? Yep that was how I woke this morning. Needless to say, I was out last night.
Day 81: I went to bed early last night for two reasons: (1) The sooner to bed, the sooner I get to wake up and drink coffee, my one vice. (2) My Bear just sounded like such a treat after a long paddle and a long day!
Day 82: Yep, I’m a co-sleeping fan...I felt like sleeping with my toddler last night so at midnight I brought her into bed with us. She slept an hour longer than she normally does. So did I.
Day 83: BIC SUP local demo day. Loads of paddling made for a long day and good workout. I crashed into bed and once again awoke feeling like I hadn't done a thing yesterday. Is this bed some sort of voodoo?
Day 84-85: Spent two days in a conference where I sat for long periods of time. Why is it that sitting makes you so tired? I couldn't wait to lay down in bed. I woke up today and my hips that ached yesterday from sitting, felt like new today.
Day 86: Woke with the 80s song "almost paradise" in my head. Yes, my Bear Mattress is almost paradise.
Day 87: I ate dinner far too late last night after a long day. Normally when I do that, I wake in the night burping and have trouble digesting. Not this night. I slept through the burps I guess. Or did I even burp? I wonder if my Bear helps me digest too. What doesn't it do??
Day 88: JoZi, my daughter, is starting to help me make my bed every morning. I think it's to butter me up so I let her sleep with me. I know she loves our bed better than hers!
Day 89: "Did you feel me kiss you and then drop my phone loudly on the floor this morning?" My husband asked me. "No?? I didn't even know you left this morning!".... I'm normally a light sleeper and notice everything. It seems my Bear is sending me into a hypnotic trance at night!
Day 90: Tried a new leg workout today with 50 seconds of work and 10 seconds rest done in 6 rounds of 6 different exercises. Here it is:
• Squats with a leg raise, right leg
• then next set left leg
• Lunges, walking with heavy weights
• Squat jumps
• Bridge lifts, right leg
• then next set left
• Curtsy lunges, right leg
• then next set left
• Jump lunges
And then woke up this morning and my legs felt loose and strong. And I lifted heavy and hard! I should be blasted!
Day 91: My husband, my daughter, and I brought the iPad into bed last night and made a tiny movie theatre out of bedroom. It was only a 45 minute documentary but that's a good thing because we got so relaxed that we decided to go right to sleep after that and it was only 8:30!
Day 92 - 97: I was gone to LA for a fitness convention where I worked out for over 21 hours over the course of 3 days. My husband however was home and had 3 days straight of midnight bow fishing trips. Let's see how he faired working all day and fishing all night while I was gone.....
1st night of bow-fishing: Home by 2am, slept till 6am and then up and at 'em to hit all his lawns he mows. Lots of energy as if he didn't miss sleep.
2nd night of bow-fishing: Home by 1:30, crashed right away. Woke refreshed at 6:30am and killed a 12 hour day. Sniffles and some slight feeling of a head cold that as he headed out for another night of bow-fishing.
3rd night of bow-fishing: Home by 2:30, sick with a head cold sneezing and stuffed up. Slept until 11am and woke up with what seemed like no cold. He was able to go about his day as if the cold had bypassed him altogether. I got home a few days later .... in his words, he needed rest and thanks to our mattress he “Bear-ly” has a cold.
Day 97: 21 hours of solid exercise 2 times zones, and sleeping on a couch at the hotel with an average of 4-5 hours of sleep each night in LA meant I was ready for my own bed like never before. I sank into my mattress and woke revived. I slept past 8am which is rare for me.
Day 98: Needed to relax from a small bout of jet lag after a hard week of constant workouts so I laid around all day. A mommy-daughter snuggle day in bed was long overdo and was thoroughly enjoyed by both of us.
Day 99: As I changed the sheets, I checked the mattress to see if after 100 nights there was any indentations forming or any breakdown of the foam. Nothing yet. No dips, no sags. Nothing. Still looks like new!
Day 100: Well I'm sure by now you know as well as I do that my Bear is a keeper. After yet another night of restful sleep for a girl who doesn't naturally sleep well, let's just say I'm a "Bear-liever!"
So there. I'm keeping it. And I'm betting you will too. Life's too short to sleep on a crappy mattress, and recover slowly from your workouts. If there is a product out there help us over-trainers, fitness fanatics, DOMS devotees, and HIIT hounds sleep, rest, recover, and relax so we can get out there and kill it again tomorrow, why wouldn't we make it another one of our “Bear” necessities for living a fabulous, action-oriented life!?
Jodelle Fitzwater is a BIC SUP Pro Athlete Ambassador, Master Trainer for Juvo Board, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Coach, and Self-proclaimed Mermaid.