Bright Lights, Big City, Great Sleep (Insider Story)
In their seven years of living in New York, Joe and Cydney Hogan have immersed themselves in the city, enjoying its bustle and famed institutions. We recently caught up with Cydney to talk about life in Manhattan, her experiences volunteering at the American Museum of Natural History, and why the couple are such fans of their Sleep Number bed.
Hi, Cydney! Tell us a bit about your life and how your bed helps you, day-to-day.
I used to be a teacher in Chicago, so I got up at 6 a.m. so I could get to school and get ready for class. At that time, we didn’t have a Sleep Number bed, and it was difficult sometimes, because if you don’t get a good night’s sleep—if you’re tossing and turning, if he’s snoring—it does affect your day. Now, I don’t have to be up quite as early. We live in New York City and I’m no longer teaching, but I volunteer at the Natural History Museum in their education department.
Joe and I both have some back issues, and it really has helped with that, especially for Joe, because he can make his side so firm. We’ve also found that when you travel and stay in a hotel and you’re not in your bed, you just don’t feel as good. You wake up kind of groggy, your legs are kind of achy, there’s a crick in your neck.
What do you do at the Natural History Museum?
I volunteer in the Discovery Room. We have school groups in the morning and we walk them through the biodiversity and the paleontology, and other parts of the museum. And in the afternoons, it’s open to the public. Parents or caregivers bring kids in, and we have lot of hands-on activities. It’s really fun, because every day, it’s something different—I love interacting with new people from all over the world and different cultures.
Volunteering also got me out of my comfort zone. When we moved to New York, it was all so new to me. The museum gave me something that was my own. It’s so important just to keep learning and growing, even as you get older.
Do you have any tips for people who are visiting the museum for the first time?
Take your time, don’t try to see everything in one day—come back. It’s going to be there the next time you come to New York. It’s much more enjoyable if you don’t try to race through every single floor. Kids get cranky, they’re hungry, they’re crying.
We’re also very close to Central Park, so if the weather’s good, go over there, too. In the Discovery Room, we have a special microscope that lets visitors see one drop of water from the Turtle Pond in Central Park, and it shows all the living organisms. The kids think that’s really cool, so I tell them, “When you leave here, walk to the park and you see the pond where this water came from, and think of what’s in all those drops of water.”
Any other tips for people visiting New York?
If the weather’s good, Central Park. It’s so beautiful—it’s an oasis in the city. We love the High Line and the new Whitney Museum and love Staten Island Ferry. It’s free and you go right by the Statue of Liberty, and the breeze is wonderful. We love Chinatown and there are so many great restaurants, especially on Mott Street. That’s a place we hit all the time. And down on the Lower East Side, there’s the Tenement Museum.
How long have you had your Sleep Number bed?
We actually have two. We’ve been in New York about seven years, and we’ve had our current bed three years. We also have a home in Florida, and we’ve had our bed there about four years.
Is a Sleep Number Bed Worth It?
Joe is the youngest of ten, and one of his six brothers has a Sleep Number bed. They were always talking about how much they loved it. We also like the adjustability. I think a lot of married couples have experienced the same thing—you don’t agree on mattress firmness or the temperature of the room. Joe and I have been married for thirty years and we’ve had some great mattresses, but there’s always been that problem of back-and-forth: “I want a firmer one”; “No, that’s too hard for me.” That was our jumping-off point: we can agree on this, so let’s give it a try. Joe likes a much firmer mattress than I do. It’s been great.
Are there any features you particularly like?
The snore feature! Before we got this bed, I’d be tapping Joe: “Turn over, turn over!” And it sounds so silly, but if you have a cold or you’re not breathing well, being able to raise your head is just amazing. Because otherwise, you’re trying to shove two or three pillows under you, and it’s uncomfortable or you slide off them. It just doesn’t work. So it’s really been a game-changer to have this feature.
We love the Zero G feature, too. In New York, we walk a lot—I can walk seven or eight miles a day—and to be able to lift my legs up at the end of the day means a lot.
We also have a Labradoodle who sleeps with us, and in the Split King, there’s the little trench between the two sides. It’s the craziest thing, but she loves that trench. It used to be that she’d sleep between my legs, or over my legs, and I’d be trying to get her off. But now she’s found this little trench and she stays there all night long. So even the dog is sleeping better!
If you could sleep anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would want it to be someplace where all the family is. You never sleep as well as you do when you’re all under the same roof. I know that sounds hokey, but it’s so true. You get used to your kids being away, after they grow up and move out, but when we’re back in the same house, under the same roof, all is right with the world. And if I had to choose another location, I’d say Paris.
Last question: What’s your Sleep Number setting?
I’m between 60 and 65, and Joe is up in the 80s, maybe even 90.
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