Sleep Number Insider, IT manager and gamer Tripp Allen with companion

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INSIDER STORY: This Gamer Finds His Goldilocks Moment

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INSIDER STORY: This Gamer Finds His Goldilocks Moment

In the last few years, prior to turning forty this June, Tripp Allen has had a series of firsts. There was his first new car, his first international vacation. Also, earlier this year, the first new mattress he’d purchased as an adult. The Nashville-based IT manager is careful with his spending habits, putting thought and care into them and, as he puts it, “being able to invest in high-quality products that will be valuable to me for decades to come has been a reward worth saving for.”


What do you do for work? What are some things people might not know about your job?


I’m a computer nerd—I’m an IT manager for a company here in Nashville that makes dishwashers. I’m a one-person shop, so if it’s plugged into the wall, I’m in charge of it: I make sure that everybody has computers and laptops up and running, I manage the phone system and the cell phones, I even restock the vending machine because it’s plugged into the wall, too. (One IT tip for everyone out there: If the email seems strange, don’t open it!)


How does your job schedule affect your sleep?


Well, if everything’s running smoothly at the office, I sleep better. And some things can’t be done during business hours, so there are occasions when I’m up late on a weekday or through the weekend. And our parent company is in Germany, so with the time difference I sometime have to be up at 3 a.m. for a conference call.


What are your hobbies or interests outside of work?


Games of all sorts. Board games, card games, video games. You name it, I’ve done it. I love analyzing problems and seeing how other people approach them. You learn a lot by having your teeth kicked in during a game. Suddenly you go from “I’m pretty good because I’ve beaten an eight-year-old” to “Wow, there are people who are way better at this than I am.”


I also enjoy reuniting with the community you build through gaming. I’ve traveled the country meeting people and playing games, much of it for the World of Warcraft trading card game. It’s defunct now, but there were tournaments all across the world and I met a lot of people in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Colorado, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. I’m going to GenCon [a large gaming convention held every year in Indianapolis] in August and looking forward to seeing people and catching up.


When I’m traveling, I also like to find new breweries and try out their stuff.


Do you find any particular challenges in creating a work-life balance?


Not really. I’m lucky that my company respects and encourages a healthy balance. They also organize activities so employees and their families can get together and socialize. They have field days, bowling, paintball, different things.


If you could sleep anywhere, where would it be?


In a hammock, under a canopy, during a light thunderstorm.


What do you do to unwind before going to sleep?


I’m a Food Network junkie, but I’m also a picky eater. So I love watching chefs create these amazing dishes and using ingredients in really odd ways, even when I know I would never bring myself to eat it. Winding down with a half-hour cooking show—Iron Chef or Chopped or something—is a great way to just relax.


I like to read in bed, but I tend to get insomnia from that because I’m overly engaged and stay up too late. But my Sleep Number bed has an adjustable base, so I can read much more comfortably than I used to. Rather than rolling side to side or propping my head up on my arm, I can just hit a single button on the side of the bed and it adjusts back to my favorite reading position.


How long have you had a Sleep Number bed?


I’ve had it for a few months now—I bought it in January. I don’t sleep well on a mattress that doesn’t suit me. It makes traveling difficult, because you never know what kind of mattress you’ll have in the hotel room or at a friend’s house, wherever you’re staying. But on top of that, it makes mattress shopping a rather daunting task. Lying on mattress at a store is not the same as sleeping on it night after night. I was concerned about buyer’s remorse from something that I hadn’t been able to test out, but with a Sleep Number, there was no question that I would be able to find my Goldilocks equivalent of just right. It’s been pretty neat.


How has Sleep Number helped you thrive?


With my old mattresses, I’d sleep on it and then it would get lumpy—suddenly there’s a lump in the wrong spot and I’d wake up with my back just killing me. Now that’s not a problem. It also helps me with my back, because I can overexert myself, so being able to sleep sitting up sometimes helps with the pressure.


And, finally: What’s your Sleep Number setting?


Anywhere between 30 and 40. It all depends on my back—if it’s starting to hurt, I’ll firm it up.



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