A lot of people ask if I recommend a mattress, pillow, sleep tracker, etc for sleep.
One of the thoughts that comes to mind is being crammed like a sardine into a tent, at high altitude, pitched on a glacier with an inch of foam for cushion, with climbing partners on both sides (both of whom may snore among other things).
I think of this experience because in spite of non-conducive sleeping conditions, my climbing partners have said they’ve gotten their best sleep on these trips!
I’ve speculated why based on my knowledge of sleep, though I don’t have any scientific proof my observations are correct. I think it’s an interesting topic.
Climbing trips give people a specific goal to focus their attention on which also enables them to let go of other stresses and troubles at work/home as they focus on that goal.
Because it was a chosen objective, it is joyful to be pursuing that goal. This generates a sense of purpose, joy, and fulfillment.
Usually one is physically exhausted on such trips.
It is difficult to overindulge on food, alcohol, or caffeine on these trips because of limitations in access.
The mindset of knowing sleep deprivation is a necessary and required part of the experience that will be alleviated by a reward and rest later is accepted.
There is little else to do after the sun sets but rest.
One is unlikely to get overexposed to blue light or electronics due to minimal electricity.
Conclusions? While a plush mattress or other tools can be helpful for getting good sleep, they aren’t a requirement. What matters more is:
Feeling a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and joy.
Being able to let go of stresses on the mind and to have singular focus.
Physical movement, eating habits, substance use, and light exposure are carefully controlled.
What we do with the time we are awake and the quality of our waking hours has a dramatic impact on our quality of sleep. A luxurious mattress and pillow are icing on the cake.