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As I prepare to leave 2019 behind and usher in the new year, I am having a lot of conversations with myself about the words defining my year and the words I'm hoping to define my year to come. One of the words that has been a recurring theme as of late has been "rest". And let me tell you, it's with good reason.
For the past two years or so, I've been tossing and turning at night and waking up every 2-3 hours due to a combination of anxiety and a mattress that desperately needed to retire. There was a huge dip in the middle that indicated it was a few years passed its expiration date. Plus, any given day, my lower back would kill me. But you know the deal, I'd swipe my card for impromptu trips and Postmates every day in a heartbeat, but when it came to putting money down for a new mattress, I couldn't help but squint my eyes at its price tag. I was skeptical about whether or not a better night's rest was worth the investment.
However, as I am starting to relearn, a bomb mattress can save your life. Literally.
When Tuft & Needle offered me the chance to try their mattress, "The Original", I leapt at the opportunity. With 95% of their customers loving and keeping this particular mattress of theirs, I was certain I was going to thoroughly enjoy my experience with the T&N Original mattress. And to keep it all the way a buck, "rest" is now my middle name.
Read on to learn why you should consider making your next mattress purchase a Tuft & Needle mattress.
Why Tuft & Needle
Photography Taylor S. Hunter
Tuft & Needle has engineered their mattresses with customer feedback in mind so it's no wonder they have garnered over 5,000 5-star reviews on Amazon (which is almost three times the amount their top five competitors have received combined). They aim to reshape the way we view sleep. The mattress has just the right amount of firmness and resilience and doesn't sacrifice comfort for design.
And for a Queen sized bed (The Original), at $595, it is also relatively low compared to some of their competitors.
Photography Taylor S. Hunter
The Mattress Deets
Photography Taylor S. Hunter
Now, I've had a springless memory foam mattress prior to T&N, but this one took me to church! What I really loved about The Original is that it is comprised of T&N Adaptive® foam, which is a fancy way to say that the material adapts to you. This especially comes in handy as you move around in bed throughout the night, providing pressure relief to your body all the while. I noticed the moment I first sat down on the mattress, it felt like a cloud and, rest-wise, I have had that feeling of euphoria ever since.
The adaptive foam also offers hella support to the sleeper(s), meaning no matter your weight or position, it's an ideal universal mattress. So, whether you sleep on your back, on your front, to the side, or diagonally (I'm good for a diagonal sleep when I'm alone), the mattress conforms and supports you and the way you sleep. The T&N Adaptive® foam also consists of graphite and cooling gel, together these materials helps to pull the heat from your body and disperse it throughout the rest of the mattress. The end result is the good night sleep of your dreams.
The Science of Sleep
Photography Taylor S. Hunter
Admittedly, I spend a lot of time in bed. As much as I want to say I am one of those women who work from home, but have a separation between where I lay my head at night and where I work in the day, in reality, those lines are much more blurred. I wake up in the mornings, and instinctively reach for my laptop on my nightstand. And stay there for the next couple of hours. It's also how I segue into my semblance of a nighttime routine.
As previously mentioned, my nights were plagued by sleeplessness and my early mornings were plagued by aches in my lower back and sometimes my neck and thighs. And sometimes, although my bedroom was my workplace preference, it wasn't even an option because of how badly the uneven elevation of the mattress made my body feel.
While a bad night of sleep can deplete you, a good night of sleep can replenish you.
In addition to reduced stress, an improved mood, and clarity for a better work/school performance, better sleep has also been linked to health benefits like lowering your risk for heart disease and diabetes, as well as boosting your immune system. With my new Original mattress, I can check off those benefits and am happy to continue to do so. I get my full 8 hours each and every night and can work comfortably during the day. And as I'm relearning the importance of stillness and pouring into myself, rest has never felt so damn good.
Photography Taylor S. Hunter
Get better sleep 2020 is the wave. And if you're ready to ride it, click here to learn how you can invest in your rest with your new T&N mattress today.
Want more bang for your buck? Make your purchase between 11/25 and 12/1 to take advantage of the company's Black Friday sale. Click here for $200 off the Mint mattress.
Featured image by Taylor S. Hunter
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From Monogamy To Polyamory: 'I'm In An Asexual Poly Marriage With My Husband Of 7 Years'
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
For more of Mikki, follow her on Instagram @getmikkibey. Follow the couple's platform on Instagram @thepolycouplenextdoor.
Featured image by skynesher/Getty Images