I work at a mattress store. Yup, let me repeat that – I work at a fuc**** mattress store. Hey, I’m not knocking it. It’s not like I’m ashamed of it – it’s just I am not proud of it either. I think it has more to do with the fact that I thought I would be doing bigger and better things with my life at this age than just selling mattresses.

All due respect to mattress salesmen across the world, but you do what you have to do sometimes in life to keep your dick up. Bear in mind I just took the job cause I could skirt around the background check on this particular occasion. What a relief.

I admit, I was sick and tired of getting my ass handed to me out there in the job searching world, that I humbled myself and took the opportunity as soon as it was presented. At the time, I was trying to figure out a way to generate an income (mind you, legally), all while doing and having the least amount of bullshit and responsibility as humanly possible. This was it I thought.

Anyways, I figured it would be a breeze. Stress free. My first inclinations being that I’m gonna lay around beds all day long and make a few sales. Easy peasey, lemon squeezy.

Well friends, let just tell you I was right. By and far, easiest job of my life. I’m dead serious. And while it didn’t pay all too well, it did afford me the luxury of having lots of down time. Time that was well spent thinking, reading, and writing.

Including this article.

It also gave me the chance to figure some things out. Those things being my disaster zone of a life. You see, I was in desperate need to regroup, and quite frankly, recharge my mind, body, and attitude as I was seriously burnt out.

Being unemployed for many months will do that to you. It had taken a toll on my wallet, but more importantly my self-esteem, reminding me that the last time I was this stressed, was when I was awaiting sentencing.

Be that as it may, I did actually happen to learn a few things about beds that I would like to impart on all, however, don’t go thinking that this article is about a mattress, sleep mask, or pill – because it’s not.

It’s about your wellness. It’s about being in the right frame of mind in order to handle all the bullshit that gets thrown at you daily when you are a convicted felon.

It has to do with being strong, focused, and prepared for what’s to come. And without taking proper care of yourself and getting adequate rest, it all goes to shit… including your life.

Obviously, I am talking about sleep, but let me go a little further. As I started my training in this industry, gathering as much information as I could get my hands on, I quickly learned.

In order to sell, I would talk about the importance of a good nights rest, the benefits of a decent mattress, and blah, blah, blah. I guess you could say it rubbed off because I bought in. I would figure out solutions as to why someone was not getting their best sleep. You see, I got into the psychology of it all, in order to boost my sales production.

On a side note, I quickly became one of the leading salespeople in the company.

That said, I learned about people’s trigger points and what was important to them. I looked back at some of my strikeouts early on, and how I mishandled situations due to my neglect of not recognizing the key fundamental thing people want for their sleep. I failed to realize that we didn’t sell beds. We sold….


Now comfort can come in many different forms. It could be physical for the person. It could be emotional, even spiritual. Everyone is different and has different comfort needs to be met, but the point being that whatever need one has, it should not be neglected.

What value someone attaches to comfort will vary based on the individual though. Inevitably, you have to put a price tag on it, as comfort is not free. Meaning, you can spend a little, or you could spend a lot, depending on your needs.

Now on physical face value, unless it’s a really cheap piece of shit (or in a jail cell), pretty much all beds are comfortable. Yup, all of them. Sure, some will give a little more support than others. And yes, some even have cooler features than others, but your standard bed will get the job done.

Not comfortable, nor getting the job done.

Now if you happen to want to drop some coin on what you will sleep on because you value your rest, have at it. After all, a third of your life is spent sleeping. Did you want to suffer in that time frame, or be comfortable?

Did you just see how I associated value with comfort?

Be that as it may, I do not think you’re here to buy a mattress. You’re here for some practical advice and peace of mind. Let’s get real… life is absolutely littered with problems. They’re everywhere and you can’t get away from them. And if it’s not one thing, it’s the other. Making matters worse (as if things weren’t difficult as is), shit gets compounded by the legal drama.

Whether you’re on probation, house arrest, awaiting sentencing, or whatever the it may be… lord knows it all adds up. Sure, maybe we did put ourselves in this shitty position, but it still messes with you nonetheless.

When you’re super stressed, it has a way of making everything you do and all those around you miserable. It’ll eat you alive, making it hard to get enjoyment out of anything when you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders.

Yup, drugs and alcohol has its rightful place, and can definitely provide a temporary boost, however the issues still tend to be there regardless of your vice of choice.

I used to be naive to think that substances would enable me to manage my stress. Unfortunately, due to my lack of impulse control and manic tendencies, it perpetuated the problem. Meaning, it made shit worse. So as I’ve gotten older, and I would hope much wiser to go along with it, I started to understand that I needed more beneficial outlets other than the usual coping devices. That, along with showing some restraint at times.

Now I’m not here to reprimand someone on their vices or give them shit. Quite the contrary, although all those things can give an assist, they’re truly not necessary.

What is necessary, and often times misunderstood and underestimated is a good nights sleep. Without deep and sound sleep, your focus and decision making will suffer. As a result, your life suffers.

You see, problems will never go away. As long as you breathe on this earth, that, along with the subsequent stress that comes with, will always exist. Family, work, health, legal… yeah, all that shit.

To pretend it’s not there, or even ignore it by popping a pill or drinking it away, will not effectively work long term in your favor for resolution. It will merely dull the senses, making you numb, thus allowing you to exist in harmony with your problems.

By not being aware, one very easily gets distracted from resolving issues at hand. Issues that have plagued them and turned their life upside down.

In order to attack your problems head on, one must be levelheaded and thinking clear. You must be (somewhat) rationale and exercise good judgement… especially after previously exercising bad judgement.

Speaking for myself through and through, one thing that I always seemed to have neglected in life prior to this job was my sleep. I’ll admit, sleep has never really been a high priority for me. My mind being consumed by plenty of other things that were deemed more worthy of my time. Mainly money, drugs, and women.

Not necessarily in that order, but still priorities.

It just seemed so boring too. That I should be doing something way more productive with my time instead of just laying there unconscious for hours. Furthermore, I’ve always viewed it as somewhat of a defeat. That your night came to a screeching halt, ending prematurely.

I dunno, I cannot help it. It started at an early age when growing up, where I was made to feel like a lazy piece of shit if I had slept in. I still remember my parents talking shit outside my bedroom door while I lay there half asleep. I could hear everything. I wanted to say….

I can hear you…. I’m only ten fuc**** years old, get off my back!

Already needing therapy

What a guilt trip they’d lay on me. As if that wasn’t damaging, fast forward into my adult life as the foolishness continued, infecting my career.You see, throughout my working life, I lacked any sense of balance. I would tie my lack of sleep to success, wearing it like a badge of honor. It all equated to me that I was being a really hard worker.

Never had it been so reinforced than in the business world, where it was considered a byproduct of your productivity, and to that effect, how much money one should make.

God forbid you sleep too much (7-8 hours), that you lazy asses do not want success bad enough and are not committed to the cause. Bullshit. Let me tell you what I witnessed.

I saw people that did not take care of themselves, nor handle stress, problems, or life in and of itself very well. They were tired, miserable, cranky, and were reliant on many things in order to get by. Sleep not being one of them. These were people I worked with, and I’ll admit, envied due to their financial status.

These are also the same people who were ticking time bombs, as during the financial crisis in 2008, I saw many drop dead of heart attacks. I saw others get divorced, develop substance issues, kids hated them, obese, and/or all of the above. These are the same people I looked up to and tried emulating. Once again, my youth and my naivete superseded my rational thinking, or maybe it was my lack of good sleep.

Anyhow, that philosophy carried over with me in life until I started working this shitty job, where my coworkers would go on about how valuable sleep is, and how I should dedicate more time towards it. I figured they were bias, seeing as how they were in the industry.

Shortly thereafter, as luck happens to have it, I actually did start to sleep better than I could of ever dreamed (no pun intended). Somehow, I woke up every day rejuvenated, ready to battle, rather than accept my daily ass raping from life. Yes, I still had money problems, still didn’t enjoy my job very much, and was still on probation for a very, very long time.

The stress of life was still very much there, only I didn’t feel like it had me in the choke hold it had on me as it did previously. I could somehow breathe again. I felt a sense of calmness about me too, where I didn’t feel so high strung or overwhelmed when it came to little things anymore. Not to mention, I started to look better as well. People who knew me commented on the fact that I looked refreshed and asked what I was doing. God, I love flattery.

At the time I didn’t understand it. I wasn’t doing anything different. It wasn’t like I was on any new medications, just sleeping good and working a dead end job.


Enter your email below to get my free ebook 101 Things To Know As A Felon.... But were afraid to ask!

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

It never occurred to me that the lack of bullshit and work related stress was affecting my life for the positive. Or that maybe I was carrying that into the best sleep I’ve had in like…. ever.

When I look back at how I approached sleep as I had gotten older, I never saw the correlation between stress management and how it deeply affected the sleep cycle, and vice versa. In turn, how your life hangs in the balance with the decisions you care to make when you awaken to reality. Let me explain…

There is something called a vicious circle, also referred to as a vicious cycle.

vi·cious cir·cle/noun: vicious cycle

  • a sequence of reciprocal cause and effect in which two or more elements intensify and aggravate each other, leading inexorably to a worsening of the situation.

Put another way: You do or think about negative shit all day long, allowing it to carry over into your sleep, thus turning your dreams into nightmares. In turn, the time and energy invested while you sleep (unaware), is manifested in reality when you are awake (aware). Trippy shit, huh.

Listen, the mind is the greatest machine ever invented, superior to even the most advanced computer. Problem is, it’s human and flawed in its design, as your feelings seem to get in the way of everything and have to be accounted for. Although both mind and computer are different, they both need to be monitored constantly with regular charging and updating to their respective systems, otherwise they will not function properly.

Unfortunately for the superior human mind, more monitoring is required, as it has the tendency to wander and get distracted. Meaning it’s prone to getting tired, moody, insecure, horny, hungry, etc. The mind also has a knack to store certain information and experiences. Some good, some bad, some effed up. In that regards, it can carry those effed up things into times when you are supposed to be at peace, in your most relaxed and unguarded state.

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n.

John Milton

We all know the mind can be an extremely dangerous place, especially when you don’t know where your thoughts may lead. It can definitely be working against you, even when you sleep. So much so, that when you open your eyes, you’re already screwed and don’t even know it.

To counter that, one must train the mind and pay strict attention to what thoughts they choose to use in order to break this vicious cycle. And let me tell you, it’s not easy.

I know many would not believe me, as this may come off as insincere now, but I truly never did sleep peacefully during my days of crime. I couldn’t enjoy it. I was always worried about what ifs and what was next. It was exhausting always trying to stay one step ahead.

Boo hoo, right? Don’t worry, I slept even more shitty after getting caught.

I vividly recall the time leading up to my sentencing and the agony of it all. My brain was on overdrive, and I screwed it up really good by constantly worrying. Not knowing my fate and what was to happen was driving me crazy. I couldn’t get out of my own head, and it was extremely hard to focus on anything, especially when you don’t know if you’re coming or going. But as a dad, and as a husband, I still had to function. I also desperately needed to work still in order to take care of my family.

I was drained though. Each night when everybody went to sleep, I would be pacing around our tiny apartment, chain smoking and contemplating life. I thought of every imaginable negative scenario and bad situation possible.

I mean, what if the Judge stepped in dog shit the morning I was to be sentenced, was in a foul mood and took it out on me?

When I finally did lay down at some point, there’s no way I would be able to sleep peacefully, so I’d toss and turn becoming more restless. I remember being on my back, staring at that ceiling fan for hours on end. There was dust all over it. I promised myself every night that I would clean it the next morning. I never did.

The most simple of tasks were put on the shelf because I didn’t have the desire or motivation to do anything. Not only that, but I was paralyzed with fear for my life, and what was to come. The not knowing, paired with the endless waiting all took a heavy toll on me.

I was oblivious at the time, but now I realize how it affected my family. My messed up sleeping habits disrupted theirs as well. Of course I deteriorated. Not only mentally, but physically too. It aged me, as I looked older and more tired than I let on. My behavior had become (more) erratic, and noticed I drank more than any other period of my life. All due to my problems.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

It just seemed like every day repeated itself in the same fashion for me, which it kind of did in a way. Like I said, shit carries over in a vicious cycle. Before you know it, you’re stuck. In hindsight, could I have done things differently? Of course. Would the stress still have been there? Sure. But I would have made things a lot easier for myself, more importantly for others who had to experience life with me.

I could have functioned much more efficiently, and been more mentally available for them. Who knows what better scenarios would have amounted if I hadn’t been such a zombie. Granted, it was a turbulent time in life, but unfortunately that mode of living carried on far longer than it should have. Lots of precious time and energy squandered on useless thoughts. I wished I had broke that pattern, rather than it breaking me.

Lack of sleep truly deteriorates one’s mental and physical capabilities rather quickly. When the mind is weakened, you question your rationale and sanity.

Why do you think that mental health experts have long defined sleep deprivation in the form of sleep checks (waking prisoners up in unusually short intervals) as cruel and unusual punishment. This type of deprivation is used as a torture technique for prisoners of war as well.

Jet setting Narco bad ass Joaquin El Chapo Guzman says he is subject to physical and mental torture through means of sleep deprivation behind bars. Adding “Every two hours at night they wake me up to take roll.… They are turning me into a zombie. They do not let me sleep. All I want is just for them to let me sleep

A recently released report by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence focused on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. According to the report, among the enhanced interrogation techniques used in this program was sleep deprivation.

Once again, when the mind is in a fragile state, it may lead you to do (and don’t do) things you would normally. When deprived of this necessity, your spirit could be broken. Doesn’t matter who you are, or how tough you are, it won’t discriminate.

Okay, so now you see the value of good, old-fashioned sleep. You also understand it’s effect on your health, and for purposes of this article, how it factors into your problem-solving abilities and decision making. So, then the question becomes…


Well, it’s peace of mind, and really all about putting yourself in a position to get the best sleep possible, and once again that is through comfort. Mind you, I’m not talking physical. Seriously, if you’re not waking up on a jail cell mattress this morning, then you should be fucking comfy. No, I’m talking about what’s going on in that head of yours. I’m talking worries and concerns.

What’s it that keeps you up at night when you can hear yourself think? What is your major source of stress? I’ve had a long history of not sleeping well and it’s taken quite some time of trial and error in order to listen to my body and understand what it needs. Comfort needs that is. Remember everyone has them, and they must not be ignored.

My best advice to all would be to enjoy the shit out of your sleep. Don’t be made to feel guilty or ashamed to get your rest. Listen to your body and don’t neglect the importance of recharging your batteries constantly and continuously.

Taking care of your mental and physical health is highly critical in order to be victorious battling those demons we call problems. And that can’t be done without good sleep.

It does not make you a weak person in acknowledging that you have issues you’re overcoming. Quite the contrary, it makes you stronger in recognizing them, giving it the respect it deserves dealing with it in a clear, focused manner only obtained through adequate rest.

Yeah, I guess you could always get a new bed too. Just understand, having the greatest, most expensive bed in the world won’t do you a lot of good if you’re not around to enjoy it. Work towards attacking your problems in life so you can live free of worry. When that happens, the best sleep is yet to come.

6 More Tips For Even Better Sleep

I’ll never forget the time that I worked in a mattress store. All that free time I had got me to understand many things about myself. One being that sleep does not come free. And in respect to that, while that shitty job I had didn’t pay all too well, it gave me something far, far greater than monetary value. It gave me comfort.

Educate yourself on your situation, because nobody will do it for you. Stay well and out of trouble.

The Educated Felon