30 Nights on a Sleep Number Bed

Recently having bought a king-sized Sleep Number C4 mattress and having a rough first night’s sleep on it, I immediately googled for information from current users about how long it takes to get the bed adjusted for optimal sleep. There are some vague guidelines from Sleep number that it may take some time, but how long is that exactly? A week? Months?

There’s also zero explanation about how to interpret the Sleep Number numbering system. I assume it’s like a grading scale where the goal is to get a 100, but does anyone ever get a 100, or even in the 90s? What target number should I be aiming for that will tell me I’m getting a good night’s sleep?

With all of these questions unanswered, I decided to gather some data of own and keep a daily diary for one month to track my sleep quality in order to determine when, or if, I ever get this bed adjusted in a way that helps me get a great night’s sleep, without waking up throughout the night on a regular basis.

Here are the results of my own personal 30-night Sleep Number bed trial:

Night 1 – Tuesday

This was my first night sleeping in this bed and I was probably overly excited about it! I’d slept in a Sleep Number bed at a hotel a while back and had the best sleep of my life, so I was happy to finally purchase my own and get great sleep every night. The night before, I barely got any sleep at all on my old mattress, so I was sure that tonight, even if I wasn’t completely comfortable, pure exhaustion would mean I’d sleep like the dead.

Unfortunately, great sleep didn’t happen. I used the Sleep Number app function to “help me find my sleep number” before going to bed and ended up at a 35. I went to bed, and ended up having trouble falling asleep, as well as a lot of tossing and turning in the middle of the night. It felt like I was flailing around on camping air bed that had lost too much air.

During the wee hours of the morning, I hiked up the Sleep Number setting a bit to 40 and felt like that was more comfortable. In the morning I woke up still tired and freezing cold, and realized it was due to the mattress not retaining heat. Good for the summer I suppose, but not in the winter, at least not for me.

Sleep Number: 35-40
SleepIQ Score: 73

Night 2 – Wednesday

Not wanting to feel like I was sleeping on a deflated balloon tonight, I upped the Sleep Number to 70. I also sandwiched myself between two blankets to ward off the cold, with a comforter on top of that. Still slept with a fan running, since the white noise helps me sleep, but was hoping the blankets would help the warmth level.

In the morning, I felt like I had slept “ok” — not great, but as good as I did on my old mattress. Still slightly tired, but less so than the previous morning. After checking my SleepIQ data though, it showed me as out of bed for a long period of time between 2-3 am, when I don’t remember getting out of bed at all until the morning. So now I’m wondering if I’m a sleepwalker?! I hope that was just an error in the system, but it’s a little disconcerting.

Again, I woke up cold, even having added the extra blankets.

Sleep Number: 70
SleepIQ Score: 70

Night 3 – Thursday

For this night, I kept the comforter and blanket sandwich (with a thicker blanket as a bottom layer) but also turned the thermostat up a couple of degrees so the room temperature would be a little warmer. I lowered the firmness back down to 40.

No more sleepwalking! Hooray! The time noted as being out of bed was actually one I remembered. I did wake up once in the middle of the night and pretty noticeably felt the lack of an adequate plush layer while lying on my side. I felt the gap between the curve of the side of my torso and the mattress, and that space should have all been making contact with the mattress in order for me to be comfortable.

My temporary fix for this in a half-asleep state was to lie on top of a memory foam pillow. After that quick fix, I slept soundly and felt pretty rested in the morning… and I wasn’t cold! It looks like long-term I may need to get a memory foam topper for the mattress though.

Sleep Number: 40
SleepIQ Score: 83

Night 4 – Friday

I felt like I slept great, but my SleepIQ score said otherwise. Although the data showed that I’d had the longest stretch of sleep I’ve experienced so far without restlessness, the fact that I didn’t get a full 8 hours must have been a strong factor in the score being low.

I kept the sleep number the same as the previous night, but I think I may try a little bit higher fitness tomorrow night.

Sleep Number: 40
SleepIQ Score: 67

Night 5 – Saturday

I’m not sure why I had a lower SleepIQ score. This was a weekend night, so I wasn’t stressed out about anything and I was able to sleep more than 8 hours. The app data shows me being restless quite a bit though I don’t remember any tossing and turning to all.

Tomorrow night I’ll go back to a Sleep Number of 40.

Sleep Number: 45
SleepIQ Score: 69

Night 6 – Sunday

This was an interesting night. I had a bit of a stomachache right before bed, which caused me to lower the firmness of the bed to get comfortable, though I still slept on top of a memory foam pillow until I decide what to do about getting a mattress topper.

I woke up in the middle of the night from the stomachache and was wide awake for at least half an hour until in my half-asleep state, finally realized my stomach didn’t hurt when I simply switched to sleeping on my right side instead of my left. I still felt pretty tired in the morning. My sleep number score was low-ish, but it seems to be due more to my not feeling great than to the bed itself.

Sleep Number: 35
SleepIQ Score: 71

Night 7 – Monday

I slept ok on this night, didn’t really feel restless at all. The 70’s score today must be from the fact that I didn’t get a full 8 hours of sleep. I felt somewhat rested when I woke up – better than after sleeping on my old mattress – but not as good as I’ve slept previously on this new one.

Sleep Number: 40
SleepIQ Score: 74

Night 8 – Tuesday

Pretty much a repeat of the previous night. Slept ok, felt somewhat rested in the morning.

Sleep Number: 40
SleepIQ Score: 75

Night 9 – Wednesday

Can you believe this Sleep IQ Score number?! I finally got an “A” in sleep!! I did feel like I slept pretty soundly, but I’d felt that way previously and the sleep data had proved me wrong. I was able to get a little over 8 hours of sleep.

The only thing different from this night than from the others is that I was working from home the next day vs. going into work, which possibly affected my relaxation level? With a holiday break starting soon, I’ll get a good chance to see if not going in to work directly affects my quality of sleep or not.

I now have a mattress topper on the way, but being able to get a Sleep IQ Score of 90 without it makes me question whether I really need a topper at all.

Sleep Number: 40
SleepIQ Score: 90

Night 10 – Thursday

Tonight’s the night that my memory foam mattress topper came in the mail, and I couldn’t be have been more excited! No more sleeping on top of a pillow! I took it out of the box when I got home and gave it about 4 hours to “fluff up”, which wasn’t quite enough time. It wasn’t quite all the way expanded by the time I went to bed, but I had already put a mattress protector, sheets, blankets, etc., over it and didn’t want to go through the hassle of pulling it off the bed, so I just slept on it anyway.

Based on my Sleep IQ Score, not waiting for that thing to expand fully was a mistake. The topper was noticeably still too hard: I tossed and turned a lot before finally nodding off, was wide awake around 6 am and forced myself to get back to sleep another couple hours.

We’ll see if giving the topper another day or two to fully expand improves things.

Sleep Number: 40
SleepIQ Score: 77

Night 11 – Friday

I got to bed fairly late, but also woke up late the next day, so I got a full 8 hours of sleep in the end. I definitely felt a difference in the mattress topper after giving it another day to expand — softer now but still supportive and comfortable when I sleep on my side.

The bed’s also much warmer with the topper in place, like a traditional mattress. I’m happy with the extra warmth but did have to turn down the thermostat down a few degrees at night to compensate.

I also might try lowering the firmness to compensate for the topper. 40 was my perfect number without the topper, but now it feels a bit too firm.

Sleep Number: 40
SleepIQ Score: 75

Night 12 – Saturday

Lowering the firmness definitely made a difference… well that, in combination with getting more than 8 hours of sleep. I forgot to lower the thermostat, so I woke up too warm again, but other than that, it was a perfect night’s sleep!

It was a Saturday night, so I was going to be knowing I wouldn’t have to work the next day, and I was able to go to bed around 1:30 am and wake up naturally at 10 am. I’m a night owl, so 1-2 am is the time I’m actually tired, though during weeknights I force myself to go to bed around 11 pm in order to not be exhausted at work the next day.

I’m a little bummed that I’ll be away from home tomorrow night and not able to sleep in my bed, but hopefully, future nights of sleep will be more like this one.

Sleep Number: 30
SleepIQ Score: 88

Night 13 – Monday

Another night of 8 hours of sleep and another high SleepIQ score! I kept my Sleep Number setting the same as the previous night, but I’m tempted to mess with it to see if I can get any higher than my highest score to-date of 90.

Sleep Number: 30
SleepIQ Score: 89

Night 14 – Tuesday

I lowered my Sleep Number to 25 for the night, and it resulted in a lower SleepIQ Score than the previous night, even with getting over 8 hours of sleep. I also woke up restless and too warm.

Maybe I should just leave the Sleep Number at 30.

Sleep Number: 25
SleepIQ Score: 81

Night 15 – Wednesday

So, I had a massive headache before bed so I decided to take an Ibuprofen PM which made my headache go away, but left me feeling hyper and wide-awake! So much for the PM part. I was restless for a few hours but did get a full 8 hours of sleep.

Sleep Number: 30
SleepIQ Score: 81

Night 16 – Thursday

Not sure what happened on this night. I think maybe something is wrong with the sensor — the data shows me sleeping past noon, though I was up at 8:00 am. And even if that amount of sleep was correct, it shows only one restless period within 11 hours of sleep with a Sleep IQ score of 69… but shouldn’t that mean a super-high SleepIQ Score?!

There’s an option in the SleepIQ app to adjust the time in bed. I adjusted for the actual time spent sleeping and my overall SleepIQ score went up to 86.

Sleep Number: 30
SleepIQ Score: 86

Night 17 – Friday

I did sleep in my bed, but no data was recorded. I definitely need to check the connections of the firmness/sensor system to my bed.

Sleep Number: 30
SleepIQ Score: None

Night 18 – Saturday

I didn’t think about the fact that I needed to check the bed’s connections until after I was in bed, so it didn’t get done. And once again, the app showed me as in bed for an additional 4 hours past my actual wakeup time, so I had to manually adjust the time in bed. It also felt like the bed was a lot firmer last night than my now normal Sleep Number 0f 30.

I knew my score wouldn’t be great for this night — I slept well but only got about 6 hours of sleep. Have to remember to check the connections… and possibly reset the firmness control system since it just occurred to me that I did add about 40 lbs of weight with the foam topper, and the system might be registering that as a small person being in the bed.

Sleep Number: 30
SleepIQ Score: 72

Night 19 – Sunday

I reset the firmness control after the issues with the system the past couple days, and it seems to be tracking when I’m in bed correctly again. I didn’t get quite 8 hours of sleep and had a hard time falling asleep to begin with, but slept very well once I finally nodded off.

The memory foam topper felt a lot firmer than normal for the second night in a row, so I compensated by lowering the Sleep Number.

Sleep Number: 25
SleepIQ Score: 81

Night 20 – Monday

The topper felt “normal” again tonight, not overly firm. I’m thinking the increased firmness was caused by my home temperature overall the past few days being colder than normal, due to my having issues getting a new thermostat to work properly. Maybe the cold makes the foam feel denser?

Anyway, everything felt perfect tonight and I also got 8 hours of sleep and it was the night before a workday. I did feel drained in the morning at work, but I was also going back to work again from being off for the holidays the past week or so — pretty sure my body was in shock just from having to be awake before 10 am.

Sleep Number: 30
SleepIQ Score: 88

Night 21 – Tuesday

This was a tough night of sleep, having been the first day of work after a long holiday break. My sleep schedule was completely off when I was on break (going to bed between 2-3 am) and having to readjust to an 11:30 pm bedtime again isn’t an easy transition.

I got around 7 hours of sleep, and had a lot of restless periods, mostly due to insomnia early in the night. I was in bed by 11:30, but didn’t fall asleep until close to 1 am.

Sleep Number: 30
SleepIQ Score: 73

Night 22 – Wednesday

This was a better night of sleep and, though still adjusting to a “normal” bedtime, was able to fall asleep around midnight and get just under 8 hours of sleep, without much restlessness.

Sleep Number: 30
Sleep IQ Score: 84

Night 23 – Thursday

I felt like I slept ok, but my SleepIQ score was lower than I would have guessed. I got 8 hours of sleep but did have some restlessness.

Sleep Number: 30
SleepIQ Score: 71

Night 24 – Friday

For the second time during this trial, I had a night in which no data was recorded. I checked the connections and reset the system after I got the mattress topper, so I really have no idea what’s causing this glitch.

It’s not a huge deal if it only happens once a month, since, after this initial month, I won’t be analyzing my data on a daily basis, but it would be nice to know what’s causing this issue.

Sleep Number: 30
SleepIQ Score: No data recorded

Night 25 – Saturday

I slept fairly well on this night but did notice a couple of periods when I briefly woke up in the middle of the night and felt extremely hot. I’ve noticed this before during times I’ve half-woken in the middle of the night before, and wonder if, though I feel the house temperature is perfect when I got to bed and wake up, it may need to be cooler when I’m actually asleep.

Now that I have a smart thermostat in the house, I think I’ll experiment with scheduling the temperature to go lower in the middle of the night and warm up so it’s not cold when I have to get ready the next morning.

Sleep Number: 30
SleepIQ Score: 84

Night 26 – Sunday

This was the first night I slept with the house at a lower temperature (64 degrees). For whatever reason though, I was too full of energy and had trouble getting to sleep initially and kept waking up through the night. I don’t think that had anything to do with the temperature, so I’ll just chalk this up to a random bad night and try the lower temperature again tomorrow.

Sleep Number: 30
SleepIQ Score: 71

Night 27 – Monday

I slept at the cooler temperature and felt that I slept more soundly than before, though I missed the 8-hours-of-sleep mark. At this point, based on my energy levels the next day, scores in the 80s mean that I have plenty of energy the next day, whereas anything below and I’m dragging by mid-afternoon.

Sleep Number: 30
SleepIQ Score: 80

Night 28 – Tuesday

Woohoo! 94?! I never thought I’d see that high of a score, and especially not on a weeknight when I had to work the next day. I know the high score resulted from my starting to work out again, and getting 8.25 hours of sleep, and 8 hours of that was time was restful sleep, per the SleepIQ app.

Working out obviously helped me sleep more soundly, and showed me that I don’t need to get so much extra total sleep to get the full hours of “restful” sleep if I work out, which actually balances out the time spent to work out in the first place.

Sleep Number: 30
SleepIQ Score: 94

Night 29 – Wednesday

Back to the 70’s for my second-to-last night of this log. No surprise. I was somewhat stressed, stayed up extremely late to complete a work project, and went to bed knowing I’d have to get to work for a meeting earlier than usual. Not the ideal combination of events for restful sleep. I felt like I tossed and turned for hours and ended up getting about 6 hours of sleep.

Sleep Number: 30
SleepIQ Score: 71

Night 30 – Thursday

Less than 8 hours of sleep, but no restless periods during the night. It felt like a slightly-better-than-average night of sleep.

Sleep Number: 30
SleepIQ Score: 79

Final Thoughts

I’m glad I took the time to really focus on improving my sleep quality and quantity during this 30-day Sleep Number bed trial. It took nearly a full month of experimentation and adjustments to get both my bed and sleeping atmosphere adjusted in a way that I felt as though I was getting consistently getting the best sleep possible.

Based on a month of data, my average SleepIQ score is 79, vs looking at the “Sleepers Like Me” comparison data which showed an average SleepIQ score of 68, so I’m either getting phenomenal sleep or everyone else is sleeping terribly! I have a sneaking suspicion that most people are like me before I decided to focus on getting more sleep, and only getting maybe 5-7 hours of sleep a night.

After noticing the difference in the amount of brainpower and energy I have after getting around 8 hours a night of sleep pretty consistently for a month, I’m sold on the benefits and hope to still continue to make an effort to get 8 hours of sleep more often than just on the weekends. I realized over the course of this 30-day period that no longer have my previously-normal 1-2 hours of brain fog in the morning when I get to work — I’m able to jump right in to projects, and it’s felt great, as well as helped me get things done more quickly and generally be nicer to people… I’m usually pretty cranky in the mornings.

As far as the mattress itself, in hindsight, I’m not sure if I’d have preferred to pay extra and just purchase the Sleep Number p5 bed, that had a thicker plush layer, or stick with the decision I made to get a cheaper model and add a topper. Over years of use, any foam/plush layer would need to be replaced anyway, so purchasing it separately appears to have been the best choice. Only time will tell, but for right now, I’m very happy with the improvement in sleep quality I’m getting with the Sleep Number bed.

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1 comment

  1. Thanks for logging this info. We just got a c4 2 nights ago. The first night was great but last night I slept like hell. Which is how I stumbled on your post! We got pillows from SN yesterday and mine was the curved memory foam for $109. My neck and back were hurting. We tried the pillows on the P5 In the store but probably should have tried them on the C4. Definitely exchanging my pillow today.

    I will definitely look into a topper for the bed.as well.

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