Sound Sleep Initiative To Give Free Beds To Big Eazzzzy Performers
When you’re in the music business, you don’t get a a lot of zzzzzs.
My family owned and operated The Bottom Line nightclub in New York City for 30 years, and I don’t think my Dad ever enjoyed a full night of sleep. He would work all day, be at the club all night and more often than not come home just before dawn.
When I was little and heard our front door open at 5:00 a.m., I would jump out of bed and play with my Dad until I had to go to school.
We never knew how he did it, but my Dad managed to thrive on very little sleep. He had a hard job, but at least my Dad had a nice apartment and a comfy bed to come home to.
The musicians who performed at The Bottom Line, like Joan Baez, Eric Clapton, Miles Davis, Dolly Parton, Prince, Linda Ronstadt, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Stevie Wonder and Suzanne Vega? After their gigs, they probably retreated to a tour bus or a strange bed at a nearby hotel.
Whether in New York City, Los Angeles, Nashville or New Orleans, performers live for their art, which sometimes means they don’t always pay attention to their own health or sleep habits.
“New Orleans’ musicians and cultural workers all too often sacrifice their own health in order to produce and perform, especially during the Jazz Fest sprint,” said Shane Mutter, Doerr Furniture President.
Doerr Furniture has partnered with WWOZ 90.7 FM and the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic and Assistance Foundation, which treats more than 2,500 local musicians, to provide new mattresses and box springs for New Orleans’ health-challenged musicians.
The Sound Sleep Initiative will be giving away 52 mattresses, one a week this year, to members of the New Orleans cultural family, including Mardi Gras Indians, social aid and pleasure club members, musicians, performers and music and service industry workers to help them get a better night’s sleep.
Joining in the collaboration is Hestia Luxury Linens from Covington, LA, which has partnered with PJ’s Coffee to provide pillows and sheet sets to go along with The Sound Sleep Initiative’s free beds and box springs.
“We always look for new ways to support the music and musicians of this city, and this effort gives us a chance to positively impact their physical and creative well-being,” said Melanie Merz, Underwriting & Sponsorship Manager, WWOZ 90.7 FM. “When Shane from Doerr proposed this initiative, we immediately called the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic to help us ensure that the mattresses are received by artists who will most benefit from an improved night’s sleep.”
A committee of musician advocates will be making recommendations as to who get the beds, and who will benefit most from healthy sleep. Criteria will include musicians and performers who endured recent surgery, struggle with chronic illness and chronic pain and those who have shown commitment to their own self-care.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, chronic sleep deprivation or sleep deficiency can lead to difficulties making decisions, regulating moods, maintaining focus and being creative. It also increases the risk of obesity, heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, stroke and changes the effectiveness of an individual’s immune system response, leaving sleepy people unable to fight even common infections.
“It is so important that our patients learn to prevent illness and take care of themselves in the best way they can, particularly in getting enough sleep,” said Bethan Bultman, President & Director, New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic and Assistance Foundation. “Unfortunately, when it comes to deciding how to spend their hard-won wages, rent, cars, insurance and bills are going to take priority over a quality mattress. Through this partnership, we can address that.”
View tips to sleep your way to better health here.
WWOZ 90.7 FM
The New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation (NOMAF)
Hestia Luxury Linens