In 2003 I was the general manager of a futon store in Charlottesville, Virginia, and was thinking about starting a business of my own. My wife and I were looking for a used car, and found one we liked in Richmond–about an hour and a half away.
As we set off to drive back in separate vehicles, I suggested she listen to a delightful NPR program, The Savvy Traveler. When we met for a break a short way from home, she said excitedly, “There’s the name of your new business! The Savvy Sleeper.”
It took a minute for my mind to catch up with what she said, but then it clicked.
I always thought of myself as smart, but not brainy. At that time I had been struggling for years with sleep problems, particularly waking up too early and feeling chronically tired. All the while I was trying different natural therapies and remedies, and being fairly analytical about each experiment. The word “savvy” inspired me. Learning about good sleep hygiene, as the experts call it, doesn’t require genius; it’s about creating the best conditions that help us let go of the manifest world and enter the world of sleep, where we release all control. But to do that, especially as we age, calls for becoming “sleep savvy.”
You can’t drink coffee before bed, have a big fight or revved-up excitement before you hit the sheets. Folks like me who have trouble sleeping can’t watch dramatic TV, write email, or do anything that keep our minds going full blast. Kicking these bad bedtime habits is one of many “savvy” ways of improving sleep. So “The Savvy Sleeper” became the name of our new mattress store.
As our business evolved from a small retail shop into a major manufacturer of natural latex mattresses, we realized we needed a new name. Though I loved “The Savvy Sleeper,” it didn’t seem to fit a national business with a national presence. My wife and our staff consulted many people–including some of the first dealers who had placed their faith in our products.
In the end, we’re glad we chose “Savvy Rest.” Deeper, more regenerative rest is what we want to bring to this world. And another truth is, we all want to be savvy, don’t we? We all make some choices we regret, but in the end most of us try to become more savvy about the things that are most important to our health and our loved ones’ well being. In our sleepy corner of the world, “Savvy Rest” just felt right.