If there’s anything dairy farmers need more than a winning lottery ticket, it’s a good night’s sleep. And since the quantity of our sleep is never enough, the quality of our sleep is paramount. 

For almost a year now, Glen and I have been sleeping in supreme comfort. 

Our early Christmas present to ourselves last year was upgrading a hand-me-down king size bed with a four-inch memory foam mattress topper. For a little over $100, we now have more room to stretch out and better support. Dairy farming is hard on our bodies and we used to wake up with aches and pains, but when we spend the night nestled in a memory-foam cloud, we wake up feeling pretty darn good.

But we haven’t always slept this well.

When Glen and I were first married, our bed was the twin-sized daybed I had used in college. The kind of bed with a rail on one side. (That was Glen’s side.)

Our family and friends thought we were nuts. But we were too cheap to consider purchasing a bigger bed, and we didn’t have any trouble sleeping in such close company.

Then, for our first anniversary we spent a night in a fancy hotel. The room had a king size bed. A very comfortable king size bed. 

We woke up the next morning and couldn’t believe how well we’d slept. The wine might have had something to do with it, but we figured we’d slept so soundly because, for once, we weren’t sleeping on top of each other (figuratively speaking, not literally). 

After our anniversary, we agreed that it was time for a new bed. A bigger bed. After I mentioned bed shopping at work, one of my co-workers gave us a coupon for a Sleep Number bed. We tried one out at a local mall and ordered a queen size bed.

Our family members were just as excited for us as we were. My dad said he was starting to worry that he wasn’t ever going to have any grandkids as long as we were sleeping in a single bed. (I still don’t quite understand the basis for his concern ...) He even stopped in with his truck to help me haul the bed frame home from the store.

The queen size was as much of a treat as the his- and her-side adjustability. At least until we had kids and ended up trying to sleep with three beings in a two-person bed. It was just about as cozy as our nights in the daybed.

Then, the valve stem on one of the air chambers cracked during one of our moves. (I put that bed together and took it apart four times in six years. Did you know that those beds are made of 28 separate pieces?) 

By that time our warranty had expired, so I filled up the chamber, slapped a piece of bubble gum on the crack and stuck the stem cap on. The fix worked; the air stayed in. But the bed was no longer adjustable. It was the perfect excuse to upgrade to a king size. Except 2009’s milk price really didn’t leave us with funds for a brand new bed, let alone a king.

After hearing that we were once again searching for a bed, Glen’s mom offered us his grandparents’ king size bed. I found the memory foam mattress topper online and voilá, we had ourselves a bed fit for royalty. 

Now, after sleeping in such spacious accommodations for nearly a year, we’ve learned that there is just one detriment of a king size bed. Sometimes the two of us can put too much space between us. Like the night I told Glen that maybe it was time to add onto the family. (He couldn’t roll over fast enough.) 

Or the night he said something thoughtless and I went to bed angry. (The living room was tempting that night, but I love our bed too much to spend a night on the couch.)

All in all, though, we couldn’t be happier with our set-up.

Now, if I could just resist our children’s requests to lay down with them for a little while (which inevitably ends up being anywhere from a couple hours to the entire night), I’d slumber in king-sized comfort every night.

Sadie and her husband, Glen, milk 70 cows near Melrose, Minn. They have two children – Dan, 3, and Monika, 1. When she’s not parenting or farming, she’s writing for the Dairy Star. Sadie can be reached at gsfrericks@meltel.net.