Sleepy’s, the Mattress Professionals, the largest retailer of mattresses and sleep products in the U.S., is offering free pillows to 21 members of Congress who apparently sleep at night in their offices.
The move is part of a broader campaign by Sleepy’s to encourage more people to get a good night’s rest.
Sleepy’s campaign follows a January 22 CBS Evening News report that found that 21 out of 96 freshman representatives sleep in their offices due to the long hours their jobs require. During that report, Timothy Wahlberg (R-MI) was quoted saying “(sleeping in my office) is convenient. I don’t face the traffic.”
He revealed in the news report that he has in his office in the Capitol an air mattress, espresso-maker and a shelf of Kellog’s cereals. “I can jokingly tell my constituents that I am in my office 24 hours per day,” he said.
Many of the Representatives regularly sleep on mattresses, cots and couches. Many of the Representatives do it to as a symbolic statement that they are not a part of the Washington culture.
“I think it’s important that we show we don’t live here,” said Joseph Walsh (R-IL).
Sleepy’s originally offered the new representatives mattresses, but decided against it due to campaign contribution laws which prohibit federal politicians from accepting gifts worth over $50. It is unclear yet if the 21 freshman Representatives have accepted the offer.
The new representatives perhaps need to get proper sleep, given the work that is facing them, including working with President Obama on discretionary spending, foreign policy and fixing the still-slumping U.S. economy.
Sleepy’s, in a press release, stressed that sleep experts have found that sleep deprivation can lead to lapses in concentration and poor judgment in decision making.
The Representatives are comprised of 19 Republicans and two Democrats, including Steve Chabot (R-OH), Chris Gibson (R-NY) and Hansen Clarke (D-MI).