History of Sleep Apnea and Snoring


The first time sleep apnea was historically recorded was around 460 BC. The Greek god of fertility, Dionysus, son of Zeus and Semele, surrounded himself with women, the Maenads, who used thyrsus sticks (stalk of the narthex, sacred plant of Dionysus, a giant fennel) with a pine cone on top to gently poke the god back into breathing when he snored and stopped breathing.

The first dissertation about the "Snoring of the Sleeping" - RHONCHO DORMIENTIUM -was published in Latin in 1745 by Fridericus Wilhelm Lust at the University of Halle Magdeburg, Germany as part of his medical doctoral degree.


In the American Revolutionary War (1775-83) cannonballs were strapped to the backs of snoring soldiers to prevent them from sleeping on their backs.
The aim was to prevent weakening of  troop morale through sleeplessness caused by loud snoring and also to avoid betraying the location of the sleeping soldiers to the enemy.



In 1887 snoring was the subject of a first caricature in the satirical magazine of the Münchner Bilderbogen (Munich, Germany).

In 1892 Otto Franke developed a first oral prosthesis to prevent snoring.

Between 1893 to 1919, chin-bandings came to the fore as the inventions of Pulford, Jacob, Rothenberger and Galiardo.

In 1900, the cannonball theory was “redesigned” by L.W. Wilson who developed it further by using a tether to attach a metal spiky-ball-construction to the sleeper's back.
Mouth prostheses, such as those by R. Gravey or E. L. Leppich were developed.

Before 1960, sleep respiratory failure was referred to as Pickwick Syndrome (after the novel by Charles Dickens). Then the nomenclature "sleep apnea syndrome" was adopted.

Today, doctors distinguish between Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea and offer a variety of solutions. 

Find out more here 

Stuffed Animals

charity bears ornament..jpg

What could you do with all those wool discards? 

Bonnie is a purveyor of up-cycling and promotes her ideas through Berkeley Ergonomics wool discards.  Her passion is evident because she drives to our factory from San Diego and picks up a truckload of quilted remnants to distribute throughout her circle of friends.   One friend,  Karen has made numerous stuffed animals that are being donated to foster care children bags for when the child is transitioning into new homes.  Thank you Bonnie.


Kisses: 5 Cents


Wendy La Croix is a mixed media artist in Southern California. 

She has used the Berkeley Ergonomics mattress pillow top wool to stuff the fabric piece then added stick pins to it.  Wendy calls her piece "Kisses: 5 Cents" and it’s meant to hold little notes or memorabilia ...or whatever suits your fancy! 


You can find Wendy's artwork on her Mixed Media art site:  www.badgirlscouture.com

Needlepunch Art by Una

Una Walker: fiber artist

In this picture Una has collected discards of Berkeley Ergonomics organic cotton, cut it into strips, dyed it, then needle punched it into this fabulous 15" round rug.  Thank you Una for sharing your lovely art made from up-cycling Berkeley discards. 


Una is a Fiber Artist from Claremont, California whose fashion and artwork has been exhibited nationally.  She teaches both wet felting and rug punching.

You can find Una at www.woolywalkers.com.   


Fabulous Sculpture
by artist Danielle Giudici Wallis


The small piece with the glass dome is called "specimen" and the larger piece is untitled as it's a study for doing something larger scale.  This recent work (made with recycled fibers of wool panel remnants from Berkeley Ergonomics) uses the nerve cell as a starting point to explore ideas of connection, and suggests parallels between our inner biology and the external morphology of the plant kingdom. 

Danielle Giudici Wallis is an artist, educator and arts administrator currently residing in Redlands, California.  Danielle's website is http://www.giudiciwallis.com


Creative Imagination at the Muckenthaler


The Muck is a cultural center housed in a historic 1920's mansion in the heart of Fullerton. The center hosts exhibitions, performances and educational programs.
Visit: www.TheMuck.org

The mission of The Muckenthaler is to provide the public with experiences that stimulate creativity and imagination, while conserving the heritage and architecture of the Muckenthaler Estate.

We recently donated some of our material remnants (coils, latex and fabric) to this amazing organization and are proud to support their engaging educational programs to Orange County’s diverse communities and beyond.
These slippers were made by young students currently in homeless shelters and refugee centers. With a little bit of imagination and creativity, they transformed the foam from our mattresses into cozy house slippers! 

The Muck says "We are a celebration of the human spirit through the arts" and we are so happy to be a small part of this.  

At the Muckenthaler Multi-Arts Summer Camp, Lead Artist Marsha Judd inspired students to use their imaginations as they created whimsical wire sculptures with our coils!
Watch this video: https://youtu.be/ApC6LOPtXII

Upcycling at the Craft & Folk Art Museum Los Angeles

Artist Cameron Taylor-Brown (Arts Garage LA) and artist Jamia Weir

Their Fiber Art Workshop at the CAFAM in Los Angeles was amazing.  After a tour of the museum, they offered an hour class on the creative art of fiber.  Everyone participated using a variety of items including our quilted organic cotton and wool; coils; and natural latex.  This was an awesome experience, and a wonderful museum.  Thank you for the opportunity to participate and become a donor to the fiber art community.


Upcycling for the Fiber Artist

Hanna Adler left her life as a veterinarian in native Finland to our doorsteps in Southern California. 


She is a wonderful water colorist who has a new passion for felting.  Hanna recently visited our factory to pick up some remnants of quilted organic cotton, wool, and camel.  We are so excited about her fabulous Rock Rug creation made from remnants of our Merino Wool!



Remnant discards of quilted cotton, wool, and camel are available free to pick up from the factory in Ontario, California.  The possibilities are endless, but here are a few ideas we have saved for you "What can I do with that wool and fiber?". 
Simply send an email to bestaffwriter@berkeleyergo.com with the subject "Upcylables for pickup".  We will gladly accommodate you on a 1st come basis each Friday.

Upcycling to Play Pads

The talented Laura has used remnants of our quilted panels of wool, organic cotton, and camel to create a wonderful pad for the grand-babies.   The adorable Chiara and Thanos will have hours of fun on their new double-sided play mat grandma made especially for them.  

See what an idea, some creativity, and a whole lot of love can do, thanks Laura.


Upcycling into art

julie scrivner.jpg

We have been recycling paper, plastic and metal for many years but it has been difficult to find ways to recycle some of the other materials that are generated during our manufacturing process or we receive as part of packaging.

We contacted some local artists to show them what we have and Bob Hurton, our favorite print artist, printed some of his creations on wood panels we receive as dividers on our wood shipments. 

Bob is currently teaching at The Garcia Center for the Arts in San Bernardino.  Check out his upcoming workshop Introduction to Linocut Relief Printmaking here: Bob's Linocut 🔗

Sleep-deprived driving

Did you know that ...
sleep-deprived driving (commonly known as tired driving, drowsy driving, or fatigued driving) is the operation of a motor vehicle while being cognitively impaired by a lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents, and it can impair the human brain as much as alcohol can. 
In the United States, 250,000 drivers fall asleep at the wheel every day, according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School and in a national poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 54% of adult drivers said they had driven while drowsy during the past year with 28% saying they had actually fallen asleep while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving is a factor in more than 100,000 crashes, resulting in 1,550 deaths and 40,000 injuries annually in the USA. Added up, this number of deaths would be the equivalent of several fully loaded airplanes crashing every year. 

When a person does not get an adequate amount of sleep, his or her ability to function is affected. Their coordination is impaired, they have longer reaction time, impaired judgment and memory.

It's worth getting help to analyze how you can improve your sleep and a new sleep system or pillow might help to address any heat or pain issues that prevent you from getting a good night's sleep.   

Our delicious Plein Air Wool®

 Precious pure Plein-Air wool

Precious pure Plein-Air wool

Our latest Plein-Air Wool® delivery just came in. Check out all these bales and bales of creamy fluffiness!

Did you know that Plein-Air Wool® is the term used for wool that comes from sheep which live outside all year round. This livestock husbandry results in a naturally more curly and longer fiber.

The strong natural curl provides lasting resilience, bounce and loft that is superior to mechanically crimped wool fiber which will mat down faster. The artificial crimping process used by some wool producers creates strain on the fibers causing them to break easier under pressure which results in shorter fibers. This has a direct negative effect on the long-term resilience and loft of the product.

Our Plein Air Wool comes from farms in France and is processed into fluffy rolls in Germany. We then quilt those to our organic cotton stretch to produce your mattress cover.There are no harsh chemicals used during the wool growing and processing steps. The sheep are not dipped or treated with any pesticides or herbicides.

After shearing, our wool goes through three washing cycles with increasing temperatures (90° - 140°F) followed by a cold rinse in pure water. During the washing cycles pure baking soda and water is used – nothing else. The drying takes place in drum driers and the wool is then cooled down on cooling racks for 24-28 hours before pressing and packaging.

Pure natural wool has some fantastic properties:

  • Excellent temperature regulator providing thermal balance
  • Moisture absorbing (up to 30% of weight/ synthetics max 4%)
  • Highly resistant to dust mites, mold and other allergens
  • Naturally flame retardant
  • Certified chemically safe


Shoulder pain caused by your mattress?

Pain or discomfort from shoulder pressure is often reported as a cause of sleep disruptions. 
In order to address this issue we have to understand how a shoulder joint is constructed and what is special about this joint: The shoulder is the most mobile joint of the human body with a less stable bone structure compared to the hip where the socket holds and guides the femoral head in a ball-and-socket type joint.
The shoulder joint is secured only by muscles and ligaments. For this reason, the shoulder tends to become unstable when there is too little muscle mass or muscle imbalances.

 This picture clearly shows that the shoulder would be completely unstable without muscles and ligaments

This picture clearly shows that the shoulder would be completely unstable without muscles and ligaments

Frequently people have a muscle imbalance in their shoulder area where the anterior muscles are shorter than the posterior muscles and pull the shoulder joint forward from it's neutral correct position. If a joint does not sit exactly where it should, this can lead to increased wear resulting in an impingement syndrome, arthrosis or other painful conditions. Untreated shoulder pain can become chronic. 

During sleep, muscle tension is decreased and the shoulder is even less stable which can further exacerbate inflammatory conditions through incorrect positioning and pressure during a time when healing should take place. 


If you are a side sleeper and your mattress is too firm in the shoulder area, your shoulder alignment will be off center and irritated structures will be compressed. This creates discomfort, pain and tension all the way up to the cervical area. In addition, vessels and nerves can be compressed triggering a tingling sensation in the arm or hands.

However, too much firmness in the shoulder zone is not always the single cause of shoulder pain.
The shoulder zone must offer good give and pressure relief, but if at the same time, the whole mattress is too soft, this can also contribute to shoulder pain. Insufficient support in the waist/ lower back will affect your shoulder by the vertical forces of your body's weight pulling on the shoulder from the center of your body.
It is also important to choose a pillow at the right height and firmness level.  

 Support in the lower back (lordosis) must be increased until the body does not sag in the waist any longer.

Support in the lower back (lordosis) must be increased until the body does not sag in the waist any longer.

Other than undifferentiated box springs or rigid platform foundations, the curved slats in our flexible slat foundation provide both suspension and contour for greater comfort and pressure reduction. In addition the firmness of slats can be customized to your body weight and shape for targeted support.

 The slat suspension was invented in Bremervörde in Germany in 1957 and still accounts for the vast majority of bed sales in Northern Europe. 

The slat suspension was invented in Bremervörde in Germany in 1957 and still accounts for the vast majority of bed sales in Northern Europe. 

Our New Contour Pillow

Our contoured neck pillow is made out of responsive, breathable latex foam.
Natural Talalay latex is more supple and elastic than other types of foam typically found in neck pillows.
The contoured shape offers stable ergonomic neck support without feeling hard or hot, relieving pressure and allowing your neck and shoulder muscles to relax.
Correct cervical alignment helps to eliminate pinches and pains that can disrupt sleep and supports easier breathing.

Latex is naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial and our zippered, shrink-to-fit pillow protector is made from 100% organic cotton knit. All components in our pillow are certified chemically safe by  Oeko-Tex 100.

What’s Our Best Mattress?

Sometimes consumers ask: “What’s your best mattress”.

The answer is simple: Our best mattress for YOU is the one that meets YOUR needs and YOUR preferences at the best value.

All our mattress models meet a sleeper’s needs in terms of support, alignment and pressure relief but the support dynamics of the different coil and latex combinations offer different feels to meet individual preferences.

It is not really possible to describe those feel differences as every sleeper’s perception is different based on their body weight, shape, weight distribution and what their reference point is when describing feels in terms like “soft”, “firm”, “active”, “supportive” etc.

Rather than trying to make up your mind based on descriptions (or other people’s reviews), we recommend that you make your decision based on what mattress feels best to your body.
After all, your choice of sleep system will impact the quality of your sleep and consequently your health and well-being for the next decade of your life.

All our retail partners are experienced and well trained in guiding you through your choices. Please find the closest retailer to your location here: http://www.berkeleyergo.com/stores/