Business

Lexington Couple Develop Sleep Aid

By Jonnelle Davis
News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.

LEXINGTON.

That last turn made all the difference in whether Rick Allred got a good night’s sleep.

It was that final turn his wife, Stephanie, made one night when she returned to bed after getting up to use the bathroom. She rolled and tugged the covers off Allred — and the cold air that rushed to the exposed parts of his body jolted him awake again.

It became a pattern.

“When she’d get up, I would be sort of waiting to see if the same thing would happen, and it often did,” Rick said.

It’s a common problem for couples, one that inspired the Allreds to create something that solved it: the Snooze Strap.

Now, they’re sleeping peacefully.

“You can get in and out of the bed without disturbing the other person,” said Stephanie, a 55-year-old retired Davidson County elementary school teacher. “So we absolutely love it.”

The Snooze Strap encircles the mattress lengthwise to keep blankets and sheets in place. The strap, similar to that on a bookbag, is adjustable and fits double, queen and king beds.

The idea: the less you disrupt the sheets, the better your partner sleeps.

The couple, Lexington natives who have been married almost 32 years, make the product in a garage on their property.

Rick, a 57-year-old certified public accountant by trade but an entrepreneur at heart, is a problem-solver. He has had other product ideas over the years. In the mid-1980s, he thought it would be a good idea to make a portable car port for such people as apartment dwellers. He ultimately decided it would be too expensive a venture.

But the couple’s bed sheet adventures that started a couple of years ago led to a brainstorm of things they could do to keep the covers in place.

The Snooze Strap was born after many trips to the hardware store. The strap has a clip to hold the covers in place.

In case you’re wondering, the clip easily unfastens when it’s time to cuddle.

Rick said he and his wife are in the process of patenting the product, which officially went on sale for $19.99 in June, and exclusively on their website (http://snoozestrap.com). So they didn’t tell many people about it beforehand, besides a few family members.

The Allreds have been using some form of the Snooze Strap for more than a year. They even take it with them on vacation.

Rick said it would be hard if he and his wife had to go without it. He said that word is still getting out about the product and that they are just starting to market it, so they haven’t sold a lot of Snooze Straps yet.

But if they do make any real money, they would like to donate to a charitable cause.

They suggest the Snooze Strap for midlife couples. Maybe the wife is having hot flashes and is constantly tossing the covers off herself — and her husband.

The couple says the strap also could help young parents. Getting out of bed to check on the baby has got to lead to a lot of cover tossing, right?

Whatever the case, Rick said he really believes in the product.

“We really like what we’ve got,” he said.

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