He lives in a mansion in Albany, N.Y., with a staff of cooks, butlers and chauffeurs available to attend to his every need, but even Gov. Mario Cuomo has trouble getting to sleep some time.

Not that he needs much shut-eye - about five hours is plenty - but the popular New York governor with the baggy eyes revealed to reporters en route Saturday from a West Virginia gathering of House Democrats what he does to keep his bad back from acting up at night.Cuomo sleeps on a mattress sandwiched between two boards. The gubernatorial body would be in contact with the top board's hard flat surface except for a thin layer of padding and his bedsheets.

The 55-year old chief executive has been plagued with severe back pains for years and has sought virtually every treatment imaginable to cure them.

Back home in Queens before he became governor, Cuomo said, he used to sleep on the floor at night with his feet elevated on the bed. His back would feel better that way in the morning.

"But the mansion is kind of drafty so I can't do that anymore," Cuomo said.