Why some Swedes sleep on nail mats

In the land which gave us the Tempurpedic mattress, some people now like to sleep on beds of nails.

Here we are in the US, going from Plush to Pillowtop to Europillowtop, sinking deeper and deeper into our mattresses, trying on Memory foams and the ultimate Swedish Tempurpedic mattresses, and the Swedes seem to be going in the reverse direction.  They are now sleeping on beds of nails, or more precisely, on mats of plastic spikes – the Shakti mat.

Pic courtesy ShaktiMat.com

Pic courtesy ShaktiMat.com

Who knew that sleeping on nail beds (or plastic spike mats) can be so relaxing?   The New York Times has an article about these nail mats, which it says are Stockholm’s latest fad. These mats usually measure 16″ x 28″ and contain 4000- 8000 spikes per mat.   Yes, that does sound very relaxing and reassuring.

The mat’s manufacturer claims it will “relieve neck & back pain, reduce stress, improve sleep and increase energy” and people quoted in the article seem to agree.

“It’s quite painful initially,” said Catarina Rolfsdotter-Jansson, 46, a yoga instructor and writer who uses her nail bed almost every day. “The trick is, all the adrenaline rushes, after which you relax and feel nice again.”

When a person stands up after lying on the mat, she said, “the back looks picked at, as if with a fork.”

And yet they are rushing to buy it because, apparently, once you get over the pain, it feels good.   There is no mention of how long it takes to get over the pain, though.  Half the night? Two weeks?

I am also still trying to understand how the mats can “improve sleep”.  But hey, who am I to knock it – people are buying and (apparently) using this mat!  What’s more, some think it cures everything “from schizophrenia to dandruff”.   No one’s saying yet that  it slices bread and makes dinner, but maybe they just haven’t figured out how.

If this concept reminds you of the bed of nails that ancient yogis used – you’re right, this is the 21st century version.  The Shakti mat is made in Varanasi, “the holiest city in India”, in a “temple factory” built according to Vastu Shastra. The company’s website says :

The Shakti Mat is not only produced to work on the physical plane, but is created in awareness and compassion, so that every cell of the user vibrates of harmony.

Unfortunately, this too is facing competition from Chinese products.   We don’t know if the Chinese too use Feng Shui and temple factories and harmonic vibrations.

I can readily see one benefit of this product, though – if I were to spend the night sleeping on a mat of spikes, I will probably get up at the first light of dawn, and the rest of my day is going to feel so much better in comparison 😉

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10 thoughts on “Why some Swedes sleep on nail mats

  1. If you’d done your homework you’d know that people don’t actually sleep on the spike mats, they rest on it for half an hour or more to relieve stress and muscle tension. I don’t know of anyone that intentionally sleeps on it though.
    It is really relaxing but I doubt anyone will be giving up their soft mattresses for the spike mat, I sure wouldn’t.

  2. It is a tradition I think which was formed initially in Japan and China (sleeping on floors or hard floors) and eastern cultures. India and Japan had a history of eating on floor but for the arrogants to the west it was something to be mocked at and insulted. China gave birth to acu pressure and reflexology, India pranas and energy centers of body, so this is inspired from both 🙂

  3. The mat is great. After a hard day at work, i love to go lie down on it for 15-20 mins. There have been times i felt asleep on it for like 1-2 hours. But obviously not the full night. I call it a magic mat. We are selling it here in Malaysia.Ours is called Prana Nail Mat.

  4. Ive been using these mats for over 18 months, and I like them so much that I have developed my own version, which is a step above the bog standard mats most are selling today. It’s made from TPE and is much more effective – stronger acupressure – flexible, rollable, easy to clean and carry and eco-friendly. The supplier is LotusMasters and here are the products http://www.lotusmasters.com/our-product

    If you use these all the time you will want a stronger and stronger session. Have a look at the BlackLotus if you are an experienced user.

    Wishing you health and happiness.

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