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.
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.
Its 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 😉