Sleep induction mat or bed of nails?
The Bulletproof® Sleep Induction Mat looks menacing in the pictures and I won’t lie that it is an intense sensation at first to lay on. But the pins don’t break the skin nor do they leave marks.
Laying on the spikes at first feels like what you’d expect from a bed of nails: it feels like hundreds of nails are about to break through my skin. In the beginning it took me a dozen breaths or so to stay with the sensation, and then it starts feeling really warm and softening, even though the sensation is still there. Nowadays my body knows what to expect, and after the first “oh! sharp!” I melt into it.
After a while (2-10 minutes?), I am totally about to flow into sleep, and as last activity I throw the mat aside. (I’ve heard stories about people falling asleep on it: they wake up a few hours later and toss it aside then.)
The story is that the pins indeed create an intense sensation, causing your body to flood you with endorphins just like you are about to go in a fight. However, as your body is not getting any other attack signals, it relaxes again from the stress of the mat. In that relaxing, it is taking any existing stress in your body with it too.
Where to get it?
I got it from Helfi.nl, and they have the real Bulletproof® Sleep Induction Mat. For the US you can also order it directly from Bulletproof Inc.
There are many similar products, also called “acupuncture mat”. The brand Spock in the US apparently has good ones. I got a small knock off one from eBay that is small enough to travel with (and it goes with me nearly all the time):
In comparison to the original:
The bed of nails helps in getting to sleep, as do other sleep hygiene measures such as making your bedroom completely dark and silent (while travelling: a mask and earplugs). Supplements, especially magnesium, can help too with muscle tension and cramping. Meditation (binaural beats) can help with a racing mind.