Better sleep thanks to an acupressure mat
You turn and you toss in bed. First it's too cold, then it's too hot. You look at the clock... an hour has already passed. You turn the pillow, count sheep, but no matter what you do, you just don't fall asleep. The insomnia drives us crazy.
But there's a trick you can use to turn even the most persistent nightmares into a deep, long sleep. Just lie on a mat with thousands of pyramid-shaped spikes for a few minutes. Absurd? Not really. Let me explain! This technique, called acupressure, stimulates your meridians. And what are meridians, you ask? We all have an energy network in our body called the meridian system. These meridians are rivers that carry energy through our whole body and can create relaxation and calm. So you can say goodbye to your sleep problems and doze off comfortably in a dreamland. Read on to learn more!
What is acupressure?
Acupressure is an ancient Chinese treatment method that stimulates the acupuncture points on your body. The goal of acupressure is to stimulate the body's energy pathways and restore balance. But what does this have to do with our sleep? Several studies show that acupressure leads to better sleep and less nocturnal waking phases.(1)(2). One study has even proven that acupressure massages have a positive effect on the general quality of sleep (3).
In order to sleep better, you need to stimulate the points of the body that are associated with reducing stress and triggering relaxation. Your shoulders and the spine, for example, are connected to many meridians. An acupressure mat hits all these points at the same time and lets you simply doze off to sleep.
How does an acupressure mat work?
You are given both a mat and a pillow to stimulate all the right points for total relaxation. But how does it actually work?
Stimulation of the meridians
When you lie down on the mat for the first time, your body will send a variety of signals to your brain. You are doing something that your body is not used to... and that takes some time getting used to. But once you get into the routine, you will feel an enormous sense of calm. A bit like a massage. It hurts a little, but it feels good. What happens is a warm tingling sensation in your back, which is caused by the release of a lot of muscle tension.
Triggered happiness hormones
Endorphins are what we know as "feel-good hormones". These are the hormones that provide natural relief from fear and stress. They are secreted by our brain when we laugh.
Stress affects us in many ways - bad sleep is one of them. When your body is stressed, a noticeable tension is deposited in your muscles. When these tensions are released, you can find inner peace and fall asleep more relaxed.
Improved sleep thanks to the acupressure mat
The acupressure pillow for the neck
If your neck feels tense or you suffer from headaches, you can easily and simply relieve these tensions with the help of an acupressure pillow. Make sure that it is positioned in the upper part of your neck.
Find your balance
The acupressure mat can be used by anyone. However, it varies from person to person how long and how often you have to lie on the mat. Some do it daily, others a few times a week. Some lie on the mat for 15 minutes while others prefer up to 45 minutes. There is no right or wrong here. Keep trying until you find your own level and a routine that works for you.
Meditation is important for us in many ways. Try to meditate while you are lying on the mat. Is there a better way to find peace and serenity?
Standing on the mat
Many of us are very ticklish underfoot. This is because our feet are extremely sensitive. However, there are numerous pressure points in the sole of our feet. So if you stand on the mat for a couple of minutes, it will allow effective acupressure.
1: Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Benoı̂t Lamarche, Jean-François Mauger, Peter J. H. Jones, Consumption of a Functional Oil Rich in Phytosterols and Medium-Chain Triglyceride Oil Improves Plasma Lipid Profiles in Men, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 133, Issue 6, June 2003, Pages 1815–1820, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/133.6.1815
2: Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Benoı̂t Lamarche, Jean-François Mauger, Peter J. H. Jones, Consumption of a Functional Oil Rich in Phytosterols and Medium-Chain Triglyceride Oil Improves Plasma Lipid Profiles in Men, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 133, Issue 6, June 2003, Pages 1815–1820,
3: Kearns CE, Schmidt LA, Glantz SA. Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research: A Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(11):1680–1685. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5394
4: Chowdhury R, Warnakula S, Kunutsor S, et al. Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2014;160:398–406. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/M13-1788
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8: Kumar Reddy Kondreddy, V., Anikisetty, M. and Akhilender Naidu, K. (2016). Medium-chain triglycerides and monounsaturated fatty acids potentiate the beneficial effects of fish oil on selected cardiovascular risk factors in rats. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry Volume 28, February 2016, Pages 91-102.