Photo credit:  nailsofbliss.com

Photo credit: nailsofbliss.com

Ok, I try my best to avoid being too granola crunch. But, when you tell me something will help me sleep, I'm all ears, baby. Enter the "Nails of Bliss" (suspicious title, but ok).

A few months back, a family member was telling me all about this acupressure mat they were using to de-stress and get better sleep. I was lucky enough to get one of my own for my birthday this month! I've struggled with falling asleep and waking up since I was a kid. Also, it seemed like the mat might help some lingering back pain I've been having.

Instructions are simple. Lay on the mat; you can put it on the floor, on your mattress, etc. Apparently, you can use it all over your body or stand on it, but I've opted for my back which gives me the most trouble and seemed most logical.

First three nights, I kept my t-shirt on and laid down on the mat, as suggested. Not too bad. A bit like laying on a pile of legos, but then nicer? The idea is to lay on it for at least 15-20 minutes and, once you start getting sleepy, you can just push it away and roll over to dreamy bliss.

I got drowsy after about 30 minutes and fell right to sleep. Nothing particularly unusual. That is until the next morning when I woke up from one of the hardest sleeps I've had in ages. The Sandman had definitely paid a visit!

On the fourth night, I got brave and tried laying on the mat with my bare skin. Holy crap! This, my friends, is not for the faint-hearted. It definitely felt like needles now and I had to be extra careful to get in the right position before laying myself down onto the mat.

I couldn't take the full 1/2 hour now and pushed it away after 10 agonizing minutes. Still a pretty good sleep, but had the feeling I should have gone longer with it.

I'm going to try building up to longer times using the mat in the buff, but for now I'll take it slow. Here's hoping it will lead to more restful nights in the long-term!

Do you or would you use the acupressure mat? And, what are your favorite nighttime rituals and routines to help you relax? Let me know in the comments.