sleep hack

Deep in dreamland, I’m abruptly woken by familiar cries down the hallway.

A shot of adrenaline runs through my belly.

It’s 3:15 AM. I’m SOoooooooo e x h a u s t e d.

For the second time of the night, I drag my body – which feels like a sandbag, open my bloodshot eyes, and stumble down the hallway. Miraculously, I make it without bumping into a wall, and feed the baby.

I stumble my way back, fall into bed, and pray that God will allow me 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep, to – for once – wake up full of energy.

You know (and many of you probably do know), it’s not exactly easy to, a) Get up 2 times (or more) each night, and b) Put yourself back to bed each time, and c) Show up with high energy and enthusiasm in the morning.

For 6 M O N T H S and counting.

For the first few month’s of Charli’s life, I had major anxiety around bedtime. I dreaded going to bed. There’s something about “being on call” at night; not knowing how much sleep you’re going to get plays tricks with the mind.

The worst is when baby actually sleeps a long stretch (a.k.a. more than 4 hours), but I lie there sleepless for 2 hours due to the anticipation of getting up. And the pressure of knowing I should be sleeping makes it worse.

To make it even worser (just go with it), I know the cascade of inflammatory markers going on in my sleep deprived body.

Sigh.

When will I ever get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep again? Thankfully, the smiles make it worth it.

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But alas, my anxiety around bedtime has met its match!

Four weeks ago, in a moment of desperation, I furiously researched methods to help me both:

1) Fall asleep quickly (at bedtime and in the middle of the night), and
2) Improve my sleep quality.

As fate would have it, I found my answer after a few clicks: The SPOONK!

I bought this one. Immediately.

When my Spoonk arrived, I was reluctant at first. It looks like a Medieval torture device with its 6210 acupressure stimulation points in a relatively small area.

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Looking beyond its wacky name and scary spikes, though, there is science behind this wonderful product:

“Spoonk is based on the principles of acupressure and Japanese Shiatsu massage. The mat stimulates specific reflex points throughout the body, releases blocked energy, eases tense muscles, and creates deep mental and physical relaxation. Benefits include increased level of energy, reduced inflammation and pain, improved and deeper sleep… Once pressed against troubled areas of the body, it will increase circulation and will relax stiff muscles and decrease pain. In the process, the body can release endorphins (pleasurable hormones) which induces a feeling of wellness and a positive attitude. Regular relaxation prevents the build up of stress and manifestation of stress related diseases.”

How I Use Spoonk 

That first night, I (carefully) laid on my Spoonk in bed with a thin t-shirt on, and within a few minutes, a DEEP sense of calm came over me. Like complete relaxation and peace; two things I wasn’t used to around bedtime. I rolled off the mat after 30 minutes, stored it under my bed, and was out like a light.

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Charlize wants to Spoonk, too!

[Side note: And the spikes? Love them. They are sooooo comfortable (to me, at least). They’re like my own personal masseuse.]

When Charli woke up a few hours later to eat, I actually felt remarkably more rested! After feeding her, I struggled to fall back asleep, so I got the Spoonk out again. I laid on it for 10ish minutes, rolled off, and slipped back into a deep sleep until her next feed.

This is now a part of my new, relaxing bedtime routine that I look forward to every night!

In addition to using it at bedtime, I occasionally use it during the day to relax and reenergize for 10 – 15 minutes while Charli naps.

It’s also awesome to use as a “pillow” to relieve neck tension. Kyle also uses it if he has a tight back or neck, and to relax in between practices.

Note my latest read – so good! 🙂 [Super Nutrition for Babies: The Right Way to Feed Your Baby for Optimal Health]

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In fact, the website boasts that:

  • Spoonk can treat any sore muscle areas – back, neck, shoulders, head, hips, abdomen, feet, etc.
  • It’s a fantastic addition to any workout program or yoga practice. Use for 5-10 minutes prior to exercising to help energize the muscles, and/or afterwards to help relax tense muscles.

Note: They do caution against use when pregnant, if you have unregulated high blood pressure (unless well-regulated by medication from your doctor), have any heart or other serious medical condition, suffer from any bleeding disorder, have any type of neuropathy, are on a blood thinning medication (except aspirin), or suffer from any kind of skin inflammation/infection.

There are a few different product options, but I bought this one because it’s made with all natural materials and it’s relatively inexpensive. There is a travel version of the mat, but honestly, the normal size is small enough for travel, and comes with a bag to pack it in.

I can’t say enough good things, truly! Spoonk has transformed my anxiety around long nights with Charlize, allowed me to sleep deeper, and continues to provide a source of relaxation and energy.

Time to go Spoonk (or Spoonking?!)!

photo credit: [ piXo ] via photopin cc