My new sleeping experiment

April 28, 2022 by Joshua
in Exercises

Unrelated to sustainability, sidchas, leadership, education, famous no-packaging vegan stews, burpees, and my usual subjects, I’m embarking on a new experiment.

For years I’ve woken up to mild back pain. I suspected my mattress was getting old. I bought it around ten years ago and it felt like some parts lost their support. Was I sleeping on a not-flat surface? Maybe it was just me getting old.

I started looking up tatami mats, which led me to looking up sleeping on the floor on minimal mattresses. I have a yoga mat I use for stretching and floor exercises with kettlebells. I found it in the trash, unused, and it works fine. I’m also planning to camp on my bike ride next month, so expect to sleep on the ground for the first time in a long time.

For the past two nights I’ve slept on the yoga mat. To the right is my test set-up (I’m too ready-for-bed to turn the lights on so sorry it’s dark). The first night I covered the mat only with a sheet and myself with a blanket, but I woke up with my hips and shoulders raw from the pressure. Last night I put a quilt over the sheet for more cushion, which seemed to work. I’m still getting used to sleeping on the floor. For example, getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom is more involved. Both mornings I’ve folded everything back up again, which takes more effort than making a bed.

It’s too early to say if it’s helping my back, but my back has felt better. I watched and read a bunch of videos and pages, but I’ve learned from experience just to try things like this out. I’m not going to die.

I’m about to go to sleep. If things don’t pan out, I can revert to the bed. If they do, I’m not sure what I’ll do next. Get rid of the bed? Get a proper tatami mat and thin futon? Get a platform tatami or futon holder so I’m still on something super firm but off the ground? I’ll figure it out.

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