Can massage help you sleep?
Published on 10 April, 2017 | Holistic Therapy
How Massages can Help Improve Sleep Quality
If its a good nights sleep you want then read on…
You may have a wonderful job that you love, friends and family that you can count on, and get your daily dose of exercise to get that heart rate pumping. You may also devote some time and energy to preparing and eating fresh, healthy meals and snacks, and consume enough water to stay hydrated. You may avoid harsh, polluting chemicals and use only natural products in your home to avoid any nasty side effects. All of these things are wonderful, but if you’re not getting a sufficient and high quality nights rest each night, your best efforts will be derailed in no time. Insufficient sleep is linked to a variety of health conditions and concerns, including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and depression. Fatigued drivers are as dangerous behind the wheel as intoxicated drivers; they cause untold injuries, death and property damage each year.
It’s a very grim outlook, but your sleep can be significantly improved by a number of factors. Having a routine helps (sticking to a regular bedtime and getting up at approximately the same time each day), keeping your room dark and cool, and ensuring that your mattress is in good condition can all affect your sleep patterns. Another considerable aid in getting a good night’s sleep is having a massage. Having regular massages is even better; it sets up a precedent that your body can count on.
There are several types of massage, and they can each have a different effect. A Swedish (or regular) massage is gentle and uses long strokes, circular patterns, vibration, kneading and tapping to help the patient relax. Deep tissue massage may not be as relaxing during the massage, but this technique uses more force to get at your deeper layers of muscle and tissue to help alleviate damage from injuries. Helping to repair your body will certainly help you with pain management and make it easier for you to sleep at night. A sports massage is a lot like the Swedish massage, but it’s most used by those who play sports to help prevent or treat injuries. A massage that will focus on tight muscles fibers after either the muscle has been overused or injured is called a trigger point massage.
During a massage, your body will increase its serotonin levels. Serotonin is essential in the creation of melatonin, which is a chemical your body produces to control your sleeping and waking cycles. Several studies done on a variety of patients that suffered from some level of fatigue or sleep deprivation were subjected to massages and then their levels of melatonin were measured, along with sleep patterns. The study showed that regular massages (a half hour per day on average) made a significant difference in both increased melatonin levels and the quality of sleep that the patients were able to achieve.
Besides its effect on our body’s chemistry, massage is relaxing and can help a patient reduce feelings of anxiety and alleviate depression. These conditions both interrupt proper sleeping patterns and often are the reason that a person will lie awake at night. During a massage, the focus is on breathing and easing a person into a relaxed state. Soft music may play, and aromatherapy may be used in conjunction to the massage to further increase a calm, peaceful state. The use of calming herbs like lavender or sandalwood may be applied so that the patient benefits from their pleasant aromas and their sedative properties.
Since massage helps to work out sore and knotted muscles, it may be that pain reduction alone will help a patient feel well enough to get a pleasant nights rest. When discomfort in the body is alleviated, the patient can focus on other factors instead of the tenderness and hurt that might normally take their concentration. Massage is a drug free way of dealing with injury and chronic conditions that doesn’t offer any stimulation to a person who is trying to relax. Some pain medications are stimulating, and the sufferer may have to take several different drugs to counter the side effects of each previous medication. With massage, there is no side effect and the patient leaves far more relieved of pain, completely relaxed, and ready to get their sleep patterns back on track.
Source: This article was written by Sam Socorro from Clearwells. She has over 10 years’ experience in writing health related topics and specializes in the health benefits of saunas
If you would like to learn more about massage and would like take one of our online massage courses then enrol today or take a look at our value holistic massage package.