It’s a no-brainer that massage has a positive effect on many aspects of your life. It can improve your health and boost your overall well-being. But can it also contribute to high-quality sleep you get? Resent scientific research shows that it can, and it can significantly!
Quality is as important as quantity
‘I need just 4-5 hours a day.’ ‘I’ll have a nap on the train to make up for it.’ ‘I’m going to lie in on Sunday and I’ll be fine.’ These statements sound as familiar to us as dangerous the results of such habits are for us. So how much do we really need to sleep a day and why?
Sleep, along with healthy diet and regular exercise, is the third pillar which helps us keep the balance of our everyday lives. Insufficient amount of sleep or its poor quality can turn our mood levels upside down and inside out. But it’s not just about the mood. Getting a good night’s sleep is like hitting a reset button. It gives us a fresh start and the energy we need throughout the day. Also, because our brains are extraordinarily active when asleep, our learning and memorizing capabilities can be significantly accelerated. Thanks to good sleep, which is like food to our brains, we are also healthier and we look and feel better. We simply recharge our ‘batteries’. Interestingly, falling short of the recommended 7-8 hours a day is as harmful to our bodies as oversleeping which throws our body rhythms off completely. So don’t be mislead you can catch up on weekends!
The big enemy – insomnia
Insomnia is the most common sleeping disorder that affects many people and compromises the quality of their lives. It is the inability to get good quality sleep. It is not a disease as such but is a symptom of some underlying problems, whether physical (pain), emotional ones like anxiety, stress or even mental e.g. depression. The list of other possible other causes of sleeplessness is vast and includes such as: drinking too much alcohol, caffeine, overeating before going to bed, drugs, irregular work / schedule patterns, jet lag, disturbed sleep, financial or family problems, medication, overstimulation by media and electronic devices, natural aging processes and others.
The results of sleep deprivation are as scary as harmful for us and are not limited to just visible symptoms of tiredness like slowness, problems with concentration or simply bad mood. We may become forgetful, make bad decisions and be very irritable but even more importantly, we are more likely to put on weight, develop type 2 diabetes, heart problems, hypertension and even stroke or other diseases like cold as our immune system is considerably weakened. Not only is our productivity inhibited but also our alertness is compromised dramatically increasing the risk of a road accident. And you cannot tackle the problem with simply sleep drugs. They may help for a short period of time but in the long run, you seriously risk becoming dependant on them.
Godlike massage be my resort
While alternative therapies should not be considered stand-alone treatment for sleeping disorders, some of them can be very good complements to a good sleeping routine. Massage (e.g. Swedish type) is undoubtedly one of the best options and when applied regularly by a professional, can successfully resolve many of the issues related to bad sleep. Especially in situations where sleep problems can be linked to body pain, numbness of extremities, joint stiffness, spasms or cramps or restless leg syndrome as it allows your body to relax by releasing tension and improving blood circulation.
Massage can also reduce stress and anxiety and help you balance your nervous system. The best results are usually achieved when combined with reflexology and aromatherapy sessions as therapeutic properties of essential oils, particularly lavender, are second-to-none.
So remember sleep and massage are perfect partners and are your best partners as well.