When we don’t sleep properly it can cause havoc on our health. There’s an increased risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, weight gain that can lead to obesity and even shortened life expectancy. Poor sleep or insomnia can also contribute to existing mental health issues like depression, anxiety and panic attacks. There are a few things that can encourage better sleep, such as cutting down on caffeine and exercising, but nothing can lull you into a deep sleep like a good massage late in the day or just before bedtime.
Massage therapy is known for helping us to destress. It releases the pent-up tension we carry with us through the day. Massage improves blood circulation and can greatly decrease body pain, one of the many things keeping people from a restful night’s sleep. It also opens up energy flow, allowing for blocked and negative energy to release itself. Massage is able to calm the body and mind, allowing you to switch off easier and fall asleep. A late evening massage, especially, can encourage good sleep. Try to finish all your tasks so when you get home after your massage, you can just go to bed and reap the benefits of a post-massage deep sleep.
Here’s some of the ways massage can help you sleep better:
- Massage decreases the effect of chronic pains and aches
- After a massage, your relaxed muscles can actually make you feel heavier, allowing you to sink deeper into your mattress
- Gives you the feeling that a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. There are less stressful thoughts running through your head when you try to fall asleep or when you are sleeping
- Massage releases chemical toxins stored in tense muscles and aids their removal from the body. This allows for less disturbing dreams and nightmares
- Massage encourages the body to switch into the ‘rest and digest’ state by stimulating the vagus nerve and the parasympathetic system. This reduces the stress hormone cortisol that gives you that always on feeling
- Massage encourages the release of serotonin, a hormone that makes us feel good. Serotonin is also a precursor to the hormone melatonin that helps us to fall asleep
- Massage decreases stress and anxiety, allowing for better and less disturbed sleep
Massage is a great method to implement if you have trouble sleeping. It can help you fall asleep easier and sleep deeper, allowing your natural circadian rhythms to return to normal. You will feel refreshed and revitalised the next morning. If you can’t go for a massage regularly or late in the day, ask your massage therapist for some self-massage tips that you or a partner can perform at home to help you sleep better.