An adequate amount of sleep is important to help you function properly. Lack of sleep can lead to various diseases and conditions including heart disease, depression, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Proper nutrition and exercise are foundations of a healthy lifestyle. However, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep plays an important role in your physical and mental health, and even your quality of life. People who lack sleep perform poorly and have problems with focusing, reacting, and learning. They also experience mood swings that affect their relationships with other people.
If you’re having a hard time getting enough sleep, there are multiple ways to help you get that much needed rest. According to research, massage therapy can help improve sleep quality and reduce fatigue. So, how does massage help you get better sleep?
People who struggle with sleep usually have raised levels of cortisol — the stress hormone. Increase in cortisol levels lead to depression, increased hunger, blood sugar spikes, and feelings of tiredness.
Massage therapy has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol in the body. It also helps to induce a state of deep relaxation and increase serotonin levels. While levels of serotonin in your body increase, the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep, is enhanced in your system.
Aside from its connection to serotonin and melatonin, massages are known to stimulate the vagus nerve which then tells the body to stay calm and relax. This results to lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, increased gut functioning, and more relaxed facial muscles.
This type of therapy can also help in hyperarousal, a condition wherein you are constantly aroused due to stressful events therefore leading to insomnia. Massage therapy can help break the cycle of hyperarousal forcing the body to relax and improving blood circulation.
There are multiple types of massage therapies and some are better at inducing a relaxed state compared to others. These types are known to ease your physical and mental stress that might be the cause of insomnia.
This massage therapy is focused on relaxation. It utilizes circular motions and long, gliding strokes and kneads to remove the tension within your muscles. A Swedish massage will help reduce muscle tension while enhancing circulation all throughout the body.
Hot Stone Massage
In order to help you relax and to invigorate your body, smooth, hot stones are placed on your back with this type of therapy. The heat from the stones helps to release the tension within your shoulders and back.
Many researches have found that massage therapy can help in improving overall sleep patterns and reduce the feeling of tiredness. In addition, it can reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels and induce a state of relaxation.
If you’re someone who lacks sleep, you might consider having regular massage sessions in order to help you get that much needed time for dozing off. You won’t regret feeling energized and motivated after you get that powerful beauty rest.