One sheep. Two sheep. Three sheep…
Are you having a hard time falling asleep at night? Do you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t seem to fall back asleep? You are not alone. Last year it was reported that about 10% of U.S. adults have a chronic insomnia disorder and that 30-35% have occasional bouts of insomnia. Frequent nights of poor sleep over time can cause extreme fatigue, problems with concentration and can adversely affect a person’s mood and well-being.
Getting enough sleep each night is essential to our overall health, but when insomnia hits, it is difficult to get those much needed Zs. Some people have resorted to taking medications to help them sleep, but it is not the most natural nor healthy choice for the body to get its recovery time in. Massage, however, is an effective, healthy, and substance free choice that has helped many people who have insomnia. Insomnia is often associated with a lack of serotonin, which plays a role in mood, behavior, body temperature, physical coordination, appetite and sleep. Massages can directly influence the body’s production of serotonin and can increase the levels of it. This makes massage a therapeutic drug-free means of reducing feelings of stress and anxiety, as well as increase a person’s ability to fall and stay asleep throughout the night.
The involvement of serotonin in sleep has been repeatedly proven and is needed for the body to produce melatonin. Melatonin being the hormone that influences the sleep stage of our circadian rhythm, the internal periodic rhythms that deeply affect sleep and wakefulness. When these rhythms are broken or interrupted, the result is discord and possible feelings of anxiousness and stress. Massage can help restore the balance so the rhythms ebb and flow in a more natural pattern.
According to Kray Kibler, CFO of Massage Warehouse, in his article published online at: http://www.sleepreviewmag.com/2014/05/massage-therapy-sleep/#sthash.Eibs069T.dpuf;
“Massage is a smart, healthy, and drug-free option that has helped many people overcome insomnia”
Other articles have agreed with this statement on insomnia and the positive affects massage therapy has on relieving sleep deprivation. It makes for a good argument. Why not try frequent massage therapy sessions to help increase your sleep? What do you have to lose?
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.