Can Massage Help You Sleep Better?
Category: Massage Posted: 03 Oct 2018
Posted: 03 Oct 2018
If you have problems falling asleep on a regular basis, you may be suffering from insomnia. Persistent sleep deprivation can have serious adverse effects on your health and last for months or even years. The good news is that problems sleeping can often be quickly and effectively cured with natural relaxation techniques that are widely used in massage therapy.
What is insomnia?
Suffering from insomnia means you are having trouble sleeping well. The disorder encompasses difficulties falling asleep as well as having trouble staying asleep throughout the night.
Most adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day on average. This is a general guide and varies between individuals. One of the best ways to assess yourself is simply to consider whether you are regularly feeling tired during the day and/or repeatedly waking up in the middle of the night feeling restless. You can also take a simple mood self-assessment test to check whether you may be suffering from excessive anxiety.
Why we suffer insomnia
Whilst certain conditions, such as an overactive thyroid can cause insomnia, the most common reasons for suffering sleep problems are lifestyle issues.
To fall asleep your mind and body need to feel relaxed. If your mind is anxious with worry you are very likely to find it difficult to fall asleep quickly. If your room is too cold or noisy, sleeping becomes that much more difficult.
We all suffer the occasional day or two when we find it hard to fall asleep and this is quite normal. Hectic urban environments like London mean many of us are often over-worked, stressed or surrounded by too much noise to fully relax. However if you are having problems sleeping on a regular basis, it is worth considering what actions you can take to help yourself sleep better.
Medication vs natural cures
Many people turn to sleeping pills to deal with problems falling asleep. Two of the most effective and commonly prescribed drugs in the UK are Zopiclone and Zolpidem. And whilst medication can indeed help you fall and stay asleep very quickly, like most medications they can have unwanted side effects including addictiveness. We recommend you try natural remedies like massage first before seeing a doctor to discuss whether medication could help you better.
How massage can help
Anxiety is very commonly associated with insomnia. Dealing with stress, exhaustion or noisy environments is massage’s forte. Whether you need to bring a sense of calm and serenity to your surroundings or are after some help in reducing tension in your body, the techniques used in massage therapy are some of the most effective and easily available.
Enhance your environment
Relaxing massage should be performed in a warm, dimly lit, comfortable room – the ideal setting for promoting better sleep too. Ensure that any sleep destroying disturbances are removed from your room by preparing it well before going to bed or receiving a massage. Harsh light, noise and cold temperatures can all adversely affect your ability to sleep.
Even background music can made a difference. In fact, scientists recently helped develop a particular piece of music (Weightlessness Part 3 by Marconi) which was shown to actually help people sleep better. You may want to download a version and have it playing as background music during and after your insomnia massage.
Best massage techniques to tackle sleeplessness
Many of the underlying issues that cause sleep problems originate from the head. Jet Lag and Hangover massage is specifically designed to deal with the fatigue and insomnia that is often felt after a long flight or excess partying. The techniques used in this type of therapy can be just as useful if you simply want some assistance to fall asleep. A good Indian head massage encourages deeper relaxation in the part of your body where stress and anxiety often originates and develops. It is a wonderful way to quickly feel more relaxed and therefore enjoy better sleep.
Or if you want total body relaxation, consider a full body Swedish massage with a lighter touch to improve your chances of falling asleep. Mention that you have been suffering from difficulties in sleeping and then lay your trust in your massage therapist. Handing over control to your masseuse without worrying about what moves they will do next is key to achieving a deeper level of relaxation. Your masseuse will often use more effleurage techniques from head to toe to ensure that your treatment is gentle and calm to better aid total body relaxation. She may also use warm oil to provide further warmth and comfort.
If you are seeking a massage that will help you fall asleep, it is best to avoid some of the more demanding massage styles like sports or Thai massage.
Benefits of at-home massage for sleep disorders
Imagine booking a massage to help you fall asleep and everything going exactly as you hoped. The room, the massage, the dulcet tones of your therapist are all perfect and within 20 minutes of your massage session starting you find yourself in a deep slumber. Perfect. Unless you have to get up at the end of the treatment and battle through busy London to travel back home. That would spoil the whole effect and you would like be stressed again by the time you reach your bed at home. Much better instead to book a mobile massage therapist who can visit you in the comfort of your own home and help you fall asleep in your own bed.
Is it OK to fall asleep during a massage?
Yes it is! Many people worry about falling asleep during a massage and this concern in itself can mean the massage treatment is less effective at aiding relaxation. Professional massage therapists are fully trained to expect clients to fall asleep, so just lie back and completely relax. If you fall asleep, snore or even dribble, your masseuse will be completely comfortable about it and probably take it as a compliment to her ability to help cure your insomnia. Do not let any embarrassing thoughts spoil your relaxation.
Self-help techniques to improve sleep
The military have their own special technique, aside from massage, which is thought to be able to help you fall asleep in as little as two minutes. It can certainly work but takes several weeks of practice to get it right.
These lifestyle changes, in conjunction with regular relaxation massage therapy, should soon reduce any sleep problems that you may have been suffering. File away mindlessly counting sheep to a back drawer and enjoy better nights!