One Benefit of Massage, Improved Sleep


It can be an elusive creature for some of us.  Some nights you feel like you are trying to find Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster.

I have had sleep issues for years. I am fortunate to say I generally sleep well now, but there were years that I felt like I was on the tumble cycle all night long.  I have several members of my family who have sleep issues and many a client has come to my table talking about their inability to get good night’s sleep.  There is a large population suffering.

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s inaugural Sleep Health Index™ (December 2014), Forty-five percent of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affected their daily activities at least once in the past seven days

…wow… we are not alone in our tossing and turning.

The lack of sleep and the lack of quality sleep affects us in many ways.  It can make you foggy headed, irritable, and your reaction times slow. Over time it will result in health issues, weight gain increases pain sensitivity, and if you suffer from anxiety lack of sleep can make that worse.

On a personal note when my sleep was at its worst, I was seeing a professional for anxiety due to my chronic pain problem. There were many visits that I would describe my inability to focus and memory lapse. The therapist kept saying it sounds like you have A.D.H.D. until one day I brought up my sleep issues. Boom… light dawns…. So many symptoms of sleep disorders mimic A.D.H.D in adults and children. The Huffington Post has a good article on this. . . 

Then there is pain….oh pain how I hate thee…. Researchers have studied individuals lacking in sleep and how it affects their pain. And what do you know pain sensitivity increases? It then becomes a vicious cycle. You don’t sleep well your body begins to ache then the pain disrupts your sleep and so on and so on. Here is a great article on the research 

Paul Ingram has written a few great articles on sleep.  Give his site a look if you are looking for help.

There are many things advised to improve your sleep and you can find a million how-to articles on the web. Applying the advice can be a difficult task.  My own experience was I had to get rid of my chronic pain (new hip) then reduce my stress.

Massage has been shown to be effective in helping both.  “The National Institutes of Health has advised that massage therapy can reduce fatigue and improve sleep and, based on research gathered by the American Massage Therapy Association, massage has been shown to improve sleep in infants, children, adults, and the elderly alike…”

“The chemistry of sleep is relevant in relation to massage because it directly influences the body’s production of serotonin, which is essential for the production of melatonin. A study on back pain, published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, demonstrated that in addition to a decrease in long-term pain, subjects receiving massage experienced improved sleep and an increase in serotonin levels. Results were based on twice-weekly, 30-minute massages for 5 weeks,…”

Sleep is very important, there should be no “sleeping when your dead” approach to life. To be a healthy happy individual you need your sleep. Some do well on 7 hours some do best with 9 (me). If you are stressed and in pain it will disrupt your sleep, you can do something about it. Create a nightly routine, no electronics 30 minutes prior to bed, warm baths, soothing music (sleep sound apps), and no heavy meals 2 hours before bed, don’t drink a lot 2 hours before bedtime, watch your caffeine and so much more. Remember massage on a regular basis is a great (see the study above). Frequent sessions are best and can do you wonders.   If no holistic ways help, see your doctor for a sleep study there may be a medical cause (ie. sleep apnea).

Good luck and may you find your sleepy place.