Experts agree that one of the most significant components of a healthy lifestyle is restful sleep. It’s the place where the brain and body restore themselves, and can be the most neglected wellness habits. Natural Body wants to share information on sleep, how to pay attention to its need and usefulness.
“While there is some evidence that massage can help almost anyone sleep better, it has been shown to help people in specific populations.
For instance, massage helps postpartum women sleep better. The postpartum period can be extremely stressful for a new mom. Not only is she learning to care for her baby, but her own hormones can be all over the place. This causes her to be emotional, to have high stress levels, and to feel generally unlike herself. All of this can combine to cause her to struggle with sleep. However, when women in this situation received massages for 20 minutes a day on five consecutive days, they slept better.
Massage also helps fibromyalgia patients improve their sleep. Many people with this debilitating disease struggle to sleep because they are in so much pain. Massage helped them to that point that they had fewer tender spots on their bodies and lower levels of a neurotransmitter associated with pain. These people also slept more. They also moved less in the night, which indicates a higher quality of sleep.
Massage also helps hospitalized cancer patients to rest well. It’s always hard to get good sleep in the hospital because people check on you throughout the night. When you add the stress of cancer and any pain or anxiety that can come with being in the hospital, sleep can be extremely elusive. However, patients who received massages at night reported better sleep, despite all of these other factors.
Acupressure is a type of self-massage, and studies have shown that it can help menopausal women sleep better. Women in this stage of life notoriously struggle with sleep, so this technique could bring a lot of relief to many women, and they don’t even have to leave the house! Women who massaged 4 pressure points over 10 minutes before they went to bed slept better than women given sham acupressure techniques and women given no massage techniques at all.
Massage also helps with insomnia in general, whether it is tied to pain or anxiety or not. While the majority of these studies have taken place in the hospital setting, the fact that massage can help there should bring hope that it can help anywhere. People tend to feel more pain and anxiety when they’re in the hospital than they do when they’re out. If it can help there, it should be able to help with insomnia at home, too.”