Insomnia Remedy: Massage!

I look at the clock, it's 11pm, ok I can squeeze in a good 7 hours of sleep. I'm good! I look at the clock again it's 12:30am, no sweat, I can totally function on 6 and 1/2 hours of sleep. But no, now it's 2:30am, for the love of God! Insomnia again? What gives?Insomnia is no joke and for some it's a reoccurring waking nightmare. Your life begins to feel like the set of the Walking Dead.


Long term sufferers of insomnia experience extreme fatigue, problems with concentration and moodiness. According to Ralph Pascualy, MD, medical director of the Swedish Sleep Medicine Institute (SSMI) in Seattle, both the quantity and quality of an individual’s sleep directly affect their health. But wait, Massage may help!


Benefits of Massage Therapy

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, as well as individuals with psychiatric disorders, fibromyalgia, cancer, heart disease, lower back pain, cerebral palsy, and breast disease.


Anne Williams, director of education, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, and author of Spa Bodywork and Teaching Massage, says, “Massage helps people spend more time in deep sleep, the restorative stage in which the body barely moves, which reduces the neurotransmitter associated with pain.”


Conclusion

Massage is a smart, healthy, and drug-free option that has helped many people overcome insomnia. Because melatonin influences the sleep stage of an individual’s circadian rhythm, a natural way of boosting serotonin is a positive sleep-inducing option. This connection calls for further research showing the direct effects massage therapy has on serotonin and sleep. In the meantime, the existing evidence is enough to recommend regular massages for sleepless patients.


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