Getting more sleep is a perennially popular resolution—and one that scientists recommend, as getting more sleep can help you achieve your other resolutions. Regularly receiving massage is an excellent habit for those looking to increase their shut-eye. Read on to discover research on massage and sleep. We also offer a few general tips on how to improve your sleep in 2018 (including making an appointment at our Portland massage school’s clinic).
How Good Sleep Boosts Motivation
Did you know that self-care (including getting more sleep) is the 4th most popular resolution among women in 2018? Research suggests prioritizing sleep is a smart move, as getting enough of it makes it easier to stick to other resolutions. For instance, ample sleep helps people avoid unhealthy food cravings. Too little sleep decreases the hormone leptin, which triggers the sensation of being full. The appetite-increasing hormone ghrelin is also increased with insufficient sleep. Ghrelin also spurs cravings for carbohydrates and salty/sugary snacks. University of Michigan sleep physician Cathy Goldstein, M.D. emphasizes, “We definitely take sleep as a luxury; it’s not.” Her research team has shown how improved sleep boosts motivation for multiple life improvements, from exercising more to quitting smoking. Bottom line? Sleep more to achieve more in your life.
The Dangers of Sleep Deficiency
If you are more motivated by the dangers of not getting enough sleep, here are a few conditions and diseases that the Centers for Disease Control lists as related to inadequate sleep:
- Cardiovascular Disease
According to the CDC, the onset, management, and ultimate outcome of the above killers are related to lack of sleep. Moreover, the CDC highlights that many automobile and machinery-related deaths are caused by deficient sleep. Overall, according to the Institute of Medicine, an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans’ health is impacted by sleep issues.
Research on Massage and Sleep
As the AMTA has reported, there is a scientifically proven link between regular massage and improved sleep. Here’s a selection of the studies reviewed at the AMTA’s website on sleep and massage:
- Massage decreases sleeplessness for those with low back pain. After receiving 30-minute massages twice a week for five weeks, participants reported better sleep compared to a progressive relaxation control group.
- Massage improves sleep for migraine sufferers, while also decreasing migraine frequency. After receiving weekly massages for 13 weeks, participants who received massage experienced improved sleep quality and fewer migraines.
- Massage increases sleep for those who experience hand pain. Adults with hand pain were assigned to a massage group or a standard treatment control group. Those in the massage group received weekly massage for four weeks, as well as instruction on self-massage to be done daily on the affected hand. The participants in the massage group reported improved scores on sleep disturbance scales.
The AMTA site includes sleep/massage studies for many other patient groups, including postmenopausal women, infants, and the elderly, as well as those with fibromyalgia, cerebral palsy, anxiety, cancer, breast disease, insomnia, and more. Research suggests massage improves sleep across all stages of life.
Sleep Happy: General Tips for Getting Your Zzz’s
Fight insomnia on multiple fronts: Receive regular massage while also practicing good sleep habits. Here are a few sleep-positive life hacks that can bring you blissful rest:
- Be Consistent.
Go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Use alarms to remind yourself when to go to bed as well as when to get up.
- Have a bedtime ritual.
Choose relaxing activities that will improve your quality of life. For instance, you could drink chamomile tea while journaling on what you are grateful for. If you do the same things at the same time in the same order each night, your body will soon develop a Pavlovian response to lead you into good sleep.
- Don’t look at screens before bed.
Computer, laptop, and cell phone screens emit blue-range lights, which are the same light wavelengths we see in the morning. This signals the body to get ready to become active. To instead nudge the body toward sleep, avoid looking at screens of any kind two to three hours before bedtime.
- Exercise regularly so that your body is ready to sleep.
Consistent exercise will make you more tired, so that you’re ready to sleep when it’s bedtime.
Overall, regular massage and good bedtime habits can deliver exceptional sleep. If you’re looking for affordable massage options in the Portland area, check out our offerings. Our Portland massage school provides therapeutic massage through our massage clinic. There, our students practice their craft while benefiting the community. For just $30 you can receive a 45-minute student massage. Students in our clinic are in their final term of massage classes; they are thoroughly prepared to cater to your therapeutic requests. We also offer 60-minute ($50), 90-minute ($75) and 120-minute ($100) massages from licensed massage therapists who have graduated from our rigorous massage program. Do yourself (and your sleep regimen!) a favor, and make a massage appointment today at OurMassageClinic.com.