Adequate sleep is necessary for healthy functioning, and quality sleep is vital to health and wellness. Chronic insomnia causes extreme fatigue and problems with concentration, and can adversely affect a person’s mood and well-being.
In a recently-published article entitled, “Improve Your Sleep with Massage Therapy,” author and expert, Martin Reed, writes:
“We all require quality sleep for our physical and mental health. Not only does insufficient sleep impair overall mental stability, focus and concentration, but studies have also found a prolonged occurrence of poor sleep to be associated with numerous chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes and depression,” adding that, unfortunately, insomnia—defined as having difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep—is a struggle for countless individuals.
“Chronic insomnia occurs when an individual experiences insomnia nightly (or nearly every night) for at least 6 months. Healthcare professionals can help to identify the root cause of sleeplessness, although approximately half of all chronic cases have no identifiable origin,” he writes.
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.
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.
“Melatonin is a hormone which tells the brain to “slow down” and to prepare to sleep. Other research has found that delta waves—brain waves which appear in heaviest concentration during the deepest realm of sleep—increase as a result of massage,” writes Reed.
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.