Sleepless In Seattle. Except This Is Not A Romcom. And “Seattle” Is Your Life. And You Need To Find A Way To Go To Sleep Now.
So You Decide To Get A Massage.
Why do we need sleep?
Scientifically, nobody is sure, but we don’t need white coats and experiments to tell us that we cannot function without sleeping – we can just try it ourselves. Miss out on the recommended 7-9 hours and you’ll end up falling asleep on public transport, spacing out at work and getting irritated at the slightest things.
Make this a continuous habit and in due course weight gain, sleep apnea, depression and sleep paralysis will pay you a visit. Yes, your body starts to fall apart and yes, your mind begins to feel like rusty, clumsy machinery.
And on the horrible flip side, some of us can get too much sleep (there is such a thing!) and still wake up feeling like death. So what can we do?
Often times many will resort to sleeping pills, but this is a temporary solution to a permanent problem. Not looking at bright lights (phones or computers), cutting down caffeine, regular exercise and sleeping in a dark, cool room are all methods used by many to help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep (aka sleep latency).
But one very efficient (and often not mentioned!) method is actually on the rise to popularity: massages.
Yep. A good ol’ massage!
The scientific explanation to this is simple: those of us who can’t snooze have 50% more cortisol (the stress hormones) than you average Sleeping Beauty. Massages promote the release of another hormone, serotonin, which in turn promotes your body’s natural sleep induce: melatonin. This helps rest your circadian rhythm and resets your sleeping pattern.
In a nutshell, massages make your body produce its own anti-sleep depravity antidote. And the best part? You have a great variety of choice:
From hot stone massage (the heat helps to release tension), Swedish massage (where they knead you like dough), deep tissue message (where they really knead you like dough), there are a variety of technique offered by most massage spas and wellness centres.
Asian massages vary from country to country. Japanese massage (uses finger pressure to work on pressure points) , Thai massage (also known as “yoga for the lazy”, where you will be stretched and contorted), Chinese massage (similar to deep tissue massage) and more, depending on your needs.
Based on the theory that the feet, hands and ears are connected to certain organs and body systems, reflexology involves applying different amounts of pressure to these areas.
But if lying face down on a table having your extremities pushed and pulled by a stranger is not your cup of tea (for those of you who just sniggered, please remember we’re trying to keep this family friendly), there are always home options: massage chairs are as simple as they sound – you sit in a chair and, via vibrations and movements, you receive a massage. Foot massages are another great DIY ways to keep it cost-effective while still achieving great results.
You don’t have to commit to a massage parlour, but it’s advisable to always check with a massage therapist/massager that what you’re doing is actually right (if you pull or strain something then you really won’t be able to sleep). At the end of the day, if you are at the end of your tether with sleep disorders and need a new, pill-free solution pronto, there is enough evidence to warrant that massages might actually cure you from sleepless nights forever.
Those “massage places near me” are close than you think, so go ahead and give it a try!
‘Sleep and watchfulness, both of them when immoderate, constitute disease.’ – Hippocrates