Good Sleep v Insomnia?
Good sleep is defined as a state of unconsciousness that typically lasts several hours. Adults need at least 7-9 hours every night. During sleep the nervous system is inactive, muscles relax and there are changes in brain activity. Sleep includes cycles of REM and non-REM sleep. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is the state in which we do more dreaming, rapid breathing and body movements. These cycles are essential for good sleep. Consequently, Insomnia and poor sleep results when these elements are missing. According to the NHS, a third of the population has difficulty with sleeping and sleep problems. Research has shown that massage is a good solution to insomnia and sleep problems.
Causes of Poor Sleep
Poor sleep or insomnia can have a significant impact on physical and psychological health. Causes can include:
- noise or light
- a room that is either too hot or cold
- uncomfortable beds
- alcohol, caffeine, recreational drugs, nicotine
- jet lag
- shift work
- stress, anxiety, depression
- muscle pain
- poor posture
- chronic illnesses, such as heart conditions, sleep apnoea and post-traumatic stress disorder
Poor sleep can be temporary. It can also develop into a more chronic problem.
Effects of Poor Sleep
The most immediate impact of poor sleep will be tiredness. This can effect the ability to focus and function.
Muscle pain can be the result of physical exertion. However, it is also a symptom of worry, stress, anxiety and depression. This is because we hold tension in muscles and soft tissue. Tension in muscles can result in poor posture. Muscle pain and poor posture can make moving during sleep painful, interrupting sleep patterns.
Poor sleep and insomnia can affect the immune system, reduce cognitive and motor function. It is associated with mental illness and medical conditions such as cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. [Sleep: A health imperative]
Compared to people who sleep well, insomniacs and poor sleepers experience more medical problems and more work-related problems. This includes absenteeism, difficulty in concentration and work-related accidents. [Mecial and socio-professional impact of insomnia]
A study by the American Psychological Association found that insomnia resulted in reduced productivity, more accidents and increased levels of absenteeism, depression and mortality.
Sleep Benefits of Sports Massage
Sports massage and remedial massage works to release tension and muscle pain. It can induce a state of relaxation, easing stress, worry, anxiety and depression. Many of my clients report to me that they get much better sleep after their massage appointment.
Different health studies on poor sleep all reported the benefits of massage to. A study on postmenopausal women with insomnia, found that all the participants fell asleep more rapidly and had a gradual improvement in the quality of sleep. There was a significant improvement in the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
A study on older people found that massage increased the quality of sleep. The relaxation resulting from massage was found to be a key factor in the ability to fall asleep more quickly and improve the quality of sleep. Another study on poor sleep associated with congestive cardiac failure found similar results.
Finding solutions for Poor Sleep
Having trouble sleeping, or experiencing poor restless sleep can feel like a problem without any solution. Some of the causes for poor sleep or insomnia are easier to deal with. For example, ear plugs or a sleep mask might solve noise and light problems. Check your mattress and bedroom conditions. Having a good night time ritual in place to prepare for sleep. This could include reducing caffeine and alcohol after a certain time. Including relaxation in this ritual is important. Turning off devices about an hour before sleep has been shown to be effective. This includes TV, tablets and mobiles. A regular sports massage or remedial massage as part relaxation and dealing with muscle pain can be effective.
Are you struggling with poor sleep or insomnia?
Are you having more sick days from work because of poor sleep?
Do you find it difficult to relax before you go to bed?
If you answered Yes to any of these questions, then claim your first free massage session now. There are strictly limited spaces available so click on the button below.
“Gail came highly recommended. I arranged to see for a free taster. I felt an immediate and huge improvement and slept really well that night. The next morning I woke and felt absolutely amazing. There was only a fraction of the pain left.” (David)