Last December, I spent a week in a charming inn in the Laurentians. When I looked out the window, I felt like I was in a picture-perfect snow globe. I had wanted to be somewhere where I could have some quiet time during which I could work while at the same time enjoy nature.... and, yes, the spa. In fact, you know that I made sure to schedule massage sessions for myself!
I was soooo relaxed after each massage that I ended up sleeping a bit longer and deeper than usual. It was wonderful.
So, what is it about a massage that really primes you for sleep?
Relaxation is key
We know that stress and anxiety can keep you awake. The adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol in your body may lead to your not being able to stay asleep (For more on what these are: https://tinyurl.com/wvkf4pf).
Serotonin is your happy hormone. It plays a role in triggering what is referred to as homeostatic sleep pressure. Really, in everyday terms, all this means is that pressure builds in your body so that you can fall asleep (there's a whole bunch of underlying reasons for this, but let's save that for a more technical post... because this post is about ... relaxation... yes). Basically, when seratonin is released, the better you sleep...
... and this is exactly what happens when you get that massage.
Relieving aches and pains
If you have ever experienced chronic pain (e.g., neck pain, back pain, etc.), then you know how it can keep you up at night. Once again, enter the massage.
Did you know that a 60-minute massage, 3 times a week, has been found to lessen back pain? Neck pain has been shown to be relieved by massage as well.
So, massages, yes ... they're a good thing.
(My one caveat: make sure to see a registered massage therapist if you have a pre-existing condition like back or neck pain because you wouldn't want to unknowingly aggravate the condition through poor technique. Right?)
So, if you can, try to schedule that massage for yourself because it will help you to sleep well!