In today’s American culture, it’s not uncommon for people to get less than the recommended amount of sleep. According to a Gallup poll, the number of hours of shut-eye American adults get has been on a steady decline since the 1940s, and in fact 40% of Americans get less than the recommended amount of sleep each night (Jones, 2013).Maybe it’s because we’ve created such a busy lifestyle for ourselves that we don’t make time for sleep, or maybe it’s due to insomnia, which can be induced by a number of causes. Either way, there are serious side-effects of not getting enough sleep. The recommended amount of sleep you should get each night depends on a number of factors including your age and gender, but the side importance of getting an adequate amount of sleep is the same. Here are some side-effects of not getting enough sleep, and some ways you can ensure that you get the proper amount of sleep each night.
WHAT CAUSES SLEEP DEPRIVATION? (Davis, 2016)
- Career, educational and family demands
- Distractions, such as entertainment
- Changes in scheduling
- Medical issues such as sleep apnea, mental illness, and other illnesses
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY?
- Trouble concentrating and cognitive issues, including poor judgement
- Increased risk of illness, including cancer and heart disease
- Weight gain
- Mood swings and irritability
- Bags under your eyes and dull skin
GET MORE RESTFUL SLEEP
- Go to bed at the same every night
- Stick to a bed-time ritual, like reading or writing a journal
- Turn off the TV and computer at least an hour before bed
- Exercise regularly
- Schedule time to work on career or school items before bed time
- Create a relaxing environment in your sleep space
CAN MASSAGE HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER?
Multiple studies done by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami found that regular massage therapy can help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
A study on patients with chronic back pain (lasting at least six months) showed massage to be more beneficial than relaxation therapy in reducing not only pain, but side effects of pain as well. These patients reported higher job productivity, reduced depression and anxiety, and fewer sleep disturbances, and had generally better results than the group that received relaxation therapy alone.
Patients suffering from migraines received two thirty minute massages per week for five weeks. At the end of the study, they reported fewer distress symptoms, more headache free days, and fewer sleep disturbances than the control group.
Massage therapy also improved the sleep of pregnant women, and infants.
Massage can help regulate serotonin levels in the brain which helps you sleep better, and reduces levels of cortisol helping you to feel less stressed and fall asleep easier. Massage also puts you in a more restful state, making it easier for you to stay asleep. It is certainly worth considering adding massage to your health care routine if you’re having trouble sleeping.
Please remember that this blog is not meant to treat or diagnose any illness. Massage is not meant to be an alternative form of medicine, it is only complementary. Please always follow the advice of your primary care physician.
Davis, K. “Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment.” [Internet]. [Updated 2016 Mar 7]. Medical News Today, Gloucestershire, England GL50 2QJ. [Accessed 2017 May 28]. Available from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307334.php
Jones, J. “In U.S., 40% Get Less Than Recommended Amount of Sleep.” [Internet]. [Updated 2013 Dec 19]. Gallup, Inc. [Accessed 2017 May 28]. Available from: http://www.gallup.com/poll/166553/less-recommended-amount-sleep.aspx
“Sleep tips: 6 steps to better sleep.” [Internet]. [Updated 2017, May 3]. Mayo Clinic. [Accessed 2017 May 28]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379?pg=1
Touch Research Institute Studies
Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Diego, M., & Fraser, M. (2007). Lower back pain and sleep disturbance are reduced following massage therapy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapy, 11, 141-145.
Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Hart, S., Theakston, H., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C. & Burman, I. (1999). Pregnant women benefit from massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 20, 31-38.
Hernandez-Reif, M., Dieter J., Field, T., Swerdlow, B., & Diego, M. (1998). Migraine headaches are reduced by massage therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 96, 1-11.
Watson, Benjamin. “Insomnia.” Flickr. 2012. Feb 25. Available from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/schnappischnap/8969004201
Miano, Kai. Pixabay. 2012 Jul. 8. Available from: https://pixabay.com/en/massage-wellness-japanese-1929064/