Can Massage Therapy Improve Your Insomnia?

Those Never Ending Sleepless Nights….

Sleepless nights are something we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives. It’s 1 AM in the morning and your eyes are wide open, your body tense and unable to rest. You think tossing and turning might help, but it only makes it worse!

1 AM becomes 2 AM and 2 AM painfully turns to 3 AM. Every minute feels like an hour until you finally hit a breaking point at about 4 AM!

4 AM is when you’re finally able to get some shut eye after all the tossing and turning. 2 hours later your alarm goes “ding dong ding dong!” and that marks the end of your 2 hours of sleep. Groggily you rise out of bed and do your morning ritual in the bathroom before you dress up and prepare to head to work. It’s going to be a long day!

Those Sleepless Nights!
Those Sleepless Nights!

This is insomnia, and it’s a real problem for millions of people around the globe. People have tried all sorts of things to relieve insomnia, but most have been unsuccessful. Can massage improve your condition of insomnia or is this just another myth that’s gained popularity over the years?


Can Massage Therapy Help With Insomnia & Sleeplessness?

There’s 2 ways to look at this:

#1 Based On Personal Experience!—More often than not, human beings love to complicate the heck out of everything. If massage works for you and improves your sleep, why do you care to know what a scientific study has to say!?
#2 From A Scientific Standpoint!—Because everyone wants some sort of logical support from scientific studies! Don’t worry we’ll touch on what previously completed scientific studies say about massage and insomnia.


Part #1: Looking At It Based On Personal Experience!

Because it’s much more simpler, let’s look at #1 first! From my own personal experience, I can definitely say massage therapy has improved my quality of sleep!

Do You Also Doze Off When You Massage?
Do You Also Doze Off When You Massage?

This is especially true when I get a massage in the late afternoon/evening time frame. There’s something known as post massage soreness and malaise (PMSM for short). This is the characteristic feeling you get coming out of an intense massage! PMSM makes you feel tired, groggy, and a little sleepy.

Most people hate PMSM, but I actually think it’s a great feeling to have before going to bed! What better way to get to sleep when you’re already feeling tired and knackered!

If you really want to maximize the benefits of massage with respect to sleep, then you must carefully select the right time in the day to massage. Why is this important? Think about it logically for a second…..would you wanna have the feelings of PMSM at 10 AM in the morning? Probably not, right!

The timing of massage is especially important and something that everyone should consider. What is the best time to massage? 4 PM in the afternoon if you ask me! Here’s a post I recently wrote that talks about why it’s important to massage at this time. Well worth a read!

Because all of you love scientific facts, let’s take a look and see what Science has to say when it comes massage and insomnia!


Part #2: Looking At It From A Scientific Standpoint!

Before I even start to reference scientific studies, right off the bat it’s important to note the following:

The very act of massage results in an increased production of the hormone serotonin (Source: healthline). What is this serotonin anyways? Simply said, serotonin is a hormone that’s known to enhance mood and improve one’s level of happiness. In other words, it’s basically a feel good chemical produced by the body!

How does this feel good chemical relate in any way to sleep quality?

Here’s the kicker! Serotonin is the precursor of melatonin. In other words, seratonin is used by the body to synthesize or manufacture melatonin. If you’re into the science of it, you can check out this article that explains how melatonin is synthesized from serotonin.

Melatonin is a sleep regulating hormone. In other words, it helps your body know when you need to sleep and when you need to wake up (Source: WebMD). If you’ve been sleep deprived before, you’ve more than likely picked up a bottle of melatonin pills off the shelf at your local supermarket!

In the case of massage, your body would be producing the melatonin for you! (AKA no popping of pills!)

Skip The Pills & Go The Natural Way!
Skip The Pills & Go The Natural Way!

What kind of scientific studies have been done to prove that massage does indeed help with insomnia? Many studies have been done with differing age groups but there’s one in particular I wish to highlight here:

Massage & Sleeplessness---A Scientific Study
A study was done to determine how effective massage therapy is in helping improve sleep quality in patients following cardiopulmonary artery bypass graft surgery (Source: AMTA). The results of this study showed a significant reduction in pain, fatigue, and an overall improvement in sleep quality in the participants involved (non control group participants).

Like this there are many more studies that prove that massage does improve one’s sleep quality. If you want to see more studies, the link above to AMTA is a great resource. It basically lists a whole whack of studies supporting the claim that massage helps with sleep.


If You Have Any Doubts, Try It!

The best way to see if something works is to try it out for yourself. When it comes to massage, theory can only get you so far!

Massage is the field of physical healing in which experience is king!

Set aside a month and see how massage impacts your sleep cycle and quality. Analyze your results after 1 month and see if it’s actually working. If it is, then who even cares what Science has to say! If you don’t see any improvement then don’t do it. It’s really as simple as that.

That’s it from me. I do hope you enjoyed reading and got some value from this post. If you did, a share on the socials would be hugely appreciated! Until next time ladies & gents!

About Eve

Just an average bloke intrigued by massage and its incredible benefits. Oh, did I mention I also own a massage chair? More on that in the blog posts!

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