Sleep Disorders

Will it Help My Sleep Disorder?

Massage therapy is relaxing and soothing. It is an effective method to reduce stress and tension and promotes an overall sense of well-being. Some people even claim they can fall asleep while having a massage. But can it actually help you sleep?

Your Sleep Disorder

Many people around the world are suffering from some type of sleep disorder. From Britain to China, Canada to the United States, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, and insomnia are but a few sleep disorders that are seriously affecting the quality of life for many people. In an annual sleep survey done by The National Sleep Foundation, it was reported that 74% of the respondents had at least one symptom of a sleep disorder a few nights a week or more. 29% had insomnia every night or almost every night.


If you can’t sleep or have trouble falling or staying asleep, you have insomnia. Insomnia can be a symptom of an actual physical condition, but it can also be the effect of anxiety, tension and stress.

Common Causes of Insomnia are:

  1. Stress
  2. Anxiety
  3. Depression
  4. Pain
  5. Aging and changes in sleep patterns
  6. Caffeine
  7. Irregular schedule
  8. Drugs/Medications

It is always advisable to consult with a physician concerning the underlying causes of insomnia, as there could be many contributing factors to your problem.

Sleep Aids

There are many sleep aids available to help people sleep. We even sing lullabies to our children to promote sleepiness. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that sleep medication is the most common treatment for insomnia and about 25% take sleep medication to help them sleep. Many of the other sleep aids are all about promoting relaxation and releasing tension. If massage therapy can help you relax, reduce tension and pain, and reduce your anxiety, and any treatment that promotes relaxation can help you sleep better. Our bodies’ autonomic nervous system is comprised of two parts: the parasympathetic and sympathetic. The parasympathetic balances the sympathetic. When the parasympathetic is active, your body relaxes. Massage activates this part of your nervous system to help bring balance, rest and rejuvenation.

What Research Says about Massage and its Effect on Sleep:

If pain, stress, depression or anxiety is part of the reason why you are not sleeping well, you might be relieved to know that massage therapy can help reduce all of these symptoms, and in turn, can improve sleep patterns.

  1. A study on back pain demonstrated how massage therapy lessened lower back pain, depression and anxiety, and improved sleep (Hernandez-Reif et al, 2001).
  2. A study on fibromyalgia showed how massage therapy improved sleep patterns and decreased pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression (Sunshine et al, 1996).
  3. Twice weekly massage visits helped patients with fibromyalgia sleep better (Field et al, 2002).
  4. Massage therapy decreased the occurrence of headaches; sleep disturbances and distress symptoms (Hernandez-Reif et al, 1998).

Experts suggest that our bodies are stressed and our health is seriously compromised when we are sleep deprived. A lack of sleep can also seriously hinder our ability to heal.

Need to get better nights sleep? The Registered Massage Therapists at Everest Therapeutics in Vancouver can help you do that.

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