We live in a culture of busy bodies and rushed schedules. Between work, kids, and other activities we get deeper and deeper into a cycle of sleep debt. The consequences of sleep deprivation include irritability, problems with concentration, and fatigue. Sleep that is disturbed and broken may appear to be long enough, but poor quality will prevent sleep from completing its biological task. So it looks like disordered sleep can affect the way insulin works in the body and can further affect body weight.
Why is this? Experts don’t have all the answers, but research has identified two distinct types of sleep that alternate in a four-stage cycle repeated throughout the night. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the more active phase we associate with vivid dreams, becomes progressively longer as the cycles repeat. Interrupted or inadequate length of sleep interferes with the continuity of the cycles, resulting in deprivation of REM sleep. For reasons as yet unknown, REM sleep is vitally important to our bodies and may play a key role in processing emotions.
How can massage therapy help with sleep disorders?
The benefits of massage are many. It is regularly used in sports clinics and rehabilitation centers to loosen or soothe sore, aching muscles. Massage also helps to reduce stress, improve circulation, release tension, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and possibly even strengthen the immune system. These relaxing effects may therefore make massage a helpful aid in restoring restful sleep. Massage may be especially beneficial in treating sleeping problems that stem from stress, migraine headache, pain, and muscle and joint stiffness.
If you are suffering from a sleep disorder or living with unnecessary pain and suffering, come see the professionals at Structura Body Therapies! If you have any questions related to structural integration or massage, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with Structura, please call us at 801-897-8711.