Massage Therapy Center Blog

Massage Helps You Get Better Sleep

massage helps sleepThink you do just fine on five or six hours of shut-eye? Chances are, you are among the many millions who unwittingly shortchange themselves on sleep. Research shows that most people require seven or eight hours of sleep to function optimally. Failing to get enough sleep night after night will compromise your health and can even shorten your life. From infancy to old age the effects of inadequate sleep can profoundly affect memory, learning, creativity, productivity, and emotional stability, as well as your physical health.

According to sleep specialists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, a number of bodily systems are negatively affected by inadequate sleep: the heart, lungs, and kidneys; appetite, metabolism, and weight control; immune function and disease resistance; sensitivity to pain; reaction time; mood; and brain function.

Poor sleep is also a risk factor for depression and substance abuse, especially among people with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to Anne Germain, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. People with PTSD tend to relive their trauma when they try to sleep, which keeps their brains in a heightened state of alertness. Germain is studying what happens in the brains of sleeping veterans with PTSD, in hopes of developing more effective treatments for them and for people with lesser degrees of stress that interfere with a good night’s sleep. ~ Jane Brody, San Francisco Chronicle

At Massage Therapy Center Palo Alto we know that regular bodywork encourages deep rest by promoting relaxation and well-being, reducing tension and anxiety, improving blood circulation that delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells, and relieving muscle cramps and spasms which sometimes disrupt sleep. Getting regular massage and bodywork will influence your sleep patterns in a positive way! ~ Lucia Miracchi, MTC president

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