Ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep is important not just for our ability to function the next day but for our overall health. However, many of us suffer from sleep issues ranging from finding it difficult to fall asleep to waking up early to insomnia.
In fact, according to the Canadian Government, 1 in 2 adults find it difficult to drop off to sleep or stay asleep, 1 in 5 adults report that their sleep is not refreshing and 1 in 3 adults experience problems with staying awake during waking hours! Pretty disturbing statistics, wouldn’t you agree?
The Consequences of Poor Sleep
Not getting enough quality sleep can have many consequences. We all know that after a good night’s sleep we wake up in a good mood and feel as though we have plenty of energy to face the day ahead. After a poor night’s sleep, the opposite is often true. But the consequences of poor sleep patterns go beyond mood – poor quality sleep on a regular basis can have adverse effects on your long term health and chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to high blood pressure, poor concentration, obesity and lack of energy and motivation.
What is Preventing You from Having a Good Night’s Sleep?
There are many things that can contribute to poor sleep. Stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine and the effects of alcohol can affect your ability to drop off as can eating the wrong or too much food before bedtime. Other factors such as stress, depression and hormone levels can also play a part, as can watching TV or using computer and mobile phone screens which emit blue light just before bedtime. In addition, you may find that your sleep is disturbed due to factors such as an uncomfortable bed, a room that’s too hot, too cold or too light, a noisy environment or even a noisy or restless sleeping companion!
Ways to Improve Your Sleep
There are many ways to improve your sleep hygiene and the easiest way to start is to focus on the things you can control such as what you eat and drink and how you relax before you go to bed. We’re probably all aware that caffeine can keep us awake and that we should avoid caffeine-containing drinks before bedtime but what about alcohol? Some people think that it helps them to relax – and so it does – however, it also reduces the amount of REM sleep you experience and disturbs your sleep cycle which means that you can often wake up feeling decidedly unrefreshed.
It’s also a good idea to look at your sleeping environment. Do you need a new mattress? New bedding? Would a blackout blind help to reduce the amount of light in the room? Would sleeping with a window open help you to feel more comfortable or do you need to invest in a fan or air-conditioning?
Unfortunately, many insomniacs feel that they have to resort to medication such as over the counter or prescription sleeping pills. However, while these may be the answer for a short while, it’s not a good idea to rely on such aids for ongoing sleep problems.
So what else can help?
Could Massage Before Bedtime Help You to Sleep?
One possible remedy involves using massage as a way to help you to relax and induce sleep. Massage has long been known as a therapy that promotes relaxation and can not only ease tension and aching muscles but can help to reduce stress and anxiety too. Unfortunately, not many of us have access to a personal masseuse every evening so incorporating massage into your sleep routine is something that is often overlooked. However, even without a masseur, regular massages before bedtime are achievable with self-massage, especially if you have a massage gun.
Why Percussive Therapy with a Massage Gun can Help You to Sleep
Before we move onto why using a massage guncan promote sleep, let’s explain a little more about percussive therapy. It’s a type of soft tissue massage therapy that’s been designed to ease sore muscles after intense workouts and uses a massage gun that strikes or pounds the muscle tissue sending forces deep into the muscle fibres to increase blood flow, break up internal adhesions, reduce inflammation and remove the build-up of lactic acid within the muscles. This helps with pain relief, aids faster recovery,and improves range of motion. Depending on the massage gun you use, it can reach speeds of up to 3200 repetitions per minute and deliver up to 60 pounds of force.
If you’re suffering from any kind of muscular tension after a workout and it’s preventing you from sleeping, using a massage gun for a few minutes over each muscle group will really help to ease the pain. Using a gun with multiple massage attachments will make it easier to target all the muscle groups and selecting lower settings that utilise slower speeds with less impact are likely to feel more soothing than the settings that use higher speeds and more impact which are designed to assist with muscle recovery or pre-workout muscle mobilization.
This kind of deep tissue massage will leave you feeling more relaxed and calmer while reducing your stress and hormone levels and triggering the release of serotonin – the feel-good hormone that makes you feel happy.Serotonin is also used to produce melatonin, which is the main hormone that’s needed to regulate sleep.
Add Percussive Therapy to Your Night-Time Routine for Better Sleep
Developing a relaxing bedtime routine is key to promoting better sleep. It’s recommended that you restrict your intake of caffeine and other stimulants several hours before bedtime and limit the amount of screen time. Many sleep therapists also recommend taking a relaxing bath before you retire for the night and we think that adding percussive therapy to this routine will also promote deeper relaxation, less anxiety, and a more positive mind-set when it’s time to get under the covers. And don’t forget to give your bedroom an overhaul if necessary. It’s amazing what new, clean sheets and a comfortable ambience can do to help promote the sleepy feeling that you need to drift off to sleep.