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  • Writer's pictureGrow

The Dreaded Spring-Forward

Are you one of the millions of Americans who toss and turn and can’t get a decent night’s sleep? Whether you’re awake worrying about finances, work, health, or family problems, people in our area — and across America — report sleep deprivation. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control recently declared sleep disorders a public health epidemic.

To help, local therapists have promoted massage to help you sleep and dream, a solution to help relax muscles and the mind, so insomniacs in our community can get to bed and stay asleep. A study published by the U.S. National Institute of Health reveals massage therapy can reduce insomnia, relax muscles, help with blood flow and strengthen the immune system.

Folks who don’t sleep are headed for spas for and massage sessions to get a deeper sleep and ease the restlessness that keeps so many of us awake at night. Sleep shortage can cause an increased risk of stroke and heart attacks, along with high anxiety, headaches, stress, neck and back pain. We want our community to stop popping pills, drinking wine and counting sheep, and turn to massage as the solution to better sleep — because it works.

Sleepless in America

Giving up just one hour to daylight savings time can have several negative impacts on the function of your day. In a recent CDC study, more than a third (32 percent) of adults ages 18 and over get insufficient sleep. In this same report, respondents ages 25–34 reported they’re so sleep deprived they could fall asleep while driving. The CDC reports not getting enough sleep is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression.

Massage For Deep Sleep And Sweet Dreams

Massage promotes the release of serotonin, a hormone necessary to produce melatonin, which is your body’s natural sleep inducer.

Swedish Method – long smooth strokes, kneading, and circular movements on superficial layers of muscle using massage lotion

Deep Tissue – slower strokes or friction across the grain of the muscle to target deeper layers and connective tissue.

10 Steps for Better Sleep

  • Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on weekends.

  • Avoid daytime naps

  • Increase your intake of natural sunlight or bright light during the day to help keep your circadian rhythm healthy. (Circadian rhythm are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle)

  • Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed. Your growling stomach will keep you awake.

  • Exercise daily — though not too close to bedtime because the increase of endorphins (chemicals in the brain) creates a level of activity in the brain that can keep you awake. Exercise also raises core body temps (like a hot shower in the morning) that signals your body clock it’s time to be awake.

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the late afternoon or at dinner. Alcohol may help you get to sleep but can disrupt sleep later in the night. Alcohol alters nighttime melatonin production and HGH (human growth hormone) which play a key role in your body’s circadian rhythm. 

  • Avoid light-emitting screen time just before bed. Block blue light exposure on your computer and smartphone with apps. Blue light tricks your body into thinking it’s daytime and can keep you awake.

  • Adjust your bedroom environment. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, fans or white noise machines to create an environment that helps you relax. Temperature plays a key role in sleep, and docs recommend a cooler 60–67 degrees for optimal sleep. Bedrooms that are cool, dark and quiet are key!

  • Charge your cell phone in another room at night, so you’re not tempted to read it if you wake up.

  • Resolve worries by jotting them down before you lay down, so you don’t ruminate in your sleep.

Grow is a family orientated online magazine providing you with advice and information to make you a better person, parent, child, and friend.

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