March is fun for a few reasons. Exciting basketball, green beer, and a confused body clock. Wait, that's not fun. March is when we attempt to shake off the winter doldrums and see the light at the end of the tunnel in the form of daffodils and light sweater-weather. Daylight Savings Time robs us of a precious hour of rest we won't see it again 'til fall, and our sleep cycles get all out-of-whack.
According to the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health, some 30 percent to 40 percent of adults report symptoms of insomnia within a given year, while about 10 percent to 15 percent report chronic insomnia lasting months or years.
But sleep issues aren't just a seasonal problem. It's estimated that over 60 million Americans suffer from short-term (a few days or weeks) or long-term (more than a month) insomnia. Most cases of chronic insomnia are secondary, which means they are the symptom or side effect of some other problem.
We've all heard the standard 'sleep hygiene' tips about avoiding caffeine, using room-darkening shades, and going to bed at the same time every night. Here are a few other ideas that aren't as well known:
Taking a nap during the day can be great for productivity and fabulous for health, but you've got to do it right. Aim to nap for 20 to 25 minutes, any longer than that and you'll feel groggy when you wake up and you risk not being able to fall asleep when it's bedtime. (If you really want to get good at power naps, there's a whole kit to help you get it right.)
Be mindful of the temperature.
Take a warm (not hot) shower or bath about an hour before bedtime, and keep your room cool at night. The drop in body temperature signals your body to calm so you'll fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply.
Turn off the electronics.
Okay, so you've heard this one. But it's the most important and the least followed piece of advice.
Get an old fashioned alarm clock so you don't need to use your phone. Turn your phone, iPad, Kindle, or whatever you've got off, and put the devices in another room. Yes, a whole other room. You may think that a phone on silent, hanging out on your nightstand, won't disturb your rest, but it will. Just knowing it's there puts your body on alert. It's far too tempting to reach over and 'just check a few emails' if you do wake up in the middle of the night. Save yourself. Break this habit.
Try some aromatherapy.
Many studies have shown the effectiveness of essential oils to help you get a good night's rest. According to "The Essential Oils Desk Reference", lavender, cedarwood, orange, Roman chamomile, and valerian are helpful for insomnia. Many of our clients also report success getting their children to sleep restfully using Young Living's Peace & Calming blend. Many of these, and more, are available for you to try at your next massage therapy appointment.
Get a massage...
Yup. Massage can help with sleep issues. There have been several studies demonstrating the efficacy of massage in people with sleep problems, especially when treating secondary issues that may impair sleep, like back pain, pregnancy and migraines.
You can call us at (608) 769-5882 or schedule online anytime at www.massagelacrosse.com and get ready for a better night's sleep.
Read on for some more great articles and tips to help you and your loved ones get a good night's sleep, including
Rest well, and hopefully, we'll see you soon ;)
Putting Insomnia to Sleep: Using Cranial Techniques
By Sharon Desjarlais, CC, Massage Today
The next time you are in for a massage, ask your therapist to include some cranial-sacral therapy techniques to help you get better sleep!
10 Tips To Get Better Sleep Tonight
By Michelle Bland at MindBodyGreen.com
A good night's rest is essential for effective thinking and learning. Lack of sleep can hurt these cognitive processes by impairing alertness, attention, concentration, reasoning and problem solving. These are all things we need to get through our day with ease.
Sleep Music Delta Waves: Relaxing Music to Help You Sleep, Deep Sleep, Inner Peace
Try this soothing track specially designed to help you sleep the next time you are in the need of some extra good Zzz's...