Nothing is more stressful than going to bed at night only to find yourself staring at the wall for hours on end. Sometimes even after drinking a warm glass of milk, sipping hot chamomile and lavender teas and lathering Lush’s Sleepy lotion–still to no avail. You still can’t sleep. Tired and lack of sleep affects your work productivity.
Sleep deprivation is usually a sign of an increased level of pain chemicals in the body. To counteract this, your brain needs to release anti-pain chemicals called serotonin.
There could be a million reasons why you’re not getting the zzz’s you need. Maybe you had too much caffeine (think too many cups of frappe or espresso) during the day or perhaps you’re just feeling really stressed. Whatever the case may be, self-massage may be just the ticket to help you fall asleep and get the shut-eye you desperately need.
Self-massage can help you relax your muscles and calm your nervous system so that you can fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Massage therapy improves sleep by increasing delta waves in the brain. And massage therapy doesn’t have to be administered by a therapist. In fact, you can do it in the comfort of your very own bed! Yup, all it takes is practice.
Self-massage is meant to “reduce stress and tension via your hands. Our hands are “the reflexology area to the solar plexus, the ‘nerve switchboard’ to the body.”
Here’s how you do it: Press your thumb in the center of the palm of your hand for 10 seconds, then make small circles in each direction for 10 seconds. Repeat this on the other hand. This will soothe your nervous system, reduce stress, and calm the energy in your entire body.
Apply pressure to the web between your thumb and index finger (pinching it between your other thumb and index finger) for 10 seconds. Make small circles with your thumb in one direction then the other for another 10 seconds. Firm pressure on this area releases tension from the head and neck.
If you come up with some other self-massage ideas while you’re lying in bed, don’t hesitate to give them a shot! Whatever kind of massage feels good for you will hopefully help you fall asleep.