Stress, anxiety and constantly failing to let our mind and body unwind before falling asleep can lead to sleep disorders and can cause long-term damage if not dealt with properly. Before jumping to sleeping pills and other synthetic aids, make sure you're eating properly and you're drinking enough water and tea before sleep. If you have issues with blocking the outside world when you're falling asleep, maybe using a sleeping mask or some earplugs can help you.
Sometimes insomnia can be caused by a high level of pain chemicals in our bodies and one of the most effective ways to release serotonin, the hormone that clears those chemicals, is having a massage before you go to bed.
Here are some self-massage techniques to help you release pain before sleep.
1. Foot massage
Having a foot massage before sleep will induce deep relaxation since feet have about 15,000 nerves and are the most sensitive part of our body. Massaging them helps with decreasing the blood pressure and reducing anxiety before sleep.
Sitting in a comfortable position in your bed, start pressing, squeezing or gently kneading each of your feet for 5 minutes. Finish by gently rubbing each toe between your fingers in an upward motion. This should make you feel more relaxed and ready for bed.
Starting from the bottom of each foot, gently walk your thumb up from the base of the heel to each toe, then press lightly on them until they feel relaxed. You can repeat this motion on the front of your feet, starting from the ankle and finishing on the tip of your
2. Face massage
Many of the facial muscles are affected by stress and self-massage is probably the best relaxation technique to decompress them. It helps you calm your mind and body and boosts the production of collagen, which makes your face look fresh.
Using the tip of your middle fingers, gently massage between your eyebrows for 2-3 minutes. Then go down the ridge along your eyebrow for a couple more minutes until you feel relaxed. You can take the motion to your temples and down to your ears and even neck to reduce muscle soreness.
Use your fingertips and slowly apply pressure on your face starting from the forehead to the chin. The strokes and pressure should be light and gentle and they should allow you to relax. Keep it short as some people might experience breakouts if they have sensitive skin if the message is done for more than 20 minutes.
3. Neck massage
Neck pains are extremely common after a long and stressful day and they often stop us from getting a good night sleep. Relaxing the neck is important if you want to enjoy your night and wake up refreshed.
Staying relaxed in your bed, firmly squeeze the middle back of your neck with one hand and hold the pressure for 15 seconds, then slowly release. Repeat this while moving the stroke up and down your neck, until you feel relaxed.
Slowly relax your shoulders and let them fall while tucking your chin to your chest to stretch the neck. Now place two or three fingertips on the back of your neck where it meets the shoulders and press firmly. Release when the muscle feels more relaxed and slowly roll your shoulder forward and back. You can repeat that until you feel relaxed.
Researchers came out with many relaxations methods but it is important to keep in mind that self-massage techniques are not meant to replace conventional therapies for sleep disorders and insomnia but to complement them. However, applying pressure on certain parts of your body can definitely make you feel more relaxed and this will lead to a more enjoyable slumber!