Quality sleep is essential for mind, body and spirit and affects how we deal with ageing, stress and happiness. Beata Aleksandrowicz, a massage expert and the creator of the Pure Massage Spa Training Method, explains why sleep is so vital to health and how massage can help. She goes into detail on how to get a good night’s sleep saying:
“Sleep is vital for life, health and happiness. In today’s digitally driven world, we rarely get enough. Hormones plays a vital role in our sleep patterns and massage is an excellent way to positively influence these whilst helping to soothe the soul and calm the nerves, ensuring you get a peaceful night’s rest.”
It’s not just the external factors that affect our sleep patterns. there’s a lot going on inside and its our hormones that have a huge effect. She adds:
“Levels of the hormone cortisol are often elevated in people who are stressed (yes – that’s most of us) which can lead to insomnia. Massage helps to balance the hormonal system and it’s proven that massage can reduce the level of cortisol by an average of 30%.
Serotonin, our happy hormone, influences our wellbeing, appetite, memory, sexual drive and sleep. Whilst it needs light and exercise to thrive, studies have also shown that massage can help to boost serotonin levels up to up 28%
Melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone increases with the darkness of the night allows us to sleep, while our body has a chance to purify and regenerate. Taking a warm bath and meditation, whilst reducing caffeine and avoiding all blue light can help to boost melatonin.”
Help is at hand for a good night’s sleep
But all is not lost. There are many things you can do to help. Meditation offers huge benefits in calming the mind. Yoga and gentle exercise can also be helpful. Beata goes on to gives some insider tips and also a little massage ritual to try before bed, saying:
:There are other ways you can influence your sleep patterns. It’s very important to close your day mentally. Don’t go to bed with your problems, concerns and grudges. Read for a while, or listen to some gentle soothing music. Make sure that you make a clear distinction in your mind between the activity of your day and rest of the night. Here are my wellness tips to help balance your sleep hormones for a naturally better sleep.”
Beata Aleksandrowicz’s top tips for a good night’s sleep
- Take a bath – add some soothing essential oils like lavender, ylang ylang or frankincense. Close your eyes and become present in the moment. Breath slowly, consciously and deeply from the diaphragm. The warmth of the bath will boost melatonin.
- Massage your feet – sit on the edge of the bed and rest your left feet on your right knee. Use foot cream or body lotion and slowly massage your feet. Pay special attention to the sole of your feet and make circles with your thumb along different points of your soil. Take your time. Breath. Change the foot
- Massage your hands – you can sit on the edge of the bed or in the bed supporting your back with pillows. Using some lotion, massage the top of your hand and then turn your palm up and using the thumb circle your palm along different points and stretch your palm slightly in the same time. Make sure that you do it slowly while breathing all the time.
- Massage your neck – in the sitting position, using the fingers of both hands, massage the back of your neck along the line of your skull, starting from the middle out towards the back of your ears. Breath with every stroke and feel the tension released. Do this with purpose, focusing on each breath.
- Try Yoga Nidra it is one of the best guided meditations I have found to help calm and soothe the mind.
- Now go to bed, switch off the light, close your eyes and take deep breath. Visualise a place that is close to your heart, maybe the coast, mountains, or a beach. Breathe into it and let it soothe you like a lullaby.