After a long day of work, running around with the kids or running errands, getting a good night’s sleep should be top of mind. Unfortunately, for the roughly 60 million Americans who experience insomnia, this is not the case.
Those who experience insomnia have difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. Insomnia can be caused by a number of things such as stress, a change in one’s schedule, anxiety or even a result of certain kinds of medications. In some cases, insomnia can be hereditary.
Put a stop to sleepless nights. A few changes in daily habits can often help keep insomnia under control:
• Eliminate caffeine after noon. A fresh cup of coffee can be seen as a necessity first thing in the morning, but after a certain point, it can be dangerous. Coffee, as well as any other form of caffeine, can stay in the body for up to seven hours. According to a study done by Psychology Today, consuming caffeine six hours prior to bedtime can reduce a night’s sleep by more than an hour. While cutting back on caffeine throughout the day is recommended, it doesn’t have to be removed from a routine. Caffeine can give the boost one needs to power through the day, but moderation is key.
• Moderate alcohol intake. A glass of wine or any adult beverage can sound tempting after a long day, but studies have shown that alcohol can actually take away from rapid eye movement (REM), which is the deep stage of sleep. While alcohol is a sedative, the effects can wear off in the middle of the night, causing disturbances in sleep.
• Chill out after work. Taking as little as five minutes of “you time” a day can make the transition from work life to home life much easier. In turn, relaxation levels will go up, making sleep to be a bit easier.
• Stay away from your phone. Whether it’s answering phone calls, texting or seeing what the social media world is up to, people are constantly using mobile devices. However, looking at a bright phone screen while in bed can reduce melatonin levels, which helps control sleep levels.
• Massage therapy. According to the Mayo Clinic, a massage can not only reduce stress, but it can also improve sleeping patterns from an increase in relaxation. An aromatherapy massage, which incorporates scents such as lavender to enhance the benefits of a massage, can be extremely effective. Research has shown that lavender can calm the senses and improve one’s overall mood.
Take the first step in breaking through the insomnia and get the good night’s sleep everyone deserves by scheduling an appointment with a Massage Envy therapist. However, if insomnia worsens over time, getting an evaluation from a sleep disorder specialist is highly recommended. QCBN
By Mark Love
For additional information or to schedule an appointment with a massage therapist or esthetician, visit massageenvy.com, call (928) 526-ENVY (3689), or visit one of Arizona’s 39 Massage Envy Spa locations. The Flagstaff location is at 1235 S. Plaza Way in the University Plaza Shopping Center, off Milton Road next to Ross and Safeway.
Mark Love is co-owner of Massage Envy. For more information on the benefits of massage, visit MassageEnvy.com.