A few months ago, I was suffering from what my doctor referred to as “stress-induced insomnia.” I would toss and turn, praying for my brain to shut off and for sleep to kick in. Once I was finally asleep, I would wake up after 2 hours of frustrating sleep, and lay with eyes wide open until my alarm would summon the requirement to crawl out of bed. I’d stumble into work and chug unspeakable amounts of coffee like it was the morning after a Friday night frat party.
I did my work as best as I could - hoping no one would notice the errors that I was surely making in my state of “sleep-wake.” Worrying about my work performance only added to my overall anxiety, and the domino effect resulted in pulling me further and further away from dear old Mr. Sandman. I tried sleeping pills, only to wake up feeling disoriented and groggy for most of the day. I tried exercising after work, only to find that it made me more awake.
I decided to consult Dr. Google and found that regular massage therapy is a known remedy for sleep disturbance. According to the National Sleep Foundation, massage alleviates insomnia and other sleep disturbances by promoting a state of well-being and relaxation as well as easing any muscle pain or tenseness compounding the problem. I decided to try it.
I went to a massage center after work and found myself dozing off on the massage table! I felt hopeful that I may be well on my way to happy dreams that night! But as I got behind the wheel and began the traffic-laden drive home, the muscles that had been kneaded and rubbed down to soft noodles started to tense up like a bowl of pretzels. With a sea of brake lights slowing my journey home and an aberrant car cutting me off out of nowhere, I felt the aftermath of my massage ball up and propel itself out of my body. That night I slept 4 hours – which was still the longest sleep I had experienced in over two weeks.
Seeing positive results from my massage, despite the obstacle course of my journey home jostling me right back into a ball of knots, I decided to try it again. But this time, I ordered an in-home massage. I wanted a massage experience that would be therapeutic and allow me to simply crawl right into bed, afterwards.
It worked! I slept 7 hours! What great relief to finally sleep more than 4 hours! Life slowly turned from black and white into vibrant color. I’ve continued to incorporate in-home massages twice a month as part of my health and wellness regimen. Combined with eating healthy, regular exercise, and cutting back on my caffeine-addiction, I find that I’m sleeping deeper and waking up feeling more rested and alert than I have in months.