Sometimes it feels like a good night’s sleep is only a dream and living without enough sleep can be a nightmare. Insomnia, which is the inability to sleep or to sleep soundly, can be either temporary or chronic. It is said to affect up to 54% of all adults in the United States at one time or another, and insomnia that lasts more than 6 weeks may affect as many as 10-15% of us at some point in our lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have declared poor sleep as a public health epidemic.
Stress, anxiety, chronic & acute pain, hormonal changes, and life schedule changes can all contribute to a poor night’s sleep; however at 2 in the morning, as you are watching the clock tick away the minutes of sleep, the causes of the insomnia are secondary to the anxiety that tomorrow may be a rough day. We all know the feeling. Cortisol, which is the body’s primary stress hormone, is about 50% higher in those who only get about 6 hours of sleep a night. Activities and therapies exist that reduce cortisol levels, which ease stress, and can create better sleep hygiene. Another factor in the chemistry of sleep is serotonin. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter in the body, and it is believed that it can affect mood, social behavior, appetite, digestion, sleep, memory, and sexual desire and function. Serotonin is also essential for the production of melatonin, the body’s natural sleep hormone. Bottom line - decrease stress and turn on your body’s natural ability to get you to a good night’s rest!
Unfortunately, to get this good night’s rest, many of us are turning to pills, both over the counter and prescription. However, drugs are not always very effective, are very expensive, often have negative side effects, and worst of all the insomnia can return when you quit taking them. Or not work well for the insomnia at all!
Massage, Reiki, Meditation & Yoga are all healthy, smart, simple and drug free ways to help us manage insomnia and improve our health and sleep hygiene. By making that mind-body connection, slowing down our minds and our bodies, we can help ourselves decrease cortisol levels (stress hormones) and increase our feel good happy hormones, improving our health and wellbeing in many ways, including better rest and sleep.
We can help you get on the sleep train at Spa Eir! We have massages (try our signature Naturopathica Rest Herbal massage for a delightful treat), specifically designed with essential oils and long relaxing strokes, or calming Reiki, and relaxing soothing Yin Yoga. Sound Baths are also a simple and effective practice to get your mind and body connected and slow down.
To all of our Sweet Dreams, Natalie