One of the biggest pieces of advice people give soon-to-be parents is to get as much sleep as they can before the baby arrives. While that sounds like some smart advice, getting a good night’s rest while pregnant can be quite the challenge. Very quickly the body begins to change, brewing a hormone cocktail on the inside, while physical changes make relaxation hard to come by. Women find that what was once comfortable on her side now just hurts and sleeping flat on her back or on her tummy just isn’t an option. Pregnancy pillows galore and several nights of tossing and turning lead moms to give us a phone call in desperation for some sort of comfort.
Effects of Prenatal Massage on Sleep
While massage is an obvious way to ease muscle tension, massage is also one of the greatest things we can do to improve our quality of sleep. Massage directly influences the body’s production of serotonin, the hormone that helps relieve pain. Serotonin, in turn, is essential to produce melatonin, a hormone that tells us when it’s time to sleep. A study on back pain, published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, demonstrated that in addition to a decrease in long-term pain, subjects receiving massage experienced improved sleep and an increase in serotonin levels. Results were based on twice-weekly, 30-minute massages for 5 weeks.
Importance of Sleep During Pregnancy
While getting adequate sleep is important for everyone, it is especially important for pregnant women to get the rest they need each night. During sleep, our bodies do all the work necessary to heal, rebuild, and even grow. This is the optimal time for our bodies to digest food and unwind from the stress of the day. Receiving regular prenatal massages will not only relieve muscles that feel too tender to lay on, but regular massage will quickly improve your ability to fall and stay asleep through the night. Women who see a prenatal massage therapist on a regular basis during their pregnancy have reported having more energy during the day and are finding their sleeping patterns to be more consistent.
If you find yourself unable to get the good night’s rest that your body needs, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. All our therapists are highly trained in prenatal massage and are eager to give you the care you deserve. Each session is tailored to the individual need of every client, so be sure to communicate your wants and needs to your therapist each time you arrive.