There’s nothing like a good, full night of sleep to make you feel empowered and ready to start your day. However, not everyone gets the sleep they need to have a great next day. Insomnia is a common problem, whether caused by caffeine intake, genetics, anxiety, or just bad luck. There’s good news for you: a relaxing, thorough foot rub can improve your chances of getting a great night of sleep.
The Mechanisms of Sleep
The mind is a tricky thing. It is very particular about what it seems to learn and retain, and yet bad habits can be cemented after just one or two times of repeating them. The same is true with sleep.
Your body knows how to fall asleep because of the cues it receives from its environment. If the room is dimly lit, you feel relaxed, and there are no bright lights, the body may start recognizing that it’s time for sleep.
If, however, you use your laptop or iPad right before bed, drink coffee in the hours leading up to bedtime, or stay physically active until the moment you drop into bed, you could be sending your body the wrong messages.
A foot massage triggers specific sensors in the body that let you know that it’s time to sleep. This can help your body start slowing down and preparing for a full night of sleep.
Benefits of a Foot Rub Before Bed
Research indicates that a good foot rub before bed can reduce the occurrence of anxiety and depression throughout the day. This is particularly important for those with chronic anxiety and depression, as both of these conditions can make good sleep particularly difficult.
A long foot rub before bed can clear your body of toxins, allowing you to sleep more deeply and more comfortably. As your feet are rubbed, your blood circulation to your feet is improved. This triggers the sebaceous and sweat glands, which may remain dormant in your feet much of the time. Allowing these glands to open up can help your body more efficiently rid itself of toxins.
Lactic acid tends to build up in the feet throughout the day, particularly if you are very physically active or if you are on your feet for work all day. Lactic acid can cause muscle pain and soreness. When you get a foot massage, either from yourself or from someone else, the lactic acid in your feet and leg muscles begins to break down. This reduces soreness, allowing you to maintain your current level of activity during the day.
Massage may also hit on acupressure techniques that can fix insomnia. Chinese medicine lists a number of points on the foot that can be massage to minimize night waking, improve the quality of sleep, and make it easier to fall asleep. You may want to try several types of massage to find out which one best improves your sleep.
Not only does a foot massage feel great, it can help your quality of sleep! Rub your own feet before bed tonight or enlist the help of a partner.
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