Sleep is Essential to Good Health
Integrative Health offers numerous ways to sleep better naturally. Sleep is a complex biological process that is vital to our overall wellbeing. “Sleep plays a vital role in long-term health and wellness and is as essential as food and water for survival” (Source: Wayne Jonas, MD, Psychology Today)
There are at least 85 different recognized sleep disorders that affect almost 70 million Americans. What’s more, the long-term consequences of fatigue are associated with a long list of chronic and sometimes very serious health conditions. For example, exhaustion is linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke, chronic musculoskeletal pain, specifically osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and low-back pain.
Integrative Health offers natural, drug-free ways to improve our quality of sleep. Bodywork, Pilates, and Mindfulness are all drug-free ways to improve quality of sleep.
Bodywork / Massage
People who receive bodywork and massage experience deeper, more restorative, less disturbed rest. Regardless of the modality of massage or what time of day, studies consistently report that massage contributes to a more organized sleep pattern. In other words, the various stages of rest happen in consistent order and duration. The positive effects of massage also contributes to a reduction in pain-sensitizing neurotransmitters, which lowers pain levels. (Source: Ruth Werner, Massage Bodywork)
Studies show that show pilates can improve disrupted sleep. A 2020 clinical trial demonstrated that pilates that Pilates helps support better sleep overall. (Source: National Institutes of Health). Likewise, a twelve-week Pilates exercise intervention in a study of postmenopausal women aged 60 years and over showed beneficial effects on rest, anxiety, depression and fatigue. (Source: Science Direct)
Like Pilates and massage, mindfulness is a way to invoke the relaxation response, which is a deep physiological shift in the body that is the opposite of the stress response. For many people, sleep disorders are a reaction to stress. Spending 20 min a day in a mindfulness practice helps create a reflex to bring forth a feeling of relaxation. Then it is easier to access that feeling of relaxation at night. A study on a mindfulness awareness program showed results including less insomnia, fatigue, and depression. (Source: Julie Corliss, Harvard Health)
Sleep is crucial to our health. As indicated, massage, Pilates, and mindfulness are all effective tools for improving the overall quality of our rest without using pharmacological drugs. These holistic practices help with insomnia, fatigue, pain levels, sleep pattern organization, and sleep efficiency.
Getting enough high quality sleep is a cornerstone of a healthy life, and there are many natural ways to improve your sleep and your sense of wellbeing.