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Essential Medical Massage & Wellness

2301 Ohio Dr, Ste 214, Plano, TX 75093

Essential Medical Massage

Specializing in Acute Pain, Rehabilitation and Cancer Care

Phoebe Courcy, LMT, MMP, CPMT

Health Blog


Sleep Well For your Health

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 1:32 PM
  Sleep is extremely important in order to maintain good health.  Sleep may even be more important than exercise and diet, because even more incredibly, we spend up to a third of our lives asleep.
Restorative sleep is necessary to repair damage done to our bodies during the day.  Cells get replenished, immune system is boosted, metabolism is regulated, cognitive function improves, toxins and other free radicals are eliminated, hormones are balanced, adrenal glands are restored, etc.

  Some causes of insomnia are induced by prescription and over-the-counter medications and/or physical problems such as sleep apnea, rheumatoid arthritis, nerve disorders, restless leg syndrome, and so on.  Adrenal hormone imbalances such as high cortisol levels are known to reduce sleep quality.  Nutrition deficiencies (such as B vitamins, magnesium, & protein) can affect sleep.  Inactivity is also not conducive to sleep.

 Among the many variables affecting sleep, however, PERSISTENT STRESS is the most common cause of chronic insomnia!  And poor adrenal functioning leads to poor ability to handle stress.  It is important to know how to handle that stress, rather than focus on how much stress is in your life.

Here are some wonderful tips for getting a better night's rest!
  1. Relax before bedtime (i.e. dim lights, relaxing bath, quiet music, or read).
  2. Set a schedule -Your natural circadium rythyms are ruled by rising and setting of the sun.  Try to go to bed the same time every night/wake same time every morning.
  3. Avoid stimulants  -Such as coffee, alcohol, chocolate, sodas, cigarettes.
  4. Maintain a comfortable temperature.
  5. Exercise - Just 20-30 minutes of activity daily (preferably during early part of the day) will help improve sleep quality.  Yoga, stretching, breathing will also help.
  6. Eat Well - Refrain from overeating at dinner time.  Include whole natural foods and avoid hydrogenated oils, fried foods, or sugar.
  7. De-Stress - Learn  how to handle your stress through such things as meditation, biofeedback, or relaxation techniques.  If you tend to worry about things, get in the habit of writing them down on paper, instead of thinking about them all night.
  8. Last but not least, try professional interventions such as massage therapy, chiropractic adjustments & acupuncture.
 Valerian root is one of the most well-known (and most studied) herbs to help improve sleep quality.  It is safe and effective and increases GABA receptors, the neurotransmitters involved in regulating normal sleep.  Learn more at

**Sleeping pills are often addictive and do not allow for natural sleep.  More importantly, they reduce the time spent in deep sleep, the most restorative stage of sleep, and can result in rebound insomnia when discontinued.

"Masking the symptoms of insomnia does not constitute good sleep any more than masking the symptoms of anxiety with alcohol provides good mental health."  --Rubin Naiman, Ph.D

 My clients more often than not tell me that they have the best night's sleep after getting a massage.  And those that receive regular massages sessions find that they are better able to manage their stress and do not suffer from the aches and pains that often keep people awake at night.

"A dream can be a place of healing, initiation, higher education, and outrageous fun.  If we are closing off our dreams, we are closing off worlds of possibility, entertainment, and learning."  --Robert Moss 


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