No More Sleepless Nights

No More Sleepless Nights

By Laura Gordon

Therapies for insomnia vary from prescription drugs to self hypnosis. One of the simplest therapies is self massage.
First though, making a ritual of bedtime is a nice way of calming the mind and preparing yourself for sleep. Here are some suggestions:
• Take a warm bath. Adding Epsom salts will help you ground, center and relax. If baths are not are not your thing, a hot shower will do the job, too.
• As you are preparing for bed listen to relaxing music.
• Make sure your bed is comfortable and that you are not too hot or too cold. Use pillows, knee separators , leg wedges , mattresses, and other sleep products that are comfortable and provide the support you need.
• Drinking an herbal tea, such as chamomile or a cup of warm milk with honey, can also help promote sleep.
The following are instructions for five different self-massage techniques that will help relax the body allowing sleep to overcome an active mind. 

The followings are from .  See their site for some more great techniques.
1. The Center of the Sole of the Foot:
This massage can be done while washing your feet.
a. First, heat your feet including the ankles with hot water.
b. After the feet become red and hyperemic with dilated capillaries, use the palmer aspect of both thumbs at the centre of the sole of the foot (arch), work in a circular motion approx. ninety times. This can regulate the liver function, strengthen the stomach, help induce sleep and promote health.
2. The Head
a. Rub the palms of the hands together until they are hot. Then gently rub the face with the palms ten to twenty times.
b. With the tip of the middle finger massage between the eyebrows thirty times. Then massage the ridge along the eyebrow for thirty times or until soreness is felt at the massage point.
3. The Ears
a. Massage the bilateral auricles (immobile shell that lies close to the side of the head) with the thumb and index finger in a downwards direction for twenty times. (Put the thumb on the back of the auricle, and the index finger on the front.)
b. Then rub the earlobes in the same way for thirty times until the ears feel hot.
4. The Neck Anterior
a. Massage the depression next to the mastoid process behind the ear with the palmer aspect of the index finger, rubbing and kneading for fifteen times.
b. Then massage with four fingers along the outer side of the sternocleidomastoid muscle from top to bottom for twenty times. The massage may be done with strength but not too fast.
The Neck Posterior
c. Firmly squeeze the middle back of your neck with one hand. Hold the pressure for 15 seconds and slowly release. Repeat at the top and bottom of your neck. Cover the neck area three times and repeat on other side.
5. The Abdomen
a. Rub the palms until they are hot, and massage the abdomen in a clockwise direction with one palm for twenty times, then counterclockwise for another twenty times.
b. Use the left and right palms alternately.
Massage of the abdomen can not only cure insomnia but also strengthen the stomach and promote digestion. Thus, it is particularly helpful for insomnia patients with gastric troubles.
As you lie in bed doing each of these techniques concentrate and keep your mind focused, count the number of massage strokes as you practice and observe yourself taking deep, full breaths.
Practice self massage every day and you will be helping yourself elevate sleeplessness but don’t forget that massage alone is not the complete answer to insomnia. It is just as important to pay attention to your emotional state, diet and daily life avoiding over stressing the emotions and/or over-fatiguing the body.

130 thoughts on “No More Sleepless Nights”

  1. I needed this last week and maybe I would not have had sure a bad week. Thanks for the info I am ready to give it a try.

  2. While I don’t have a problem going to sleep most of the time, the informaiton is very helpful during the few times I do. It is great informaition to pass along to those clients that have insomnia issues and don’t want to take drugs. It can lead to dependency for sleep, not to mention what side effects and other issues in the body they can cause.

  3. This is very good information, I will be sure to inform my mom of this. It will probably help her sleep.. Thank You!!!

  4. All very good stuff, although I am not so sure I would count to 90. I realize I am going to school for Massage Therapy, but I also am a huge proponent of hypnosis. Having said that, everything I can learn along the way to building my own practice is a plus for my future clients.

  5. It has been a very stressful weekend and I have not slept well the last two nights. I look forward to trying some of these techniques out tonight. I am looking forward to a good night’s sleep. Thank you

  6. Have terrible problems going to sleep – much worse pmt week and often wake about 2 in the morning – not sure why waking up then? Anyone got any ideas? I will try all these ideas laura but why do the abdomen massage anti -clockwise – wont this cause digestive problems?

  7. Thanks for these tips Laura! My husband can usually only sleep a couple of hours a night and he loves for his feet and face to be massaged so I will give these tips a try before he falls asleep and maybe he will sleep more than just a couple of hours. Thanks again!

  8. These are all good tips and things to try. I typically do not have trouble getting to sleep or sleeping through the night, but occasionally I do. I certainly know that there are many other people that do have trouble. These techniques are good, and for sure healthy lifestyle and routine help a person’s sleeping habits. Really, just by focusing on the technique and not on anything else helps to shut your brain up so you can sleep. Thanks.

  9. Thank you Laura for the tips. I have a couple of family members that have problems with being able to sleep the night through the night. So I look forward to sharing this information with them. This will be really useful for years to come. Its nice finding out what all different parts of the body can fix or assist a problem. Thank you.

  10. These are great! Usually a warm bath and some blue oil help, Ill be sure to try the massage techniques though next time a sleepless night occurs. The ear massage seems interesting, definatley going to test it out!

  11. I have personal experience with the massage of the abdomen helping with stomach problems and restless nights. Also, the massage of the neck is very helpful to people with neck problems that can cause restless sleep.

  12. thank you for the information Laura!! My problem isnt falling asleep its staying asleep. Since the birth of my son i wake up to any little noise he makes. But i will try these methods and see if they cant contribute to a better nights sleep.

  13. I have been very sick the last two days and wish I had read this over the weekend, since I wasn’t able to sleep more than an hour at a time. That being said, I will definitely try these techniques tonight before going to bed and hopefully can coax myself to sleep without the stress I have felt the last couple of nights.

  14. Thank You Laura for the helpful tips. I usually have no problem going to bed but there are those times that I just need a little help. I can not wait to try these different techniques to help induce my sleep. The techniques are so simple that I will even be teaching my five year old, he loves all the tips I have given him so far, we use them on each other. Getting to sleep is a real problem for my fiance too, so anything that I can try to help him get off medications that are not working for him are great. Once again Thanks for the great Ideas.

  15. I really love these tips that we get every week, not only do they really help us out, but it is very cost effective! Instead of spending money on medication, we should take advantage of the workings of our body and how it repairs itself, I will most definitely be applying this into my own routine, to help deal with my own sleep issues.

  16. I rarely have any problems getting to sleep, but I have other family members than can definitely benefit from this information. Knowing this will keep them from spending on medications to help them sleep. I’m all for natural ways to keep you body heathly.

  17. I am a big fan of advil pm. I have to take it almost every night to sleep well. I cant wait to try this out and see if it helps.

  18. oh my goodness.. i loved loved loved this one. it takes me forever to fall asleep because i wake up to every little noise and i tried these tips and each time i awoke it was easier and easier to fall asleep.

  19. These techniques sound really good. I will have to try them tonight before I go to bed because sometimes I am unable to sleep. And the one for the abdomen sounds really good for me also. Thanks

  20. Wow…I did not know there were so many ways to put yourself to sleep! Taking a hot bath always puts my to sleep. Hot tubs work great too!

  21. I count from 59 down. Then wonder why I start at 59 and not 60. Weird! Anyway noticed a lot of commits from people saying they were going to pass it along to a friend or family member. Well, my 18 year old needs to read this!!!! She can never fall asleep and i have to bang pots and pans in the morning to get her up!

  22. I have always liked taking a hot shower or bath before I go to bed. Self-massage would definitely get you relaxed and ready to catch some z’s.

  23. I plan on doing some of these tonight before bed to see if they will help. They sound like great ideas!

  24. Very interesting! I didn’t know there were so many techniques to help relax. I personally use hot showers with epson salt, drink tea, listen to ‘rainymood’ or cuddle with bunch of pillows to maintain my spine.

  25. All of these sound great! My step mother drinks warm milk every night she swears by it but she is old!

  26. I have taken ambien to sleep for over two years and have been trying to come off of it. I have been taking a all natural supplement for two weeks now. I am sleeping but it is taking forever to get asleep. I will be trying the techniques that I haven’t tried before and praying that they will work. Any techniques to get my hubby to stop snoring:)

  27. This is a great blog and I can’t wait to use some of these techniques. I always listen to my ipod when I have a hard time falling asleep. I think falling asleep to relaxing music is the best!

  28. I really have a hard time sleeping sometimes. I usually have my boyfriend rub my feet if I know I’m not going to fall asleep easily. I think I will try these other techniques to see if they might help better. =)

  29. I don’t have a hard time getting to sleep, cause when I shut my eyes I am out of it, but I will be sure to pass this to anyone I know that has insomnia.

  30. Great ideas Laura. Thanks. The best thing that I ever did was to take the television out of the bedroom. No need at all!

  31. Well I did the sole of the foot technique and I like it and I have to try the others some other night they all sound good.

  32. I have a hard time sleeping moderately especially with my Darth Vader mask I have to put on(CPAP). I will try it for multiple nights and see how this works.

  33. These were some long exercises to do prior to going to bed. Mhm there wasn’t too much of a shift in how fast I went to sleep on some restless nigh, but I did have rather strong/bizarre dreams two nights in a row that did physically affect me as the events occured in the dream.

  34. A large reason acquaintances of mine have issues falling asleep at night is that they don’t relax (both mind and body). I believe turning bed time into a ritual is one of the best ways to promote putting one’s mind at rest. Not to mention, it may get you looking forward to going to bed.

  35. i am a soaker and i make my own bath salts with Epsom salt and sea salt a little baking soda and some essential oils that go in my bath. also dim lighting and candles during this time is very relaxing

  36. I am the worst sleeper. I wiggle and toss and turn, so I will give these techniques a definite try. Thanks for the helpful hints!

  37. i love to soak and i make my own bath salts with Epsom salt, sea salt, and essential oils. Some candles and dull lighting during your bath are relaxing too.

  38. I sometimes, but not always, have problems falling asleep or staying asleep. I’ve tried a body pillow and have a comfortable bed but that doesn’t always cut it. I occasionally listen to music before bed but it’s not relaxing, so I’ll try that and using some self-massage before bed to see if that will help! Thanks Laura!

  39. I love sleeping but my wife on the other hand has issues having a great night sleep can’t wait to tell her of this article. She will love me even more for telling her about it. Once again great article!

  40. I love the epsom salt bath that really helps me relax and helps my sleep better. I love lavender that really helps too.

  41. My body only lets me sleep like 6 hours straight with out waking up but if I try to sleep more than that I toss and turn constantly I hope these techniques will help with that.

  42. I’m a big fan of the warm baths with salts / essential oils! That’s my usual action plan when I have trouble sleeping but I’m curious to see if some of the massage techniques help also! Thanks!!!

  43. I normally don’t have a problem sleeping because I’m so worn out from the day and I got in the habit of going to bed earlier. If I had problems sleeping this might help, but it seems like a lot of steps to do. I would suggest it to someone who had problems sleeping at night though.

  44. My sister and I used to do this to each other when we couldn’t fall asleep! I always wanted to be the first to give her a face massage because when it was my turn I could just fall right asleep when she was done:D HaHa! I actually had trouble falling asleep last night…I’m going to do this every night now!

  45. I sometimes cant sleep at night, but lately I have been forced, lol, to massage myself at home everyday after massaging. I have noticed that just with the maintenance massage I do on my forearms everyday I am sleeping better already.

  46. I will have use these techniques it takes me awhile to get to sleep, especially after getting out of class at 1030 at night!
    Have to try the tea one or an epsom salt bath!

  47. I will have too try some of these techniques. I think I have an little case of insomnia. I sleep like about 2-3 hours a night and that”s all.

  48. I love having a bed schedule!!! I think one of the most relaxing this is to have set things you do before you go to bed and once you wake up. They are so awesome!!!

  49. Taking a warm bath before bed has been a ritual of mine for years. I never thought about doing self massage in the bath, but I am definitely going to try it out. Drinking tea is a good idea too. I will need to get some decaffeinated tea though.

  50. Wow, I wanted to fall asleep just reading this and going through the steps in my mind! These are excellent techniques, although, probably after the face and neck I would be knocked out!

  51. This is definitely something that i can relate to. I have sleeping problems and so does some of my family. I will definitely have to try this and then suggest to my family and my future clients.

  52. I have no sleep issues right now, but have gone through times when I did. I will remember these suggestions, and will share them with family and friends. Thanks!

  53. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this article! Simply because I am insomnia rampant and I refuse to take medication. I am definitely going to try these tonight

  54. This is just what I needed! I’ll be referring to this tonight, when I’m trying to sleep. I have been getting the worst sleep lately. These seem like some really good ideas to try.

  55. Not often do I have sleepless nights but will try these techniques if needed and will pass along the info to those I known who do. Great article!

  56. for the past few weeks i havent really been able to go to sleep or sleep all night so i went out and bought some nightquel but im going to try this mabe it will save me some money.

  57. I really like these self massage techniques. Also I might note that when doing epsom salt baths use at least 2 cups.

  58. I love doing relaxing rituals before bed. It makes the day end better and makes sleep that much more enjoyable!

  59. I’ve always wanted to have an epsom salt bath but bathing is just not my thing. However, I’m the complete opposite, my only ritual is plunging face down unto my bed and dozing off in less than 15 secs. If I do ANYTHING that keeps me from my sleep, it will take me an hours top before i fall asleep.

  60. So much for a sleepful night. Idk I’ve had insomnia since high school…his one might of not helped but I’m looking forward to see more options

  61. I need to do this tonight! I have so much on my mind and stressed to the point I am getting only a couple of hours of sleep! I’m miserable and I have tried alot of these things.

  62. I often forget about the eyebrows! I love myofascial therapy for the abdomen, and it does help. I should create and laminate a card and put it in the bathroom to get a routine going at night. Thank you for the information.

  63. I remember someone mentioning this earlier in the year and I never attempted but after seeing the results from other students I am going to purchase some tennis balls.

  64. I have tried some of these and they didnt work for me but there are some new ones that I just seen that I want to try to see if it can help me sleep.

  65. Since becoming a massage therapy student I have learned to sleep all curled up, I like to listen to soft music when I sleep, and hot showers are a must before bedtime.

  66. These sound like really great techniques to try so you can relax and have a restful nights sleep. I’ll definitely have to try it out.

  67. Thank you for the great tips I haven’t had a full nights sleep in two years. I’ll have to try this and see if it helps me

  68. Getting to sleep is and always has been one of my biggest daily battles. I usually have to stay up until I just crash and I know that’s so unhealthy and leaves me exhausted the next morning. I’ll be sure to use these tips to help me fall asleep faster and more sound. Thanks for the great blog Laura!

  69. I might have to try some of these techniques in my boyfriend. He suffers from insomnia and very bad restless leg syndrome. Maybe this will help both of us get a better nights rest

  70. These are very helpful tips and I like that you included the self massage for feet as I am so ticklish when other people touch my feet…

  71. Some very good pre bedtime advice here.

    Showering before bed usually is pretty nice, and having the pillows just right can make falling asleep very easy, but be careful about sleeping posture.

    What is comfortable short term can leave you aching when you awaken; pay attention to the pressure/tension on the skeleton and muscles that seem like a minor out of alignment pressure/tension, reposition to alleviate these pressures before they rudely awaken you later.

  72. i’ll have to try these tips, because i sure do have a hard time falling asleep. I really need to change my mattress eventually to help eliminate the problem.

  73. I don’t deal with this problem often-average time from wakefulness to sleep for me is probably 5 minutes. Should difficulty arise in this area, I read and get sleepy quickly! I would have to be very awake to set up a bath or get up and massage myself. A calming bedtime ritual/wind-down is key. Rising early and avoiding napping might ensure sleepiness at bedtime. It would be horrible to have this problem.

  74. I like the salt bath idea and the self foot massage idea i dont have sleeping issues at all but if i ever do i know what i can do to help my self and also give this information to clients who cant sleep

  75. A nice relaxing bath is so my thing, I should definitely try the epsom salt bath. My mom will really benefit from this as well.

  76. I will have to try some of these techniques, i have a hard time falling asleep due to being at school so late. Im always so tired the next day due to not being able to fall asleep at a decent time. The bath idea and the tea sound great.

  77. These are some great techniques that I look forward to test out this evening! i have always had trouble falling asleep at night. Can’t wait to see how these help! Thanks Laura!

  78. My sister has a lot of trouble getting to sleep each night. I am going to have her try this and see if it helps. Great blog.

  79. Great information here! I will be testing some of these out to see how they effect my sleep. I love chamomile tea and use it all the time to help me relax before bed time!

  80. I tend to take a ice cold bath with salt and lavender. Than I finish with 3min of a hot shower 10min before bed. (FEELS GREAT!)

  81. I know some of this things work and looking forward to trying the rest, I am willing to try almost any thing once. Especially when it help me sleep better. I all about sleeping better.

  82. Between work and school, sleeping isn’t an issue for me. Getting enough is. I tend to be a night owl by nature but I have used the Epson salts for aches and sore muscles. May have to try it when I can’t sleep.

  83. i also hear that massaging your calves will help you sleep, don’t know if it’s true at all though. i know it seemed to help me.

  84. I can see how these self massage techniques would help someone with insomnia because I was getting tired just Thinking about doing some of these! Very useful information I’ll have to utilize whenever I’m having trouble sleeping.

  85. Usually when I can’t sleep I get really stressed out which makes matters worse. I am going to give this a try because what I am currently doing isn’t helping.

  86. I really like sleep. I am going to use these things when I go to bed. I need to take care of my body.

  87. these are very interesting concepts. i cant wait to try these on myslef and on Jake. now i know why i love my back rubbed before bed when i was a child ( and i still do)

  88. Wow! This is a lot of work. I think I would pass out before I could finish all of the exercises.

  89. I’m going to have to try some of these. Sometimes I am just so tired but I can’t fall asleep so I call my friend Michelle because her talking always puts me to sleep.

  90. I don’t really have problems falling asleep but I know some people that do. I’m going to have to tell them about these!

  91. I love the way these steps and techniques help put you into a cycle for bedtimes, I love it . I will and can incorporate them doing my daily life to help take better care of myself and take care of others as I learn more in my massage course.