The rise of technology may make life easier, but it’s also interfering with some of your important instincts and biological needs.
It’s been said that mental activity and light exposure from the use of electronics before bed promote wakefulness (1). This makes it more difficult to wind down into sleep and get enough rest.
A proper sleep routine is essential to support mental health, avoid disease and lengthen your life.
Why Sleep Is Important
Sleep serves to repair and restore your body as well as increase brain plasticity. This would explain why sleep deprivation affects your ability to learn and perform a variety of tasks as well as the ability to store information.
It also explains why sleep insufficiency is associated with chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity (2).
Sleeping is also important when it comes to muscle recovery, repairing tissue, and synthesizing hormones (3).
How To Use Reflexology For Sleep
Reflexology is believed to promote healing and relaxation by massaging specific pressure points in your feet, hands or ears.
These are the same points associated to acupuncture and acupressure (4).
Each organ in your body corresponds to a pressure point in your feet.
Massaging these points help improve the flow of oxygen and nutrient to the muscles and tissues. It also helps to promote muscle flexibility, move along lymph and reduce swelling.
How To Massage Your Feet
Before starting your massage, make sure that you’re already completed your bedtime routine, the massage should be the last thing you do before catching some zzzs.
- Hop into bed and place an old towel on your sheets to protect them.
- Grab some coconut oil and melt it into your hand before applying it on your feet.
- Hold the bottom of the foot with both hands.
- Begin rubbing the top of the foot, slowly working your way down to the sole, applying more pressure as you go along.
- Reverse directions.
- Then focus your energy on the heel, making small circles with your thumbs and applying heavy pressure.
- Alternate pressure on the heel. While one thumb is pushing up, the other should be pushing down.
- Next, make a fist and use your knuckles to knead the arch, rolling your hand back and forth.
- Don’t forget to massage around the ankle bone, calves and the top of the feet.
- After the massage, slip into a pair of comfy socks to keep your feet moisturized.
Spend Some Time On Your Toes
Naturopathic physician Leah Sherman suggests that you spend a lot of time massaging your big toes. Just outside of your big toe, below the tip, there is a point which corresponds with the pineal gland, which regulates the sleep hormone melatonin (5).
It’s important not to neglect the rest of the foot. A skilled reflexologist typically focuses on many points because the different systems of the body are connected.
Clearing away imbalances in any of these systems can lead to a healthier, more relaxed sleeping pattern (6).
If you’re still feeling a little stressed, spray some magnesium oil under your feet for an extra sleep boost.
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