A good night’s sleep is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. Sufficient sleep can help us
process our thoughts, emotions, and memories in a healthy manner. We can even improve how we
retain information and learn. The benefits of a full eight hours of sleep include:
Studies have concluded that brain activity during sleep has been shown to have profound effects on our
emotional and mental health (Walker, 2009). With that in mind, we should do everything in our power to keep
ourselves well rested and mentally healthy.
A couple hormones that appreciate a good night’s sleep are ghrelin, leptin, and cortisol. Ghrelin and
leptin help regulate your appetite, letting you know when you are hungry or when you are full. Cortisol
is released from stress. With an unhealthy sleep schedule your body can produce an imbalance of each
these hormones creating dangerous habits. If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep every night, try to alter your sleep habits.
Stick to a sleep schedule. Yes, that means on weekends too. A schedule will help you reset your
internal biological clock that way you can conquer that morning grogginess.
Exercise. It doesn’t have to lifting weights at a gym, it could be riding a bike, yoga or even a walk at a park. Finding a way to spend thirty to forty-five minutes a day burning energy can help you fall asleep faster when you finally hit the hay.
Experiment with new mattresses and pillows to maximize comfort. It could be that your pillow is not providing sufficient support to your neck, or you may need a firmer/ softer mattress. We recommend trying as many brands as possible before drawing a conclusion.
A few things you should try to avoid before bed are naps, large meals and lights. Naps and lights can
throw off your internal clock, keeping your brain awake while you’re ready to catch some Zs. Large or
heavily seasoned meals will take a few hours to digest, which can upset your stomach later in deep
For sleep awareness month we recommend you try something new! If you have never kept a sleep log
before, start. If you have tried this in the past, start a new log! Keep a journal by your bed to write down
times you wake up in the middle of the night. You can also write down patterns such as tossing and
turning or nightmares. With a sleep journal you will be able to pick up on trends and determine what
works best for you.
For instances where your lack of sleep is immediately affecting your daily activities, consult with a
professional! Avoid developing any mental issues from the start and review options such as therapy or
over the counter prescriptions. A doctor will review the benefits and potential risks of each treatment
There is never a bad time to practice healthy sleeping habits. With enough time spent getting to know
your own body, you will get to spend less time getting out of bed and more time preparing to take on
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Scott, A. J., Webb, T. L., & Rowse, G. (2017). Does improving sleep lead to better mental health? A protocol for a meta-analytic review of randomised controlled trials. BMJ open, 7(9), e016873.https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016873
Walker, M. P., & van der Helm, E. (2009). Overnight therapy? The role of sleep in emotional brain processing. Psychological bulletin, 135(5), 731–748.https://doi.org/10.1037/a0016570
Massage At Work USA is dedicated to protecting the health and safety of our clients and massage therapists at every appointment.