Why Massage Therapy can Help your Kids Sleep Better

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What can make a child’s sleep worse? A lot of different things. They may struggle with anxiety, nightmares, or stress; they may not be able to fall asleep because of pain and discomfort; plus, there are many other reasons that could keep them up at night.

The answers to this question will fill a room with parents explaining each case in detail. But the real question they want answers is: How can I make My child to Sleep Better?

This article will teach you everything about the importance of sleep for children and how massage therapy can be an effective tool to help them sleep better.

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A great night's sleep is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Sleep affects:
  • mood
  • weight gain,
  • stress levels. 

A quality night’s sleep is essential for proper cognitive function, emotional well-being, and physical health.

As adults, the average person needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Children need even more.

Beyond reducing stress and releasing toxins, massage therapy has many different benefits. For children, one of these benefits is better sleep.

Children who receive regular massage therapy show improved sleep quality and reduced sleep latency (time it takes to fall asleep). This happens because massage is a sensory experience that includes touch. It also helps with muscle relaxation and boosts the immune system.

When you are touched, neurons in your skin respond to different stimuli and activate different regions of your brain. When touched in a social or emotional way (known as affective touch) the insular cortex is activated, as well as other areas as well. This cortex is part of the limbic system which is responsible for processing emotions. 

Touch therapy or massage has both immediate and long-term affects, including: decreased levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine which play a role in mood regulation, movement, and impulse control.

ASD and Massage Therapy

Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD describes a group of complex related neurodevelopmental disorders. More and more evidence supports the benefits of massage or “touch therapy” for people with ASD. 

This might be surprising since many people with ASD reject touch, especially from strangers. However, in general light touch tends to over stimulate and aggravate ASD patients, so moderate to deep pressure massage is preferred over a lighter touch.

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Some studies show that touch therapy can help with muscle spasms and social anxiety in ASD patients. It can further be beneficial to the linguistic and social abilities of ASD patients, especially when combined with other forms of therapy.

Massage can also stimulate the vagus nerve, which affects other outputs of the body (i.e. the heart). This can in turn decrease heart rate which allows people with ASD to focus more and sleep better. Furthermore, it can decrease incidence of seizures, which are common in 1/3 patients with ASD. 

Does your kid have problems sleeping? Have you tried massage therapy? Please, share in the comments, and be alert of our futures articles on these series.

 

 

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