Insomnia is the inability to gain adequate sleep and usually refers to a state in which sleeplessness is a regular condition interfering with normal life. Some people may find difficulty falling asleep as well as waking up prematurely, or a sleeping pattern punctuated by frequent periods of wakefulness.

Sleep is beneficial to overall health and provides several benefits. During sleep, the body releases growth hormones, which fix damaged tissues, including the skin. Sleep also reduces the body’s amount of stress hormones, adjusts the hormones that control appetite and boosts the immune system. Getting a good night’s sleep aids in memory recall and mental alertness. Loss of sleep can have an adverse effect on the immune system making us more susceptible to colds and illnesses. It can also adversely affect the nervous system, leading to lethargy and irritability, and lack of sleep has been known to contribute to weight gain.

Reflexology may help improve your sleeping patterns by providing a natural way to balance and relax the body. During a treatment, pressure is applied to specific reflex points on the feet to improve lymph, nerve and blood circulation, aiding the body’s own healing potential.

The best areas to focus on during a Reflexology treatment to regulate the sleep cycle are the glands – these include the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenals. The pituitary is the centre for the body’s hormones and regulates the circadian rhythm which is the sleep-wake cycle. The thyroid gland regulates metabolism and the adrenal glands help the nervous system and to regulate blood sugar levels.

Self-care tips for Sleep Problems

  • Stick to a sleep schedule
  • Stay active
  • Avoid or limit naps
  • Avoid the use of electronic devices an hour before going to bed
  • Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol and don’t use nicotine
  • Avoid large meals and beverages before bed
  • Make your bedroom comfortable for sleeping
  • Get out of bed when you’re not sleeping