This week’s article from Glenina Reflexology delves into how reflexology benefits your sleep.

Reflexology is a safe and natural therapy that can restore and maintain the body’s natural equilibrium. The body has an amazing natural ability to heal itself and for me this is the main reason behind my passion for reflexology. By inducing relaxation in the body reflexology can aid with sleep issues.

Reflexology activates a bundle of nerves called the vagus nerve system which induces a relaxation response in the body leading to a combination of powerful health benefits. Anything that connects with the parasympathetic nervous system helps the body return to a dynamic state of balance and encourages it to heal itself naturally. Consistent quality sleep is possible when the body is encouraged to relax, rest and digest.

Working on the pineal gland reflex point on the feet, found on the big toe, helps to balance the release of the hormone melatonin which enhances sleep. The solar plexus and spine reflex points also aid with sleep issues as they focus on deep relaxation and tension release.

Sleep is made up of sleep cycles and within each cycle there are four distinct sleep stages. A sleep cycle lasts on average about 90 minutes but some can be as long as 120 minutes. A good night’s sleep is made up of about four to six sleep cycles. The four sleep stages start with the ‘dozing off’ stage one, which is the light sleep at the beginning where you are easily woken up.

This is followed by stage two, where the quality of sleep deepens as the body temperature drops and breathing and heart rate slow down. The length of this stage fluctuates throughout the night. Stage three is referred to as deep sleep as the body relaxes even further and the brain activity is characterized by delta waves (or short-waves). This stage is a significant restorative time as the body heals tissues and grows new cells. It also has a chance to enhance cardio health, boost the immune system, balance blood pressure rates and give the brain a chance to re-charge.

After the body reverses like a pendulum through the first three stages of sleep, the body enters stage four known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM) or dream sleep. This is the stage for dreaming but it’s also involved in essential cognitive functions which support brain health, memory, and creative thinking. As the night goes on, the REM stage gets longer and generally takes up one quarter of your night’s sleep usually deepening in the middle or later sleep cycles.

Along with reflexology, other factors that will improve sleep are atmosphere and environment so things to consider are lighting, sound, and temperature.

To book a reflexology treatment contact Lorraine at 087 6595417 or check out www.glenina-reflexology.ie for more details and a full price-list.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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